Saturday, April 27, 2013

Taylor Swift Spends Big in Rhode Island

BUYER: Taylor Swift
LOCATION: Watch Hill, RI
PRICE: $17,750,000
SIZE: 11,000+ square feet, 8 bedrooms and at least 10.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just a couple quick months after she flipped a house on Cape Cod—the one next door to her old teen-aged boyfriend Conor Kennedy's famed family compound—famously real estate fickle country queen Taylor Swift has reportedly dropped $17.75 on an historic, 16-room mansion on 5.23 water front acres in the charming seaside village of Watch Hill, RI. So celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ breathlessly revealed, the 23 year old singer/songwriter paid for her new and exceptionally expensive real estate toy in cold hard cash. That's right. children. Beotch just wired the dough, so the story goes.

A little birdie we'll call Henry Hasthegoods slipped Your Mama some digital marketing materials via covert communique that shows the quintessentially East Coast seaside spread was designed by "an eminent Philadelphia architect" and built in 1930. The house, dubbed High Watch as per listing information, sits high and proud on a prominent rise where it lords over 700 feet of shoreline with uninterrupted views of Fishers Island Sound, Little Narragansett Bay, The Watch Hill Light House and a seven mile stretch of sandy beach. At 65 feet off the beach/water, listing details boldly states High Watch occupies what is "thought to be the highest point of direct waterfront land on the entire eastern seaboard, from Florida to Southern New England."

Marketing materials show the walled, gated and—no doubt—exuberantly secured ocean front estate was last listed for $24,000,000. A gated drive swoops up to a massive, parking lot-sized motor court in front of the house, a hulking Colonial style pile that measures more than 11,000 square feet spread out over four levels of living space. There are 8 bedrooms, at least 10.5 bathrooms, and a total of 8 fireplaces.

Multiple main floor reception rooms including (but not limited to) a 36-foot long parlor, a 45-foot long paneled sun room and an octagonal dining room with built in china cabinets. The over-sized kitchen has all the modern bells and whistles such as Sub-Zero fridge, warming drawer and wine cooler plus an adjoining sitting/family room with marble fireplace and sweeping views up and down the coastline.

There is, according to listing details, a guest/family bedroom with private bathroom on main floor. Four more guest/family bedrooms on the second floor each have en suite facilities and and expansive master suite is complete with two bathrooms, one for Miss Swift and another for her next boyfriend who may or may not wind up the subject of one of her future Top 40 country-pop songs.

In addition to a spacious sitting room with wet bar, fireplace and access to the widow's walk/roof terrace the top floor offers two more guest bedrooms, each a whopping 32-feet long and each equipped with attached bathroom, walk-in closet and private, water-side balcony.

The two lower levels include a vast recreation room with direct access to outdoor seaside entertainment areas, a service kitchen, a five car heated garage, a heated workshop and a discreet half bathroom for domestic and landscaping staff.

There are numerous balconies with serene water views, vast seaside terraces, and, set well below the house, a bra-shaped swimming pool (with uneven cup-sizes) and adjacent pool house/fitness room.

Little Miss Swift already owns a mini-compound tucked up into a quiet canyon in Beverly Hills, a bizarrely decorated duplex penthouse in downtown Nashville and, also in Nashville, a substantial mini-mansion in a swank gated enclave bought in mid-2011 for $2.5 million and where—we've been told but can't confirm—her parents live.

Property records reveal the Weston, Mass.-based sellers, James and Marlene Benson, are not famous—he's an insurance industry honcho who was the former CEO of John Hancock Life Insurance in the early- and mid-Aughts—but they're clearly quite rich and property records show they picked up the property way back in May 1996 for $3.5 million.

listing photos: Seaboard Properties

68 comments:

  1. I fear for any young, attractive men in neighboring homes. Taylor will be hiding in their shrubs with a Nikon and a pair of binoculars. Plus a pen and notepad to compose lyrics about them.

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  2. I thought this was just "I'm not a stalker/Land baron" PR, but she got the jump on us mama lama. I'm sure she's got more than $17Mil laying around. good for her? yeah, good for her.

