Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You need:
  1. black construction paper

  2. scissors

  3. kite paper

  4. glue

In the folklore of the Netherlands, Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is a yearly feast on the evening of December 5th. Sinterklaas celebrates his birthday by distributing presents to all good children. Half November Saint Nicholas comes with is steam boat out of Spain to Holland. With his helpers, a lot of Black Pete's, he visits schools, hospitals, stores ands families.

This lesson is about Sinterklaas, but can be done with Santa too, or any other person with a recognizable silhouette.

Fold the black sheet and draw an oval as great as possible. Use this oval to draw a decorated frame. Cut this. Draw a silhouette against the fold of the resting piece of black paper, and cut it. Paste kite paper behind the fram, paste the silhouette in the middle of it.

Emeril Lagasse Flips Out in New York City

SELLER: Emeril Lagasse
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $15,000,000
SIZE: 6,900 square feet, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Today we've opted for reasons well not explain to ride the coat tails of New York Post who appear to be the first to report that celebrity chef and culinary mini-tycoon Emeril Lagasse has flipped his nicely dressed limestone-clad New York City townhouse on the market with an asking price of $15,000,000.

Just because Your Mama ain't never eaten in one of Mister Lagasse's eateries, made use of one of his numerous cookbooks, watched a single one of his television programs or purchased any of the many products he endorses does not mean he isn't a very big fish in the culinary world. In addition to the dozen-plus restaurants he owns and executive chefs, the James Beard Award-winning thrice-married father of four, known for his Cajun and Creole spiced dishes, is a prolific cookbook author, television personality and, probably most lucratively, an eager endorser of a slew of products that range from dry goods (pasta sauces and etc.), to fresh produce, kitchen knives, cookware and electrical appliances. In 2008, the multi-tasking foodie sold the rights to all his various Emeril branded and licensed products (but not his restaurants) in a $50,000,000 deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, a deal that sorta makes him, with all due respect, one of Martha Stewart's bitches. BAM!

Interestingly and although he paid a pretty penny to own a mansion-sized townhouse in Manhattan, as far as Your Mama knows Mister Lagasse does not own a restaurant in New York City instead opting to plant his mostly eponymous professional feet in places like New Orleans, Orlando, Las Vegas and Bethlehem, PA.

Some of the children who have long paid rapt attention to the New York City celebrity real estate scene may recall it was only just over two years ago that the puissant hash slinger purchased the fairly recently renovated six-story (plus basement) residence that had a long and arduous listing history. The fine folks at StreetEasy reveal the approximately 18-foot wide townhouse had been on the market since August of 2006 when it showed up with as asking price of $11,250,000, a figure that over the first couple of years, as the soup-to-nuts renovation progressed, climbed to $14,995,000. After a year at that number, the price tag plummeted to $12,995,000 and three weeks after that it dropped dramatically again to $11,500,000. Mister Lagasse soon moseyed along and paid the full asking price.

A quick and entirely unscientific comparison of current listing photos with listing photos from the time of his acquisition indicate Mister Legasse hasn't made many (if any) significant alterations to the the townhouse so we're not quite sure what warrants the $3,500,000 increase in price/value but we'll let all y'all New York City property experts duke that one out in the comments iffin you so chose.

The symmetrical Georgian style townhouse, originally erected in 1910, has an all-new Indiana limestone front facade that towers over a small planted garden that separates the busy city street from the front door that opens into a windowed entry vestibule with dual coat closets. The intimate vestibule opens into a grand, marble floored foyer with heated limestone floor and antique marble fireplace.

At the rear of the residence on the street/entry level a full-width eat-in kitchen has a radiant heated floor that makes Your Mama's cold-blooded house gurl Svetlana ache with envy, walls lined with custom walnut cabinetry, a Chevy-sized Carrara marble-topped center island lit by a glitzy chandelier, two side-by-side Sub-Zero fridge/freezers, commerical-grade range with double over, a 150-bottle wine fridge, walk-in pantry, and a wide bank of open and glass-fronted shelves for displaying cook books and other culinary knick-knacks and gew-gaws.

The kitchen is open to and steps down to an informal dining room with herringbone patterned oak floors, a built-in banquette opposite a marble-columned built-in entertainment center, and a wall of windows and French doors that open out to a fully landscaped formal garden with outdoor dining table.

The fully-finished basement level, accessible only by stair and not by elevator, contains a playroom/gym, full bathroom, laundry room with sink, multiple utility and mechanical closets and a wood-paneled temperature controlled wine cellar that even the fussiest sommelier swoon with oenophilic aphrodisia.

The parlor floor, one floor up from the street/entry level, has regal 14-foot ceilings and a discreet wet bar with built-in ice maker tucked off the center all where it's easily accessible from the both the formal dining and living room. In the north facing dining room, located so far from the kitchen a hot meal could easily go luke warm in transit, there's an antique marble fireplace, a trio of windows with street view, luscious herringbone patterned oak flooring, a brassy-looking crystal chandelier huge far too high–it should be no more than 36" from the top of the table–and a beautifully articulated ceiling with wide moldings and quatrefoil detailing that we can only hope was rendered in plaster. The rich-looking herringbone patterned hardwood floors extend into the sizable but not baronial south facing formal living room that features yet another antique marble fireplace plus a wall of windows and French doors that open to a narrow terrace that overlooks the backyard.

The full-floor master suite encompasses a sunny south facing bedroom with fireplace and French doors to deep private terrace, two walk-in closets plus a custom-fitted dressing room, and a bedroom-sized bathroom with yummy heated floor, Carrara marble accents, a free-stranding Agape soaking tub, separate step-in steam shower, double sinks, and an enclosed terlit cubicle with window for p.p.p. That is, as so-labeled by one of the children, proper pooper placement.

Each of the two floors directly above the master suite encompass two bedrooms with private facilities. One floor has a convenient kitchenette  for the two a.m. candy and hooch runs and the other has a second laundry room–the other is in the basement if y'all recall–that even the most hardcore and/or athletic of housekeepers can appreciate.

A barrel-vaulted sky light runs the length of the penthouse level comprised of a full kitchen (with dishwasher), half bathroom, and a sun-splashed multi-functional room–it could be a home office, media room/den, Pilates or quilting studio–that opens through a wide wall of French doors to a definitely considerable but far from capacious roof terrace.

