Sunday, October 16, 2011

House of Davids Estate Sale

The King of Hancock Park is selling his castle and all its contents. After driving by this house for years, I couldn't resist the chance to go inside and maybe get a souvenir.

For those not familiar with this story, Norwood Young, a former Star Search winner and R&B recording artist has a home called Youngwood Court, aka "The House of Davids" due to the fact he has placed 17 statues of David on columns in front of the house. The house has caused much consternation among the quiet, wealthy neighbors over the years. They disliked the accoutrements, the drive-by tourists, and the parties. Now Young is looking for a fresh start after publishing his autobiography last year that describes a lot of the pain that led to all the partying, plastic surgery, and excess.

The estate sale is running 2 weekends. I was there for opening day on Oct 15. I had read it would start at 9am and imagined people would be there even earlier, but I slept in and got there around 11:30am. There was a small line, and I realized that the sale hadn't begun. Some girls in hot pink outfits were setting up a champagne bar in the driveway. The gal in line behind me had an email that said the estate sale would be kicking off with a champagne and massage reception. 'Cuz that's how Norwood rolls.

I didn't realize it at the time, not being aware of what he looked like, but Norwood himself came out to tell the line they would be opening a few minutes late. And then Sharon Yost who was running the estate sale came out and explained we would be entering through a side gate to the backyard and would be expected to leave that way too. We were told to not partake of the champagne or free massages as those were for a separate event going on. Hmmph.

I was in the first group of 25 people to be let inside. Once in the backyard, I noticed the faded painting of Norwood on the bottom of the pool. Lots of statues were for sale, as well as a large variety of Christmas decorations. They were even selling picnic plastic cutlery and containers of margaritas salt. Yes, everything must go at estate sales, but it's a little strange when the person isn't dead.

Inside the house, I checked out the home theater, adorned with Norwood-centric artwork, including a strange 3D portrait of him as a lion that kind of resembled Ron Perlman in Beauty and the Beast. Lots of glassware was for sale on the bar. I noticed what would become my only purchase - Norwood glasses - adorned with a logo and images of David. A good souvenir for $10 each, and a fine addition to my wet bar!

Next up, there was the dining room. The lucite cocktail rounds are suspended from the ceiling, with track lighting on the floor shining up, and lucite dining chairs. There's an 8' tall sequined Michael Jackson glove that can be yours for $5000. The entrance hall had a white grand piano with a Norwood puppet on top of it, and 2 huge "Alice in Wonderland" chairs. They were $500 each. There were 2 bedrooms on the first floor with furnishing for sale. I don't know how to really describe the house's design aesthetic - "Nagel meets Elvis" maybe?

At first, we weren't allowed access to the upstairs Master Suite because Norwood was in there. Then he came down and greeted some of the guests and the reality TV crew. We could then take off our shoes and ascend the dirty white carpeted stairs to the master suite. It had a large sleigh bed and a nice balcony overlooking the pool.

Back downstairs, I watched Norwood's manager show off Norwood's bejeweled pimp cup to the reality TV crew, stating that Norwood would drink his tea from it. I took my glasses to the cash register and overheard someone asking the cost of the David statues. The clerk said she thought they were $1000 each, but the price was probably negotiable.

The price of the house is probably negotiable, too. Originally, it was listed at $2.4 million but now it's listed at $1.795 million. It's hard for me to imagine who will buy it. I'm not sure it's a tear down, but it would need a gut overhaul if purchased by anyone who didn't like marble floors and soiled white carpet. It's allegedly 7 bedrooms and 4800 sq ft on a third of an acre. Some rooms were closed off, but it didn't seem that big.

Next weekend, expect to see Norwood's clothes and kitchen stuff for sale. We were told they didn't have time to get everything sorted before this weekend. It's definitely worth the trip, and I bet there will still be a few Davids left for purchase.

While Norwood seemed upbeat, there was a strange, dark vibe in the house. I felt my previous celeb garage sale experience at Pam Anderson's sale was more fun. Maybe Pam's shabby chic furntiure is just easier on the eyes than a giant Michael Jackson glove?

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