Friday, July 31, 2009

Natasha Bedingfield Buys a Better Place in Los Angeles

BUYER: Natasha Bedingfield
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,300,000
SIZE: 4,792 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...Limestone and walnut flooring casts notes of elegance and luxury throughout this sleek, freshly-"done", pristine Modern villa behind the gates of storied Laughlin Park. There's room enough for all: 4 bedrooms; 5.5 baths; media & family rooms; bar; gym; office; detached guest house over 3-car garage with gated motor court; swimmer's pool; spa; luxuriant foliage everywhere.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We don't listen to much mainstream pop music so Your Mama wouldn't know a song by the Jonas Brothers or that too-big-for-her-britches Miley Cyrus gurl if it came and knocked on our front door and said, "Hi, I'm a pop song." However, every now and again we catch wind a song playing on some radio station in some shop somewhere and it enters our lexicon of auditory guilty pleasures. Included on that list is anything by Neil Diamond, Christina Aguilera's Beautiful and British songbird Natasha Bedingfield's Pocketful of Sunshine. We cain't help it, that song just tickles the marrow in our bones and we love singing it at the top of our lungs right along with Miss Bedingfield.

Anyhoo, this is all a roundabout way of letting the children know that the Grammy nominated Miss Bedingfield recently forked over $2,300,000 for a new crib in Los Angeles. Presumably this is the residence where Miss Bedingfield will live in wedded bliss with her new documentary filmmaker huzband Matt Robinson. Located in the historic and gated Laughlin Park neighborhood in Los Feliz, Miss Bedingfield's new West Coast domicile measures in at 4,792 square feet and includes 5 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers in the main house and another terlit in the (approx.) 400 square foot guest house that sits atop the 3-car garage and next to the swimming pool.

The property was first listed way back in January of 2008 with an optimistic asking price of $4,495,000. However, with no buyers willing to pay that price and the real estate market sinking like quicksand, the asking price was sliced and diced all the way down to $2,495,000 before Mister and Missus Bedingfield swooped in and snatched it up for $2,300,000.

The home is entered on the top floor where the front door opens directly into the limestone floored open plan living, dining, and kitchen area. The living room space includes a fireplace and opens through two wood-framed sliding glass doors to a slim balcony overlooking the backyard two full floors below. The recently rehabbed kitchen has been fitted with blond striated wood cabinetry topped with some sort of white counter top that may or may not be Corian or Ceasarstone. All the appliances look sufficiently high end and Euro including the double ovens and the cook top with the parabolic glass and stainless steel venting hood.

At one end of the living room is a small bedroom (that does not appear to have a closet) and a pooper and shower for guests. At the other end is one of two master suites which includes a lengthy 30-foot long bedroom, a bedroom-sized custom fitted walk-in closet and a limestone, glass and tile pooper done up in every shade of beige known to mankind. One flight of stairs leads down to a family room with a second modern and mantel-free fireplace, another slim balcony accessed through a pair of wood-framed sliding glass doors, and some gor-gee-us walnut wood flooring. Honestly chickens, we'd have preferred to see this walnut flooring on the top floor as well. We think it would have anchored the otherwise gauzy and monochromatic rooms that are going to take a skilled and nice gay decorator to warm and cozy up. A second, smaller master bedroom with a good sized pooper and a walk in closet sits at one of the family room at at the other two additional bedrooms share a bathroom. One of the bedrooms is long, narrow, oddly configured and, unfortunately, must be passed through to get to the laundry room making it only usable as a storage space, craft room or perhaps an office. No child or guest needs the homeowner's laundress tramping through their bedroom in order to do a load of whites.

One more flight of stairs goes down to a media room and bar that share a half pooper. The high ceilinged media room has been wallpapered in grass cloth (good for the acoustics?) and opens to a narrown terrace that spills down to the simple and pretty rectangular swimming pool and spa that has a simple limestone coping surrounded by a patch of unnaturally green grass. Thank heavens for the adjacent guest house and pooper because Your Mama would surely have a damn heart attack getting back up to one of the guest rooms to do our dirty bidness. Iffin we were Mister and Missus Bedingfield, which of course we are not, we'd install an illegal kitchen in that guest house so that we could keep a poolside stash of gin, tonic, limes, ice and candy. We'd also stick a day bed in there because after a long afternoon paddling around in the pool with a tumbler of booze we'd be hard pressed to make up back up all them stairs without busting up our ankle or breaking our damn neck. But Miss Bedingfield is young, fit and nimble so we don't imagine that will be a problem for her or her new Mister.

Even more stairs lead down from the pool deck to the walled and gated motor court. It's really lovely to have a three car garage and a motor court to park 3 or 4 more automobilies, but let's be honest, who's going to park down there when it's four lung busting and glute ripping flights of stairs up to the main living spaces? Not Your Mama nor the Dr. Cooter and certainly not our demanding house gurl Svetlana who would insist we install a funicular to haul the groceries up from the back of her vintage Datsun B-210.

The lovely and leafy Laughlin Park neighborhood has long been favored by famous folks and previous residents have includes such luminaries as Cecil B. DeMille, W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin and Carole Lombard. Nowadays, residents include Tinseltown types like Jenna and Bodhi Elfman, and Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix, and Natalie Portman who recently dumped $3,250,000 on a nearby house with a long history of celebrity ownership.

Welcome to Hollywood Miss Bedingfield.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is Karl Rove Leaving Washington D.C.?

SELLER: Karl Rove
LOCATION: Weaver Terrace NW, Washington D.C.
PRICE: $1,585,000
SIZE: 4,529 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Ideally located 5 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom Federal with grand entertaining spaces, main floor Family Room, spectacular Living Room w/ beautiful built-ins, a wonderful Library, sunny Kitchen w/ brand new appliances and sep. Breakfast Room, formal Dining Room, incredible Master Suite, private rear patio, expansive yard, and Garage Parking.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We're a little late to the rodeo on this one darlings but we're still gonna discuss the Washington D.C. residence Republican bigwig Karl Rove recently listed with an asking price of $1,585,000.

Mister Rove has been a highly influential operative in the Republican party for many years but did not become a household name (or a lightening rod for liberals) until hired by former president George Dubya Bush as his Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff, a lackluster title that does not adequately express the vast power and influence he wielded in Washington and a position from which he resigned in August of 2007 amid some scandal over emails and the improper dismissal of several U.S. Attorneys. Since leaving his employ at the White House, Mister Rove has worked as a political analyst for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and, not surprisingly, Fox News.

Property records show Mister Rove and his wifey Darby paid $799,000 for his Washington D.C. residence on Weaver Terrace NW way back in January of 2001 when he first moved east to work for Dubya. Records and listing information show the three story, brick built Federal style house measures 4,529 square feet and includes a 1-car garage, 5 bedrooms and 4.5 Republican poopers.

