Hotness Contest #98 - Ali Landry vs Kelly Clarkson

Ali Landry
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Kelly Clarkson
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Ali Landry W 1-0
Kelly Clarkson L 0-2

Hotness Contest #99 - Lynn Collins vs Kate Gosselin

Lynn Collins
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Kate Gosselin
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Lynn Collins W 1-0
Kate Gosselin L 0-2

Hotness Contest #100 - Jada Pinkett Smith vs Kaitlin Olson

Jada Pinkett Smith
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Kaitlin Olson
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Jada Pinkett Smith W 1-0
Kaitlin Olson L 0-2

The Last Shuttles

The Space Shuttle Discovery being transported to its new home at the Smithsonian. I believe this places all four remaining Shuttles in museums (except for the Atlantis, which is basically a monument at Kennedy Space Center).

It's a great image; it feels like the end of an era that went on for far too long. How strange to think we were still heading into space inside the best late-1970s design had to offer. We really should've replaced these long ago. We've not really spent much on our space exploration. Still hoping for the next giant leap.

A Few Tidbits for Tuesday

1.Poor Hulk Hogan. Once upon a time he was at the top of the Wrestlemania heap (or whatever). Nowadays he shills for Rent-A-Center (or whatever) and finally, no doubt much to his pocketbook's relief, sold the 17,000-plus square foot Belleair, FL mansion he's had on and off the market since 2006 when it was listed at $25,000,000. The water front spread sold, according to property records and recent reports, for just (about) $6,200,000, less than 25% of what he originally hoped it was worth.

The Tudor-style mansion was where Mister Hulk Hogan—whose real name is the far more prosaic Terry Bollea—his now ex-wife Linda and their where-are-they-now? children taped their short-lived and (blessedly) long-ago cancelled reality program Hogan Knows Best.

Fun fact: Even though Mister Bollea shared this big ol' house in Bellair with his first wife and kids, in 2010 he married his much younger second wife on the beach behind the property. The police were called in to bust up a brawl that broke out when a photographer tried to crash the nuptials. Now that, children, is classy with a k. (via Tampa Bay Online)

2.
In case you haven't heard preggers again Tinseltown heiress turned reality show denizen Tori Spelling and her actor husband Dean McDermott—this will be their fourth baby—have flipped the 1.73 acre Malibu (CA) property they bought last September (2011) for $2,400,000 back on the market with an asking price of $2,675,000.

Listing photos show the house devoid of furnishings, a clear indication the McDermott-Spellings have already moved on to their next forever house, wherever that may be.

In the fall of 2008 the frequently procreating pair paid $2,945,000 for a 6 bedroom and 6.5 bathroom (mc)mansion in Encino that they listed last April (2011) at $3,199,000 and sold in December (2011) for $2,500,000, a substantial $445,000 loss not counting carrying costs, improvement and real estate fees.

3.
Speaking of reality show denizens, Lauren Conrad recently dropped $1,350,000 to scoop up a 3,233 square foot condo crib in a secured Beverly Hills, CA building with 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a double-height living room and yard-sized deck. Listing images suggest the place could use a good face lift; There appear to be icky popcorn ceilings and lots of confusing mirrored walls.

Miss Conrad also owns a Spanish style casa in the leafy Sunset Square area of Hollywood she bought in early 2008 for $2,360,000 and put on the market in September 2011 for $2,250,000, a price tag that eventually dipped to $2,100,000. The property now appears as pending/in contract with an unknown buyer for an unknown price. (via Trulia Luxe Living)

4.
Justin Timberlake launches a home line. Seriously? What's with all these dilettantish Tinseltowers who have their manicured fingers in so many money-making pies? No offense Mister Timberlake, but sometimes it's just better to stay in one's lane, you know? (via Curbed)

A Few Tidbits for Tuesday

1.Poor Hulk Hogan. Once upon a time he was at the top of the Wrestlemania heap (or whatever). Nowadays he shills for Rent-A-Center (or whatever) and finally, no doubt much to his pocketbook's relief, sold the 17,000-plus square foot Belleair, FL mansion he's had on and off the market since 2006 when it was listed at $25,000,000. The water front spread sold, according to property records and recent reports, for just (about) $6,200,000, less than 25% of what he originally hoped it was worth.

The Tudor-style mansion was where Mister Hulk Hogan—whose real name is the far more prosaic Terry Bollea—his now ex-wife Linda and their where-are-they-now? children taped their short-lived and (blessedly) long-ago cancelled reality program Hogan Knows Best.

Fun fact: Even though Mister Bollea shared this big ol' house in Bellair with his first wife and kids, in 2010 he married his much younger second wife on the beach behind the property. The police were called in to bust up a brawl that broke out when a photographer tried to crash the nuptials. Now that, children, is classy with a k. (via Tampa Bay Online)

2.
In case you haven't heard preggers again Tinseltown heiress turned reality show denizen Tori Spelling and her actor husband Dean McDermott—this will be their fourth baby—have flipped the 1.73 acre Malibu (CA) property they bought last September (2011) for $2,400,000 back on the market with an asking price of $2,675,000.

Listing photos show the house devoid of furnishings, a clear indication the McDermott-Spellings have already moved on to their next forever house, wherever that may be.

In the fall of 2008 the frequently procreating pair paid $2,945,000 for a 6 bedroom and 6.5 bathroom (mc)mansion in Encino that they listed last April (2011) at $3,199,000 and sold in December (2011) for $2,500,000, a substantial $445,000 loss not counting carrying costs, improvement and real estate fees.

3.
Speaking of reality show denizens, Lauren Conrad recently dropped $1,350,000 to scoop up a 3,233 square foot condo crib in a secured Beverly Hills, CA building with 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a double-height living room and yard-sized deck. Listing images suggest the place could use a good face lift; There appear to be icky popcorn ceilings and lots of confusing mirrored walls.

Miss Conrad also owns a Spanish style casa in the leafy Sunset Square area of Hollywood she bought in early 2008 for $2,360,000 and put on the market in September 2011 for $2,250,000, a price tag that eventually dipped to $2,100,000. The property now appears as pending/in contract with an unknown buyer for an unknown price. (via Trulia Luxe Living)

4.
Justin Timberlake launches a home line. Seriously? What's with all these dilettantish Tinseltowers who have their manicured fingers in so many money-making pies? No offense Mister Timberlake, but sometimes it's just better to stay in one's lane, you know? (via Curbed)

Megan Ellison Wants to Divest in The Birds

SELLER: Megan Ellison
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $15,500,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Few multi-millionaires or even billionaires collect exorbitantly expensive and high-maintenance trophy properties the way perma-tanned tech-tycoon Larry Ellison does and, apparently, the real estate apple didn't fall far from the tree in the Ellison family.

From February 2008 through April 2011 Mister Ellison's budding movie producer daughter Megan (True Grit, Catch .44, Main Street and rights holder to the Terminator franchise) spent a bone-chilling $32,850,000 to buy three newly-reworked and brazenly contemporary residences perched contiguously on a precipitous slope in the The Birds neighborhood above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, CA where all the streets are named after—you got it—birds.

The Oracle heiress's first high-priced purchase in The Birds came in February 2008 when she—then only in her very early twenties—dropped a stupendous $12,600,000 to acquire a sleek, Steve Hermann-designed single story residence that just this week popped up on the market with an asking price of $15,500,000.

Current listing information for the quintessentially L.A. and architecturally á la mode property does not indicate square footage but does reveal there are 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, an 8-foot wide gallery corridor, airy 13-foot high ceilings throughout, a 20-seat home theater, and a score or more of vast wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls with downright cinematic views across the twinkling lights of Tinseltown from (beyond) downtown to—on a clear day—the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

A long and wide hall extends from the front door to the main living/lounging/entertaining space, a cavernous, airport lounge-scaled space equipped with multiple seating areas, unobstructed city views, built-in floating shelves and cabinets, and a clean-lined Poliform kitchen outfitted with integrated and Euro-style appliances, and a massive center island with six-seat snack and booze counter.

