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April 10, 2009

Ben Bradlee lives in Grey Gardens, which smells like cat pee

Former Washington Post editor Bill Bradlee and his wife, author Sally Quinn, bought the famous Grey Gardens estate in 1979. At the time, it was overrun by 30 cats and fleas.

Instead of tearing the place down, Quinn and Bradley rennovated. They say the place still reeks of cat pee when it rains:

The Bradlees renovated it to a close approximation of its old layout and splendor. For more on what it was like at the time, definitely read the W piece. According to Quinn, true to legend, when it rains the place still smells like cat pee from 30 years of being overrun with the Beales' cats (and no litter boxes!). "About ten years ago, we got up there the first of August and it had been raining for 10 days. We walked in the house and Ben, who can't smell anything cause he's got sinus problems, said, 'Oh my god.'" Quinn explained. "He's allergic to cats and his eyes started to water. He could smell the cat pee. [NYMag]

Grey Gardens was immortalized in the eponymous Maysles brother's documentary about the house's former residents, an eccentric mother and daughter known, respectively as Big Edie and Little Edie.


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