Monday, August 31, 2009

Miss Lohan Is On The Move

Whether one wants to or not, everyone who reads the tabs, blogs and gossip glossies knows by now that struggling actress and leggings "designer" Lindsay Lohan's house in the Beachwood Canyon section of Los Angeles was burglarized last week. It's been widely speculated and reported that the robbery may have been carried out out by someone familiar with the ins, outs and contents of Miss Lohan's leased El Contento Drive digs. Of course Your Mama don't know nuthin' from a bucket of worms, but from the looks of the surveillance video released by the LAPD we'd say it certainly looks like an inside job because the trio of intruders perpetrated the crime don't look the least bit nervous busting in to the home of one of the most watched famous persons in all of Los Angeles.

It was widely reported that after discovering the break-in Miss Lohan called her apparently no longer estranged daddy Michael who in turn called the LAPD to report the break in. Of course, we don't know who called the po-po regarding the incident but according to neighborhood gossip Beatrice Bizzybody in the aftermath of the robbery Miss Lohan's publicity seeking padre–whose new friends include mid-life crisis having father of eight John Gosselin and the badly be-wigged Kim Zolciak from The Real Housewives of Atlanta–showed up to direct the paparazzi traffic and help little Miss Lindsay grab up some of her belongings and move her skinny butt to temporary digs at the swank and celebrity friendly Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood. However, according to Beatrice Bizzybody, Miss Lohan took a break from a hard day of sunbathing in order to schlep over to the scene of the crime today in order to supervise the packing up and moving of whatever crap the burglars did not take (see lower photo).

Where Miss Lohan will live next is a bit of a mystery as perhaps it should be. However, iffin she were to ask Your Mama, which of course she won't, we would recommend that the little ladee leave the mean streets of Los Angeles and shack up in an unlikely and paparazzi free place like Portland, OR. It ain't gonna happen, not in a million years, and we're probably going to get hate mail from people in Portland for trying to pawn the drama magnet off the them. The point is, behawtcha does not have to live in Los Angeles. While no one deserves to get robbed, ever, it is our humble and utterly meaningless opinion that La Lohan stays in L.A. because on some level she gets off on all the attention and would not know who she is or what to do with herself without it. Ugh, we digress into armchair analysis...

In other Lindsay Lohan related real estate news, we've now heard from several Beachwood Canyon residents, including Beatrice Bizzybody who clearly keeps her finger on the pulse of all things Beachwood Canyon, that Miss Lohan's on again-off again lesbian ladee friend Sam Ronson's house on N. Beachwood Canyon Drive is available for lease.

Miss Ronson had been leasing the house and after all the loud screaming and fighting that often emanated from the house and constant bother of the paparazzi that regularly blocked street, we can imagine that every neighbors (not to mention the property owner) are cracking open the bubbly in celebration that Tinseltown's biggest lesbian drama queens have moved on to inflict their melodramatic infamy on some other neighborhood.

lower photo: Beatrice Bizzybody

Sandra Bullock Buys in The Big Easy

BUYER: Sandra Bullock and Jesse James
LOCATION: Coliseum Street, New Orleans, LA
PRICE: $2,250,000
SIZE: 6,615 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...Ornately carved marble mantels, carved columns, large plaster medallions, antique shadow molding thru first flr liv area. Grand entry foyer, 41 x 13 w/ wd flring featuring alternating pecan & sycamore, lg doorways lead to parlor, ballroom & dining rm, all w/ 14' ceilings. Unfinished 3rd flr an additional 1935 sq. ft. w/ 10 ft. ceil.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just in case y'all did not know, Saturday was the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the powerful storm that devastated the Gulf states and visited a special sort of meteorological hell on the frisky and frolicsome city of New Orleans, LA. In remembrance of the tragic losses and in honor of all the hard and good work being done to rebuild and revitalize the City That Care Forgot, Your Mama thought it might be fun to discuss an historic and ornate mansion in the gorgeous Garden District recently snatched up by a couple of big hearted Tinseltown types who have quietly committed much time and major resources to the rebuilding of The Big Easy. No puppies, we are not going to discuss Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's mansion on Governor Nicholls Street. We've been there, done that, and, quite frankly, we are a little worn out by their constant real estate whirlwind. Nor are we going to chit-chat about prolific property collector Nic Cage who we are also tired of yakking about and who currently has two houses in New Orleans listed for sale.

Thanks to a well informed, Yat accented local gentleman we'll call Benji Buttons, Your Mama has learned that romantic comedy queen Sandra Bullock and her heavily tattooed, chopper doctoring huzband Jesse James recently snatched up a N'awlins nest. Property records show that Mister and Missus James actually closed on their Garden District digs in June of 2009 when they forked over $2,250,000 for what is alternately and interchangeably called the Koch-Mays House, The Swiss Chalet House, and/or Freret's Folly.

According to previous reports Your Mama dug up on the interweb and listing information kindly supplied by Benji Buttons, we ascertained that the Coliseum Street mansion was built in 1876 by architect William Freret for James Eustis, a U.S. Senator and Ambassador to France. The fanciful exterior of the three story Gothic-Victorian residence (is that such a thing?) is all intricate iron work, elaborate fretwork and pointy gables that have been topped with lethal-looking, spear like ornaments. The interiors measure 6,174 square feet (or approximately 6,615 square feet depending where on the listing one looks). At the time of the sale, the day-core of the 5 bedroom and 4.5 pooper mansion was all did up in what our dear Mister Buttons called, and we quote, "like some kind of homo-rococo hot mess," even though the sellers were not, in fact, homosexuals. Mister Buttons also told us that he thinks but can not confirm that the heavily gilded interiors had been worked over by noted New Orleans antiques dealer/interior decorator Buzz Harper who, and again we quote from Mister Buttons, "is an honors graduate of the Gone With the Wind school of plantation decor." Nothing like hitting the nail on the head and getting right to the meat of the matter, is there?

Anyhoo, listing information shows that after crossing the covered front porch, Mister and Missus James' new historic house is entered through an undeniably grand and Tara-esque foyer that stretches 41' from front to back and features a magnificent and shimmering floor of alternating strips of pecan and sycamore woods. The main floor includes a parlor and ballroom, a banquet sized dining room with fussy drapery and champagne-colored damask wallpaper, a den with deep, Burgundy wine colored walls, and a modestly-sized, 16' x 12' kitchen all with large, glittery crystal chandeliers, monumental 14' ceilings, imposing, antique shadow moldings, and more fireplaces with carved marble mantels than Your Mama cares to count. Okay, the kitchen does not have a sparkly chandelier, but it might as well.

The second floor houses the bedrooms including the master with the most luridly complicated wallpaper Your Mama has ever had the misfortune of eyeballing and the third floor measures 1,935 square feet of unfinished space with multiple windows and 10' peaked ceilings. The grounds of the sprawling and well shielded corner property include elegant gardens, a large lawn perfect for rousing games of sazerac-fueled croquet tournaments, a large swimming pool surrounded by commodious terraces and a motor court that will park 3+ cars or, more likely, a dozen or so of Mister James' tricked out choppers.

