Thursday, February 28, 2013

Your Mama Hears...

...from the very plugged in high end real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyak that film and television writer/director/producer Judd Apatow is fixin' to custom build a major residential monument to his Tinseltown success on a one acre flag lot that overlooks the manicured golf course at the ritzy Riviera Country Club* in Santa Monica (CA).

Whatever they are building on the vacant parcel they picked up last June (2012) for $8,600,000 it must really be something, children, because in July 2009 the Hollywood supernova and his actress wife Leslie Mann shelled out $18,250,000 in an off-market deal for a walled and gated three-quarter acre mini-compound in a particularly posh pocked of Brentwood that includes a 10,000-plus square foot main house with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms, 3,500 (or so) square feet out outdoor entertaining space and a 17-seat screening room in a substantial poolside pavilion.

Mister Apatow still owns his Beverly Hills (Post Office) starter house, a 4,356 square foot house just below Mulholland Drive near Benedict Canyon that he picked up in late 2005 for $1,656,000, and in October 2010 he sold a just over 6,000 square foot and very un-funny mini-mansion on a gated Pacific Palisades cul-de-sac for $5,260,000.

Mister Apatow produced the hit comedy Bridesmaid (2011), he currently executive produces the cable tee-vee sensation Girls and is currently at work producing the next Steve Carell and Will Ferrell movie vehicle Anchoman: The Legend Continues. Missus Apatow—that would be Miz Mann—frequently snags roles in Mister Apatow's movies but has also landed roles in a number of non-Apatow projects including Sofia Coppola's not yet released The Bling Ring and the animated tee-vee series Allen Gregory.

*The Hollywood Reporter reported in (June) 2011 that initiation fees at the Riviera Country Club run up to around a quarter million clams and some of its Showbiz bigwig members include Mark Wahlberg, Adam Sandler, Dennis Quaid, Luke Wilson, Jon Feltheimer, Jay Sures and Ari Emanuel.

John Legend Buys Bigger in Little Italy

BUYER: John Legend
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $2,494,712
SIZE: 1,969 square feet, 1 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last November nine-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter John Legend sold his 1,359 square foot apartment in New York City's impossibly chic and fully gentrified Bowery neighborhood. Lucky Mister Legend sold the convertible two bedroom and two bathroom condo crib for $2,675,000, $775,000 more than he paid for the place exactly three years earlier.

Last month, the increasingly celebrity-centric folks at Architectural Digest published a picture driven piece written by the ever so clever Mayer Rus about the sophisticated but earthy and modestly proportioned 1960s mid-century modern residence in Los Angeles' Lake Hollywood area owned by Mister Legend since 2007 and shared with his swimsuit model/accomplished amateur cook and food blogger fiancée Christine "Chrissy" Teigen.

At first Your Mama thought maybe Mister Legend and Miss Teigen had simply packed it up and high-tailed it to Los Angeles for a left coast life of better weather. We recently learned, however, from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial that Mister Legend didn't vacate New York at all but, in fact, traded up to a larger—if less expensive—condominium in a newly converted 19th-century brick building in Little Italy.* Property records do indeed reveal that last August (2012) Mister Legend dropped the rather unusual amount of $2,494,712 on a 1,969 square foot loft-type condo at the so-called Brewster Carriage House building with just one bedroom but 2.5 bathrooms and a total of $3,144 in monthly taxes, maintenance and common charges.

Listing details and other resources available on the internets show the 160 (or so) year year old building was completely worked over by starchitect Winka Dubbeldam's cutting edge firm Archi-Tectonics in a manner that eco-consciously marries antique architectural details with state-of-the-art technology and modern amenities.

Mister Legend's loft-like but low-ceilinged Big Apple pied-a-terre has an open-concept main living space with delicious variable width white oak flooring, a couple of exposed cast iron columns and, at the roomy living room end, a paneled reading nook, a gas fireplace and three deeply inset metal-framed French doors that open to wrought iron railed Juliet balconies.

