Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gimme Shelter

I saw a mention in the Wall Street Journal the other day that LA developer Mohamed Hadid is letting go of his 48,000 square foot bungalow. If you need 10 BR/14 Baths, a ballroom that seats (and presumably dances) over 200 folks, and a 20-car motor court - plus you have $85M, you just might be able to get yourself pre-qualified to take a look.

Personally, I think that having only a 20-car motor court would be a bit problematic, given that you could be entertaining 200+ in that ballroom - but what do I know.

Mr. Hadid is downsizing. Sort of. He's now building himself a more modest little house, a 35,000 square foot chateau.

"Once you finish with your creations, you start to have other ideas," Mr. Hadid says.

Well, I feel the very same way about blogging! Small world!

Not that I'm in the market, but I did scoot on over to realtor Joyce Rey's site to get a closer look and a bit mBelvedereore info. Well, you can't see all that much until you pre-qualify, but you can see a couple of pictures of this single-family honey, and read up a tad - certainly enough to figure out whether you even want to pre-qualify.

It's on Nimes Road, "the most prestigious street in Bel Air," and "offers 280-degree majestic views of the city below and the surrounding mountains.:

As with the 200 seat ballroom/20-car court ratio, this 280 degree business puts me off a little. I mean, what are you missing in that other 80 degrees? More to the point, what's blocking your view? Public housing? The freeway? The Bel Air landfill? I would have been more comfortable if they'd just left it at "majestic views", and not added that bothersome 280-degree piece of news. But I guess you'd find out soon enough when you went to peek around the curtains in the master bedroom and the realtor slapped your arm.

The property is:

....embraced by a massive 1,000-foot long by 36 feet high hand-chiseled Jerusalem stone wall, is softened with lush foliage and specimen plantings, a swan pond and an infinity pool reaching toward the endless vistas.

Well, in another small world little coincidence, my property is embraced by a 12-foot (or so) long by 4 feet high wrought iron fence, so I really get what that embracing is all about. Embracing rocks!

Our property, too, is softened by a Chinese dogwood that, every other year, actually flowers. Our specimen plantings include tulips and crocuses. Once they die, our specimen plantings consist of impatiens in our plastic, terra-cotta look-alike planters. You might even say that the planters embrace the impatiens. I would, anyway.

We don't have a swan pond but are, in fact, just across the street from the swan pond, where from April to October, you can get pedaled around in a swan boat. As for live swans, the Friends of the Public Garden place two there each summer, but they have to fence them off because they're so damned cranky.

We don't have an infinity pool, but if you fill the sink in the downstairs bathroom to the top, and crouch down and look at it from nose level, it more or less resembles an infinity pool. More or less.

As for endless vistas, I live in a city. We don't have particularly endless vistas. At least that I know of. So I might like that aspect of the new digs on Nimes Road.

Le Belvedere is a place of magic, a fully-realized dream estate. It is welcoming, warm, comfortable, extravagant, unique and richly imagined for sophisticated owners of international vision and incomparable taste.

I get incomparable taste - and surely the pictures and descriptions give great evidence that the taste that went into Le Belvedere is, indeed, incomparable. But what, pray tell, is "international vision"? Is it what you get when you gaze upon "endless vistas"?

At $85M, the place is nice enough.

But I really wanted to know more about Bridesheadthe prize property that Joyce Rey is representing.

This Brideshead Revisited house - no details available - is listed for $125M.

Gimme shelter, alright.

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