Hotness Contest #31 - Snooki vs Kate Upton

Snooki
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Kate Upton
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Snooki L 0-1
Kate Upton W 1-0

Nip/Tuck's Dylan Walsh Divorces and Lists Former Family Home in Hollywood

SELLERS: Dylan Walsh and Joanna Going
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,425,000
SIZE: 2,480 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in December 2010 all the gossip glossies and celebrity-obsessed blogs reported that Nip/Tuck hunk Dylan Walsh filed for divorce from his actress-wife of 7 years Joanna Going. Less than a year later Mister Walsh revealed to the people at People that his new, unnamed lady friend gave birth to a baby girl in late September (2011), his fourth child with three different women. Mister Walsh's personal life certainly ain't none of our bizness but for anyone who might care (and like to pass moral judgement) there's one kid with second wife—that's Miz Going—who gave birth in 2003 almost a year before they were married in 2004 and two shorties with first wife actress Melora Walters who gave birth to their first child just about a month after they were married in 1996. As our last college roommate and on-again/off-again confidante Sheila Sinn told Your Mama recently, "Life is complicated and sometimes things gets messy." Indeed, they do.

Given the state of things with the Walsh-Goings it's no surprise to anyone who understands The Four Ds of Real Estate* that the (soon to be?) divorced former couple have put a $1,425,000 asking price on their once happy family home in the very same upscale pocket of Hollywood that L.A. real estate people sometimes call Sunset Square and where Oscar-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black paid $1,455,000 in September 2010 for a 2,866 square foot 1924 Tudor (with detached garage converted to office space/guest house) and actress/style maven Selma Blair and her fashionista baby daddy Jason Bleick just this week put her/their house up for sale with a $1,780,000 price tag. Reality star turned mass market fashion designer turned interweb entrepreneur Lauren Conrad also owns a Spanish casa in the centrally located 'hood she bought in early 2008 for $2,360,000, no longer lives in, and has had on the market since September 2011 for $2,250,000.

*The Four Ds: Death, Divorce, Debt and Diapers. Generally (and unscientifically) speaking, four of the top reasons residential real estate is bought or sold, particularly by the notoriously real estate fickle rich and/or famous who are, let's be honest, more likely in a better monetary position to buy and/or sell a house every time they make a baby, dump their spouse and/or pass a God damn kidney stone.

Anyhoo, Miz Going's big Showbiz break came in the mid-1980s, then in her early twenties, on the long ago canceled soap story Another World. She went on to a number of tee-vee series (Dark Shadows, Going to Extremes) in the early 1990s before becoming a fairly busy bit part gal in a long list of television series (Spin City, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Close to Home) and made for boob-toob movies (Chasing a Dream, My Silent Partner). Miz Going has also been seen a couple of times on the silver screen (Tree of Life, Wyatt Earp).

Lantern-jawed and hairy chested Mister Walsh has also been catting around Tinseltown since the late 1980s and early 1990s when he appeared on a number television series like Kate & Allie and Gabriel's Fire with James Earl Jones. A long slog through the1990s and early Aughts brought in a lot of jobs in little-remembered movies and various television series but Mister Dylan's persistence (no doubt in tandem with his good looks and firm physique) finally paid off when he hit the big time in 2003 with a starring role as the existentially conflicted and often naked plastic surgeon Dr. Sean McNamara on the Emmy-winning series Nip/Tuck. In 2010, the same year Nip/Tuck was canceled, Mister Walsh starred on the big screen in Secretariat and he currently works his hard-bodied and often exposed stuff on the police procedural Unforgettable.

In November 2003, nearly a year before they sealed their love in the eyes of God and government in October 2004 and right about the time she gave birth to the their daughter, the now erstwhile couple coughed up $1,315,000 to purchase a flat-fronted, two-story Mediterranean style residence in a leafy 'hood smack between the Sunset Strip to the west and the touristy, stripper wear boo-teek-lined heart of Hollywood to the east.

Listing information shows the 2,480 square foot Mediterranean was originally built in 1923, extensively renovated by the current owners—that would be Miz Going and Mister Dylan—and contains a 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms plus a detached garage converted to a guest/nanny suite with bathroom.

The landscaping at the front of the house looks a little bit Grey Gardens in a mostly good way that Your Mama thinks playfully (if unintentionally) thumbs its figurative middle finger at the preponderance of obsessively-manicured yards in Los Angeles' more expensive zip codes. An unexpectedly spacious foyer, plenty big enough to house an antique-looking baby grand piano and large-scale faux-Rothko, has lustrous inky black wood floors softened with cement-colored walls and re-sharpened with gleaming high-contrast white trim work around the windows and doors. The front foyer, like the rest of the dwelling's lower level, lacks any sort of ceiling molding. Some of the children will undoubtedly see the lack of moldings as cheap, inexcusable, wretched (and retch-worthy) while others will see it as an acceptable architectural/decorative conceit that lends the vintage house a pared down contemporary aspect.

