LA Mansion Prices Top the Charts
Conrad Hilton’s former Bel-Air estate may be the most expensive listing—ever—in the US.
September 03, 2013
Despite LA’s unstable geology, residential real estate here is considered a bedrock investment. And because the city is amazingly livable, with just about perfect weather, it remains steadfastly attractive to the ultrarich. Hollywood has helped.
From its earliest days, movie-business royalty built and fostered LA’s mega-dollar trophy homes. “Hollywood has made Los Angeles super attractive,” says Gary Gold, executive vice president of Hilton & Hyland. “It is a huge driver: the brand and what that conjures up—you couldn’t create a better real estate marketing campaign.” Legendary examples of earlier stars’ penchants for acquiring prized hillsides are legion, including the Beverly Hills estates of Harold Lloyd (Greenacres, now subdivided) and Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford’s Pickfair, which once encompassed 56 acres. The always-pricey gated enclave of Laughlin Park in Los Feliz was formerly home base to Charlie Chaplin and Cecil B. DeMille. Moguls were equally acquisitive: The sale of Warner Bros.’ Jack Warner’s nine-plus-acre estate to David Geffen for $47.5 million in 1990 once stood as the highest-priced private home sale in the country.
Only two decades later, LA’s highest asking prices are well over the $100 million mark, economy be damned. Not on the MLS (multiple listing service) but actively in play, the three-parcel Owlwood Estate in Holmby Hills (once owned by Tony Curtis and later, Sonny and Cher) is being shopped by The Agency for a reported $150 million. (It’s the second-highest-priced house for sale in the US per forbes.com.) Two of the other grand estates that float in that range: Fleur de Lys (across from Geffen’s digs) has been on the market at $125 million for some time, and Beverly House, built by Milton Getz and once owned by Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst, is now listed for $115 million, up from its original asking price of $95 million. A relative newcomer to Holmby Hills, The Carolwood Estate (built in 2001 on the four acres where Walt Disney’s compound once stood) is priced at a mere $90 million.
Currently rumored to be on the market, the former Conrad Hilton estate on 8.4 acres and now owned by financier Gary Winnick (who purchased the manor-like house and grounds for $94 million in 2000), has a possible $225 million price tag due to its enviably secluded Bel-Air location surrounded on three sides by the Bel-Air Country Club golf course. At this time, the asking price is more urban real estate legend than searchable MLS listing.
These high-end properties attain stratospheric figures for many reasons, among them historic pedigree, square footage, design, and, of course, location, location, location. “People who have substantial wealth want to have homes in more than one place,” notes Gold. “Los Angeles is the most livable of international cities, with the best shopping and nightlife closest to the best neighborhoods in the city,” he contends. And when comparing prices per square foot, Los Angeles is still much less expensive than other major cities such as New York, London, Singapore, or Hong Kong, and relatively, properties here come with sizable chunks of land.
“Our high end is no comparison to their high end,” confirms Ann Eysenring, an associate partner with Partners Trust. She points to the city’s most recent record-priced sale of the Spelling mansion at $85 million, now a second home for British heiress Petra Ecclestone Stunt, whose London manse is valued at $90 million. “We don’t have the sprawling estates of, say, the Hamptons or villas on the Mediterranean nearby,” Eysenring contends, “so LA’s in-town priciest are rare trophies. We just don’t have that many on that level.”
Feeding LA: Project Angel Food
Project Angel Food’s Delish event nourishes the body…and spirit.
August 28, 2013
Project Angel Food’s Delish fundraiser features tasty treats—and a great view.
Since its founding in 1989, Project Angel Food has served millions of nutritious meals to Angelenos struggling with illness and prepared and delivered more than 12,000 meals a week and 600,000 meals a year to 2,200 individuals in 2012.
But success goes much further than the numbers for an organization whose mission is “to nourish the body and spirit of men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS , cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses.”
Apart from day-to-day operations, Project Angel Food’s efforts extend beyond those in need and those in the kitchen by opening up to the entire Los Angeles community each year at its Delish event. Jacqui Farina, Project Angel Food’s director of marketing and special events, explains, “We are all endlessly fascinated by what food is, how it is prepared, and how it makes us feel. Food is more than a meal. At Delish, culinary experts, mixologists, and chefs come together to demonstrate how a great food dish is more than the sum of its ingredients… it’s an experience.”
