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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Going Down to The Landing Strip

Next time you’re planning on coming into Des Moines, go ahead and fly straight into Grinnell instead: “The Landing Strip” is now open.

1018 East Street, affectionately known as “The Landing Strip” or “The Strip,” is home to five ladies—Fabiola Barral ’15, Quinnita Bellows ’15, Rosalie Curtin ’15, Audrey Smith ’15 and Yang West ’15.

Fabiola Barrall ’15, Rosalie Curtin ’15, Audrey Smith ’15, Quinnita Bellows ’15, and Yang West ’15 (left to right) pose under the lights in “The Landing Strip.” Photo by Tela Ebersole.
Fabiola Barrall ’15, Rosalie Curtin ’15, Audrey Smith ’15, Quinnita Bellows ’15, and Yang West ’15 (left to right) pose under the lights in “The Landing Strip.” Photo by Tela Ebersole.

Ask any upperclassman that lives off campus: one of the stressful, painstaking and laborious parts of living off campus is deciding what to name your house. After a long list of suggestions, West jokingly put forward the name, “The Landing Strip,” having recently looked through an online list of the worst strip club names.  Like any important decision, consensus among the housemates was not immediately reached. 

“I’ve found my peace with it. I call it ‘The Strip’ after Las Vegas, the strip mall,” Smith said.

“The issue is that it’s not a name that you tell your mother,” West noted.

While they’re still working on a way to tell their parents, “The Strip” was admittedly one of the best names they could have decided on.

“I wanted ‘The Cloud,’ I’m going to The Cloud, there’s a party in The Cloud … technology, it’s confusing,” Smith said.

Other contenders for house names were “Anaconda,” “Marvin’s Room,” “Fratlantis” and more.

“There was ‘The Bosom’ and we were going to sign off our emails like: Yang ‘A-cup’ West, Quinnita ‘DD’ Bellows,” Curtin said.

However, the house decided “The Bosom” too closely resembled “The Womb,” a popular off-campus house name from two years ago.  

Deciding who to live with is always a big deal: do you live with your best friend? Your most consistent friend? A friendly acquaintance? For the women in The Landing Strip, the decision largely boiled down to simply live with West.

“It’s like [Yang]’s the nucleus and we were all friends with her … We were all kind of friends with each other, but not as a group,” Smith explained.

Although they weren’t friends as a whole before they decided to live together, they share similar tastes and have personalities that keep them at peace while living together.

One of the tastes they share is a creamy, yet sometimes crumbly, sweet, salty, delectable treat: cheese.

“The best part of the house is the cheese drawer. We have 12 types of cheeses,” Barral said.

Initially there were some anxieties about living in an all-female house, but the power of the cheese soon overpowered any and all lingering doubts.  In addition to that love, the members of The Strip all share a love of academics and their house goal is to all make it onto the Dean’s list.

There are a few downsides to living off campus—parties can become expensive and after throwing a couple you might end up in a ‘no flake zone.’ 

“The next morning [after a party] someone had gotten into my Frosted Flakes. And now I can’t eat them, because I’m pretty sure someone just stuck their hand in there … I’m flakeless,” Smith said.

In contrast to living in dorms, there are many more responsibilities to consider when living off campus.

“It’s just a lot of things that I didn’t think about before deciding to live off campus, like we have to pay for utilities,” West said.  “And take out the trash after parties,” Smith added.

“As much as you do for yourself in your dorm room, we really take FM for granted,” West continued.

Apart from chores and the occasional cereal raid, the housemates describe the off-campus life as being great. One of the greatest aspects is having the opportunity to cultivate and personalize the house.

“I love it so much … It’s nice to have your own space. We each have our own room, kitchen, washer, dryer—it’s nice,” Bellows said.

With such an outgoing and friendly group of women living together, the members of the house have a fun semester and lots of laughs to look forward to. And the only other thing to note about The Strip?

“We’re just five really great gals, looking for a great time,” West proclaimed.

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