After squeezing through the oddly placed front door and climbing up a flight of stairs, we find a wood-floored living room lined with built-in bookshelves that are chock-a-block full of actual books, walls painted a soft celadon, simple celery colored curtains, a footstool covered in red and white toile in front of the fireplace and a couple of yellow floral sofas that would make chintz queen Mario Buatta wet his pants with glee. There is a formal dining room with a table for eight power players and a sideboard with a silver serving set for extra-special foreign dignitaries. The adjacent kitchen is accessed through a swinging door–oh how we love a swinging door–and has been fitted, according to listing information, with all new stainless stell appliances. A barely there pastel green paint has been applied to the cabinetry which effectively sets off the traditional and black and white checkered floor.

A den or study has been painted periwinkle, features more built in book cases filled with actual books, wood slat blinds and an oil portrait of George Washington that we'd give our pinky toes to have hanging in our office. It appears the family room has been converted to Mister Rove's war room where a dead deer hangs on the white-painted brick wall surrounding the fireplace and at least two of the walls have floor to ceiling built-in book cases filled with–you got in chickens–more books.

Mister Rove's wood-floored boo-dwar has been painted cream and, unfortunately a rather foul shade of peachy-flesh. The children will note even Mister Rove's bedroom has built-in bookshelves filled with books. Clearly this man likes to read. Although we find his particular brand of fear-based politics repugnant, we do admire and respect his voracious appetite for books. So few people read anymore. Anyhoo, like Mister Rove's boo-dwar, his 1980s looking private pooper has been painted a lighter but still foul and unfortunate peachy-flesh color. These colors, of course, are quickly and easily fixed.

The back of the house opens to a slate terrace which in turn leads up a few steps to a large lawn area large enough to run a medium sized pooch. We don't know if Mister Rove has a canine, but we might like him a teensy bit better if he did.

Previous reports indicate Mister Rove maintains a couple of small cottages in Austin, TX –where he votes but may or may not actually live–and records reveal he also owns a beach house in Rosemary Beach, Flaw-ree-duh, an area once known as the Redneck Riviera. The Roves bought the property in November of 2002 for just $165,000 and proceeded build themselves a 2,578 square foot house with 4 bedrooms, 3 poopers and a two story carriage house separated from the main house by a small courtyard with a fountain.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Little New York City Floor Plan Porn

SELLER: Richard O. Ullman
LOCATION: 15 Central Park West, New York City, NY
PRICE: rumored to be $55,000,000
SIZE: 5,610 square feet, 4 bedrooms 5.5 bathrooms (plus 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom staff room)
DESCRIPTION: This spectacular terraced penthouse comprising 5,600 square feet of living space including 4 exquisitely appointed bedrooms and 6.5 marble bathrooms is located in the most prestigious building on Central Park West. The apartment features panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline and includes high ceilings, an extraordinary layout, grand proportions, magnificent entertainment spaces, the finest of finishes and exquisite architectural details throughout.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Over the last several months there has been much ballyhoo, brouhaha and spilled ink over a somewhat mysterious doo-plex condo at the ritzy Robert A.M. Stern designed building at 15 Central Park West in New York City rumored to be quietly listed at an astronomical asking price above $75,000,000. Perhaps some of the children have been reading the scuttlebutt about the apartment in the New York newspapers along with Your Mama.

Here's what's been happening...Back in March of 2008 a wildly wealthy pharmaceutical benefits bigwig named Richard O. Ullman forked over $23,500,000 for a 5,610 square foot unit on the 18th and 19th floors of the pre-war wannabe building that in 2007 and early 2008 was the epicenter of high-priced real estate in New York City. Financial titans like Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill bought big apartments along with famous folks like Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington, NASCAR fat cat Jeff Gordon and tantric sex practitioners Sting and Trudie Styler.

Mister Ullman, who sold his company National Prescriptions Administrators in 2002 for more than half a billion bucks, never moved into the 4 bedroom and 5.5 pooper property which also includes a staff bedroom and pooper located, natch, off the service hall. It's not, chickens, that Mister Ullman didn't move in because he caught a case of real estate cold feet after closing on the apartment but rather that he possesses a pair of ridiculously large real estate cajones. Just months after signing on the dotted line rumors started to swirl and slip down the gossip grapevine that Mister Ullman was flipping the apartment back on to the market with an unabashed and undeniably greedy asking price more than triple what he paid for the place. The two-floor terraced unit over looking Central Park didn't pop up on the open market but it was widely thought to be quietly available for a not so quiet price of $75,000,000.

If Your Mama is being honest, and we always are, it puzzles and perplexes Your Mama how Mister Ullman's real estate agent managed to muster the jaw dropping audacity to utter such an insanely large number with a straight face to other real estate agents or prospective buyers because, you know, it makes us giggle and guffaw with aghast to even think of the steel nerve it takes to buy and flip an apartment back on the market just a few months after closing at three or four times the price paid without so much as having replaced a fixture or painted a wall. Not surprisingly, the apartment languished unloved and unwanted, a lonely suite of rooms doomed to be the ass-end of many jokes and the poster child for the sort of uncurbed, unrestrained and ravenous real estate avarice that ran rampant in Manhattan the previous few years.

After months of speculation and whispering about whether the apartment really is or is not for sale and at what bank account draining price, the dee-luxe doo-plex has finally hit the open market. While listing agent Dolly Lenz, real estate über-agent and She-Ra of the 12 Blackberries, endeavors to keep the asking price an ancient Chinese secret by marking the number as "Price Upon Request," the tireless real estate writers at The New York Times recently revealed the asking price is believed by real estate insiders to be around $55,000,000 with, according to listing information, monthly fees of $8,600. It does not take any flicking of the well worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus to see that although the (alleged) asking price is far lower than it (allegedly) used to be, it is still a ballsy, brave and hair raising number considerably more than twice what Mister Ullman paid just over one year ago.

Let's take a spin through the place to see what sort of condo Mister Ullman and Miz Lenz think is worth fifty-five million clams in a not particularly brisk market in which many of the potential buyers of trophy properties are sitting on the sidelines and keeping their purse strings tightly pulled.

After an elevator ride that does not conclude with a private landing, one passes through the front door and into a small vestibule with a coat closet on the left and a lounge and windowless powder pooper on the right. Your Mama can't imagine what use this "lounge" might have in a private apartment but in the event there is ever a line to use the terlit there is, thankfully, plenty of space to accommodate. The vestibule leads to a large foyer with a herringbone patterned wood floors and a ceiling fixture that looks suspiciously similar to the one the super installed in the rent controlled 2-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan Your Mama occupied before marrying up and moving into a downtown doo-plex with the Dr. Cooter. On the left is a sweeping staircase that rises to the private quarters and to the right a library that opens through two sets of pane-less French doors to the 1,000+ square foot terrace that runs the width of the lower floor of the apartment.