This year’s event will be happening on the evening of Sunday, September 29, and will include up to 50 food stations serving everything from breakfast to late-night snacks, as well as teaching guests how to roll their own sushi and incorporate their favorite beverages into desserts.
The food, drink, and fun are expected to be, well, delish. But even more delicious is participating in a great LA-based cause that helps fellow Angelenos in need. Delish will take place Sunday, September 29 from 5–8 p.m. For locations, call 323-845-1800, ext. 210 or visit the website.
Catalina Still Favored by the Hollywood Set
A small island off the coast of LA remains a destination for the stars.
August 26, 2013
Film set, getaway, hideaway! Catalina and Hollywood celebrate a century-long love affair this year.
With its stark natural beauty and easy LA access, it’s no surprise that Santa Catalina Island has served as the location for approximately 300 film productions since 1911. Now, with 100 years under its belt, the city of Avalon—the island’s only commercial district—is still buzzing with Catalina’s rich Hollywood history. In a place that takes you back to the days when Marilyn Monroe pulled taffy at Lloyd’s of Avalon Confectionery and Clark Gable was a regular weekend visitor, the nostalgia-filled city reminds you of a time when a silent film rolled longer than the 60-minute boat ride it takes to get there.
The glory days saw industry titans such as Cecil B. DeMille, Charlie Chaplin, and Bing Crosby escape to the island to fish in the prestigious Tuna Club, the oldest fishing club in the United States. Long before he was destined for the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan was shuttled back to the mainland for a screen test while he was covering the Chicago Cubs spring training on Catalina. From silent films to talkies, cinematic classics like Treasure Island (1918), The Ten Commandments (1923), Island of Lost Souls (1932), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Chinatown (1974), and Jaws (1975), among many others, were all shot along Catalina’s shores. (Of course, not everything near the island has been dreamy—a boat trip to Catalina infamously turned fatal for screen legend Natalie Wood in 1981.)
Today, silent movies are screened at the Avalon Theatre, inside the landmark Art Deco Catalina Casino building (as part of the town’s annual silent film fest), and Avalon remains a favorite getaway for work-weary Angelenos: Music superstar Katy Perry recently made it to the local restaurant and bar, El Galleon, to sing… karaoke! After a century of Hollywood high living and high jinks, Avalon is ready for another close-up. Here’s to the next 100 years!
Bentley Unveils Plans for Luxury SUV
The highly anticipated SUV concept is expected to hit the market in 2016.
July 25, 2013
After endless speculation and rumors, Bentley recently made an official statement that their much-anticipated EXP 9 F concept SUV will go into production as the company’s fourth model line. It’s expected to hit the market in 2016.
Bentley says it will devote more than 800 million Euros toward new product development as well as its headquarters. The stately SUV will be made in Crewe and is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs in England.
“This is excellent news for Bentley and for the UK. Bentley is increasingly successful, and this new fourth model line will leverage the success of the global SUV market,” said Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “The support of everyone involved with the company has been fundamental to this decision, which will ensure sustainable growth for the company.”
The EXP 9 F concept was first shown in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show with massive 23-inch alloy wheels, Bentley’s signature grille, a powerful 6-liter W12 engine coupled with an 8-speed transmission, and luxurious amenities fit for the royal family. Expect the production of the lavish SUV to be limited with pricing well beyond the most expensive SUVs—the Range Rover and Porsche Cayenne Turbo—on the market.
Malibu Summer Rentals Heat Up
Why schlep to the Hamptons for a summer rental? Malibu is closer…and just as pricey.
July 03, 2013
Looking for a Malibu summer rental? Now is the perfect time to book...for 2014! The beachy enclave is known for its celeb residents. Where else can you catch Pamela Anderson at the local Vons supermarket? Or see Laird Hamilton or Pierce Brosnan cruising by on a paddleboard? Or rent Leonardo DiCaprio’s compound—at $75,000 per month?
Malibu, just like the Hamptons and the South of France, is a summer hot spot synonymous with ultrapricey seasonal rentals, and its relatively unspoiled environs contrasts greatly with LA’s nearby urbanism. Locals describe the ’Bu as a small town, albeit one with a Billionaire’s Beach featuring a sleek, multimillion- dollar Nobu restaurant on the sand.
Because of its celebrity cachet—and its legendary Fourth of July house parties—there might be some sticker shock when it comes to leasing. The mega-manse La Villa Contenta, used as a location for HBO’s True Blood and on the market for $54 million, rents for $350,000 per month in July and August. Indoor lap pool, gardens, 10 bedrooms, and 10 baths too much? Then consider that the most basic turnkey Malibu residence, on a less desirable stretch of sand, leases for close to $8,000 per month.
Malibu’s 27 miles of public beaches and ocean-facing real estate—many of the properties with five-star-hotel-type amenities—offer a wide selection of summer stays. Malibu Colony, Malibu Road, and Carbon Beach are where the action is, and the neighbors tend to be superstars. Behind its gates, Malibu Colony appeals to those wanting “the best of the best,” says Malibu native Chad Rogers of Hilton & Hyland, who maintains that this summer’s prices are the highest in 15 years. (He’s the rep for Lilly Tartikoff Karatz’s cottage in the Colony.)
Booking a summer rental in Malibu also requires an understanding of the area’s lingo. Most preferable are dry, wide, sandy-beach locations off the PCH (the Colony and Malibu Road). Wet beach (rocks and no sand at high tide) and landside (not on the beach) rentals cost less. Then there are beach keys and beach rights to the secluded private coves north of Pepperdine University. All beaches are public, real estate agents point out, but public access to several of these beaches has been argued over for decades. “Each client has a different personality and desire,” says Coldwell Banker Previews’ Chris Cortazzo of those who lease in Malibu. “If they’re celebs, they want privacy.” Cortazzo is representing a cuttingedge, six-room architectural property that sits on the sand on Malibu Road. Its 128 feet of beach frontage and sexy interior add up to a leasing fee of $200,000 per month.
More than a few tenants opt to rebook the same properties a year in advance for high season. Surfers vie to be close to Point Dume and Little Dume Beach (Matthew McConaughey’s surf spot). Most listings become available after January 1, and availability dwindles soon after Easter. But there are sometimes last-minute cancellations, advises Jannette Frazier, owner of Malibu Property Management. Inc.
“Malibu’s constants are limited availability and high demand,” says Vicki Helman, a sales agent with Pritchett-Rapf Realtors. “The only thing that changes,” she adds, “is that prices continue to go up and we never seem to find the ceiling.”
photography by william maccollum (malibu road); stephen lovekin/wire image for revlon (tartikoff karatz cottage); Berlyn photography (la villa contenta)
The Best Yet: 2014 Maserati Quattroporte
The Maserati Quattroporte S and S Q4 redefine Italian luxury.
May 30, 2013
When deep beauty is encountered, what behavior would you exert to obtain it? Fortunately, Maserati has never had qualms attracting car lovers to their brand. Yet, today’s expectations from tech-savvy and opulence-seeking connoisseurs have to be met in the competitive global markets.
To explore the technologies, luxury accouterments, and Italian design philosophy of the latest Maserati Quattroporte, we flew to Italy for a day of testing at the Balocco Proving Grounds, which felt more like Stanford’s campus than a vehicle test track. The Langhe course that we challenged the Italian maestro on is 12.89 miles long with 135 tight and wide turns and miles of K-rail.
Offered in both the GTS (V8 engine) and the S (V6 engine), the Quattroporte features AWD for the first time, but only on the V6. And please do not expect a hybrid rendition of this model because the technology is not a part of the company’s vision. Maserati prefers the numbers achieved in diesel engines. With deliveries currently taking place in the U.S., base MSRP for the 523-horsepower V8 RWD Quattroporte GTS is $140,500 and $102,500 for the 404-horsepower GDI V6 AWD Quattroporte S Q4, the model we drove in Balocco.
Riding in the back is just as spacious as an Audi A8L or Jaguar XJL and dual seats can be ordered to replace the bench seat. The dashboard uses a magnesium frame and houses the 8.4” infotainment system, which is available with the up-level 15-speaker, 1280-watt Bowers and Wilkins surround sound, where crisp, concert-like rhythms are delivered spectacularly throughout the cabin. The shift paddles, gear lever frame, and LCD trim are all aluminum. Two leather types are available with the optional, higher grain leather covering more area. A rear window shade and side electric blinds, standard sunroof, and the choice of six surfaces, including a carbon fiber package, round out interior comfort offerings.