Because the townhouse mansion was recently and completely renovated the old-school finishes hide a new-fangled under carriage that includes all new mechanical systems and high-tech luxuries such as home automation, integrated security, six-zone heating and cooling, water filtration, and sprinklers.

The New York Post reported the the rather rotund Mister Lagasse, who has two young children with his third and (as far as we know) current wife, wants to relocate to a smaller residence in the city.

In addition to the purchase and subsequent recent listing of the Manhattan townhouse, Mister Lagasse has a couple other recent real estate transactions under his belt. In May 2010, not long after he acquired the townhouse he no longer wants, Mister Lagasse sold a substantial apartment at the Beekman Regent Condominium complex at 351 East 51st Street. The 4,022 square foot loft-like 2-unit combination condo encompasses 4-5 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms, an open plan living/dining/kitchen area, a second kitchen. He first heaved the apartment on the market in mid-February 2009 at $7,650,000. By March 2010 the price had been chopped half a dozen times to $4,850,000 and finally in May (2010) the apartment was sold for for $4,600,000

Property records show that three or four months later, in August 2010, Mister Lagasse also sold a manor house in gated English Turn Golf and Country Club community in New Orleans for $1,400,000. Listing information Your Mama enticed out of the interweb shows the three-story stone mansion (shown above) sits on a private 1.19 acre peninsula bordered by a narrow canal across which is the manicured golf course. The manor-ish mansion measures in at 8,175 square feet and contains 5 bedrooms each with private facility, two additional half bathrooms, formal and informal living areas, a super-sleek stainless steel kitchen, 3 car garage, shaded terraces, a screened porch–a feature Your Mama loves like the dickens–and a swimming pool and spa for submerged pursuits and entertainments. Given the Mister Lagasse has deep personal and professional roots in New Orleans we expect he maintains or plans to maintain a residence in The Big Easy however we're unaware of him owning any residential real estate in New Orleans at this point.

listing photos (New York): Gumley Haft Kleier
listing photos (New Orleans): Talbot Realty Group

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Real Estate Tale of Amar'e Stoudemire: Part II

Yesterday Your Mama started our lengthy two-part odyssey on the many recent real estate activities of professional basketball player Amar'e Stoudemire that included a spin 'round the decidedly meretricious single-story mansion in Southwest Ranches, FL he recently scooped up for a hefty $3,700,000. Today we continue our delve into the depths of Mister Stoudemire's real estate matters with a more complete looks see at his once prodigious property portfolio and the recent sell off a number of his luxury residences that have resulted in a multi-million dollar gut punch to his pocketbook.

As a lavishly compensated Knick, Amar'e Stoudemire makes his home base in downtown New York City where he's reported to lease a multi-terraced full-floor penthouse atop a full-service mid-rise building on the trés-sheek and dernier cri border of the West Village and Meatpacking District neighborhoods. At least one report posits the power forward ponies up a mouth-drying $37,500 each month to occupy the downtown penthouse owned, as per property records, by a Rebecca and Bruce Bent II.

Missus Bent, iffin anyone might be curious, is an entrepreneurial gourmet condiment queen and Mister Bent is an (in)famous money market fund financier who has long been entangled in an ugly legal imbroglio with the SEC over gruesome financial matters far too vexing for Your Mama to properly parse or even, frankly, understand.

Property records show the penthouse, actually a combination of two separate but essentially equal penthouses, was purchased by Mister and Missus Bent in two transactions, the first portion in November 2000 for $2,100,000 and the second half in February 2005 for $5,300,000. A few quick flicks of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows the Bents spent a total of $7,400,000 for two apartments not counting the high costs of combination and customization nor the monthly common charges and taxes that run, as per StreetEasy, just shy of $7,000 per month.

Your Mama can not confirm Mister Stoudemire actually pays $37,500 per month to occupy the sprawling penthouse pad but we can confirm, based on our research on the internets, that from March until August 2009 the natty nest was available at a listed rate of $29,000 per month. Our admittedly haphazard investigation also turned up a number of (no longer active) online listings that show Mister and Missus Bent put their contemporary aerie up for sale in December 2008 with a $16,500,000 price tag, a figure that was later lowered to $14,500,000 before it was taken off the market in August 2009.

floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens via StreetEasy

The floor plan for the Bent penthouse included with several of the (now inactive) online listings accessible via Streeteasy indicates the apartment spans approximately 4,365 square feet and contains 4-5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 4 exposures, 3 terraces that total more than 3,500 square feet with sensational Hudson River and city views, 2 fireplaces, 2 living rooms, and a completely kitted-out open-plan kitchen plus a recreation room and a bi-winged library. Now inactive online listings also reveal monthly common charges and taxes for the combined penthouse–paid by the lessor and not the lessee, natch–run just shy of $7,000 per month.

Mister Stoudemire reportedly also leases a house in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles (CA) we know nil about but assume ain't cheap and, until recently, he leased a modestly-sized apartment at the not-exactly-inexpensive Trump Tower at City Center in White Plains, NY. The 20th floor apartment in White Plains, located in Westchester Country just north of New York City and near where the Knicks practice their dribbles, passes and swish shots, is reportedly owned by Golden State Warrior David Lee, whoever that is.

The freshly procured (and, as far as we're concerned, beastly) mansion in Southwest Ranches, FL is not the first piece of Florida real estate owned by Mister Stoudemire. In addition to an itty-bitty and unequivocally humble abode in his hometown of Lake Wales purchased in August 2003, Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome also briefly owned a sexed-up penthouse in Miami Beach at The Residences at W South Beach. Property records reveal he sold the South Beach penthouse in August of this year (2011) for $5,200,000.

 photos: Sotheby's International Realty

Mister Stoudemire acquired the airy and very contemporary penthouse (shown above), as per records, in July 2009 for $5,575,000. Anyone with eyeballs and a third grade mathematics education can plainly see the property-mad ball player took a $375,000 loss on not counting carrying costs or the $3,300 per month he paid in maintenance fees for the libidinal penthouse.

Listing information we persuaded out of the interweb shows the glassy penthouse has 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and was all done down with a crisp but cliché black, white and gray palette. In addition to the 2,428 square feet of interior space that includes an open plan living/dining/kitchen area with ocean view, the posh pad has more than 2,700 square feet of city and ocean view balconies and terraces that offer spacious lounging area(s) with at least one outdoor television, a partially shaded dining area with summer kitchen/barbecue center, and a private plunge pool where Mister Stoudemire and his lady-guests could skinny dip with a clear view of the aquamarine Atlantic Ocean.

