Madonna recently moved into my neighborhood. She purchased a gigantic townhouse, on 81Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, for about $40 million, which she gutted and renovated. It’s a stately brick home with a great many windows, a two-car garage and a big backyard. (These are rare commodities in Manhattan.) Since I walk down that street many times a month, I’ve watched the renovation process from the start. It’s always fun to look at the beautiful architecture of private residences on the Upper East Side.
A few days ago, I noticed an addition to Madonna’s new home: An imposing black metal gate in front of the place, with two official signs–a few feet from each other–that say exactly the same thing: Don’t park or your vehicle will be towed away, at your expense. In case you miss the two signs, our new neighbor has the words “NO PARKING” written in cement–TWICE–at the curb. I’m surprised Madonna didn’t memorialize her hand print while she was at it. Her private Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
The gate is charmless; the twin signs add insult to injury. Many wealthy and well-known people live in private homes in the neighborhood (Al Roker and Katie Couric, for example) and they don’t barricade themselves inside like this. Sophisticated security systems provide plenty of protection. Multiple NO PARKING threats, all within feet of each other, are ridiculous.
If Madonna is so threatened by the people of New York, she should have moved elsewhere. Even the paparazzi aren’t hanging around. Who does she think she is: Lady Gaga?