A void at the center of the structure creates a somewhat compact courtyard with free-form swimming pool and elevated spa set in to the center. At least two sides of the courtyard's perimeter are lined with built-in bench seating and fire pits that make it look like a fantastic place to a throw a chic and trés-L.A. sort of par-tay but there is not, unfortunately any view of the city from the courtyard, which is—let's be honest, butter beans—a little bit of a bummer. The only outdoor area that allows for an unimpeded view, as far as Your Mama can tell, is a nerve-wracking terrace that runs along a slender strip of land between the house and the near-vertical slope that drops off dramatically just a few feet from the back of the house.

Unfortunately we really can't say with any authority whatsoever if Miss Ellison has altered the structure or redecorated in any way since current listing photos are curiously identical to the 2008 listing photos, down to the bed linens and bath towels.

Just over a year after she bought the house she now has back on the market, Miss Ellison snapped up the—as it turns out—also Steve Hermann-designed house immediately next door. Property records and previous reports on the matter reveal she paid media mogul Bryon Allen $6,500,000 for the 4 bedroom and 4 bathroom house he bought—so the story goes—in June 2005 for his uncommonly beautiful mother who—as it turns out—wasn't so smitten with the rakish Bird Street aerie and never even moved in.

Miss Ellison's genetically hungry real estate appetite reared up again two years later, in February 2011, when she tripled-down and dropped another $13,750,000 to buy a newly constructed mini-compound located directly next door to the one she'd bought just two years earlier from Byron Allen. That acquisition gave her three luxury homes all in a row on the same street in one of Los Angeles' trendiest and most expensive neighborhoods.

Listing information from the time of the sale shows the third property includes a 4 bedroom and 7 bathroom main residence with state-of-the-art media room, high-tech fitness suite, and massive master suite with boo-teek-style dressing room(s). A detached, two-story guesthouse on the other side of the swimming pool complex from the main house includes a music room and recording studio.

Based on listing information, property records, and some admittedly rudimentary and entirely unscientific calculations performed on our bejeweled abacus we've determined young Miss Ellison's quasi-compound row of three abodes in The Birds contain at least 11 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. Given those double-digit numbers we assume Miss Ellison is required to retain at least two full-time minimum wager workers whose only responsibilities are to deal with the bed linens and scrub the terliting and bathing facilities 'til they shine and shimmer like a beauty queen's pageant gown.

We're not entirely sure what's behind Miss Ellison's mood to divest and shrink her residential property portfolio but we do know the current listing of one of her three Bird Street properties isn't her only recent foray in to the real estate merry-go round. Last December (2011) Miss Ellison finally unloaded a secluded estate set on a peninsula-like hilltop  in the hippy-dippy (and topographically gorgeous) Topanga enclave above Malibu (CA).

Property records show Miss Ellison acquired the 10.41 acre estate with its 3,823 square foot contemporary residence, tennis court, and swimming pool in August 2007 for $4,250,000. Less than a year later, the semi-remote spread was back on the market. It took 3.5 (long) years and numerous price chops but eventually the mountaintop estate was sold for $2,650,000. Your Mama did a few quick calculations and figured out that's a substantial $1,600,000 punishment to Miss Ellison's pocketbook not counting carrying costs, improvements and real estate fees that combined surely ran into the many hundreds of thousands. However, gauche, crass and/or cynical as it may make Your Mama to say out loud, given that Miss Ellison's daddy Larry's pockets are about as deep as they come—he's reported to be the fifth (or so) richest man on the planet with a net worth in excess of $35 billion—we don't expect there will be many children who will cry for Miss Ellison's real estate Argentina, you know?

Miss Ellison also, so we've read, also maintains a part-time residence in Malibu, in the same beach front cottage crib owned by her father where—as it turns out—Jennifer Aniston lived in the couple years following her divorce from Brad Pitt.

listing photos: Westside Estate Agency

Megan Ellison Wants to Divest in The Birds

SELLER: Megan Ellison
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $15,500,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Few multi-millionaires or even billionaires collect exorbitantly expensive and high-maintenance trophy properties the way perma-tanned tech-tycoon Larry Ellison does and, apparently, the real estate apple didn't fall far from the tree in the Ellison family.

From February 2008 through April 2011 Mister Ellison's budding movie producer daughter Megan (True Grit, Catch .44, Main Street and rights holder to the Terminator franchise) spent a bone-chilling $32,850,000 to buy three newly-reworked and brazenly contemporary residences perched contiguously on a precipitous slope in the The Birds neighborhood above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, CA where all the streets are named after—you got it—birds.

The Oracle heiress's first high-priced purchase in The Birds came in February 2008 when she—then only in her very early twenties—dropped a stupendous $12,600,000 to acquire a sleek, Steve Hermann-designed single story residence that just this week popped up on the market with an asking price of $15,500,000.

Current listing information for the quintessentially L.A. and architecturally á la mode property does not indicate square footage but does reveal there are 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, an 8-foot wide gallery corridor, airy 13-foot high ceilings throughout, a 20-seat home theater, and a score or more of vast wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls with downright cinematic views across the twinkling lights of Tinseltown from (beyond) downtown to—on a clear day—the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

A long and wide hall extends from the front door to the main living/lounging/entertaining space, a cavernous, airport lounge-scaled space equipped with multiple seating areas, unobstructed city views, built-in floating shelves and cabinets, and a clean-lined Poliform kitchen outfitted with integrated and Euro-style appliances, and a massive center island with six-seat snack and booze counter.

A void at the center of the structure creates a somewhat compact courtyard with free-form swimming pool and elevated spa set in to the center. At least two sides of the courtyard's perimeter are lined with built-in bench seating and fire pits that make it look like a fantastic place to a throw a chic and trés-L.A. sort of par-tay but there is not, unfortunately any view of the city from the courtyard, which is—let's be honest, butter beans—a little bit of a bummer. The only outdoor area that allows for an unimpeded view, as far as Your Mama can tell, is a nerve-wracking terrace that runs along a slender strip of land between the house and the near-vertical slope that drops off dramatically just a few feet from the back of the house.

Unfortunately we really can't say with any authority whatsoever if Miss Ellison has altered the structure or redecorated in any way since current listing photos are curiously identical to the 2008 listing photos, down to the bed linens and bath towels.

Just over a year after she bought the house she now has back on the market, Miss Ellison snapped up the—as it turns out—also Steve Hermann-designed house immediately next door. Property records and previous reports on the matter reveal she paid media mogul Bryon Allen $6,500,000 for the 4 bedroom and 4 bathroom house he bought—so the story goes—in June 2005 for his uncommonly beautiful mother who—as it turns out—wasn't so smitten with the rakish Bird Street aerie and never even moved in.

Miss Ellison's genetically hungry real estate appetite reared up again two years later, in February 2011, when she tripled-down and dropped another $13,750,000 to buy a newly constructed mini-compound located directly next door to the one she'd bought just two years earlier from Byron Allen. That acquisition gave her three luxury homes all in a row on the same street in one of Los Angeles' trendiest and most expensive neighborhoods.

Listing information from the time of the sale shows the third property includes a 4 bedroom and 7 bathroom main residence with state-of-the-art media room, high-tech fitness suite, and massive master suite with boo-teek-style dressing room(s). A detached, two-story guesthouse on the other side of the swimming pool complex from the main house includes a music room and recording studio.

Based on listing information, property records, and some admittedly rudimentary and entirely unscientific calculations performed on our bejeweled abacus we've determined young Miss Ellison's quasi-compound row of three abodes in The Birds contain at least 11 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. Given those double-digit numbers we assume Miss Ellison is required to retain at least two full-time minimum wager workers whose only responsibilities are to deal with the bed linens and scrub the terliting and bathing facilities 'til they shine and shimmer like a beauty queen's pageant gown.

