Thursday, July 28, 2011

Author Michael Gross Releases Promo Video for Unreal Estate

In 2005, upper-crust chronicler and shit-stirrer Michael Gross wrote a juicy tell-all book about the inhabitants and history of 740 Park Avenue, one of New York City's most expensive, exclusive, and reclusive co-operative apartment houses. With the dour limestone-faced Rosario Candela-designed building and its cavernous apartments as the back drop, Mister Gross carefully parsed the personal, professional and social lives of many of the building's wildly wealthy residents who have over the years included any number of low-profile but sick-rich industrialists and robber barons, a cavalcade of heirs and heiresses, and a bunch of hedge hogs and tech tycoons.

Four years later Mister Gross came out with Rogues' Gallery, a dense, exhaustively researched and not always flattering exposé that unweaves the complex, sometimes secret and often controversial history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Mister Gross leaves no high society stone un-turned when it comes to revealing the actions and ambitions of a small but enormously influential army of filthy rich folks who, through sheer force of will, money, power, and subterfuge, founded and nurtured The Met into one of the brawniest and best art institutions in the world.

There were those, natch, who were nine kinds of livid and atwitter about Mister Gross' deep and unauthorized examination into the ugly underbelly of The Met. Socialite and philanthropist Annette de la Renta actually threatened legal action because she felt she was portrayed in an unflattering and even defamatory manner. According to a little birdie we'll call Betty Booklover, in the hostile aftermath of the publication of Rogues' Gallery Mister Gross told a group of book-minded types at a Beverly Hills Literary Society luncheon that he'd decided to write his next book about Los Angeles because he thought "it would be a good idea to get out of Dodge for a while."

He spent the next two years researching the histories of several handfuls of palatial properties in the part of Los Angeles known in real estate circles as The Platinum Triangle, a glitzy euphemism for the trio of swank communities that form the meticulously manicured zenith of wealth and power in Los Angeles: Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills.

Using the great and grand estates of The Platinum Triangle as the hyper-luxurious fuel, Mister Gross' latest and soon to be published book Unreal Estate will–as Your Mama understands from publisher information–tell the untold and sometimes sordid stories about how oilmen and movie stars, charlatans and chatelaines, ruthless entrepreneurs and a handful of pornographers transformed hell-hot southern California orange groves into a glittering, forbidding and secretive enclave of make believe and mega-mansions.

Unreal Estate, with its wonderfully alliterative subtitle "Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles," won't be available in bookstores until November 1–the children can pre-order the book at a discounted rate on Amazon and Barnes and Noble–but the publicity push for the hotly anticipated tome has none-the-less begun in earnest.

According to a recently released three and some minute promotion video, a flying tour over The Platinum Triangle narrated by Mister Gross himself, Unreal Estate will cross reference the histories of some of the ritzy enclaves' greatest estates with the colorful cast of characters who have owned and occupied them. Legendary estates under the microscope include (but are far from limited to): Greenacres, currently owned by supermarket billionaire and Bill Clinton's former b.f.f. Ron Burkle; The Knoll, once owned by rotund oilman turned billionaire movie man Marvin Davis and now owned by tool and die magnate Eric Smidt; And Owlwood, the regal Robert Farquhar-designed Holmby Hills estate formerly owned by showbiz types like Cher and Engelbert Humperdinck and now owned by Dawn Arnell, the widow of Roland Arnell, a sub-prime lending billionaire who was installed by President George W. Bush as the ambassador to the Netherlands.

As with Mister Gross' previous books there will undoubtedly be a squawking squadron of rich and powerful people who won't be happy about their lives or living rooms being exposed in the pages of Unreal Estate. We'd also bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly there will not be even one real estate gossip, property professional nor any adult resident of The Platinum Triangle who will not devour this book the moment they can get their bejeweled hands on it.

We know we will.

cover image: Crown Publishing


Anonymous said...

