if I had a million dollars. . .or 17.9

So I’m enjoying a quiet day at home, after a couple weeks of extreme busy-ness and yesterday’s Great Strawberry Project, (which involved picking and processing more than 30 lbs of strawberries,) leafing through the Sunday New York Times Magazine reading about the imminent demise of the lightbulb and looking for the crossword puzzle, when I encounter page 59, “Luxury Property Showcase.”

First offer is “The Bellingrath on Peachtree” —

Located in Atlanta’s epicenter, eight stunning 7,000+sf four-story residences, including private garden courtyards & terraces, 12′ ceilings, dramatic atrium stairwells, highest quality appliances and state-of-the-art security, starting at a reasonable $1,800,000. According to the “lots available/sold” graphic on the website, there are still some available, so remember the adage that he who hesitates is lost. If only it weren’t one of eight; it’s quite unreasonable to be expected to spend that kind of money to live in a house that looks just like seven others; kind of like wearing the same dress as someone else to the Oscars.

Next we have Old-World luxury meeting modern lifestyle made manifest in an Italian Cabinet Masters custom-built 6500 sf home, with European elegance demonstrated by its marble floors and custom mahogany “appointments,” (as in doctor’s? dentist? psychiatrist?) and including spectacular views of the Great South Bay (in Bay Shore/Islip, wherever that is). As if that isn’t enough to set your real-estate salivary glands adrool, it’s also a “nautical dream,” with 540′ of bulkhead, boat slips, jet ski lifts AND a heated pool and spa. All this can be yours for a mere $2,400,000.

What the ad doesn’t mention, but is included on the website, is the fact that there is also an indoor waterfall. Almost enough to make you overlook the fact that the house appears to be three separate houses which have, perhaps as a result of global warming, melted together.

I’ll skip over the details of the listings for East Islip/The Moorings (the South Shore’s “most exclusive gated community” [got to keep out the riff-raff, you know — like those people who pay less than a million five for their homes], and “closer than the Hamptons,” which allows you to be “on year-long holiday,” $3,400,000) and Newport, Rhode Island’s “Fairholme” (4+ acres, carriage house, Horace Trumbauer ballroom and staff wing [the indoor version of the gated community; wouldn’t want them using your toilet or anything], $17,900,000) to get to. . .

A “Classic Estate” adjacent to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel — 6-bedroom, French Country manor with guest house, 14,000 sf, stunning wine cellar, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchen, swimming pool and 4-car garage. Was $14,000,000, recently reduced to $10,000,000. Details can be viewed at http://www.mansions4less.com. I’m not making this up.

Barenaked Ladies: If I Had $1000000

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