Upon entering 1203 Main Street, the first thing one may notice is the smell of delicious food wafting from the downstairs kitchen. This is the home of skilled cook Ann Marie Dalton, feminists Claire Fleckenstein and Clara Montague, Boone’s Farm enthusiast S&B Photo Editor Avery Rowlison and eligible bachelor S&B News Editor Peter Sullivan (all ’13).
These distinguished individuals technically live in two apartments; Fleckenstein and Montague occupy the second floor while the remaining residents live on the first. Despite the separation, the group still feels that they are essentially sharing a home while getting to have their own space.
One thing that keeps the group united is their love of fantasy novels, evident by the first floor being named the Chamber of Secrets and the second Whether Top (or Not) in honor of their beloved Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series.
The house often hosts weekly book club because the idea of discussing a book over a shared bottle of wine seemed very appealing. However, the members of the club watch movies and drink a box of Franzia instead. Beyond this, there are not many other interests that all five members share.
“Often the movies are not the best selection,” Sullivan critiqued.
The other housemates have acknowledged that some of the movies they choose may be more geared toward female viewers. However, Sullivan has been a willing viewer of the films chosen by his friends.
“He’s a true Grinnellian male, confident in his masculinity,” Dalton complimented.
In addition to being confident and masculine while still in touch with feminist interests, Sullivan also describes himself as a pleasure to be around and enjoys long walks on the beach. Despite being quite the catch, Sullivan is not always easy to live with.
“He leaves his goddamn candy wrappers everywhere,” Rowlison complained.
Messy college students are often unavoidable in many housing situations, but this group has a number of addition issues they have had to face.
“The smoke alarms [upstairs] are super sensitive,” Fleckenstein said with frustration. “When the ovens are just turned on, [the alarms] just start screaming at us.”
Luckily for everyone, the first floor kitchen can still be utilized without much difficulty. This has allowed Dalton to frequently take on difficult but delicious food projects, ranging from cookies to steak.
Each member has done their part to contribute to the house through food, trash bags and toilet paper from the second floor bathroom of Younker Hall. Montague is noted for her occasional contributed fresh, homemade bread, and Rowlison once stole a whole carrot cake from the dining hall.
The smoke detector is not the only annoyance to plague the residents of 1203. It is often just their fellow housemates.
“We can hear each other through the vents,” Montague said.
There have been times when simply walking up upstairs can be loud enough to wake someone sleeping downstairs.
The group has acknowledged that there are many ups and downs of living with each other, but ultimately, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Hopefully, when students consider about their future living arrangements they will look beyond only High Street and toward Main and Broad Street as well, which the residents have nicknamed “West Campus.”
“We’re trying to make that a thing,” Montague said.