A little embarrassing that he doesn't even know where the Playboy mansion is. OOps

Anonymous said...

the pbm is at the lower left corner of the screen

Rosco Mare said...

...and that Douglas Fairbanks occupied Grayhall, not Douglas Fairbanks, Jr!

Picky, I know, but If a book is written about a subject that will surely burn a hole in the nightstands of alot of Mama's local children, including mine, it should be accurate. (I confess that I'll read it anyway into the wee hours of the morning.)

Fancy Nancy said...

Can't wait til November, Mama--thanks for the info!!

I just love you Mama!

Jeannified said...

Ouuuu...can't wait to read this book!!!

Anonymous said...

Yea I'm excited to see what he fucks up in print. Seriously who confuses the playboy mansion?

Anonymous said...

ummmm.... hello, several errors in the video. that ain't good, kiddos.

Mr Tibbs said...

Why did he not rent a helicopter and do this professionally, ie put some jazz music in the background, hire a pro narrator, it would have gone a long long way in helping him sell his book,

it is called marketing you know


Carla Ridge said...

Super-Crappa-Fractalistic-Scuse-Me-Doll-Atrocious. Not the way I'd sell this 'insider glimpse', not by a long shot.

lil' gay boy said...

To quote Hedda Hopper (as the columnist Dolly Dupuyster in The Women):

"Oh boy! Dirt!"

Michael Gross said...

I was just testing you! But seriously, the video was done fast and Earth Googles aren’t easy. Thanks for pointing out the skewed view of P’boy world, which I will try to have fixed. As to giving Doug a superfluous Jr., mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I think everything in the BOOK is accurate, which is more important (though if anyoen is going to find a mistake, it will be Real Estalker readers). And Mr. Tibbs, I’d like some of whatever you’re smoking. Authors can’t afford to rent helicopters!

Anonymous said...

"It's not the facts that count, it's the nuances." --Norman Mailer

StPaulSnowman said...

I bet even Dominick Dunne is twitching a little in the old nether regions in anticipation of this one. I love the criticisms from the chillun. It shows they care about this stuff.

Anonymous said...

"La publicité!"

the Countess DeLave

Michael Gross said...

Why has no one noticed that in my haste to apologize I spelled anyone wrong?

C-L said...

I am Very Impressed at Michael Grosse for his comments and ability to take some Critisism.. However, i have to admit he is a Brilliant mind and i Applaud him for his insight and beautiful portrayal of the Rich and Greedy. He is Not afraid of these people and its nice to see someone step-up to the plate and actually write it for people to see. Some of these Wealthy individuals are Amazing people that give back to the world through Charity and other great causes and the other 90% somehow Benefit huge on other peoples misfortunaes. Its funny how people can get so Rich from doing absolutely Nothing but LIE.. Global Crossing should be an Interesting chapter, i cannot wait to hear the Buzz about Gary Winnick. Must be Nice living in a $100,000,000 Estate using other peoples Money!!
Oooop's lol lol
CL :)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't put 740 down when I got it (and have reread it a couple times since) and can't wait for Unreal...heading to Amazon now to preorder.

Anonymous said...

Real estate porn! I can't wait until November.

P.S. Michael Gross did an excellent job narrating. I was glued, hoping for more.

Fancy Nancy said...

To STPaulSnowman--Dominick Dunne is dead! But you are right, he would have loved this book!!

StPaulSnowman said...

I know that Nancy. That was the point.

Jesse said...

I want to have Mr. Gross' children. Well, when science makes that possible.

His books always tickle me in special places.

REfan said...

Can't wait to read this. Big fan of Michael Gross's from way back...hopefully he has a fb page I can join as a fan!

Mr Tibbs said...

$5000 bucks that is all you would need for a day shoot, edit, ect, and you should do it now before they pass the low fly zone laws,

do the shoot just like you did your presentation, don't get picky, just stick to the plan,

you have publisher have him pay for it, or is this a self published book ?

self published authors bs

if I make a movie on my iphone and put it on youtube am I a director ? a movie producer ?

you need money for marketing, book tours that is why you need a real publisher, you have a great idea, now do a professional job and you are off to the races


Michael Gross said...


tovangar2 said...

