Thursday, March 7, 2013

50 SHADES OF GREY GARDENS











If you haven't had the pleasure of watching the brilliant documentary GREY GARDENS, which depicts the lives of two reclusive socialites living in the Hamptons, it is a must see (mother and daughter, both named Edie, were the aunt and first cousin, respectively, of Jackie Kennedy Onassis).  The once glorious mansion (named Grey Gardens because of the color of the dunes that surround it) was infested with mice, inhabited by numerous cats and raccoons, had no running water, and was filled with garbage and decay.  After neighbors complained about the filth and stench, the health department threatened eviction until Jackie O stepped in to help (not before both the National Enquirer and New York Magazine wrote scathing pieces).  When I stepped into the house above in Garrison, New York a few years ago I felt like Jackie O doing a good deed for a poor soul in need.  After his third marriage and second divorce, the owner of the house was barely holding on and much like Big and Little Edie, was desperate to hang onto his home.  Infested with mice and often visited by raccoons, this derelict house had sinking floors, a leaky roof, broken windows and black mold growing over years of his former wives ideas of good design.  While unyielding to even the slightest glimmer of change, eventually I helped this fragile old man polish his loathsome, unsightly silver and turn a hefty profit in a depressed market (tune in tomorrow for after shots of the above rooms and helpful tips in staging).
**in order to truly appreciate these photos in all their glory, please click on one and scroll**