‘Brothel’ and ‘Daddy’s Palace’ make homes for themselves

The Brothel

Welcome to a place where frisbees serve as coasters and plates, a place where shelf after shelf contains empty beer bottles, a place where white tank tops are the uniform. Welcome to Frisbee House.

Frisbee House, known affectionately as the Brothel—emphasis on ‘Bro’— is situated between two similarly unassuming houses on the 600 block of Main Street. What makes this house unique is what’s on the inside.
The front door opens to a creaking staircase festooned with splotches of acrylic paint and scuff marks from years of foot traffic. Running parallel to the stairs, a narrow hallway leads into a cozy living room, and farther along, into a dimly lit dining room in which old beer bottles cover nearly every surface.

Bro-Thel

From left, Dennis Kuo, Adam Weil, Justin Chang, Sarah Ervin, Tom Elliot and Jeff Leep of the Brothel gather on their comfy couches in front of their 'El Bro' tapestry - Marfa Prokhorova

It is a drab establishment to the outside eye, but to six Grinnellians—Tom Elliott ’11, Jeff Leep ’11, Adam Weil ’11, Dennis Kuo ’11, Justin Chang ’11 and Sarah Ervin ’11—the Brothel is home.

Despite its advancing state of decay, Frisbee House has an undeniable charm. The mood is jovial, the tenants are quick to flash a grin. The fact that the house is crumbling does not seem to bother anyone.

“Realistically, there’s a 15 percent chance that this place is still standing by the time we leave here,” Weil said. But neither he nor any of the rest are inclined to abandon the site anytime soon.

On any given weekend, the house will host dozens of students—some Frisbee players, some just fans. They come to watch a movie, play video games or simply crash on one of the ten or more couches.

“It’s really great because people who are friends with us will just come on over randomly, and they’re always welcome,” Leep said.

Yet the house’s main function remains serving as headquarters of the Ultimate Frisbee scene on campus.
“We’re the social center of the Frisbee Team,” Elliot said. “It’s really nice to have a big area for the team to congregate and hold parties.”

Daddy’s Palace

As far as any current Grinnellian knows, the white house on the corner of 7th Avenue and Broad St. is called The Vag. The women who currently inhabit it—Claire Humes ’11, Katie Queen ’11, Lil Ben-Or ’11, Katie Hawley ’11 and Leah Russell ’11—are changing that with a blackboard that greets visitors with “Welcome to Daddy’s Palace” in big white chalk letters.

“It used to be called The Vag,” Russell said. “But we thought that was a little vulgar.”

Daddy's Palace

Claire Humes, Katie Hawley, Leah Russell, Katie Queen and Lilith Ben-Or turn on the charm at Daddy's Palace - Chris Barbey

The name actually stems from a drunken misread of the sign for a hostel called “Patty’s Palace” by the two Katies when they were traveling in Ireland.

The five are very aware of the implications of their house’s not-so-innocent name.

“It sparks a lot of differing reactions,” Russell said. “Old people feel exceptionally uncomfortable.”

Though the residents have currently dubbed their resident “Daddy” to be Chris Wilson ’11, they say that the position could still be taken over.

“We could have something like The Bachelor to find a winner,” Humes said.

The house itself features a comfy living room with big windows and wooden floors, brightly colored bedrooms and an inviting sunroom.

The girls all have various connections which led to the formation of their close friendships—ranging from being previous roommates to being in the same New Student Orientation (NSO) Pod to being elementary school friends—which lead to their eventual college family status.

Even though the housemates love company, they insist life at Daddy’s Palace isn’t too exciting.
“Usually it is just the five of us here,” Queen said. “We’re usually in bed by ten, [then] we have quiet hour with milk and cookies at night.”