Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ginger Fish Swimming Out of Atwater Village

Sorry for the delay over the last few days chickens...Your Mama's big ol' backside unexpectedly landed in an internet free land and it was, we regret to inform, simply too difficult to get to an internet cafe. These things sometimes happen.

SELLER: Kenneth Wilson a.k.a. Ginger Fish
LOCATION: Sunnynook Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,096,000
SIZE: 1,974 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Charming 1929 Two Story Spanish Estate Home. Countless upgrades have been done to this home including, refinishing the wood floors, new high efficiency air conditioner, new water heater, new basement laundry room with front loaded top of the line Kenmore Washer and Dryer, New Kenmore Elite refrigerator, new gas fireplace, new tile in kitchen, and tile downstairs in bathroom with jacuzzi claw foot tub, new custom master bathroom Steam Room/Shower Combo, new tile balcony.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: While combing through listings in some of the less pricey zip codes around Los Angeles, Your Mama recently came upon one described as a "Charming 1929 Two Story Spanish Estate Home." With that description, we jumped in feet first where we found that listing photos show a slew of framed up CDs leaning up on the mantel and hung on the wall over a grotesque, ca-ca colored leather sofa in the living room. Even though we recoiled in horror over the college student day-core, we got still got that special tingly feeling in our spleen that tells us we're looking at a celebrity owned property. So we did what we always do, we started sifting through the property records. It didn't take more than a minute or two to discover the casa is owned by a man named Kenneth Wilson who is otherwise known as Ginger Fish. It took a few more minutes to figure out that Ginger Fish is the oft injured drummer for the macabre, theatrical and controversy courting rock star Marilyn Manson. A few more taps on our trusty lap top computer revealed that Mister Wilson, er Mister Fish, listed his Atwater Village property in late August of 2009 with a somewhat wonky asking price of $1,096,000.

According to Wikipedia–which isn't always the most reliable source of information–Mister Fish's stage name is derived from a combination of the names of dancer Ginger Rogers and Albert Fish, "an American serial killer, cannibal and pedophile," Is any further personal information about this man necessary to get a firm handle on his inner essence and sense of humor? No, it's really not, is it?

Property records show Mister Fish purchased the Sunnynook Drive domicile in October of 2004 for an undisclosed amount of money. The 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom house is located in a modest section of Los Angeles called Atwater Village, a neighborhood with a Silver Lake zip code that borders Glendale, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Los Feliz, and the sprawling Griffith Park. Being the hub in a geographic wheel certainly makes Atwater Village accessible to and from many parts of the Tinseltown but, as far as Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are concerned, it's far to hot and smoggy for our delicate constitutions in that particular neck of the Lala Land woods.

From the looks of things, Mister Fish's property is gated with a small motor court leading to a front door tucked up into the corner next to the garage. What little of the front facade we can see in the listing photographs looks satisfactory and appropriately Spanish. However, despite a mite of architectural integrity on the exteriors, once you get in the front door all decorative hell breaks loose.

Although listing information indicates that "countless upgrades" have been made to the property including newly refinished floors, a new air conditioning unit, newly installed tile in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom, a new fridge and a new front loading washer and dryer set up in a new laundry room located in the basement, the house is such a decorative hot mess that we don't even know where to begin. Do we start with that ornate, carved, commode-like vanity thing in the bathroom? Or do we begin with the utterly awful satin quilt bed linens? Or maybe we should go with the taupe and burgundy patterned curtains that Your Mama could only describe as "Appalachia Chic," the sort of drapery Dolly Parton might have aspired to before she actually got rich and figured out that rich people do not have curtains made of fabric that looks like it was ripped off a sofa bed from Levitz? Or will we be forced to embark on our journey through Mister Fish's interior trappings with all that crap sitting on top of the cabinets and refrigerator in the kitchen? What about the trio of water bottles in the bedroom that someone could not be bothered to remove before putting a million dollar asking price on the house? Or the fuzzy white stuffed animal sitting on the mantel in the bedroom? Ugh, it all makes Your Mama want to run bamboo shoots into our eyeballs. When we were just a wee thing our brassy and high-larious Auntie Jennie used to tell Your Mama, "If you don't have something nice to say, come sit next to me." But let's be honest butter beans, sometimes picking apart bad day-core is like shooting a dead's too easy and there's really no benefit to doing so. Dead is dead.

However and despite our Auntie Jennie's exhortation, Your Mama always tries to find some good to discuss even if we're looking at a pile of decorative doo-doo so with some trepidation will say that with a few twists and tweaks–including removing the coffee table tsotchke and Mister Fish's portrait of himself hanging over the fireplace–it really wouldn't take much to work the living room over into something cozy and appropriate for the drummer of one of the world's most illustrious rock stars.

Out back, Mister Fish's house has a small balcony over looking the back yard which has a brick terrace and a some sort of stone floored shelter where he has set up a bunch of manly looking work out contraptions that scare the bizness out of Your Mama. We know that many people like to bend and stretch and lift and contort themselves into physical perfection, but larhrd have mercy, Your Mama would know better how to remove a gall bladder with a whisk and a spoon than to use all that forbidding and torturous gymnasium equipment.

Naturally, since Your Mama doesn't know a hole in the ground from a tractor trailer, we haven't an iota where Mister Fish and all his shiny linens, exercise apparati and water bottles will be moving next. However, if we may offer a little unsolicited advice to Mister Fish: Hunny, if you want to sell that house in Atwater Village for a million bucks, Your Mama suggests letting us send our imperious but hard working house gurl Svetlana over to spend a few days cleaning that place up so at least it looks as good as it can in listing photographs because the current ones, alas, ain't doing you any financial favors. Do you know what we're saying?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Anyone Got $250,000,000 for a House?

SELLER: Adnan Khashoggi
LOCATION: Boulevard Leader, La Bocca, Cannes, France
PRICE: €180,000,005
SIZE: 1,000 square meters, 16 bedrooms
DESCRIPTION: Magnificent Florentine-style villa enjoying a fabulous landscaped parkland of about 11 hectares with winter garden sculptures, waterfalls, water-jets, a superb swimming pool with poolhouse, and breathtaking views of the sea. Personalities from all over the world have enjoyed a stay in the property.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Several days ago, while sitting on the beach soaking up sunshine and sweating out the booze toxins with our visiting friend Suzee! Q., Your Mama received a missive from Madame Mobilé on our portable email machine regarding a lavish estate just outside of Cannes, France that recently hit the market with the butt clenching asking price of €180,000,005. No chickens, Your Mama's nubbins did not mistakenly add another zero to that number, the estate is actually listed at one hundred eighty million Euros. A quick consultation with and a few flicks of the well worn beads of our beloved and bejeweled abacus reveals that sky high figure converts to a diarrhea inducing $264,528,007.