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  3. I assume for that money there is a dungeon where she can keep all her men so they can never ever ever get away.

    Something seriously off with this chick.

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  4. hah lits a lovely house, but she overpaid. The thing has languished on and off the market for YEARS.

    And haha at the realtor that things this is the highest point on the east coast. It's very well established that the highest point along the eastern seaboard south of Maine to Florida is Mount Mitchell in Atlantic Highlands NJ. Technically it's the highest point where the land drops directly into the water from the continent (i.e. the "mainland" not an island.) Note to the stupid, Rhode Island = Not an island, and Watch Hill is not on an Island) From there you can see all the way over the beach, Atlantic, NY Bay, the Verazano Bridge and Lower Manhattan.)
    I guess the realtor can play the technicality that maybe this is the highest point where it drops right to the beach. But it's still a ridiculous exaggeration. Mt. Mitchell may not drop directly into the sandy Atlantic, but the only thing between it and the Atlantic is a small, narrow stretch of undeveloped barrier island)

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  6. "I assume for that money there is a dungeon where she can keep all her men so they can never ever ever get away.

    Something seriously off with this chick."

    Put the National Enquirer and Star magazines down please.

    She's 23 years old and can buy her own $17M mansion in cash. She's obviously doing something right. She's smart and seems to have a great head on her shoulders.

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  7. All the contents you provide in post is too good and useful . I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. All those bedrooms are probably for ex'es to recover in after they have been "had". The only think she is doing right is repeating it over and over again and raking in the cash.

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  9. She overpaid. Rhode island isnt the hamptons, and theres a reason it has sat on the market unsold for years.

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    1. You can keep the Hamptons, i'll take Watch Hill any day! No doubt Taylor will enjoy walks to the village for a carousel ride or ice cream @ St.Claire's, and walks down East Beach & Napatree Pt....if the Paparazzi allow her to. For all of us locals, the house will forever be known as The Harkness House..

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  10. I remember hearing about this house when it was owned by over-extended Standard Oil heiress Rebekah Harkness, seems like this house is a money pit. I'm surprised she bought something so large, as well as so prominently placed. Good luck getting battered by hurricanes every year. I would have thought she'd buy in Stone Harbor, NJ since it's where she used to spend the summers before she packed up and moved to Nashville.

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  11. She's probably going to "flip" this place tooo and make a profit...she's not STUPID!

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  12. Is Trailer Swift still around? I would've thought people would be over this stalker's horrid singing and rehashed material years ago. It's amazing the amount of money non-talents can make in America.

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    1. she is a very gifted young lady. i am not a die-hard fan but i do enjoy some songs of hers. lighten up on the poor girl she is more succesful than you or i would ever be.

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  13. well good for her at least Obama will not get her money because he wants to tax the rich to help the people who do not want work go Taylor

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    1. Where is this fictitious world you live in where we're taxing the rich to help the people who don't want to work? Because the rich aren't paying diddly squat these days and are raking in hard working middle class Americans taxes. The rich are the biggest welfare queens out there. I'm pretty sure the rich need to start paying their share since the middle class and lower are being raped for their money to keep this country going. No wonder we're in the financial crisis with voting dips like you unaware as to who you should be angry/complaining about.

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  14. even if she cleares 100m after taxes and management fees she might be left with 30m per year and thats not enough to maintain that many houses, i think 4 by now (la, nashwille flat, this one and one next to that exboyfriend of hers).

    next nicolas cage in making

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  15. Why on earth would she want or need something with that place's size and maintenance costs?

    I see it and think ....hmmm... a better person would use that money to fund 15,000 small scholarships and still have a couple of million to buy yet another compound. Gauche, lady, really gauche.

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  16. The house is beautiful. I would to have it and be by the ocean. I can't believe how mean people are. If she can afford it why don't you all just leave her alone. So what if she had lots of boyfriends I would do the same if I was 40 years younger and had the chance. Congrats to you Taylor. Keep singing your songs and make as much money as you can while you can.

