Aby Rosen—the art collector and developer who booted the Four Seasons from the Seagram Building, and recently gave us a hotel on “the most interesting street in SoHo”—has erected a gigantic sign on his property at 337 Lafayette Street in Manhattan declaring “Vote Your Conscience!” This is pretty clearly a denouncement of Donald Trump. While refusing to endorse the Republican candidate for president, his former opponent Ted Cruz urged the electorate to “vote your conscience” instead of falling behind Trump.
To add fuel to the fire, Rosen posted an image of the sign to his Instagram account this morning, adding the caption, “Wake Up America.” It has been liked by nearly 300 people. And while double-tapping a screen doesn’t necessarily equal an endorsement, we can report that the likers include collector Tico Mugrabi, former Whitney board of trustees co-chair Brooke Garber Neidich, dealer Nick Acquavella, artist Enoc Perez, and editor Kristina O’Neill.
It’s worth noticing that, as a New York City real-estate baron, Rosen is a business competitor of Trump, though it’s unclear whether the two have directly butted heads over the years. Rosen has, however, gone into business with Trump’s son-in-law and close confidant, Jared Kushner: The Brooklyn Paper noted today that Kushner Companies has sealed the deal to purchase the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower building in Dumbo, and that Rosen was a partner in the deal.
The Real Deal says Rosen backed out before the deal was finalized, even if he was in cahoots with Kushner on a Dumbo-based transaction in 2014. The story also notes that the “Vote Your Conscience!” sign is a block away from one of the marquee Kushner Company buildings: the Puck Building, where Kushner took up residence until he sold the penthouse for $28 million earlier this year. There’s a chance Kushner would have had a view of the billboard, which seems like a stunt worthy of another former Puck Building resident—that would be Spy magazine, which was pretty famous for needling Trump. Or, to use his Spy moniker, the short-fingered vulgarian.