A peep and a poke into property records shows that in addition to their N'awlins mansion Miz Bullock and Mister James own a substantial number of dee-luxe properties between them. Their holdings include (but are not limited to) the following: A large house and a slew of other residential and commercial properties in Austin, TX; An ocean front house on S. Pacific Avenue in Sunset Beach, CA (that's just south of Long Beach children), a house on Marmont Avenue that Miz Bullock bought in 2001 for $1,485,000 and that happens to be next door to Cameron Diaz's digs; A townhouse on Sullivan Street in lower Manhattan which records show Miz Bullock scooped up in February of 2000 for $3,350,000; An ocean front spread in Tybee Island, GA walking distance from a house owned by John Cougar Mellencamp that records show she picked up in June of 2001 for $1,495,000. We've also read many times that Miz Bullock owns a home in or around Jackson, WY but, honestly chickens, we could not find (or did not look hard enough for) any current property records of that property.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Australian Fashion Designer Collette Dinnigan Sells Up

SELLER: Collette Dinnigan
LOCATION: Underwood Street, Sydney, Australia
PRICE: On Request
SIZE: 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms (total)
DESCRIPTION: This unique property occupies one of Paddington's largest individual land holdings at 824 square metres. Flowing over three separate titles with dual street access, this remarkable offering boasts three individual residences.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Given that Your Mama appeared in all our baggy-eyed glory on the boob-toob in Australia last week we felt it necessary to discuss some celebrity digs Down Under so that all Your Mama's mates in the southrun hemisphere do not feel neglected by all this talk Hollywood and New York. Fortunately, late last week we received a covert communique from Debbie Downunder who pointed Your Mama's beady and greedy little eyes towards a three parcel property in Paddington (that's a part of the scenic city of Sydney, puppies) owned and listed for sale with an undisclosed asking price by famous fashion designer Collette Dinnigan.

We can already hear some of you snotty fashion people trying to furrow your Botoxed brows and hissing, "Collette, who?" In case you do not know, Miss Dinnigan happens to be a very accomplished clothing designer Down Under and, frankly, all around the world. The flaxen haired and sun kissed Miss Dinnigan's budding empire includes stand alone boo-teeks in both Australia and London and, additionally, her frocks and fripperies hang in fine retail emporiums like Jeffrey and Barneys in New York, Harrods in London, The Swank in Beijing and Hong Kong, Boutique 1 in Dubai, Podium in Moscow and in many other posh shops in just about every other city where rich ladees buy expensive, flirty and decidedly feminine clothes. Miss Dinnigan's designs have been donned by famous ladees like Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Angie Jolie, Elle Macpherson and pin thin Tori Spelling (who in the interest of her children needs to make some peace with her momma).

Previous reports reveal that Miss Dinnigan paid $4,100,000 (AUS) for her Underwood Street compound in 2002, a number that according to our money conversion contraption amounts to $3,408,105 (US) dollars at today's rates. Listing information indicates the Dinnigan compound is one of the largest individual land holdings in Paddington. Miss Dinnigan purchased the property with her former partner, the former pop star turned tee-vee presenter Richard Wilkins, with whom she made a baby. Somewhere, we don't remember where, we read that Miss Dinnigan bought her baby daddy out of the property when they busted up. We also read, and we don't remember where since our gin addled brain forgot to bookmark the page, Miss Dinnigan's property was expected to bring in $10-12,000,000 (AUS), an amount our conversion contraptions says amounts to 8,312,000-9,975,000 U.S. dollars.

According to listing information provided to Your Mama by Debbie Downunder, Miss Dinnigan's current crib includes a 3-story main house with 3 bedrooms and 3 poopers. The property also includes a small studio style apartment (with kitchenette and bathroom) above the detached two-car garage at the rear of the property and another freestanding weatherboard cottage adjacent to the main house that has a private veranda and private pooper but does not have a kitchenette. We're not sure this property is our particular real estate cup of tea, but we'd chop our toes off for two detached guest units in which to stash visiting friends and family, particularly Sister Woman's rather vociferous children who just about made Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter crazy with bickering last weekend. We love those children dearly, but holy hell they could probably wake the damn dead with their near constant cacophony.

But we digress...The main floor of the main house includes a narrow entrance hall that leads directly to the bottom of the stairs. This in not a good set up for the feng shui since it encourages money to slide right down the stairs and out the front door. At the front of the house are a trio of room that include a media room and lounge, both with fireplaces, and a smaller sitting room that opens to a deck and inner courtyard. Beyond these three rooms are a glassy dining room which overlooks the swimming pool and the kitchen/family room which opens to the backyard through to two sets of floor to ceiling glass sliders. We appreciate the layout of the kitchen and the ability to open up the family room area to the outdoors is truly dee-lish, but we can already hear our imperious house gurl Svetlana kvetching about having to clean all the stainless steel that has been used on the kitchen's work island and along the back wall behind the range.

The second floor includes a study with built in cabinetry flanking a third fireplace, a small bedroom which we'd toot suite turn into a dressing room and a long narrow bedroom that opens through four sets of french doors to a wrap around balcony overlooking the back yard. All three rooms share a good sized, spa-like and sky lit bathroom with gray veined white marble walls. Up one more floor is a third bedroom with private pooper and and slim balcony that we do not recommend for acrophobics.

The lush gardens include tall stands of bamboo for privacy, behemoth banana plants and a wee but beautiful bougainvillea being trained to grow above the glass sliders to the family room and along the underside of the vine wrapped balcony that encircles the master bedroom on the second floor.

Miss Dinnigan will be downsizing and decamping to another property in Paddington that she reportedly purchased earlier in the year for more than four million (Australian) dollars. Miss Dinnigan's new digs are said to have been originally erected in the 1880s and to contain 5 bedrooms and a heated swimming pool in the back yard.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mish Mash Thursday

Your Mama is sitting on a list of little items burning a hole in our pocket so we're going to do the mish mash this morning.

1. Prolific property collector Nic Cage has taken a major machete to the asking price of Gray Craig, his 12 bedroom and 13 terit estate in Middletown, RI. The 26 acre spread first hit the market in October of 2008 with an asking price of $15,900,00. The price tag now stands at $12,000,000.

A peep into the property records and a few subsequent flicks of the well worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus reveals that the current twelve million dollar price tag is a heart stopping $3,700,000 less than he paid for the 24,664 square foot white elephant in July of 2007. Ouch. Your Mama don't care how rich you are, that is a bitter real estate pill to swallow fo' sho'.

In other Nic Cage real estate news...

Word is slipping down New York City's real estate gossip grapevine that Mister Cage has not just one, but two offers in on his two unit combo condo at the Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue, currently listed at $9,750,000. We shall wait and see what transpires.

In addition to his Manhattan pied a terre and his little used Rhode Island residence, Mister Cage's vast real estate holdings also include two homes in New Orleans (both for sale), a house in Las Vegas (also for sale), a legendary Bel Air mansion (for sale), a townhouse and a castle in and around Bath in the U.K., a house on Paradise Island in the Bahamas as well as a 40+acre private island in the Exumas archipelago which is also on the block with an asking price of $7,000,000.