Although much of the "day-core" appears to have been stripped away in the not especially formal "formal" living room it retains a distinct (and decidedly ho-hum) Shabby Chic-ness with lots of white slip-covered furniture and a distressed star sculpture-thing hung above the wood-burning fireplace at the far end of the room. Get it, y'all? A star over the fireplace in the home of a couple of relatively low-wattage but bona fide stars? Pleeze. But whatever. Two sets of French doors open the long and narrow living room to a small deck that extends off the front of the house and was constructed thoughtfully around a pretty, thick-trunked and somewhat inconveniently located tree.

The chandelier-free dining room takes a delightful turn from the expected with a round (instead of rectangular) table for six or eight and opens directly into the somewhat compact but expensively equipped kitchen complete with top-grade stainless steel appliances, snow white Shaker style cabinets with glass-fronted uppers, polished concrete counter tops (or what appear to be polished concrete counter tops), and a sizable center work island with convenient veggie sink and single-stool snack counter.

Upstairs two family/guest bedrooms overlook the back yard and share a hall bathroom while the master suite, sparely but floridly dressed in white-washed and antique silver furniture and billowy white linens, faces the street. The over-sized frameless glass shower enclosure in the roomy attached bathroom injects a sleek modern edge to an otherwise vintage-inspired space with white subway tiles and free-standing soaking tub. The master bathroom, finished with some rather yummy looking jet black stone tile floors that would be even more delectable if equipped with radiant heat, also has double sinks and an exposed terlit set not particularly privately all but next to French doors that open to a Juliet-type balcony that overlooks the street. We're down with the bathroom's mixy-matchy vibe we just think it'd be a bummer to have to do the dirty bathroom bizness next to that window, especially at night when lights could cast embarrassing and incriminating shadows on the windows....

French doors in both the kitchen and the adjacent, teal-colored den/family room lead out to a dining deck shaded by a bougainvillea-draped trellis. The decks steps down to an oval-shaped salt water swimming pool sunk into a pale flagstone terrace surrounded by thickets of slightly unkempt-looking drought tolerant shrubbery. Heaven knows, no one loves an oval swimming pool more than Your Mama or über-agent Sue Mengers—may she rest in peace—but this one just seems a bit too big for the limited backyard area. Were this our pool to put in we might have opted for something slightly smaller (but still oval) and, natch, The Dr. Cooter would insist on the installation of a sunken spa, maybe one cut into the thin tip of the oval nearest the back fence.

Your Mama happens to like this part of Los Angeles—it has a walkability factor many neighborhoods in Lala Land lack—and the property seems, in our humble and entirely meaningless assessment, well priced right for the market given that the most recent transfer in the 'hood was just down the block in December 2011 when, according to property records, fashion designer Linda Loudermilk sold her 3 bedroom and 2.75 bathroom 1923 Tudor (with detached guest house) for $1,380,000. 

listing photos: Sotheyby's International Realty / Los Feliz

Hotness Contest #29 - Lauren Conrad vs Beyonce

Lauren Conrad
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Beyonce
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Lauren Conrad W 3-1
Beyonce L 0-3

Hotness Contest #30 - Lauren Conrad vs Kate Middleton

Lauren Conrad
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Kate Middleton
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Lauren Conrad W 4-1
Kate Middleton L 1-2

Hotness Contest #28 - Lauren Conrad vs Khloe Kardashian

Lauren Conrad
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Khloe Kardashian
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Lauren Conrad W 2-1
Khloe Kardashian 0-2

Hotness Contest #27 - Lauren Conrad vs Elizabeth Banks

Lauren Conrad
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Elizabeth Banks
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Lauren Conrad L 1-1
Elizabeth Banks W 1-0

Divorced Duo Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson List Former Love Nest in Los Angeles

SELLERS: Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,650,000
SIZE: 2,835 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In August 2010, just over two years after their hush-hush wagon hitching ceremony in some tiny town in British Columbia (Canada), comely movie stars Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds acquired The Wong House, a single story 1969 wood and glass contemporary located in the celebrity-stocked Los Feliz area of Los Angeles and designed by much-beloved California architects Buff & Hensmen.

This was, celebrity real estate watchers readers will recall, just a couple short months after Miz Johansson finally managed to unload her humongous house in the Hollywood Hills at a pocketbook punishing three million dollar loss; She had paid seven million for the 7 bedroom and 7 bathroom Mediterranean manse in the low-key but star-studded Outpost Estates 'hood in May 2007 and sold in June 2010 for just $4,000,000.

Anyhoo, a few very short months after Mister and then-Missus Reynolds purchased their love nest in the upscale hills above Hollywood their high-profile romance swirled down the Tinseltown Terlit of Love. Their divorce (reportedly) became final in June 2011 and now, more than half a year later finally time, the time has come to divide their community assets that include (and may or may not be limited to) their mid-century modern hideaway which where not sure they every actually occupied as a couple and has just popped up the (open) market with asking price of $3,650,000.

A couple of quick and unscientific calculations on our bejeweled abacus shows that's a whopping 30 percent more than they paid for the property less than 1.5 years ago. The price increase likely takes into account the eco-friendly restoration and upgrades added to the house in the last year that include the incorporation of solar power.

