Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is This The Gayest House in L.A.?

SELLER: Robert Gonzalez aka Robert Gant
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $999,000
SIZE: 1,324 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to an informant Your Mama will call Glenn Gleefullygabs we've learned that one of the–if not the–gayest houses in Los Angeles has recently been put up for sale. The Laurel Canyon casita, according to both G.G. and property records, belongs to actor Robert Gant who listed the petite, 1923 Spanish Revival residence with an asking price of $999,000.

Mister Gant, a former Georgetown Law School educated attorney and and one of the few out gay actors working in Hollywood, is best known for his role as Ben Bruckner, the hunky hiv-positive professor on the now defunct Queer As Folk program. He currently works his stuff on a BBC program called Personal Affairs and since Q.A.F. ended in 2006 has also appeared in one-off roles on boob-toob shows such as Castle, Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, Nip/Tuck, Pepper Dennis and a slew of those CSI shows.

Your Mama knows not a think about Mister Gant's current romantic life–and it's really none of our damn bees wax–however and although he denied it, rumor once had it that back in 2003 Mister Gant was getting bizzy with Kyan Douglas. For all the kiddies who don't recognize that name, Mister Douglas was the "grooming expert" on that horrid and thankfully canceled program Queer Eye For the Straight Guy that followed around a bunch of over-processed queens who darted around in a big SUV trying to save all the unfashionable and ill-groomed straight men from a sad life of the wrong jeans and even worse choices in hair care products and liquor. Maybe they were or maybe the gossip glossies saw two gay actors–friends–doing lunch in West Hollywood and jumped to the all too common conclusion that they were doing each other.

Anyhoo, property records show that Mister Gant–who was born Mister Gonzalez–purchased the property in August of 2003 for $805,000 from nice, gay decorator Ryan Brown. Miss Brown, who only owned the house long enough to sprinkle some fairy dust on the interiors, bought the house in May of 2003, paying $665,000 to out and proud choreographer/actor/director/producer Adam Shankman. Many of the children might best recognize Mister Shankman as that poor gay guy who has to sit next to that screaming mimi Mary Murphy on So You Think You Can Dance? Lo-ward have mercy, iffin Your Mama was Mister Shankman, we'd have to tape that woman's mouth shut after she shrieked into our ear just one time about a stoopid hot tamale train or some other damn nonsense.

Since selling to Mister Gant, Miss Brown has lived in about 49,000 houses including some that he bought and flipped with his former Bravolebrity BFF Jeff Lewis. Mister Shankman, who according to prop records owns a New York City penthouse located in a good building on lower Fifth Avenue that he bought in July 2006 for $1,995,000, moved to Los Feliz and settled into a 1960s contemporary in The Oaks section of Los Feliz where his nearby neighbors include Mister and Missus Angelina Jolie, Christina Ricci and the charming, volatile and complicated house flipper Jeff Lewis. Records also show that Mister Shankman purchased a house in Encino, CA in August of 2008 for $1,059,000. We suspect that this might be an investment property of some sort because what kind of gay moves from a 1960s modern in The Oaks to a suburban ranch in a perfectly nice but decidedly un-fabulous section of Encino?

Okay butter beans, although we have, we are really not here to discuss the real estate ways of Miss Brown or Mister Shankman so let's get back to the matter at hand which is the Laurel Canyon casita being sold by Robert Gant. Property records show the fully renovated house measures a modest 1,324 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms and 2 poopers. Your Mama thinks it's just about the perfect size. Contrary to popular opinion, we are not a real estate size queen by any measure. With a few tweaks here and there Your Mama could be perfectly comfortable in this cutey casita with The Dr. Cooter, or two long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly, and our mean ol' pussy Sugar. We'd have to put Svetlana up in a nearby apartment but she wouldn't mind since it would make her increasingly more frequent late night rendezvous with insanely hairy men all that much less difficult.

A handicap unfriendly flight of stairs leads from the concrete driveway and the single car garage up to the porch and front door that opens directly into the living room. It's well established that Your Mama prefers that a home have at least a small entrance hall. We believe, that best case scenario, a house should unfold like an onion and walking directly into the living room is like going to a nood beach. There's just no mystery or romance about seeing a person's twigs and berries straight away. None the less, entrance hall or no, Mister Gant's living room has ebony stained hardwood flooring, a plaster cove ceiling, a fireplace, and French doors that open to small covered terrace. With the living room Mister Gant has set the decorative palette and tone for the rest of the house–that would be neutral neutral neutral–with beige walls, a chunky latte colored sofa, tan sea grass runner under the iron and glass coffee table, and a Moroccan style chandelier for that soupcon of faux exoticism.

The dining room, situated a few steps higher than the living room, is all archways all around. A large archway looks down into the living room and two exterior walls have narrow, arched windows, two of which open onto a slim balcony. The children will note that above the itty-bitty round dining room table is another Moroccan style chandelier hanging from a hand carved wood beam. Beyond the dining room lies the fully rehabbed kitchen that has Miss Brown's decorative stamp all over it. We've got putty colored walls and white trim work, dark and distressed cabinetry, extra thick Carrara marble counter tops, stainless steel appliances and, for the daily dishes, horizontal open shelving instead of upper cabinets. Your Mama actually loves a kitchen without any upper cabinetry and, in fact, Your Mama and The Dr. Cooter's kitchen has no overhead cabinetry. However, doing away with the overheads means there better be a pantry tucked up into that kitchen somewhere for storing the big buckets of all the protein powders and muscle builders that the gays like so much.

As mentioned above, the house has three bedrooms but according to listing information one is currently being used as a home office with pea green walls and French doors that open to the loggia, another as a mini-media room with sisal carpeting and French doors that open to a deck, and the third as Mister Gant's boo-dwar, which also opens through French doors to a patio with a gurgling water feature.

There are multiple and many patios and terraces surrounding Mister Gant's appealing and neutral colored house. The primary outdoor space is a long, vine covered loggia that runs alone the side of the house with tile flooring–the same tile as in the kitchen, which is nice for decorative continuity, curtains that appear to be more for aesthetic purposes than privacy, and a very contemporary outdoor fireplace that has Your Mama swooning with envy even if it puts the panic of a wildfire started from stray embers in our throat.

Other amenities and delights, according to listing information, include updated systems, central heat and air conditioning, scads of recessed lighting–that is lovely but should never, ever replace others forms of more attractive and flattering lighting–an in-ceiling sound system and a video monitored security system.

Besides its deep homosexual pedigree and intimate relationship between the indoors and the outdoors, what Your Mama finds so interesting about this house is that Mister Gant and his real estate people clearly got the message that the days of a white hot real estate market in Los Angeles have long gone. Although priced at a million smackers, a figure that for many part of the U.S. would seem absurd and outrageous, for a well kept house in this particular part of Los Angeles, it's really not so far off the mark. Particularly when you consider that it's current asking price is about 20% higher than Mister Gant paid seven years ago. It wasn't so long ago that a seller would have slapped a price tag of one point two or even $1,400,000 on this house. Like it or not, 'tis true.

Now then, all you gay boys with a million bucks to spend on a nicely kept but modestly sized house in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles, get on the horn quick because it would seem almost a crime if this house didn't sell to a sister wife of Mister Gant, Mister Shankman and Miss Brown.

source: Architecture 8

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