Lady Gaga goes house hunting in Amish country
Lady Gaga is looking at buying a house, costing as much as $2 million, in an exclusive gated community called Bent Creek, a few miles outside Lititz.
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LITITZ, Pa. -- One evening in September, the elbow-benders at the Bulls Head Public House were stunned when Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta stopped in with friends to eat and drink.
Why was that a big deal? Well, Ms. Germanotta is far better known by her stage name -- Lady Gaga -- and for her outrageous costumes and attention-grabbing antics.
"She was very discreet that night," Bulls Head bartender Jeffrey Cook recalled Tuesday. "She was here with her boyfriend and another couple and a couple guys I figured were bodyguards. It was very busy that night, so a lot of people didn't notice. She ordered a Jameson's Irish Whiskey and a turkey sandwich."
What in the world was the 25-year-old bombshell singer with the long blond hair, plunging necklines and extreme spiked heels doing in the rolling farmlands of Lancaster County, best known as the home of the socially and religiously conservative Amish?
Possibly shopping for expensive new housing.
For the past three months music industry tabloids, social media such as Facebook and Twitter and, more recently, local newspapers and TV have been watching as Billboard's 2010 Artist of the Year has been dating actor Taylor Kinney, a Lancaster County native. He has played Mason Lockwood on TV's "The Vampire Diaries" and has also appeared on NBC's "Trauma" and MyNetworkTV's "Fashion House."
He now lives in Southern California but grew up in Lancaster County and is a 2000 graduate of Lancaster Mennonite High School (no kidding).
Mr. Kinney, 30, met the singer who once wore the controversial "meat dress" when he appeared with her in her music video "You and I" this summer.
The high-profile couple was in this area a few weeks ago when he returned home to attend a relative's funeral.
Currently, according to numerous media reports, Ms. Germanotta is looking at buying a house, costing up to $2 million, in an exclusive gated community called Bent Creek, a few miles outside Lititz.
"Lady Gaga has been dating Taylor for a few months, but it looks like their relationship could be hitting new levels, and the couple were seen at local bars and restaurants and even shopping for food in the area," a story on musicrooms.net said.
Mr. Cook, the bartender, said the 18-month-old pub "gets a lot of customers on most nights, but her visit has definitely helped us. A lot of people ask about her. It's helped put us on the map."
Bulls Head banquet manager Jeffrey Merk said Lititz has been a tourist draw for years, getting visitors from New York City, Washington, D.C., and other places along the East Coast as people come to the town's many quaint restaurants, taverns and gift shops in its small downtown; but the recent publicity generated by Lady Gaga certainly is a boost.
"It's been great for publicity," he said Tuesday. "Besides being at our pub, I know she was at the Log Cabin Restaurant in town, plus a Giant supermarket. Everybody comes in here and asks about her."
Two local guys sipping beers at the bar didn't seem all that impressed by the star's visit.
"To be honest, I really don't care if she buys a house around here," Fred Griffiths said.
"If it's good for the local economy, it's good to have her," said Dave Solon. "If she brings people to Lititz, it's fine by me."
She was at the Giant grocery store here just before Thanksgiving, dressed in a long camelhair coat and her trademark platform heels. She was photographed in a Lancaster newspaper while shopping in the meat department.
Giant officials had no advance word she was coming to shop.
"We were all surprised by her visit and equally delighted that she chose Giant," chain spokesman Chris Brand said.
A local Prudential real estate agent, Marilyn Berger, said she isn't starstruck, since she has known entertainment figures before -- actress Kelly McGillis stayed at her house for three months in 1985 while filming the movie "Witness" with Harrison Ford. Ms. Berger also said she's sold a lot of "high-end houses," including some in the Bent Creek development, but said she hasn't talked to Ms. Germanotta.
"We hear that she may buy a house around here," she said. "I know other Realtors who handle higher-end houses, and they haven't talked to her either. But if she's looking for a house, I'd be more than happy to help her."
First Published December 28, 2011 12:00 am