Listing information shows the newly gated and video secured post and beam abode sits on a .44 acre triangular shaped lot with sprawling views from downtown to the beach, measures 2,835 square feet and includes 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and an attached 2-car garage with convenient direct access.

Plans for a second story addition are available according to current listing information.

A long row of full-height windows extends almost the full width of the rear of the house from the "formal" living room at one end, past the updated and upgraded open kitchen, beyond the dining area to the den/family room. Listing information indicates the L-shaped residence also includes a library, indoor laundry room,  and a private master suite complete with secluded walled garden and outdoor shower.

The back of the house opens to a deck that extends out towards the salt water swimming pool and steps down to flat grassy yard that encircles the swimming pool and includes an elevated built-in fire pit with curvaceous built-in bench seating.

After Mister Reynolds listed his modest if not exactly inexpensive bachelor pad in the nearby Outpost Estates neighborhood in the summer of 2011 with a $1,599,000 price tag—he paid $1,715,000 for the 2 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom canyon and city view crib in October 2007—Your Mama thought maybe he planned to remain in residence at The Wong House. Alas, Mister Reynolds took his Outpost Estates digs off the market in early November (2011), a decision that may or may not have something to do with the recent listing of The Wong House.

As far as we know Miz Johansson continues to own an approximately 1,200 square foot New York City penthouse with stunning city view terrace that property records and previous reports reveal she snapped up in April 2008 for $2,100,000.

No word on the house in the rural Louisiana farm the couple allegedly purchased in the spring of 2010 and (allegedly) updated and upgraded with all the eco-friendly accoutrement a green-thinking celeb can conceive of and afford.

listing photo: Keller Williams Realty / Beverly Hills

Super Producer Brian Grazer Buys Big Digs

BUYER: Brian Grazer
LOCATION: Santa Monica, CA
PRICE: $12,500,000
SIZE: 10,285 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Not too long ago we heard from Our Fairy Godmother (O.F.G.I.S.M.) in Santa Monica who snitched with some shock and awe that Oscar-winning and spikey-haired super-producer Brian Grazer had, in early December 2011, dropped $12,500,000 on a sprawling, many-winged (and lobster-shaped) mansion in Santa Monica, CA.

It wasn't that O.F.G.I.S.M. found it at all odd or bedfuddling that Mister Grazer coughed up well over twelve million clams on a monstrous mansion that is, by Your Mama's unsolicited and somewhat snotty assessment, in desperate need a full-scale make-over. That is, let's be honest, par for the real estate course for Showbiz power players like Mister Grazer. What O.F.G.I.S.M. marveled about, rather, was that the Santa Monica estate, not quite a mile and a half from the beach, had been listed on the open market back in late 2007 with a magnificently higher price tag of $22,500,000. Eventually the price tag plummeted to $16,500,000 and in fall 2011 the property was made available as a partially furnished lease at a rate of $28,000 per month.

Did Mister Grazer snag a great real estate steal, if twelve and some million bucks for a single family house can ever really be considered a steal? Or was the original price tag for the meticulously maintained but wan-looking spread was laughably bullish? Or, looked at from a slightly different angle, did Mister Grazer pay too much given that the most recent sale of any property that backs up the the manicured expanse of the The Riviera Country Club was back in October 2010 when a stately but also tired and significantly smaller Elmer Grey-designed 1926 Tudor on 1.2 acres—much of its utterly soo-blime original woodwork intact but screaming for an overhaul—went for $7,700,000? Your Mama will let the children, from those with real estate expertise to those with an entirely uninformed opinion, hash out the consensus with their commentary.

The almost two acre estate, privately situated behind electronic gates and a dense thicket of mature trees on a sometimes busy but particularly purrdy boulevard, backs up to the ritzy and celeb-friendly Riviera Country Club and measures 10,285 square feet according to listing information kindly forwarded to Your Mama by O.F.G.I.S.M. The spacious, two-story streamlined traditional—an architecturally unsatisfying and decoratively démodé dwelling by Your Mama's humble and meaningless opinion—was built in 1990 and contains 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, garage bays for five cars that encircle a parking-lot sized motor court, and a separate guesthouse.

The architectural and decorative tone(s) for the interior spaces are set straight away in the airy, origami-like foyer where chunky stone pillars anchor towering walls of glass, where honey-colored wood floors have a strangely directional inlay, and the heavy-duty staircase curls around a small pond with rock sculpture and climbs to a serpentine bridge that cuts confusingly through the voluminous space and connects the various wings on the upper level of the house.

Entertaining and living areas include, according to listing information, formal living and dining rooms, den, library/study, media room, and a temperature controlled wine and booze cellar with stone floor and walls lined almost floor to ceiling with individual bottle cubbies. Family quarters include a separate breakfast room and soaring double-height, five-sided center island kitchen with a bulbous, super-sized greenhouse window. The kitchen area connects over a compact, L-shaped snack counter to a long, narrow and voluminous family room area with wood floors and massive stone-faced chimney breast.