Mister Cage recently managed to shed a schloss in Germany and, according to the New York Post, he also sold a house in Malee-boo which is interesting because, to be honest with y'all, Your Mama did not know Mister Cage owned any property in The Boo besides the oceanfront house he sold way back in 2005. So, naturally, we did a little investigating and in about as much time as it takes to toast bread we discovered that Mister Cage does indeed own property in Malibu. In fact, according to property records and much to our surprise and dee-light, Mister Cage owns two properties in Malee-boo. He's got a 320-acre sub-dividable ranch property on Encinal Canyon Road currently listed with an asking price of $9,975,000–reduced all the way down from $19,900,000–that includes an eco-friendly 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom cabin plus a 4 bedroom caretaker's house, and he's also got another 88 sub-dividable acres next door that can be snatched up $2,500,000.

Well, call Your Mama a monkey's uncle.

Behold the official listing for Candy Spelling's hotel sized house in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles listed with an almost comical $150,000,000 price tag. Listen chickens, we wish Candy all the luck in the world selling her humongous house because she gonna need it. There simply aren't that many people out there who require a motor court expansive enough to park 100 cars.

Your Mama is starting to wonder if perhaps Candy–as well as haute couture queen Suzanne Saperstein whose got her residential beast in Bel Air listed at a migraine making $125,000,000–should look into having the near 5-acre estate on S. Mapleton Drive re-zoned so that it can be utilized as a corporate retreat, a lavish drug and alcohol rehab center, or perhaps even as a home for unwed, teenage mothers with wildly wealthy parents.

Some of the rooms, like, say, the doll museum, the gift wrapping center and the silver display room, would have to be re-purposed into bedrooms and/or treatment rooms. Think about it Candy. Seriously. Your new $47,000,000 penthouse in Century City is nearing completion and, even though you have more money than the damn Pope, Your Mama can't imagine you (or your accountants) want to bear the considerable costs of staffing and maintaining The Manor once you move to your much smaller 16,000 square foot empty nest in the sky.

Now then, Your Mama has a little free and unsolicited advice for Candy: Call your daughter. You're the parent, you take the lead. Have a cigarette, swallow your pride and call your damn daughter. No, don't be taking to your blog or calling any of the gossip glossies or asking your publicist to call her publicist. Just call your damn daughter yourself and work this shit out. All the sniping at each other in the press is embarrassing. It is. Hunny, we're embarrassed for you and we don't even know you. And you, Tori, we like you. We do. We admire your pluck and ambition. We know you have probably got some legitimate beef(s) with your momma, but gurl, life is short, take your mother's call and speak to her like a grown up woman. You don't have to be best friends, but you have children that have a right to know their grandmammy even if you think she's a beehawtch. 1. 2. 3. Go.

Your Mama can't even begin to count the number of communiques we've received in the last couple of days regarding the super skinny house on Bedford Street in New York's West Village that was recently listed for sale with a corpulent asking price of $2,750,000.

Although not currently owned or occupied by a celebrity, the four floor house with the Flemish front façade has hosted and/or been home to a slew of famous folks such as acclaimed poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, cartoonist William Steig, cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and actors Cary Grant and John Barrymore.

Below is the floor plan that accompanies the listing which shows that the 8'2" wide house is not only thinner than a single wide mobile home, but it's probably not even as wide as the hallways in Candy Spelling's hulking house in Los Angeles. The floor plan indicates that each floor contains two rooms, one in the front and one in the back overlooking the garden. There is a windowless pooper on the second floor and although there is a second terlit in the basement it can only be accessed by pulling up a panel in the floor of the kitchen which exposes a stair case that leads down into the basement. This near hidden space is where you keep the bodies and the sexual apparati not appropriate for display in the living room or the bedrooms.

The much ballyhooed and Grammy winning, Miami Beach based music producer Scott Storch–the man we can all thank for producing such amazing albums for talented singers like Paris Hilton and Brooke Hogan–has lost his 10 bedroom and 16 pooper pile on Miami Beach's Palm Island to foreclosure. That's right, the big living braggart who used to yammer on about how many $500,000 cars he owned and who scooted around everyday wearing more diamonds than Liz Taylor would wear to her own wedding was tossed from his home for not paying his damn mortgage.

Mister Storch picked up the 15,462 square foot water front mansion in May of 2006 for $10,500,000 and according to property records he was servicing a butt clenching six and a half million dollar mortgage as well as a downright scary $194,893.69 yearly tax bill. Poor Mister Storch, who hasn't had a song in the top 10 since 2005, ran into some trouble with drugs, bought a 117-foot boat, blew through thirty million smackers in 6 months and now he finds himself starting over and shacked up at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale where, it's reported, he's been telling pals that he's happy to be out of the Miami scene.

Your Mama never likes to see anyone booted from their home but if we're being honest, and we always are, it's a bit tough to feel much sympathy for ol' Scott Storch and his recklessly profligate ways. Since we're full of complimentary exortations today, Your Mama recommends you get yerself a used Honda Accord or maybe Ford Focus, a studio apartment in South Beach and start sending both your baby mommas the child support.

In other foreclosure news, much maligned property developer Robert Bisno was recently booted from his big house in Beverly Park. According to records on file with the City of Los Angeles, on August 3, 2009 a bank holding a $5,315,530 loan on the Mister Bisno's behemoth home foreclosed.

Mister Bisno had been trying to unload his 16,800 (approx.) square foot behemoth since at least the fall of 2008 when he listed the 5 bedroom and 9 terlit property with an asking price of $29,500,000. The price was eventually karate chopped to $22,500,000. The property still appears on the MLS and other listing sites with a $22,500,000 asking price. However, we're guessing the bank just might be willing to give it up at a much lower price considering the stagnant market up behind the gilded and guarded gates of Beverly Park. It seems almost no one wants to buy any of those many houses on the market in the ritzy enclave of monster mansions.

The children will recall that a few months ago Mister Bisno sold the 6+ acre buildable and vacant lot across the street from his former mansion for $8,250,000 to actor Mark Wahlberg who Your Mama presumes is going to build just what the world needs, another a house the size of a boo-teek hotel.

For what it's worth, Mister and Missus Bisno, Your Mama knows of a nice 2 bedroom house with a big backyard in Studio City that's vacant and ready to be rented for $3,000 a month. It's even got some new, if not exactly inspired or drought tolerant landscaping. Let us know if you're interested and we'll hook you up with the landlord.

Lenny Kravitz might have recently sold a rehabbed house in Miami Beach, FL without much effort but Lady Luck does not have his back regarding the downtown Manhattan penthouse apartment that he's been trying to unload ever since the damn cows came home. First it was on the market at $19,500,000, then it was off. Then it came back again and then it disappeared. Then he renovated and lowered the price, and then lowered the price again all the way down to $12,000,000. Then the listing vanished into thin air. Well, like a bad case of the crabs, it's back. This time, the 5 bedroom and 7 pooper penthouse on Crosby Street in SoHo has reappeared on the market with all new white walls, a pared down day-core and an asking price of $14,995,000. Blah, blah, blah. Larhd jeezis in heaven. Just like with Mister Cage's multiple properties, we're apparently going to be talking about Mister Kravitz's New York City penthouse until the day we meet our maker.

