‘Lawn and Order’: Four Seasons markets merch across party lines

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Zoe Grobman, left, and Olivia Ottone journeyed from West Philadelphia to see Four Seasons Total Landscaping Tuesday morning. (Emily Rizzo for WHYY)

Zoe Grobman, left, and Olivia Ottone journeyed from West Philadelphia to see Four Seasons Total Landscaping Tuesday morning. (Emily Rizzo for WHYY)

Four Seasons Total Landscaping wants to “Make America Rake Again.”

Just days after the Northeast Philadelphia family business became a bizarre backdrop for the Trump campaign, owners are cashing in on the viral fame — and crossing party lines.

On Sunday night, the company rolled out a line of T-shirts, hoodies, and stickers, featuring the slogans “Lawn and Order,” and its riff on MAGA.

But it didn’t stop there: by Monday it was offering face masks as well.

“Fabric reusable masks are available on our merch page now,” the company wrote on its Facebook page.

Masks were few and far between on Saturday, when Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski staged a defiant press conference in Four Seasons’ parking lot.

Just before the event, several major news outlets, including the Associated Press and Fox News, called Pennsylvania and the presidency for Joe Biden. The Trump team was nonplussed and then claimed without evidence that Biden’s victory was based on voter fraud.

It’s still not entirely clear how the Trump campaign ended up in Northeast Philadelphia near a sex shop and a crematorium. Saturday morning, Trump had tweeted about an event at the Philadelphia Four Seasons. That message was deleted and a new one clarified the presser would not be held at the swank Center City hotel.

Instead, they opted for a business in a blue-collar neighborhood home to several city jails and a decommissioned prison best known for riots and controversial medical experiments.

Four Seasons Total Landscaping declined to speak with WHYY.

However, the company has seemingly leaned into its now-iconic status among online Trump critics: posting a picture of its parking lot to be used as a Zoom background, and liking and retweeting a number of left-leaning accounts.

Its internet savvy is paying off: On Tuesday afternoon, the company posted on Facebook that it was temporarily suspending sales of most of its items due to lack of stock.

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we’ve received! You all are amazing!” the post said.

Wendy Gordon, a Philly expat now living in Washington, D.C., ordered a Four Seasons T-shirt Monday. The Biden supporter said she never wants to forget that surreal half-hour on Saturday when a week’s worth of election anxiety finally started to dissipate.

“It’s so funny, and just completely innocuous and random and silly, that it was kind of like a collective exhale,” said Gordon, 60.

By Tuesday morning, Four Seasons Total Landscaping looked back to normal, except for a small shrine to the dead campaign outside the front door — a few candles, and some flowers.

A makeshift shrine outside of Four Seasons Landscaping company Tuesday morning. (Emily Rizzo for WHYY)

Even so, the business attracted a steady stream of tourists.

“It’s interesting, it’s definitely very industrial. A big pile of dirt and an old building,” said Brian Gannon, a 42-year-old Virginia resident who had come to Philadelphia for a doctor’s appointment. “It sort of seems like a fitting end to the Trump era.”

Virginia resident Brian Gannon was in Philadelphia for a doctor’s appointment Tuesday, and decided to make a trip to its iconic landscaping company. (Emily Rizzo for WHYY)

Zoe Grobman, a graduate student living in West Philadelphia, trekked across town with a friend to check out the now-iconic business.

“[We are here] to see the newest Philly landmark,” the 27-year-old said. “The spot where a fascist fell apart.”

Grobman said the fact that the press conference ended up here of all places speaks to what she loves about her home city. Earlier in the week, the first presser the Trump team tried to stage downtown was hastily moved to the airport. Others in Center City were rendered largely inaudible by the party Biden supporters held for most of last week outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“The closest that they could get into the city without being completely run out was a landscaping shop right next to a prison,” she said. “The moral of the story is, like, don’t mess with Philly.”

Grobman has already purchased a Four Seasons T-shirt, and Gannon said he plans too.

Aficionados of the landscaping business now have another event to look forward to: on Nov. 29, runners can take part in an eleven-mile charity run from Four Seasons Total Landscaping to the Four Seasons hotel inside the Comcast Center.

The uptick in visitors to this area has even boosted business slightly at Fantasy Island, the adult book store down State Road.

Still the clerk working Tuesday, who gave his name as Z.S. Jacob, said the interest is not necessarily meaning boffo sales.

“You wouldn’t believe — I get at least ten, fifteen phone calls a day,” he said. “‘Is Rudy here?’”

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