Straight through the foyer is the sizable 600 square foot living room which features a featureless fireplace and two more pane-less French doors that provide access to the terrace which rather dramatically hangs over Central Park and provides stellar views of the posh apartment towers that line Fifth Avenue and Central Park South. A second small vestibule separates the living room from the dining room and contains an actual closet as well as a booze closet for whetting one's whistle. Adjacent to the dining room and also connected to the foyer by a short hall is the kitchen/breakfast/family room which, quite frankly, isn't any bigger or more finely finished than the set up Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter have in our far less expensive crib on the West Coast. In fact, we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly and our sour-faced pussy Sugar that our kitchen is not only nicer than this one, but was also more expensive. We're not bragging children, we're saying that for $55,000,000 the kitchen ought to be knock down spectacular and this one just ain't. Beyond the kitchen is the service hall and civilized sized staff suite which, to Mister A.M. Stern's credit is actually large enough that the owner's live-in house gurl won't feel like she's stuck up in a cell at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.

The second floor is accessible by a Norma Desmond style staircase in the foyer and, for the lazy folks, by a private elevator that lifts a person from the hallway between the foyer and the kitchen up into the upper foyer. Two family bedrooms, each with a marble encrusted private pooper, face the building's courtyard and can be seen into by anyone with eyes who happens to be living on the other side of the courtyard on an higher floor. A third bedroom, shown as a guest room on the floor plan, also offers an all marble private pooper and small closet and dressing area. A second entrance and small laundry room are tucked away near the guest room.

The master suite is comprised of an entrance hall, large bedroom with a trio of windows looking over the park, four walk-in closets, three additional closets, two marble bathrooms including one with a park view soaking tub and separate shower, and a private study/exercise room that is, the children will note, larger than the house gurl's bedroom downstairs.

The rooms are simple white boxes with wood floors that wait patiently for the owner to hire up a smart architect and a small army of nice gay decorators to work their magic. This is all well and good because, let's be honest, most ridiculously rich people often do a re-do on the fancy apartments they buy, but for fifty-five million smackers the lack of detail in this apartment is, well, inexcusable. For $55,000,000 Your Mama wants a meticulously and perfectly completed mansion in the sky that is not only move in ready with a paneled library but comes complete with on-call terlit attendants and a 24/7 ger-may chef to whip up box cakes and baby back ribs at a moment's notice. But alas...

In an effort to lighten his real estate portfolio, Mister Ullman also has a 4 bedroom, 4,415 square foot, 44th floor apartment at the Trump International on Central Park West on the market with an asking price of $18,450,000. Your Mama wishes the healthcare honcho all the luck in the world selling his high-priced pads because iffin anyone were to ask us, and of course no one did, we think he's gonna need it at these prices.

The Hooligan of English Fashion Lists East London House

SELLER: Alexander McQueen
LOCATION: Cadogan Terrace, East London, UK
PRICE: £1,700,000
SIZE: 2,957 square feet, 2-3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The house is laid out over 4 floors offering unique features throughout which also extends to the private garden. Extremely spacious accommodation comprising fully fitted kitchen/dining room, lounge and study area, 2/3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (including wet room) and walk in dressing area. There is also a huge roof terrace offering panoramic views.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: During our convalescence over the last weekend Your Mama received a covert communique from a British bloke we'll call Benny Buttermeup who informed us that maverick fashion designer Alexander McQueen had listed his East London house with an asking price of £1,700,000, that's $2,799,849 to all us Amereecanos.

Mister McQueen, for those who do not know, comes from working class roots and as a young lad stitched garments on Saville Row for folks like Prince Charles and Mikhail Gorbachev. After a stint with Italian garmento Romeo Gigli he attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where his plucky and unexpected designs earned him the attention of influential fashionistas and led him to the top job at the esteemed House of Givenchy. After five years of causing controversy at the venerable label, Mister McQueen busted out on his own in order to free himself of any of the constraints that come with designing for an historic and grand house. And hog wild he's been ever since. Just have a look-see at his strange and heavenly Fall '09 women's collection which looks like he sent a bunch of doppelgängers of tranny trainwreck Pete Burns out on the runway in elaborately constructed fabric extravaganzas.

Mister McQueen's often controversial, sometimes shocking, always theatrical, challenging and meticulously tailored designs have caused some define him with labels like "on-fahnt tear-ee-blay" and "The Hooligan of English Fashion." We're certain that some of the children are going to whine about how impractical strange most of Mister McQueen's high fashion habiliments are, but one must keep in mind, puppies, that these are not duds one dons to ease on down to the local Applebees for an Pick 'N Pair Lunch Combo after and whittling the day away at the local outlet mall.His outlandish, idiosyncratic and showy take on frocks and frippery has earned him fashion forward fans like Björk, Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki and the late, fashion dynamo Isabella Blow who rather dramatically offed herself in 2007 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. But we digress...

Listing information for Mister McQueen's four floor townhouse across from lively Victoria Park on Cadogan Terrace indicates it measures a spacious 2,957 square feet and provides 2 proper bedrooms (plus a third room which could be used as a bedroom) and 3 poopers including a large number on the lower ground floor (that's the basement kiddies) with something called a "wet room." We're not sure if this simply means a large shower or if this space is intended to be used for some other lurid and lascivious purpose. Perhaps not surprisingly, the interior spaces have been done up, we're told, by Tanzanian born British architect David Adjaye in a minimal and unadorned manner that stands as a stark counterpoint to Mister McQueen's typically flashy and heavily adorned clothing.

The front stoop opens to a ground floor entrance hall that serves as the central traffic hub for the entire house. To the right through a set of glass doors lies the kitchen and dining room area which offers high ceilings, bright white walls, some sort of flooring that looks like terrazzo, a fireplace and a kitchen space with winter white base cabinets and snow white counter tops that floats in the center of the space and, as sleek and clever as it is, looks to Your Mama like something at a futuristic Benihana. Behind the kitchen a spectacular set of floor to ceiling glass doors open to a small terrace that leads to the garden. Down a half flight of stairs from the kitchen/dining room is what the floor plan shows as a second kitchen. We can't conceive why a house this modestly sized would require two kitchens, but it's nice that this one also opens into the large rear garden making for easy-breezy barbecues. Down another half flight, to the lower ground floor, is a large "reception" room, the boiler room and that "wet room," which is still conjuring up images of sordid activities of the sort that makes Your Mama blush.

A half flight up from the entrance hall is an itty bitty cell-sized bedroom with an adjacent pooper the size of Your Mama's linen cabinet and believe us when we tell you our linen cabinet in not very big. Up another half flight is the main living room which has a built-in sectional sofa situation facing a fireplace flanked by built in glass shelves and with a small flat screen tee-vee screen above. The back of the built-in sectional is lined with shelves for books, knick-knacks and other paddy-whacks. The children will note the wonderfully aggressive horned lighting fixtures that Your Mama would choke a horse to have in our own dining room. (Relax, PETA people, we would not really choke a horse, it's just an expression, okay?)

