The Imperioli Digest
Put more picture frames on book cases.
I’m back! And here to tell you about my new obsession: Michael Imperioli’s NYC apartment video tour on Architectural Digest. It took me a while to write this. I just couldn’t process what I was looking at for a long time. I really had to sit and watch it over and over to get my thoughts straight on this very pressing matter: how does one live in such an over-stimulating and over-decorated home and yet give absolutely nothing when speaking about it? Michael truly has a gift.
The interviewer calls Michael’s speech patterns calming, soft-spoken, and secure and the home design old world chic. The written piece itself is a lot of sweeping statements about art and having feelings. Yeah, whatever, rich cultured people, we get it. The photos are fascinating but the video is really where it’s at. You simply need to stop reading this and go watch it now. It is random. It is too specific. It is overwhelming and yet underwhelming at the same time. It feels like you’re in church (is he still repenting from sitting on Adrianna’s dog while on heroin??) It is art. It is gaudy as hell. It is unnerving. It is royal. I can’t stop looking. How can it be all these things at once? I have no idea. It just is.
Let’s start with the decor. Clearly Michael’s wife, Victoria Imperioli, a set designer and interior designer, should be hosting this walk through. She designed the whole apartment. But she’s not even there. No where to be found. So it’s Michael casually walking through his house, telling us the most non-info possible about the interior design. Everything just comes back to the fact that his wife designed the house. The wall paper? Well, his wife had it. The furniture? His wife found it. The building used to be a hotel so his wife designed their place to look like a fancy hotel room. Okay? Why are you even here, Michael?
When the video starts, he starts speaking immediately. Like, not even a breath is had. He opens the door for A.D. and is quick to say hi, welcome to my home, okay here it is. He says New York is a busy place and this apartment takes you away from that. What? How does this apartment with ten to fifteen different types of wallpaper and excessive amounts of stone busts take away from the bustling streets of NYC? He brings this up a lot. He says this place takes you away from the hectic pace of modern life. And there is no modern art in the house, so that, in itself, is comforting. Yeah, I agree, living like you’re stuck in the Sistine Chapel is very comforting. Totally. Catholicism is famously chill. He uses the following words repeatedly to describe the design of the home: calming, comforting, homey, and inspiring artistically. Let me be very clear: I do not get it. If you came into my home and it looked like this, just know, I am not doing well.
He talks a lot about Dante… as in Dante’s Inferno. They have busts of Dante, they have a bust of Dante’s girlfriend. They have a backdrop of a Greek character from a play he and his wife produced. The face is literally crying. A giant art piece showcasing pain. Calming, comforting, homey, is it?
Oh, and of course, him and his wife teach meditation. The classic industry couple who turned to Buddhism and really wants you to know about it. Did you see all the photos of the Dalai Lama? They’re hard to miss. And also placed so awkwardly, it kind of lands more on the side of obsession than respect. They converted a walk-in closet into the most hectic shrine room I have ever seen. There is framed art hanging over others. The oranges and reds make you feel like you’re burning to death. That’s the main idea of Buddhism right? He offers to lead a meditation but then says there is no time. Instead he offers us a deep breath, because, really, that’s all you need… when you’re burning to death in Dante’s converted walk-in closet inferno.
He takes some time with a bookcase in the house. It’s a shitshow. He tries to show us some books he enjoys but can’t really find any of them. Because it isn’t organized. You did know this tour was happening, right? He does show us a book that he stole from a friend back in the day. He claims he doesn’t steal anymore. Oh, and you’re not going to believe this… but some books are even ten years old. Wow! How normal of you! There are also multiple picture frames hanging from the bookcase blocking some of the books. Because, why not? Serenity!
He goes on about all of this in the most monotone, uninterested tone you have ever heard. Juxtaposition is happening strong. If I didn’t know better, I would think he was a squatter, faking the whole tour. Does he even want to be doing this? Again, why is his wife not leading the tour, with him instead just lingering in the background? That feels more his vibe: the quiet guy lingering. At one point he goes to his closet and says that he has had some of these clothes for a long time. Riveting stuff here. He pulls out one of Christopher Moltisanti’s (his character from The Sopranos) old Armani suits he used to wear on the show… and it looks just like any other suit. Huge.
He does actually come alive a few times. Once when he is discussing his guitars. Some are made from wood from old New York buildings. Okay, I can dig that! Oh, and when he reveals him and his wife are empty nesters? He’s really into that. He fucking loves it. He apologizes to his kids for harping on it but can’t help but repeat that living with just his wife is pretty fuckin’ cool! There is a slight energy that implies: they be fuckin’. Hell yeah, dog!
The moment that really stood out to me, personally, was when he reveals that he loves to watch American Dad. Yes, that American Dad. The animated sitcom from Seth MacFarlane about an upper middle class family whose breadwinner works for the CIA. It’s one of his favorite shows! Okay, now give us more of that. Is Michael Imperioli a psy-op? It would explain a lot. The only time I feel anything but confusion during this tour is when he talks about American Dad… weird. Oh wait, he’s already moving on… to let us know yellow is a calming color? Alright.
One thing he reveals that really surprised me was that he was on Chopped, the cooking channel competition show. His kids told him to do it… so he did… and he won. Crazy. The way he brings this up is so nonchalant. Didja know? Anyway, he’s good at making meals out of random ingredients in the fridge, like meatballs out of impossible meat. While in the kitchen, surrounded by wallpaper that looks like the woods the mafia would murder you in, he offers to make the camera man some eggs. Then the tour just ends. And he shuts the door real quick. Thanks for coming, goodbye.
Okay, then. A true [American] dad, giving us absolutely nothing. Goodbye, sir.
Right after, I watched the David Harbour and Lily Allen house tour. The energy of Michael compared to David is so jarring. The homes are equally decorated in overwhelming and vibrant decor but the vibe is so different. David is happy to live there and Michael is lost in time and space.
I guess, my final thoughts are: incredible work, Michael! I applaud your lack of interest in your own surroundings. Maybe it’s the Buddhism? He’s so self-actualized he doesn’t even care how people perceive his energy. He doesn’t live a life of describing his surroundings while using tonal shifts in his vocal chords! A legend. They don’t make dead-eyed artists like this anymore. Thank you for the head-scratching entertainment. You, my sir, have confounded us all! God bless… or should I say, burn in hell? Dante, you’ve done it again!!!