The fully-landscaped, notably private and tree-shaded back yard has a meandering, dark-bottom lagoon-like swimming pool bordered by behemoth boulders, a waterfall or two, tropical-looking plantings and a sunken swim-up bar with curvaceous counter top that mimics—blah blah blah—the serpentine bridge that winds through the various double-height spaces inside the house. A broad, sinuous lawn stretches back from the house and terraces towards the bluff's edge where a snaky stone terraces hangs over the unnaturally green golf course. Your Mama is not big on golf course fronting properties—we have zero interest in golf and even less interest in being seen by golfers as we sunbathe in our booze bloated birthday suit—but the geography here sits the house and back yard well above the golf course for maximal privacy and scenic views over the golf course towards the rugged Santa Monica mountains that rise ruggedly to the north and west.

Just before their summer 2007 divorce, Mister Grazer and his now ex-wife writer/reality show host Gigi Levangie Grazer (The Starter Wife, The Arrangement) listed their sprawling Cliff May-designed ranch-style mansion in Pacific Palisades with an asking price of $27,500,000. The superstar-style 9 bedroom and 14 bathroom compound finally and famously sold in March 2009 for $17,550,000 to fast reproducing Tinseltowners Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.

Mister Grazer has owned a mock-Med ocean front mansion in Malibu with 5 bedrooms (plus an elevator, indoor swimming pool and beach front gym) in the exclusive, guard-gated Malibu Colony community that he bought in 2003 and first and unsuccessfully attempted to unload in the spring of 2007 when it carried a $16,000,000 price tag. At some point—we're not sure quite when—he took the property off the market but re-listed the three-story residence last year, in May 2011, with a higher—and rather nervy—asking price of $19,500,000. The nearly 7,000 square foot beach shack (above), according to Redfin, was taken off the open market just before Jesus' birthday and just a couple weeks after he closed on his new house in Santa Monica but still appears in all its ocean front luxury on the listing agent's website.

listing photos (Santa Monica): Sotheby's International Realty
listing photos (Malibu): Everett Fenton Gidley for Westside Estate Agency

Actress, Style Maven and New Momma Selma Blair's Hollywood House Up For Grabs

SELLER: Selma Blair
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,780,000
SIZE: 2,918 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Anyone who knows any thing at all about real estate knows there are four main reasons a person—specifically a person of substantial financial means—sells a house and/or buys a new one: death, divorce, debt and diapers, otherwise known in the property bidness as The Four Ds.

Given that actress and celebrity style icon Selma Blair (Kath & Kim, Hellboy, Legally Blonde) had a baby last summer—an out of wedlock boy-child with her much-tatted and adventuresome fashion designer man-beau Jason Bleick—it's not much of a surprise then that this week she hoisted her house in a leafy section of Hollywood on the (open) market with an asking price of $1,780,000.

Property records show Miss Blair paid $1,315,000 for the fully modernized 1922 bungalow in November 2004, shortly after she hitched her marriage wagon to now ex-husband Ahmet Zappa, the actor/writer son of iconic artist/musician Frank Zappa.

Anyhoo, listing information for Miz Blair's fully-fenced and high-hedged house, tucked in to a leafy, upscale pocket of Hollywood where the foothills turn to the flats, shows there are 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 2,918 square feet of almost entirely white interior space with matte, milky white walls, lustrous milky white painted wood floors and scad of cabinets, entertainment units and bookshelves all painted—you got—milky white.

The west-facing, courtyard-like front garden—turned out more like a back yard, perhaps, than a conventional front yard—has a wee patch of grass dotted with a random assortment of concrete stepping stones that link the front walk gate to the deep and wide covered front porch perfect for whittling away shaded afternoons. An impossibly narrow gated driveway hidden by a towering hedge runs up along the opposite side of the property and in between there's a dining terrace and a small, elevated concrete spa (or fountain) with cantilevered wood bench.

From what Your Mama can surmise, Miz Blair's Hollywood digs lacks a proper front door opting instead for two sets of wood-framed glass doors that open from the front porch directly into the main L-shaped living space divided into a sparely furnished foyer/lounge area with fireplace (and Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Couch) and a homier family room/den with a full wall of built-in cabinets with flat-screen tee-vee.

A separate office/library has built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with actual books, some sort of antler chandelier, and lots of windows that include wood-framed glass doors that make classic California indoor-outdoor living easy with direct access to the covered front porch and front yard.

Frosted glass panels divide the foyer/lounge area from the dining room where a built-in buffet offers both closed storage and open shelves for art, objet and book display, and a wide wall of wood-framed glass doors open to the backyard. The adjacent sky lit (and all-white) kitchen has snow white cabinets and counter tops, a huge center island with veggie sink, under-counter wine fridge and snack bar, cute little cookbook cubby, a pantry/storage wall with integrated flat-screen tee-vee, and a full complement of commercial style stainless steel appliances.

The master suite, privately situated at the extreme rear of the residence, has a second fireplace, chunky built-in cabinet at the foot of the bed from which a flat screen tee-vee rises at the touch of a button, a small but cozy sitting area with built-in window seat and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves—filled, again, with actual books—and a pair wood-framed glass doors that open to the backyard. A crisp all-white bathroom is anchored by a black floor and kitted out like a five-star hotel with high double sinks, separate make-up vanity, soaking tub and separate stall shower.

