Friday, June 6, 2008

Phillip Seymour Hoffman Bites the West Village Bullet

BUYER: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
LOCATION: Jane Street, New York, NY
PRICE: $4,400,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: One of a kind three bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment in the best location in the West Village. High ceiling, beautiful wood floor, authentic doors from Provence, and a wood burning fireplace. The living room is one of the largest single spaces in the West Village. The bathrooms are finished to perfections, and the entire apartment is a quintessential West Village oasis.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: According to Braden Keil at the NY Post, the disheveled and intensely hirsute faced thespian and film actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his long time ladee luver Mimi O'Donnel have finally gone to contract to purchase a lofty apartment on Jane Street in the West Village which carried an impressive asking price of $4,400,000. At first we thought this was not a done deal as the listing is still marked "in contract" on the broker's website. However, thanks to our ever intrepid researcher B.S. Beaverman, we've learned that the sale has already been recorded with the city.

Apparently these two luvbirds had a tough time making up their minds because Mister Keil reports they've been stomping around the West Village for more than two years looking for a place to hang their hat, park the Oscar (for Capote) and stash the two children they've made out of wedlock.

According to listing information for the 5th floor loft unit, the Seymour Hoffman O'Donnel's will be allowed to have pets and will be forking over $2,107 per month in maintenance charges. The family will soon be hunkering down in an open plan living/dining/kitchen area that the hyperbolic listing declares "one of the largest single spaces in the West Village." We don't know about that, but it does have some nice and high ceilings, generously sized windows on two sides, a brick faced wood burning fireplace and a cabinetless kitchen. Presumably a large pantry makes up for the lack of overhead storage.

Here's what we don't like:

1. Although often touted as desirable in New York City apartments below 23rd Street, Your Mama is not fond of the exposed brick walls as they remind us too much of all the wine bars that popped up everywhere in the early 1980s.

2. Your Mama is not fond of open plan living where you have to keep the kitchen spotlessly clean or be distracted by the dirty dishes while trying to concentrate on those wacky (and sometimes deeply disturbing) women on The Housewives of New York City.

3. The closet space seems slim for a family of four, but we imagine Mister Hoffman can well afford a nearby studio apartment to store all the unnecessaries.

4. Lastly, we're a little concerned about the size and shape of the third bedroom. Which of Mister Hoffman and Miss O'Donnel's two children will be punished with that room?

Here's what we do like:

1. Your Mama loves a fireplace to warm the tootsies on cold winter nights.

2. We're very appreciative of the separate laundry room. Too often in these downtown loft conversions we see washers and dryers stuck under the counters in the kitchen...a definite no-no in our big book of floor plan design.

3. The master bathroom is quite impressive even if neither Your Mama nor the Dr. Cooter would ever use that gigantic bathtub for anything but bathing our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly. Sitting in a heated up vat of our own filth is not our idea of a relaxing evening. The shower on the other hand looks like a nice place to have a nekkid party. Oh! Did we say that out loud?

4. The separation between the bedrooms is a real bonus when it comes to fornicating and fighting...who needs guests or the children listening to one's most private moments, right?

The West Village is, of course, home to all sorts of rich and famous folks who have been snapping up townhouses left and right in the last 6 or 7 years. Vanity Fair head honcho Graydon Carter lays up in a newly renovated townhouse on Bank Street, Vogue's icy high priestess Anna Wintour shacks up in a townhouse on Sullivan Street, and exuberantly paid supa-model and baby daddy stealer Giselle Bundchen recently bought an 11th Street townhouse.

Sex and The City queen bee Sarah Jessica Parker and her noted thespian hubby Matthew Broderick have long called a Charles Street townhouse home (they also appear to own another townhouse on MacDougal Street), and apparently, troubled but well paid actor Kiefer Sutherland maintains a place in the West Village as does newly separated ack-tress and mommy Liv Tyler. Film director Bart Freundlich and his enormously talented red headed wifey Julianne Moore have a townhouse as well as a studio apartment on Bethune Street, and twin titans Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are reported to be sharing a rented 10-room triplex in a West 13th Street townhouse.