Prior to working his stuff for the New York Knicks, Mister Stoudemire did his basketball thing for the Phoenix Suns for 7 or 8 seasons so it's really not very surprising the man's property portfolio has included a fair number of high-cost and high-maintenance properties in the southwestern desert city, most of which have been sold off in the last 10 or 12 months at significant losses.

photo: Realty Executives via Home Finder

As best as Your Mama can tell Mister Stoudemire purchased his first property in Phoenix in March 2004 when he scooped up a 3,542 square foot condominium situated on the 8th floor of the 14-story Esplanade Place complex for which he paid $1,675,000. In June 2006 the budding property mogul splashed out another $1,775,000 to snatch up the 2,928 square foot condo next door. The full-service building includes a roof-top swimming pool, a clubroom with catering kitchen for larger parties, conference room and 24-7 security.

Redfin shows the first unit was first heaved on to the market (at an unknown price) in mid-February 2008. The 2 bedroom and 3 bathroom condo crib was on and off the market until late September 2011 when, at long last, the white elephant was unloaded for $1,300,000. Once again it doesn't take many if any flicks of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus to see that, like with his Miami Beach penthouse, Mister Stoudemire took a hefty $375,000 loss on the property.

The second condo (shown above) was also first listed in mid-February 2008 and has also been taken off and put back on the market a number of times over the succeeding years. In June of this year (2011), the 2 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom condominium was re-listed (and is currently listed) with an asking price of $1,375,000. The asking price as it stands means that even if Mister Stoudemire manages to pull a real estate rabbit out of a hat and coax a buyer to pay full price for the unit he still stands to lose another $400,000.

In October 2005, between the purchases of the two above mentioned adjacent condos at Esplanade Place, Mister Stoudemire dropped another $4,750,000 to secure a 2-plus acre pond-front estate in the swanky Biltmore Estates enclave that girdles the Arizona Biltmore Country Club. More on this property in a moment.

photo: Google

Property records show in October 2006, just a year after buying the big estate at the Biltmore Estates, Mister Stoudemire paid $1,325,000 for a 3,954 square foot single-level residence (shown above) with a clover-shaped swimming pool in an affluent but perfectly ordinary neighborhood in central Phoenix. As far as Your Mama can tell, the property is not currently on the market and remains in Mister Stoudemire's slimmed down portfolio.

photo: Google

Although he needed another house in Phoenix like a person needs a damn hole in their head, in November 2007 Mister Stoudemire coughed up $1,900,000 to purchase a 5,570 square foot mini-mansion in south Phoenix with 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms (shown above). Redfin show the two-story southwestern-style quasi-contemporary was pushed on to the market in mid-September 2011 with an asking price of $1,499,000 and quickly sold for the substantially lower price of $1,300,000, a sale price that represents an astonishing $600,000 loss for Mister Stoudemire.

listing photos: Realty Executives via Sawbuck

Now then, let's get back to that multi-parcel property at the Biltmore Estates in Phoenix that Mister Stoudemire picked up back in 2005 for $4,750,000 and first listed at a million dollar loss on the open market in January 2011 with an asking price of $3,800,000.

Listing information we managed to cajole out of the interweb shows the architecturally vague and stylistically undefinable (mc)mansion measures 7,500 square feet–the Maricopa County Tax Man shows it as 6,523 square feet–and includes 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms.

The all-beige, -tan and -taupe interior spaces encompass a double-height foyer with some truly mortifying glass and iron front doors, a marble-floored step-down formal living room with too small black marble fireplace mantel, a formal dining room with built in china/stemware cabinet, an eat-in kitchen with white cabinetry and black granite counter tops, and a 400-square foot family room/den with full-sized built in bar-pub, built-in entertainment cabinet and a long bank of French doors that open to outdoor entertainment areas and expansive grounds.

The acre-plus landscaped backyard, which listing information calls "resort style," offers an over-sized swimming pool with nearby ramada for escaping the punishing summertime desert sunshine, a separate elevated circular spa surrounded by towering palm trees, a lighted and walled tennis court, and rolling lawns criss-crossed and ringed by a concrete walking/jogging/golf cart path.

It's all a bit nouveau for our particular and snooty taste in residential real estate but apparently there are any number of wealthy folks who covet such cribs that lack any authentic architectural integrity. After Mister Stoudemire slashed the asking price of the property in June (2011) from $3,800,000 to $3,100,000 along came such a person in the form of a local tire tycoon named Gerald Fletcher who, according to the deeds and documents we peeped, paid $2,750,000 for the remodeled 1978 mansion. That purchase price represents a truly staggering $2,000,000 loss on the property for Mister Stoudemire.

A tall and stiff gin and tonic steeled Your Mama's jangled nerves before we dared to take on the task of tallying up the total amount Mister Stoudemire's ill-timed real estate purchases and sales have cost him; Not counting the four hundred grand he stands to lose when the second of his two condos in Phoenix finally sells, the fortunately well-paid and undeniably accomplished professional basketball player has lost a whopping $3,350,000 in just the last year.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Real Estate Tale of Amar'e Stoudemire: Part I

BUYER: Amar'e Stoudemire
LOCATION: Southwest Ranches, FL
PRICE: $3,700,000
SIZE: 14,555 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms (total)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Before any of y'all get to sassin' do hear this: Your Mama well knows we are tardy to this here celebrity property party. None-the-less, we think can offer, in our shamelessly and shamefully wind-baggish two-part series, a more complete picture of the real estate picture of New York Knick Amar'e Stoudemire who has been on a bone fide real estate tear this year that includes the recent purchase of a $3,700,000 (mc)mansion in the quasi-rural suburbs between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, FL.

In early November 2011 there was bit of business in the New York Post about professional basketballer Amar'e Stoudemire putting the squeeze on his pocketbook due (in part, so goes the report) to the recent (and now tentatively ended) NBA lock-out, an event Your Mama does not know a damn thing about other than it means the 2011-12 season has been on hold while the players and the owners duke it out in mediation, adjudication, arbitration or whatever it is people do in big time labor disputes. It should surprise few that Your Mama had never heard of Amar'e Stoudemire–'tis entirely true–and we certainly hadn't (and haven't) an iota why such a daring and unexpectedly placed apostrophe dissevers his name. We took a half-hearted moment to peruse the piece in the Post and quickly scampered along without giving neither his name nor his financial matters another thought.

