“It was kind of a party atmosphere out there. Some really good dancers. Really, really good dancers.”
On Saturday night, hundreds of people danced outside of Ivanka Trump’s Washington home to call attention to the Trump administration’s climate policies. As the music turned up and the dancers twirled, Ivanka’s well-to-do neighbors came outside to take in the sights, which included a guy in booty shorts twerking on top of an SUV. One particularly chic neighbor, who lives across the street from the Trump-Kushners, has become a viral sensation: A Daily Mail photo of her clutching a glass of white wine, enjoying the scene while wrapped in a luxe fur coat, has the Internet ablaze.
The neighbor, Dianne Bruce, has lived in the Kalorama neighborhood of Northwest Washington for 20 years. She talks to Cosmopolitan.com about the “parade,” her brush with viral fame, and what she thought of having Ivanka as a new neighbor.
Tell me the story behind that photo of you drinking wine while watching the protests at Ivanka’s house.
I was having dinner with my husband and my 94-year-old father at my house there on Kalorama. And my husband had mentioned, he said, “Oh, you know, we might have a parade or something in the neighborhood. It’s supposed to come to Ivanka’s house.” So I guess [around] 9 ish, we hear music and things, so we go outside. And as I walked out — I mean, it was a chilly evening, so I grabbed my coat. And all the neighbors were standing out on the sidewalk watching, smiling. It was kind of a party atmosphere out there. Some really good dancers. Really, really good dancers. We were all most impressed, thinking about how, gosh, we would never have been able to do that when we were young, much less now.
Do what, exactly?
This wonderful car came in, and there were two dancers on top. The most athletic, wonderful dancers I’ve ever seen. We were enjoying that thoroughly. And another neighbor came out with a bottle of wine, some glasses, so we all sat there and enjoyed watching the party. That was about it! The whole thing — everybody kept saying about the “protest.” I thought it was more of a parade, quite frankly. There were no — I guess there were posters, but they were not the main part of the thrust. The main part was the music and everybody having a good time.
What were you drinking?
Oh! Probably a very nice Pinot Grigio. I would love to say Champagne, but it was probably a Pinot Grigio.
What did you think of the idea of protesting at someone’s house?
We do have our constitution and we can do things like that. As long as it doesn’t get nasty, where people are getting hurt. I was stunned the next day when I saw the neighbor down the street had reacted so violently.
What are your thoughts on what they were protesting, the Trump administration’s climate policies? Do you agree with the protesters?
See, that’s very hard. Because I’ve lived an awfully long time, lived in Washington, watched every administration come and go. Some you agree with, some you don’t agree with. I personally happen to be a relatively liberal Democrat, although I’ve been known to be a fiscal Republican. But especially in this neighborhood, you’ve got an administration that comes in, everybody moves in, they’re gonna solve the problems of the world. Well, [in] four, eight years, they might not be back, and somebody else comes in. And they’re gonna solve the problems of the world.
How did you find out that you went viral?
The next day, a friend of mine called and said, “Oh, you’re not gonna believe it, but you’re in the Daily Mail!” And then it’s gone from there. And I think, One silly picture? So I had no idea.
It’s so weird, because I don’t even quite understand what the word “go viral” means. Because I don’t do tweet. I don’t do Facebook. I don’t do any of that. I don’t really understand it all. It’s just one very simple picture.
You think there’s been too much made of it.
Yeah, I really do! … I really would like somebody to explain it to me, in a way. When someone says “go viral” — does everybody now hate me and they’re gonna blow up my house?
No! Go viral, as in, like, it’s made its way across the Internet. Like, a lot of people have seen it. I think you’re safe!
[laughs] I’m not particularly crazy about the Trump administration. But they are people, and I in my own way can protest things. I mean, I went to the first march in my life when I went to the Women’s March in Washington. And [I] was most impressed with all that. So I thought, well, protest is good, as long as it doesn’t get ugly. And this definitely was not ugly. It was basically a party.
What was your first thought when you heard Ivanka and her husband would be moving in across the street?
I was not crazy [about it], because the Obamas had just moved in, and we’d been through all that, with the barrier set up, and the Secret Service. And then I thought, Oh, not so close. Can’t they move a little farther away?
Just because of the security hassle?
Yeah. I don’t know why they chose the house. I think it’s a difficult house to secure. It’s on a corner, it’s very exposed. And they immediately put up tacky saw horses wrapped in fluorescent tape, and crowd barriers. And we weren’t allowed to walk on the sidewalk. You just thought, Are you really that important? And now they’ve just put a tacky Johnny on the Spot [portable toilet] out on the sidewalk of our neighborhood. I guess it’s for the Secret Service. I’m like, Ewww, really?
Have you talked to her at all?
No, I have not physically seen her at all. I guess some of the neighbors have. Now, President Obama, on the other hand, strolls around the neighborhood periodically. I mean, he’s got a couple of Secret Service people with him, but he just strolls around the neighborhood, waves hi.
So you have not received any casseroles from the Trump-Kushner family.
No. And I have to say, I’m bad, too, because I haven’t taken over any chocolate chip cookies for the children.