The approximately 27 acre hillside estate that overlooks the Mediterranean, dubbed La Croix-des-Gardes, is owned by notorious Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. Actually, while Your Mama knows the property was most certainly owned by Mister Khashoggi at one time, it's a bit unclear to Your Mama whether Mister Khashoggi still owns and maintains the vast estate or if it was sold in the late 1980 or early 1990s when the billionaire had some cash flow problems.

The controversial businessman and shameless publicity seeker–who once touted himself as being the richest man in the world–is (in)famous for his alleged involvements in a slew international scandals and conspiracies. He has cavorted with Muammar al-Qaddafi, was famously accused (and acquitted) of alleged involvement as a key facilitator in the Iran-Contra arms deals and was later accused (and acquitted) of assisting friends Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos loot the Philippines of hundreds of millions of dollars as well as secretly stashing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of paintings that shoe fiend Imelda allegedly swiped from the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. And that's just the tip of Mister Khashoggi's international incident iceberg.

At the apex of his fame and wealth in the 1970s and 80s Mister Khashoggi was a big baller with a high flying lifestyle. He reportedly owned a dozen or more posh properties around the world including an 18,000 square foot condo doo-plex condo that sprawled across the 47th and 48th floors at the Olympic Tower in New York City and contained 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a ballroom, indoor gardens and an indoor swimming pool. Mister Khashoggi also flaunted his riches with at least two jet planes (a DC-8 and a DC-9) as well as a 281-foot boat he called the Nabila which was seized by the Sultan of Brunei in 1987 for non-payment of a $50,000,000 loan. The sick rich Sultan sold the 12-state room, helipad-equipped floating mansion to Donald Trump who in turn sold it in 1991 to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud who re-dubbed it the Kingdom 5KR.

Your Mama has no idea when Mister Khashoggi purchased the Florentine style villa surrounded by extensive terraced gardens that surely require a flotilla of minimum wage men to clip, water and mow. According to listing information, the main house includes a reception hall, lounge, library, dining room, winter garden, guest crappers, walk in closets and kitchens, the plural being used in the listing. The main house includes at least six bedrooms. In addition to a study, there are two large suites on the second floor with private poopers that include bee-days for washing the naughty bits and 4 additional bedrooms, each with pooper and bee-day, on the third floor.

The basement is comprised of cellars, a lock-up garage for 6 cars, a staff apartment with living room, kitchen and terlit as well as two additional bedrooms that share a pooper. Other buildings on the property include a 4-bedroom guest pavilion, a 2-bedroom gardener's accommodation, and another studio flat. Listing information also reveals that underneath the swimming pool, near the "machine room," is another maid's bedroom. Oh larhd have mercy someone save Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter iffin we ever had the nerve to attempt to house our imperious house gurl Svetlana in a bedroom located next to a "machine room" and underneath the damn swimming pool. The south of France would surely see a hissy fit involving ear piercing screeching, hair pulling and extensive property destruction.

Anyhoo, oher luxuries for the sprawling estate include an elevator–because people this rich simply do not use the stairs–and security measures include a gate house, an armored door and an alarm system that probably rivals that of Fort Knox. Given Mister Kashoggi's reputation and access to arms we would not be surprised to hear that he employed snipers to prowl around on the villa's roof.

Your Mama eagerly waits to hear who, if anyone, buys this property at a time when Russian billionaires and wildly rich Asian potentates have lost vast amounts of their wealth during the latest global economic tail spin. Even still there are many who made billions off the losses of others so surely there are 10 or 12 people out there who still possess the means and desire to purchase this property and spend millions each ear on taxes, maintenance and staffing. We just don't know who they are.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Linda Dano's DIY Penthouse

SELLER: Linda Dano
LOCATION: West End Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $1,675,000
SIZE: 1,100 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
DESCRIPTION: ...A beautifully appointed living room with bookcases, white Sunbrella covered sofas and a hand-blown glass chandelier opens to the large east-facing terrace where dinner can be served in a romantic gazebo. The large elegant bedroom, with furnishings including a huge antique armoire and and Asian screen behind the bed, faces west and opens to a terrace with views of the Hudson...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A few weeks ago Your Mama received a breathless email from our ever intrepid researcher B.S. Beaverman who linked us over to a listing for a picayune penthouse on the Upper West Side of New York City labeled "West Side Celebrity Penthouse." Your Mama and ol' B.S. immediately started sifting and sorting through the property records and although we were able to quickly ferret out the building address and apartment number, the name of the owner eluded our snooping. A quick look at the listing photos didn't reveal much either, but we did notice an Emmy sitting discreetly on top of the armoire in the bedroom. After fruitlessly twisting the prop records around every which way but Sunday in order to flush out the name of the owner, Your Mama and ol' B.S. Beaverman reluctantly abandoned our wild goose chase and figured celebrity real estate boy wonder Max Abelson would eventually figure it out and write about it in his Manhattan Transfers column in the New York Observer.

Then, yesterday, we received an unexpected, lengthy and clandestine communique from someone calling themselves Viva! who generously provided Your Mama with the ownership poop on this "West Side Celebrity Penthouse." According to Viva! the itty building building topper on West End Avenue is owned by Emmy winning soap legend Linda Dano who has the petite pied a terre on the market with an asking price of $1,675,000.

Miz Dano is probably best known for her 17 long years on the soap story Another World as the glammy and dramatic romance novelist Felicia Gallant, a character based on real life author Jacqueline Susann who penned Valley of the Dolls which was made into a dee-lishushly awful movie starring Sharon Tate who was, we all know, snuffed out by Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins who, coincidentally, died today of brain cancer. Anyhoo, after Another World was given the heave-ho in the mid 1990s, Miz Dano went on to play a character named Dr. Rae Cummings, a character that appeared on All My Children, One Life To Live, Port Charles and General Hospital. Multi-tasking Miz Dano also has a long standing passion for fashion and day-core. Not only did she author two books in the 1990s about how to make you and your house look its best (Living Great and Looking Great), she currently has a fashion consultant business and appears on the QVC with her Linda Dano Home Collection. In other words, this is one bizzee ladee.

Once Viva! told us Miz Dano owned the penthouse it took only moments to come up with a couple of secondary printed confirmations in the New York Post. First we turned up a blurb in gossip City Adams' column from September 2, 2009 which read, "Daytime diva Linda Dano putting her prewar Upper West Side penthouse pied-à-terre, with all its furnishings, up at Sotheby's." Then we unsurfaced an April 2009 article in which Miz Dano is interviewed and thoroughly describes her aerie.