Brooke Shields recently bought a townhouse on West 10th Street and who could forget that the far West Village is where artist Julian Schnabel is have a wee bit of trouble unloading those high ceiling follies at the Palazzo Chupi.

The famous folks who don't live in the West Village still like to hang out there in low key but celebrity heavy haunts like Bar Pitti and The Waverly Inn.

Phew! On that note, Your Mama has some coffee to drink up.


pch said...

With Mama on the exposed brick -- but for me, it's because I'd feel as if I moved into the Improv.

Anonymous said...

Nice article Mama, thank you. You deserve that relaxing cup of coffee, and a refill too. I don't have much to add other than I'm not a fan of the trend towards arranging soaking tubs like the one we see here as if they're an altar or something. It just looks vulgar to me for some reason.

Alessandra said...

Color me dumb, but I don't see a third bedroom, unless we're talking about that odd little space to the left of the foyer. It doesn't have a closet, though.

I'm with pch on the red brick. It reminds me too much of those comedy specials that used to run 24/7 on basic cable back in the day (1989, for those children too young to remember).

I do like the separate laundry and the master suite.

chris said...

What I don't like has little to do with the real estate but rather that this guy got the Oscar that should have gone to Heath Ledger who was a really great actor who gave the performance of the decade (or more) in Brokeback and who got, in my opinion, cheated out of what should have been injustice that now can never be corrected.

Anonymous said...


Millions would disagree. Have you actually watched Capote?

It's only since Heath passed away that all of a sudden it's a crime that he didn't win.

chris said...

Not true. Dominic Dunne, for instance, long before Heath's sad demise, said he though the Oscar should have gone to Brokeback and by implication to Heath. Annie Proulx made the telling point that merely imitating a person whom one can watch in many films of his appearances is nothing compared to creating a persona from simply a script and doing so so brilliantly that the result shows that the actor has understood the character better even than the author. Hoffman was merely a mimic; Ledger was a great creative actor.

Anonymous said...

Mama... I love the Seinfeld reference: "Sitting in a heated up vat of our own filth." Kramer said it first in Season 7, Episode 16 (The Shower Head): "I'm sitting there in a tepid pool of my own filth."

Mama's quote is a good modification.

As for the apartment itself, I must agree with Alessandra, who can't find the third bedroom. Neither can I. I know Mama indicates it's a weird shape and design, but man oh man, it's hard to detect. And finally, I too detest the exposed brick. In some homes it looks good. The white bathtub contrasting against the hardwood floors and exposed brick is UGG-LEE.

chris said...

The master bed looks so high up you really would need a ladder to get into it. Is that just the photo angle or is it to prevent kiddies from climbing into bed with you when not wanted?

Anonymous said...

68 Jane Street

here's the listing:

pch said...

I don't think of Academy Awards as a zero sum game -- Ledger turned in an astonishing performance, but so did Hoffman. It's the rare moment when you can't make a positive case for a winner's merit, even if it's not your personal choice.

With respect, Proulx isn't exactly an objective party. And (are we talking about his comments on Larry King?) Dunne said he thought Brokeback should have won Best Picture over Crash, on the grounds that it was superior and also snagged the Best Director award; it's a stretch to infer he meant the picture should have swept the above-the-line categories. And, in any case, it's Dominick Dunne, god bless him, who has an opinion just like anyone else.

From my perspective, it's at least as challenging to portray convincingly a well-known person as to create a character from scratch. Hoffman slipped so fully into Capote that I forgot I was watching anyone act until the credits rolled. Maybe not your experience, but it was mine. And while I would have been happy to see Ledger take the award, I was equally pleased for Hoffman.

Anonymous said...

is he a gay?

- Gordon

Anonymous said...

PCH is totally correct. The controversy was over Crash winning Best Picture when everyone expected Brokeback to snag it - Even Ang Lee was astonished Brokeback didn't get it! Personally, I loved Brokeback & all the actors were great but I also absolutely loved Crash - It totally summed up LA.

Anyway, if Heaths performance in the new Batman is as good as rumors make out then he may still have a chance of snagging an Oscar perhaps?

lil' gay boy said...