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  17. It's a lot of money for a very short season. This one will not be as easy to sell as Hyannis Port was. The Vineyard or Nantucket would have been more logical choices in my mind.

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  18. Haters, please walk the plank. How can you not completely respect an individual that SAVES $17,000,000? Not a net-worth-worked-all-my-life type of savings, but like piggy-bank I can just wire it savings, and then chooses to INVEST it in the USofA? That's some balls on a lovely young woman. I thank her for spending it on our shores and love to mama for the story.

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  19. As we speak Ms. Swift is fashioning voo-doo dolls in the likenesses of a Meanie Mama, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. John Mayer, you're in good company.

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  20. As we speak Ms. Swift is busy at her hobby table making voo-doo dolls in unflattering likenesses of a Meanie Mama, Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler. John Mayer, you're in good company.

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  21. I don't judge her on the price but I don't see this as a wise investment just based on the location of the house. Good luck reselling without taking a loss.

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  22. hey welcome to our little wonderfull community. uh oh, others may follow. years ago, Christie Brinkly and Billy Joel used to walk the beach, didn't see an uptick of holywood types. We simly love the area. Chuck Royce has done fabulous things with Ocean House and other areas. We are the big time. Hope she stays for a while.

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  23. Sorry RE double post above. Browser trouble today. Thought first comment didn't transmit :P

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  25. Is there access to the beach???
    It looks like all of the frontage is blocked by rocks with no stair or pathway.

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  26. It looks like a big, boring PILE!!

    High maintenance.....like the buyer. Wow, when guys buy a big trophy....they say he is overcompensating for a small-----.

    Get Taylor a man, stat!

    I'm a hater. That's true. But, really, for 17.5 million I would rather have 10 1.5 million dollar houses some-where-else!!

    Mama's Black Sheep in WEHO,

    Still here!

    And no Taylor, we are never, ever, ever, getting back together!!

    This house has "bad bones", just like Taylor has had.

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  27. There are some true morons aka ass kissers that are completely clueless about money and finance. Anyway...

    Also Hyannis Port sold because they wanted to get her the hell away from them. You really think that house sold that fast by accident?

    The world is filled with people that made far more money than her that went broke. Having money does not make you a financial genius, keeping it does.

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  29. since it did not get mentioned anywhere, is this place close to Newport, RI? I would assume it is.

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  30. @12.18 this house didnt sell fast at all. It has been on the market at prices between 24 and 20 million for years. taylor will take a loss on this if she purchased this as a flip like her kennedy compound.

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  31. Taylor Swift is only buying this estate because she's been dating a prominent Rhode Island real estate mogul and wants to be close to him this summer.

    His name is Tommy Tee, he owns a stake in the Providence Mall and several other sky scrapers downtown. He plays in the Las Vegas World Series of Poker and also spends a lot of time on the other side, at his estate in Lake Cuomos.

    I saw Taylor Swift with him 2x in the last 2 weeks with him - once on Thayer Street at the Pizza Slice, and again at Pearl, the nightclub.

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  33. I too find it a curious purchase -- the location is undeniably stunning, but according to a late 70s assessment by the National Register of Historic Places:

    "...this is a large 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-story, white clapboard dwelling
    in a hybrid French Provincia1/Moderne style - with English Regency touches, altered -somewhat since its construction. The house comprises a rectangular, hip-roof main block; a few rectangular, hip-roof wings and pavilions; and four prominent, slab-like brick chimneys , all assembled into an asymmetrical composition. The roofs rise from the edges of the wall tops without intervening overhangs or parapets, giving the buildings a crisp, hard-edge quality. The fenestration is asymmetrical and includes a few shed dormers. The southerly elevation has large plate-glass windows overlooking Block Island Sound. Period detailing is limited to a few Regency lattice-work porches, window shutters, and a single barrel-roof dormer.


