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Remember That Time Donald Trump Almost Hosted Muammar Gaddafi?

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Q: Now that he’s a quasi-viable presidential candidate, will Donald Trump’s Westchester past come back to haunt him? Didn’t he have Gaddafi as a house guest once?

-Alex Sutter, Mount Kisco

A: Quasi? At press time he is the GOP frontrunner!

And his Westchester past? You say that like the coiffed one has something to hide here in the county.

Now, I don’t mean to minimize The Donald’s missteps here, especially his incident with Muammar. Back in 2009, during the United Nations General Assembly, Muammar Gaddafi was looking for a place to literally pitch his tent. He traveled with an elaborate tent to honor his Bedouin past and hoped to pitch it somewhere close to Manhattan.

Next thing we know, a tent is spotted on Trump’s Bedford property, Seven Springs, the estate he had purchased with the plan of building an exclusive golf course. Well, seeing as the locals were never keen on the golf course and shut down those plans, they didn’t really warm up to a visit from Gaddafi.

Apparently, Donald wasn’t fully apprised of the situation and who specifically might be using the 213-acre estate as a personal campsite. In a statement at the time, the Trump Organization said, “The property was leased on a short-term basis to Middle Eastern partners who may or may not have a relationship to Mr. Gaddafi.”

Bedford wasn’t happy. The public at large wasn’t happy. And Donald Trump was starting to look like he was sheltering one our nation’s most vile enemies. 

In the end, Gaddafi’s camping trip was canceled, and The Donald even sort of took credit for it.

According to a statement from a Trump spokesperson back in 2009: “We have requested that the tenant occupying the property in Bedford, NY, remove the tent that was erected. They have complied with this request.”  

Admissions Question

Q: I have kind of a weird question. I know the Keio Academy in Purchase is a very exclusive private high school run by the Japanese. Do they admit non-Japanese students?

-Maryanne D’Onofrio, Rye 

A: Like any other school in our country, the Keio Academy has nondiscriminatory language in all of its literature stating that it does not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.

The school was established in 1990 to serve the large Japanese population in and around Westchester. Many of the children were going back to Japan for schooling, so the prestigious Keio University (the Japanese equivalent of an Ivy League institution) decided to open a school in the county. Students there study English as well as Japanese. The Keio Academy is very competitive and demanding, and the vast majority of students return to Japan for college.

A recent fact sheet on the ethnicity of the student body listed 100 percent of the students as Japanese or Pacific Islander. That doesn’t mean other ethnicities are excluded, but, because of the nature of the school’s mission, it would seem unlikely that other students would be attracted to Keio.

Eponymous Arch

Q: I was told that the hamlet of Archville, near Briarcliff and Sleepy Hollow, was named after a famous arch on one of the small roads. I recently had to make a delivery in Archville, and I was all over the area and didn’t see any arch. What’s the deal?

-Ronald Daly, Yonkers

A: The deal is that the hamlet is filled with liars. Archville may be just a tiny hamlet between Briarcliff and Sleepy Hollow, but it sucks unsuspecting deliverymen into its sickeningly quaint little area with promises of an arch and then—nothing. Undoubtedly, there’s a bunch of residents behind lace curtains scoffing at the gawkers craning their necks in the futile search for a crescent structure.

Actually, you lost your chance at arch-spying 91 years ago. The arch in question was where Route 9 and the Old Croton Aqueduct met. It was deemed a structural danger and was torn down, but the hamlet is indeed named after that arch.

Obviously, the citizens, at least in 1924, didn’t have a whole lot of sentimental attachment to their hamlet’s namesake

Have a question about the county? Email edit@westchestermagazine.com. Subject line: Any Questions?

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