Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is Oprah Fleeing Fisher Island?

SELLER: Oprah Winfrey
LOCATION: Fisher Island Drive, Miami, FL
PRICE: $2,090,000
SIZE: 1,838 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Spectacular direct ocean views through walls of sliding glass and from covered privacy on a gracious seaside terrace create an unmistakable Florida aura around this two bedroom, two bathroom luxury Fisher Island condominium. Gorgeous design, inviting layout and fantastic features combine to achieve a supreme level of plush waterfront, tropical living. Beautiful upgrades and details within this bright and airy Seaside Village home include wonderful water views from every room, custom wood built-ins & more!

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday Your Mama discussed the Greenwich, CT crib of talk show titan Oprah Winfrey's gal pal Gayle King which has been listed at $7,450,000. It appears that Miz King–an XM Satellite Radio ho-stess and editor-at large for Oprah's O Magazine–will be moving to Midtown Manhattan and into the 57th Street penthouse she recently and reportedly purchased for $7,100,000. The snarky real estate scuttlebutt is that the glassy aerie was purchased with the boob toob billionaire's money, but children, Your Mama don't know a thing concrete about that other than it was bought through a trust named after The Big O's beloved (and recently deceased) dog Sophie. Make of that what you will.

Well anyhoo, it appears that Miz King isn't that only one of these two luvlee ladies unloading prime real estate. Turns out The Big O herself has listed her Fisher Island, FL condo for sale with a current asking price of $2,090,000. The modestly sized two bedroom and 2 bathroom unit offers a typically tropical rich person's view of palm trees and meticulously maintained green grass that stretches gracefully down to the sugar sand beach and ter-kwahze waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Located off the southern tip of South Beach and accessed only by ferry, seaplane, helicopter or yacht, fancy Fisher Island was once the private winter retreat of William and Rosamund Vanderbilt, great grandson of the legendary Commodore. Although the Vanderbilt's massive mansion and several of the 1920 era cottages remain, the island is now a private residential enclave of costly condominiums and pricey private villas. The 216 acre island includes a spa, golf course (dubbed The Links), a grand slam tennis center, polo field, deep water docking, 8 restaurants and swank shops all for the filthy rich residents and anyone interested in coughing up the big bucks to vacay at the Fisher Island Hotel and Resort and hoping to catch Miz King and The Big O oil each other up with tanning lotion and sunbathe in their itty bitty bikinis.

Property records show The Big O bought her 1,838 square foot hideaway back in 1996 for $660,000. All cash, natch. Listing information reveals that the unit is located in the Seaside Village section of Fisher Island and includes hardwood and marble floors, high ceilings, walls of sliding glass that open to a large seaside terrace, ceiling fans and custom wood built-ins with flat screen televisions so that even while on vacation The Big O can keep a watchful and suspicious eye on Ellen and Rachel Ray nipping at her talk show heels.

The Big O has clearly cleared the custom book shelves and removed her most personal items from the unit and from what remains it appears to Your Mama that the media maven did up the day-core in a slightly masculine Tommy Bahama style with custom sized sisal rugs, tufted ottomans in neutral colors, distressed leather armchairs, and those palm frond ceiling fans that have become so ridiculously and painfully obvious in tropical day-core.

At first glance the kitchen looks functional and fine. Nothing great, but not bad. Then Your Mama realized that one entire wall is mirrored. From floor to ceiling. An inexplicable decorating travesty if we ever saw one. It's not a damn dressing room, it's a kitchen. Who needs to see themselves looking all blotchy and bleary eyed in the morning while chopping up celery for a Bloody Mary? Not Your Mama, that's who.

We also note with some dismay that despite her vast wealth–beehawtcha earned a mind numbing $275,000,000 last year alone–The Big O cheaped out on her counter top appliances. That's right puppies, she flies around in a private jet but gurl penny pinched it on the appliances. Your Mama expected a Dualit Combi toaster and a De'Longhi PrimaDonna ESAM 6600 cappuccino machine at the least, but instead we get the sort of plastic contraptions that poor people can snatch up cheap at Target. Nothing wrong with Target puppies, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter buy our terlit paper there too, but we ain't billionaires making money faster than we an spend it.