We're not entirely sure what's behind Miss Ellison's mood to divest and shrink her residential property portfolio but we do know the current listing of one of her three Bird Street properties isn't her only recent foray in to the real estate merry-go round. Last December (2011) Miss Ellison finally unloaded a secluded estate set on a peninsula-like hilltop  in the hippy-dippy (and topographically gorgeous) Topanga enclave above Malibu (CA).

Property records show Miss Ellison acquired the 10.41 acre estate with its 3,823 square foot contemporary residence, tennis court, and swimming pool in August 2007 for $4,250,000. Less than a year later, the semi-remote spread was back on the market. It took 3.5 (long) years and numerous price chops but eventually the mountaintop estate was sold for $2,650,000. Your Mama did a few quick calculations and figured out that's a substantial $1,600,000 punishment to Miss Ellison's pocketbook not counting carrying costs, improvements and real estate fees that combined surely ran into the many hundreds of thousands. However, gauche, crass and/or cynical as it may make Your Mama to say out loud, given that Miss Ellison's daddy Larry's pockets are about as deep as they come—he's reported to be the fifth (or so) richest man on the planet with a net worth in excess of $35 billion—we don't expect there will be many children who will cry for Miss Ellison's real estate Argentina, you know?

Miss Ellison also, so we've read, also maintains a part-time residence in Malibu, in the same beach front cottage crib owned by her father where—as it turns out—Jennifer Aniston lived in the couple years following her divorce from Brad Pitt.

listing photos: Westside Estate Agency

Blues Game

A few weekends ago, J and I went to watch the St. Louis Blues play the Dallas Stars.  I must admit I am not a hockey fan.  I am bored when watching it on TV so I wasn't sure if I would like it in person.  I have to say I was really impressed with the game.  I was definitely more entertained.  

For the game, I knew I wanted to wear something that was a little warmer even though it was hot outside. I was really happy with my choice because I was not cold sitting close to the ice.

This look is comprised of items my mom purchased for me while she was visiting.  These jeans were a must (one because they were one size smaller and two they were only $10).  The top I really liked because it was different from anything else I had in my closet and was only $7.



NY Company Cardigan - Macy's, Style & Co Flare Jeans - Macy's, Black Flats - Bass Outlet (Similar), Two Tone Watch - Gift, Black Diamond Earrings - Gift, Ring - c/o Luna Teal Jewelry

"It's a jumpsuit. My grandfather in Florida wears them all the time because he's too lazy to put on pants."

This weekend I started what's basically become my annual re-viewing of the entirety of Freaks and Geeks, my second favorite TV series ever. So I was pretty thrilled to accidentally discover today that the AV Club did a feature last week where, in five parts, they did a walkthrough of the entire series with creator Paul Feig. Pretty good stuff; if you're a fan and you haven't checked it out yet, do so. The first part is here.

Citibank's Vikram Pandit's Greenwich Getaway Up For Grabs

SELLER: Vikram and Swati Pandit
LOCATION: Greenwich, CT
PRICE: $4,300,000
SIZE: 5,105 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A little birdie in the beautifully bew-colic and downright swanky financier-friendly enclave of Greenwich, CT recently chirped to Your Mama that India-born Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit has put his getaway in Greenwich up for grabs on the open market with a $4,300,000 price tag.

Mister Pandit may not be a celebrity of the Tinseltown or Nashville variety, but in the high-finance world of Wall Street the man is indisputably a major (if controversial) player of the highest magnitude. From the mid-1980s until sometime in 2005 Mister Pandit toiled lucratively for the financial services juggernaut Morgan Stanley. In 2006 he and a couple cronies from Morgan Stanley started a hedge fund called Old Lane, which they sold—much to his already bulging bank account's glee, we imagine—to Citigroup in 2007 for a back straightening $800,000,000. A few short months after Mister Pandit cashed in on the cash out of his hedge fund he was named CEO of Citigroup. This was just before the shit hit the global economic fan in 2008.

News-followers will surely recall poor Mister Pandit was vilified and pilloried in the press in 2009 after it was revealed Citigroup finalized the purchase of a fancy corporate jet after the then-seriously-embattled financial services conglomerate had been (in)famously saved from bankruptcy in 2008 by a $45 (or so) billion dollar bail out by the U.S. government. It didn't help his image that in 2008 his pay package was widely reported to be in excess of $38,000,000. It also, paradoxically, didn't help that his nearly forty million dollar compensation package was soon worth only a fraction of that amount after Citigroup's stock price plummeted. He responded to the pounding criticism by re-setting his salary at just "$1 per year with no bonus until we return to profitability." Fortunately for him and his pocketbook, Citigroup has recovered quickly and nicely and Mister Pandit's base salary has been reset to just under two million clams per year. In May 2011 he was handed a monstrous $23,300,000 retention bonus. 

As fascinating a tale as Mister Pandit's professional path may be let's move on to what we're here to discuss, a plush Greenwich, CT estate owned by Mister (and Missus) Pandit and currently listed with a $4,300,000 asking price. As best our boozy brain can extrapolate from the not completely clear property records, Mister Pandit and his low profile missus Swati picked up the pastoral mini-estate in May 1999 for $3,400,000.

Listing information states the Pandit's 2.37 acre property, situated due south of the very upper-crusted Round Hill Country Club of which he may or may not be a member, includes 5 (or 6) bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. The Fairfield County Tax Man, for what it's worth, shows the classic white-clapboard Colonial-style residence was originally built in 1939, measures 5,105 square feet, and contains 5 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. The differences in bedroom and bathroom counts may (or may not) have something to do with whatever sleeping and terliting facilities there may (or may not) be in the pool house as well as the size and amenities of the what listing information calls a "garage apartment."

A long private drive stretches estate-like from the country road through a dense stand of trees to a circular driveway that curves tightly on the inside crook of the L-shaped structure. The front door anchors one leg and the other has a (too-) prominent, two-car front-facing garage.
Now children, we hate to nitpick but why, with all this land, the garage doors were not switched around to the backside of the house is a devilish residential design mystery Your Mama will likely never solve. Indeed, the reading of Rule #47 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorative and Design Dos and Don'ts is quite clear: "Unless spatially required by the unalterable strictures of the lot size and shape, any and all residential structures of authentic or faux-authentic traditional architectural stature shall arrange the automobile garage bays in such a fashion as they can not be seen directly from the driveway, motor court and/or front door."

Anyhoodles poodles, the interiors of Mister and Missus Pandit's pad in Greenwich are not surprisingly and decidedly traditional, and possibly staid. It appears to Your Mama much of the Pandit's furniture and day-core has been removed because each of the rooms shown in listing images suffer from a dearth of furnishings and a near complete lack of decorative attention and imagination. At least we hope to high heaven most of the knick-knacks, paddy whacks and bric-a-bracs that made this house the Pandit's home have already been removed because the existing anemic day-core shown in listing photographs just makes Your Mama sad and gassy.

The sizable but far from grandiose center entry hall has an unusual geometric pattern stained on the wood floor and the adjoining formal living room has low-looking ceilings and a fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves and storage cabinets. There's another fireplace in the bay-windowed dining room, which has sparkly gold (or maybe) brass light fixtures. In the den/library there are ochre walls, a (possibly wet) bar bay, another fireplace—there are a total of 5 fireplaces according to listing information—and is riotously done up with ikat pattern curtains that clash with a number of other intricate multi-colored patterns present in the carpet and on the upholstered pieces. It's really not so strange that Your Mama would adore a zany, mix-and-match pattern extravaganza. But, children, let Your Mama give you the T on this bit of bizness: mixing and matching multiple patterns in a single space is a dangerous and potentially volatile decorative solution clearly not well-practiced by every nice-gay or lady decorator who makes use of the convention. Furthermore, we can not and will not speak of the painting that depicts three hot air balloons that hangs over the sofa and we ask that the children please do not either.