Alessandra, you're right to be bewildered; that's not a bedroom, it's a cell (although I would argue that's where most children belong) . . .


Whoever chopped up this space should turn in their mechanical pencils tout de suite.

I too hate the exposed brick - so very 80s. Improv/wine bar/whatever, it certainly doesn't scream "home" to me - rather, "a century ago, cows were slaughtered here."

Gordon, what's "a" gay????

luke220 said...

Enough about the exposed brick- it's easy enough to cover it up with sheet rock.

I'm wondering about the third bedroom. Maybe the two kids will share a room? Or carve some space out of the living room for a third bedroom?

Peter Bucknell said...

Dear Mama, we quoted your blog entry.
We thought our readers would enjoy your full post, so there is a link there.

Homage to You.
Irving Waters
New York Toimes

( )

Anonymous said...

luke, that's exactly what I wondered. Bunk up the kiddies, as that room appears to be at least 12'x18'.

Immediately noticed the wonky other space earlier...just before I lost wireless for a while. They're calling it a second bedroom (and can they even do that, cause there is no closet)? Best scenario, they could bump the wall out a few feet into dining space, which could create at least a 10' x 10' on the larger knob of the wonky area...okay for a little one. And, with the incredible talent of PSH, his bankability probably forecasts a 3-year hitch here a outmost.

The way cooler thing to do with this wonky space is a his/hers office. Both would get a window with a view beyond charming below...and no reconfiguration needed.

Overall, I love this loft, brick and all; for me, it just adds another layer of texture. Paint it or not, can always be sandblasted back to natural for next guys. As Our Mama so astutely indicates, the open (mess-prone) kitchen must have been a moment of locking eyes during the showing. Something like: are we willing to shore up kitchen messes before company arrives? Apparently one or the other owns the nod of assurance.

Truely great place. I'm green with envy.

luke220 said...

I just viewed the virtual tour. The kitchen needs a complete redo. Interesting to note that the brick was painted in the bedroom.

I find that most buyers love open kitchens. In my homes I have closed them off, but visitors aren't shy about telling me that the first thing that they would do is open them up.

chris said...

One of the problems with portraying a person who has been seen by millions on TV and elsewhere is that you can never match the look exactly. Hoffman is not round and chubby faced enough to really look like Capote however well he imitated the mannerisms. And Mirren, who did a very good job in Queen, really doesn't look like the Queen. So being a mimic always means you never really produce the original and that, for me, tends to ruin the effect. With a character who is created for the first time you don't have that problem. (I'll leave it at that. No need to prolong the disagreement.)

Alessandra said...

I loathe an open kitchen because while a kitchen should have access to the party and be a comfortable place for guests to gather, it should also be a retreat and a place to stomp one's feet with annoyance because something on the other side of the wall has gone wrong and you need to vent.

Anonymous said...

The main room is huge I like it, homely but spacious

Anonymous said...

Jane Street, in my opinion snyway, is the best location in the West Village, you are closest to everything, the river, soho, the meatpacking district, and Union Square, but at the same time, Jane street west of 8th Avenue is as quiet as can be. I used to live at Jane and Washington, and if I were to move back to the city I would desperately try and find a place on Jane. Mr. Hoffman is a lucky boy!

Anonymous said...

That is the biggest bidet I have ever seen, and it has its own that's bold hetero statement. He was great in Capote but magnificent in Flawless.

Mike Cook said...

A closed off kitchen also makes it easier to sneak out back for a butt while the sauce simmers.

I'm with Sandpiper on the brick. I like the texture, and lofts often need as much textural help as they can get, being so open and airy. Easy to cross the line to sterile and cold, and that's not my style.

Mama, do like the Japanese and shower before you hop in the tub. The filth is washed away and you can have a big old bucket of red wine, light some candles and read.

Anonymous said...

I sold in this building, it has a very unusual set up because it used to be a turn of the century bakery. In most of the apartments some of the bedrooms are lofted because of the double hight ceiling and the way the elevator is situated. Didn't seem suitable for some of my clients because the building has no doorman/ security.