I always find it clever when auto manufacturers are able to manifest lavish, full-size sedans in every sense, yet instill the performance and character of sport cars. Q4, for example, offers the Quattroporte S greater high-speed confidence and safety for inclement weather. First, the car has a perfect 50/50 weight distribution with both engines; uses a double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear; and Skyhook has been significantly improved. Skyhook is Maserati’s sophisticated damping system, which manages all vehicle dynamic parameters. To the left of the gear selector are five options for your specified style of driving.
Whichever angle you examine it from, Quattroporte is ready for the big leagues and certainly will not disappoint.
Shamin Momin's List of Art Basel HK Musts
LAND director and gal-about-LA Shamim Momin reveals her Hong Kong hit list.
May 13, 2013
LAND’s director, cofounder, and curator Shamim Momin.
“The Art Basel shows are very selective in their inclusion and that tends to generate a much more thoughtful sensibility within the gallery list,” says Shamim M. Momin, director, cofounder, and curator of the cool, cutting-edge nonprofit Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND). Momin doesn’t just attend the various Basel fairs, she specializes in staging infamous independent exhibitions during the shows, like “The Station” in 2008 and “The Island” in 2010. Below, she describes the strong bonds between Hong Kong and LA suggesting what Angelenos should see and experience this month in Hong Kong.
The LA /Asia connection: “One of the things that interests me about Asia,” says Momin, “is the relationship to ‘new’ markets in the global scheme of things… something I’ve thought a lot about in terms of Los Angeles. Coming from New York and a more Eurocentric spectrum, it has been fascinating to participate in a city (like LA) taking shape and changing the art world. There is something intriguing in terms of directionality going on in Hong Kong right now as well. As a child of immigrant parents—one European, one Asian—I’m guilty of having always thought in a kind of “going East” rotation in the world, which of course privileges Europe first in the trajectory. In LA, there is a historical difference in the relationship to the East—“going West”— meaning Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands—that is far more embedded. It makes perfect sense to me to imagine a solid line from this city to those many in Asia ascending to a place of global prominence within the art world.”
At the show: Momin understands the excitement generated by the launch of Art Basel in Hong Kong due to her experiences at previous Art Basel shows in both Miami and Switzerland. “[They] allow for outside curators to feel comfortable participating in talks [and] onsite sections like Artpublic or other invited elements.” Knowing the overall inclusive feeling at both Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, Angelenos attending the initial Hong Kong show will have a unique opportunity to see and purchase work created by Chinese artists, specifically those not represented by dealers outside the region, which is the basis of Art Basel in Hong Kong’s noteworthy Insights sector.
Around town: Local institutions not to miss include the multitude of international galleries that have sprung up in recent years as well as the new Asia Society Hong Kong Center, located in a (huge) former British Army explosives compound, and the ambitious Para Site, a (tiny) hip nonprofit organization dedicated to exhibiting international art. Of truly epic proportions is “Mobile M+: Inflation!,” the largest contemporary art exhibition to date in Hong Kong, at the West Kowloon Cultural District site, featuring inflatable sculptures by artists from South Korea, the US, and China (South Korea’s Choi Jeong Hwa and LA resident Paul McCarthy, for example), presented by Hong Kong’s future M+ museum. “The Asian market is growing and evolving,” Momin adds, “and the new Basel show is the perfect platform in which to discover contemporary art in this region.”
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF RAMONA ROSALES
Road Trip: BottleRock Napa Valley Festival
Motor over to wine country for this inaugural music and wine festival.
May 08, 2013
Zac Brown Band highlights the BottleRock Napa Valley musical lineup
Sunny spring weekends call for road trips to wine country, and as if we need an additional tease to jaunt to Napa vineyards, this weekend oenophiles will be toasting incredible live music. The inaugural BottleRock Napa Valley festival held May 9-12. A four-day affair with stellar music, vintners, culinary cache, and comedy.
"This is a festival for music-lovers with a palate," says BottleRock co-founder Bob Vogt. "BottleRock offers festival-goers the best in Napa Valley food, wine, and beer. Where else can you see this many musicians and comedians and have access to shaded areas, seating, and restrooms? [It] has something for everybody.”