Rooms at the back of the house connect to a graphically-minded backyard where a tree-shaded concrete dining and lounging terrace steps down to the grass and gravel lower level where a cushioned, built-in concrete sofa bench makes a sharp right angle around a built-in concrete fire pit.

As for Baby Daddy Bleick, property record show at just about the exact same time in April 2006 he sold a ho-hum house in his hometown of Huntington Beach (CA) for $750,000 he dropped a $1,275,000 wad on an 1,873 square foot, city view mid-century modern residence on quiet cul-de-sac in the star-studded Oaks neighborhood where high profile residents/property owners include Brad Pitt, Christina Ricci, Justin Long, Kevin Spacey, and Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch who own a spectacular John Lautner-designed house

In a 2009 interview in Coast magazine Mister Bleick revealed he had leased his house and was then living in a teepee somewhere—we're not sure exactly where—five minutes from the beach.  However, we suspect now that's he's got a youngin in diapers and a stylish celebrity baby momma—and, no doubt, a thousand dollar Bugaboo—he's given up teepee living for the time being.

No word on where Miz Blair and Mister Bleick plan to decamp but iffin we were the betting type, and we're not, we'd wager they'll stick to the artsy-fartsier east side areas of Los Angeles but eventually settle into a larger, more kid-friendly residence with a big(ger) backyard.

listing photos: The Agency

Denise Rich Lists Epic Fifth Avenue Penthouse

SELLER: Denise Rich
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $65,000,000
SIZE: 12,000 square feet (approx.), 7 bedrooms, 9 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Perhaps emboldened by the recent record breaking (and bone chilling) $88,000,000 sale of Sandy Weill's Mica Ertugun-decorated penthouse at 15 Central Park West to a twenty-something year old heiress to a Russian fertilizer fortune, or maybe, as stated in the New York Post this morning, with a desire to downsize, songwriter/socialite/philanthropist and big-shit political fundraiser Denise Rich has hoisted her legendary, super-sized Fifth Avenue penthouse on the market with a $65,000,000 asking price.

The price makes it the most expensive co-operative apartment currently on the open market in New York City, edging out the monumentally scaled (if somewhat awkwardly configured) duplex at 740 Park Avenue that Time Warner widow and philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross officially put on the block late last year with a sixty million dollar price tag.

Miz Rich, for those who don't know, was married for thirty years to disgraced (but still filthy rich) financier Marc Rich who famously fled to Switzerland in the mid-1980s after then U.S. Federal Prosecutor—and eventual mayor of New York and pie-in-the-sky presidential candidate—Rudy Guiliani filed charges against him for tax evasion and illegal oil trading with Iran or some such other nefarious money-minting nonsense. Mister Rich, the more politically conscious children may recall, was very controversially pardoned by Bill Clinton in the dying hours of his presidency in 2001.

Miz Rich remained wedded to Mister Rich until 1996, long after he became a fugitive living a relatively quiet, heavily-secured and extremely deluxe life in some of Switzerland's swankier locales. Although divorced five years earlier, Miz Rich is rumored to have been an overnight guest at the White House the night before her ex-husband was pardoned in 2001 and she not surprisingly invoked the 5th Amendment when she was later questioned at a congressional hearing convened to determine if her ex-husband's pardon might have been brought about as a result of her considerable contributions to the Democratic Party in general and the Clinton Library in particular.

Despite her billionaire ex-husband's vast wealth—and her rumored $1-200,000,000 divorce settlement—Miz Rich earns plenty of her own moolah penning pop songs for radio-friendly stars like Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Jessica Simpson, Marc Anthony, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige. She has thrice been nominated for a Grammy but, sadly for her, always a bridesmaid at the Grammys but never a bride....

Anyhoo, Your Mama isn't sure exactly when Miz Rich purchased her suburban mcmansion-sized penthouse atop the the all but architecturally featureless post-war Park V building. That's pronounced in the French, natch, as Park Sahnk. The limestone-based building sits heavy on the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street across from Central Park and shares a fah-fah-froo-froo block with the much more swellegant, architecturally articulated, uni-towered (and plainly phallic) Sherry Netherland Hotel. The building offers residents white glove services (all the door men, concierges, and etc. a songwriting chatelaine could require) as well as a access to a private garage and an in-building fitness room. Of course, Miz Rich has no need to embarrass herself in front of her neighbors with visible sweat stains since she's got a small gym of her own located on the lower level of her penthouse with panoramic Central Park and city views, a steam shower, sauna, and bidet-equipped bathroom.


Floor plans included with current listing information (above) show not just one but two elevators open directly into the penthouse. The two entry areas converge in a vast, sky-lit 1,200-plus square foot so-called "grand salon" outfitted with lattice patterned striated marble floors, and over-sized sliding windows that allow access to a narrow wrap-around terrace. We find the plethora of champagne and beige furnishings and dated-looking day-core utterly lackluster (although, we imagine, heinously expensive) but there's some very serious blue chip artwork hanging on the walls that along with the juicy park and city views sort of makes everything else irrelevant.

