this is such an interesting year. 2020 is coming on strong like a lion and I am not one to shy away from it. Yes I am taking some personal time off from writing on this blog but I haven’t felt really inspired to write about anything recently. I usually write the my creative peak is high but due to personal reasons. I kind of haven’t felt it lately. Rest assured that when I get that feeling again. You will see a more fruitful blog post!
There some houses that I idolized in terms of design and concept. The Haunted Mansion is one example of houses I would LOVE to live in and the other is Jayne Mansfield Pink Palace in Los Angles, California.
Jayne Mansfield bought this house in 1957. It was a 40 bedroom house style in an Mediterranean theme in terms of the construction of the house. The house used to be owned by former teen idol and singer Rudy Vallee:
Jayne Mansfield bought the house from Vallee for $76,000 and it was before she married Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay. Mansfield acquired most of the money for the house from an inheritance of family member.
After she bought it and got married, she decided with the help of her new hubby and set designer Glen Holse she set out in turning her new house into her dream “Pink Palace.”
Her first step towards her dream house was to paint the bland white house on the outside of the house to her favorite color: Pink.
Then slowly but surely Jayne started transforming the inside of the house.
She decide to cover most of the floors in nothing by shag carpeting:
She cover her bathrooms in pink tile and wall to wall pink furs. One of my favorite things about her bathroom were her heart shaped bathtubs also in pink! She had a constant theme of gold hardware, statues of cupids and angels (she was a big believer in Angels) throughout the house.
The newly married couple had some furniture issues while trying to fill in there new pink home. They spent a lot of their money buying the house that they didn’t have a lot left over for much else. So since they were so they were both so popular. Jayne Mansfield came up with the ploy of going to furniture stores and offering to sit on the furniture in the store so she would be autograph in them for the newspapers. She would also signed autographs there too and as an exchange for the furniture stores would give the couple furniture for free.
Even though she had a lot of fluffy aspects in her house she would do some transitional rooms in different material such as the patio and this hallway with her many many magazine covers.
She even had a heart shaped pool:
Here is a short clip of Mickey Hargitay talking about the house:
Jayne Mansfield wasn’t not able to live very long in her pink palace. She died in a terrible car accident in 1967. The house had several owners such a Mama Cass, and Ringo Starr. Ringo Starr mentioned that he tried to get rid of the pink color many many times by painting it over white but for some odd reason the pink color was still able to steep though. Many believed that Jayne loved that house so much that her spirit never left.
In 1977 Englebert Humperdinck bought the house. He kept most of the original furniture and styles that Jayne had in the house. He even kept Jayne’s bed and bed board in her bedroom. He kept the house until 2002 when it sold for about $8 million dollars.
Unfortunately the owners who bought the house in 2002 decided to tear it down to make room on their own property. I believed it was bought from a neighbor who wanted to expand their house.
“Left Bank Books is a used, vintage and rare bookshop in Greenwich Village. We specialize in literature, art, and arts-related subjects (i.e., music, film, photography, dance, theater, fashion, architecture, design, children’s books, etc.). Our emphasis tends to be on 20th-century books, though we handle some antiquarian books going as far back as the 17th century, as well as some very contemporary books (though nothing technically “new”). We’re especially interested in books that marry word and image in a distinctive, in many cases pre-digital way – books that are striking and compelling to look at and page through. Every book we buy for inventory needs to justify its place on the shelf, as we’re tiny (about 250 square feet), so we’re constantly asking, what is interesting about this book? Will people want to keep it when we’re all in the grip of de-cluttering our lives, and otherwise doing a lot of our reading on digital platforms? Will they want to give it as a gift to someone special in their lives?
Left Bank started out over 20 years ago under prior ownership, as a neighborhood used bookshop that handled some rarities. As rents increased in New York City and the demographics of Greenwich Village changed with gentrification the shop struggled. It was on the brink of insolvency several times and got rescued by a series of well-meaning landlords and new owners, but each time confronted the same challenges anew, finally shuttering in 2016. Jess and I were working there when that happened, and thought we might be able to do things a little differently. We wanted to retain the old shop’s DNA as a neighborhood shop focusing on used, vintage and rare books, but we wanted to distill it down and reimagine it, almost as a gallery space for books, a place where the mission would be to preserve book culture but in a timely way that doesn’t feel overly reverent and stultifying. A place that’s aesthetically pleasing and fun to shop and spend time discovering in. So that’s what we did, and we re-opened in the spring of 2019.”
