First, allow us to orient you to the space. If you enter from the main entrance along Fifth Avenue, past the slightly over-the-top doorman, you'll slip through one of the gold(ish) revolving doors and into a gold(ish) and black hallway leading to the building's atrium. The revolving doors are fun. Let's call that a ride.
(That's me, your tour guide, showing you how the doors revolve.)
Walking down the hall, you pass elevators on the left. Those elevators lead to:
- The largest bank in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which Trump constantly cites as an example of his ability to negotiate with China
- Other businesses
- Donald Trump's business offices
They do not lead to the residential part of the building, which is accessed elsewhere. Want to live there (as Trump does)? Apartments are currently on the market for up to $18 million.
On the right is one of two "Trump Stores," long counters in front of bookshelves that are to Trump gear what 1940s drugstores were to sodas and candy. A fun activity you can do at the Trump store is to buy a Trump campaign hat.
When I wrote about these in July, I noted that buying the hats counted as a campaign contribution. While I was there last week, a guy was being told that if he bought $200 worth of hats, it had to be reported to the FEC.
If you want something that the federal government isn't tracking, you can also buy a book that most people haven't read.
Of the total square footage of the first floor of the lobby, I'd say the two stores occupy about 5 percent. Along the walls are other little cases with other Trump-brand brands in which you can invest. Walking into Trump Tower and hoping not to see the name "Trump" is like turning on NASCAR and hoping not to see a logo.
So it's natural we start with that in our description, but it's by no means the most fun part of the experience. It's almost exactly like beginning a tour of the Metropolitan Museum by describing the gift shop. There's so much more you can do!
Like why not, instead, buy some fine jewelry at the Ivanka Trump pop-up shop nearby?
Or, get some cash at the ATM?
Which you can then convert into euros at the nearby money changing place?
Across the hall from the money exchange is a weird back entrance to Niketown, just inside of which is a large display of sunglasses. So maybe buy some sunglasses.
(Note: Your bag will be searched leaving Niketown, as though criminals would hang out in or around Trump Tower.)
By now, maybe you're hungry. Head downstairs and grab a bite to eat. For some reason, there is both a fine-dining restaurant called Trump Grille (the "e" is for "extra fancy") and a sort of dumpy cafeteria just across the atrium. The cafeteria had cake in a case, so I recommend that.
Or maybe you just want Starbucks? If the most prominent brand in Trump Tower is Trump, Starbucks is a not-very-close second, thanks to its prime location on the second floor overlooking where we came in.
And we will note that this also just happens to be Ivanka Trump's favorite Starbucks. Convenient for her!
But look. We understand how this works. You got to Disneyworld, you want to see Mickey. You go to Trump Tower, you want the full Donald experience.
Obviously, then, you want to ride the escalator. The one Trump used when he announced his candidacy. It goes from the main floor down to the grille/cafeteria floor. I did it stupidly; instead of standing still and waving, I got over-excited and walked down.
And then, in front of the big waterfall, you want to tell everyone that you are running for president, being sure to articulate all the countries you hate.
(The patrons appeared to be used to such announcements.)
And finally, back upstairs to the little spot from which Trump does all of his interviews. Don't have anyone there to interview you? Interview yourself! Or call in to "Fox and Friends;" I'd guess that people nearby have the number.
The great thing about that location is that it is immediately adjacent to the jewel in the lobby's crown: The Trump Bar. Make this your final stop.
When Trump says the place is classy, he means it.
Correction: A reader noted that the residential part of the building was access through another set of elevators, so this has been corrected.