The center-island eat-in kitchen certainly has high (or high-ish) if somewhat banal and not well-mingled finishes that include speckled bull-nose granite counter tops—the sort of stuff installed in every medium and high grade tract house across America—and a tile back splash that looks like it was removed from some other kitchen and installed here. Listing information points out the kitchen has an adjacent family room and the remainder of the main level includes (but may not be limited to) a play room, home office, mudroom, and main floor bedroom with bathroom suitable for guests, live-in family member(s), staff, and/or etc. Additional living space, as mentioned earlier, is provided above the doghouse-dormered two-car garage.

The mostly landscaped property has rolling lawns, gardens, various entertainment and lounging terraces, a built-in outdoor barbecue station, numerous mature shade trees, and a heated (outdoor) swimming pool with adjacent pool pavilion wrapped in French doors and multi-paned windows.

This is not, as it turns out, the first residence in Greenwich Mister Pandit has owned and iffin we were the betting type—and we're not—we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly this won't be the last given the area's magnet-like pull for top-level Wall Street executives and hedge fund managers such as Mister Pandit. In June 1994, then a bigwig at Morgan Stanley, Mister Pandit paid $1,850,000 to acquire a 7.33 acre estate immediately next door to Richard "Dick" Fuld's much more grand Connecticut spread. They sold the 6,414 square foot house in May 2000 according to property records for $2,637,5000 to a well-heeled couple who, Your Mama's research on the internets revealed, have (or had) a yellow Lab they named Bentley, after one of their cars.

Like many financial industry fat cats who own expensive and stately estates in Greenwich, Mister (and Missus) Pandit also maintain deluxe digs in New York City. In November 2006 the Pandits purchased two adjacent condominiums—one of which was a combination of two apartments—in a sleek, all-glass tower in an area of Midtown sometimes called Turtle Bay. Property records show they paid a combined $10,096,450 for the two/three units that total 3,352 square feet. As far as Your Mama can tell, Mister and Missus Pandit continue to own the combination condo-crib.

In late 2008 Mister and Missus Pandit sold a trio of adjacent apartments—two of which had already been combined into one 4-bedroom apartment and the other a a contiguous but separate 1-bedroom unit—in a fairly expensive if entirely undistinguished residential tower on the corner of East 85th Street and Second Avenue.

It wasn't until the fall of 2007 that Mister (and Missus) Pandit opted to purchase a Manhattan residence that glitters and shimmers in a manner commensurate to their Wall Street wealth when property records and various reports from the time show the Pandits paid $17,850,000 to acquire the late actor Tony Randall's sprawling full-floor corner residence at the legendary Beresford building on Central Park West. Listing information from the time shows the 10-room residence has (or then had) 20 windows with wide Central Park Views, a 30-foot long living room with wood-burning fireplace, and a total of 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms including a staff wing with servant's hall, bedroom, bathroom and wine storage. Monthly maintenance at the time the Pandit's purchased the apartment ran about $6,400.

Other high-profile owner/residents of the mighty Beresford (and said to) include Diana Ross, John McEnroe, Jerry Seinfeld (who's in Isaac Stern's former apartment), actor Andrew McCarthy (whose former West Village townhouse is now owned by music exec Thomas Hesse and currently on the market for $5,250,000), Cosmopolitan magazine's former queen bee Helen Gurley Brown. Actress extraordinaire Glenn Close and husband David Shaw sold their two bedroom, two study, and two-terrace unit in August 2010 for $10,200,000 to a real estate executive and his wife after listing it in late January (2010) at $11,800,000.

listing photos: Sotheyby's International Realty

Citibank's Vikram Pandit's Greenwich Getaway Up For Grabs

SELLER: Vikram and Swati Pandit
LOCATION: Greenwich, CT
PRICE: $4,300,000
SIZE: 5,105 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A little birdie in the beautifully bew-colic and downright swanky financier-friendly enclave of Greenwich, CT recently chirped to Your Mama that India-born Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit has put his getaway in Greenwich up for grabs on the open market with a $4,300,000 price tag.

Mister Pandit may not be a celebrity of the Tinseltown or Nashville variety, but in the high-finance world of Wall Street the man is indisputably a major (if controversial) player of the highest magnitude. From the mid-1980s until sometime in 2005 Mister Pandit toiled lucratively for the financial services juggernaut Morgan Stanley. In 2006 he and a couple cronies from Morgan Stanley started a hedge fund called Old Lane, which they sold—much to his already bulging bank account's glee, we imagine—to Citigroup in 2007 for a back straightening $800,000,000. A few short months after Mister Pandit cashed in on the cash out of his hedge fund he was named CEO of Citigroup. This was just before the shit hit the global economic fan in 2008.

News-followers will surely recall poor Mister Pandit was vilified and pilloried in the press in 2009 after it was revealed Citigroup finalized the purchase of a fancy corporate jet after the then-seriously-embattled financial services conglomerate had been (in)famously saved from bankruptcy in 2008 by a $45 (or so) billion dollar bail out by the U.S. government. It didn't help his image that in 2008 his pay package was widely reported to be in excess of $38,000,000. It also, paradoxically, didn't help that his nearly forty million dollar compensation package was soon worth only a fraction of that amount after Citigroup's stock price plummeted. He responded to the pounding criticism by re-setting his salary at just "$1 per year with no bonus until we return to profitability." Fortunately for him and his pocketbook, Citigroup has recovered quickly and nicely and Mister Pandit's base salary has been reset to just under two million clams per year. In May 2011 he was handed a monstrous $23,300,000 retention bonus. 

As fascinating a tale as Mister Pandit's professional path may be let's move on to what we're here to discuss, a plush Greenwich, CT estate owned by Mister (and Missus) Pandit and currently listed with a $4,300,000 asking price. As best our boozy brain can extrapolate from the not completely clear property records, Mister Pandit and his low profile missus Swati picked up the pastoral mini-estate in May 1999 for $3,400,000.

Listing information states the Pandit's 2.37 acre property, situated due south of the very upper-crusted Round Hill Country Club of which he may or may not be a member, includes 5 (or 6) bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. The Fairfield County Tax Man, for what it's worth, shows the classic white-clapboard Colonial-style residence was originally built in 1939, measures 5,105 square feet, and contains 5 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. The differences in bedroom and bathroom counts may (or may not) have something to do with whatever sleeping and terliting facilities there may (or may not) be in the pool house as well as the size and amenities of the what listing information calls a "garage apartment."

A long private drive stretches estate-like from the country road through a dense stand of trees to a circular driveway that curves tightly on the inside crook of the L-shaped structure. The front door anchors one leg and the other has a (too-) prominent, two-car front-facing garage.
Now children, we hate to nitpick but why, with all this land, the garage doors were not switched around to the backside of the house is a devilish residential design mystery Your Mama will likely never solve. Indeed, the reading of Rule #47 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorative and Design Dos and Don'ts is quite clear: "Unless spatially required by the unalterable strictures of the lot size and shape, any and all residential structures of authentic or faux-authentic traditional architectural stature shall arrange the automobile garage bays in such a fashion as they can not be seen directly from the driveway, motor court and/or front door."

Anyhoodles poodles, the interiors of Mister and Missus Pandit's pad in Greenwich are not surprisingly and decidedly traditional, and possibly staid. It appears to Your Mama much of the Pandit's furniture and day-core has been removed because each of the rooms shown in listing images suffer from a dearth of furnishings and a near complete lack of decorative attention and imagination. At least we hope to high heaven most of the knick-knacks, paddy whacks and bric-a-bracs that made this house the Pandit's home have already been removed because the existing anemic day-core shown in listing photographs just makes Your Mama sad and gassy.

