While much of California was ablaze with wildfires last year (and coronavirus was spreading like wildfire across the country), inventively named actor Busy Philipps and bushy bearded screenwriter Marc Silverstein, showbiz veterans and longtime residents of Los Angeles, packed up their kids and headed to New York City for what was intended to be a three-week break from the smoke and ash that hung over L.A. and much of the Golden State.
Philipps, who has what has been described as a love/hate relationship with L.A., recently told Shondaland that over the years she’d become chronically unwell in Los Angeles with myriad issues that included headaches, lung pain, acid reflux and IBS. She even half-jokingly theorized that she doesn’t “know one f*cking person in Los Angeles who doesn’t have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It’s why we all give up gluten and wheat, but maybe it’s the toxicity of the city.” She went on to say that she no longer felt sick after just a few days in New York and then, two weeks into their stay, was offered a plum gig in Tina Fey’s much-anticipated upcoming Peacock sitcom “Girls5eva,” which will film in New York City. So, the family decided to make the move permanent.
They took up residence in a snazzy starchitect-designed rented townhouse along a charming tree-lined block in the arty-farty Chelsea neighborhood, sold their fashionably appointed longtime home in L.A.’s historic Whitley Heights in a clandestine off-market deal valued at $3.95 million — tax records indicate the new owner is Spike Jonze’s DJ/record producer brother Sam Spiegel, and now, as we first heard from tongue-wagging snitch Herb A. Vore, they’ve put down some East Coast roots, dropping $1.625 million — a whopping half million bucks above the asking price! — on a funky hideaway nipped into the woods in a particularly scenic and area of the Hudson River Valley. One appeal of the desirably secluded rural spread may be that Philipps’ Brooklyn-based bestie Michelle Williams’ country house is conveniently just 20 miles away in the also-historic hamlet of Stone Ridge. (For anyone unfamiliar with that rural and fantastically scenic part of New York, 20 miles is considered somewhat akin to two city blocks…not very far.)
Built in the late 1970s by a local artist, and rather generously described in listings held by Rachel Hyman-Rouse at Gary DiMauro Real Estate as a “rare example” of midcentury architecture, the Philipps-Silversteins’ newly acquired two-story home is wholly invisible from the road and sits high atop hand-stacked stone walls on a sunny knoll at the center of the otherwise thickly wooded 4.5-acre property.
The spacious and unconventional floor plan, with three bedrooms and three unconventionally appointed bathrooms in nearly 4,200 square feet, showcases an eclectic array of eye-catching artistic flourishes. Large enough to comfortably accommodate a couple different seating areas, the main floor’s open-plan living spaces feature honey-toned wood floors, crisp white walls and several glass sliders that open to a large elevated terrace that offers serene views of dense woods that ensure the peace and quiet the comes with complete privacy.
Simple and utilitarian with newer average quality stainless steel appliances and a long bank of glass-fronted floor-to-ceiling cabinets that take the place of overhead cabinets, the updated kitchen flows into a roomy dining area, while a crisply modern steel and wood floating staircase climbs to a sprawling loft-like second-floor space that easily functions as an independent living space with a kitchenette and bathroom along with several more lounges and dining areas that spoke off around a fireplace set into a massive poured concrete volume.
The grounds are pleasantly rustic and natural with rolling expanses of tree-shaded grass, and a couple of outbuildings are easily converted to summertime sleeping porches, art studios or, more likely, storage for a rider mower and out-of-season patio furniture.
In addition to her co-starring role in “Girls5eva,” Phillipps cohosts the “Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best” podcast, while Silverstein is set to co-write and co-direct the upcoming Jennifer Garner starring musical comedy “Fantasy Camp” with his longtime creative partner Abby Kohn.