Listing information reveals the 17th floor building topper measures a modest 1,100 square feet and contains just 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. According the the New York Post article, Miz Dano and her late huzband–advertising executive Frank Attardi–purchased the petite penthouse pied a terre in 2002. She claims, "We paid a million to buy it and added at least another couple of million on the update." If that is true, and we have no reason to disbelieve her, then it would seem at it's current asking price of $1,6750,000 Miz Dano will lose a substantial wad of money once the penthouse sells.

The renovation of the three room residence was overseen by the late Mister Attardi who added moldings, squared arched doorways and added a fake fireplace. For her part, Miz Dano the DIY-er, did up the day-core herself. She took a black lacquer coffee table and painted it to look like wood, she hot glued silk flowers on some quince branches and she added dirt and pebbles to the pot of a fake spray of orchids. Fake! Guuuurl, Your Mama does not care for orchids. Period. While we mostly applaud Miz Dano's decorative prowess, we are about to go ballistic and berserk over these fake orchids. We find them trés cliche and all too common in Architectural Digest-y interiors. Please children, just say no to fake flowers. Really. Just think about it for a minute. Fake flowers are like fast food: good in theory, solves the problem of hunger, but kind of makes you queasy (and fat) when you eat it.

Anyhoo, Miz Dano has done up the day-core with an undeniably elegant, black and white exoticism heavy on the zebra skins including a large zebra skin rug splayed out on the floor of the entrance hall that Miz Dano calls "Harvey." We do think it's cute Miz Dano named her dead animal pelt rug "Harvey" and we do confess to swooning over a good zebra print, but in truth we've always been a bit squeamish about animal skins. We're not going to get all PETA on Miz Dano's ass but, would they could, we're sure they'd be tossing blood all over up in that penthouse.

The furniture in the living room, which is anchored by a a gorgeous seal-colored silk rug, has been upholstered in white Sunbrella fabric. At first we pursed our lips and got all indignant about the Sunbrella fabric but when we thought about it a bit more, it makes perfect sense. Not only will it stand up to the harsh sunshine that streams through the wall of windows, it's also easy to clean and when you have white sofas and chairs and a couple of long bodied bitches named Linda and Beverly, easy to clean white upholstered furniture is, as Madame Stewart would say, "A good thing."

The small apartment is wrapped with an exuberantly planted terrace perfect for nude sunbathing, barbecues, and according to Miz Dano it would be a nice spot to get married. Miz Dano and her green thumb are responsible for the over flowing greenery and the iron gazebo and presumably, decorating diva that she is, the ceramic urns and sundials.

Although it's a bit of a pity there's only 1 bedroom and 1 pooper here, as far as it goes, this is a lovely apartment and Your Mama would be perfectly happy here if we didn't have the Dr. Cooter, two pooches and an angry pussy in tow. We love the long and generous foyer, we swoon over the windowed walk-in closet (since ours is, alas, windowless), and of course, the wrap terraces and views of the mighty Hudson are, for a city dweller, beyond desirable.

Property records show that Miz Dano and her late huzband also owned–and she continues to own–a couple of historic 18th century farmhouses in Washington, CT that according to her website they "dismantled, moved and re-erected them on 20 acres." And according to Viva!, who seems to know all things Dano, Miz Dano also leases a lovely but modest apartment in the Century City area of Los Angeles.

Dennis and Karen Kozlowski List Boca Raton Krib

SELLER: Dennis and Karen Kozlowski
LOCATION: Ibis Point Circle, Boca Raton, FL
PRICE: $24,900,000
SIZE: 14,985 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The monumental 1.6+- Sanctuary point compound complete with guest house and north/south tennis court stunningly commands 604+- feet of deepwater shoreline...Evoking the exoticism of Morocco, the palatial main residence is accompanied by a Marrakesh-style guest house, each opening to its own resplendent grand loggia. Indoor and outdoor living spaces interweave amid the romantic gardens and pool.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Before there was dastardly Dick Fuld, detestable John Thain, and low-down Lloyd Blankfein, there was sneaky former Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski who was convicted in 2005 for misappropriating and illegally pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars of Tyco's money. As a result of his egregious and dumbfounding financial malfeasance and despite his claims of innocence, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge saw fit to levy Mister Kozlowski with $239,000,000 in fines and restitution and to let him spend 8 to 25 years thinking about his despicable deeds at the Mid State Correctional Facility in Marcy, NY.

Much as he became a poster boy for corporate greed, excess and shameful pecuniary impropriety, it's perhaps Mister Kozlowski's lavish lifestyle paid for by misallocated Tyco money that really made people want to scratch his eyes out. The former Tyco tycoon was lambasted in the press for tossing his second wifey, a former waitress named Karen, a two million dollar, week long bacchanalian birthday bash in Sardinia that featured a birthday cake in the shape of a woman's boday and a ice sculpture of Michelangelo's David pissing vodka from its wiener. Who says money can't by class? Anyhoo, the real issues, the legal issues, were not the excessive expense and vulgar display of tawdry tastelessness, it was that Mister Kozlowski allegedly paid for half of the party with Tyco's money claiming some of the guests were Tyco employees. Pleeze. Does this man really think people are that stupid and gullible?

Mister and Missus Kozlowski's taste in real estate were no less indulgent than their hard partying ways. In 2001, Mister Kozlowski paid a reported $16,800,000 to Blackstone Group billionaire Steve Schwarzman for a doo-plex at the very posh, 7-unit 950 Fifth Avenue which is also home to moguls Mort Zuckerman and Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz. Mister Schwarzman famously decamped to a doo-plex at the high nosed 740 Park Avenue for which he is rumored t have paid somewhere around thirty million smackers and which is said to sprawl over 20,000 square feet with 37 rooms, 11 fireplaces, 43 closets and a $5M Cy Twombly hanging in the living room. As fascinating as that is, Mister Schwarzman's toe curling real estate portfolio is really another story for another day. After buying the doo-plex at 950 Fifth Avenue, it was reported that Mister and Missus Kozlowski embarked on an extensive renovation that cost them–or Tyco–somewhere around $12,000,000. During Mister Kozlowski's trial it came to be known that he and the Missus furnished their newly done doo-plex digs with mind-boggling items like a $6,000 shower curtain and a $15,000 umbrella stand in the shape of a damn poodle all of which was paid for, allegedly, by Tyco. Larhd have mercy children, Your Mama would not spend $15 on a poodle shaped anything let alone fifteen grand on a stoopid umbrella stand. And furthermore, who was the greedy decorator who bought a shower curtain at Linens 'n Things for forty bucks and charged the Kozlowskis six thousand? Because that's what really happened. Okay, we don't really know if that's what happened. We don't really know that someone sent their assistant to Linens 'n Things for a shower curtain but Your Mama would bet our bank account that the decorator's mark up on that shower curtain would be enough buy a new Thom Browne suit.