The sizable but far from grandiose center entry hall has an unusual geometric pattern stained on the wood floor and the adjoining formal living room has low-looking ceilings and a fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves and storage cabinets. There's another fireplace in the bay-windowed dining room, which has sparkly gold (or maybe) brass light fixtures. In the den/library there are ochre walls, a (possibly wet) bar bay, another fireplace—there are a total of 5 fireplaces according to listing information—and is riotously done up with ikat pattern curtains that clash with a number of other intricate multi-colored patterns present in the carpet and on the upholstered pieces. It's really not so strange that Your Mama would adore a zany, mix-and-match pattern extravaganza. But, children, let Your Mama give you the T on this bit of bizness: mixing and matching multiple patterns in a single space is a dangerous and potentially volatile decorative solution clearly not well-practiced by every nice-gay or lady decorator who makes use of the convention. Furthermore, we can not and will not speak of the painting that depicts three hot air balloons that hangs over the sofa and we ask that the children please do not either.

The center-island eat-in kitchen certainly has high (or high-ish) if somewhat banal and not well-mingled finishes that include speckled bull-nose granite counter tops—the sort of stuff installed in every medium and high grade tract house across America—and a tile back splash that looks like it was removed from some other kitchen and installed here. Listing information points out the kitchen has an adjacent family room and the remainder of the main level includes (but may not be limited to) a play room, home office, mudroom, and main floor bedroom with bathroom suitable for guests, live-in family member(s), staff, and/or etc. Additional living space, as mentioned earlier, is provided above the doghouse-dormered two-car garage.

The mostly landscaped property has rolling lawns, gardens, various entertainment and lounging terraces, a built-in outdoor barbecue station, numerous mature shade trees, and a heated (outdoor) swimming pool with adjacent pool pavilion wrapped in French doors and multi-paned windows.

This is not, as it turns out, the first residence in Greenwich Mister Pandit has owned and iffin we were the betting type—and we're not—we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly this won't be the last given the area's magnet-like pull for top-level Wall Street executives and hedge fund managers such as Mister Pandit. In June 1994, then a bigwig at Morgan Stanley, Mister Pandit paid $1,850,000 to acquire a 7.33 acre estate immediately next door to Richard "Dick" Fuld's much more grand Connecticut spread. They sold the 6,414 square foot house in May 2000 according to property records for $2,637,5000 to a well-heeled couple who, Your Mama's research on the internets revealed, have (or had) a yellow Lab they named Bentley, after one of their cars.

Like many financial industry fat cats who own expensive and stately estates in Greenwich, Mister (and Missus) Pandit also maintain deluxe digs in New York City. In November 2006 the Pandits purchased two adjacent condominiums—one of which was a combination of two apartments—in a sleek, all-glass tower in an area of Midtown sometimes called Turtle Bay. Property records show they paid a combined $10,096,450 for the two/three units that total 3,352 square feet. As far as Your Mama can tell, Mister and Missus Pandit continue to own the combination condo-crib.

In late 2008 Mister and Missus Pandit sold a trio of adjacent apartments—two of which had already been combined into one 4-bedroom apartment and the other a a contiguous but separate 1-bedroom unit—in a fairly expensive if entirely undistinguished residential tower on the corner of East 85th Street and Second Avenue.

It wasn't until the fall of 2007 that Mister (and Missus) Pandit opted to purchase a Manhattan residence that glitters and shimmers in a manner commensurate to their Wall Street wealth when property records and various reports from the time show the Pandits paid $17,850,000 to acquire the late actor Tony Randall's sprawling full-floor corner residence at the legendary Beresford building on Central Park West. Listing information from the time shows the 10-room residence has (or then had) 20 windows with wide Central Park Views, a 30-foot long living room with wood-burning fireplace, and a total of 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms including a staff wing with servant's hall, bedroom, bathroom and wine storage. Monthly maintenance at the time the Pandit's purchased the apartment ran about $6,400.

Other high-profile owner/residents of the mighty Beresford (and said to) include Diana Ross, John McEnroe, Jerry Seinfeld (who's in Isaac Stern's former apartment), actor Andrew McCarthy (whose former West Village townhouse is now owned by music exec Thomas Hesse and currently on the market for $5,250,000), Cosmopolitan magazine's former queen bee Helen Gurley Brown. Actress extraordinaire Glenn Close and husband David Shaw sold their two bedroom, two study, and two-terrace unit in August 2010 for $10,200,000 to a real estate executive and his wife after listing it in late January (2010) at $11,800,000.

listing photos: Sotheyby's International Realty

How Much Would You Pay for the Universe?


via

Kristen Bell Mondays

Black Pants and Animal Print Top

When my mom was in town we spent the first day of her visit shopping.  I love shopping with my mom because we make fun of clothes and share a big dressing room trying on everything.  We hit up Kohl's because they were running a HUGE sale and we had an extra 30% off coupon.  While we were there, I picked up (or should I say my mom bought me) lots of workout gear and a few items that would also be work appropriate since I am looking for a job.

I found these black capris for only $10 (plus 30% off) so $7.  I had tried these pants on in the past and they did not fit but luckily they were a perfect now.  I paired the pants with a sheer animal print top from T.J. Maxx that was only $15 and my favorite black flats.



Apt. 9 Capris - Kohl's, Animal Print Top - T.J. Maxx, Black Tank - Target, Black Flats - Bass Outlet (similar), Two Tone Watch - Gift, Sapphire Ring - Gift, Black Diamond Earrings - Gift


Katy Perry's Part of Me is Another Hit!


Song of the Week: "Faust"

From one of my all time favorite flicks, Phantom of the Paradise, whose star, William Finley, passed on yesterday. Excellent Paul Williams soundtrack to this Brian De Palma flick.

Sunday Hottie 376

MENA SUVARI

Celebrity Sunday – Kerry Washington



Kerry Washington’s look is fabulous!  I love the yellow top with the pleatedleather skirt.  This look is aperfect for a night out on the town while still look put together.
Celebrity Sunday - Kerry Washington


1.  CutworkShell Top – Yellow – George - $16
2.  Faux LeatherSkirt – Yes Style - $27
3.  Black Pumps– Target - $30
Total Look Cost = $73

Savings Saturday – Nicholas Kirkwood Floral Printed Platform Pumps

Savings Saturday - Floral Pumps



As I have mentioned before floral is a huge trend for spring.  I am still not sure I can wear floralpants, but a pair of floral print shoes would definitely do the trend in a small way.  

I love the lighter print floral Nicholas Kirkwood FloralPlatform but they are $698.  So I willsettle for the Charlotte Russe pair for only $37!

Will you wear floral this spring?

Let's Talk About Bunny Mellon's Property Portfolio: Part II

Earlier today Your Mama discussed at some length a substantial and very serious Washington, D.C. mansion once owned by the somewhat reclusive heiress and socialite Rachel Lambert Mellon—otherwise known as Bunny Mellon—and now owned by a couple of influential Republican Party power players who recently put it on the market with a sky-high asking price of $20,000,000. The red brick behemoth, securely situated among a dense assortment of well-guarded embassies, sits conveniently close enough to Bill & Hill Clinton's very stately D.C. digs to send out a domestic down to borrow a cup of sugar on even the rainiest of rainy days.

For more than sixty years Bunny Mellon and her banking heir/horseman/philanthropist husband Paul Mellon—who went to meet his maker in 1999 at the ripe old age of 91—did not reside in the massive capital crib themselves but rather used the regal residence to house a portion of their extensive art collection. According to marketing materials Your Mama perused, the prodigiously rich and well-connected Mister and Missus Mellon actually lived in another equally if not more palatial pad directly next door.

Owning enormous side by side mansions in one of the most exclusive (and secure) enclaves in the U.S. may sound strange to anyone who isn't filthy stinking rich but such are the sometimes and almost inexplicably profligate real estate ways of luxuriously cosseted and profoundly wealthy Americans of a certain ilk such as Mister and Missus Mellon. He, dontcha was an heir to what was then one America's greatest banking and industrialist fortunes and she too is an heiress to a pile of money built on razors and Listerine who became a close confidant and unofficial aide de camp to Jackie Kennedy Onassis during and after her years in the White House.