A few weeks later along came gossip juggernaut TMZ who dropped a humid real estate nugget about this Amar'e Stoudemire person splashing out $3,700,000 to purchase a prodigious mansion in some place called Southwest Ranches, FL. That seemed to Your Mama like a pretty big purchase price for a place in sub-prime mortgage ravaged Florida that we've never heard of before. Our interest piqued and prodded we did some research on Mister Stoudemire that included a look-see at his recent real estate activities, which, as it turns out, have been prolific if quite costly for the highly-compensated professional dribbler.

With all due respect for our scuttle butting compadres at TMZ, we discovered Mister Stoudemire's real real estate story isn't only about the gigantic, garish and architecturally suspicious (mc)mansion he bought in Southwest Ranches, FL for $3,700,000 but rather the several millions of dollars he's lost on the significant number of other properties he's recently dumped from his once-considerable property portfolio.

Before we delve in to that bit of real estate bidness, let's do the right thing and cover our celebrity real estate bases–or goal posts or whatever they have in basketball–and quickly educate the less athletically inclined puppies about just who this unusually named Amar'e Stoudemire person is and why he qualifies to be included in our (admittedly not very exclusive) celebrity real estate sights.

Besides tennis and curling, as all the children know, Your Mama doesn't know a solitary thing about sports, partick the golden triad of organized, American-style professional athletics: football, baseball and basketball. Having no recognition, recollection and/or knowledge whatsoever of just what makes Amar'e Stoudemire sports-world famous we picked up our Princess phone and dialed up our ball crazy b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau who, after shaking of her mid-day boozy-wooze with a few gargled shrieks, informed us Mister Stoudemire is a "quite young, sensationally strapping and deliciously tatted up cup of steaming hot chocolate who can handle [my] her basketballs at any time and at any place of his choosing." She implored Your Mama, in fact, to post her mobile phone number here so Mister Stoudemire could contact her directly and–natch–we told her we would but only so as to get her to shut her lascivious trap and move on to the meat of the matter, so to speak.

Of course, we have no intention of posting Miss Trambeau's ring-a-ling digits. Your Mama could not in a thousand years subject just any curious person who might make an impromptu call to the often agitated, always saucy (and usually sauced up) Fiona Trambeau. Our Fiona would probably pee with glee were Mister Stoudemire to actually ring her telephone bell but–trust chickens–that crafty beehawtch would figure out a way to transmit mortal violence through the phone wires were just any ol' person who isn't Mister Stoudemaire to call because they thought it would be cute to chat up Fiona Trambeau. Besides, she'll never read this. Fiona does do celebrities but she absolutely does not do celebrity real estate, so she'll never know. She's probably already forget she asked us to post the damn number anyways.

Between a lathered up Fiona Trambeau and a few easily accessed articles on the interweb, we did finally learn all sorts of things including that Mister Stoudemire was a late bloomer to basketball. He only started passing and shooting in organized leagues at age 14. He took to the sport elementally and advanced quickly to become one of the best high-school ball players in all of the state of Florida. It's not clear to Your Mama if Mister Stoudemire ever finished college or even matriculated and, honestly, either way it's irrelevant to our tale of real estate highs and lows. What we did confirm is that in 2002, when just a young but tall ball player of 19 or 20 years old, Mister Stoudemire was drafted by the Phoenix Suns for whom he pounded the hardwoods to great acclaim and award with his hard and powerful 6'10" frame until sometime in 2010.

At that point, in early 2010, the accomplished ball player signed the necessary papers to switch his professional affiliations over to the New York Knicks who, according to some reports, were so hot and bothered to sign the then 27 year old 5-time All-Star player they agreed to pony up just shy of $100,000,000 over the course a five year contract. One hundred million dollars, puppies, and that's not counting the additional multi-millions he can easily rake in each year from endorsement deals and the many more potential millions from his outside-basketball business endeavors that include a record label (Hypocalypto) and a recent assist to fashion designer Rachel Roy to create a limited line of ladies clothing described as "court side apparel for the fashion-forward female."

Now children, Your Mama don't know a perspiring glass of swate tay from a god damn tater tot but we do know enough about the business of women's garmentry to make the uneducated judgement that Rachel Roy knows a thing or two about how to dress a gal on the go with a yen for clean-lined sophistication and a modest budget. However, children, in our itty-bitty pea brain, that edging-on-wanton description of the Roy/Stoudemire clothing collaboration describes something rather more dire sounding, an habiliment short on yardage and probably a little bit (too) tight and/or one-sleeved, something that aches to be worn with either a pair of sky-high porn pumps with girlish ankle-socks or some sort of faux-sporty wedge-heeled sneaker-style situation that makes a twisted mockery of both the high heel and the hard working athletic shoe.

Anyhoodles poodles, in addition to spending a few million for a new (mc)mansion in Southwest Florida, Mister Stoudemire has recently divested himself of a number of other properties at considerable financial loss, a magnificent sell-off that may (or may not) have something to do with budget concerns. Simmer down, buckaroos. We're not saying Mister Stoudemire's broke or anything like that. We certainly ain't privy to the particulars of Mister Stoudemire's pocketbook and we make no claims as to his net worth, income and other cash flow, complete list of assets and/or cash reserves (or lack thereof). We're just saying there sometimes comes a time in a very young and filthy rich man's life–maybe a time like when an all-but-ruined 2011 season could, by his own account, keep about twenty million George Washingtons from walking their way into his coffers–when it's prudent and wise to prune the property tree to ease up on the amount of dough required to maintain, make the mortgages and pay the rent on more than half a dozen high-priced properties on both coasts and in between.

At one point in the not so distant past, before he acquired the (pseudo-)palatial pile in Southwest Ranches (FL), the property portfolio of the now New York-based power forward and center ballooned with a leased a pied-a-terre in a Donald Trump-developed complex in White Plains, NY (near where the Knicks training grounds are located), a pricy penthouse in downtown Manhattan (NY), and a house in the Hollywood Hills (CA). He also owned a sexed-up penthouse in Miami Beach plus a pair of adjacent condos in a fancy building in Phoenix, AZ as well as three high-priced and high-maintenance single-family (mc)mansions, also in Phoenix.