This is not even remotely real estate related but Your Mama feels the need to comment anyway because this crap about Michael Jackson being alive is working our last damn nerve. Michael Jackson is dead people. If any of y'all think otherwise, Your Mama would like to introduce you to our pet unicorn Claudine, her best friend Santa Claus and our smart and lovely lesbian therapist Lucinda who would sooner clock you with a verbal dummy stick than listen to a bunch of nonsense about dead celebrities faking their own deaths. Have mercy. These people ought to try using their brains once in a damn while. Pleeze. Okay?

Now that we are sweating and our blood is up, we are through here. Your Mama is headed for an afternoon cuddlin' and cozyin' up to the big ol' pitcher of gin and tonics that's been chilling the icebox all morning. We suggest y'all do the same.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alec Baldwin Seeks to Sell Two at the Eldorado

SELLER: Alec Baldwin
LOCATION: Central Park West, New York City, NY
PRICE: $7,500,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Enter into an elegant gallery off your private elevator landing. The corner living room facing north and east provide astounding views, wood burning fireplace, elegant crown moldings, and a scale giving you the sense of an airy grandeur ideal for gatherings. You will also find off the gallery a formal dining room, paneled library and windowed powder room. All bedrooms have ensuite baths, two of which face directly over the park. The corner master suite facing south and east is newly refurbished offering ample closet space, built ins, surround sound and a windowed marble bath facing the park with soaking tub and separate shower. The eat in kitchen has been enlarged and is equipped with exterior ventilation over a 6 burner Viking range with double ovens, Traulsen double refrigerator, Traulsen wine storage unit, plenty of pantry space and staff room with full bath and laundry.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The entertainment industry Baldwin brothers have been making the celebrity real estate news rounds lately. In June of 2009 the bible beating youngest Baldwin, Stephen, lost his long time home in Upper Grandview, NY to foreclosure and this week we learn that the eldest Baldwin brother, Alec, listed his long time spread at the Eldorado building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for sale with an asking price of $7,500,000. The asking price goes up to $8,900,000 if a buyer wants to add the 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom
apartment (plus 1 staff room and bath) Mister Baldwin also owns on the first floor.

Records and reports indicate that he wry, in demand, Oscar nominated and Emmy winning actor (30 Rock, The Departed, Running With Scissors, Will & Grace, The Cooler, Pearl Harbor...) scooped up the 3 bedroom and 3.5 pooper property at the twin towered apartment house way back in 1991 before he married Oscar winning actress Kim Basinger with whom he's, sadly and childishly, perpetually doing battle with over the custody and care of their daughter.

Listing information shows Mister Baldwin's crib occupies a full floor in one of the towers and as such has four exposures and possesses a private elevator landing that opens to a proper foyer that acts as the traffic hub for the entire apartment. Located immediately off the foyer are an oddly shaped, paneled library, a walk in coat closet and a powder pooper for guests. Your Mama is thrilled, for obvious reasons, to see that the guest terlit has a window.

Facing Central Park and the swank buildings that line Fifth Avenue are the large living room which along with mesmerizing views features a fireplace and a bunch of mismatched furniture including, much to Your Mama's sorrow and horror, one of those round, skirted tables with a table cloth that hangs all the way to the damn floor. Dollars to do-nuts kids there's nuthin' under there but a cardboard box with a round piece of plywood sitting on top. Why do people do that?

Anyhoo, also facing the park are two of the three principal bedrooms including the newly refurbished corner master bedroom with double exposures for maximum ventilation, a marble pooper with a window (also, for obvious reasons, good for the ventilation), 2 small walk-in closets plus five more custom built closets that wrap around the outside wall. All those closet doors opening into the bedroom can't be good for the feng shui and as expensive as it might be, all that feminine, cornflower blue bed clothing needs to be shoved down the trash chute toot suite because, really, Mister Baldwin, you deserve better than this.

Through the formal dining room where Mister Baldwin has a Biedermeier-esque dining room set and a wacky lantern style chandelier is the eat in kitchen. While the kitchen looks oddly configured in the floor plan, listing information indicates it is none the less well equipped with a six-burner mac-daddy Viking range, a heavy duty (and very expensive) Traulsen brand double refrigerator as well as a Traulsen wine fridge. Tucked away behind the large pantry is a closet with a stacked washer and dryer (not the ideal location, but Svetlana would appreciate not having to hang around in the basement folding Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's undergarments with the other house gurls) and a wee, seven foot wide staff room and wee bathroom with a wee window that is, of course, good for airing things out after doing the dirty bizness.

On the first floor of the building is a smaller apartment also owned by Mister Baldwin and offered for sale in combination with his much larger 22nd floor unit. It's unknown to Your Mama, who really doesn't know much of anything at all, how Mister Baldwin uses these rooms. Perhaps this is where his "office" is located? Perhaps this is where he stashed Miz Basinger post dee-vorce? Perhaps this is where he entertains ladee friends and others whom he does not want in his actual apartment? Who knows? Whatever the case, Mister Baldwin's second unit is a well laid out 1 bedroom and 1 pooper apartment with a nice sized foyer, a 27 and a half foot long living room, eat-in kitchen and a separate staff room and pooper. The drawbacks to this place are that it's at ground level and that it lacks adequate closet space. However, we think a nice dressing room could easily be added to the bedroom with little trouble or expense and a bit of reconfiguring in the kitchen/service entrance area would provide for a better floor and more storage.

The Emory Roth designed and geometrically ornamented Eldorado building, some of the children will recall, is the very same building where Prairie Home Companion curmudgeon Garrison Keillor picked up a pied a terre in June of 2006 for $3,600,000 and where diminutive musician Moby sold a quirky quadraplex penthouse apartment last summer for $6,700,000.

It's perhaps not such a surprise to celebrity real estate watchers that Mister Baldwin desires to dump his aerie at the Eldorado given that he's been spotted peeping at pricey apartments at the Apthorp as well twice touring a sprawling, $12,500,000 4 bedroom apartment at The Dakota where residents include a lot of fancy financial industry bigwigs as well as singer Roberta Flack and artist Yoko Ono. As an aside, here's something we somehow failed to notice last fall...It was widely reported in September of 2008 that hot mess Lindsay Lohan had the hair brained notion that she might be able to slip past the board at The Dakota and set up a lesbian love nest with her on again off again on again off again ladee friend Samantha Ronson. It was even reported in the British tabs that Miss Lohan and Miss Ronson were planning on a 12 foot circular bed with a leopard print headboard, a DJ area with a disco ball and bathrooms with "Hers" and "Hers." towels. Pleeze. Who makes this stuff up? Seriously, who?