Their Manhattan co-operative apartment was hardly the Kozlowski's only piece of prime real estate. They also owned an 8 bedroom and 10 pooper ski chalet in Beaver Creek, CO which was sold in 2006 to a Texas based oil and gas man for $10,000,000, and they still own a sprawling ocean front estate on swank Squam Road on Nantucket Island which was first listed in 2006 with an asking price of $23,000,000 and which remains for sale with a much lower price tag of $16,450,000. However, it's their massive manse in Boca Raton, FL that we would like to discuss today. Thanks to The Barefooted Mailman, we've recently learned the Kozlowski's Ibis Point Circle estate in the gated, water front community called The Sanctuary has been hoisted on to the open market with an asking price of $24,900,000. The palatial property, with more than 600 feet of waterfront that allows multi-yacht dockage, is reportedly being sold to comply with the couple's dee-vorce decree. That's right, babies, shortly after Mister Kozlowski was put in the pokey, Missus Kozlowski filed for The Big D. This former waitress was simply not going to become one of those gum snapping prison wives who have to get their hoo-hoo searched on visiting day.

One set of property records Your Mama accessed indicate Mister Kozlowski purchased the 5 parcel property in December of 2001 for $10,583,700 and that the manse measures 10,701 square feet with 8 bedroom and 8 poopers. The Palm Beach tax man, however, shows the 1.7049 acre property was purchased in December of 2001 for $3,000,000 and shows the residence sprawls across 14,985 square feet with a diarrhea inducing 2009 tax bill of $230,699. A third source states the house measures 10,701 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. Your Mama is clueless about why all the discrepancies but suffice to say the house is huge and there are probably more rooms and terlits that one minimum wage gurl can keep clean all by herself.

Oddly and surprisingly, the main house is approached via a wide but short driveway that ends at a front facing garage. We find it rather surprising and entirely unacceptable for an estate of this expense and magnitude to have a front façade that resembles an overblown tract house in an upscale development with a three car bay front facing garage.

The main house is entered through a pointed Gothic archway that opens to a foyer with a high, carved wood coffered ceiling and a curving staircase that looks like it might be fashioned from marble. The interiors, according to listing information, were done by Florida based decorator Marc Michaels who used a warm and neutral palette of browns and every damn room. The vast but somewhat narrow living room has an over-scale herringbone pattern wood floor, a very high ceiling, a bunch of beige furniture and series of towering, arched and filigreed French doors. Other rooms include a large kitchen with a particularly large and potentially lethal pot rack divided from the gigantic breakfast room by a trio of pointed archways and a couple of potted and meticulously spiraled juniper bushes. The family room, which opens to the pool deck through French doors that flank a massive, carved marble fireplace, includes a paneled bar tucked into the corner, a billiard table and enough beige patterned upholstered furniture to last Your Mama a lifetime. Although listing information does not include photographs of the private quarters, Your Mama has to assume they are equally and fussy and equally and beige.

Listing information and a look-see at an aerial photo reveals that in addition to dockage for multiple yachts–because who does not need parking for three or six big boats?–the lushly landscaped grounds include a properly aligned north/south tennis court surrounded by swaying palm trees, romantic gardens, a water side swimming pool, a Marrakesh-style guest house and and at least two large loggia's for when one doesn't feel like being totally inside or completely outside in the brutal southern Florida sunshine.

Although we know where Mister Kozlowski will be living for the next number of years, where ex-Missus Karen Kozlowski will head next is not in Your Mama's purview. However, Your Mama does not expect big living dee-vorcee will be downsizing all the way down to the 1,334 square foot, 2 bedroom and 2 pooper house property in Delray Beach, FL that records show she owns in her maiden name of Mayo, particularly since there is some suspicion by Tyco attorneys that the amicable dee-vorce is merely an effort to move his money out of reach and, according to court documents filed by Tyco, facilitate "an asset transfer arrangement designed to take assets out of Kozlowski's name and place them in the hands of a `supporter,' but out of reach of this court and his creditors"

So the saga of Dennis Kozlowski and his profligate ways continues apace and, apparently, unabated.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Billy and Katie Lee Joel Are Doing It Twice in Sagaponack

It isn't news that thrice married musician Billy Joel is about to be thrice dee-vorced from Katie Lee, his much younger foodie wife of five years. It's also not surprising, as is so often the case when the marriages of high profile people swirl down the terlit of fizzled and failed fidelity, that Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Joel have put a few plum pieces of their fat real estate portfolio on the block.

In the case of Billy and Katie, it's two side by side ocean front properties in sleepy but seriously swank Sagaponack, NY that they bought in 2007 for a combined, head spinning and almost unimaginable $28,385, cash. That's run bunnies, property records indicate Mister Joel paid for both of his Gibson Lane lovelies in cold, hard cash. Just the thought of that makes Your Mama go all slack-jawed, blurry eyed and weak in the damn knees.

The unlucky in love piano man listed the properties in mid-August of 2009 and the news was first reported–we think–by the peeps at Page Six in the New York Post. At that time, the actual listings had yet to hit the interweb so in a fickle moment Your Mama decided we didn't want to write about the properties. Besides, we figured, everyone else had already done it. But then, capricious minx that we are, later decided the children might like a wee peep at how the truly, madly, wildly rich shack up in the Hamptons.

Both Gibson Lane properties have now been hoisted onto the open market with individual asking prices of $22,500,000 and $12,500,000 adding up to a constipation making and combined total of $37,000,000. Let's look at them separately since, likely, they'll be purchased that way.

SELLER: Billy and Katie Lee Joel
LOCATION: Gibson Lane, Sagaponack, NY
PRICE: $12,500,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Oceanfront Cottage in Sagaponack Village with 145 ft. of glorious beachfront. Three bedrooms and two baths define an easy, carefree summer style on 1.2 acre property. Move in as is or use expansion potential to create a custom seaside escape.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: According to property records, the least expensive of the two Gibson Lane properties was purchased in November of 2007 for $11,635,000. Listing information shows the shingled "cottage" sits on a 1.2 acre site that stretches 145 feet along the beauteous beachfront and includes a private stair down to the wide, sugar sands of the once dog-friendly now not so dog friendly Gibson Beach. Neither listing information nor property records Your Mama accessed reveal the square footage of the modest and quintessential beach cottage but they do indicate there are three bedrooms and two poopers.