Before we get Mister Stoudemire's portfolio thinning, let's first take a brief spin through Mister Stoudemire's most recent real estate acquisition, the aforementioned mansion in Southwest Ranches, FL he picked up last month for, as per property records and previous reports, $3,700,000.

A quick consult with our high-tech atlas shows this Southwest Ranches place is 35 miles northwest of South Beach, 25 miles or so southwest of the beaches of Fort Lauderdale and just a few short miles from where Flahreeduh's Escalade-saturated suburban civilization turns to the swampy, alligator-infested Everglades.

Listing information for sprawling single-story mcmansion shows it sits on 2.33 gated and landscaped acres in the Landmark Ranch Estates enclave, measures in at a considerable 14,555 square feet and includes a total of 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms.

A dead-straight pavered driveway leads from the street to a perfectly harrowing porte cochere held aloft by six round columns and bizarrely topped by a petite cupola. Etched glass front doors open to a marble-floored foyer that steps down to the formal living room complete with fireplace, built-in bar area, and a swimming pool view from a wall of towering windows. A short corridor off the living room opens to a library, small home office, 4-car garage and the master suite.

A butler's pantry connects the formal dining room to the family quarters, a large laundry room and the colossal kitchen complete with commercial-grade appliances and more faux-antiqued, totally custom, no doubt shockingly expensive, eggshell-colored cabinetry adorned with copious corbels and other carved details than we've ever had the misfortune of seeing in one kitchen at one time. A door in the kitchen leads directly into another attached 4-car garage and a wide snack counter separates the kitchen itself from an approximately 800-square foot family room/breakfast area.

The adjacent state-of-the-art home theater done up by the sellers–a man who made some of his money selling aggressively banal "art" on cruise ships–like a god damn bordello with blood red shag carpeting, red and black patterned fabric-covered walls, carved wood pilasters and nine jet black recliner-style theater seats with built-in cup holders. We get the desire for decorative drama and a spot of cliché Hollywood glamor in a home movie theater, but lowerd have mercy, no.

Three family bedrooms pinwheel around a playroom space and share three bathrooms in a separate wing off the kitchen/family room complex. The master suite occupies it's own private wing at the opposite end of the house and includes a large bedroom and sitting area with built-in entertainment center, a wall of windows and French doors that open to a covered veranda, two bedroom-sized walk-in closets, a separate exercise room, and a super-sized beige marble bathroom with twin vanities, his and her enclosed crapper cubicles–hers has a bee-day too–and a jetted soaking tub for two and separate  double-entry shower.

An outdoor (but covered) summer kitchen connects the main house to an entertainment pavilion/guest house comprised of 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms and an almost 600-square foot living/billiard room with stone tile flooring, soaring ceiling, and a carved wood built-in wet bar with more than enough shelf space and cabinetry to please even the most hardcore booze hound.

Rooms at the rear of the residence give out to about 3,000 square feet of deep and wide covered veranda space that includes various lounging and dining areas as the previously mentioned a fully-equipped summer kitchen complete with sinks, refrigerators, warming ovens, and even an Fiat-sized ice maker which sound absurdly huge until you remember that it gets obscenely hot and humid in Florida and a commercial-grade ice maker is, as Marthat Stewart famously said, "a good thing." The stone tile flooring continues beyond the veranda and summer kitchen areas to surround a free-form, lagoon-style swimming pool with party-sized spa and faux-rock formation with swirling water slide.

Beyond the swimming pool area there's some vegetated gardens and lawns that give way to a narrow, sad little canal that looks in aerial images like a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other flying vermin.

Stay tuned for part two during which we'll discuss the many and various other properties Mister Stoudemire has recently sold at a hair raising loss.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate / Weston Town Center via Planomatic

More personalizing journal covers!

Reader Sandi Hester sent us a terrific image full of inspiration on the subject, and I just had to share it with you!

Just LOOK at all these ideas!  If you want to know more (and I know you will!), check out Sandi's blog at!  Lots of talented folk out there...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

cathy mcmurray : artists who blog

I'm delighted to welcome artist Cathy McMurry, a native of beautiful Portland, Oregon as our creative guest today! Enjoy :)

Cathy's blog: Habit of Art
Cathy's website:
Cathy's shop:

Why did you decide to become an artist and could you imagine doing anything else? If so, what?

Art has always been an integral part of my life. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been in the art field my entire professional life. I really can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. Lately, I have been daydreaming about taking some classes in cooking and weaving, but only to entertain my restless artist spirit. I am constantly seeking ways to broaden and refine my creative skills.

Do you still believe "do what you love and the money will come?"

Very few people get to live a lavish lifestyle as a result of their talents. This isn’t to say that the rest of us can’t have a rewarding and exciting career in doing what we love. It takes a lot of hard work and time- plus some luck- to get to a place that is lucrative (I’m still working on it after two years!). If I was 25, I could afford taking more risks and dedicating an insane amount of time to my art career, but as it is, I am nearly 40, married, and busy being mom to two wonderful girls.

How has blogging/the Internet influenced your work as an artist?

For one, I couldn’t do what I do today without the Internet. A quarter of my online sales are international, and I wouldn’t be able to get that kind of reach with a traditional gallery experience. In the two years that I have been blogging on Habit of Art, I have connected with so many great artists and art enthusiasts. The positive reinforcement through emails and comments have been incredibly encouraging. I also am able to get immediate feedback on my work, which can have some influence in the direction I take with my art.

Please name 3 of your favorite blogs and tell us why these blogs are special.

My favorite blogs are those belonging to artists. I especially love posts on their creative journey and space. A couple that I follow on a regular basis include Gretchenmist and Jill Bliss. Cathy Cullis and Annekata (sadly, not active anymore) are two other blogs that have inspired me with their slow craft ideas, like dying fabrics naturally and hand sewing projects. And, I like pretty things as much as the next girl, so I like to browse design and image heavy blogs like homecollection and intelligent clashing.

What is your greatest fear and what do you do to overcome it?

Fears go hand in hand with what we value most in life. So, my greatest fears relate to something happening to my family or my ability to create art. What helps me get through these fears and the daily worries of life is my faith.

Who would you like to trade places with for one day? Why?

Trading places with an art conservator working on a Michelangelo masterpiece would be pretty thrilling. Geeky, I know, but I love history stuff, and the idea of restoring art seems virtuous. On my blog I have mentioned that if I was a superhero, my alter ego would be an art conservator by day.