First, the musical lineup: Leading bands include The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, The Black Crowes, Jane’s Addiction, Zac Brown Band, The Shins, The Avett Brothers, The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Alabama Shakes, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, among others. With more than 80 bands performing over four days, the musical gamut crosses nearly all genres and will certainly pack a loud punch. Held on three stages over 26 acres of the Napa Valley Expo grounds, the music alone is worth tapping those frequent flier points.
Next, the epicurean extravaganza. On tap at Bottle Rock are more than 50 wineries and artisan brewers, with featured vintners including Silver Oak, Miner Family, Rombauer, St. Supery, Grgich Hills, Beaulieu Vineyard, and Hahn Family Wines, to name a few. Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Cindy Pawlcyn will helm the festival’s culinary execution, sharing the spotlight with celebrity chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Ken Frank, and Todd Humphries. The list of participating Napa eateries and food purveyors is equally of note, including Mustards Grill, Oenotri, ZuZu, Grace’s Table, The Girl & the Fig, Azzurro Pizzeria and Enoteca, Tra Vigne, Fish Story, Farmstead, The Model Bakery, C Casa, Barbers Q, and Gott’s Roadside.
And let’s not forget there’s comedy, to boot. In the midst of all this wining, dining, and dancing, the country’s top comics promise plenty of laughter, too. Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin, Aasif Mandvi, Anthony Jeselnik, Tig Notaro, Jim Breuer, Greg Behrendt, Wyatt Cenac, Rob Delaney, and Kristen Schaal, among others, ensure no dull moments.
Given the staggering lineup of musical acts, we asked Nicholas Allen, founder of Carte Blanche Wine and Soulshine Music LLC, for some festival and wine cliff notes. Following are his Top 5 “pairings” of rock and wine, focused on micro-cult wines crafted by acclaimed vintners that have mastered the art of bottling terroir. If you can’t make it to Napa with us, at least you can create a playlist, sample some vino, and pretend you’re there.
1. The Black Keys & Carte Blanche 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. “The Black Keys are one of the best, if not, top, acts on the national touring circuit,” says Allen. “I’d pair this complex rock ‘n roll with a big red—the CB Cabernet is layered, surprising, with big notes, and a real powerful driving force behind it, just like the band.”
2. Jane’s Addiction & 2010 Keplinger Sumo. “If you’ve seen front man Perry Farrell perform, then you know that a bottle of red is most likely in his hand. I’d suggest he drink the Keplinger Sumo--a spicy, bold red that gets you fired up, and can perfectly handle the band’s hard-hitting rock.”
3. Zac Brown Band & Morlet Family Vineyards Couer de Vallée. “It's such a nice blend of cabernet culled from the top to the bottom of Napa Valley, and Zac Brown's music is such a nice collaboration of musical instruments and different musical genres, from country, to bluegrass, to reggae, to rock ‘n roll!”
4. The Black Crowes & 2010 Macauley Cabernet Franc, To Kalon Vineyard. “The Crowes consistently stay in the realm of blues-driven rock ‘n roll, but both the band and this wine offer so much more than one varietal or style could have ever been thought possible. Wines and acts like these are extremely rare, intricate, and passionate, and need to be embraced for the long haul.”
5. Alabama Shakes & Bure Family Wines 2010 Duration. “A perfect pairing for Alabama Shakes; it's got that power and elegance from the cabernet, and that depth and extra ‘umph’ (fruit) and nuance from the Cabernet Franc. These two—the band and the wine—will be around for a long time. Bure is becoming a staple Napa wine for cult-boutique collectors, and The Shakes are becoming a sought after staple on the music scene. I dread another ill-fated and ill-timed loss of talent such as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Amy Winehouse. Like the finish on the Duration wine, I hope to see longevity in their musical careers.”
For BottleRock Napa Valley festival passes, pricing, and additional information visit bottlerocknapavalley.com
photography by rick diamond/gettyimages.com
Q&A: Xtend Barre's Samantha Rabon
The new studio offers cardio and strength training via a constantly changing barre workout.
May 01, 2013
Although Xtend Barre West Hollywood owner Samantha Rabon is new to LA, the Aussie beauty fits in seamlessly with SoCal’s fit-focused lifestyle. Rabon dedicated 15 years to being a professional dancer, spending 12 of those as a lead soloist at the famed Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris. It was through the harsh physical demands of dance that Rabon found the healing qualities of Pilates.
Once Rabon discovered the Xtend Barre workout—a multi-level, barre-focused regimen that combines elements of dance with the strength, safety, and training of Pilates (all Xtend Barre instructors are certified in Pilates) and offers up a different routine for every 55-minute-long class—she was hooked. We chatted with Rabon about opening an Xtend Barre studio in West Hollywood, a new class inspired by the Moulin Rouge, and more. 8254 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, 323-782-1770
When did you first discover the Xtend Barre workout?
SAMANTHA RABON: I discovered Xtend Barre about three years ago, after returning to Sydney from Paris as a retired dancer. Xtend was being offered in the small Pilates studio where I had done my Pilates training. It was everything I wanted in a workout: combining the amazing results of dance with the principles of strength and safety in Pilates. The shape and strength of my body was better than it was during my Moulin Rouge days—and in a very short time, even after having two children! I was instantly hooked and soon became certified to become an instructor; my new career started from that moment.
What sets Xtend Barre apart from other cardio barre studios in LA?
SR: Xtend Barre fuses all elements of dance with a repertoire that is always varied in order to challenge the mind and body. This allows instructors to become creative and clients to never feel bored in their workouts. It allows “every” “body” to perform dance movement in an elegant and graceful way.
The routine for each class is constantly changing in your workouts—why is this important?
SR: When doing the same class over and over, your body will get used to the routine and will consume less energy. If the repertoire is constantly changing, your body will be continually challenged and it will burn more calories, resulting in a more successful weight loss and change in the way your muscles are formed. There is nothing worse than going to a class when you can anticipate what is coming next. Many people will quit their workout routine due to boredom or lack of results. Changing your workout routine is a motivator and it makes it more interesting for you.
You’ve just launched a new class inspired by the Moulin Rouge. Tell us about that.
SR: We stick to the same format as any other Xtend Barre class, but we amp up the dance movement with a lot more showgirl style. We introduce the feather boa as a prop along with some showgirl-style exercises with names like: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, I Think I Can-Can, You’re So Passé, Showgirl Showdown, and Don’t Cross the “Chorus” Line. We finish the class with a little dance routine so we can let our hair down and dance. It's super fun and girlie. Clients are loving the showgirl experience!
50th Anniversary of the Magic Castle
On the 50th anniversary of The Magic Castle, president Neil Patrick Harris unlocks the mystery.
December 10, 2012
The Magic Castle, circa 1963.
My first awareness of The Magic Castle was a memory I’ll never forget. I was only 8 or 9, living with my family in tiny Ruidoso, New Mexico. My father had a small law office and my brother and I would spend our free time there after school, doing chores or finishing homework or walking to the 7-Eleven for a Slurpee.
One day my dad’s secretary, Jeannie Clancy, returned from a trip to California. She recounted all of her West Coast adventures and ended with her story of a mansion nestled in the Hollywood Hills: a Victorian home filled with food and drinks, magic shows, phone booths filled with skeletons, bar stools that move on their own, even an invisible piano-playing ghost! And all of this was only accessible to those who knew the secret password.
I was understandably gobsmacked. I knew that if I ever went to California, I would have to find this wondrous place, and I would have to be let in. I desperately needed to know the password, but Jeannie Clancy refused to tell me. I begged and pleaded to no avail. She said that I would learn the secret password when the time was right.
Well, I eventually did learn the secret password, and Jeannie was right—the timing was perfect. Thirty years have passed and I’m now the president of the club. I started in the Junior Program, learned from the best, was elected to the board of directors, and now helm the ship. Occasionally, the magic and the wonder become lost on me. But when I feel a bit down, all I have to do is walk into the Castle to remember why I love it. It’s one of the greatest clubhouses in the world, filled with friends and secrets and music and mystery; a different adventure every night. It’s an establishment like no other, and I hope it will be thriving for generations to come. Hopefully I’ll get to see you there. If so, first round’s on me. And if you have any trouble getting in, just utter the secret password: open sesame. Take that, Jeannie Clancy!
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.