Up yet another half flight of stairs is the commodious master bedroom anchored by a free floating sculptural structure that divides the sleeping area from the spacious pooper that includes a free-floating soaking tub (do we all recognize the theme here with the free floating bits and pieces?), separate shower and private cubicle for the terlit. Off to one side of the bedroom and looking out over the tree tops of Vicky Park, a walk-in and dressing room with custom built-ins houses Mister McQueen's personal wardrobe which is, generally speaking, far less extravagant than those he designs for rich fashion mavens and covetous clothes queens.

Mister McQueen's outdoor spaces include a long and narrow backyard with a modern multi-level deck with a slim channel that cuts through the deck and spills down the steps and into dark bottomed square pond (or pool or hot tub thing). The roof has been decked and planted with low maintenance plants and the sort of glass skylights that can be walked on. This is all very striking and impressive but we're concerned that privacy could be a bit of an issue if there are guests on the roof and Mister McQueen needs to use the terlit.

We won't know what Mister McQueen's real estate plans are until he rings up Your Mama to let us know, so until then we'll assume he's moving to bigger digs. Or maybe he's just bored. Y'all know how those high fashion people need constant stimulation and can (easily) get bored every 20 minutes or so.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Joey Fatone Selling His Own Private Plantantion House

SELLER: Joey Fatone
LOCATION: Kilgore Road, Orlando, FL
PRICE: $5,900,000
SIZE: 12,370 square feet, 6 bedroooms, 8 full and 4 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: "Grande Oaks," a 12,000+ sqft privately gated lakefront estate on famous Millionaire's Row. Boasts 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 4 half baths, home theater (w/ stadium seating), office/study, game room, 10+ car garage, $1M+ resort-style pool, dock/boathouse...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a few days off to take care of some personal matters that are none of any of y'alls bidness we're back in the saddle so to speak and starting the week by heading on down to Orlando, FL where boy bander turned television twinkle towes turned game show host Joey Fatone has listed his sprawling estate with an asking price of $5,900,000.

Mister Fatone was the baritone for the outrageously successful boy band 'N Sync which was originally created and managed by that creepy Lou Pearlman character who is currently serving 25 years in the clink for cheating investers out of three hundred million or so smackers. This was back in the day when times were simpler, when pre-teens, tweens and teens only needed to see a 5 or six freshly scrubbed and polished young men singing in harmony and spinning on their heels to be entertained. Nowadays it takes a bit more cleavage and foul language to do the trick, but that's another discussion for another day. More recently Mister Fatone has appeared on Broadway (Rent and Little Shop of Horrors), came in second place on the enormously popular but terrifically undignified Dancing With the Stars program and currently hosts The Singing Bee, whatever that is.

Property records for Mister Fatone's 4.36 acre lakefront spread on posh Kilgore Road are a bit fuzzy however it appears to our beady little eyes like Mister Fatone probably picked the place up in the August of 2001 for $2,650,000 and shortly thereafter let the cameras from MTV Cribs up in his crib to snoop around in his frige, up in his 53-foot long closet and around the grounds that include a swimming pool complex that listing information indicates cost more than a million clams to construct and makes the one at the Playboy mansion look downright ghetto.

Listing information indicates the 12,370 square foot plantation style pile, which someone has dubbed Grande Oaks, includes 6 bedrooms and 6 full poopers and another 4 half poopers. Can someone explain to Your Mama why there is an "e" at the end of the word "Grand?" Is this meant to imbue as certain kind of elegance? We hope not, because it does not. It's a silly artifice that sets Your Mama off on the wrong foot. In addition to the massive main house, the walled, gated and heavily secured spread includes a second, detached building that Your Mama presumes is the colossal 10 car garage where Mister Fatone keeps one of the KITT cars used on the kitchy 1980s boob-toob series Knight Rider which starred that funky David Hasselhoff guy. Why anyone would want to own a car like that is simply beyond Your Mama's limited capacity of understanding.

A columned portico leads to the front door which open to traditionally de-zined interiors that include a large entrance hall (the children will note how the doors or off-center which is just driving Your Mama all kinds of crazy), formal living and dining room with furniture that looks like it might have been won on the Price Is Right, a paneled office/study with ka-razee red, black and white color block shag wall to wall carpeting, a lurid red sofa, built in book cases that look like they might house all of Mister Fatone's many music awards and, somewhat upsettingly, a built in puppet theater complete with red velvet curtains and gold tasseled trim.

Other rooms, according to listing information include a 30-foot long granite slathered gore-may kitchen with dual refrigerators and ovens, a clubby, paneled home theater room with stadium seating, projection screen and surround sound. Upstairs, in addition to the 4 or 5 bedroom suites there is also a game room/bonus area with a serving bar, a couple of wide balconies for surveying the property and watching the sun sparkle on the lake or spy anyone coming down the drive, and a second laundry room so that Mister and Missus Fatone's Svetlana need not trouble herself with hauling the dirty linens down the elevator to the laundry facilities on the ground floor.

The master suite that includes it's own private entrance vestibule, a sitting room with an adjacent butler's pantry so the Fatones need not schlep down to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee or a box of late night candy, a dual-sided fireplace, a sleeping chamber with wood coffered ceiling and some pretty complicated balloon valances, the aforementioned 53-foot long closet/dressing room that features a trio of custom built dressing islands and an utterly obscene marble master bath with separate vanities and terlits, a sauna and a steam room, walk-in shower (aren't all showers walk in showers?), and a gigantic Jacuzzi tub surrounded by skinny columns that has Your Mama reaching for the nerve pills. We think perhaps the nice gay decorator might have been aiming for a Caligula meets Gone With the Wind sort of thing but honestly chickens, it's really an eye-popping sort of uglee ain't it?

The grounds include the mammoth million dollar plus swimming pool complex that includes what we think is a kiddie pool, a beach like entrance on one end and a arching bridge that leads to the grotto area where we find a large orgy friendly spa tucked into a faux-rock cave and an outdoor kitchen/entertaining area with a large grill, fireplace and what we think might be an aquarium. Jutting out into the lake is a long dock with docking facilities including a shed like thing where a small craft can be lifted up out of the water.

Who knows why Mister Fatone wants to sell his lavish and exuberantly appointed property. Perhaps he's grown tired of the water bills and maintenance which we imagine requires full time staff to mow the lawns, clips the hedges, mops the floors, scrub the 10 terlits and all sweep out that garage which is bigger than the entire home of most people. Wherever he may go, Your Mama wishes him and his a happy home.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In The Future...

...comments will have to be approved before publishing. Clearly some of you people can't seem to handle the freedom of an un-moderated comments section without turning it into a depressing and juvenile swamp of imbecilic behavior.

If you don't like it, well puppies, like Rhett Butler said, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Friday, July 24, 2009

A needed day off

Listen chickens, we're taking the damn day off.

Try to contain your anger or at least di-rect it someplace else because we do not want to hear it or read it in some crazy rant that a couple of you like to send Your Mama.