What are your secrets for managing your time wisely?

Having an organized work space is a huge help. I try to clean my work area about every three weeks. That way, I don’t waste time looking for a particular art tool or piece of paper. I’m a big list maker, too. So, almost every day I make a short list of tasks.

If you could live anywhere in the world – all expenses paid – for one year, where would that be? Why?

My husband and I have often times talked about moving for a year to a small village in southeast France. We were there in ’98, and we fell in love with the scenery. I could live on baguettes and cheese for a long time, too.

How do you maintain a healthy balance between your professional and private life?

I work from home, which has its pros and cons. I love that I can work at my art desk and the girls can play a boardgame in the same room. Or that I can start a pot of water on the stovetop and package an order up at the same time. Working from home also provides an invaluable opportunity to teach the girls some things about running a business. (There’s already talk of a beaded bracelet collection that the girls want to launch.) Maintainging a healthy balance between work and personal life, however, is one of my greatest challenges. And being a blogger blurs that line between professional and private even more. Sometimes, I’ll purposely leave my camera at home so that I’m not looking for photo-op moments. But then, of course, something blog worthy happens and my husband or kids will say, “you should have brought your camera.”

What are your top 5 goals that you’d like to accomplish within the next 5 years?

These are more hopes than goals . . .

Move into a studio space with more natural light!
Take cooking and weaving classes
Travel to Europe as a family
Ensure my girls make it through adolescence with little emotional scarring
Have a cabin in the woods

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his or her creative dreams into reality?

Creating is the fun part. Promoting your work is the hard part. Those starting out need to expect to spend at least half of their energy and time getting their stuff out there. Start networking with other like-minded makers, and have an online place (i.e. blog, Etsy shop, or a website) for people to see your work. Make sure that the photography of your work is excellent - can’t emphasize that enough! And constantly remind yourself that good things usually take time. So persistence and patience, my friends.

Thank you Cathy for sharing your thoughts and lovely images with us today! All the best to you and your family! xoxo

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pam Anderson Puts Malibu Beach House Up for Rent

OWNER: Pam Anderson
PRICE: $20,000/week or $75,000/month
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms (plus a backyard wigwam)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A little birdie out in the Bu came chirp-chirping along this morning to let Your Mama know that bodacious (h)actress Pam Anderson has put her recently completed "Romantic Malibu Beach House" up for lease on the Vacation Rental By Owner website (VRBO) at the sky-high but not unheard for Malibu rates of $20,000 per week or $75,000 per month.

Back in the fall of 2009 there were scads of scandalous reports that Miz Anderson–then living in Malibu's trendiest trailer park while her house in the Colony was under (re-)construction–had fallen on hard financial times and didn't have the dough-re-mi to complete the multi-million dollar renovations. Miz Anderson admitted she was in dispute with a number of subcontractors who filed legal claims over unpaid bills for work they performed at the residence but denied the issue wasn't whether she could afford to pay the bills or not, but rather whether the bills were fair and accurate.

A personal note from Miz Anderson on the VRBO listing declares the curvaceous sexpot and mother of two is "willing to share her [my] masterpiece" in Malibu because she's "traveling so much these days" and "enjoying a lot more time in her [my] native Canada."

Listing information shows the teak-sided and pet-friendly contemporary sits on the landward-side of the guard-gated and celebrity stocked Malibu Colony enclave, includes 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and was decorated by Miz Anderson herself. Given that the listing photos are so high contrast and bizarrely blown out Your Mama's boozy eyeballs cain't make heads or tails of the interior spaces other than to say that white appears to be the dominant color, if white can indeed be a color.

A discreet gate at the street leads to a small front courtyard where listing information states an "ultra-wide swinging door" opens to the teak-floored open-plan interior spaces that include an airy living room with fireplace, baby grand piano and massive sliding glass doors that when open obliterate the division between indoors and out. The well-equipped kitchen has high-grade appliances and push activated cabinets and drawers.

A teak staircase climbs to the second floor where two guest/family bedrooms each have computer desks, flat screen HD tee-vees with surround sound and wireless Apple systems. The bedrooms share a bathroom with steam shower.

The master suite, also on the second floor, has a white marble wood-burning fireplace, burled wood closet doors, a wall of sliding windows that open to a large private deck that overlooks the backyard swimming pool and mountains. The bedroom is open to the bathroom just in case anyone wants to watch their bed-mate bathe in the free standing soaking tub that's plainly visible from the bedroom. There's also a glass-enclosed shower, detoxifying Finnish sauna equipped with tee-vee–what wants to watch the damn news or reality television while taking a sauna?–and a long vanity with plenty of room for perfumes and make-up applications.

A private staircase accessible only through the master bedroom climbs up to a roof terrace with poured concrete fireplace, views over the Malibu Lagoon and media mogul Jerrold Perenchio's private golf course.

A deep deck with a "green egg charcoal barbecue"extends off the rear of the residences main floor and surrounds a saltwater swimming pool with swim-up wet bar. The backyard also has a "huge tipi"–whatever that is–fig and avocado trees, a vegetable and herb garden, and a wigwam. That's right, a wigwam.

Other amenities include two-car enclosed garage, direct and nearby access to one of the most prized (and all but private) stretches of sand in all of Malibu, celebrity-style security complete with closed-circuit cameras, WiFi, an integrated home theater system and a high-tech home automation system controlled by custom remotes and iPads set into flush-mounted iPorts. The high monthly price covers housekeeping services and a vegetarian chef can be added for additional charges.

listing photos: Vacation Rental By Owner

Amsterdam by night

You need:

  1. white drawing sheet A4 size

  2. liquid water colour

  3. brush

  4. jar with water

  5. indian ink

  6. straw

  7. black and yellow construction paper

  8. scissors

  9. glue

Paint the white sheet blue or orange with liquid water colour; add water to get a brighter blue / orange above. Let dry. Drip some indian ink and blow it upwards with a straw. Cut a row of canal houses out of black paper and paste it on the coloured sheet. Cut and paste windows and a moon out of yellow paper.

Paste the artwork on a black sheet.

Artworks made by students of grade 4

Personalizing Journal Covers

Recently we were talking about ways to personalize journal covers...specifically, commercial journals.  This is an old Pelikan journal I used to use almost exclusively before I started binding my own...I had a whole stack of plain blue books with the deep black cloth spine, but they all looked just the same. 

