Eavesdrop: Alissa Walker

Eavesdrop: Alissa Walker


We always say that during political campaigns, architecture gets short shrift. But lately some major issues of the presidential race have hit close to home, and we’re not just talking about the infrastructural implications of a “Bridge to Nowhere.” Like the question about how many houses John and Cindy McCain own! We were most intrigued with #162, the McCains’ Phoenix residence that was profiled in the July 2005 issue of Architectural Digest (and savvily sold in 2006). Once Cindy’s brick-and-shake childhood home, the ranch-style house was frosted over in stucco by local architect Neal Sheiner in the 1980s. Details from the decade-appropriate “Southwestern style” included a Kachina doll collection, a mantelpiece from Guadalajara carved with their initials, and frightening evidence of McCain’s obsession with “exotic carpets.” Of course Democrats had their share of architectural criticism when detractors knocked Barack Obama’s Greek temple-themed stage—calling it Barackopolis, Egobama, take your pick. Those trying to pin the senator as a style-over-substance celebrity were rewarded with a whopper of a connection: The Doric-columned set was designed by the same team that puts together Britney Spears’ python-slithering playgrounds.



A dashing Clive Wilkinson was named the New York Times’ Most Eligible Bachelor in a three-page spread that included shots of Wilkinson poolside and shirtless (just kidding about that last part) at his modern three-bedroom home in West Hollywood, which friends apparently call Club Clive: “When I finished this place,” Mr. Wilkinson said, “there was a lovely Dilbert quotation I wanted to put up: I wanted to make the house so beautiful ‘that girls would forget my innumerable failings.’” Yowzers! The one question on writer Barbara Graustark’s mind was how to um, fill those three bedrooms: “‘I’m one person right now,’ Mr. Wilkinson agreed…’I hope it doesn’t stay that way.’” Interested women should send headshots and resumes to us for review…Over on the other side of town, Silver Lake’s perpetual hostess, architect Barbara Bestor and photographer Jon Huck (his swinging pad is among those featured in her book Bohemian Modern) transformed Mexican restaurant Casita del Campo into the equivalent of a middle school mixer for the local designerati. Bobbing among the sea of marg-slamming architects was the fluffy head of actor John C. Reilly, while celeb DJ Mousa Kraish (Superbad) spun grind-worthy beats like Bel Biv Devoe’s “Do Me.” Oh. Yeah.

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