The three windows that line one wall in the dining area and kitchen are certainly over-sized but they also look directly across a very narrow air shaft to a solid brick wall. This up-close brick wall view will probably perplex and perturb any number of the children not accustomed to the sometimes compromising realities of urban living. Howevuh, hunties, just like they are with all the ugly-ass air conditioners that hang out of the windows of even the most expensive of apartment houses on Fifth and Park Avenues, New Yorkers are used to this sort of thing. Windows that open into air shafts large and small are simply a fact of residential life in New York City, even in the most luxurious of buildings.**

Anyhoodles poodles, the lone bedroom of Mister Legend and Miss Teigen's apartment opens directly off the living room area and has two street-facing windows that could make it tough to sleep during September's annual 11-day long Feast of San Gennaro. Fortunately, to ease that pain, there's a walk-in closet larger than many bedrooms in lower Manhattan and the windowless attached bathroom has radiant heated floors, an over-sized shower stall and a floating walnut vanity equipped with two sinks and slow-closing drawers.

Even the most brief of perusals of the floor plan included with marketing materials reveals that in addition to the master bathroom and the half bathroom near the front door there's another full bathroom off the kitchen. With all due respect to Miz Dubbeldam—who Your Mama thinks is a goddamn architectural genius—but this location for a bathroom notably larger and more extensively equipped than the actual master bathroom seems a bit silly.

This big ol' second bathroom might make more sense if the condo was configured in such a way that would allow for a quick and simple addition of a second bedroom but, despite it's nearly 2,000 square feet, it doesn't. Given the scale and location of the second bathroom—not to mention the pass through walk-in closet—the absolute best location for a second bedroom would be exactly where the kitchen is currently located. Moving the kitchen seems radical and expensive—if it's even possible. Where else could a second bedroom be added without completely compromising the main living space(s)?

*Marketing materials describe the building as being in NoLIta—as in North of Little Italy—but Your Mama's understanding of New York City neighborhood borders actually puts it not in NoLIta but rather in the northern heart of Little Italy, just off the authentic yet touristically ersatz ristorante- and trattoria-lined Mulberry Street.

**Trust Your Mama, children, it's way it's better too have air shaft windows with a dead on view of a brick wall than to have windows that open into a window-lined air shaft. For more than a decade Your Mama lived in a rent-stabilized two bedroom tenement apartment in which the smaller of the two bedrooms had a single window that opened into an air shaft lined with more than a dozen other kitchen and bedroom windows of the apartments in the building next door. You can't imagine the visual, auditory and olfactory horrors that regularly came through that window. Seriously. Like call the police, please, there's a situation going on over there that is not good. Anyhoo...

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flat Track Day at the Ace Cafe

On Sunday 24th Feburary the Car park of the Ace Cafe was taken over by Sideburn Magazine along with Co-Built and Red Max for Flat Track Day. It was bitingly cold and I actually only got one sketch done on the day, despite having two pairs of trousers and sock on and a Michael Jackson style fingerless scribbling hand. Here are the results along with a load of photos for those who didn't brave the cold for what turned out to be a fun day out.

BSA Thunerbolt 650 Flat Tracker

(ink & watercolour)

Simplicity and beauty all wrapped up in one black sexy package.

CFH Honda C70 with YX140cc Stomp engine

(ink & watercolour)
Sketch done in the warmth of the studio.
Corpses from hell is the brainchild of Maxwell P. The CFH Honda C70 has recently had a new addition of the rear wheel disk. Maxwell was also sporting his newly completed custom lid:

To find out more about CFH go to the blog:

Or Follow on Facebook:

CFH Facebook

 Co-Built were also in attendance jumping round the car park, with joy but also to keep warm.

Making a fleeting visit Ornamental Conifer stopped by on his tracker. Mr Conifer is an incredible sign writer, visit his site to see what a steady hand can do:

 This incredible Hercules was Riden in by Rory D Blofield 

 Grahams Z Sled

"The Swindler" Steve's Norton 961 Street Tracker

 Harley XR750

 Short Track Yamaha circa 1972
 Mile and Half Mile Yamaha '74/'75
 Red Max Goodness

 Low Side Drifter
 Guy S' R100 with Co-Built pipes
 Last but by no means least Sarah Bradley's Hog

Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti Did It In Westwood

BUYERS: Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,333,500
SIZE: 4,542 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We recently received an unexpected query from a gal we'll call Nelly Needstoknow who wondered if Your Mama had any idea at all where bespectacled and bow-tied celebrity stylist and reality t.v. denizen Brad Goreski and his long-time man-friend, successful sit-com writer/producer Gary Janetti, high-tailed it after they unloaded their low slung contemporary in L.A.'s Lake Hollywood 'hood last year for $1,799,000. We didn't. A second email from Nelly, fast on the digital heels of the first, revealed that she was quite concerned that, after more than a decade of romantic domesticity, Mister Goreski and Mister Janetti might have busted up. Well, children, since Mister Goreski hasn't returned any of our calls lately, we didn't know a thing about that either.*

Naturally, we contacted our always acutely well-informed friend and informant Lucy Spillerguts to see what she maybe knew about the situation. She told us—and we later confirmed with property records—that it does not appear Misters Janetti and Goreski have gone their separate ways and, in fact, they together purchased a multi-million dollar domicile last August in the upscale Westwood area of Los Angeles.

Just in case any of the children who don't dabble in the lesser wattage rungs of the Showbiz food chain don't already know let Your Mama quickly educate you on just who we're talking about. Mister Janetti is a four-time Emmy nominee who wrote for Will & Grace in the early to mid-2000s and currently writes and co-executive produces for (lackluster Academy Awards emcee) Seth McFarlane's wildly successful animated sitcom Family Guy.

Mister Goreski first popped up on the pop cultural landscape a few years back when he turned up on the boob-toob looking all clean cut, cute and bubbly in Tom Ford nerd glasses and a parade of designer duds on celebrity super-stylist Rachel Zoe's eponymous reality program (The Rachel Zoe Project). Itty bitty Miz Zoe and the nearly as slender Mister Goreski un-amicably parted ways in the fall of 2010 and—as far as Your Mama knows—still avoid each other with the same fervor that Your Mama avoids sobriety. Since Mister Goreski got out from under Miz Zoe's professional wing he's opened his own celebrity styling salon with clients like Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph, Demi Moore and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, written a breezy memoir laced with fashion advice, secured a lucrative and plum consulting gig with Kate Spade and—suprise!—stars in his own eponymous reality show called It's a Brad, Brad World, which, as it turns out, begins its second season on Bravo tonight.**

Property records reveal Misters Janetti and Goreski picked up the renovated residence in August (2012) for $2,333,500. A detached street level garage is about all that's visible from the street as the four bedroom and 3.5 bathroom house sits haughtily high on a knoll behind a concrete wall and a dense thicket of trees and foliage. A locked gate opens into an terraced courtyard bisected by a a limestone stairway that make a long and glutially arduous ascent to the front of the house.

Listing details we scrounged out of the internets shows the two-story faux-quoined vaguely Mediterranean villa was originally erected in 1933 but was recently subjected to a contemporizing transformation that defined itself on the exterior with and unexpectedly modern frameless glass loggia on the second floor that probably has a lovely over the tree tops view of the L.A. Country club but also looks like a damn department store window. Perhaps that feature was a pee-in-his-D Squared jeans-with-glee bonus for Mister Goreski who could surely whip up and install some spectacular holiday tableau up there.

High gloss ebony wood floors and gallery white walls make a high contrast graphic statement throughout the lower level living spaces of the 4,552 square foot residence that's entered through an inset and off-center center hall. The foyer and stair hall divides and organizes the main floor living spaces that include adjoining formal living and dining rooms, the former with a fireplace and both with direct access to sculpture and fountain dotted outdoor living areas and gardens. In addition to the adjoining living and dining rooms the house also has a family room/den with a vaulted ceiling and loft space accessed by an industrial looking steel and wire staircase that Your Mama would absolutely not want to navigate after a long, gluttonous afternoon of cheap candy and expensive gin.

A hulking carved wood buffet makes an important counter balance to the relative modernity—and banality—of the center island kitchen that's finished with chatoyant white cabinetry, sleek Euro-style stainless steel appliances and a center island cook top with circular hood. Of course, children, keep in mind listing photos show the house as it appeared at the time the Misters Janetti and Goreski purchased the property. They very well may have already made any number of minor and/or major alterations and improvements not to mention it's highly likely the non-celebrity sellers took the carved cabinet that Your Mama thinks is the only bit that gave the kitchen any stylistic intrigue or gravitas.

