The Dakota is the legendary building where John & Yoko lived, where Rosemary’s Baby was set and back in 1961 where actress Lauren Bacall bought an apartment there. She lived there up until her death last year. I’ve told the story before (and I’ll tell it again) but I was at a star-studded party and dinner at author John Patrick Shanley‘s downtown apartment in 2009 for my old pal, author Allegra Huston, the sister of Anjelica Huston. I was introduced to Betty Bacall there and I still pinch myself at the thought, but this was a small-ish party filled with famous faces (Jeremy Irons, Harvey Keitel, Salman Rushdie, Robert Wagner, Roger Waters and on and on) but hers stood out among them all. I remember that Betty told me, among other things in our nearly hour-long conversation, that she had paid $68,000 for her 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath Dakota apartment, which was a small fortune back then. Boris Karloff, Judy Holliday, Judy Garland, Leonard Bernstein, Maury Povich and Connie Chung and many, many other bold-faced names have also lived there through the years. John & Yoko combined 4 apartments on one floor and have a fifth on another floor, as well, where son Sean lived for a time. (Yoko still lives there and Roberta Flack is her next door neighbor, btw) Bacall’s nine-room apartment is now on the market for $26 million, along with the contents of it, which are being auctioned at Bonham’s in a massive 375-page catalogue. (See next post for some highlights.) The rooms here are illustrated, not decorated, with 6 decades worth of a life well-lived. Facing Central Park, this place is BEYOND desirable in a city filled with fabulous apartments, in a building made famous by it’s famous residents, a classic movie about a Satanic cult and a murder that will forever haunt its entrance.
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