But we digress. Wherever Mister Baldwin may land once he unloads his apartment(s) at the Eldorado, Your Mama sincerely hopes he'll use some of his considerable riches to hire a nice gay decorator to work out the interiors because it is Your Mama's humble and utterly meaningless opinion that he deserves better day-core than a living room that looks like a tired suite at the Waldorf. If you need a recommendation for someone Mister Baldwin, ring Your Mama and we'll hook you up with someone who can turn your new apartment out like nobodies bizness.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Brad and Angelina Real Estate Hoo-Ha

According to the, uh, always reliable Mirror in the U.K., American super stars Brad Pitt and his ladee-mate Angelina Jolie are gearing up to settle down in the French countryside. The global citizens and parents of a posse of multi-cultural children have reportedly completed the purchase of Chateau Miraval, the 1,000 acre estate in a pretty part of Provence known as the Var where they've been periodically hiding out and shacking up since the birth of twins Vivienne and Knox in July of 2008.

There have been many and myriad conflicting reports over the last 12 or 15 months about whether the Jolie-Pitts leased or purchased the sprawling 17th century estate near Correns. If the latest reports are to be believed, the good looking do-gooder movie stars forked over a staggering £35,000,000 for the sprawling spread and have applied for permits to do another £10,000,000 in renovations. According to our bejeweled abacus those amounts convert into a brain bending and bewildering $74,161,800 (US) at today's rates.

The planned renovations would, allegedly, include doing up all 35 bedrooms (some sources say there are only 10 bedrooms) to have a more modern vibe, adding a bunch of jacuzzis, steam rooms and a spa as well as expanding the wine cellar, adding a gym, improving the helicopter landing facilities, carving out a motorbike track and beefing up the security systems with a surveillance center, spy cameras, alarms and infra-red sensors.

The report in the Mirror includes several quotes by neighbors and locals including one from the mayor of Correns who confirmed that applications for renovations to Chateau Miraval have been submitted and that the community is planning to hold a "civic reception" to welcome and "honor" them. Well, isn't that nice?

In addition to multiple structures that form the residential accommodations of Chateau Miraval, the property includes a 3-mile long driveway, forested areas, multiple fountains and aqueducts, extensive olive groves with 13 varieties of olives, a commercial vineyard, a lake, a swimming pool, and a moat. That's right, a moat. Also on the property is a recording studio where musicians including Pink Floyd, The Cure, Sting, Sade and the Cranberries have all recorded.

Nearby property owners are reported to include Johnny Depp and Vanesa Paradis and U2s Bono and The Edge. Imagine that backyard barbecue?

photo: Studio Miraval

Your Mama Hears...

...from B.H. Hillsanddales that former singer/reality tee-vee star turned ack-turuss Ashlee Simpson and her Fall Out Boy rocker huzband Pete Wentz are fixin' to list their big Mediterranean manse in the Beverly Hills Post Office for sale with a price tag somewhere around $4,995,000.

The children who have not fried their minds on the dope may recall that Miss Simpson scooped up her one-time bachelorette pad in January of 2007 for $4,500,000. Listing information we have on file for the property (yes, chickens, we have files) shows the 5,896 square foot, four floor hillside house contains 4 bedrooms and 4 poopers including a master bedroom with his and her bathrooms and dressing closets. Other celebrity style amenities include a walled and Zen-ish courtyard, media room, gym, gourmet kitchen, several terraces for nekkid bun sunning and, sitting far, far, far below the main house, a swimming pool and fully detached two-story guest house overlooking a canyon.

After purchasing the property, according to B.H. Hillsanddales, Ash forked over a couple hundred grand for improvements including some designer done and award winning Asian themed landscaping by garden guru Jon Goldstein that features a stone Buddha or two, a fire pit, fountain and a few other things all too common to the gardens of famous folks.

B.H. Hillsanddales also whispered in Your Mama's ear that Mister and Missus Simpson-Wentz have been out house hunting for for something more family friendly and possibly even a little smaller in Encino, CA where Mrs. Wentz owned a huge home before she snatched up her current digs. Encino isn't Your Mama's cup of tea but Mrs. Wentz has owned a home in Encino before and it's where her parents Joe and Tina Simpson reside in the 5 bedroom and 7 terlit mansion on Hayvenhurst Drive at which Mister and Missus Wentz were united in marital bliss last year.

It's been widely rumored and reported that Mister and Missus Wentz's marriage is on unstable ground but Your Mama does not know nuthin' about that. What we do know is that the young, flame haired mother has lately been making the pages of all the tabs and gossip glossies for her drunken "misunderstandings" and (allegedly) picking public fights with Pete. Unfortunately, listing their dee-luxe digs in the Hills of Beverly isn't exactly going to squash those rumors of a messy marriage but keep in mind children that in the world of rich and famous people one plus one does not always equal two, so we'll just have to wait on pins and needles to see what transpires.

Prior to hooking up and making babies with Miss Simpson, boy kissing Mister Wentz owned a house on Palo Vista Drive in the Hollywood Hills which he sold in Sept. of 2008 for $1,600,000. (It had been listed at $1,799,000.)

As an aside having nothing to do with real estate, Your Mama would like to offer those poor Simpson sisters a little unsolicited career advice: Dump yer daddy as your manager. Yes, he did create both of your careers right out of thin air and kudos to him for that because it was truly a Herculean feat. But let's be honest ladees, what's he done for you lately? Not much, that's what. The ill-fated Melrose Place redux? Pleeze. Major Movie Star? Have mercy. Seriously, think about it. Sometimes shaking up the management team is a good way to breathe some fresh air into a stale and stagnant situation and, at the risk of sounding insensitively harsh, both of your current careers are nothing if not parched, threadbare and sitting right on the precarious precipice of oblivion. Sorry darlins, we just calls it like we sees it.

photo: Pacific Coast News

Monday, August 24, 2009

Holly Madison Lists Condo at a Loss

SELLER: Holly Madison
LOCATION: Broadway Street, Santa Monica, CA
PRICE: $700,000
SIZE: 907 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...2 story open floor plan with spiral staircase, high ceilings, large windows & 2 balconies. Unit features fine Italian kitchen with Caesarstone counter tops, stainless steel appliances, custom designed bathrooms. 2 side-by-side parking, security system, video intercom system & keyfob entry building.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Life in Tinseltown ain't always pretty folks and iffin anyone were to ask Your Mama, which of course no one did, nobody is a better example of the rigmarole it takes to make it in Hollywood than those poor plastic boobed bottle blondies who in the service of furthering their careers in the shark-infested waters of the entertainment bizness spent the last 5 or 6 years as he ladee-frienss of octogenarian soft porn purveyor Hugh Hefner. For most of the last few years, the undisputed First Lady of the Playboy Mansion was not Mrs. Hefner, but a perky, twenty-something year old gal named Holly Madison who has long, over-processed platinum locks and glittery white teeth. The one tidbit of information Your Mama can recall about Miss Madison is that she had an exact replica of her hoo-hoo re-created in chocolate as a birthday present for Mister Hefner. No matter how one slices that turkey children, a chocolate version of your naughty bits ain't nuthin' if not Klassy with a capital "K."

Miss Madison bunked with Hef and the other gurls at the Playboy Mansion for a number of years–honestly chickens, we don't know or care how long it was–however, when her May-December romance with the old man was coming to an end in the summer or fall of 2008, the young and nubile Miss Madison scooped up a lofty condo in Santa Monica, CA which, thanks to a covert communique from Candy Apples, we've learned she currently has on the market with an asking price of $700,000.