One of the two upstairs bedrooms that connect through to the aforementioned department store window like loggia appears to be the master bedroom that also includes a bedroom-sized bathroom/dressing room combination with an egg-shaped free-standing soaking tub that juts out at an cockamamie angle from one of the corners.

Back downstairs the L-shaped outdoor lounging and entertaining areas include a slate terrace with a built in dining banquette shaded by vine laden trellis. A few steps up a small, trough-like body of water (that does not appear to be a spa or a swimming pool) anchors one end of the yard. At the other end is a puny patch of grass and in between there's an open air flagstone terrace. Sorry boys, but for nearly 2.5 million bucks Your Mama wants a proper in-ground swimming pool and spa, preferably heated and salt water equipped.

Your Mama, who was not invited to their house warming, wonders if the Misters Goreski and Janetti brought their mid-century modern infused aesthetic to their new digs or if they veered of in a more colorful and decoratively decadent angle, like something, say, elegant but unusual and richly saturated in a Miles Redd-y sort of way or something even more madcap and cacophonously Kelly Wearstler-ish?*** Perhaps we'll get a glimpse of it tonight when—we refuse to be embarrassed to admit—Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter will likely be tuned in to Mister Goreski's frothily meranged slice of the reality t.v. pie.

*We tease. Young Mister Goreski has not returned any of Your Mama's ringy-dingies because we've never actually called or otherwise attempted to contact him in any way.

**No, puppies, Bravo did not pay Your Mama to plug their damn show but perhaps they's consider doing so in the future Hello? Andy Cohen? Call me.

***Your Mama has no idea if the Mistes Janetti and Goreski had a house warming party and we don't have any idea if they did the place up themselves or hired an expensive, name brand decorator like Miles Redd or Kelly Wearstler. No doubt we'll find out just what when down during the second season of It's a Brad, Brad World.

listing photos: Prudential California

Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park 2013

Another huge Race Retro Show at Stoneleigh Park again this year. There is so much to see and do at this show I always enjoy covering this show. From rare racing bikes through to super rare racing cars and anything in between Race Retro seems to cover all bases. I always find myself in the smaller hall which contains all the bikes and stock cars. I think this is down to the wider variety compared to the larger hall that is mainly full of top end historic cars. For more on the show itself please visit the website:

1960 Bond Formula Junior

(ink & watercolour)

Designed by Lawrence Bond better known for the Bond micro car this was the first racing car to utilise a monocoque chassis. It's powered by a 1098cc Ford 105e engine. Only 2 remain in existence, so I definitely couldn't pass this opportunity on.
The Car is now run by Andrew Tart Motor Engineering, to see more of the car and other vehicles in Andrews garage please visit the following website:

1952 Manx Sidecar Outfit

(ink sketch)

Whilst sketching this outfit I met (for the second time) the infamous Stan Dibben, a man who has not only ridden sidecar outfits in the TT but has been a test rider for Norton. In 1949 he assisted the development of the infamous featherbeds and also competed in the Manx Grand Prix on a 350 Manx which he built himself. He also built the first ever Dominator racer and went on to race it in 1952. So who was I to argue when Stan pointed out that this outfit was not 1952 as the streamlining on the front was not used until the mid to late 50s. To read more about Stan go to the following link:
Or even better read his biography such a great read the film editor at Saatchi and Saatchi made a short film about him after reading it:

1971 500cc 4 Valve Velocette

 (ink & watercolour)

Built by Eric Stanbra to compete against water cooled Japanese 2 strokes. This is a very unique build based around a Jim Lee frame it uses a huge amount of bespoke parts. The bike has been continually raced and still retains all the original parts making this an extremely reliable machine. In 1978 at the Shell Sport 500cc Championships at Donnington the bike finished 12th against a top class field including 12 RG500's, 4 TZ500's 4 Spartons and only one other 4 stroke.

Here's some more highlights from my day at Race Retro:

 The historic rally section had some great entries. I'm guessing this is a lotus of some sort but I may be wrong.

 Tri-Jap Sprint Bike


BRISCA Heritage had another great collection of heritage stock cars on display

The Norton Owners Club had a great display of Manx Nortons alongside the Sidecar outfit: