Park Slopers were justifiably stunned that the neighborhood’s A-list acting couple, Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, had put their Prospect Park West mansion on the market and were headed to, say it ain’t so, Manhattan.
“They’re giving up a mansion in Park Slope for noise, crowds and a scenic view of New Jersey? I’d call that crazy,” said Amanda Shafer, a 37-year-old Sloper who captured, quite poetically, the neighborhood’s feeling about Paulifer’s relocation to West Street in Tribeca.
The couple’s limestone building, at the corner of Prospect Park West and Carroll Street, is listed with Sotheby’s with an asking price of $8.5 million. The real-estate company’s Web site calls it “one of the great houses of New York” — and then backs up the claim with lush photos of the stunning, eight-bedroom manse, which is filled with original carved-wood details, built-in armoires and mantels, three fireplaces and stained glass, and has a large, fully landscaped private garden.
How could they leave it behind for a $7-million, four-bedroom loft with a mere terrace along the West Side Highway, Slopers wondered.
“I can’t imagine why anyone would want to leave that house, especially considering Park Slope is the best neighborhood in the city,” said Julia Marchesi, 44.
Keep wondering: Connelly’s publicist did not return repeated e-mails from The Brooklyn Paper.
No one interviewed on Wednesday knew the couple personally, though Slopers did feel close to both the British Bettany and Brooklyn Heights native Connelly ever since they bought the house for $3.5 million in 2003 (even if the blinds were always drawn).
The actors — sometimes with their son Kai — were often spotted in Prospect Park or at the Tea Lounge on Union Street and were, as New York Magazine once said, “attractive, connubial, and … reserved without being recluses.”
“They’re the kind of couple that would rather go to their son’s school play than Bungalow 8 [a Manhattan club],” the mag wrote in 2006. “[They’re] poster parents for this brave and weird new world of Brooklyn stardom.”
Perhaps, but now that they’re gone, residents appear ready to move on with their lives.
“I guess living in Brooklyn isn’t trendy anymore,” said William Valcho, 25. “I guess I’d better think about moving, too.”