The comparatively puny formal dining room seats 22—as per listing information—and opens to a slim planted terrace with head on Central Park views. The main service areas of the penthouse, as expected pushed back behind the dining room, encompass an industrially-minded stainless steel and granite kitchen, separate walk-in pantry, spacious laundry room with two washers and two dryers, and 1 full and 1 half bathroom. Just off the kitchen a tucked away staircase winds down to the penthouse's lower level staff and service wing that includes an office, second eat-in kitchen and, squirreled away behind the service elevator, a prison cell-sized staff bedroom and compact, windowless bathroom

Back upstairs on the other side of the penthouse, a library lined with lustrous, custom-milled Fiddleback mahogany offers Miz Rich cozier quarters with a wood-burning fireplace, slim private terrace, hooch-hound lovers wet bar, and a slew of built-in shelves villed with dozens of framed photographs.

The colossal master suite consumes the entire southwest end of the gigantic penthouse's upper floor and includes a living room-sized sitting room, big bedroom with gas fireplace and private terrace, a couple of walk-in closets, a pair of fitted dressing rooms, and two bathrooms, the larger with private cubicle for the terlit and bidey, more counter space than most Manhattan kitchens, and a separate jetted tub and over-sized, double-headed, glass enclosed shower stall.

A 30-foot long media room and adjoining billiards/dining room at the extreme rear of the lower level both have easy access to a small(ish) third kitchen and three family/guest bedroom suites, each with ample closet space, private bathroom and access to a planted terrace, line up along the north side of the apartment. Besides the family quarters and service areas, the lower level of the penthouse also includes the aforementioned park view gym, a room marked "bedroom" on the floor plan but more likely—we imagine—to be used for massages and yoga, and a separate (elevator) entrance that connects to Miz Rich's own million dollar (and we hope fully sound-proofed) recording studio.

The third level roof terrace measures, by our rudimentary count, nearly 4,000 square feet and is only accessible, apparently, by traipsing through the apartment's service area and climbing one of the building's two interior service stairs. While access to the roof terrace lacks a je ne se qua one might logically expect in a $65,000,000 penthouse, it does offers the exact sort of city and park views of which many New York City real estate dreams are made.

Miz Rich is a well-known party thrower, both for fun and to support her various philanthropic involvements. She's an impressively Rolodexed, globe-trotting gal with her bejeweled finger in lots of social pots who can pull in a lot of high profile power players from the media, entertainment, social and political worlds. It is at one of Miz Rich's dinner parties where conversation companions might include the likes of Patti Labelle, the Dalai Lama, Donna Karan, Nancy Pelosi and Guy Laliberté.**

**Use yer noggins nuggets, we have no idea if any of those people have ever, actually set a foot in Miz Rich's penthouse. We're just illustrating the genre and tenor of the guests one could easily expect to find wolfing down canapé, sucking down white wine and marveling vapidly about the view during one of Miz Rich's notoriously lavish dinner parties or fundraisers.

So the story goes, one winter Miz Rich hosted a party at her penthouse for which she—no doubt at great expense—transformed her roof terrace into an outdoor ice skating rink. While guests nattered on about the weather and the G8 Summit—or whatever fancy people talk about at winter-time parties held in 12,000 square foot Fifth Avenue penthouses, professional ice skaters dressed in little more than gold body paint swooped and salchowed across the ice. We're not sure whether to be amused, flabbergasted or depressed by such an (alleged) occurrence.

A 2001 article in Vanity Fair, which succinctly and accurately described Miz Rich's penthouse as a "mammoth two-story creamy-beige marbled apartment," revealed the jet setter rolls with small army of staff that at that time included, "six maids, two butlers, a cook, and a secretary, as well as two drivers, two masseuses, a hairdresser, a trainer, a yoga instructor, and a personal photographer on call." She also, at that time, maintained staffs at her luxury homes in both Southampton (NY) and Aspen (CO). A later report from 2007 in the New York Observer stated Miz Rich "reportedly has a staff of 20 (personal healer and yoga guru included)," that includes "something named a 'wardrobe calibrator,'" whatever the holy crap that is.

In July 2007 one of Missus Rich's daughters, stand up comic Daniella and her money manager man-mate Richard Kilstock, dropped $3,900,000 for a lower floor crib with a mirrored entrance hall, formal living and dining rooms, 2 bedrooms, 3.5 marble bathrooms, and a staff room/office with Murphy bed.

The Park V is the same building, New York City real estate watchers will recall, where Los Angeles-based billionaire businessman David Geffen dropped $14,170,000 in early 2010 on a full floor, two unit combination spread he purchased from entertainment industry executive Robert A. Daly and his extraordinarily accomplished Oscar- and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter wife Carole Bayer Sager. Your Mama hears from someone in the position to know that Mister Geffen's newly remodeled spread—all worked over by Rose Tarlow, we're told—includes a major park view master bedroom where an entire panel of glass in the bathroom can, at the flip of a switch, go from fully opaque to completely clear so that Mister Geffen (and his shower sharing friends) can have a view of the park through the bedroom windows.