To Michael Gross: I noticed, I just didn't say anything cuz you were already getting beaten up.

To StPaulSnowman & FancyNancy: I think "netherworld" was the intended term cuz "nether regions" means something else entirely.

To Mama: "sick-rich" is your most delicious term yet! XOXO

tovangar2 said...

"La publicité! - the Countess DeLave

Exactly MarkyMark, they don't want us to know how they've spent their stolen fortunes. 94% of the wealthy worry about "civil unrest" yet they're the ones who painted targets on their own backs.

The "sick-rich": useless, frightened people leading meaningless, unsatisfied lives that come to pathetic or violent ends.

Hi Mama!

Anonymous said...

Michael Gross said...
Why has no one noticed that in my haste to apologize I spelled anyone wrong?

We are all too polite to embarrass you. You are a guest of Mama after all :)

MH Critic said...

Michael, I very much enjoyed your video tour and hope you do more, i.e. one about Laurel Canyon, and one about Topanga, then Malibu, etc! I thought there was something off about your siting of the Playboy Mansion, as I went there a couple times in 1975 and it doesn't look like that. The 1:10pm Real Estalker reader pointed out your error very quickly! I love looking at big houses. Thank God for Zillow and Virtual Globetrotting where I can sit on my bum and look at all the huge houses of rich people. Their gates and shrubbery can't keep me out! And I love the Real Estalker's links within their link! Great post, Real Estalker!

StPaulSnowman said...

Mama; Would you educate us about the Katherine Hepburn property now on the market?

Anonymous said...

@ Mr Tibbs: You seem to have an unrealistic view of what publishers are willing to pay for marketing those who are not James Patterson, Snooki or other junk food for the masses. I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with "hero."

@ Michael Gross: Thanks for your good humor in dealing with Mama's unruly children. I noticed the misspelled word, but thought it was done on purpose. Can't wait to read your new text.

Lady J

gross914 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Tibbs said...

Anon if a publisher cannot spend 5k in marketing then they are not for real

I know writers that are starting out and their marketing budgets are 25k minimum

you have to spend money to make money, it has been proven over and over again


Anonymous said...

I think the book is priced wrong....$19 from amazon...bit on the cheap side??

Are there pictures in the book?

What additional information can possibly be provided when Jeff Hyland has written about this topic in 2 coffee table books?

StPaulSnowman said...

Tovanger2; It was my intention to play off of both of these two, nether regions, (naughty bits) and netherworld as in afterlife. I guess it was too oblique but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Anonymous said...

I loved 740 Park, and now I'm really looking forward to this book.

I thought the video was rather cool - no helicopter necessary. Sure, I suppose if there's money to do that, it would probably be a great marketing tool to use, but maybe no better than the way google earth was used.

Kudos to Mr. Gross for commenting here. He obviously knows his audience.

Anonymous said...

oh my damn,
Detroit metro has a higher % of millioniares than the Los Angeles region. LOL.

Metros by millionaires:

1. New York City - 720,000 (4.6%)
2. Los Angeles/OC - 256,000 (2.5%)
3. Chicago - 212,300 (2.7%)
4. Washington DC - 164,400 (3.7%)
5. San Francisco - 147,400 (4.1%)
6. Philadelphia - 110,400 (2.4%)
7. Boston - 109,100 (2.9%)
8. Houston - 96,000 (2.1%)
9. Detroit - 92,000 (2.6%)
10. San Jose - 88,000 (5.9%)

I just find it so ironic for all the "glamor" we try to exude. Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

My mother is a fan of your work, I will definitely buy her a copy.

And 10:59, Michigan has tons of millionaires and billionaires contrary to what the rest of the country and the media would like people to believe.