    Hard an historic gem anymore, although it does hold its place in the history of Terpsichore:

    http://www.joffreymovie.com/2011/12/19/the-harkness-years/

    http://books.google.com/books?id=n68S_weX-AEC&pg=PA59&lpg=PA59&dq=harkness+watch+hill+dance&source=bl&ots=Pr5O0GhNgJ&sig=ruD5a6ro3F2o384OPWDvUPJjUa4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HI1-Ue_wIrav4APFqoCgCg&ved=0CF4Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=harkness%20watch%20hill%20dance&f=false

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  34. Tommy Tee is old enough to be her father. She should have rented a suite at the Biltmore. I think the girl is nuts.

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  35. She could have bought anywhere, she chose here - it's a great area, perhaps a bit faded since the hey day of Newport, but nonetheless, stunning location. Some of us like to actually experience the 4 seasons and I can imagine being there in any weather. Rhode Island is actually well placed if you are an east coast type. I say buy and hold, Taylor!

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  36. 10 Bluff Ave, the house next door is for sale. 8500 sq.ft at $10.75m

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  37. 9@37. Rumor from no sources have it that she's buying 11 Bluffs Ave for her new beau, Weird Al Yankovic. She's short one break up song for upcoming "Prom Night" tour.

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  38. Wonder if she cruised the local high school football practise before making her purchase decision?

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  39. Watch Hill is a place where, if she wishes, she can walk thru town and the locals will not bother her to death. We might smile and nod, but we will respect her. Gregory Peck spent a lot of time here for that reason.
    Would be great, if she would entice Justin Bieber to spend some time at Harkness House! Hey: A really adorable couple!! There is no night life in Watch Hill!

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  40. I agree with you @ :April 28, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    everyone needs to lighten up on Taylor Swift. she is still and adolescent, that is a fact regardless of how much money a person makes at that age.

    i loved Gregory Peck! that he liked hanging out in Watch Hill give me hope this gal is actually going to want to own there for awhile (i'll admit this location (despite its relative closeness to NYC) seemed like a bad idea for one who is not married with children)

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  41. BTW fwiw the Queen of Versailles documentary is apparently going to be shown on BRAVO tv channel tonite (Monday april 29)

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  42. PUBLICITY STUNT........ I suppose when you sell your soul to the devil, you could be able to purchase a home like this. SMH

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  43. hahaha @1:40.
    You're not too bright are you? You don't know anything about the real estate doings of the wealthy and how they pay for it do you?
    a) Clearly SHE DIDNY SAVE $17,000,000. SHE JUST SPENT IT ON A DAMN HOUSE. SPENDING DOES NOT = SAVING.
    b) I would be absolutely shocked if she paid cash for this, or if she did I'd imagine she will mortgage it, this is what a considerably large portion of the wealthy do. The "common folk" don't ever seem to comprehend why you would mortgage a home if you can afford it outright.
    ---Well here's why: With mortgage rates near all time record lows it costs next to nothing for a wealthy person to finance a home. And by mortgaging a portion of it, lets say $10 mil of the $17 mil, it can be invested in other places, stocks, bonds, hedge funds, alpaca farms - whatever, and will earn a hire return than if the $10mil simply sat in a home that isn't going to increase substantially in value anytime soon. This place was on the market FOREVER. Basically this means anyone who wanted to be in Watch Hill and could afford this home, didnt want it. So she'll have to sit on this for a number of years to make a reasonable profit. That is of course if there's another Taylor Swift type that will come along and also be willing to overpay on a big white elephant of a house, in a real estate market they know nothing about.

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  46. Even real estate guru Barbara Corcoran recently stated that Taylor overpaid for this house!

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  47. "Even real estate guru Barbara Corcoran recently stated that Taylor overpaid for this house!"

    Barbara was informed of the purchase by the paparazzi and has no details or data of the property when she made the comment. She had no idea Taylor even bought a house.

    Being that her parents are finance managers and her dad works for Merril Lynch I don't think that she has a problem with how she spends her money.

    She is probably the wisest celeb out there that invests in real estate rather than fancy cars.

    And really? Are people going to make fun of a 23 year old woman for dating? Welcome to America.

    Buying a Ritzy vacation home that is secluded from paparazzis and crazy fans when you're making over $50 million a year isn't a crazy thing to do.