Although Your Mama is a fan of south Florida (in the winter time, of course) and we are regular guests at a hoity toity hotel in South Beach, Fisher Island and all its generic exclusivity and run of the mill luxury doesn't do much for us. However, we will allow that The Big O's large covered terrace looks like an enviable and serene spot. Your Mama can imagine The Big O and Miz King slipping on colorful caftans and whittling away the late afternoon listening to the surf, pouring over bank statements and slowly rubbing cooling aloe vera on their pleasingly prickly and slightly sun burned skin.

Obviously Your Mama does not know The Big O so we can't say why she would chose to sell this condo. But given that she's got about a thousand other homes and condos all around the U-nited States, including that $40,000,000 manse in Montecito, perhaps this one is just dead real estate weight sucking up a few grand a month in maintenance fees and taxes. Even billionaires sometimes look at the bottom line. Don't they? Or maybe she's upgrading to something larger? Who knows? We don't, but if you do, be sure to give Your Mama a ringy-dingy.

Honestly children, Your Mama don't know if any of these people still hole up in Fisher Island condos, but other famous Fisher Island property owners (or former owners) are said to include daddylicious pop star Ricky Martin, Oscar winning actress Julia Roberts and her big and beautiful teeth, Mel Brooks and tennis titans Andre Agassi and Boris Becker.

UPDATE (later same day): Your Mama's research diva B.S. Beaverman located a 1998 article in New York Magazine which plainly stated that (at the time of the article) The Big O owned three units on Fisher Island including a 6,000 square foot place for Herself and two smaller units...one for her trainer and another for her entourage. We don't dispute that. However at this point and time Your Mama is only able to confirm The Big O's ownership of this one unit. We're certain Mister Big Time can work the details out while we put our feet up and watch reality television with the Dr. Cooter.

32 comments:

Alessandra said...

With its size and furnishings, it almost looks like an investment property rental than a place where Oprah ever laid her well-coiffed head.

eddie from pdx said...

Alessandra - EXACTLY what I was thinking. It looks like a rental, not somewhere that Oprah would actually use.

I betcha that it's used for her staff.

Anonymous said...

anyone interested in coughing up the big bucks to vacay at the Fisher Island Hotel and hoping to catch The Big O

No thanks. I stay at The Shore club
and if I want to see a walrus i go to Seaworld.

Anonymous said...

just be thankful she is not turning herself into a thin white woman like michael jackson! Definitely for the staff. BLAND.

lil' gay boy said...

Looks like a timeshare, and a not very good one at that.

The mirrored kitchen puzzled me too, but then perhaps Mizz O needed such an outsized mirror when the bathroom scale was on the uptick . . .

;-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's not something fit for the Big O.

Anyway, some off topic but interesting real estate news. Hello Magazine, the Daily Mail, etc. are reporting that:

Actress Rachel Weisz and director fiance Darren Aronofsky are moving from NYC to London. Apparently they bought a 3.5 million pound home in Primrose Hill. Does that mean they sold their place in Manhattan? Were they renting? I don't know if I believe that they'd completely leave NYC.

Also Hello! reports that Reese Witherspoon and kids "moved into" a 1.9 mil pound home in Notting Hill to be closer to Jake while he films a movie. I assume that means she's renting, if it is even true.

RHW said...

Could this have been a rental property? Look at the bookcase in the Living Room, it's empty. It's got that rental feel to it to me.

TYFROMCANADA said...

Have you seen fisher island drive? It's all hotels or time share resorts

so_chic_darling said...

In the 80s South Beach was an adventure,in the 90s cool and glamorous,now lots of very drunk Euro and North and South American trash.
Maybe Oprah can't take it anymore,I know I can't.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous condo - not too big or small, comfy, and a to-die-for balcony terrace and view. The decor and appliances can be changed easily enough, but not having a means of accessing it by car wouldn't work for me.

By the way, Oprah has splurged on improving and developing her Montecito estate since she bought it. I'd wager she's got a good $50 million invested in the property by now.

Anonymous said...

I thought of sitting on the same loo where Oprah's big black hairy ass has been would make me crinch.

Anonymous said...

This is a very, very, modest property for Fisher Island. Most of the condos are over 4000 sq feet and can get above $10,000,000 in price. I don't think Oprah has ever set foot in this place, maybe she bought it for a relative?

Anonymous said...

well, no, not really. there are lots of very expensive places on fisher island but there are many many that are more modest...just check out the real estate section of the website for the island.

Anonymous said...