From the looks of things, Mister and the soon to be ex-Missus Joel have done little more to the cottage than slap some white paint on the walls, the floors and every other flat surface, add some Carrara marble to the counter tops and sparsely furnish the rooms with a twin bed or two, a leather club chair, a wee tee-vee, a big carved wood boo-fay for storing the Scrabble board, and a gold velvet sofa. Heaven knows Your Mama can get behind the campy, retro-sheekness of a gold velvet sofa, but we're thinking this might not have been the best choice for this house which, according to listing information, lacks central air conditioning. We are well aware that air conditioning isn't often needed when you live this close to the ocean, but hunnies, just imagine trying to get comfortable on that spongy, gold velvet thing after a dip in the roiling waters of the Atlantic, with sand in your suit, on a sweltering and humid summer afternoon afternoon. Oh, hell no.

None the less and "day-core" aside we rather love this place. Yes, that's right, we l.o.v.e. it. It reminds Your Mama of our very first rental shack in a kooky community of quirky water front shacks on the North Fork of Long Island that we shared with our lezbian ladee pals The Chicken, Flower and Joneetha back when we were all young, nubile and on the make. That's the North Fork folks and absolutely not the North Shore which are really two quite different places.

Anyhoo, although we are not–nor will we ever be–in the market for a twelve million clam shackety-shack in the Hamptons, iffin we were, this is not so far from what Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would be after. We don't need nor care for all the amenity laden 10,000 square foot "beach houses" that line many of the shady lanes of the Hamptons and cosset their owners in the lap of luxury. This puny place is, in truth, just enough space for a beach house for Your Mama, the Dr. Cooter, our two long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly who love to frolic in the surf and perhaps even our mean ol' pussy Sugar who, generally speaking, does not appreciate the beach. As for our sunshine hating house gurl Svetlana, well, we'd have to put her up in a fancy motel with gourmet room service in order to keep her from sneaking into our bedroom in the middle of the damn night to cut off all our hair as punishment for all the sand we'd surely tramp into the house.

But, as usual, we digress. Most hoity-toity, nouveau riche Hamptonites probably see this listing, as pricey as it may be, as land value only, simply a flat lot on the beach in highly desirable Sagaponack where they can erect a hotel sized house with 10 bedrooms, 149 terlits and a golf simulator in the basement. Ack! It would really be nice if for once some ridiculously rich person and in an act of rare residential restraint did little more than make a few necessary updates to this sweet shack. If we were the betting type, and we're not, we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly a massive shingled number with some dumb name like Ocean's Rest will soon loom over the shore. Just look at what that Ira Rennart fellow did down the beach with his 100,000 square foot, 29 pooper Italianate palace. So, sadly, goes the Hamptons.

Listen children, we are in desperate need of a root beer, a nerve pill and maybe even a rather stiff gin and tonic to quell this throbbing headache being visited upon us like an unannounced relative so you're just going to have to check back later for our take on the second, larger, and much more expensive Hamptons hideaway that Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Joel had done over by nice, gay decorator Nate Berkus and have on the market for $22,500,000.

LATER SAME DAY: We are back thanks to the assistance of the Dr. Cooter, the miracle of modern medicine, and the bracing effect of a little early afternoon gin and tonic. Onward we push...

SELLER: Billy and Katie Joel
LOCATION: Gibson Lane, Sagaponack, NY
PRICE: $22,500,000
SIZE: 5,742 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...Residence has been expertly renovated in 2009. Tastefully decorated by Nate Berkus, the main house is turn-key complete. Terraces on both levels guarantee breathtaking views of stunning Sagaponack land and seascapes...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Property records reveal that in June of 2007 Mister Joel and the soon to be ex-Missus Joel forked over $16,750,000–in cash–to the Oscar nominated actor Roy Scheider who has since gone to meet his big director in the sky. Given that the property is currently listed at $22,500,000 it would seem Mister Joel is not only trying to recoup his cash and costs for renovations but to make a few million extra too.

Records show the unassuming and pleasantly haphazard looking but still quite large 5,742 square foot shingled residence sits on a flat, 1.44 acre parcel and listing information states the property has 145 feet of ocean frontage. The 4 bedroom and 6 pooper house was designed as an upside-down house which means the public rooms are on the second floor and the bedrooms on the ground floor. This sort of set up is a bit unusual and Your Mama's momma absolutely hates this kind of thing because it means having to schlep groceries up a flight of stairs. But grain of salt chickens because Your Mama's momma can not bear the thought of anything that even resembles exercise. Larhd have mercy children, when we were just knee high to a grasshopper we remember our dear mother getting all dolled up in leotards, leg warmers and lipstick claiming she was going to the gym to "work out." She'd come home an hour later looking exactly as she did when she left, not a curl out of place, not a bead of sweat to be seen. Come to find out her "work out" consisted of laying on a bunch of tables with automated moving parts which lifted her arms and legs in a way as to mimic exercise but not in a way as to actually be exercise.

'Tis true but we digress yet again. Let's get back to this upside-down thing. The reason it sometimes makes sense to have the living room upstairs and the bedrooms down is so that everyone who occupies or visits the property can take full and better advantage of a bewilderingly beautiful view from the highest perch possible. And if y'all think about it, it makes perfect sense because what damn person needs a view of the ocean when they're asleep? Nobody, that's who.

The first floor of the larger of Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Joel's two Gibson Lane Beach houses contains, according to listing information, three bedrooms each with a private pooper. Also on the first floor is the master bedroom which has a large brick fireplace and which Miss Berkus has worked over in muted shades of sand with brilliant punches of orange and kelly green. Because we love the color–we love almost anything orange–we'll give that orange fabric draped over the side table a pass which is usually a no-no in Your Mama's big book of decorating dos and don'ts. However, were we ever to visit this house Your Mama would need to figure out a way to discreetly take that tangerine colored, high backed velvet sofa home in the faux Louis Vuitton Keepall we got on Canal Street in New York City back when you could still buy that fake designer crap openly, right on the damn sidewalk.

The master bath, which looks quite commodious, has a fireplace and a large trough-like soaking tub, is entered through a pair of pocket doors that appear to be perforated (or maybe painted) with an Asiatic flower-like pattern. Since we've never been invited to Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Joel's beach house on Gibson Lane–and why would we be?–it's unclear to us the purpose of the room outside the bathroom with the simple yet wonderful trompe l'oeil paint treatment on the walls but we're going to pretend it's another of soon to be ex-Missus Joel's fab dressing rooms (see below regarding the former couple's New York City townhouse).