102 year old Miz Mellon's primary residence has long been and by all accounts remains Oak Spring Farms in high-nosed and equine-friendly Upperville, Virginia where she lives—nearly blind but still a swimmer and regular practitioner of Pilates who, according to Vanity Fair (August 2010), occasionally receives visitors like Bette Midler—in low-key and high-minded splendor in a rambling, H. Page Cross-designed cottage-style abode she and her Mister built in 1955 and moved in to after deciding the estate's much more grand William Adams Delano-designed red brick Georgian mansion was, well, too grand.

Before we get further in to Miz Mellon's residential real estate holdings, let's digress into a little background and light dish on Miz Mellon herself, shall we?

No doubt much to her privacy-craving chagrin, Miz Mellon has been much in the news the last few years for her six (or so) million dollar contributions to former Senator and disgraced Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards who's up to his perfectly combed hair in a boiling vat of hot legal water and currently stands accused of siphoning a couple million of Miz Mellon's contributions off to support and clam up his former mistress and baby momma Rielle Hunter. Remember that tangled scandal of deceit and intrigue? Lowerd have mercy.

Anyhoo, if and however Miz Mellon's name may (or may not) be tarnished for her icky (and alleged) sugar momma-like association with the dastardly John Edwards, the almost devilishly discreet grande dame will go down in the (blue-blood) history books as a formidable and accomplished woman of storied elegance and style; Her entire wardrobe—from tennis hats to her servants' uniforms, again according to Vanity Fair—were designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga until he died (in 1972) at which point the making of Madam's habiliments were taken up in a private atelier at Maison Givenchy. Imagine that, a private atelier at Mason Givenchy. Has anyone ever told the children the super rich lead very different lives than even the average multi-millionaire? Well, they do.

Miz Mellon, despite being to the manor born, is and always was more than a well-dressed deb turned hoity-toity high society doyenne. The encyclopedic autodidact is not only respected collector of top flight artworks from Corot to Rothko and an expert in the decorative arts but, most notably, is a celebrated and accomplished gardener and horticulturist. In addition to maintaining a strict and watchful eye over the smallest details of her numerous, vast and exhaustively conceived gardens at Oak Spring Farms (and etc.), in her heyday she also did up a garden or two for fashion icon Hubert de Givenchy, designed and oversaw the installation of the White House Rose Garden (as well as the East Garden), and she was called upon—so the story goes—to organize the flowers for the post-assassination funeral services of President John F. "Jack" Kennedy in 1963.

Miz Mellon may have long ago sold the red brick Georgian mansion in D.C. that once housed part of her and her hubby's probably priceless art collection, but the frequently referenced article in Vanity Fair (August 2010) states the almost-never-seen-on-the-social-scene centenarian (then) owned more than half a dozen apartments, mansions and estates in Washington, D.C., Paris, New York City, Antigua, Nantucket, Cape Cod, and Upperville, Virginia where she holds down the family seat on the impeccable and unquestionably epic 4,000-or-so acre Oak Spring Farm.* Miz Mellon, like so many other multi-millionaires, billionaires and gajillionaires, commutes between her various residences via her private jet which lands on her private, mile long runway at Oak Spring Farms.

*At least one report online called in 2,000 (or so) acres and not 4,000. Make of that what y'all will.

Miz Mellon and her distinguished and beloved gardens at Oak Spring Farmsphotographed in all their springtime glory for the aforementioned Vanity Fair profile and intervieware reported to be attended to by a staff of 120. No, children, Your Mama's weary and boozy fingertips did not erroneously add a one or a zero. Miz Mellon actually—or, at least reportedly—employs 120 (or so) people at Oak Spring Farms, an almost unimaginably high number that does not take into account the extensive staff she no doubt carries on her extensive payroll to take care of her various other posh and punishingly expensive to maintain residences up and down the eastern seaboard.

The publicity-eschewing Miz Mellon reportedly sold off a pair of apartments in Paris a couple years ago but—true confession—Your Mama doesn't know a damn thing about the properties it was reported she owns on Nantucket or in Washington, D.C. What we do know is that over the last few years Miz Mellon has downsized significantly in New York City and recently listed both her 26-acre waterfront compound on Cape Cod with an asking price of $28,740,000 and hoisted her family's 27-acre bay-front spread on the Caribbean island of Antigua on the market with a $14,500,000 price tag.

Although property records indicate Miz Mellon still owns a pair of small condo cribs in New York City's Essex House building on Central Park South (now called Residences at Jumeirah Essex) bought in 2007 or '08, she not-entirely-quietly unloaded a pair of townhouses on East 70th Street several years ago.

Photo: Stribling via New York Observer

In 2005, Miz Mellon put 40-foot wide townhouse on East 70th Street on the market with an asking price of $26,500,000. The 9,400-plus square foot, 5-plus story faux-French Provincial-type townhouse (above) was custom built in 1965 by Mister Mellon and at the time of the sale included two master suites, 3 additional guest/family bedrooms, five staff rooms, and an unusually large and well-tended 1,600 square foot garden. The asking price eventually dropped to $24,500,000 and the pristine townhouse was purchased the following year for $22,500,000 by Irish businessman Tony White who sold his previous townhouse—located directly across the street—to much-lauded filmmaker Woody Allen.

photo: Stribling via Habitually Chic

In August 2009 Miz Mellon sold a second townhouse, also on East 70th Street (above), for $13,500,000 to —so it was reported in the New York Observer—Morgan Stanley executive John J. Mack and his wife Christy. Miz Mellon reportedly used the 30-foot wide and 9,475 square foot limestone mansion, designed as a carriage house by C.P.H. Gilbert just after the turn of the 20th century, as a very posh storage space, car garage and housing for her friend and on-staff interior decorator Bruce Budd who had his private living quarters in the townhouse photographed for an unknown issue of World of Interiors. (Photos and townhouse floor plan here.)


listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

In early 2012 Miz Mellon (and her team of advisers) put a $28,740,000 asking price on her Cape Cod compound that spans 26.78 waterfront acres with nearly 1,000 feet of shore front on the Seapuit River that looks clear over undeveloped Sampson's Island to the Nantucket Sound. Mister and Miz Mellon purchased the first of the many-parcel property in the 1940s.

Listing information shows the property occupies a private and secured peninsula with a 6,893 square foot Cape Cod-style main house with separate guest and staff quarters. A short walk (or golf cart ride) away from the main house are a detached art studio, several greenhouses, and a beach-front cottage all surrounded by broad lawns, well tended gardens and orchards, a tennis court, bulk-headed shoreline with seasonal dock, and private beach.

Property records indicate Miz Mellon also owns another three-parcel estate just around the bend that the Barnstable County Tax Man indicates spans 7.44 waterfront acres, includes a 5,000-plus square foot main house with 7 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms plus an additional 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom residence and a barn. The property does note appear to be on the (open) market and is perhaps (or perhaps not) occupied (or used) by one of her two children or two step-children.

listing photos: JHR Caribbean Real Estate

A couple months after her Cape Cod compound popped up on the (open) market the property gossip gals at The Wall Street Journal revealed the Mellon family's long-time, British-Colonial style waterfront compound on the Caribbean island of Antigua was also put on the market with an asking price of $14,500,000.

Miz and Mister Mellon pieced the mostly au naturally landscaped property together starting in the mid-1950s and it currently, as per listing information includes, a considerable main residence with a double master bedroom, "orchid nursery," and alfresco living and dining options. There's also a separate three-bedroom guesthouse, "music house," staff residence, and multiple outbuildings that include greenhouses and a "substantial" pool house with kitchen and changing rooms.

The breezy but formally arranged day-core is exactly what Your Mama would expect to find in the Antigua getaway of a cultured old money American family; Think lots of sea-salty wicker things, canopied beds with mosquito netting, and comfortably worn painted wood floors.