    Its crazier hating on a stranger and looking up their every actions just to criticize them.

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  48. Consumptive much? Pig.

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  49. This was the Harkness house, but quite a bit of it has been torn down over the years, altering the original structure. In recent years the huge (and wonderful) chimneys were lopped off, making the whole place look less appealling. It is a shame that was allowed, or even considered. The chimneys made the house, and were visible for miles.

    For what it is worth, Watch Hill in the summer time attracts a large numebr of very hot (str8) guys. It also the home of one of the best lobster rolls anywhere. Prices there are very high, with high taxes to boot. Probably not as crazy a price as it sounds considering other local sales... but it does become a ghost town off season

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  50. I know this house well. It is indeed spectacularly sited, and may be one of the largest of Watch Hill's many mansions. That said, it actually looks (or looked, when I last saw it) a bit run-down on the exterior. Personally, I think it needs new siding--the white is great but sticks out in Watch Hill. I think natural cedar shakes would look fantastic.

    For those who don't know the area, Watch Hill was and remains a very discreet, old-money, relaxed and still blessedly relatively unknown summer spot. I can confirm the poster above me's comment in that it does have amazing lobster rolls. Watch Hill's closest analogue is probably Fisher's Island, NY (not that anyone really knows that place, either), but it has more going on.

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  51. I'm 23 and just started browsing some South Carolina real estate. Needless to say, I will never be able to afford a mansion like this in my lifetime! Good for Taylor Swift.

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  52. Watch Hill is lovely. The only practical problem with this house is the lack of access to the beach. Rhode Island's beaches are famous, any you really just want to stroll out to it, not have to walk a half mile. Nonetheless, pretty town, pretty house (although I agree, cedar shake would fit the area better than the white)

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  53. Former Westerly residentMay 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    All Taylor has to do is walk out of her driveway, turn right and there is a path that goes right down to East Beach. Traveling a half mile to get to the beach is not necessary. I walked that path many, many summers with my grand father and sister to take a quick dip in the ocean. Summer at Watch Hill are some of my favorite childhood memories. When I was 10 I wrote a poem about the Harkness House (circa: 1961) The poem won first place in a poetry contest at State Steet School located in Westerly. I would feel privileged to give that poem to Taylor to proudly display in her new summer residence. Don't knock Warch Hill until you've experienced it. Watch Hill has stood still in time.

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  59. How 'bout this?
    Here is some advice for all of you pompous asses that think the area is undesirable, or that she overpaid for the property. When you have 17 million to spend on your house, you go buy whichever 17 million dollar house you like. Taylor like this one, so shutup already. Who cares what you think?

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  60. Seriously If you read of the donations and time at 23 this young lady has injected into our country.
    Our (GOVER WENT) should check what they do compared to a person at her age. at least she gives back.I hope she flips it or not. Bless her attitude

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  61. Beautiful house for a beautiful talented young woman. She entertains friends in the summertime when she has breaks in her busy schedule, breaks that are scheduled in so she can maintain her sanity. This, for the glorious Ms Swift, is essentially a secure mini-hotel for her family, friends and entourage. She's been known to take her dozen dancers and band members on mini-vacations, and now she can do it in style and security. I imagine there is a quality biz-jet port near by for her to touch and go. The Harkness House legacy name adds another touch of class, as does the Watch Hill Village and Westerly. Good choice! She's putting a few dollars into it to fix it up and fix up the property's breakwater, good move. When she decides, in a couple of decades, that she doesn't need it anymore, her personal cachet will add to the home's value. Long Long Live Taylor Swift!

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  62. Wow, that's quite an investment! I can't believe homes on the East coast can go for that much.

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  63. This young woman is one of the most talented and beautiful song writers of her generation (Joni Mitchell). She has been enormously successful. She was not lucky she worked hard and has talent. She HAS Achieved he American dream x10. She chose to invest in a property that is in the most perfect location in North America for a summer retreat. I think it's great that she recognizes and appreciates the location. I hope she can get an opportunity to relax and enjoy southern New England, as I have for about 50 years.

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