Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie"... get up or stay up 50 minutes longer to watch this!

I watched "Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie" early this morning. MUST watch this…soon.

From today’s New York Times:
The humor website Funny or Die on Wednesday began streaming a 50-minute comedy that finds Mr. Depp portraying the businessman turned politician, full-blown comb-over and all. Kept a secret for months — no small task in Hollywood — “Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie” was released to coincide with Mr. Trump’s victory on Tuesday in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary.

Here is the link
Now, I’d like to tell you a personal Trump story that I have only shared with a handful of people over the years:

In the early 1980’s the State of New York initiated a continuing education rule for all those holding real estate licenses.  There were a few folks ‘grandfathered in’ who did not have to go back to school.  These included NYC real estate legends such as Harry Helmsley who, with his partners, owned the Empire State Building.

I enrolled to take the class at New York University’s midtown facility.  About 20 of us got to the classroom on the first evening and who walks in – Donald Trump.  He goes to the podium at the front of the room and says, “Good evening.  I’m Donald Trump.  I made a deal with the State of New York.  If I agreed to teach a class I wouldn’t have to attend a continuing education class myself (Note: this was several years before he wrote “The Art of the Deal.”)  He continues, “I’d like to introduce you to Joe (I can’t remember his actual name).  Joe was my project manager on the construction of Trump Plaza (a high-rise residential condo).  He’s going to tell you about that project.”  And with that, Trump left the room.

And, each of the following weeks he did the same exact thing – introducing someone else who would talk with us about something to do with real estate – and then left the room!

Flash forward.  It’s now the early 1990’s and my wife and I went downtown to the Tribeca area of Manhattan as I wanted to visit some of the tenants in 99 Hudson Street, a building on which I served as ‘Owners Rep’ (basically a NYC real estate term) for the conversion from a printer’s building to a beautiful Class-B office building.  99 Hudson was branded the Legal Defense and Education Fund building by virtue of having tenants such as NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and others of the same ilk.  A side note here: the partners who owned 99 Hudson Street, Mort Olshan (Olshan Properties) for whom I directly worked, Marshall Rose (Georgetown Associates) and Fred Gould (Gould Investors Trust) wanted to ‘give back’ so we made very attractive rental deals with these not-for-profit constitutional law organizations and also gave them an option to buy their space at, I believe $50 per square foot (this was in 1983). It was a wonderful learning experience for me.

Anyway, after visiting the building we went next door to Nobu, the well-known Japanese restaurant.  Without a reservation, we took a chance and, sure enough, they were able to seat at us a nice corner table for two.  About 10 minutes later, Donald Trump and his then girlfriend (now wife) Melania were seated at the right table next to us.  

Even though I had had the real estate class experience with him and also another real estate related interaction (a story for another day) I didn’t feel the need to start a conversation with him.  However, when our server delivered our first order of sashimi, Donald said to us, “How can you eat raw fish?” And I said to him, “How can you not?”  

After he opened up the conversation window I said, ‘I don’t expect you to remember but you and I have some history.” He looked at me quizzically but with a 'come on, tell me' look and I related the story of his ‘deal’ with the NYC Real Estate Licensing Commission.  As I’m telling it, he turns to his girlfriend multiple times, with a big grin on his face and making hand gestures, “Yes, I did that.  Wasn’t that smart of me?  What a great deal.”  He was extremely proud of himself and said that he had almost forgotten about that.  They got up to leave and Donald said, “You two make a beautiful couple.” I said, ‘Thank you, so do you.” And he, smiling says, “Thanks, but don’t you think she’s a little young for me?”

So, as I watched ‘The Art of the Deal: The Movie’ early this morning - with great enjoyment and a lot of laughing to myself - I was reminded of that experience and just had to share it with you.

I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did.

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