Connecticut is Calling
An old friend, artist Robyn Geddes, who I knew in Manhattan when he worked for Andy Warhol at The Factory, contacted me after reading my item on the decline of the use of my signature signoff Pip! Pip!
Robyn, who is editor of the community newsletter at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club where he also owns a condo, sent me a photo of a friend’s Pip! Pip! Mercedes license plate in the equally rarefied enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut.
I know the community well and vividly remember attending a caviar and champagne-driven party thrown by Indian-born tycoon Ravi Tikoo, who owned the world’s largest oil tanker, the 477,000-ton Globtik Tokyo, at the time, when he owned 14-bedroom Dunnellen Hall on Round Hill Road, the highest point in Fairfield County.
The bash was thrown to celebrate the birthday of his teenage son Vikram, with one of the presents including a gift-wrapped Lamborghini, complete with bow.
An avowed Anglophile, Tikoo – he also owned a London home in achingly trendy Bishops Avenue, Hampstead, which he sold to King Khaled of Saudi Arabia in 1976 – wanted to play cricket after tea. A call was placed to Lillywhites in London, then purveyors of sports equipment to the Royal Family, and the gear was put on the Concorde from Heathrow to Kennedy – given he was a regular passenger on the supersonic plane – and his chauffeured Rolls-Royce picked it up enabling us to participate in a match just hours later.
Tikoo later sold the 23,000 square-foot 28-room Jacobean-style home, complete with two Olympic-sized swimming pools, to real estate tycoon Harry Helmsley and his notorious wife, Leona, for $11 million in 1983. He had bought it in 1974 for $3 million, then the highest priced property in the area.
Vikram went on to marry a relative of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the Republic of India.
So Long, Natalie
After five years in our rarefied enclave actress, Natalie Portman has sold her four-bedroom, five-bath 3,991 square-foot 2008-built home for $8 million.
The Oscar winner and her husband, dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, paid $6.5 million for the 10.39-acre estate in 2017.
Mike Myers brought back his iconic Austin Powers villain Dr. Evil in an amusing new Super Bowl ad for General Motors with his franchise co-star, Montecito actor Rob Lowe.
Rob, 57, an acolyte to Myers, 58, as Number Two, cuts a dapper figure in a suit and eyepatch.
The commercial also stars Seth Green and Mindy Sterling.
Rob was at a Super Bowl playoff game in the Big Orange the other day and bumped into KEYT-TV’s sports anchor Mike Klan, as my picture attests.
Star-Studded Super Sunday
Montecito was certainly well represented at Sunday’s Super Bowl in L.A.
Leading the pack was Prince Harry, sans wife Meghan Markle, with his cousin, Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, TV talker Ellen DeGeneres and actress wife Portia de Rossi, and singer Katy Perry and actor fiancé Orlando Bloom.
They joined a host of other celebrities at the match, won 23-20 by the L.A. Rams against the Cincinnati Bengals, including Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Mark Wahlberg, LeBron James, Charlize Theron, Will Ferrell, Justin Bieber and Ryan Reynolds.
Oscar-nominated Montecito composer Barry DeVorzon was delighted at halftime when singer Mary J. Blige sang his song “No More Drama.” “She knocked it out of the park!” gushed Barry.
The Queen Has Spoken
Queen Elizabeth’s proclamation for her Platinum Jubilee later this year marking 70 years on the British throne, was a masterstroke of ingenuity.
The announcement confirmed that Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, would become Queen Consort on the death of his mother.
In just a single sentence the monarch gave her very public approval, safeguarding a seamless and trouble-free transition of the throne for the future.
It is a long way from the time of Princess Diana’s untimely death in 1997 when Camilla was considered a pariah by the British public.
But since becoming a very public figure as wife of the Prince of Wales since her wedding in 2005, she has shown herself an extraordinary support for her husband, who in turn has earned the support of the U.K. public, according to a recent survey, and also of Prince William and his wife, Kate.
Sadly, however, all that has been heard from Charles’ youngest son, Prince Harry, and his former actress wife, Meghan Markle, in Riven Rock is a deafening silence.
Prince Harry, dashingly attired in a blazer, walking on Coast Village Road past The Honor Bar… Carpinteria actor Ashton Kutcher celebrating his 44th birthday at NASCAR’s Busch Light Clash in Los Angeles… Santa Barbara warbler Katy Perry presenting an NFL Honors award in Inglewood
Pip! Pip! Be safe, wear a mask when required, and get vaccinated.