politics

Ivanka and Jared Can’t Escape Neighbor Drama

Ivanka Trump is seen taking a walk with husband Jared Kushner and their children on June 12, 2021, in Miami, Florida. Photo: MEGA/GC Images

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner may have spent years cultivating their image as the “more polished, more presentable” face of the Trump clan, but by the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, they’d gained a reputation for being terrible neighbors. While working in the administration, Javanka took up residence in Washington, D.C.’s, Kalorama neighborhood, where they annoyed locals by taking up an excessive number of parking spots, erecting a porta-potty on the sidewalk because they wouldn’t let Secret Service members use their bathroom, and drawing hundreds of LGBTQ protesters to their block. (To be fair, this incident famously delighted at least one wine-sipping, fur-coat-clad neighbor.)

After Trump failed to prolong his presidency through extralegal means, Jared and Ivanka decided to leave Washington. But it became clear that the couple was not welcome in Manhattan anymore, and they opted not to cause a scene there. Instead, they rented a condo in Surfside, Florida, and are reportedly renovating a waterfront mansion in nearby Indian Creek. This is undoubtedly friendly territory; the luxury island, also known as “Billionaire’s Bunker,” has only 86 residents, and the district went for Trump by nearly 80 percent in 2020.

But for now, Javanka are stuck in Surfside, a town of about 6,000 people — most of them non-billionaires — that (narrowly) voted for Biden. And it seems the couple haven’t escaped neighbor drama — though this time, they might not be the real source of the problem.

Last week, Washingtonian published a piece on how the former First Kids are settling into Surfside. It seems that while the town’s Trump-supporting mayor is a fan, they’ve received a “frostier welcome” from other locals, such as Eliana Salzhauer, a town commissioner:

“It was, ‘Oh, good, the town is getting recognition,’ ” says Salzhauer, a Democrat. “Then it was, ‘Oh, no, the psychos are coming.’ ”


The last thing Salzhauer wants is to become an enabler of the couple’s reinvention act in South Florida, which makes the whole situation rather frustrating. As she puts it, “What are they doing in our town?”

“Psychos” is harsh, but Salzhauer’s sentiment is understandable, as few Democrats would be eager to have their small town serving as the backdrop to Javanka’s image-rehabilitation efforts. However, another neighbor quoted in the piece shared a lot of catty comments about the family that didn’t seem to have anything do to with politics. This resident, who requested anonymity “because she continues to live near the family,” said she first encountered Ivanka with her dog on a pathway that leads to the beach, right next to a sign that says dogs aren’t allowed! Per Washingtonian:

The resident, a beach activist who finds high purpose in protecting Surfside’s loggerhead sea turtles during nesting season, mobilized. “I was speed-walking at her and yelling at her,” she recalls. “I just opened my mouth and said, ‘You can’t go out there with the dog!’”


When the startled owner turned around, her face was immediately recognizable. It was Ivanka Trump—accompanied by her ten-year-old daughter, Arabella, and their ultra-white, blue-eyed pooch, Winter.


“Oh-uh, I didn’t realize,” Trump said.


… “You’re standing right next to the sign,” the neighbor told Ivanka.


“Look, it says ‘No dogs.’”


“Oh,” Ivanka said again, retreating.

This was not Javanka’s only major offense. Months later, the same anonymous neighbor encountered the couple and their 5-year-old son, Theodore, on the beach. After some pleasantries were exchanged about fish, Ivanka demonstrated her subpar mothering skills (in the neighbor’s estimation) when she let the boy play in the ocean by himself:

Ivanka indicated she wouldn’t be swimming, but Theodore hurried into the ocean. The neighbor was immediately concerned.


“I’m thinking, Why is this boy in the water alone on a boogie board with this moderate rip current? I’m a mother, and I would never let my child alone in the water like that.”


Sure enough, young Theodore began drifting from shore, prompting Jared to run in after him.


“Slenderman moves quick,” the neighbor quips.

The neighbor capped off her account with a superb backhanded compliment. “She’s well put together,” she said of Ivanka. “She’s had a lot of work done, and it’s good plastic. It’s Miami, and there’s a lot of bad plastic here. She has good plastic.”

Javanka’s reign of terror continued in the fall, when they were spotted taking two pumpkins from a children’s Halloween event, though families were only permitted to take one.

Jared and Ivanka have done plenty that warrants legitimate criticism, from flouting various ethical rules to enabling the Trump administration’s terrible policies. But do they really deserve to be called out publicly for stealing gourds, not being helicopter parents, and (allegedly) having good plastic surgery? Probably not. Whether the criticism is fair probably doesn’t matter to their former D.C. neighbors, who are presumably pouring themselves some wine, slipping into their best fur, and savoring this update on the petty indignities suffered by their least favorite couple.

Ivanka and Jared Can’t Escape Neighbor Drama