We're a bit muddled on the exact holdings currently in Miz Rich's real estate property portfolio. She once owned (and may still own) a ski house in Aspen—but, of course, dahling—and property records show in the late 1990s she paid $3,200,000 for a near 3-acre estate a block from the beach on the expensive shore of Coopers Neck Pond in Southampton (NY) with a 7 bedroom and 9 bathroom main mansion. At some point, we're not sure exactly when, records show Miz Rich sold her Hamptons house for an undisclosed price to New York City-based investor and property developer Steve Witkoff. We'd be somewhat shocked if Miz Rich doesn't own another high-maintenance mansion in the Hamptons where she spends but a few summer weekends each year but our not particularly thorough or unscientific crawl through the internets didn't turn up any direct evidence of such a thing.

Since 2007 Miz Rich has owned a 150-plus foot long yacht she dubbed Lady Joy (above). She says she bought the boat after decades and millions spent on yacht charters with male captains who sometimes balked and/or copped a 'tude when she—as ought to have been her privilege as the lessee—requested the boat be moved here or there. The four-deck Lady Joy—equipped with an elevator and helmed by a female captain, dontcha know—has a crew of 11, accommodates 12 guests in 6-en suite staterooms, and includes an armada of water toys plus two Vespa scooters for land explorations, Big spenders can, should they be inclined, charter Lady Joy for about a quarter million clams a week, not counting fuel costs or dockage fees.

Miz Rich told the New York Post she planned to downsize into a smaller apartment—one that will no doubt be three or four times the size of the average American home—and split her time between New York City and Europe where her both of her surviving three daughters—and ex-husband—live.

listing photos and floor plans: Corcoran
boat photo: Charter World

Girl Crush of the Week: Zooey Deschanel


This one is too easy. Earlier this month on the 17th on her birthday she received a birthday card from the president of the United States. Say what you will about the President sending birthday cards to celebrities, I find that to be kind of a big deal!

I have been watching "The New Girl" closer now and have been impressed by the improvement of this show. It has gone from being mostly about Zooey to allowing the co-stars to shine. Props! Now to get my ass into gear and start trying to blog post about the weekly new episodes.

Should I try?



Hotness Contest #26 - Jennifer Aniston vs Vanna White

Jennifer Aniston
Photobucket


Vanna White
Photobucket


Jennifer Aniston L 0-1
Vanna White W 1-0

N.Y. State of Mind Two: Thierry Mugler

SELLER: Thierry Mugler
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $7,995,000
SIZE: 4,100 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In 2003, amid crushing financial losses and with much boo-hooing by the stiletto-clad fashion elite, gleefully unconventional French couturier Thierry Mugler closed his eponymous label and all but disappeared from the public eye. More accurately, the Clarins company, who owned the brand since 1994, shuttered the operation. Anyhoo, the French phoenix not only emerged four or five years later with a long list of new fashion world ventures but utterly and disarmingly transformed into 240 titanic pounds of pierced, tatted, plastic surgified and muscle bound (senior citizen) beefcake.

Despite the loss of control of his professional baby and his essential evaporation from the dernier cri fashion scene, Paris-based Monsieur Mugler had the inclination and dough-re-mi to acquire and maintain a penthouse pied-a-terre in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood that property records reveal he bought in July 2004 for $4,500,000. Monsieur Mugler recently if not very quietly listed his luxurious and sparely dressed Big Apple crash pad with an haute asking price of $7,995,000.

An April 2010 article in The Old Grey Lady revealed the vexatiously vainglorious Monsieur Mugler only makes use of the spacious, high maintenance New York City duplex penthouse about two months of the year. That's a colossally costly two months when one considers whatever mortgage payments Monsieur may (or may not) be responsible for and the $7,555 per month—$90,660 annual—in property taxes and common charges not to mention the must-be-considerable expense of maintaining the fully decked and landscaped roof terrace partially shaded, the children will note, by an impressively mature pine tree.

Listing information shows the duplex penthouse, "perched atop a prime Chelsea prewar building," was originally designed as two separate (but now fully integrated) apartments that together span around 4,100 square feet with two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and open city views to the south and west.

An intimate vestibule—with well-placed if windowless powder pooper—acts as a welcomedbuffer between the front door that opens into the building's public hall and the lofty apartment'sentrance gallery done up in de rigueur impress-the-guests glam with a gold-leafed ceiling and a couple of rather forbidding sculptures of humpback javelinas, hoofed hyenas or some other phantasmagorical creature Your Mama decidedly does not much fancy coming across in the woozy dark of a boozy late night.

The 500-plus square foot corner living/dining room, minimally done up in grey, black, red and white, has espresso stained hardwood floors underfoot that anchor the ethereal space. Two long walls of over-sized windows do not appear to have any window treatments whatsoever and wide expanses of crisp white walls work well for artwork display and/or movie projection. Vintage red glass decanters and a floating staircase, fashioned Donald Judd-like with a rhythmic (if precarious looking) procession of cantilevered treads, breaks up the otherwise linear room with a few feminine forms and one electrifying diagonal. That's right, puppies, love it or hate it, we're talking contemporary architecture that mimics modern art.