This is the best state in North America, we have three sides of gorgeous lake water, beaches, some of the best golf courses in the world and are next to Canada, Chicago, and not far from New York and housing and living costs are low.

Anonymous said...

If Detroit has more millionaires, who cares? We have more billionaires.

Anonymous said...


Unless you are either a billionaire or even a millionaire, I fail to see how that matters.

It is like saying LA has more Ferraris and Lamborghinis than Detroit. Unless you own one of them, bragging about it just sounds dumb.

Michael Gross said...

I highly recommend Jeff Hyland's books to anyone who wants to see luscious photos of these houses. It was Hyland who inspired me to write Unreal Estate because good as his books are, and they are very good, I thought there was a story still to be told. We'll see if you all agree! And thanks for the graciousness of all the commenters. A corrected video will go up shortly--fixed with all your help.

StPaulSnowman said...

Oh Mr. Gross; I am sure all Mama's chillun would be pleased as punch to review your manuscript before publication. Just send that little gem on to Mama and she will allow us to give you our two cents worth. That's right, we can do it right here in the day nursery. Ain't the internet just grand?!

hippie canyon said...

I would have enjoyed the youtube post much more had Jackie Collins been hired for the v.o. Would've given it just the right tone. I'll go through the book with my slim tea in hand.

tovangar2 said...

To StPaulSnowman:

Yes, I did get your intent. It is porn after all ;-)
(Does one have nether regions in the netherworld? I hope so)

"day nursery", LOL

To Mama: I love coming here. Thanks for giving us a refuge from the outside world which becomes harsher every day. I f things get any worse I'm gonna have to move to the Netherlands.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tibbs is right, this narration has as much umph as a bronze road side history plaque.

Robin Leach would have made it exciting and would increase sales! He's the one that got me interested in west coast life style a couple decades ago! "Get him on % consignment", said the fictitious Canadian with the banned in Ontario pit bull.

I would have found it offensive if he mentioned my name! No offense, but, legal teenage-adult strippers would have done a better job with YouTube.

Sheesh, these homes are beautiful, it should be reported that way.

Side Note: don't smoke anything, Mr. Gross, it makes things worse.
It's good that you have the time to participate in the comment section.

Are you serious? Dominick Dunne is dead! (2009) And you knew that? The nether region of the surface of the earth?

RE: millionaires by Metro,
If it were calculated by Detroit area sq miles to LA/OC then the % would be even greater, I think. There should be a spread sheet calculation for cottages to yachts to brains to $ within the same state. Michigan millionaires would top them all! LOL!

Plus, the average man in Michigan can enjoy their state nearly equivalent to its millionaires than other states can. They just move the decimal to the left a little; shrink the house sq footage, and the cottage, too; shorten the boat length, as well. Not possible in other states, cursor won't allow it. I didn’t even mention the private air-craft possibilities in Michigan compared to other states in terms of $ classes.

It's the 1930's like mood in some sections of the economy. Let's get Robin Leach to excite them without ketchup soup!

In the mean time, I'll reserve Mr. Michael Gross' book at my local library that was financially established by Carnegie's international philanthropy. That'll guarantee some book sales by the past wealthy folks that unread people labeled "robber barons". That's how I was able to read "Unfamous Players" by Peter Bart! I was the first one to crack open the book!


H. Bosch said...

Enough already with the nether region chit chat. I want more about Miley.

Michael Gross said...

CORRECTION: The corrected Unreal Estate video has now been posted, not on Miley Cyrus, but at

Pollylanda said...

Mr. Grossman, cant wait foryour next book on the resnicks of sunset blvd and fiji water fame, supposedly the mulholland of cuurrent day ,stealing all that water for those damn pistachios? gosh, hope you credit me for my "tidbits" I gave you..........FLIPPER THE BUTLER.. oh, so tacky they were..

Phaedrus said...

I tried to begin to read 470 Park. The only book more boring IMHO, is St. Augustine of Hippo's City of God. Pure dribbling babble about folks few have heard of, much less know of.

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