I decided to make them not only my own, but more useful...I chose some of my favorite images from each book, scanned them, and made a photomontage in Photoshop.  Then, as you can see, I collaged it to the front of the book along with other elements, like ribbon and such, and added color and a bit of text, protecting all with a layer of acrylic floor wax (works great and is non-sticky!)

I added the date as well, so I know at a glance what time period each journal covers.  

I don't like journals that are too thick and chunky, handsome though they may be, so this works great for me.  It opens easily and flat, and doesn't have anything to break off or get in the way.  All the journals slide easily into my bookcase without anything to hang up, too...

Soooo...what do YOU like to do?  If you'd like to share an image, send it to me at kate.cathyjohnson (at) and I'll do a composite post soon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Terkutlukkkk .... Celebrity Jihad Paksa Penyanyi Taylor Swift Masuk Islam

Sabtu, 26 November 2011 13:49

Penyanyi country Amerika Serikat (AS), Taylor Swift (21) meminta bantuan pengacaranya melawan situs gosip Celebrity Jihad yang mengklaim memiliki foto bugil dirinya. Demikian dilansir International Bussines Times, beberapa waktu lalu.

Meski mendapat ancaman itu, situs Celebrity Jihad, belum menghapus foto tersebut dan bahkan memberikan pilihan ke perempuan yang banyak memenangkan penghargaan bergengsi di bidang musik itu. "Kami akan menghapus foto itu jika Taylor Swift mau pindah ke agama Islam. Untuk itu, ia harus
meninggalkan Tuhannya, melakukan kurban seekor kambing. Sungguh standar," demikian tulis situs yang banyak memajang foto-foto telanjang dan masuk ke dalam kategori xxx.

Dalam foto itu, tampak seorang perempuan yang sekilas mirip Swift hanya mengenakan celana dalam dengan mempertontonkan payudaranya, berambut keriting. Pada bagian atas foto itu tertulis "Taylor Swift Topless Private Pic Leaked?"

Kini, tim hukum Swift mengancam akan melakukan gugatan hukum ke Celebrity Jihad dengan mengatakan situs itu menyebarkan informasi palsu, foto berbau pornografi, dan berita bohong mengenai penyanyi tersebut.

sumber : tribun

Is Bruce Willis Bailing on Hailey?

SELLER: Bruce Willis
PRICE: $15,000,000
SIZE: 8,403 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The turkey tryptophans have left Your Mama more than a little drowsy today but we none the less want to give the children who aren't shopping their little holiday hearts out a little celebrity real estate tidbit to chew on this Black Friday.

As was reported earlier in the week by various celebrity real estate gossips, Golden Globe and Emmy winning actor/action star Bruce Willis listed one of his many properties in the rural and rugged mountains of Hailey, ID with an asking price of $15,000,000.

Mister Willis's big break in Tinseltown came in the mid-1980s with a role as a cavalier detective on Moonlighting opposite actress Cybill Shepherd. However, he is perhaps most known as an action movie star who remains in high demand even as he gets longer in the tooth.

Mister Willis, who purchased and then extensively renovated the property near the Sun Valley ski resort in 2003, says he's selling because he doesn't spend much time there anymore. Of course i was only in 2009 Mister Willis married much younger moe-dell/(h)actress/designer Emma Heming (Perfect Stranger, Perfume) and last month it was announced the May-December newlyweds had a baby on board and all the children know that for rich and famous types a new wife and/or a new baby often means a new house.

Listing information and earlier reports show the secluded and thickly wooded 20-ish acre lake-front spread includes luxurious main house that measures 8,403 with six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms plus a separate guest house and gym custom-built by the still fit-as-a-fiddle at 50-something year old Mister Willis.

A long and wide entrance hall lined with French doors leads to a substantially-sized sunken living room with hardwood floors, vaulted and beamed ceiling held aloft by sturdy log posts and a full wall of shelves for knick knacks and other paddy whacks. The living room is twice anchored by two hulking stone fireplaces, one with massive stone chimney breast flanked by towering windows with view of the swimming pool and surrounding mountains and the other with a simple, chunky wood mantelpiece where Mister Willis displays some of his professional accolades including his two Emmy statuettes.

The capacious but cozy Craftsman-style kitchen has high ceilings, a large pantry and vast center island with snack counter, a window-wrapped east-facing breakfast room, and a complete complement of commercial-grade appliances including two dishwashers and two refrigerators that combined surely cost more than many if not most people earn in an entire year.

One of the five family/guest bedrooms in the main house has a fireplace–not to mention a bed frame festooned with Tibetan prayer flags–and the expansive master suite offers a fireplace of its own plus a private sitting area, built-in desk and bookshelves, two heated decks, a multi-winged walk-in closet with built-in dressers and shelves, and a big ol' bathroom with dual sinks, jetted soaking tub and a gigantic glass and granite steam shower that includes a window with view of the surrounding mountains.

A vast terrace extends off the rear of the residence and wraps around a humongous, pond-sized heated swimming pool and spa with water slide, rope swing and a waterfall or two. Mister Willis reportedly added several ponds and streams around the fenced and secured property that includes electronic drive gates that open to a long heated driveway.

Besides his extensive property holdings in Idaho Mister Willis's property portfolio bulges with owns a goodly number of other luxury properties that include a Caribbean getaway on the private island of Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos and a pair of combined condos situated on a high floor of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan that property records indicate the Die Hard star acquired in November 2000 for $5,250,000.

Mister Willis also owns a number of impressive and expensive properties in the Los Angeles Area that include an 11 bedroom and 11 bathroom pile in Beverly Hills he picked up in June 2003 for $9,000,000. Some of his nearest neighbors/property owners in Bev Hills include multi-billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, recently deceased Tinseltown legend Peter Falk, and the inestimable coochie-cooer Charo.

Property records also show Mister Willis owns a swathe of remote acreage nestled in to the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Calabasas as well as half a dozen or more vacant parcels that comprise an entire ravine off Mulholland Drive above Sherman Oaks, CA. A separate but contiguous Mulholland Drive parcel contains a 2,905 square foot ranch style residence he snatched up way back in August 1987 for $1,175,000.

Your Mama doesn't know if Mister Willis plans to unload all his property in Idaho but we do know he is in the mood to shake up (and slim) his fat property portfolio. In July (2011) he sold a 2,318 square foot condo at the Trump Place complex in New York City for $3,900,000 and in April (2011) we discussed a nightclub in Hailey (ID) he had listed with an asking price of $5,995,000. The nightclub, called The Mint, remains on the market but with a reduced price tag of $4,500,000.

