Thursday, September 24, 2009

Linda Dano's DIY Penthouse

SELLER: Linda Dano
LOCATION: West End Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $1,675,000
SIZE: 1,100 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
DESCRIPTION: ...A beautifully appointed living room with bookcases, white Sunbrella covered sofas and a hand-blown glass chandelier opens to the large east-facing terrace where dinner can be served in a romantic gazebo. The large elegant bedroom, with furnishings including a huge antique armoire and and Asian screen behind the bed, faces west and opens to a terrace with views of the Hudson...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A few weeks ago Your Mama received a breathless email from our ever intrepid researcher B.S. Beaverman who linked us over to a listing for a picayune penthouse on the Upper West Side of New York City labeled "West Side Celebrity Penthouse." Your Mama and ol' B.S. immediately started sifting and sorting through the property records and although we were able to quickly ferret out the building address and apartment number, the name of the owner eluded our snooping. A quick look at the listing photos didn't reveal much either, but we did notice an Emmy sitting discreetly on top of the armoire in the bedroom. After fruitlessly twisting the prop records around every which way but Sunday in order to flush out the name of the owner, Your Mama and ol' B.S. Beaverman reluctantly abandoned our wild goose chase and figured celebrity real estate boy wonder Max Abelson would eventually figure it out and write about it in his Manhattan Transfers column in the New York Observer.

Then, yesterday, we received an unexpected, lengthy and clandestine communique from someone calling themselves Viva! who generously provided Your Mama with the ownership poop on this "West Side Celebrity Penthouse." According to Viva! the itty building building topper on West End Avenue is owned by Emmy winning soap legend Linda Dano who has the petite pied a terre on the market with an asking price of $1,675,000.

Miz Dano is probably best known for her 17 long years on the soap story Another World as the glammy and dramatic romance novelist Felicia Gallant, a character based on real life author Jacqueline Susann who penned Valley of the Dolls which was made into a dee-lishushly awful movie starring Sharon Tate who was, we all know, snuffed out by Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins who, coincidentally, died today of brain cancer. Anyhoo, after Another World was given the heave-ho in the mid 1990s, Miz Dano went on to play a character named Dr. Rae Cummings, a character that appeared on All My Children, One Life To Live, Port Charles and General Hospital. Multi-tasking Miz Dano also has a long standing passion for fashion and day-core. Not only did she author two books in the 1990s about how to make you and your house look its best (Living Great and Looking Great), she currently has a fashion consultant business and appears on the QVC with her Linda Dano Home Collection. In other words, this is one bizzee ladee.

Once Viva! told us Miz Dano owned the penthouse it took only moments to come up with a couple of secondary printed confirmations in the New York Post. First we turned up a blurb in gossip City Adams' column from September 2, 2009 which read, "Daytime diva Linda Dano putting her prewar Upper West Side penthouse pied-à-terre, with all its furnishings, up at Sotheby's." Then we unsurfaced an April 2009 article in which Miz Dano is interviewed and thoroughly describes her aerie.

Listing information reveals the 17th floor building topper measures a modest 1,100 square feet and contains just 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. According the the New York Post article, Miz Dano and her late huzband–advertising executive Frank Attardi–purchased the petite penthouse pied a terre in 2002. She claims, "We paid a million to buy it and added at least another couple of million on the update." If that is true, and we have no reason to disbelieve her, then it would seem at it's current asking price of $1,6750,000 Miz Dano will lose a substantial wad of money once the penthouse sells.

The renovation of the three room residence was overseen by the late Mister Attardi who added moldings, squared arched doorways and added a fake fireplace. For her part, Miz Dano the DIY-er, did up the day-core herself. She took a black lacquer coffee table and painted it to look like wood, she hot glued silk flowers on some quince branches and she added dirt and pebbles to the pot of a fake spray of orchids. Fake! Guuuurl, Your Mama does not care for orchids. Period. While we mostly applaud Miz Dano's decorative prowess, we are about to go ballistic and berserk over these fake orchids. We find them trés cliche and all too common in Architectural Digest-y interiors. Please children, just say no to fake flowers. Really. Just think about it for a minute. Fake flowers are like fast food: good in theory, solves the problem of hunger, but kind of makes you queasy (and fat) when you eat it.

Anyhoo, Miz Dano has done up the day-core with an undeniably elegant, black and white exoticism heavy on the zebra skins including a large zebra skin rug splayed out on the floor of the entrance hall that Miz Dano calls "Harvey." We do think it's cute Miz Dano named her dead animal pelt rug "Harvey" and we do confess to swooning over a good zebra print, but in truth we've always been a bit squeamish about animal skins. We're not going to get all PETA on Miz Dano's ass but, would they could, we're sure they'd be tossing blood all over up in that penthouse.

The furniture in the living room, which is anchored by a a gorgeous seal-colored silk rug, has been upholstered in white Sunbrella fabric. At first we pursed our lips and got all indignant about the Sunbrella fabric but when we thought about it a bit more, it makes perfect sense. Not only will it stand up to the harsh sunshine that streams through the wall of windows, it's also easy to clean and when you have white sofas and chairs and a couple of long bodied bitches named Linda and Beverly, easy to clean white upholstered furniture is, as Madame Stewart would say, "A good thing."

The small apartment is wrapped with an exuberantly planted terrace perfect for nude sunbathing, barbecues, and according to Miz Dano it would be a nice spot to get married. Miz Dano and her green thumb are responsible for the over flowing greenery and the iron gazebo and presumably, decorating diva that she is, the ceramic urns and sundials.

Although it's a bit of a pity there's only 1 bedroom and 1 pooper here, as far as it goes, this is a lovely apartment and Your Mama would be perfectly happy here if we didn't have the Dr. Cooter, two pooches and an angry pussy in tow. We love the long and generous foyer, we swoon over the windowed walk-in closet (since ours is, alas, windowless), and of course, the wrap terraces and views of the mighty Hudson are, for a city dweller, beyond desirable.

Property records show that Miz Dano and her late huzband also owned–and she continues to own–a couple of historic 18th century farmhouses in Washington, CT that according to her website they "dismantled, moved and re-erected them on 20 acres." And according to Viva!, who seems to know all things Dano, Miz Dano also leases a lovely but modest apartment in the Century City area of Los Angeles.

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