As Trump is Inaugurated, Queens Landlords Reflect on How Far They’ve Come

QUEENS, New York.  The Jamaica Bus Terminal here was abuzz this morning as chartered behemoths of the highway were loaded to the gills with men like Fred D. Kalinoff, a spry 64-year-old dressed in a loud plaid sports coat and dress slacks with an elastic waist.  “This is going to be the trip of a lifetime,” he said with a smile as the attendant punched his ticket for the five-hour drive to Washington, D.C.  “I’ve been to all five boroughs, but no further south than Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey.”

Lookin’ good in the hood!


The journey that has Kalinoff and his professional colleagues excited will take them to our nation’s capital for the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the son of a Queens landlord, as 45th President of the United States.  “For too long, the landlords of Queens have been looked down upon as something you would scrape off your shoe, and I don’t mean chewing gum,” says Art Moskolitz, the incoming president of the Small Property Owners of Queens, a trade association.  “With Trump in the White House, we’ll have the ear of the most powerful man in the world when some deadbeat tenant tries to walk away from carpet stains at the end of a lease.”

“And out the back, you have a breath-taking view of the back of another apartment building!”


Trump will be the first descendant of a Queens landlord to ascend to the Presidency, a fact which historians say may be the source of the real estate magnate’s apparently bottomless reserves of tackiness.  “Lyndon Johnson had the highest previous TQ, or ‘tacky quotient,'” according to Lyle George of the Institute for the Study of the Presidency at Waldham College.  “Showing off his scar from gall bladder surgery, lifting up dogs by the ears, making jokes about sex with goats.  Trump bids fair–if I may wax poetic for a moment–to pass that record in his first 100 days.”

Who could’ve guessed it would be downhill from here?


The word “tacky” refers to a person who lacks good breeding and taste, and who reveals the same in the course of social climbing to overcome a sense of inferiority.  “It originated in the South, where parvenus would get all sticky washing their cars in the street,” says linguist Armand Noersdorf of, an authority on American slang.  “Tacky people lack self-awareness when they sweat like a bitch wolf in heat.”

Fred Trump


Donald Trump’s father Fred Trump amassed a fortune from apartment buildings in Queens, giving his son a taste of the luxe lifestyle one could achieve by chiseling tenants on security deposits and deferred maintenance of boilers and roofs.  “Fred was one of the great ones,” says Kalinoff, who owns several buildings in the Flushing neighborhood.  “He perfected the technique of making tenants file written requests for refunds on coins they lost in his washers and dryers.  He parlayed the float on that change into an empire that stretched all the way to Brooklyn.”

“Look at your lease–until the cockroaches get bigger than this, they’re your problem.”


As hopeful as they are of their prospects under a Trump administration, the men on this bus say they will not be blindly partisan in their support of the 45th President.  “I have to think of the national interest and not just the man in the office,” says Moskolitz.  “If I were the federal government, I’d ask for first month, last month and security deposit on the White House.”




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