14 July 2010

If you can't live on the Las Vegas Strip, bring the Las Vegas Strip to you

Anne Samowitz is a regular, dedicated reader of this blog and the other day she mailed me an MLS listing for a property on the market in long Island, New York. The house is a nightmare of ostentation and bad taste and it can be yours for a very reasonable $17.5 million.

The listing agent calls it the antithisis of fine living in the listing. Hmmmm. Antithesis means opposite and let me get Dictionary.com's official definition before we go a step further.
an·tith·e·sis   [an-tith-uh-sis]
–noun, plural -ses  [-seez]
  1. opposition; contrast: the antithesis of right and wrong.
  2. the direct opposite (usually fol. by of  or to ): Her behavior was the very antithesis of cowardly.
  3. Rhetoric
  • the placing of a sentence or one of its parts against another to which it is opposed to form a balanced contrast of ideas, as in “Give me liberty or give me death.”
  • the second sentence or part thus set in opposition, as “or give me death.”

So either the listing agent is being clever or she needs a vocabulary refresher. There's a life lesson here though kids, don't use words you don't understand.

OK, onward. Let's take a stroll through the wonders that await the rapper/ professional athlete/ lottery winner/ Celine Dion in this once in a lifetime listing. The Celine Dion crack was Anne's and it's perfect.

Don't you love the human scale of this room? It just invites you to curl up on the sofa and read a book.

This kitchen's listed as a Custom Peacock Kitchen and I'll bet Mr. Peacock would be surprised to receive credit for that room up there. Wasn't it clever of them to make the ceiling so unrelated to anything going on in the room under it. That seems to be a recurring theme in this house. Context? We don't need no stinkin' context!

Nothing says "You've made it" like his 'n hers Skee Ball.

Again, why just admire The Bellagio when you can live in it full time?

The photo above seems to be the "lobby" of the home theater.

This is the box office. Note the two movie posters. To the left we have 1996's Striptease starring Demi Moore. Striptease made Showgirls look like Gone with the Wind. If you don't remember it you're not missing much. To the right hangs a poster for 1997's Titanic. I will never understand the appeal of that awful movie. Never. But it seems were just in time for a screening of 1991's What About Bob? Based on the movie mentions, I'd say the current owner had a career that peaked at some point in the '90s. Jean-Claude Van Damme? No, then the posters would be for Cyborg and Kickboxer. Hmmm. I wonder wonder wonder.

Here's the inside of the theater. If this home doesn't come with a resident company of Phantom or Riverdance, it needs one.

It has boxes. Two of them. For visiting royalty.

I don't have $17.5 million laying around to spend on a house. If I did however, I think I could do better than to recreate the Las Vegas Strip. What do you guys think?


  1. Hideous, indulgent and something only a puffed-up, narcissistic, cliched movie start could execute.

  2. I thought the home theatre needed Waldorf and Statler -- but I doubt they'd lower themselves to it.

    Do you suppose the advertiser meant "apotheosis"? Nah, me neither. Antithesis is perfectly accurate.

  3. That theater does need a Waldorf and Statler to heckle the people who built the theater in the first place.

  4. Once again from me ... wow. Just wow. With a period wow. Those pictures are making me feel unwell.

  5. How does a Realtor go about finding a buyer for a pile like that?

  6. Okay, I love the theater. Me and my posse (haha) would be having some good times in there, as long as no one tossed popcorn off the balcony.

    And I'd stick a "The Gold Rush" poster (1925 Charlie Chaplin movie) and "Amadeus" in the entry.

  7. Pshh...skee ball? So what.

    No air hockey, no deal. ;-)

    *I'm with Kelly on the theater... All my horrible reality shows would be awesome at that size.

  8. People with that kind of money find it very important for everyone to know they have that kind of money. Hence, the excess. I don’t know… I’m basically a socialist anyway, so it’s probably better for me not to pursue anything along the lines of how that kind of money was accumulated in the first place. Although, it does strike me as the kind of home Bugsy Segal would have loved.

  9. Kelly: I wonder if the theater has ushers.

    Nick: In a space like that even Tantrums and Tiaras would be classy. Hah!

    Joseph: Some people with that kind of money have sense and good taste. Bugsy Seagal's right. I wonder if that's a Gotti house?

  10. Pretty sure the Realtor had it right, Paul. Except she meant to say the antithesis of taste.

    Reminds me of that unfinished stunner for sale in Orlando. Looks like the same builder.

    You summed it up perfectly: "The house is a nightmare of ostentation and bad taste" There's a tag line if I ever saw one.

    Thanks for the chuckle!

  11. I bet the listing agent meant "epitome" but got his/her epitomes and antitheses mixed up! Other than that, there's nothing for me to add here. I am onboard with all the previous comments! :-)

  12. Yeah! Leave it to my sis, Anne, to find this gem! Thanks for bringing it out into the open Anne & Paul! More please!

  13. I think John's right about epitome/antithesis.

    That is what I call a roller skate kitchen, in that the size seems to require roller skates to travel across it. Although in this case perhaps LOLler skates would be more appropriate.

  14. John: I'll bet the agent thinks epitome and antithesis are synonyms.

    Jill: Your sister's a riot! Yes, Anne. More please!

    Kim: Who says editors don't have a sense of humor? Good one!

  15. Probably the only room I could see myself hanging out in is the kitchen...Its a bit over the top, but for some crazy reason I liked it...throw a sofa in their and its cool.

    I never see the point of these home cinemas beyond showing off. If you want to watch a film go to the....cinema...Nothing spoils a good film more than watching it a home, and being interrupted by the phone or kids or the dog.

    To be honest when im spending my 17 mill (hah), I would probabl rather go for a smaller place with better taste.

  16. Zoe: Antithesis of bad taste is right. It's the Taj Majal of terrible, the Hermitage of horrible, the Kremlin of crass.

  17. What? No Skee Ball Kitchen Dave?

  18. After looking at this house, I feel like the day AFTER Vegas. Someone get me some ibuprofen and sunglasses, my eyes hurt.

  19. Hah! My mentioning Showgirls makes me thing that this house looks more like a movie set than a real place where people live. How do you walk into a kitchen like that in your underwear?

  20. I think with a house like that, you would pay other people to walk into your kitchen in their underwear.

  21. ellen kornrumpf15 July, 2010 10:11

    I particularly liked the "custom oil frescas" - isn't a Fresca a soft drink?? I'm assuming she meant "frescoes", but with this house, you never know!

  22. Ellen: I caught that and that they were described as "oil" painted made it too much to bear. Anybody who knows anything about art history knows that frescoes are painted with tempera, a water-based paint. Otherwise, what would be the point? MLS listings make my head hurt.

  23. Ceci est si beau je le prendrai.

    -Celine Dion- (aka mrsben)

  24. You caught me! :) -Brenda-


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