Livingston Manorites, prepare to meet your new neighbor

The New York Times ventured as far north as Livingston Manor recently for one of their perennial second-home renovation features (a.k.a., "house porn").

The surprise? The homeowner, PR magnate Melanie Brandman, turned out to be more interesting than the house. When she's not jetting around the globe representing luxury hotels or redecorating old Catskills fishing cabins, she apparently plays elephant polo.

Doesn’t one need an awfully long mallet to play elephant polo?

“Yes, about 12 feet. You know what? It depends on the size of the elephant,” says Ms. Brandman, who comes from Australia, refers to herself often as an Aussie (particularly in terms of fun and drink) and retains an Aussie accent. “Twelve feet to about 15 feet.”

She pulls out her iPhone to show the reporter some photos.

“This is how you practice, strapped to the top of an S.U.V.,” she says. “One chap was driving. I was inside, holding his leg through the sun roof.”