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.


Anonymous said...

Oh Mama, please please please insert links to pics of the sometimes obscure folks who are mentioned in your columns. I am such an out of it hick from Seattle I don't have a clue who these people are but I love to look at 'em!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your comments on this place, and the three advantages it offers. I can't really argue with your points. But, honestly, this place doesn't do it for me in the least. That airline kitchen is ridiculous. Everyone I've ever known in NYC eats out or orders in, but still, STILL! At that price? Yowza.

Looking forward to hearing about Björk In Bjrooklyn (an AWESOME 70s-esque sitcom just waiting to happen.)

angie said...

Well, it does look like a textbook cliche bachelor apartment. Good thing it has spacious living areas for a 1 bedroom, because some of it needs to be reclaimed to create a decent size kitchen. Or, assuming I'm interpreting what I can see correctly, perhaps the kitchen window wall can be knocked out and the "horrid greenhouse thing" enclosed, combining the two spaces into a larger kitchen. Hard to tell for sure without a floor plan to study.

I can easily imagine the black bedroom you mentioned seeing as being beautiful. Nothing is off limits decor wise since it dosen't really matter so much what you do, as HOW you do it. That said, the creative juices which inspired the bedroom wall color in this unit, clearly began and ended with the paint selection. Thanks again Mama!

dolly said...

angel, the horrid greenhouse is at their new place, not this one, but if the kitchen window overlooks the terrace I suppose you could knock that wall down and add a greenhouse if you really wanted more room. I love the patio furniture and I think if anyone can get away with that blue and a black bedroom it's MB. The TV I think is just too big and seems to loom over the whole room. I'm just glad I now know what type of trash can he chose even of it does seem to have a semicircular potrack over it. Very much looking forward to the rest of the tale tomorrow. Thanks Mama!

angie said...

I just realized the greenhouse you mentioned is part of the new penthouse the Barneys purchased, not this unit, so scratch my 2nd kitchen proposal. Gotta love the terrace on this one though. I'm suprised that nothing has been done to make this unit appealing or turnkey for a prospective new owner, despite listing it for too high a price. More celeb "I lived here and that justifies everything" ego? Apparently, and it's getting annoying.

angie said...

lol, thanks Dolly. I realized that too eventually. My dyslexic hiccup for the day :)

StPaulSnowman said...

Sorry I am embedding illiterate but if you want to see what a really magnificent greenhouse looks like, google Flintham Hall Conservatory. This is an intensely beautiful and romantic Victorian greenhouse wedded to a great Victorian house. It was featured in the recent file remake, "Easy Virtue" and is everything a greenhouse lover could ask for.

Anonymous said...

Mathew Barney's art is a joke. I feel sick just thinking about him being a darling in the art world.

I like the apartment though

Brownstoner said...

While you're at it, why not include a link to the blog that broke the news: Brownstoner.

NewYorkQueer said...

No one ever cooks in manhattan so the kitchen is where the bags are opened after the delivery boy has vacated the stoop.
My envy meter when way into the red looking at this empty minimal serene space right here in downtown NYC.
Who do I have to kill to move in????

Anonymous said...

Mama, Sooo much to process. Kudos.

I like the one bedroom penthouse with that great outdoor space. Only wish the windows were more expansive. The kitchen would drive me nuts, but the unit has potential.

The new four bedroom penthouse is intriguing. Maybe some eye candy to follow?

Anonymous said...

New York Queer, I'm afraid you'll have to get past me first! I'm in love!

Alternatively, we could go halves on it and share it box & cox...

Anonymous said...

To Brownstoner:
Mama credited Brownstowner yesterday at the start of the Bjork-related stories. She's always really good about that.

Anonymous said...

Yes Mama is always very fair with attributing the source. Brownstoner's, in this instance, was an ambiguous and somewhat casual and uninformative mention, by fact or lack thereof for reasons of its own editorial ehtics. Details are the Mama's specialty (and nobody does it better), plus our Mama took the story further into other related properties as an exclusive, even if she doesn't use those words. It's all good. Peace and fairness among the property gossips is the goal. Brownstoner is a wonderful site.