Why not head over to this Facebook page one of Your Mama's children in the UK set up and have a discussion on the benefits of xeriscaping, why you do or do not eat meat and what color is y'all's favorite color..

We should be back to having a regular interweb connection sometime over the weekend.

Be good and don't make Your Mama have to get out the damn wooden spoon.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Brian Austin Green's House of Nooks and Crannies

SELLER: Brian Austin Green
LOCATION: Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,395,000
SIZE: 3,374 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Set back from the street and sited on a gated and private knoll is this incredibly charming 1920's English Tudor. Character and warmth abound as features including oak floors throughout and beamed ceilings enhance all rooms as follows: Living room, kitchen, dining and family rooms, master suite plus 3 additional bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The grounds feature patios, pathways and an inviting pool. Very special.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Since Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter currently have very limited access to the interweb we had only a few minutes to scour new listings yesterday afternoon but quickly honed in on a Tudor style domicile on Los Angeles' celebrity lined Woodrow Wilson Drive that is listed at $2,395,000 and owned by oft over-looked actor Brian Austin Green.

While Your Mama can't think of a single boob-toob program or motion picture that Mister Green appeared in besides his stint as David Silver on the original Beverly Hills 90210, his re-zoo-may shows he's been a bizzy beaver since the program ended in 2000. In addition to an uncredited role in 2008 as a "Party Guest" in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, he has also appeared in regular and recurring roles on Stacey Stone, Freddie, and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Your Mama confesses we has never heard of nor seen any of those programs but that don't really mean a thing since we tend to stick to PBS, CNN and The Real Housewives of Any City. Oooo children, after seeing them previews of that arrogant and broke ladee yanking on the wig of the white woman who may or may not have had some kind of cancer that caused her to lose her hair, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter can hardly wait for them housewife bitches down in Atlanta to start up and throw down at the end of the month. But we digress. Interweb sources also indicate Mister Green has also long dabbled in the music bidness and, rather bizarrely, released a universally panned rap album in the mid-1990s. That's right chickens, rap.

Property records reveal that Mister Green scooped up his house in the hills in March of 2001 when he paid $1,650,000 for the corner property that sits just a few doors down from the house Jake Gyllenhaal calls home when he's not living in sin out in Brentwood with his ladee-friend Reese Witherspoon. Mister Green, too, lives in sin with up coming getting too big for her britches action ack-tress Megan Fox who despite her protestations has chosen to present herself as a doppelgänger to Earth Mother sexpot supah-star Angelina Jolie. In fact, sometimes Your Mama cain't even tell the two apart but that might have more to do with what happens when we mix a nerve pill with a pitcher of gin and tonics than anything else.

Listing information indicates the multi-story mini-manse measures in at 3,374 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms, 3.5 poopers and a whole lotta nooks and crannies. The entire front yard of the walled and gated corner property is made up of a motor court which will probably mortify anyone who does not live in Los Angeles, but isn't really so uncommon for houses in the hills, even expensive ones. A red door signifies the main entrance which is a good damn thing since the French doors that flank the fireplace in the living room also open up right into the driveway and could be confusing to a boozed up visitor who is more likely careen towards a brightly colored door than some glassy thing that they might confuse for a mirror or some kind of waterfall.

Listing information for the 1923 faux-timbered Tudor shows a large living room with dark wood floors and a peaked wood ceiling with massive wood beams. The day-core consists of a couple of wonderfully worn caramel colored club chairs and a red velvet sofa with down cushions and a smattering of furry pillows. The living room, and the entire house, lacks art which is a sad shame. However we are grooving on the mirror with the massive carved wood frame above the sofa.

The dining room appears to be open to the blandly renovated kitchen with its white cabinetry and beige counter tops that may or may not be honed granite or maybe limestone. There is a small built-in breakfast nook that lacks a table so it's really just a nook with built-in bench seating. The dark wood floors in the living room and kitchen continue into the media room that boasts a projection screen and some kind of crazy Darth Vader helmet sitting on the side table that would surely scare the bejeezis out of Your Mama iffen we were to pass through this room in the middle of a dark night. Just off the media room is an office nook where we imagine Mister Green and Miss Fox divvy up the household bills. A featureless family room has been "decorated" with a beat up brown leather sofa which looks like it might be a set with the club chairs up in the living room. In another nook is a red-felted billiard table lit by a chandelier so damn ass-uglee it makes Your Mama want to scream bloody murder. Surely Mister Green's budget could have afforded him something more appropriate.

The master bedroom is comprised of a large sitting area and a raised nook where a carved four poster bed has been placed. A double set of curtains closes the space off from the rest of the room, presumably to black out the bed nook. The master bath is a study in beige marble (or limestone or some other stone thing) with Tudor appropriate burgundy bath towels, a jetted tub and a separate shower with a giant window so that Miss Fox can put on a show while Mister Green lounges in the tub.

The back yard tumbles down the hillside and, like LeVar Burton's house in Sherman Oaks, the lagoon style swimming pool sits about 449 flights of stairs from the house. This is a nice way to tuck the pool into the hillside for privacy but it makes for a heart attack when it's time for a ham sandwich because our haughty house gurl Svetlana would sooner run bamboos shoots up into her toenail beds than be chasing up and down those stairs every time Your Mama needs a candy bar or an ice cube for our cocktail. Plus, Your Mama knows some of our less mannered guests like Falsetta Knockers and Carmelina Corn would pee in that pool long before they would schlep their lazy butts up all them stairs just to use the terlit.

It's not really much of a surprise the Mister Green has listed this property given that he and Miss Fox have been spotted fishing for new digs in the Santa Monica area, but Your Mama don't know nuthin' about that. For now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jimmy Durante's Residential Time Capsule

SELLER: Estate of Jimmy Durante
LOCATION: N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $3,395,000
SIZE: 3,944 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The longtime home of Jimmy Durante, not on the market for 60+ yrs. Rebuilt in 1963 by architects Marvin & Kelsey, the main residence is 3 beds, 2.5 baths + 2 story guest w/ 1 bdrm apt upstairs & maids + storage lower. Also a pool room w/ bath & entertainment flow. Large master w/ sitting area & fireplace. Entry light fixtures excluded.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once again we are very short on time...Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are not able to access the interweb on a regular basis. But rather than leave the children high and dry, salivating and clamoring and left to their own devices, we figured we'd pop up a Beverly Hills time capsule listed at $3,395,000 that was the long time home of actor and comedian Jimmy Durante and his much younger second wife Margie who was a hat check gurl at the Copacabana when the May December love birds first met. Your Mama just loves a Tinseltown love story.

A Hollywood legend known for his quick wit, Brooklyn accent and huge honker, Mister Durante started up his ladder of fame after dropping out of the 8th grade and playing ragtime on the pie-ana which landed him on the Vaudville stage. Later Mister Durante became a radio star who transitioned into talkies.