Nate Berkus, the nice, gay decorator responsible for day-core here, has had all the walls blown out on the second floor and the architecture of the sharply peaked wood beamed ceiling exposed which gives the aura of a beach house but all the drama and volume of a loft. We like. The living room stretches the entire width of the house, has not just one but two wood burning fireplaces, several seating areas and a long wall of French doors that open to an ocean side terrace with long, spine tingling views up and down the beach. In the center of the house is the dining room furnished with an eclectic mix of antique this and thats including an egg-shaped crystal and gold chandelier. It's not what we'd put there, but it's really good in a pack-a-day, divorcee-with-a-past who lives alone in her ranch style house professionally decorated in 1972 sort of way.

Anyhoo, behind the dining room is the rather too wide kitchen–it looks like a long way to carry a pot full of pasta from the stove to the sink–all done over in white subway tiles with gray grout and stainless steel cabinetry. Honestly kids, we're kind of over stainless steel cabinetry. Actually we've been over stainless steel cabinetry for years so it's a bit disappointing and surprising Miss Berkus made such liberal use of them here. Our violence prone house gurl wants to slap Miss Berkus silly for this and she isn't even responsible for keeping those cabinets finger print free. None the less, the mac daddy Wolf range with that industrial hood gives Your Mama goose bumps and we love a kitchen without overhead cabinetry as long as there's plenty of under counter storage and a generously over-sized pantry, preferably the walk-in variety.

Also on the second floor is a library/home office with built in book shelves, a 1930s style upholstered chair that we have a sneaking suspicion might be a recliner, and a slim, glammy mirrored desk which we'd love in the right circumstances but not in this one. That globe light in a cage chandelier, on the other hand, made us pee in our pants a little, in the good way.

The wood floors on the second floor have been whitewashed and then given a David Hicks-ish honeycomb pattern paint treatment in a slightly darker, grayish tint. We like this idea in theory, but not so much in the execution. It actually looks amazing in the living room where the background appears warm but it looks washed out, unnecessary and bordering on decorative overkill in the kitchen. Your Mama hates to say that because, generally speaking, we think Miss Berkus is quite talented and knows how to put a mixy-matchy room together like the professional he is. But we speak our mind, so that there is Your Mama's mind about the paint treatment that poor wood floor has been made to endure. Maybe it's just the light in the photographs and this actually looks like an impeccable stroke of genius in real life. Could be.

Listing information also reveals the property also includes a two car garage and a separate studio annex with a loft area perfect for that live in house gurl you don't trust in your home after you've turned out the lights and gone to bed. Listing information also indicates there is a usable variance for a swimming pool on the east side of the property. Is there anything more dee-luxe than a swimming pool with an ocean view? And if you're spending twenty million or so for a beach house, what's another few hundred grand to shore up the dune and sink a pool into the ground? Pennies babies, pennies.

Although not quite in the league of prolific property collector Nic Cage, Mister Joel is quite the real estate maven in his own right. In addition to the two ocean front houses on Sagaponack, his portfolio bulges with a 14,000 square foot waterfront mansion on the natty and nabobish North Shore of Long Island. This property, bought in 2002 for $22,000,000, is where the May-December duo got hitched in 2004 and which they listed for sale in 2006 with a spine tingling asking price of $37,500,000. The property has since been taken off the market.

The couple also picked up a townhouse in New York City's celebrity stuffed West Village which they had all did up and done over by Nate Berkus who installed a glowing, glam and surprisingly delicious gold leafed dressing room. It is widely presumed the soon to be third ex-Missus Joel will receive the townhouse as part of her settlement. Shortly after marrying, the couple also forked over $13,500,000 for a 7 bedroom and 8 pooper getaway on La Gorce Circle in Miami Beach.

Prior to wedding the current soon to be ex-Missus Joel, Mister Joel purchased and lived–at least part time–in a not particularly private house in downtown Sag Harbor, NY where he often hides in plain sight surrounded by 20 or more vintage motorcycles. The rather public location sounds strange until you realize it sits directly across the street from his private marina where he stashes his 36-foot boat, the Alexa. Since the demise of his most recent marriage, Mister Joel has been spending a lot of time in his Sag Harbor house where in July he was reported to be entertaining the age appropriate former soap actress Alex Donnelley. Miz Donnelley, the sacrificial rebound lamb, seems to have been replaced by a new and much younger ladee named Deborah Dampiere. Just last night, on the 22nd of September 2009, Mister Joel squired Miss Dampiere to the Metropolitan Opera's opening night of Tosca, the curtain call of which was vociferously booed by all the glittered up socialites, culture vultures and rich people who get dressed up and attend things like opening night of Tosca at the Met. But that's really another story for another blog.

Now then, as Belma Buttons and Tovah McQueen would say, we are through.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Now You Can Buy Kate Hudson's Sloppy Seconds

SELLER: Not A Famous Person
RENTER: Kate Hudson
LOCATION: King Street, New York, NY
PRICE: $4,950,000
SIZE: 4,136 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: 1830's, 22' wide 4 Story Townhouse on a 25' lot, with 4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Bathrooms, 3 exposures, a large Chef's kitchen, a wooden deck overlooking a lovely 50' Garden, Central AC, Cherry wood floors & 4 Woodburning fireplaces. This beautiful home is located in Soho's Charlton-King-Vandam Landmarked Historic District.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Okay hunnies, Your Mama has been sitting on this one for quite some time. Why? We don't know. But it's a slow week for us in the celebrity real estate world so we thought we'd take the opportunity to clear a few things of our desk, this being one of them.

In addition to her parents Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's homes in Aspen and Malee-boo, Oscar nominated Tinseltown nepotist Kate Hudson (200 Cigarettes, Dr. T and the Women, How to Lose a Goy in 10 Days, You, Me and Dupree, Bride Wars and etc.) divides her time between her own house in the posh Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles and a rented New York City townhouse. Considering her jet setting, boho-glammy actress on the rise lifestyle it makes perfect sense to Your Mama that Miss Hudson would maintain a (semi-) permanent crib in New York City which also happens to be where her ex-huzband and baby daddy Chris Robinson–he of the Black Crowes–lives.

Since splitting from the shaggy Mister Robinson in 2006, Miss Hudson has been very bizzy getting bizzy with a long list of high profile gentlemen including Justin Timberlake, musician Nic Cester, Owen Wilson, Heath Ledger, Dax Shepard, Lance Armstrong, Aussie golfer Adam Scott, and her current squeeze, professional baseballer and former man-friend of Madonna, Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez. By our count, that's eight dudes in less than 3 years. Damn gurl. Our friend Fiona Trambeau hasn't even had that many men through her bedroom in the last three years and you can fairly call her a floozy. Listen child, let Your Mama give you a little free and unsolicited advice: You are free to date and do the dirty with whomever and however many men you want, but in your post-A-rod days–and there will be post-A-Rod days–we suggest you choose less conspicuous men so at least you might have a snowball's chance in hell of not having your bedroom bidness spread across the interwebs.

