High Street houses construct family… constructs – Part 1

Over the past few years, 1008 High Street has gained notoriety at Grinnell for hosting some of the college’s best parties—whether it be after-parties or after-after-parties. This year looks to be no exception. 1008 High Street, now known as “Oz,” is comprised of Nick Fitz ’11, Malcolm Scott ’11, Sam Bowhay ’11, Jai Garg ’11, who serves as Editor-in-Chief of the S&B, and feline mascot and protector, Gilbert.

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Malcolm Scott '11, Sam Bowhay '11, Jai Garg '11 and Nick Fitz '11 of Oz study the economy of Catan - Danny Penny

“A lot of us tend to be overzealous in our decision making,” Scott said of the house’s naming process. “Also, Oz is just one of many names. Fallace Palace, Murder and Fuckmediacom—which is really the slogan of our house—were all possibilities. But we have some nice little fantastical elements with an Oz reference.”

Since they moved in at the beginning of summer 2010, this group of acquaintances has already moved to BFF-status after having traveled across the country.

“We went to Denver together this summer, which was really fun,” Bowhay said.

Although the start of the school year has hindered the number of group road trips, the housemates still find ways to keep the spice in their relationships.

“We probably play [the board game] ‘Settlers of Catan’ as a house … maybe three to four times a day,” Garg said. “We’re replacing Wednesday night Moose with Wednesday night ‘Settlers of Catan.’”

Despite playing the ‘Settlers of Catan,’ the residents of 1008 also do a number of normal activities.

“We make a lot of food, we watch a lot of movies,” Fitz said.

The luxuries of Oz are so good that the residents find themselves wanting to stay stationary 24/7.

“[We] never really want to leave the house,” Fitz said.

Nor, it seems, do other people.

“There’s always people over … people really enjoy our house,” Garg said. “Sometimes they’ll just come over when no one who lives here is here.”

Despite the leisurely weekday pace, come Friday night Oz turns out to be a more festive atmosphere. On any given weekend, one can expect to find a number of people hanging out at the house. This can be seen by the number of parties that have been held on High Street in comparison to the parties held on Broad Street this semester.
“If you go straight on keg totals for this year, we’re winning,” Garg said.

If you ever find yourself wondering if there will be a lack of parties on High Street this year, don’t think twice. “Oz” promises to keep the weekends bumping no matter what.

“We’re going to have an Alley Party and Festivus in the wintertime,” Bowhay said.

“I want to throw a Haters Ball,” Garg said. “We should probably do something about Oz.”

There is an obvious sense of camaraderie within the group. The foursome will remain unaltered until second semester, when Oz will welcome its fifth housemate, Ben Aronowicz ’12.

However, for right now, Oz is content with the way it is.

Read Part 2