Quick sports trivia question: what sport has the largest playing area? The answer is polo! A polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide, the largest field in organized sports. (Thought this was going to be hockey-related, huh?)
So what does that have to do with Alexei Valeryevich Yashin, a retired NHL center who played 12 seasons for the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders, as captain of both teams, as well as a silver- and bronze-medal Olympian?
Simple. His Long Island house, which is now on the market, is located in the horsey, wealthy suburb of Old Westbury, and borders two polo fields, making for a peaceful, attractive neighborhood. On just over three acres, which includes a pool and tennis court, the property is available for $9 million via Maria Babaev at Douglas Elliman.
Built in the late 1990s, with about 8,000 square feet, the spacious, light-filled stone house has six bedrooms and six bathrooms, plus two more half baths. The decorating style is what we’d call “fancy.” That is, no window is left unswagged, even the amazingly tall ones in the foyer, no room is left uncolumned, and no wooden trim is left un-gold-leafed. Of course, there’s an elaborate foyer with a stone staircase, a double-height formal living room in which no one likely ever sits, a turreted lounge lined with arched windows, a gilt-trimmed formal dining room, and a heavily paneled office.
There’s elaborately curved and gilded furniture throughout, while mantels are of carved marble and usually topped with a flatscreen television. The artwork is the sort of thing one might expect to find in a local chain hotel, but they’re oils, by gum! The one piece that doesn’t look like it was purchased at a Long Island Marriott tag sale is a sketch over the bedroom armoire, which resembles model Carol Alt, Yashin’s ex-girlfriend.
The part of the house that looks like it gets used the most is the lower level, which rather hilariously includes a spa area with a hot tub below a lion mask on the wall. (If water doesn’t pour out of the lion’s mouth, we’d be amazed.) Also down there are comfortable leather sofas, a bar, a pool table, and the like. There’s also a sauna, perfect for after a long day on the ice.
Yashin paid $3.9 million for the place in 2001. With taxes at nearly $100,000 a year, we suggest the new owner insist on the window treatments being included in the sale. After all, all those swags add up.