I live in a pretty incredible area - It's an historical neighbourhood loaded with tons and tons and tons of charm - and 20th century architecture, just steps away from the city center, it's also a pretty expensive neighbourhood ( in which I live in servants quarters basically compared to what I'm surrounded by )
Because there are days I don't have furniture makeovers to show you - I've chosen Wednesdays to showcase and feature one home that's for sale around here.................( or apartment - or duplex - or teepee )
Keep in mind this is in the heart of the city - so the prices reflect that - think Manhattan - where these places would cost 3 or 4 times what they're listed for here!
I'm so excited for this post, my fingers are flying all over the keyboard - does anyone else get like that or am I just neurotic ( well, I AM neurotic anyway - but sometime's a little more than other times ) I've been wanting to post about this forever!
GREY GARDENS - let me repeat that
GREY GARDENS - because I love houses, because I love history, because I love interesting stories and even more so, because I love interesting people. I've been fascinated by this story for many many years..............................
This was the name of the country estate owned by Jackie O's Aunt Edie Bouvier Beale and shared with her daughter ( Little Edie ) - the story is far too long and intricate for me to go into all the details in just one post - but I'll do my best to give those of you that are unfamiliar with this, a condensed version.
This was a lady and her daughter who came from great beginnings - high society - great wealth - the best of everything .....................and their subsequent fall from that ladder.
Meet Edie ( the mother ) a beautiful socialite
and her daughter Little Edie ( probably around her debut ) I can see Jackie in her, can you?
Grey Gardens was their summer home in the Hamptons - where coveted soirees were held, Little Edie dated Howard Hughes and Joe Kennedy supposedly proposed as did
J. Paul Getty.
AND apparently she was the beauty of the family at the time - surpassing Jackie.
Big Edie would sing and Little Edie would dance and entertain the evenings away.
This is what Grey Gardens looked like in the beginning
a gorgeous 10 bedroom 6 bathroom estate - with a tennis court......................
one of the prettiest ocean side houses in the Hamptons - where Jackie O and her sister
Lee would spend time in the summers as little girls - I can almost hear the piano playing in my mind and the laughter and gaiety that drifted out of the french doors into the garden in the back. The ocean is a hop, skip and a jump down the road. Important people filled the rooms - people that would go on to do great things ( the Kennedy boys come to mind ) but the 2 Edie's futures were not to be good ones.
By the 1970's in fact, there was a
Here's a picture of what it looked like by then
and this is what they looked like by then....................
They went from splendour and glamour - to squalor.
To dressing in the height of sophistication to wearing Jackie and Lee's castoffs -
of which little Edie would do some fascinating things to fit into clothes that were far too small for her. Surrounded by mementos of a better time, they somehow aclimitized to this and hurt no one but themselves.
Below's scene would have fit in today's Hoarder shows........................
They lived in 2 rooms upstairs - with no heat - and minds that had already slipped into
a sort of manic crazed sub - existence. They recalled their days of glory - as Big Edie
warbled out " Tea for Two " and Little Edie spun in circles over and over again like the
professional " dancer " she might have been had life not turned so tragic for the 2 of them. They lived with raccoons and hundreds of cats and all that that entails.
Just before the house was to be demolished Aristotle Onassis stepped in and paid to
have it cleaned up ( not restored by a long shot ) but cleaned up enough to make it safe
by law to keep.
Little Edie in one of Jackie's old skirts -
Albert and David Maysles captured these 2 women in the most incredible way within a time frame of 6 weeks.
Yes it's sad - tragically so -
But it's also heartwarming - and funny - and seriously one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.
It shows the fragile human condition in ways few other documentaries can or do.
I for one fell in love with these ladies the moment the film started rolling -
I could still see the beauty amongst the rags they wore.
The grandeur of the house amongst the ruins.
And as shreds of sanity peaked through their very damaged minds I could catch glimpses of the dreams in their hearts, still vibrant and still very much alive.
I would have loved to have known the both of them - and would have been very willing to sit on the soiled beds ( with a newspaper under me ) and spend hours and hours listening to these wonderfully eccentric ladies tell me their stories................
Big Edie in the bedroom ( Jackie's Aunt )
|You see that painting? You'll notice that later in the video below|
This film is about as fascinating a look as you can get into a part of Jackie O's family history - I simply can't recommend it highly enough - suffice it to say that I own the documentary ( and have watched it at least 10 times over the years ) I was also extremely lucky to have seen the musical on Broadway with Christine Ebersol ( one of my favorite Broadway actresses )
and I saw the movie a few years back with Jessica Lang and Drew Barrymore - who
brilliantly portrayed these 2 ladies.
If you're interested in seeing the original Documentary - you can order it HERE
It's worth every. single. penny ( and I can earn some pennies ( literally ) if you order it from the above link. Sorry to throw that in there - but hey - if you want to order it, you may as well order it through me, someone you know and trust lol.
Moving forward - in 1979 the home was purchased by Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn
for 220,000. dollars with the condition that they could not tear down the house - because, as Little Edie put it " all it needs is a coat of paint " lol
Apparently Sally claimed it was much worse than the documentary depicted.
They lovingly restored every nook and cranny to it's former beauty.
Ok - so how this post came to be is that apparently Grey Gardens is for rent this summer.
You can rent it for a month for 125,000. dollars - and I know that sounds insane - but I can't help but feel a little bit of warmth for the estate and for the 2 ladies that spent their lives living in it - they're beloved home is as it should be. They would be proud.
Or maybe not - they were after all, far more eccentric than I.
Here's how it looks today....................
|I think that's a poster of the 2 Edies on the wall there!!!|
And a little snippet of the documentary.....................take it away Edie!
(the painting they show at the end of her song is Big Edie in her
glorious younger days)
I adore the 2 of them - and though they aren't a part of my story I would have loved for them to have been................
A line later discovered in Little Edie's teenage diary reads
" I only mark the hours that shine "
So sad that so little of her life actually held any sparkle at all.
( and yes - this above all others is an I wanna live there - for me )
*Interesting reading material (and where I sourced some of this post can be found HERE
Thanks to Life on Lakeshore Drive for the feature!
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