Some people want to get out the vote. Others just want to get out.
New Yorkers are on edge after a leaked NYPD memo, obtained by The Post, revealed this week that police are preparing for protests to begin as early as Oct. 25 and grow in intensity through next year. The department decreed officers should “be prepared for deployment,” adding: “This November 3rd will be one of the most highly contested presidential elections in the modern era. There is also a strong likelihood that the winner of the presidential election may not be decided for several weeks.”
It’s enough to make some residents run for the hills.
Paulo Wei, a 25-year-old Columbia student who lives in a luxury building on the Upper West Side, is heading to his family’s 60-acre farm in Port Jervis, two hours north of NYC, to avoid a repeat of the unrest that freaked him out this summer.
“I felt trapped in the apartment — the protests were overwhelming,” said Wei, noting that crowds often gathered on the West Side Highway near his home. “It could happen again and I don’t want to be caught up in that. No matter who wins, someone is going to get upset.”
He plans to continue his studies in computer science, and run his farm-to-table meal-delivery service, Our Kitchen, remotely. “I’ll come back when everything is settled down.” (As a Chinese citizen, he cannot vote.)
Flatiron resident Andrea, 31, also decided to pack up before Nov. 3. “I went to my parents in New Jersey for about two weeks when the BLM protests got bad and the looting started. So I definitely want to get out of here the week of the election,” said the public-relations specialist, a Republican who asked that her last name not be used. “I’m thinking if Trump wins, it’s going to be a disaster — the city will be on fire. People are going to go nuts.”
She and two girlfriends are heading to Tulum, Mexico, from Oct. 25 until Nov. 8. “I think I’ll avoid a lot of it,” she said.
And some New Yorkers who fled because of lockdown have no plans to return until after the election. Ooana Trien, 42, an artist from Hell’s Kitchen, has been staying in her family’s Fire Island home since mid-July.
The Trump supporter, who is mailing in her ballot, plans to open up her doors to others looking to escape. “I told my friends that whoever wanted to get out of the city was welcome here. One friend who lives in Washington Heights is going to vote in the morning [on Nov. 3] and come straight up to the beach,” she said. “My mother thinks that whether [Trump] wins or loses, protesters will try and burn down Trump Tower.”
And it’s not just New Yorkers in flight-or-fight mode. Kacie, a Los Angeles-based graphic designer who declined to give her last name, has rented a cabin in Big Bear, Calif., during the week of the election. “I don’t want to be anywhere near West Hollywood, where I live,” the Biden voter, 37, said. “I think everyone’s lost their damn minds.
She’s invited five friends to join her for board games and dips in the hot tub — and no contact with the rest of the world. “We have one rule for the actual election night: No one is allowed to use their phone.”