Property records are unclear as to when Mister and Missus second Durante bought the long and low modern manse on the wide and pretty palm tree lined N. Beverly Drive. However, listing information indicates the property has not been on the market for more than 60 years which would indicate to a know-nothing like Your Mama that Mister Durante owned the house since sometime in the middle of the last century. However, don't nobody quote Your Mama on that because we really don't know when the couple set up house here.

According to listing information the 3,944 square foot house was re-built in 1963 by a couple of architects we confess we've never heard of named Marvin & Kelsey. Those may be their first or last names, we don't know but perhaps one of Your Mama's more architecturally educated children can educate us on these two. Anyhoo, the main house, which includes just 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers is fronted by a deep yard with a semi-circular black top driveway which, quite frankly is a bit down market for this neck of Los Angeles.

The house appears to have been professionally decorated back in the early 1960s in all sorts of beige and pale pastel colors, a style that has not withstood the test of time. While this may have been the very apex of day-core back in 1963 (or so) it is now, as Mister Durante himself might say, "a castastrostroke." Our bleary gin soaked little brain cain't even figure out how to pronounce that word, but we are sharp enough to know it's not a compliment.

The main rooms include a formal living room with bleached blond wood floors, a massive stone fireplace of the sort they stopped building in 1972. The bleached blond wood floors continue into the formal dining room where one entire wall is covered with a mirror, a decorative moment we like in theory but makes us uncomfortable when we think of having to sit opposite the reflecting glass while we masticated yams or chawed on a chicken leg. We not sure why such a small chandelier was chosen when the room could easily support a larger number, but we rather love the dining room set which looks like a 1960s interpretation of something the nice gay decorator Billy Haines might have done in the late 1940s.

In addition to the three bedrooms and 2.5 poopers in the main house, a two-story structure adjacent to the swimming pool in the back yard contains a 1 bedroom guest unit on the second floor and storage space and a staff room on the ground floor. While we can't imagine living up in a house with staff–our house gurl Svetlana insists on her own residence which is just fine with Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter because we do not need Miss Big Ears all up in our night time bidness–this detached room set up is workable.

Opposite the guest/staff house is a pool house with, according to listing information, a pooper and a dry sauna, both of which ought to be retained in whatever renovations will be undertaken by the next owner. Not only is it healthy to sweat out the booze in a sauna, a pool pooper means no wet people tramping through the house every time they need to evacuate.

If we had to guess, we'd guess any new owner will raze this residence and replace it with one of those ginormous faux Tuscan/quasi Neo-classical numbers that line the flats of Beverly Hills. But maybe not. Maybe, just maybe some deep pocketed Palm Springs queen will come along and upgrade this house while retaining some of the better original features like that perforated concrete block screens at the front of the house which always remind Your Mama of a most excellent trip we took to Vieques with our pal Fiona Trambeau back when we were both in enviable bathing suit shape. Today it's tunics and wide brimmed sun hats, but that's another story for another day.

Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harry Morton Lists Condo at Huge Loss

SELLER: Harry Morton
LOCATION: Doheny Road, West Hollywood, CA
PRICE: $2,895,000
SIZE: 1,845 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Sierra Towers, the most prestigious and desired full service high rise in Los Angeles. Great views of the Sunset Strip, downtown and the ocean. Rebuilt from the ground up, this unit has Crestron full home automation, Poliform kitchen and the highest quality finishes.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some people will know twenty-something year old Harry Morton as the lucky scion of L.A. based biznessman Peter Morton who co-founded the Hard Rock Cafe. Some will recall that the young man about town famously dated tabloid train wreck Lindsay Lohan before she decided to go lesbian. But what Your Mama imagines Mister Morton would like people to know is that he's a successful entrepreneur who not only owns the legendary Viper Room in West Hollywood, he's also the founder, president and CEO of the lurid and suggestively named Pink Taco restaurant chain.

Now listen chickens, before any of you people start screaming about your virgin ears and how tacky and family unfriendly it is to name a restaurant with a slang word for femail naughty bits, let Your Mama tell you we do not want to hear it. If this is all it takes to shock you and get your bug eyed dander up, well, it's time to pull that stick out your backside and get out of the house more often because this ain't 1951 anymore, children.

Anyhoo, property records show that back in January of 2007, just before all hell broke loose in the real estate markets, Mister Morton paid a whopping $3,500,000 for an 8th floor spread at the celebrity packed Sierra Towers building in West Hollywood, a building Your Mama's acid tongued friend Kenny Kissintell calls The Greys and Gays due to, he says, it's long history as a building filled with homosexuals and old people. Since the super slick condo with is currently listed with an asking price of $2,895,000 and it doesn't even take any flicking of the well worn beads on our bejeweled abacus to see that Mister Morton is going to take a ferocious financial hit in the neighborhood of one million clams. We certain some of the children are going to have some harsh words about Mister Morton's willingness and financial ability to give up a million clams just like that.

The 1,845 square foot corner unit was once owned by dee-lishusly freaky actor Vincent Gallo and was, according to property records, originally built as a 2 bedroom and 3 bathroom unit. However, according to listing information the condo is currently configured as a dee-luxe 1 bedroom and 2 pooper bachelor pad that can be converted back to a two-bedroom until in a jiffy.

A little birdie we'll call Linda Letterrip whispered in Your Mama's big ol' ear that after buying the condo Mister Morton embarked on a down to the studs renovation that transformed the glassy unit into his own personal vision of a sexy city slicker residence complete with a Crestron home automation system, wood floors so black they look blue, a sleek Poliform kitchen that Your Mama can assure the children cost as much as a fully loaded S Class Mercedes, and tucked up into where we imagine the second bedroom once was, Mister Morton and his team of nice gay decorators have installed a raised lounge/VIP area complete with a colossal custom sectional sofa and flat screen tee-vee.

Mister Morton's bedroom features a second flat screen tee-vee, wall to wall steel grey carpeting that we'd bet our long bodied bitches is a buttery soft silk number, a chunky dark wood bed room with hotel-style linens embroidered with a giant "M" just in case Mister Morton forgets who he is, and a couple of exquisitely glammy 1940s Edward Wormley-esque chairs.

The master bath is a study in cliché contemporary bathroom design in Los Angeles with etched glass panels, glass tile work and a wall mounted flat screen boob-toob for so that no one need miss a single minute of that delectably embarrassing guilty pleasure NYC Prep which is, hands down, the can't-stop-watching pinnacle of trashy reality television programming. Those poor children have humiliated themselves on national tee-vee and will now have to face the harsh music when they get up in college and everyone is snickering about the asinine and pompous manner in which they acted. But we digress...

Mister Morton's bachelor pad includes a slim terrace just big enough for a table and chairs for six and a little sitting area where Mister Morton can sip a gin and tonic and watch the lights glisten up and down Sunset Boulevard.