The pearwood and limestone galley kitchen isn't very big by suburban mcmansion standards, but it's absolutely well equipped with fully integrated Euro-style appliances, is plenty sizable enough to cook a proper meal and un-pack the moo goo gai pan, and bends unapologetically towards the architecturally (melo)dramatic with a soaring ceiling topped by a gigantic shed-roof sky light. The sky light pokes up through the planted roof terrace which may have allowed Monsieur Mugler to peer down from the roof terrace and make sure his willow wisp thin house boy (or whomever) salted his lunchtime greens (or whatever) in just the right manner.

Cozier quarters can be found in the moody and manly mahogany-paneled library with wood-burning fireplace, glass-enclosed display and book shelves, and humongous windows fitted with a intricately geometric grid of black shutters. Mister Mugler—and/or his nice-gay or lady decorator—balanced the electrifying coral red sofa with a pair of earthy milk chocolate leather arm chairs, gleaming waterfall glass coffee tables, and a few cow skins tossed out on the rich wood floors.

Each of the two, 28-foot long master bedrooms has substantial closet space and plenty of room to maneuver. One bedroom offers a custom-fitted dressing room (with window) and a hotel-type bathroom with glass-enclosed, party-sized shower while the other claims an uncomfortably compact crapper, a 17-plus foot long separate office space with three windows on two walls and—conveniently—a separate entrance to the building's public hall, a set up perfect for secreting late night trysts in and out without having to reveal the true magnitude of the penthouse and, hence, the real depth of one's bank accounts.

The vulnerable-looking but no doubt powerfully engineered cantilevered stairs, which Your Mama could and would never attempt to negotiate without a nerve pill and at least two good sized gin & tonics, ascends with high impact minimalist style into a glass-roofed and glass-walled green house and adjoining conservatory/sitting room space that spills out through multiple steel-framed glass doors to an 800 square foot fully planted terrace made totally private with high hedges and tall fences.

The bi-level terrace features a trellised dining area, built-in barbecue area and, it may surprise some to learn, a hot tub. A properly private hot tub on the roof in the middle of Manhattan does offer intriguing and lascivious possibilities, to be sure, but what neither the terrace nor the greenhouse/conservatory do have, alas, is a facility. That means Your Mama, Monsieur Mugler and any one else up on the roof with an bulging bladder will have to make a Sophie's Choice, to navigate the theatrical staircase down to the penthouse's privately situated powder room off the entry vestibule or to more simply but far less privately scootch behind the pine tree for a quick whiz.

It should surprise no one that Your Mama doesn't run in the same gym-toned high fashion circles as Monsieur Mugler so we haven't any idea why he's opted to sell his Chelsea penthouse aerie. It could be the significant potential profit or maybe he's just decided it's much simpler (and so much less headache) to dump the high maintenance penthouse and book himself into a swank suite of rooms at any of the many high-priced boo-teek hotels that have popped up at an alarming rate all over downtown New York in the last 5 or 10 years.

listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby's International Realty

The New Girl s1, ep5 "Cece Crashes"

Cece stayed over at the loft, sleeping in Schmidt's room, and convinces Jess that Jake likes her in a non-roommate way.
   All five characters get an opportunity to shine, and makes for a strong episode because of this.
   Schmidt in particular steals the episode with a mix of verbal and physical comedy that can rival Phil Dunphy on "Modern Family". Max Greenfield is quickly becoming my personal favorite.
   Schmidt and Winston compete over Cece's attention while Jess tries to unsuccessfully to not think about how she and Nick may like each other more than friends and roommates.

   Best episode so far.    
   




Mylène Jampanoï in "Martyrs"

This is bar none, the most gut wrenching movie I have ever watched.

I think I'm no weak chica at watching horror movies BUT this one shook me in a way no other movie ever has. Not just because it's a horror film but that the things that happen in this movie are really horrible things. I don't know how to explain it without spoiling it but it hits a higher note in trying for more meaning than just killing people off. It is not for the faint of heart. It really shook me and has made me pledge allegiance to the two leads and the director of the movie.   



The beautiful Mylene Jampanoi broke my heart in this movie.



Urban Dictionary's defining of a Girl Crush

This is UrbanDictionary.com meaning of the term girl crush. Good for a  couple of giggles. Also good for a couple of groaners.

Urban Dictionary on girl crushes

Good to see Rooney Mara smiling


This is Rooney Mara attending the W Magazine Golden Globes Awards party.

This has to be one of the very few pictures I have seen of Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) smiling open mouthed. She should do this more often. 

Cloning Zooey Deschanel or Cloning Katy Perry?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, spell it right

Nikolaj plays Jaime Lannister on the HBO series "Game of Thrones". He's an evil character that so far in the first season pushed a little kid out a window turning him into a cripple, is having an incestful affair with his sister and has produced a child out of that, and has assassinated a king and tried killing  another. And I still can't hate him. He's so good looking that that helps.   
Very good looking. :)