I and not the only one was shocked and dismayed at the decor of this place.
Suffice to say she did purchase the place back in 96. Did she ever redecorate? Seems to me she did not. I can understand now why she is unloading it. I bet you she is or already has plunked down a few million for a private house on the Island. I cannot imagine The Big "O" sharing an elevator with mere millionaires.

Anonymous said...

The big "O" knows how to take care of her friends......

Anonymous said...

I heard some drug baron's son has purchased in the same block - maybe that's why she is offloading

StPaulSnowman said...

Interesting comments about the unit but I cannot rid myself of the image of Oprah in a caftan which Mama brutally branded into my consciousness.

InALittleMinute said...

The wall of mirror, aka the wall of horror, in the kitchen is just wrong. Can you imagine seeing that visual in the wee hours of the morning while making coffee?

InALittleMinute said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viva! said...

I actually like it. Very pretty views, nice finishing. I happen to like it.

Anonymous said...

You know you would think instead of all the RICH people trying to out do each other with huge fancy homes they would try to help out the poor people and the homeless and maybe buy homes for them to live in. All they study is how much is enough? There is never enough for some of them. Money may by them all they want, but it won't, I repeat it won't by the happienss. I hate rich people for this very reason.

Viva! said...

anonymous 8:18,

If you hate rich people and the extravagance of real estate, stay away from this blog. It's about real estate pornography, not a forum for political/socio economic discussion.

pch said...

Ah, money doesn't buy outright happiness, true. But it does buy you out of the most pressing challenges people face on a daily basis. (Which is why almost no one fully believes it's the cliched chimera everyone makes it out to be.) Ten million in the bank and suddenly you don't have to stay at a job you hate or worry about paying the bills. College tuition? Not a problem. Need a break? I haven't decided where I want to go.

In other words, it radically alters what occupies someone's mind and how s/he approaches life. Most rich people find other ways to complicate their lives, certainly, but there's at least a quasi-happiness in removing financial concerns from the daily or monthly equation.

And when it comes to the hoard-and-squander aspects of our human nature, I've got this piece of advice: Hate the game, not the player.

Anonymous said...

Mama, a quick scan and comparison of Google Earth and Virtual Globetrotting reveals that they have (I believe) recently torn down the Vanderbilt manse and are in the process of building another condo unit in its place...

sandpiper said...

PCH, nicely said.

Anonymous said...

That's right PCH. Money might not buy happiness but it buys a mortgage-less home, decent health insurance, a paid-for education for the kids, easily paid bills and a credit card debt free life.

I find that many of the rich people haters are not so much jealous of the Maybachs and mansions, but rather they're envious of the security that money can buy (if handled properly).

Financial security is what eludes so many people and it's what makes many "less fortunate" people hate the rich...their own lack of financial security.

In today's world of $5/gallon (and going higher) gasoline, outrageous health care costs, rising food costs and million dollar starter homes, would you rather be rich and secure or happy and always feeling like the carpet could be ripped out from under you at any moment?

For better or worse, I think we know what most people would choose.

E.J. said...

Who cares what she does? Anyone? Someone? Bueller? Her money has never been able to buy her design smarts, decorating taste, or an effective beard aside from Newman or whatever his name is. When I look at her I think "mooooo."

Anonymous said...

Obviously YOU care enough to waste your time and comment on it.

But, this place is a shithole.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said she's leaving cause of a drug baron's son...?

I live in NY, and there's not a fancy condo bldg. or townhouse block that doesn't have a druglord living in it. Same for the streets of Greenwich, northern NJ, and Westchester.

Floridazephyr said...

Decorating is clearly not the bigO's long suit. Her diet doctor, on the other hand is an expert. She went to see Dr. Lovitz because of his unorthodox diet treatments. When she entered his office he greeted her warmly and promptly asked her to go over by the door and get down on her hands and knees. Not wishing to alienate him before learning his diet secrets, she obliged. When she asked about his program, he interrupted her and asked her to go over by the window and get down on her hands and knees. She drew up her zaftig frame and asked indignantly what this had to do with his diet regimen. "Nothing at all" he said " I am getting a black naugahide sofa this afternoon and I want to see where it will look best."

Anonymous said...

as a former resident of FI and frequent passerby of Mizz Winfrey, I can attest that there is no way in hell that this is her unit. This is definitely a staff unit and not a great one at that. Oprah had at least 3 units at Fisher Island, if not more. My only guess is that she has found a new place to spend her weekends.

Anonymous said...

5:19, mama already explained that.