Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tony's Odd Neighbors

Moammar's summer house may be on the Multilist soon
Royalty in Bordentown
The characters who have washed up in tony northern New Jersey...
Jon Corzine, recently of the multimillions, has moved to Hoboken from Saddle River, not Manhattan as you'd expect.  Maybe he can call on Tony Soprano for tips on how to hold on to a fortune (Tony would tell him that gambling is for fools).
The Libyan government owns a mansion in Englewood, and Moammar himself was going to camp out on its front lawn in his Bedouin tent a few years ago, but the neighbors (one of whom is Eddie Murphy, but whether he cared isn't on record) wouldn't have it.  Never used by his ambassador for summer retreats as planned, it sits empty. 
The estate that once stood in Bordentown, Point Breeze, was built by none other than Napoleon's older brother Joseph after he abdicated as the appointed King of Spain following a revolt in 1813 (the one Goya pictured so devastatingly well).  He had not wanted to be a king, or a lawyer as his father had insisted, but rather a man of letters.  After moving to New York City and then Philadelphia, he enjoyed the largest library in the United States at the time in his New Jersey mansion.  It burned in 1820, probably due to arson perpetrated by a vengeful Russian immigrant.  He rebuilt, but left to return to Europe in 1839, dying a few years later.
Joseph left behind two daughters with his Virginia-born mistress, and younger brother Jerome left behind a baby Bonaparte after a brief American marriage in 1803 when he also returned home.  The last member of this family line met his end after tripping over a dog leash in Central Park in 1943.
Alpine, NJ, is home to many of the new royalty like Stevie Wonder, P. Diddy, Wesley Snipes and Lil Kim.
A motley crew!

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