Your Mama was told by Linda Letterrip that Mister Morton is giving up the Sierra Towers (and a million smacker) to live up in the Bird Streets among celebs like Leo DiCaprio, Keanu Reeves and jazzy singer Michael Bublé.

Mister Morton leaves behind an equally glitzy and, dare we say, pickled assemblage of famous folks who own condos at the Sierra Towers including Elton John, Cher, Joan Collins and Diahann Carol.

Monday, July 20, 2009

LeVar Burton Lists Sherman Oaks Spanish Casa

SELLER: LeVar Burton
LOCATION: Stoneridge Place, Sherman Oaks, CA
PRICE: $1,850,000
SIZE: 4,987 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Spectacular Spanish Estate view home nestled in the hills of SO Longridge Estates. 5 BRs & office & 6 BA. 5th BR guest suite w/ fireplace, private entrance. Grand entry w/ formal DR. LR w/ firplce, opens to the heart of the home: a chef's kitchen w/ state of the art appliances. Main patio w/ built in firplce, BBQ, stunning Views. Romantic MA BR suite w/ firplce, walk-in closet, spa bath w/ room shower. Swimmers pool w/ grassy lawn, majestic trees. A peaceful oasis above the city lights.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The other day Your Mama was at the hair salon getting a new do when we received a text message from our wonderfully chatty tipster Babbling Babette who pointe dus towards a house in the hills above Sherman Oaks, CA. A little investigation and a leg up from Lucy Spillerguts educated Your Mama that that house on Stoneridge Place is owned by actor LeVar Burton and listed for sale with an asking price of $1,850,000.

Although we are not a SciFi fan and we had no idea who Mister Burton is, a sweep across the interweb told us he may best be known by the peeps (and certainly by the Trekkies) for his many years as Captain Geordi La Forge on the Star Trek franchise. Among his many other boob-toob achievements are his portrayal of Kunta Kinte in the spectacular 1977 series Roots and most notably for hosting Reading Rainbow, the highly acclaimed and award winning children's boob toob program promoting literacy for which he's earned a slew of Daytime Emmy Awards that he not very modestly displays on the mantle in his living room. Like many actors, Mister Burton also di-rects and his turn at the helm includes several episodes of Charmed, a good number of Star Trek episodes and, back in the late 1980s, The Tiger Woods Story.

Property records indicate Mister Burton bought his shack in Sherman Oaks' Longridge Estates area way back in June of 1996 when he paid $1,475,000 for the 4,987 square foot Spanish style casa. Listing information reveals Mister Burton's crib includes 5 bedrooms and 6 poopers as well as an office which looks like he actually uses it as an office. Listing information described Mister Burton's property as a "Spanish Estate" and while we'll grant that this white stuccoed and tiled roofed residence fits the mold of a Southern California Spanish style house, it's not really what Your Mama would call an estate if only because the front facade sits right up on road on the quiet cul-de-sac. We usually reserve the description "estate" for homes on large parcels that sit well off the street and not one in which the neighbors can stroll by and have a look-see right into the damn living room.

Anyhoo, there is, according to listing information, a "grand entry" which leads to a formal dining room and a large living room with a vaulted wood beamed ceiling, honey colored wood floors and that fireplace with all those aforementioned Emmy's to impress the guests. The living room is open to the kitchen which also features a vaulted wood beamed ceiling, Shaker style cabinetry with dated but still appropriate for the style white tile counter tops, a work island with a butcher block counter top and an unusual and not particularly pleasant yellow green paint treatment. Green may be the color of money but trust Your Mama when we say it is not a good color for kitchens or bathrooms.

In addition to a master suite with banal beige wall to wall, a Home Despot style ceiling fan, big fireplace, and out of context Early American four poster bed, there are 4 other sleeping chambers including a guest suite which, according to listing information, features a fireplace and private entrance which is just perfect for all Your Mama's friends like Fiona Trambeau and Queen Victoria who have a tendency to come creeping home late at night with company in tow. Larhd have mercy if we could count the number of times we awoke on a glittery morning only to find one of Miss Trambeau's many unsavory guests sitting at the kitchen table looking like he'd been run over by a Mack truck (which, in a way, he had been), Your Mama would be a multi-millionaire.

Several wide saltillo tiled terraces with long views over the pancake flat San Fernando Valley towards the rugged and fire prone San Gabriel Mountains surround the back of Mister Burton's house. The main terrace, according to listing information, includes a built in barbecue and an outdoor fireplace for warming those 14 nippy nights every winter. A series of stairs and terraces tumble down the back of the property to the saltillo tiled pool deck that encircles a long narrow swimming pool and spa. This is all very lovely and we love how it's all tucked into the trees and foliage but Your Mama would have a damn heart attack trying to climb all them stairs back up to the main house to refresh our gin and tonic or use the pooper. Iffin we were Mister Burton, which we are not, and even though they are unsightly and unsanitary, we'd have installed a damn Porta-Potty down there and then finagled a permit from the city to build a proper changing room and terlit.

Your Mama has no idea where Mister Burton is headed, but as he's getting on up there into middle aged, we imagine he's looking for a house with a swimming pool in a location that won't give him a coronary. Whatever the case, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter wish Mister Burton and family all the best in their next real estate endeavor.

Friday, July 17, 2009

UPDATE: Nice Cage

Looks to Your Mama like Oscar winning actor Nicholas Cage might be getting real serious about selling his storied estate on Copa de Oro Road in Bel Air, CA. The 11,817 square foot brick behemoth was first listed on the open market way back in September of 2007 with a blistering $35,000,000 asking price.

With no takers the price was whittled and chopped until late May of 2009 when it disappeared off the MLS. Well puppies, it's not back on the MLS...yet...but thanks to Juanita Wantsyoutoknow we've learned that Mister Cage has hired himself a swanky new real estate agent who made a fancy new online tour of the idiosyncratically decorated beast and reduced the asking price all the way down to $17,500,000, exactly half of what he originally wanted but still nearly three times the $6,469,000 property records show he paid for the place back in March of 1998.

Mister Cage's supremely located 7 bedroom and 9 pooper real estate white elephant was previously owned by legendary (and allegedly mobbed up) crooner Dean Martin and later by Sex Bomb singer Tom Jones who in his heyday was famous for his package revealing pants and panty pitching fans who could not get enough of him pumping his slim hips during live performances.

Unfortunately for Mister Cage, a good number of his many properties are languishing on the market including (but perhaps not limited to) his Manhattan pied-a-terre which was recently re-listed at $9,750,000, a monster manse Middletown, Rhode Island, two houses in The Big Easy and another in sub-prime torn Las Vegas. And that's just what Your Mama can peel off the top of our early morning mind. Have mercy. Your Mama wishes someone would came and snatch all these properties up so we can leave the hairrific Mister Cage and his real estate woes alone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Listen Chickens...