Located in the exclusive Mill Reef Club, the perfectly private property offers a vegetable garden, citrus orchard and tropically verdant hillside that slopes down towards the the pinks sands of Antigua's famously scenic and fancy-pants Half Moon Bay.

Let's Talk About Bunny Mellon's Property Portfolio: Part II

Earlier today Your Mama discussed at some length a substantial and very serious Washington, D.C. mansion once owned by the somewhat reclusive heiress and socialite Rachel Lambert Mellon—otherwise known as Bunny Mellon—and now owned by a couple of influential Republican Party power players who recently put it on the market with a sky-high asking price of $20,000,000. The red brick behemoth, securely situated among a dense assortment of well-guarded embassies, sits conveniently close enough to Bill & Hill Clinton's very stately D.C. digs to send out a domestic down to borrow a cup of sugar on even the rainiest of rainy days.

For more than sixty years Bunny Mellon and her banking heir/horseman/philanthropist husband Paul Mellon—who went to meet his maker in 1999 at the ripe old age of 91—did not reside in the massive capital crib themselves but rather used the regal residence to house a portion of their extensive art collection. According to marketing materials Your Mama perused, the prodigiously rich and well-connected Mister and Missus Mellon actually lived in another equally if not more palatial pad directly next door.

Owning enormous side by side mansions in one of the most exclusive (and secure) enclaves in the U.S. may sound strange to anyone who isn't filthy stinking rich but such are the sometimes and almost inexplicably profligate real estate ways of luxuriously cosseted and profoundly wealthy Americans of a certain ilk such as Mister and Missus Mellon. He, dontcha was an heir to what was then one America's greatest banking and industrialist fortunes and she too is an heiress to a pile of money built on razors and Listerine who became a close confidant and unofficial aide de camp to Jackie Kennedy Onassis during and after her years in the White House.

102 year old Miz Mellon's primary residence has long been and by all accounts remains Oak Spring Farms in high-nosed and equine-friendly Upperville, Virginia where she lives—nearly blind but still a swimmer and regular practitioner of Pilates who, according to Vanity Fair (August 2010), occasionally receives visitors like Bette Midler—in low-key and high-minded splendor in a rambling, H. Page Cross-designed cottage-style abode she and her Mister built in 1955 and moved in to after deciding the estate's much more grand William Adams Delano-designed red brick Georgian mansion was, well, too grand.

Before we get further in to Miz Mellon's residential real estate holdings, let's digress into a little background and light dish on Miz Mellon herself, shall we?

No doubt much to her privacy-craving chagrin, Miz Mellon has been much in the news the last few years for her six (or so) million dollar contributions to former Senator and disgraced Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards who's up to his perfectly combed hair in a boiling vat of hot legal water and currently stands accused of siphoning a couple million of Miz Mellon's contributions off to support and clam up his former mistress and baby momma Rielle Hunter. Remember that tangled scandal of deceit and intrigue? Lowerd have mercy.

Anyhoo, if and however Miz Mellon's name may (or may not) be tarnished for her icky (and alleged) sugar momma-like association with the dastardly John Edwards, the almost devilishly discreet grande dame will go down in the (blue-blood) history books as a formidable and accomplished woman of storied elegance and style; Her entire wardrobe—from tennis hats to her servants' uniforms, again according to Vanity Fair—were designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga until he died (in 1972) at which point the making of Madam's habiliments were taken up in a private atelier at Maison Givenchy. Imagine that, a private atelier at Mason Givenchy. Has anyone ever told the children the super rich lead very different lives than even the average multi-millionaire? Well, they do.

Miz Mellon, despite being to the manor born, is and always was more than a well-dressed deb turned hoity-toity high society doyenne. The encyclopedic autodidact is not only respected collector of top flight artworks from Corot to Rothko and an expert in the decorative arts but, most notably, is a celebrated and accomplished gardener and horticulturist. In addition to maintaining a strict and watchful eye over the smallest details of her numerous, vast and exhaustively conceived gardens at Oak Spring Farms (and etc.), in her heyday she also did up a garden or two for fashion icon Hubert de Givenchy, designed and oversaw the installation of the White House Rose Garden (as well as the East Garden), and she was called upon—so the story goes—to organize the flowers for the post-assassination funeral services of President John F. "Jack" Kennedy in 1963.

Miz Mellon may have long ago sold the red brick Georgian mansion in D.C. that once housed part of her and her hubby's probably priceless art collection, but the frequently referenced article in Vanity Fair (August 2010) states the almost-never-seen-on-the-social-scene centenarian (then) owned more than half a dozen apartments, mansions and estates in Washington, D.C., Paris, New York City, Antigua, Nantucket, Cape Cod, and Upperville, Virginia where she holds down the family seat on the impeccable and unquestionably epic 4,000-or-so acre Oak Spring Farm.* Miz Mellon, like so many other multi-millionaires, billionaires and gajillionaires, commutes between her various residences via her private jet which lands on her private, mile long runway at Oak Spring Farms.

*At least one report online called in 2,000 (or so) acres and not 4,000. Make of that what y'all will.

Miz Mellon and her distinguished and beloved gardens at Oak Spring Farmsphotographed in all their springtime glory for the aforementioned Vanity Fair profile and intervieware reported to be attended to by a staff of 120. No, children, Your Mama's weary and boozy fingertips did not erroneously add a one or a zero. Miz Mellon actually—or, at least reportedly—employs 120 (or so) people at Oak Spring Farms, an almost unimaginably high number that does not take into account the extensive staff she no doubt carries on her extensive payroll to take care of her various other posh and punishingly expensive to maintain residences up and down the eastern seaboard.

The publicity-eschewing Miz Mellon reportedly sold off a pair of apartments in Paris a couple years ago but—true confession—Your Mama doesn't know a damn thing about the properties it was reported she owns on Nantucket or in Washington, D.C. What we do know is that over the last few years Miz Mellon has downsized significantly in New York City and recently listed both her 26-acre waterfront compound on Cape Cod with an asking price of $28,740,000 and hoisted her family's 27-acre bay-front spread on the Caribbean island of Antigua on the market with a $14,500,000 price tag.

Although property records indicate Miz Mellon still owns a pair of small condo cribs in New York City's Essex House building on Central Park South (now called Residences at Jumeirah Essex) bought in 2007 or '08, she not-entirely-quietly unloaded a pair of townhouses on East 70th Street several years ago.

Photo: Stribling via New York Observer

In 2005, Miz Mellon put 40-foot wide townhouse on East 70th Street on the market with an asking price of $26,500,000. The 9,400-plus square foot, 5-plus story faux-French Provincial-type townhouse (above) was custom built in 1965 by Mister Mellon and at the time of the sale included two master suites, 3 additional guest/family bedrooms, five staff rooms, and an unusually large and well-tended 1,600 square foot garden. The asking price eventually dropped to $24,500,000 and the pristine townhouse was purchased the following year for $22,500,000 by Irish businessman Tony White who sold his previous townhouse—located directly across the street—to much-lauded filmmaker Woody Allen.

photo: Stribling via Habitually Chic

In August 2009 Miz Mellon sold a second townhouse, also on East 70th Street (above), for $13,500,000 to —so it was reported in the New York Observer—Morgan Stanley executive John J. Mack and his wife Christy. Miz Mellon reportedly used the 30-foot wide and 9,475 square foot limestone mansion, designed as a carriage house by C.P.H. Gilbert just after the turn of the 20th century, as a very posh storage space, car garage and housing for her friend and on-staff interior decorator Bruce Budd who had his private living quarters in the townhouse photographed for an unknown issue of World of Interiors. (Photos and townhouse floor plan here.)


listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

In early 2012 Miz Mellon (and her team of advisers) put a $28,740,000 asking price on her Cape Cod compound that spans 26.78 waterfront acres with nearly 1,000 feet of shore front on the Seapuit River that looks clear over undeveloped Sampson's Island to the Nantucket Sound. Mister and Miz Mellon purchased the first of the many-parcel property in the 1940s.

