The Library at Grey Gardens


Best of 2017

We’re away until January 3, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2017. Enjoy your holiday!

Photo: Lesley M. M. Blume


A few years ago, when I heard through the grapevine that Grey Gardens was up for rent, I thought it had to be a bizarre joke: What kind of a sick twist would pay to spend time in the notorious cat-and-rot-scented squalor so memorably depicted in the Maysles brothers’ 1975 documentary Grey Gardens? I knew Jackie O had paid to rehabilitate the place after Long Island authorities had nearly condemned it and ousted its inhabitants, Jackie’s aunt Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and cousin Edith Bouvier Beale (Little Edie). After that embarrassment-driven overhaul, the place seemed briefly, passably pâté-worthy again—but still, it would have to be classified as “for niche tastes only.”