We couldn’t resist adding one more tidbit from Nicolai Ouroussoff‘s discussion of his top picks for the wrecking ball: a terrific anecdote concerning the critic’s brief lunch with Donald Trump several years ago. It was a sedate affair until Trump “seized on the topic of Mar-a-Lago, his palatial estate in Palm Springs.”
“Have you ever watched craftsmen apply gold leaf?” he asked, his eyes lighting up. I hadn’t. “You really have to see it,” he said. “The sheets are so thin that if you hold one up to the ceiling and blow, it takes the shapes of the molding. It just sticks there.”
Extending his fingertips in front of his lips as if they were supporting a sheet of gold, he blew into the air.
For Ouroussoff, the moment “summed up the magic of Donald Trump. You may find his Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue gaudy, but doesn’t its cockiness makes you grin?” For us, it reads like a symbolism-soaked encounter out of Ralph Ellison‘s Invisible Man crossed with To Have and Have Not. “You know how to apply gold leaf, don’t you, Nicolai? You just put your lips together, and blow.”