Sunday, May 16, 2010
SELLER: Uma Thurman
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 5,086 square feet, 5-7 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Over the weekend Your Mama received a late night missive from our cohort Hot Chocolate who frequently and kindly points our nosy nose and beady eyes to interesting properties in and around New York City. One of the properties that recently caught his eye is a townhouse situated just off lower Fifth Avenue in an area of Greenwich Village usually referred to as the Gold Coast. Honestly puppies, Your Mama doesn't know why it's called the Gold Coast since we're not aware that any gold was ever mined there and it's smack in the middle of Manhattan making it about as far from the "coast" as a Manhattan townhouse can be. Anyhoo, the townhouse, a 5 floor beauty with a drop dead, almost perfectly conceived, bring 'em to their knees floor plan, was recently listed with a scorching asking price of $14,200,000. Based on our extensive and exhaustive research that kept us up well past our bedtime, Your Mama surmised that the townhouse is owned by statuesque Oscar nominated actress Uma Thurman (Motherhod, The Producers, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Pulp Fiction, Dangerous Liaisons).
Our Miz Thurman, a woman who achieves the rare and impressive feat of appearing both approachable and ice cold, comes from interesting stock. Her father, a professor at Columbia University, was the first westerner to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk and his first marriage was to the dee-voon Christophe de Menil, of the Houston de Menils, they of the soo-blime Rothko Chapel and Menil Collection. Miz Thurman's Swedish model turned psychotherapist mother Nena, before marrying her father, was briefly married to counter cultural icon and LSD lover Timothy Leary. So, you know, this beehawtcha has bone fide bohemian blood–albeit wealthy bohemian blood–running in her veins. Quite frankly, Miz Thruman makes most of these other Prada wearing, pr-craving, social climbing art collector types who populate all the latest and most publicized eating and drinking establishments look, well, hollow and silly.
Not surprisingly, given her intellectual meets arty-farty lineage and upbringing, Miz Thurman has a penchant for high profile man-mates. According to previous reports she tangled romantically with famous men like Mick Jagger, Robert Deniro, Robert Plant, Richard Gere, Robert Downey, Jr., and Nic Cage before marrying English actor Gary Oldman. She and Oldman dee-vorced after a couple of years and Miz Thruman next married handsome but dirty looking two-time Oscar nominated actor Ethan Hawke with whom she pushed out a couple of babies. The comely couple went splitsville in 2004 and several years later Mister Hawke went on to marry the children's nanny. Miz Thurman quickly moved on to bigwig boo-teek hotelier Andre Balasz to whom she was engaged but not married, and after busting up with him she hooked up with supermodel Elle Macpherson's baby daddy, London based hedge hog Arapd Busson. She was also engaged to Mister Busson, but the kibosh was put on that nupital in late 2009.
Anyhoo, getting back to the matter at hand...property records on this one are convoluted, clouded and confusing. See puppies, Miz Thurman's name appears nowhere on any public record, deed or mortgage that Your Mama could tease out of the interweb. However, not only were we able to dig up multiple references to Miz Thurman living on this street in Greenwich Village, we were able to connect Miz Thurman's production company Karuna Dream to the property, and we managed to locate several photographs of her exiting the townhouse in question. Are the children following? What we're saying is that we're pretty damn sure this is Miss Thurman's townhouse, but we must offer the caveat that it just might not be. If it's not, just try enjoy the property as an extra savory piece of New York City real estate porn.
What property records do reveal is that the townhouse was purchased in October of 2006 for $9,500,000. The five floor house stretches 25 feet on a pretty and tree-lined but very bizzy block between even busier 5th and 6th Avenues. As it turns out and, for all three of you who might care, the townhouse happens to be located just a few doors down from where Your Mama used to go once and sometimes twice a week to see our lovely, middle aged lesbian therapist who we miss like the dickens since decamping for the left coast.
