More than a week has passed since David Bowie's death, and while binging on their favorite Bowie tracks (and buying enough of his brand-new album to make it No. 1 on the charts), many fans are left wondering: What were the rock legend's final days like?
Well, now at least we have a little more info about where he's been hiding for the past few years thanks to two reporters at The Sun, Annette Witheridge and Caroline Iggulden. With some sleuthing, they found a secret home that Bowie bought five years ago. And no, it's not in bustling New York City, but 100 miles north in a secret Catskill Mountains retreat near Woodstock, NY.
As of late, the area of upstate New York has become a habitat for artists and A-listers alike who are looking for a place to decompress. Bowie fell in love with the area 15 years ago while recording his album " Heathen" there. Granted, he wasn't a fan of the touristy town of Woodstock, admitting in 2002, "I went to Woodstock once and I hated it. It was just too cute for words." But the nearby towns in the Catskills were another matter: "This is not cute. It's stark, and it has a Spartan quality about it."
In 2011, Bowie paid $1.98 million for a three-bedroom house built into a mountainside. He later renovated it by adding two more bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as vast windows to take in the breathtaking views. Renovations had begun over the summer to build a painting studio before Bowie's health took a turn for the worse.
While Bowie has bought previous properties under his real name, David Robert Jones, he kept his Catskills residence shrouded in privacy by purchasing it through a limited liability company. To this day, most locals in Woodstock have no idea where the home is.
But that's not to say Bowie wasn't friendly with the neighbors. According to the Sun, Bowie made a point of introducing himself with a handshake and a disarming, "Hi, I'm David." Bowie also used his country retreat to overcome his fear of driving, and was often seen cruising around town with his wife, Iman, and their 15-year-old daughter, Lexi. He was even spotted in local bars sipping a soda.
According to sources interviewed by the Sun, Bowie may have his ashes scattered at his hideaway home, though they say the family is hoping to keep it a secret to avoid a shrine. But then there can be little doubt that this upstate retreat was a cherished source of solace to the rock star in his final days. As a friend of Bowie's told The Sun, "After decades of frenetic city living, David finally found peace in the mountains and that's where I am sure some of his remains will go."