In addition to appearing as Hef's main squeeze on the reality program Girls Next Door for the last 5 or 6 years, Miss Madison has racked up a long list of guest appearances in films and on game shows, talk shows and reality programs such as Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Larry King Live, The Tyra Banks Show, The House Bunny, The Telling, Celebrity Family Feud, Criss Angel Mindfreak, Living Lohan, the always luridly depressing Keeping up with the Kardashians and the ever-popular but deeply upsetting Dancing with the Stars. More recently Miss Madison has been hanging her d-cups in Las Vegas where sh led a world record breaking parade of bikini wearing women down Las Vegas Boulevard and, in a career move not likely to pave the path to being taken seriously as an actress, she is currently baring her already oft bared breasts in Peepshow, a burlesque extravaganza at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Records Your Mama accessed show that Miss Madison paid $760,000 for her Broadway Street condo in August of 2008 which was actually a few months before she announced on–natch–gossip juggernaut TMZ that her relationship with ol' Hef was kaput. Soon after closing on the quite petite 907 square foot condo and furnishing the mostly white-walled rooms with a lot of black and shiny things, Miss Madison had a real estate change of heart and flipped her 2 bedroom and 2 pooper crib back on the market in June of 2009. It does not take any flicking of the well worn beads on our bejeweled abacus to see that with it's current price tag of $700,000 Miss Madison will likely loose somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 on the sale of this little lived in condo once she pays off the mortgage and forks over the fat real estate fees.

Listing information reveals that the 2-story, top floor condo has honey colored wood floors and a small but airy, double height living room with a fireplace that helps take the chill of those frequently foggy coastal mornings and evenings. The living room has been furnished with a clean-lined sofa and matching chair covered in soft black fabric, a bunch of black throw pillows imprinted with a white skull that Your Mama might cotton to in the right decorative situation, a fuzzy, black area rug that looks like it would be murder to vacuum, a black crystal chandelier (which we confess to coveting because it would look a-may-zing in Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's dining room), a glossy grand piano, a number of other glossy black pieces of furniture and even more glossy black knick-knacks and candlesticks. The living room appears to be short a coffee table and Your Mama wonders where in the world we'd set a sweating tumbler of gin and tonic if we were ever to pop over to Miss Madison's condo for six or seven cocktails.

The wee kitchen, which unfortunately does double duty as the foyer, has some dark taupe cabinetry, high grade Caesarstone counter tops and a full suite of stainless steel appliances. Adjacent and open to the living room is the condo's second bedroom. Although Your Mama would recommend using it as a dining room because there really isn't any other place to put a table and it opens to a small terrace for summertime grillin' and chillin', we haven't an iota as to how Miss Madison uses the room. Listing photos do show that she keeps a directors chair with her name on it in there as well as a small Warhol-esque portrait painting of Marilyn Monroe and another larger painting depicting, we think, Greta Garbo...or maybe it's Marlene Dietrich or maybe it's someone else, we don't know. Whatever the case, it's gives Your Mama the goose bumps, but not in a good way.

Located at the top of a winding spiral staircase that would make Your Mama woozy under the most sober of circumstances is Miss Madison's boo-dwar. We can't fathom how the big, burly mover men managed to get furniture up that tightly corkscrewed stair, but get furniture up their they did. At the top of the staircase, which has been painted a lovely shade of prison cell gray, is a dressing area with a wall of closets that appears to be open to the living room below. This is a lovely and airy set up if you are home alone but not so much if you have guests sitting on the sofa imbibing booze and nibbling crudités who will too easily be able to hear you fart, belch, chastise your make up gurl or say something catty to your beautician about their tacky outfit and cheap shooz. The bedroom area opens to a private balcony with nice views over the roof tops and through the palm trees that line the streets of Santa Monica and there is a small but adequate private pooper with a lot of dark taupe colored tiles and wood identical to the dark taupe color in the kitchen.

Now then, let's discuss Miss Madison's black satin sheets, shall we? Holly...hunny, no. Never. Ever. We will reluctantly tolerate the eggplant colored wall and we'll allow you to keep the pair of disco ball table lamps on either side of the bed and we'll even permit you that rainbow colored faux-Warholian portrait of Marilyn Monroe if you stamp your little feet and cry a little, but we are drawing the line at black satin sheets. Larhd have mercy, pleeze. No. Listen to Your Mama on this one child: No. In fact, we're going to make this Your Mama's decorating rule #1043 which will hereon and forever declare, "No person of any sexual proclivity, identity, preference and/or gender orientation who claims any sense of decorative taste or decorum will fit their bed or any other bed with black satin sheets for any reason except, maybe, possibly, in the service of dressing the set of a low budget, retro-themed porno movie shoot."

Other features of the newly built condo are the location–just a mile or so from the ocean, the secured two-car side by side parking, the alarm system and video intercom for scoping out whomever might be buzzing the bell, and a key-fob building entry, whatever that is.

It's unclear to Your Mama–not to mention none of our nosy beeswax–why Miss Madison would choose to sell her Santa Monica condo at such a steep and terrifying financial loss. Maybe she wants something in Las Vegas where she seems to be making quite the name for herself. Or maybe she'd rather have a big house in the San Fernando Valley like her former Playboy Mansion sister-wife Bridgit Marquardt who recently snatched up a newly built, five bedroom mock-Mediterranean number in Sherman Oaks. Whatever her reasons, she's definitely looking for a new start because not only is she willing to sell her condo crib at a considerable loss, listing information indicates Miss Madison's furniture can be negotiated with the sale.

Gwynnie and Chris Spread Out

We're gonna get our celebrity real estate feet wet this misty Monday morning with a little tidbit about Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her Grammy winning rock star huzband Chris Martin who, we all know, warbles for the colossally successful band Coldplay.

A few months ago Your Mama heard from someone who would know that that Gwynnie and Chris were shacking up in a massive, leased estate on Mandeville Canyon Road in Brentwood, CA. They've since moved on, the house they leased in Los Angeles is listed for sale with a breathtaking $24,000,000 price tag and more recently Gwynnie and Chris have been seen humping around the Hamptons where the comely couple own a sizable, shingled house with a detached exercise studio–natch–in sleepy but still traffic clogged Amagansett. Presumably the Friends of Madonna have been popping into Manhattan–probably by helicopter–every now and then where they possess a posh penthouse pad in TriBeCa for which they splashed out $5,100,000 in Spring '07.

While spending the summer frolicking and detoxing in the Hamptons, Gywnnie has found time to offer woman and gays her own version of homespun lifestyle prescriptive advice on nourishing their inner aspects as well as oversee construction on a major expansion of their primary home in London. Gwynnie and Chris bought their Belsize Park manse in 2004 from Oscar winning director Sam Mendes and Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet for a reported £2,400,000 and two years ago they picked up the townhouse next door for a reported £3,100,000. According recent reports, a new extension off the side their existing house will contain a gym, changing room, three bedrooms and 1 pooper and the planned combination of the two townhouses will give the luxe living family of four a 33-room Belsize Park residential beast.