A gated stoop at the front opens into an ante-chamber than in turn opens into the entrance and stair hall. The parlor floor has been opened up into one contiguous space while retaining much of the original detailing including the two wood burning fireplaces with matching marble surrounds and the decorative ceiling details and moldings. The wall between the very narrow but long, well equipped and generously windowed kitchen has been knocked out unifying the two rooms and allowing for a long peninsula for preparing and/or serving food boo-fay style. This wall removal could have been and should have been a decorative and architectural disaster of epic proportions, but somehow the smart architect and nice, gay decorator made it work in large part due to floor to ceiling curtains that can be drawn closed thereby obstructing the view from the dining room into the kitchen during more formal meals. That said, the table looks impossibly narrow, far too narrow it would seem to accommodate diners on both sides, in fact. That sucker can't be more than 26 inches wide, making it utterly impractical.
The children will note that the dining room opens through a particularly gorgeous set of French doors to a small terrace that leads down to the garden at the rear of the townhouse. The children will also note the excellent positioning of the powder pooper in the corridor between the entrance all and the kitchen. This tucked away location ensures that nobody be forced to look at the damn terlit while eating and preserves a modicum of dignity and privacy for any of Miz Thurman's guests who might need to use the facilities.
The garden level has its own under-stoop entrance that opens into a foyer. To the right is a guest suite with bay window, private pooper and pullman style kitchenette, and at the back, a media room with wood burning fireplace, built in book cases, its own full pooper and French doors to open directly into the south facing garden, a Zen-like space fashioned from a truckload gravel, a few sprigs of bamboo, a couple of curvy contemporary wicker chairs and a gas fireplace with an antique stone fireplace surround.
The master suite encompasses the entire third floor and consists of a foyer, a sizable sitting room with a separate entrance from the stair hall, fireplace and built in book cases, large walk in closet, a bedroom that opens through two sets of French doors to a private terrace, and dee-luxe terliting and bathing facilities with soaking tub and separate shower. Two bedrooms, each with fireplace according to the floor plan, share a small sitting room and large windowed pooper. The laundry room was smartly and conveniently installed on this floor, a clever place to put it considering the bulk of a home's dirty laundry comes from the bedrooms. In a five floor (plus sub-basement) and elevator-free townhouse, putting the laundry facilities in the basement is a sure why to piss off Lahteeshuh the Laundress who makes it clear that she does not care to haul dirty or clean clothes up and down 49 flights of stairs.
The top floor has two more bedrooms, each with private sky-lit pooper. The front bedroom, with yet another fireplace, is labeled "bedroom/gym" indicating that this is where Miz Thurman does her Pilates, Yoga, medicine ball training or whatever kind of physical torture it is she puts herself through to remain movie star slim. A full stair climbs one more flight to a small decked roof terrace.
Miz Thurman has moved around and bought and sold a fair amount of real estate since splitting from Mister Hawke. The erstwhile couple sold their Gramercy Park doo-plex in October of 2006 for $8,600,000. Several months before that, in June and July of 2006, records show Miz Thurman bought two doo-plex apartments in the same Gramercy Park building, one for $2,500,000 and another for $2,650,000. We've heard through the real estate gossip grapevine–or maybe we read it somewhere, we can't remember–that Miz Thurman was planning to combine the two doo-plexes but in all honestly, we don't know what she'd done or plans to do with them.
Records also show that Miz Thurman owns a 96-acre spread in Bearsville, NY, a wee blip on the road just outside of Woodstock and, as it turns out, only a few miles from an upstate farmhouse on 400 acres that Your Mama shared with a bunch of artist friends one summer and two winters during our dewy and carefree first years in New York City.
Back in late 2004 when Miz Thurman was still getting bizzy with Mister Andre Balazs, it was widely rumored and reported that they bought The Willows, a 50-some acre Hudson river fronting estate with a 16-room mansion in Staatsburg, NY that porn king Bob Guccione lost after defaulting on a $14,500,000 mortgage secured with the property. Your Mama hasn't any idea if those particular real estate rumors were true or if they were simply unsubstantiated and never confirmed wisps on the gossip wind.
Posted by Your Mama at 9:39 PM