Mister Willis and his ex-wife Demi Moore still own a number of vacant parcels, commercial buildings and private residences in and around Hailey including the Soldier Mountain ski area and a estate just up the road from the one Mister Willis recently listed that he quit-claimed over to Miz Moore last yea.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty / Sun Valley

Luna Maya dan Ariel Putus?

Jumat, 25 November 2011 18:29

JAKARTA - Jalinan asmara pasangan artis Ariel Peterpan dan Luna Maya dikabarkan putus. Setelah lama berpacaran, bahkan sampai dijerat dengan kasus video porno yang sama, Luna Maya dan Ariel telah dikabarkan berpisah.

Hubungan keduanya dikabarkan putus saat Luna Maya tak pernah lagi menjenguk pacarnya, Ariel di Rutan Kebon Waru, Bandung. Padahal sebelumnya, hampir setiap minggu, Luna Maya mengunjungi Ariel yang telah divonis 3 tahun 6 bulan penjara.

Manajer Peterpan, Budi Soeratman pun mengaku kalau ia tak mengerti masalah putusnya hubungan Ariel dengan Luna Maya. Namun Budi menilai alasan Luna Maya
lama tak menjenguk Ariel bukan karena putus.

"Kalau nggak menjenguk Ariel kan bukan berarti lagi ada masalah. Mungkin di Jakarta banyak pekerjaan," ujar Budi Soeratman saat dihubungi via telephon, Jumat (25/11/2011).

sumber : tribun

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving...

...From Your Mama, the Dr. Cooter, our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly, our mean ol' pussy Sugar and a few classic mid-century modern houses in Palm Springs. 

 photos: Your Mama

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let's Look-see at Sue Mengers' Bev Hills Party Pad

SELLER: estate of Sue Mengers
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $4,995,000
SIZE: 4,434 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: All the children know that brevity ain't Your Mama's strong point. However, because we're well beyond fashionably late to this particular real estate party and because we have a very complicated pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap cookie crust to make–from scratch, natch–we're going keep our prattle to a bare minimum today.

About a month ago legendary talent agent turned Hollywood hostess-with-the-mostess Sue Mengers died at the age of 79...78 or or 81 depending on who you ask and where you read. Miz Mengers, in case any of y'all don't know, was a diminutive Tinseltown dynamo, a wonderfully zaftig powerhouse über-agent who often wore over-sized round glasses and possessed what surely was one of the most extensive collections of caftans in the entire world.

She used her sharp wit, fearlessly blunt manner and innate showbiz savvy to become the most powerful agent who over the years represented just about anyone and everyone who was or became anyone important in Hollywood including Barbra Streisand, Jack Nicholson, Mike Nichols, Ali McGraw, Peter Bogdanovich, Faye Dunaway, Bob Fosse, Cybill Shepard, Sidney Lumet, Cher, Michael Caine, Ryan O'Neal and on and on and on.

Besides engineering and steering the careers of countless Hollywood icons, Miz Mengers was equally well-known for her low-key but star-studded salon-style dinners, first at a small modern house on Dawnridge Drive in Beverly Hills where, according to a 1987 article in the L.A. Times, "Julie Christie met Princess Margaret" and "John Travolta met Laurence Olivier" and later at the gigantic French Normandy-style mansion on Bel Air Road she bought in 1977 from Zsa Zsa Gabor.

In May 1988, shortly after Miz Mengers officially retired, she shelled out $2,000,000 to acquire her final home and party pad, a spectacular salmon-colored John Elgin Woolf-designed Hollywood Regency-style residence on Lexington Road in Beverly Hills that was listed in the weeks after her death with an asking price of $4,995,000.

Listing information shows the immaculately maintained (if not entirely updated) single story residence was built in 1959, measures 4,434 square feet and includes a total of three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The house, according to someone Your Mama knows who knows such things, was originally built for Los Angeles ranching and real estate scion and politician Alphonso Bell Jr. That's Bell, people, as in the cities and communities of Bell, Bell Gardens and–you got it–Bel Air.

The primary entertaining rooms include a sizable living room with fireplace that opens to the central courtyard through a curved wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, an intimately scaled oval dining room, and a library with second fireplace and full wall of built-in bookshelves. Your Mama is quite certain we'd pass out from envy just from perusing the titles of Miz Mengers' collection of books.

The master suite, according to listing information, has "dual closets" and two bathrooms, one oval-shaped with a campy-glam pink marble floor and oval-shaped soaking tub set into a mirrored niche. The children will know the "Oui Oui" pillow on the chair in the bathroom. It's really dumb but sort of brilliant all at the same time, right?

The house wraps around a magnificent oval-shaped courtyard lined with what listing information calls "slender Greek Revival columns. At the center of the courtyard an oval shaped swimming pool that makes Your Mama's knees go weak with real estate desire and envy. At the far end of the courtyard, directly opposite the living room, a wide set of stone steps that ascend to a small but very private and grassy yard enclosed by thick foliage and mature shade trees.

The trustee responsible for the sale of the property is none other than billionaire entertainment mogul David Geffen who has set up the sale of the property so that all best and final offers on the house be submitted by December 7, 2011. According to the listing agent's website more than 125 interested parties have toured the property and with that Your Mama expects the house will have many and multiple offers and will eventually result in a sale price well above the $4,995,000 asking price. We predict the sale price will be millions more but then again, what do we know?

Your Mama and we imagine every other architectural enthusiast and (arm chair) historian can only hope Miz Mengers' manse is purchased by someone who will cherish and maintain the house in a manner respectful to Mister Woolf's original design but would anyone who knows anything at all about real estate in Los Angeles be surprised if the property was purchased by a developer who plans to blow Miz Menger's Woolf-house down and replace it with an horrifically over-articulated and belligerently bloated mcmansion? We shall see bunnies, we shall see.

listing photos: Nourmand & Associates

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Early Morning Again

Mornings are getting darker and darker and in this semi-darkness I cannot seem to find my sketchbook or pen in the place where I left them the night before. So I grab whatever was on the table - to note first visitors to our home-made bird feeder and neighbor's cat out for a hunt. And later I glue or tape these little notes in my sketchbook - if I can find them of course in a day light ;)