Gwynnie and Chris are hardly setting a trend in celebrities combining adjoining London townhouses. Last year celebrity chef Jamie Oliver picked up the house next door to his Primrose Hill home and combined them into one 19-room monster and the children will recall that Gwynnie's bestie Madonna also owns side by side townhouses in Marylebone that she hopes (or already did) combine into one sprawling spread. Of course, now that Madge and Guy are no more, perhaps they should keep (or have kept) the two townhouses separate.

While Chris is surely pulling down piles of pounds making music and touring with Coldplay, Your Mama thinks Gwynnie better scoot her baby-making booty back to work right quick because keeping up with the exorbitant renovation costs, steep taxes and high maintenance on all their posh properties surely costs the couple a vast sum of money each year and Gywnnie doing just one, or maybe two, not very good movies every year doesn't seem like it would go quite far enough in paying all the nannies, chefs, personal assistants, flower arrangers, chauffeurs, woodwork polishers, weed pullers and terlit gurls required to keep their homes and lives running with the efficiency and grace of Patek Phillipe watch.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lou and Laurie Hightail it to the Hamptons

BUYER: Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson
LOCATION: Old Stone Highway, East Hampton, NY
PRICE: 1,495,000
SIZE: 1,900 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Historic family compound near Amagansett and all the best beaches. The newly renovated main house features 2 bedrooms, 2 luxurious baths, spacious living room with fireplace, sparkling professional kitchen, formal dining room and a screened porch. The storybook guest cottage is also newly renovated with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and kitchen. A new heated pool and a pool house with full bath complete the compound with is set amongst towering specimen trees on 1.4 very private acres.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: When Your Mama first got wind that legendary rock star Lou Reed and his equally legendary musician/performance artist wife Laurie Anderson snatched up a house in the Hamptons, we have to admit we were more than a bit skeptical. Yes, the Hamptons were once chock full of counter-cultural arty farty types like Lou and Laurie who whittled away their summer days on a shoestring and fairy dust. Now days, even with the recent collapse of the real estate market on the East End, it's hideously expensive–can y'all say $100 per pound for Lobster Salad at Loaves and Fishes in Bridgehampton?–and it's hardly walking on the wild side if you know what we're saying?

For those children who live under a rock or are too young to know, let Your Mama school you for a moment. Long Island, NY raised Lou Reed–who was rather bizarrely and sadly given barbaric electroconvulsive "therapy" as a teenager to cure him of homosexual tendancies–wrote songs, sang and played gee-tar in the near mythic pre-punk art band Velvet Underground which back in the 1960s and 70s was the de facto house band for Andy Warhol's Factory scene. His spikey haired wife Laurie Anderson is a much heralded, somewhat esoteric and fully intellectualized musician, sculptor and performance artist who some of y'all might be surprised to learn, graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College and then went on to get an MFA from Columbia.

Anyhoo, according to previous reports, property records and our favorite property purveyor in the Hamptons Paulina Palaver, Mister Reed and Miz Anderson forked over $1,495,000 for a private compound in the Barnes Landing area on the outskirts of swanky East Hampton, NY that is really more Amagansett than East Hampton. According to listing information generously provided to Your Mama by Miss Palaver, the 1.4 acre property on Old Stone Highway includes a recently renovated cedar shingled, 1,900 square foot main house with 2 bedrooms and two plush poopers as well as a living room with wood floors, a vaulted ceiling, wood burning fireplace and a row of French door style windows that slide open to a small terrace overlooking the swimming pool and backyard. The modest main house also includes a screened porch which will allow Lou and Laurie to sit and eat outside without being punished by the swarms of mosquitoes and other flying insects that inhabit the Hamptons in vast numbers.

The main house also has a formal dining room open to the recently redid kitchen which unfortunately features some out of context saltillo tile floors as well as a vaulted ceiling, simple, white Shaker style cabinetry and honey colored flecked granite counter tops. There's a white porcelain farmhouse sink and some open shelving for displaying cooking curios or fancy foreign olive oils and a full compliment of stainless steel appliances including one of those Fisher & Paykel double drawer dishwashers that just make Your Mama want to pull out all our eyelashes with frustration.

There is little Your Mama likes more than a guest house where overnight guests are free to fart freely, fornicate loudly and snore like a chainsaw without disturbing Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's much needed beauty rest. Lou and Laurie's new guest house is practically perfectly given it's location behind the pool house and well away from the main house. The cozy cottage offers a living room, bedroom and even a kitchen which is dee-voon because that way weekend visitors can brew their own damn coffee and leave Your Mama alone in the morning.

According to listing information, the swimming pool is new and the pool house pooper means no wet people traipsing around in the house. The grounds are pleasantly natural with thick stands of mature trees the shield the house from the road and neighbors which means Lou and Laurie can work on all over tans.

Records and previous reports reveal Mister Reed owns a New York City penthouse residence on the same stretch of West 11th Street where financially beleaguered photographer Annie Leibovitz owns a couple of townhouses. As far as we can tell, Miz Anderson still owns a doo-plex unit in an artist filled building at the far western end of Canal Street that records show she purchased in 1990, or perhaps even before 1990. Your Mama has no idea if Miz Anderson occupies the two floor spread as a residence, office, studio or some combination thereof.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buy or Lease Björk's House in Snedens Landing

SELLER: Björk Gudmundsdottir
LOCATION: Woods Road, Snedens Landing, NY
PRICE: $1,800,000
SIZE: 2,975 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...This Unique & Rare home offers 6 large bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a powder room. There is also a large room that has been transformed into an artists studio surrounded by walls of glass. The enormous kitchen rivals that of most restaurants, with all top of line over sized appliances as well as an eating area. There are skylights and a wealth of windows throughout the house that provide for fabulous natural light throughout the day as well as views of the Hudson River. The Master bathroom is made out of natural stones. There are 2 main patios or decks off of the house from different rooms of the house, from the kitchen, foyer, and artists studio...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday Your Mama discussed the downtown New York City digs of über-artist Matthew Barney which he has listed for sale with an asking price of $1,700,000 and we briefly addressed the four and some million dollar Brooklyn Heights penthouse Mister Barney and his Icelandic superstar ladee-mate Björk Gudmundsdottir are in the process of purchasing. Today, in an effort to tie a bow around this particularly delicious celebrity real estate package, Your Mama would like to discuss Björk's bucolic retreat in the posh enclave of Snedens Landing, NY which the wonderfully wacky swan suit wearing singer has listed with an asking price of $1,800,000. The property is also listed for lease at $7,000 per month.

Quietly swank Snedens Landing, which is in New York State even though it sits on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, is just a 30 minute commute (without much traffic) to Midtown Manhattan. The pastoral, private and arty-farty Palisades community is made up of only about 100 high-priced homes tucked into the rugged, wooded landscape that tumbles down to the shore of the mighty Hudson River. The teeny-tiny community is sometimes referred to as Hollywood on the Hudson because of all the klieg lighters who own homes there including Chuck Barris, Al Pacino, Bill Murray, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lorraine Bracco who bought her house from Ellen Burstyn in 1989 and is reportedly in contract to sell her riverfront celebrity magnet manse to Phish front man Trey Anastasio.

