YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The busy-beaver lady property gossip at the New York Post caught wind that new mommy Christina Ricci and her dolly grip hubby, James Heerdegen, have plopped down somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million for a semi-detached two-unit townhouse in the Brooklyn’s historic Fort Greene neighborhood. Listing details show the fairly petite townhouse was originally built in 1901 and stands three stories tall with 25 feet of street frontage and a total of 2,205 square feet.
A garden level apartment — until recently, per listed details, rented out at $2,000 per month — offers one bedroom, one bathroom and a combination living/dining/kitchen that opens at the rear to a small deck and the backyard. The upper level duplex unit has solid oak hardwood floors and 11-foot ceilings on the parlor floor, where a living room with gas fireplace adjoins a combination dining room and center-island kitchen that also opens to a small deck and staircase to the backyard. Upstairs two proper bedrooms are joined by a prison cell sized study and a single hall bathroom.
The central and all but completely gentrified Fort Greene neighborhood, east of downtown Brooklyn and south of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, has a long history of artists, actor and musician residents including but far from limited to Walt Whitman, John Steinbeck, Truman Capote and ground-breaking photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Other more recent past and present residents include YBA über-artist Chris Ofili, avant-garde choreographer Sarah Michelson — who, once upon a time, this property gossip palled around with — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, musician Erykah Badu, virtuoso saxophonist Branford Marsalis, veteran comedian Chris Rock, up-and-coming comedian Wyatt Cenac, “Girls” and “Transparent” actress Gaby Hoffman and prolific screenwriter and producer producer Alan Ball. Filmmaker Spike Lee grew up in Fort Greene and maintains offices there but hasn’t lived in the ‘hood for quite some time and, in fact, resides in a titanic townhouse on the Upper East Side that he bought in 1998 for about $16.5 million from vaunted American artist Jasper Johns and currently has up for sale at $24.5 million.
Miz Ricci, who rocketed to child stardom as Wednesday Addams in the 1990s “Addams Family” films, sold her house in L.A.’s Los Feliz area last November (2014) for $1.37 million to — according to multiple sources we chatted with — Mike Moonves, the musician son of Hollywood honcho Leslie Moonves. She previously owned (at least) two other houses in the same neck of the L.A. woods including a late-1970s Mediterranean she sold in 2004 to actress Sarah Chalke — who got rid of it years ago. Miz Ricci — who once lived with her mother in a New York City duplex apartment that was later inhabited by this very property gossip — briefly owned a fabled, Mayanesque confection designed by architect Lloyd Wright and owned in the 1930s by dashing silent screen star Ramon Novarro. The house was originally built for Novarro’s personal secretary Louis Samuel, who forfeited the house to Novarro after it was discovered that he was embezzling from the actor. The so-called Samuel-Novarro House was later owned and/or occupied by a slew of showbiz luminaries including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and architecture and design aficionado Diane Keaton. In case any of the children might be interested, the gloriously idiosyncratic house was recently sold, last November per property records, for $3.8 million to “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “My Cousin Vinny” screenwriter and producer Dale Launer. But we digress….