SELLER: Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany
LOCATION: Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY
SIZE: 5,276 square feet, 9 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Located on a corner lot directly across from Prospect Park, sunlight fills the grandly proportioned rooms all day long through over sized windows. All of the original wood carving surrounding the windows and mantels as well as the elaborate plaster work on the ceilings remains intact and in perfect condition. There are fireplaces in all of the public rooms (living, dining, kitchen) as well as in 3 of the 4 master bedrooms. There is a full servant's quarters on the top floor consisting of 4 small bedrooms, a full bath and a large storage room...Central air-conditioning has been added and there is a large, fully landscaped garden at the rear of the house which is gated and private.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once upon a time and not so long ago the faces of people actually crumpled up in consternation and confusion if you told them you were headed to Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood to visit a friend.
"Park Slope?" They hissed incredulously as they looked you up and down like you had gone mad. "Are. You. Kidding? How do you even get there? Who do you know in Park Slope? Are they lezbeeun?" (Park Slope has long been considered a haven for ladees of the Sapphic persuasion)
And the situation was even more melodramatic if you actually dared to move from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Believe Your Mama when we tell the children that many great friendships were busted up and torn asunder because die-hard Manhattan-centrics adamantly and vehemently ree-fused to haul their booties onto the damn F train.
Then, about five or six years ago just about every artist, hipster or wannabe hipster with a banana seat bi-cycle, people who had previously never ventured north of 14th Street or west of Broadway, packed up their old-skool turntables and ironic t-shirts and moved across the East River to Williamsburg. The exodus had begun. Soon lower Manhattan was hemorrhaging hipsters, homosexuals and the artistically inclined to beautiful but previously unknown Brooklyn neighborhoods like Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, and of course, good ol' Park Slope.
The celebrities soon followed and rich and famous folks like Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams packed their luxury luggage and beelined it for Brooklyn. Two of Park Slope's resident celebrity poster people have long been Oscar winning actress Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind)–who grew up in Brooklyn–and her dirty looking but impossibly sexy actor huzband Paul Bettany who records show scooped up a major mansion on Prospect Park West in August of 2003 for $3,700,000.
But Park Slope poster people they are not more. That's right children, Connelly and Bettany have forsaken the borough of Brooklyn. Gasps all around. Not only have the couple reportedly decamped to Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood where they'll shack up in a $6,995,000 penthouse loft, as the good people at Curbed were the first to report, the couple have also put their plum piece of Park Slope pulchritude on the market with an eye popping and Manhattan-like asking price of $8,500,000.
Listing information for the elegant looking 5,276 square foot mostly detached mansion shows there are nine bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Four of the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms happen to be staff quarters that are tucked up under the third floor roof so unless the new owner plans on employing a few live in gurls (or boys) to keep all that crazy carved wood detailing dust free, those room are unlikely to be used much excect for the punishing the children. Oh dear! Did we say that out loud?
Anyhoo, Your Mama positively wet our party pants with envy and dee-light when we first perused the pretty pictures of the comely Connelly/Bettany crib. As far as Your Mama is concerned, this sort of soo-blime juxtaposition of old and new, minimal and maximal is about as good as it gets. Mixing all that wickedly intricate woodwork and exquisite plaster detailing with spare, clean lined and yet comfortable looking contemporary furniture creates an unexpected friction and visual tension that makes Your Mama's mouth water.
Paring down the seating arrangements and eliminating knick knacks allows the architectural drama to take the main stage and presents a seductive and sensational sophistication to the grandly proportioned rooms which are kept intimate and user friendly with yummy tactile fabrics and deep-seated down filled sofas perfect for curling up with long bodied bitches and other loved ones.
Your Mama will not be making any predictions about whether East Coast based Hollywood types moving from Brooklyn to Manhattan marks the beginning of a new New York City residential migration trend. However, it's certainly not unusual for NYC neighborhoods du jour to reach their peak, mellow with age and then see the pioneers and vanguards move on to other less discovered and less expensive locales. Remember when SoHo was an affordable, electrifying and creative place? Now it's just a place for tourists to buy khakies at Gap and make up at Sephora.
However, given the princely price tag of the Connelly/Bettany mansion in Park Slope, not to mention the glitzy and glassy Richard Meier designed condo complex going up at Grand Army Plaza, it appears that the next wave of folks migrating to Park Slope will certainly be rich if not arty and/or famous.
(ASIDE) We are so sorry for spelling Miz Connelly's name incorrectly the first time around. How embarrassing! It's been corrected.