Your Mama freely confesses that property records we accessed for Miz Gudmundsdottir's Hudson River hideaway are a wee bit confusing to our gin soaked pea brain. One set of records show the singer with the seductively sibilant speech pattern purchased the 1.5 acre property on Woods Road in April of 2002 for $1,400,000. Another set of records rather strangely indicates she snatched it up in March of 2002 for $4,900,000. Why there are two sets of records that have identical information about the sizes of the property and residence but two wildly different purchase prices is simply beyond our admittedly limited abilities to makes sense. However, given that Miz Gudmundsdottir has listed her cozy crib with a price tag of $1,800,000, we have to make the assumption that the actual purchase price was $1,400,000.

Whatever the case, the three story main house measures 2,975 square feet (or 2,195 square feet depending on where one looks) and listing information indicates the quirky, multi-winged house includes 6 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers. A circular drive leads to the front of the house where unkempt vines climb up the side of the house. The house is, according to listing information, entered on the middle level where all six of the bedrooms are located as well as a large room used as an artist's studio. The top floor contains, according to listing information, only a vast living room with a vaulted ceiling and and gigantic windows.

Tucked into the hillside on the lowest floor is a commodious and cluttered kitchen with a stone floor, stone walls, over-sized appliances, white cabinetry and a massive center work island with what appears to be a butcher block counter top that is lit by a small sky light. The kitchen is open to an also cluttered but still cozy, window wrapped breakfast room with a stone floor, stone walls, a fab George Nelson saucer lamp and some sort of wicker high-chair pulled up to a simple parsons table. The formal dining room, also on the lowest floor, looks almost like it was built into a cave with stone floors and walls, a low beamed ceiling, and the most amazing round and chunky, rough hewn wood dining room table surrounded by heavy, wood chairs so wonky and rustic that they look to Your Mama like a woodsman hacked them out of tree trunks and glued them together with tree sap. Above the table is a once trendy, somewhat passe, but still very appropriate deer antler chandelier.

The scenic and calming wooded grounds are probably painfully beautiful at the height of leaf peeping season and there are views of the Hudson River through the trees. Miz Gudmundsdottir has installed a fenced playground for her young daughter and a second small structure on the property is, according to listing information, currently used as a Pilates studio, which is odd because Your Mama never would have imagined Björk–or Mister Barney for that matter–doing anything as pedestrian as Pilates.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Matthew Barney Buys in Brooklyn and Sells in Manhattan

SELLER: Matthew Barney
LOCATION: West Houston Street, New York, NY
PRICE: $1,700,000
SIZE: 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...Over sized 1 Bedroom, 2 Bath apartment, with wrap terrace. Large bedroom with en suite bathroom and door to the wrap terrace. The living room has large picture windows overlooking the terrace and then the NYC uptown skyline. There is a separate dining area , and a windowed renovated kitchen. There is another door to the terrace from the dining area. The terrace is approximately 500 sq ft, with a large lounge area out side of the dining area, perfect for entertaining while watching the sunset over Manhattan...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This morning Your Mama rode piggy-back on rumors and reports that enigmatic Icelandic musician Björk Gudmundsdottir and her heavy hitting art star huzband Matthew Barney are fixin' to set up house in Brooklyn, NY. At the time we knew nada except that the couple had been hunting for a new house for quite some time.

Well children, y'all are in luck today because thanks to our ever-intrepid researcher B.S. Beaverman we've not only learned that the couple is indeed moving to Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights to be more precise, but it's also been brought to our attention that Mister Barney's current crib on West Houston Street in the lower West Village is listed for sale with an asking price of $1,700,000. Before we get to that, let's discuss the Barney's new nest.

According to B.S. Beaverman–who with a little help from the peeps at Streeteasy and Property Shark has backed up his assertions with property records on file with the city of New York–Mister and Missus Esoteric Artists are in the process of purchasing a pre-war penthouse on Henry Street. According to listing information dug up out of thin air by B.S. Beaverman, the top floor spread is currently configured with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and was last listed at $4,250,000. The full floor, (approx.) 3,000 square foot penthouse also, according to listing information, includes a living room with a wood burning fireplace, a dining room that opens into one of those horrid greenhouse things that heat up like an oven during the humid dog days of New York City summers, and an eat in kitchen with flower printed wallpaper that Your Mama hopes and prays the Barneys will get rid of.

There are also, according to listing information, a small office and a large laundry room adjacent to the kitchen and in the gallery/hallway between the living and dining rooms is a 350 bottle temperature controlled wine closet. The wrap around terrace, which actually wraps all the way around the apartment, has been outfitted with a computerized watering system and has views of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan skyline. A rare amenity in many fancy pre-war buildings is the 3-zone central air conditioning.

Now then, back to the Manhattan apartment that Mister Barney bought back in 2004 which occupies a high floor of a centrally located elevator building with a part-time doorman. The co-operative crib of unknown square footage includes just one bedroom, 2 poopers and a large, sparsely furnished living/dining room with matte finished wood floors and walls painted a somewhat uncomfortable shade of blue. Normally Your Mama would beef about that day-core, or the lack thereof, until the cows came home or someone told us to shut our trap. However, let's be honest kittens, Mister Barney's head is cluttered up with too many other weird and wonderful figments and fascinations to be bothered with much more than the bare decorative necessities.

The lone bedroom has been painted black...and contains little else besides a platform bed, a slim side table, and a couple of reading lamps mounted to the wall behind the bed. We're sure some of the children will think it's morbid, unpleasant or just plain silly to paint a bedroom black, and a few years ago we might have been in that same boat of bitchery. However, after viewing the undeniably chic and glammy bedroom of certain Martha Stewart employee we (barely) know, we are converts to black bedrooms. Before y'all dip your dirty minds down into the gutter, there was nothing illicit about our visit to said black bedroom. We were simply attending a dee-voon dinner party and saw the room with all the other wildly interesting dinner guests while getting the grand tour of the host's below Houston Street digs.

Anyhoo, Mister Barney's bachelor pad penthouse has, according to listing information, a renovated kitchen, which is lovely. However, this kitchen is so terrifically narrow that it pretty much guarantees the occupants will be eating out or ordering in because, hunnies, even scaring up a damn taco in that itty-bitty kitchen would be like pulling a tuba through the eye of a needle.

As far as Your Mama is concerned there are three pièce de résistance for this one bedroom apartment even though it is priced like a two bedroom. First is the 500 square foot terrace that allows for outdoor dining, nood sunbathing and watching the sun go down and the glittery lights on lower Manhattan sprinkle on. The second is being able to get from the living room to an outdoor table at Da Silvano on Sixth Avenue in like four minutes or less depending on the lights. The third irresistible feature of Mister Barney's wee pad is the goose-pimpling proximity to the faboo Film Forum where every single damn day New Yorkers get to sit in the dark and watch independent movies that most people in the rest of the good ol' U.S.A. have probably never seen nor will ever even hear about. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter may now be living in the movie capital of the world but we miss movies in Manhattan because it's nearly impossible to see anything in this town that isn't churned out by one of the major movie studios.

But we digress. Stay tuned tomorrow, because pumpkins, there is more to this story but we ain't got time to tell it today.