...Your Mama has an unexpectedly crazy making sort of day ahead of us so we regret to inform that we are taking today off. Not only do we have a couple of paying gigs we gotta get our plate so Your Mama can pay the damn mortgage, we've also got Sister Woman, her baby daddy and their two cute but pathologically vociferous little gurls staying up in the house which means Your Mama has already downed a nerve pill and we are restlessly waiting for Nurse Diesel to arrive so that she can hook us up to an IV drip that will keep a steady flow of gin and tonics seeping into our veins all day long.

However, before anyone gets their panties all in a bunch and start sending Your Mama hate mail and death threats–a couple of Your Mama's kids are such naughty and angry little beasts who could use a good working over with a peach tree switch–we're gonna send y'all over to Russia to have a look-see at The Agalarov Estates, the brainchild of Russian billionaire Araz Agalarov who has more than once been given the dubious honor of being called the Donald Trump of Russia.

Located just outside Moscow, The Agalarov Estates, is meant to be an uber-exclusive and all-inclusive private community for Russian oligarchs with new money burning a hole in their Versace pockets. According to previous reports, the 250 elaborately detailed but architecturally suspect mansions measure an average of 10,000 square feet and cost an average $10,000,000 (US). A few flicks of the beads of our well worn abacus shows that converts to about 320,000,000 Roubles at today's rates.

In exchange for guarded gates, an 18-hole private golf course and clubhouse, a sports complex with indoor and outdoor tennis courts, equestrian facilities, a beach club on the shore of a private lake, a helipad and a 50-room hotel exclusively for guests of home owners, residents agree that they will not shoot off fireworks, keep a dog on the premises (even inside their house), or hang laundry out on a line out in the yard.

As bizarre as those things seem (what billionaire hangs laundry on a line?), most perplexing perhaps is that the ridiculously rich and security obsessed Russian residents who buy into Mister Agalarov's dream development also agree to forgo private bodyguards within the development. Mister Agalarov's reasoning is that with the amount of private security that many rich Russians drag around, his private paradise could easily look like a military installation iffin everyone had their armed Igors and Anatolys trailing them around the golf course and standing sentry next to their cabanas at the beach club. Mister Agalarov has kindly provided a holding pen for residents' private security guards near the main entrance to the development. Your Mama wonders if they'll be forced to check their firearms at the door or if they'll be free to walk around with glocks on their hips and AK-47s strapped to their backs.

Another tidbit we found fassinatin' is that the dee-luxe development sits slammed up next to an impoverished village and Mister Agalarov has spent big on thick landscaping the screen any views of their hovels and laundry lines. While practical from the point of view of a person buying into the development, there's just something so uncomfortable about living surrounded by such flashy luxury knowing that just on the other side of the 14th hole mothers can't afford to feed their children anything but beets and cabbage water.

photo: The Agalarov Estates

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Aaron Seltzer Lists Sky Lit Studio City Domicile

SELLER: Aaron and Dana Seltzer
LOCATION: Oakdell Lane, Studio City, CA
PRICE: $2,949,000
SIZE: 4,178 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Gated private situated on huge lot surrounded by lush greenery. Resort like salt water pool and cabana, great for entertaining. Sweet grassy yards. Magnificent grand sunroom with walls of French doors. Fantastic five bedroom suites some with romantic private gardens. Great eat in kitchen. Open floor plan with fabulous indoor outdoor vibe. Generous parking.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama is not in the film bizness nor do we care to be in the film bizness but that does not mean we are not entitled to our completely meaningless opinion that the mainstream movie making machine called Hollywood is not a very happy place for auteurs particularly in this golden age of dumbed-down cinematic sequels, pointless re-makes, crass comedies and saccharine sweet Hallmark card-like romantic comedies of the sort that make Your Mama want to puke. Why so many people need and want this kind of hopped up fantasy of romantical perfection is beyond our comprehension and, quite frankly, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter both think these feel good at all costs films lead to a sort of psychic dulling and emotional crippling that dooms relationships. Anyone who has ever been married will tell you, it ain't no damn Hugh Grant or Renée Zellweger picture. However, Your Mama realizes we may be in the minority with our judgmental point of view and we fully recognize that the movies made for the masses are extremely lucrative. Just ask spoof comedy king Aaron Seltzer who recently put his Studio City, CA house on the market with an asking price of $2,949,000.

Mister Seltzer–along with his movie making partner Jason Friedberg–is one of the many writers responsible for the hugely successful but critically excoriated Scary Movie franchise as well as the not exactly cleverly named films Date Move, Epic Movie, Return of the Spartans and Disaster Movie. Your Mama thought we'd actually seen one of these Scary Movie movies but, thanks to a thoughtful message from one of the children, what we actually saw was Scream which is apparently the movie that Scary Movie was spoofing. Whatever.

Anyhoo, property records show Mister Setzer and his ack-turuss wifey Dana (Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie) scooped up their Studio City digs in September of 2004 for $2,535,000. Property records reveal the rambling Robert Byrd-esque residence, located up a gated drive at the tail end of a quiet cul-de-sac called Oakdell Lane in the low-key but expensive Fryman Canyon neighborhood, measures 4,178 square feet and includes 5 bedrooms and 5.5 poopers.

A wide half flight of stairs leads to the open plan living and dining room which sports mahogany colored medium-width hardwood floors, a corner fireplace, an eclectic and not entirely successful blend of mid-century modern and cottage style furniture and a sloping ceiling that for some unknown and inexplicable reason is wood beamed over the living room area and smooth sheet rock over the dining room area. The children will note the bowl chandelier over the dining room table which is not only hung far too high above the table top but looks like it might have been snatched up from the sale rack at the Home Despot. A wall of French doors opens the room to a commodious covered and sky lit brick terrace that overlooks the big black bottom swimming pool and spa.

The wood floors flow into the sky lit kitchen which appears to Your Mama to have been recently re-did with a porcelain farmhouse sink, white raised paned cabinetry, professional grade stainless steel appliances, a work island and what may or may not be sand colored limestone counter tops.

As best as we can surmise from listing information, each of the five bedrooms has access to a private sky lit pooper including, natch, the sky lit master bedroom which also boasts a peaked ceiling, a wall of paned French doors that open to a verdant private patio, a stacked stone fireplace flanked by built in desks, and one of those horrid and scary looking exercise contraptions that people insist on putting in their bedrooms when there must be half a dozen other places to put the damn thing. Your Mama's decorating rule #339 clearly states that devices used for slimming, toning and trimming, particularly the sort that require electricity, shall never be placed next to a bed unless regularly used to enhance sexual relations.

Additional rooms include an undefined space with a gee-tar and a desk–which would be the obvious and better location for the exercise thingy, and long narrow sky lit family room lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves on one side, a fireplace on the short wall and another long line of French doors opposite the bookshelves.

Given its private location, family friendly neighborhood, reasonably dee-luxe amenities and proximity to all the studios in nearby Burbank, Your Mama would guess this house will garner much attention and perhaps even a quick sale. But we shall see chickens, we shall see.