Anyhoo, as usual, we digress. We are here to discuss the real estate and not the man habits of a rich and very famous young woman so let's get started. Property records shows the four floor townhouse on New York City's King Street is owned by someone other than Miss Kate Hudson and who is not a celebrity. This would indicate that the romantic comedy queen–you better watch your back Jennifer Aniston–leases the property, probably at a monthly rate so high we'd need a nerve pill just to think about it. It's unclear to Your Mama how long Miss Hudson has occupied the two unit building and it's also not in our scope of knowledge whether she rents both the basement 1-bedroom apartment and the three floor apartment upstairs or just the
three bedroom and 2.5 pooper triplex. It's also unclear to Your Mama if Miss Hudson still occupies the townhouse but the listing does say it will be delivered vacant at the close of a sale, meaning if she hasn't already moved, she'll have to get packing as soon as the building goes into escrow.

Whatever the case, Your Mama knows this particular block of King Street quite well being very near the building in which we toiled on and off for a number of years in a chi-chi boo-teek advertising agency. It also happens to be two blocks from the rooftop where we stood on 9-11 and watched both of the World Trade Towers collapse. But that's another sad story for another day. This lovely and leafy block of King Street sits just around the corner from the fantastic Film Forum, just a block or two south of the exuberantly gentrified West Village, and a few blocks west of the tourist trap shopping district that used to be SoHo. Alright people, SoHo is not all that bad...if you get off yer hiney off Broadway. But hunnies, you do not want to be stuck on this stretch of Broadway below Houston Street on a Saturday afternoon with all those women in velour track suits with the word "juicy" embarrassingly emblazoned across their butts. Larhd have mercy children, these people who flock to SoHo nowadays to shop at mass market retailers like Gap and Pottery Barn perplex us to no end. Who goes all the way to New York City to buy the same damn crapola they can buy at their local mall? Hunny, pleeze.

But there go a-digressing again. Information we dug up on the marvelous real estate listing amalgamator Streeteasy reveals the property owner put the townhouse on the market in November of 2008 with a price tag of $6,250,000. A couple of months later the asking price was lowered to $5,625,000 and then again to $4,950,000 in March of 2009 before it was de-listed in April, re-listed in May, de-listed again in June and, finally, re-listed in July of 2009. The asking price currently stands at $4,950,000, which is a lot of damn money for a house without a single bathroom larger than Your Mama's modestly sized walk-in closet. The townhouse was built in the 1830s and according to some reports was once the home to John Jacob Astor.

According to the floorplan, the main level consists of a living room with a wood burning fireplace and a lot of beige day-core courtesy of Miss Hudson and a dining room with an adjacent guest pooper which is not, for obvious reasons,
an ideal location but considering the narrow squeeze of a townhouse, it's acceptable in this case. Beyond the dining room through a set of double pocket doors, is the nicely sized and well windowed eat in kitchen with wood floors, white cabinetry, a built in boo-fay behind the kitchen table, French doors that open to a dining terrace and a white, mac-daddy Viking range which has Your Mama salivating with envy. We're surprised by the Home Despot ceiling fan especially considering all the options for much nicer and less offensive ceiling fans nowadays.

Overlooking the back garden on the second floor is a good sized bedroom that appears to be young Ryder's room, a windowless sitting room and a street-side family room with a second wood burning fireplace, a smattering of low slung, Moroccan hookah lounge appropriate furniture and a large shag rug that would toss our tyrannical house gurl Svetlana into a temper tantrum and looks to Your Mama like it was made from Persian kitty pelts. A teeny-tiny, window-free pooper completes the second level.

The top floor, includes two bedrooms, one of which has three closets and a pooper barely large enough in which to turn around let alone swing a damn cat. The second bedroom on the third floor stretches the entire width of the townhouse and has a third wood burning fireplace flanked by built in book shelves. It does not, according to the floorplan, have a closet which means, technically, legally, it can not be a bedroom. But listen people, getting all up in arms about "bedrooms" without closets in New York City is an exhausting and futile fight because they are, quite simply, as common as the cockroaches that wheezle their way into every apartment, restaurant and shop in New York City.

The lowest floor, located a half flight below street level, is correctly called and English basement and in addition to an open plan living room/kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, there is a room where the buildings mechanicals are located, a room we can only hope for the tenant is sound proofed.

Where Miss Hudson will take all her beige, slip covered sofas next isn't information in our purview, but from the sound of things, she just may be be scooting her perfectly tussled hair and expensive neo-hippie shifts right on uptown to live in sin at A-Rod's apartment in the over-hyped Robert A.M. Stern designed building at 15 Central Park West where the pro slugger is reported to be paying in the neighborhood of $30,000 per month to rent a 35th floor 2 bedroom and 2.5 pooper condo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Christina Ricci Up In The Oaks

SELLER: Christina Ricci or somebody else
LOCATION: Park Oak Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,549,000
SIZE: 2,428 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Private, romantic, secure hideaway on one of the most coveted streets in the Oaks. Spectacular mosaic tiled pool and lush patio areas perfect for evening nights entertaining and peaceful weekends vacationing at home. French doors, high beamed ceilings and archways provide rich architectural elements.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: At the end of July (2009) a lovely house in the discreetly post Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles hit the market with an asking price of $1,650,000. When we first looked at the listing photos every single one of Your Mama's celebrity real estate synapses starting firing. Like we always do when we get that tingly feeling that comes with our innards screaming, "This is a celebrity owned home," we took an somewhat futile peep and poke around the public property records. Stymied by confusing and indecipherable records, we did a little asking around with several of our better informed informants who were, bless their little usually very helpful hearts, no help at all. Facing a celebrity real estate dead end, we abandoned our research and promptly forgot about the property. Then, late last week we heard from Vlad the Revealer who asked Your Mama if we could confirm that the aforementioned house in Los Feliz was still owned by former child star turned bonafide film star Christina Ricci (Mermaids, The Addams Family franchise, The Ice Storm, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Monster, and New York, I Love You).