2. Have you noticed any book trends in your store this holiday season?
“Two of our most popular books lately have been any edition of Alice In Wonderland (not surprising, as it’s a perennial favorite, and we always try to have some iteration of it) and a title we recently started to stock (and track down every copy of we could find): Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement. It’s an art monograph from the 1980s and focuses on people like Leonora Carrington, Remedios Vara, Lee Miller, Frida Kahlo, etc, who were largely active in the 30s and 40s. They all seem to be hot right now, but I especially like the tandem nature of a book like that and Alice, which is surreal in its own right. I think maybe the world is ready to be remade in the image of some very creative, headstrong women.”
3. If I walked into the store and wanted some good winter reads for the upcoming winter season. What three books would you recommend and why?
“Well, three fun and distinctively “New York” books we’ve acquired recently are first editions of Andy Warhol’s Exposures, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems:
Andy Warhol’s Exposures (1979) was the artist’s first photobook, a record of his nights out and beyond, with 360 black-and-white photos of his “rich, powerful, beautiful, or famous” friends, including Bianca and Mick Jagger, Liza Minelli, Jackie Onassis, Lou Reed, Muhammad Ali, Catherine Deneuve, Marisa Berenson, David Hockney, Truman Capote, and everyone else. Warhol’s famously says in it, “I have a Social Disease. I have to go out every night…”
Capote’s celebrated novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” was published in 1958 along with three other stories: “A Diamond Guitar,” “House of Flowers,” and “A Christmas Memory.” Famously played by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 Blake Edwards film scripted by George Axelrod, Capote’s Holly Golightly is less sugar and more spice than her on-screen counterpart, regaling the narrator with shocking stories from her life as a socialite among rich men, fine dining, and the best fashions the big city has to offer. Its publication prompted Norman Mailer to call Capote “the most perfect writer of my generation” for his seductive, evocative prose.
New York poet O’Hara’s late, great collection of verses, Lunch Poems (1964) chronicled and celebrated everyday life in Cold War-era New York. It was written mostly in Times Square, where the poet went during lunch breaks from his day job as an associate curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and was published three years before the poet’s untimely death at the age of 40. Here’s a quote for flavor: “It is 12:10 in New York and I am wondering / if I will finish this in time to meet Norman for lunch / ah lunch! I think I am going crazy / what with my terrible hangover and the weekend coming up / at excitement-prone Kenneth Koch’s / I wish I were staying in town and working on my poems” (from “The Day Lady Died”). “
4. Can talk a little about the employees’ favorite books they are reading for the winter?
“I’m reading an Italian novel from the 60s, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, by Giorgio Bassani. It was turned into a great movie by the filmmaker Vittorio De Sica, but I’d never read the book. It’s about an aristocratic Jewish family in Ferrara on the eve of the Holocaust, and the relationship between the narrator, a middle-class town Jew, and the beautiful, slightly aloof daughter of the family, Micòl. But really it’s about a whole world that was lost. (And my copy’s a first American edition, with a beautiful dust jacket designed by midcentury German-American graphic designer George Salter.)
Jess is reading Jia Tolentino’s timely essay collection Trick Mirror: Reflections On Self-Delusion, which she describes as her brand.”
5. Do you have any upcoming and exciting news you would like to share in this interview.
“We haven’t done any events in the shop yet, mostly because it’s so small, but also because we’ve been waiting for the right thing. We recently acquired a nice archive of After Dark magazine, which is this very cool performing arts magazine from the 1970s, that has a quasi-queer sensibility. It promoted dance and cabaret culture in a very mainstream way, as well as theater, rock and roll, and film. Like the Warhol book, everyone was in it at one point or another: Grace Jones, Elton John, Baryshnikov, Bette Midler, David Bowie, you name it. We want to maybe do an exhibit of them that will re-introduce the magazine to readers, possibly get a writer or artist who was associated with it in some way to talk about its importance and contribution to the cultural conversation back then. We’re still in the early planning stages and thinking possibly sometime in the spring. We’ll also be exhibiting at the Greenwich Village Book Fair in February. People can sign up to our email list through our website to receive news and catalogs.”
If you like to know more about them this is there IG account: