New Yorkers’ thoughts on President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office were almost as diverse as the city they call home, with some quick to defend him and others calling him “corrupt.”
Staten Islander Patrick Curley, 27, stood middle ground, grading the president’s initiation a “C-.”
“The country hasn’t completely fallen apart, but it certainly seems like it’s going in that direction,” said Curley, who works in insurance.
Others weren’t as generous, slamming the president for the disaster that followed his travel ban.
“I didn’t have high expectations but even those aren’t being met,” said Andrew Tello, 27, who lived in the city for several years before leaving to travel. Trump’s travel ban might have been well intended, he said, but it ended up being a disaster. “I’m all for more safety, but this was a poor implementation.”
Some city residents simply took issue with everything Trump did — from his policies, to his personality, to his frequent traveling.
And others said they’re frightened, including Greenwich Village resident Shinho Lee, 39, who came to the city from South Korea in 1996.
“He’s targeting specific people and trying to build up his base,” he said. “I don’t think people take him seriously when he talks, but for a lot of us it is scary.”
Here is what New Yorkers thought of Trump, by the issues:
Claire Wang, a 22-year-old NYU student who lives in Alphabet City, said Trump’s first 100 days could have gone better.
“It’s a mess,” Wang said. “The travel ban was racist, poorly executed, poorly thought through. I don’t know why he expected it to pass.”
Jorge Gomez, an 18-year-old student who lives in Flushing, said the administration should be letting people fleeing war-torn countries in, though he understood the importance of screening.
“Refugees are coming here for safety, of course,” he said. “I’m more toward letting them in, but be careful who you let in. I could see his points, but the way he goes about them, he’s kind of radical.”
Great Kills, Staten Island, resident Mike Ferraro, 61, voted for Trump and acknowledged the president has hit some road blocks, but said he isn’t to blame.
“Trump wants to protect Americans,” said Ferraro, a court officer, who added that he doesn’t like the concept of sanctuary cities. He said that puts the safety of people who are living here illegally over the safety of citizens.
Anne Marie Hassett, 62, a homemaker from Great Kills, said she wishes Trump would “stop tweeting and act more presidential” while sharpening his focus on domestic issues he campaigned on: bringing back jobs and infrastructure.
“We need new roads, trains and bridges. I’m from Staten Island, so of course we need a better way to get to Manhattan,” she said. “Look at our bridges, they all haven’t been repaired in decades, he needs to address that. He has the right ideas on infrastructure, but he keeps getting sidetracked on silly things.”
Michael Veras, 58, an attorney from Dongan Hills, said he doesn’t think Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan would translate into benefits for the city.
“I don’t think he actually cares about New York, any urban areas or anything really other than himself,” he said. “He says whatever comes to his head.”
Mar-A-Lago and NYPD protection of Trump Tower:
New Yorkers were largely upset that the city has been footing the multimillion dollar bill to protect Trump’s Fifth Avenue building, as well as the fact that he heads down to his Florida resort as often as he does.
NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill has estimated that it will cost an average of $127,000 to $146,000 per day for the department’s efforts and $4.5 million each year for the FDNY to protect first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, in Trump Tower. When Trump himself comes to visit, that average daily rate will increase to $308,000 for NYPD security.
Lizette Portocarrero, 51, from West Brighton, Staten Island, called Trump a “hurricane” in the White House — and not flatteringly.
“It’s been a complete fiasco,” she said, adding: “It seems like he’s in Mar-A-Lago every other weekend while his wife lives in New York — all on taxpayer money.”
Bushwick resident Takhanii Faruq, 22, said the NYPD shouldn’t be responsible for the security.
“They’re the police department, they shouldn’t have to protect the president,” Faruq said. “It’s an obscene amount of money to spend. I think Trump should take his job a little more seriously.”
Williamsburg resident Maeve Kelly, 29, said the first lady’s residence in the city has needlessly drained resources.
“I think it’s so vile — and traffic,” Kelly said, calling Trump’s trips to Mar-A-Lago “corrupt.”
Darrick Antell Jr., a 27-year-old entrepreneur who lives in Connecticut, said the country has been going in the wrong direction for years when it comes to health care.
“If you’re friends with Trump or if you’re in real estate or the 1 percent, you’re good. Everybody else, too bad,” he said, adding both of his parents are doctors. “They should repeal [the ACA], but they should put something that works.”
Grace Feyijinmi, 29, and a psychology student from New Brighton, Staten Island, said she has been completely dismayed by Trump’s presidency so far.
“It’s important to me to ensure coverage for people with chronic illness and to protect reproductive rights,” she said, adding that she had believed Trump was bluffing during his campaign, when he said he had a plan to replace ACA. “He didn’t have a working plan coming in.”
Maureen McDonald, 68, a retired law librarian from Silver Lake, Staten Island, who voted for Trump, derided both Democrats and Republicans in Congress for hobbling the administration.
“I think he’s doing well but Congress is blocking him at every step,” she said. “I think they once said that politics was the art of compromise; that isn’t happening. You’re supposed to be serving the entire country, not scoring points in your party.”
How tourists see him:
Julio Bianchi, 35, visiting the city from Milan for the first time, said nothing was going to deter him from making the trip.
“Our decision had nothing to do with politics,” he said. “Sometimes, you have to think positive. If you want to see New York, you should go to New York and not think about the other negative things.”
His girlfriend, Ferederica Cochei, 28, added that the pair didn’t notice “any problems here in New York. It’s pretty separate from the politics.”
Fourth-time visitor Horacio Jimenez, 49, from Argentina, said Trump hasn’t had any impact on his love for the city — in fact, his cellphone ring tone is “Empire State of Mind.”
“I don’t like Trump’s politics, the wall is stupid,” he said. “New York isn’t like that. People here aren’t closed.”
With Maxime Devillaz