Well butter beans, upon that savory name being dropped in our lap, our fervor and interest in the property heated right up all over again. That's because–true confession–Your Mama has a bit of a real estate soft spot for Miss Ricci. See puppies, we feel a certain residential affinity to Miss Ricci because, believe it or not, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter used to occupy the same downtown doo-plex apartment in New York City where Miss Ricci once lived. Although the apartment technically belonged to her mother Sarah, amongst our more humdrum mail, we would sometimes find invitations to swank parties and store openings addressed to the younger and famous Ricci. Being the bizzy bee and nosy Nelly we are, we opened them. We would have happily forwarded the invites to Miss Ricci, but at that time we had yet to sink into the byzantine world of celebrity real estate and had no idea where the little ladee resided. Don't bother to ask if we used to the invitations to gain access to and get drunk on free booze at said parties and store openings because Your Mama will plead the fifth.

Anyhoo, after receiving the missive regarding Miss Ricci from Vlad the Revealer we once again scoured the property records and checked in with a few of our informants. Aerial Dave indicates that Miss Ricci sold this house in 2004 and bought another house on nearby Red Oak Drive in 2005. Interestingly, records do indeed reveal that Miss Ricci–through a trust–did spend $1,505,000 for the 2 bedroom and 3 pooper residence on Red Oak Drive. However, two always very reliable and unconnected sources also told Your Mama that the pretty house on Park Oak Drive, currently listed at $1,549,000, is also and indeed owned by the bantam Miss Ricci. So, while there is some confusion on the property and we are simply not sure if Miss Ricci owns this house, at the very least, she did own it at one time.

Listing information indicates the tile-roofed residence on Park Oak Drive measures 2,428 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms and 3 full poopers. The flat fronted and unassuming street façade is dominated by a gaping archway over the garage door that positively dwarfs the nearly hidden front door which opens to a staircase that rises to the main floor. On one side of the stair landing is the "formal" living room with a wonderfully high beamed ceiling and a wood burning fireplace topped by a glammy gilded mirror propped on the mantel. On the other side is the dining room, a keenly and successfully restrained space kept from feeling nekkid by another large gilded mirror leaning up again the wall and a glitzy crystal chandelier hanging over the square, distressed wood farmhouse table. A few steps up from and open to the living room is a family room area that opens to the rear terrace through French doors and is furnished with a massive, mink colored velvet sectional sofa. This isn't what Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would do sofa-wise, but we can imagine it's a soft and silky spot to settle into for a long night of gin and tonics and reality television.

Up a few more steps from the family room and located along an arcade that overlooks the dining room are the bedrooms including the white walled master which opens through dark framed French doors to the the back yard and the mosaic tiled swimming pool and spa surrounded by thick greenery and a couple of well-laced Japanese maples. What can not be seen in the photo of the bedroom above is a third, very heavy framed gilded mirror propped up against the wall, a device utilized as a unifying decorative theme in the house. Your Mama hopes and prays there are no more than these three gilded mirrors propped up against the walls in this house because any more would be, as our friend Fiona Trambeau would say, flooding the car. Take note chickens, just because three ornate gilded mirrors are good does not mean four is better.

Beyond the raised ceiling and stark white walls–which Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter love even though a significant number of the children will probably loathe them–perhaps the most notable and interesting feature of the day-core are the wood floors which have been done in a deep and glossy azure. In truth, we've never seen this done and had a nice, gay decorator ever suggested to Your Mama that we refinish our wood floors in a dark blue we would have huffed, puffed, gotten on our high horse and booted that queen right out the front door. However, in all fairness, we have to say, it's a rather striking and works well with the spare and bare-footed glamor of the day-core seen in the majority of the house.

The kitchen, on the other hand, has nary a speck of glamor to be squeezed out of it–that chandelier is too paltry to count–and appears to need a serious re-do. However, it's not all the grey tile from the 1980s that has Your Mama all freaked out. On no hunnies, our kitchen conniption is all about that pernicious pear painting someone brazenly dared to hang on the wall in the breakfast area as if it is art. Larhd have mercy children, does Your Mama really need to go on another tear regarding our utter disdain for pear paintings? In the event that any the children or misguided decorators with a predilection for pear paintings missed our January 2007 rant on pear "art," here it is again, for better or worse, in it's entirety:

Hunnies, we have got to break into our normal posting routine here because Your Mama is too outraged to keep our mouth shut.

On Saturday, the 20th of January, The Sun, one of Britain's most aggressive and intense tabloids, featured photos of Brad and Angelina's new house in New Orleans. And yes children, it is the same house Your Mama told you they bought last week, on the 17th, thank you.

But Your Mama is not here to gloat about breaking stories. No sirree Bob. What we want to discuss is all these damn pear paintings that keep popping up in pictures of rich people's houses. That's right babies, one of the photos in The Sun's article shows a giant pear painting hanging over a fireplace in one of the rooms.

Do you recall that pear abortion in Cher's flip nightmare in Palm Springs? Well if you do, you know Your Mama was not happy about it. If not, you can read about it here.

Anyhoo, we were alerted to this pear by our San Francisco based anglophile friend Fiona Trambeau. And Lahwd children, Your Mama just about came unglued when we saw this decorating tragedy. We were so disturbed we had to go take us a nerve pill. Please.

Who are all these gay decorators who are telling their clients to be hanging paintings of giant pears up in their houses? WHO? WHO ARE THEY? Because Your Mama would like to sit them down and give them a severe tongue lashing. Then we'd like to take them up to the roof and beat their asses until they haven't got enough sense to know what a pear is.

We have had enough of the pears. Do you hear Your Mama? ENOUGH. And we don't want to be seeing any other fruit up on the walls either. All you gay decorators out there need to have some mercy on our souls and not be putting that kind of shit up on the walls. Honestly! If you need the name of some good galleries, you just let Your Mama know and we'll get you some phone numbers and addresses. Now then, stop it with the pears.

What do the children think. Is it just Your Mama who finds this fruit fetish offensive?

Okay? Do y'all hear Your Mama on the pear paintings? Please don't make us have to repeat that rant.

Although Miss Ricci was spotted house hunting in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles in March of 2009 with her erstwhile man-beau Owen Benjamin, she has long had an affinity for the celebrity packed Oaks neighborhood in Los Feliz. In addition to the Park Oak Drive and Red Oak Drive residences, Miss Ricci aslo owned the Lloyd Wright designed Samuel-Novarro House–which had been restored by the architectural preservation minded actress Diane Keaton–that records show she purchased in June of 2005 for $2,979,000 and sold at a loss in June of 2006 for the unusually complicated price of $2,827,525. The discreetly posh Oaks neighborhood is also also home to the large lipped, micro-managing house flipper/reality tee-vee star Jeff Lewis, musician and legendary ladee's man Adam Levine and, of course, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who have a 1.6 acre, five-parcel compound on Briarcliff Road that has two side-by side swimming pools–perhaps one is a kiddie pool for their multi-cultural brood of young children?–and several homes/buildings including a recently rehabbed Craftsman style residence.