Listing information shows the property occupies a private and secured peninsula with a 6,893 square foot Cape Cod-style main house with separate guest and staff quarters. A short walk (or golf cart ride) away from the main house are a detached art studio, several greenhouses, and a beach-front cottage all surrounded by broad lawns, well tended gardens and orchards, a tennis court, bulk-headed shoreline with seasonal dock, and private beach.

Property records indicate Miz Mellon also owns another three-parcel estate just around the bend that the Barnstable County Tax Man indicates spans 7.44 waterfront acres, includes a 5,000-plus square foot main house with 7 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms plus an additional 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom residence and a barn. The property does note appear to be on the (open) market and is perhaps (or perhaps not) occupied (or used) by one of her two children or two step-children.

listing photos: JHR Caribbean Real Estate

A couple months after her Cape Cod compound popped up on the (open) market the property gossip gals at The Wall Street Journal revealed the Mellon family's long-time, British-Colonial style waterfront compound on the Caribbean island of Antigua was also put on the market with an asking price of $14,500,000.

Miz and Mister Mellon pieced the mostly au naturally landscaped property together starting in the mid-1950s and it currently, as per listing information includes, a considerable main residence with a double master bedroom, "orchid nursery," and alfresco living and dining options. There's also a separate three-bedroom guesthouse, "music house," staff residence, and multiple outbuildings that include greenhouses and a "substantial" pool house with kitchen and changing rooms.

The breezy but formally arranged day-core is exactly what Your Mama would expect to find in the Antigua getaway of a cultured old money American family; Think lots of sea-salty wicker things, canopied beds with mosquito netting, and comfortably worn painted wood floors.

Located in the exclusive Mill Reef Club, the perfectly private property offers a vegetable garden, citrus orchard and tropically verdant hillside that slopes down towards the the pinks sands of Antigua's famously scenic and fancy-pants Half Moon Bay.

Let's Talk About Bunny Mellon's Property Portfolio: Part I

SELLER: Wayne L. and (Janet) Lea Berman
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
PRICE: $20,000,000
SIZE: 13,000 square feet (give or take), 4-8 bedrooms (depending on what one counts as a bedroom), 6 (or 7) full and 2 (or three) half bathrooms.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to a virtual leg up from friendly informant Lil' Debbie Doesdeecee we've come to learn that an impressively pedigreed Washington, D.C. mansion once owned by somewhat reclusive centenarian socialite, philanthropist, and accomplished horticulture autodidact Rachel Lambert Mellon—otherwise known as Bunny Mellon—has popped up on the market with a muscular price tag of 20,000,000 dangling chads.

Marketing materials provided to Your Mama by Lil' Debbie reveals the distinguished and hulking 13,000-or-so square foot red brick Georgian mansion was designed by architect Nathan C. Wyeth, built in 1930 and for nearly six decades housed a portion of the "legendary art collection" of the above mentioned Miz Mellon and her now-deceased thoroughbred racehorse-minded banking heir and prolific philanthropist hubby Paul Mellon. Mister Wyeth, for those who do not recognize the name, once worked for the esteemed Carrere & Hastings firm and is perhaps best known as the man who designed the first Oval Office for President William Howard Taft in 1909.

Public property records we peeped reveal the meticulously maintained mansion is currently owned (and presumably occupied) by a couple of heavy hitting politicos: Republican power player and hyper-influential lobbyist Wayne L. Berman and his wife Lea, the one-time Chief of Staff for former V.P. Dick Cheney's wife Lynne and the former Social Secretary and Special Assistant to the President under George W. Bush. Property records show the political power pair paid $4,836,000 for the imposing and essentially symmetrical residence in the last days of 2001.

Current listing information and a quick perusal of the floor plan included with marketing materials (above) indicates the house stands four floors above ground (plus a small basement with laundry facility) and contains 20-plus rooms (depending on what one counts as a rooms), 7 fireplaces, several staircases, one elevator and an attached (front-facing) two-car garage with direct entry to the service stair hall on the entrance level.

Listing information presents the palatial abode as having 6 bedrooms and 6 full and 2 half bathrooms. However, depending on which rooms get counted or pressed into use at bedrooms, Your Mama's calculations suggest there 4 bedroom suites appropriate for owners, family and guests and another 4-7 rooms that could be suitable for for use as bedrooms by less favored family members and guests and/or a handful of live-in domestic staff.

On the entry level, an inverted cross-shaped reception hall has a fireplace, seating niches and ample room for party guests to mill around and sip champers and high balls. Two walk-in coat closets off the reception hall ensure plenty of coat hanging space for cold-weather gatherings and a wide stair case winds up to the main level living and entertaining areas.

In addition to a study just off the reception hall, the floor plan shows the mansion's street entrance level includes three adjacent rooms marked on the floor plan as offices (each with window and closet), a fourth and larger room on the opposite side of the house behind the garage marked as an office and currently used—we think— as an exercise room, plus a long and narrow wine cellar and a total of 2.5 bathrooms.

We're not sure how the huge house was configured at the time Mister and Missus Mellon maintained the mansion as a private museum space—they apparently lived in another mansion next door—but the main floor's current floor plan allows for ballroom-scaled formal living room (with fireplace) and adjoining sitting room that stretches 43-or-so feet from the front clear through to the rear of the house. There's also a banquet hall-sized formal dining room (with fireplace) listing information indicates can accommodate 40 diners at one time and next door to that a less formal morning room/den. An up-to-date chef-friendly kitchen offers a butler's pantry, walk-in linen and silver storage closet, access to the backyard via that service stairs, and an adjacent office with wrap-around built-in desk. One compact (but blessedly well ventilated) half bath tucked under the stairs serves the entire floor.

A paneled library/family (with fireplace) on the second floor separates three family bedrooms (each with private en suite facility) from the vast master suite with entry vestibule (for privacy) 400-ish square foot corner bedroom (with fireplace), a pair of fitted walk-in closets. The attached master bathroom measures by our unscientific estimation around 250 square feet with twin sinks, a soaking tub that sticks out in to the center of the room like a penis-shaped peninsula, a private terlit cubby, and separate marble-tiled and double-headed shower.

A luggage room—yes, that's right a luggage room—has built in shelving and cabinets for stashing, well, luggage, and upstairs in the partially-finished attic space there are two more storage storage rooms with built-in cabinets. Also tucked up under the eaves with dormer windows are three flexi-use rooms and one bathroom that—it is our humble and entirely meaningless opinion—would make for an almost-luxurious 2 bedroom staff suite with separate sitting room.

The back of the Mellon cum Berman manse opens up to a deep, lushly landscaped and essentially symmetrical English-style garden and terrace that overlooks the roof top and chimney stacks of the drop-dead-dee-voon Sir Edwin Lutyen-designed British Embassy.

As fascinating and well-connected as Mister and Missus Berman appear to be and as richly textured and layered as their day-core may be—there is the most amazing leopard print wall-to-wall carpeting in the master bathroom—as out ho-hum and dry-as-toast headline suggest it's really the sober and aristocratic mansion's previous owner Bunny Mellon and her recent and numerous real estate activities that have captured Your Mama's admittedly single-minded attentions.

Interested kittens should stay tuned for Part II when Your Mama will discuss Miz Mellon's recent actions to significantly decrease the size of her fat property portfolio that includes (or currently included) high-maintenance residences and estates in Paris (France), Nantucket and Cape Cod (Osterville), Antigua, New York City, and perfectly pastoral, equestrian-oriented and very upscale Upperville, Virginia where she reigns supreme over the unquestionably epic 4,000-or-so acre Oak Spring Farm.

listing photos and floor plan: TTR / Sotheby's International Realty