We all had a few years when we weren’t, perhaps, at our personal best, style-wise. For me it was the first part of high school. My parents still have a school photo of me, dressed in head to toe “Charlotte Hornets” gear, with a perfect trapezoid of tanned skin in the middle of my otherwise pale forehead, from wearing a backwards baseball cap all summer. Now, if you saw that photo, you might smirk, but you wouldn’t come right out and mock it. You wouldn’t riff on it. But if we were talking about a house? If we were talking about embarrassing old photos of a $135 million Beverly Hills mansion? Why wouldn’t we mock embarrassing photos of a mansion?
This Beverly Hills manse, located in a gated community in the coveted (by Midwestern teenagers) 90210 zip code, recently hit the market for a whopping $135 million, which would be a record for Beverly Hills. It boasts a basketball court, a gym, two tennis courts, a 155-foot infinity pool, a luxury guesthouse, a “whiskey lounge” (?), and parking for a ludicrous 90 cars.
It’s being sold by real estate developer Gala Asher, who
fleeced sold a $100 mansion to an NBA owner in 2016. Asher bought this house from a Korean health care entrepreneur for $22 million in 2016, spruced it up, and is now trying to flip it for a hundred million dollar profit. This dude is definitely going to have his own Powerpoint slide at those $199 “Get Rich By Flipping Houses!” two-day seminars I always see on late night TV.
The new, improved house is fine. It’s not mind-blowing, it’s just fine. In the pic above, which I think is of the new foyer, it looks kind of like the main branch of a bank, complete with bad art and a piano no one will ever play. In the pic below, you see the basketball court, which comes complete with a chandelier. Far be it from me to give unsolicited advice to a nine-figure luxury real estate developer, but if there’s a chandelier above your basketball court, you have definitely done something wrong.
But however you feel about the new house, the old house was definitely way more blech. It was modeled on Marie Antoinette’s French chateau which, if you know your French history, is basically daring peasants to come up here with pitchforks and torches. (Luckily for the previous owner, public schools in this area were apparently not teaching a lot of French history.) But though it had lofty ambitions, the original house didn’t resemble a French royal chateau as much as a mid-market Mexican chain restaurant where your mom gets too drunk on mango-ritas and keeps asking the waiter if he likes older women.
“You know what would make no sense at all? If we put a fountain four feet inside the main gate so that every time you drove through the gate, you had to immediately slam on the brakes and swerve violently to the side. Let’s definitely do that.”
“I want something that’s half ‘riverboat casino’ and half ‘plastic surgeon’s waiting room!'”
Wow. If I was high, I could look at this photo for 45 minutes non-stop. This looks like one of those Middle Eastern restaurants where women in belly dancer outfits come around and offer you bread and meat out of huge baskets. Also, why am I so sure that the top cushions of those ottomans are actually hinged lids, and that they’re full of random coffee table books (“Tuscan Vineyards” “The American Railroad”) whose pristine uncreased spines indicate they’ve never once been opened.
“You know what I like in a bathroom? Pillars, that’s what.” And is that fluorescent lighting? I have fluorescent lighting in my bathroom, and I can assure you that it makes you look so bloated and unwell it’s like you’re suffering from a severe case of botulism. Though I guess if you’re worth half a billion dollars, your self-esteem is probably pretty bulletproof.
There’s gold! And fringe! And more gold! And generic Asian print upholstery! And gold-leaf crown moldings! This is what the Oval Office would look like if Trump had his way.
Would you eat grapes and mustard together? Of course not. So why mix the colors? The greatest trick the Devil ever played was not convincing humanity he didn’t exist – it was interior-decorating this room.
View from the patio, or a still from the dystopian sci-fi film “Blade Runner”? Yes, it is.
“What do you mean you’re out of the gluten-free cannoli?! I want to speak to a manager!” Nice view, though.