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The Scarlet & Black

The Dark Room Develops

Briona Butler, Jade Denson, Tolu Edionwe (all ’15), Milton Garcia ’14 and Gabe Singer ’16 pose for a shot in The Dark Room. Photograph by Tela Ebersole.

Many students may not know of the house that nestles at 1117 4th Ave., and its residents think that needs to change. The house is home to Briona “Pastel Goth” Butler ’15, Jade “Colorfully Minimal” Denson ’15, Tolu “Bed Ready” Edionwe ’15, Milton “Shoes-in-the-house Professional” Garcia ’14 and Gabe “1988 Grey Black” Singer ’16.

The five have named their home, which is divided into two separate living apartments, “The Dark Room” in honor of their artistic sides and to encompass their unique aesthetics.

“So when you think of a dark room, you think of photography, obviously, so all of us are visionaries in our own way. We approach things creatively,” Denson explained.

But the housemates are more than just visionaries. Butler, Denson and Garcia are all Posse Scholars and Garcia is also currently working as a Post Baccalaureate Intercultural Assistant for the College, which has caused a slightly different-than-normal housing relationship.

“I come to the [house] events but [because of my job] there’s been a line that’s been drawn.” Garcia said.

Despite having graduated and secured a post-baccalaureate position with the College, Garcia has struggled with other aspects of adulthood.

“Milton be burning chicken,” his floor mate, Edionwe, accused.

“It was once! You burned, what was it? Fish?” Garcia retorted.

Briona Butler, Jade Denson, Tolu Edionwe (all ’15), Milton Garcia ’14 and Gabe Singer ’16 pose for a shot in The Dark Room. Photograph by Tela Ebersole.
Briona Butler, Jade Denson, Tolu Edionwe (all ’15), Milton Garcia ’14 and Gabe Singer ’16 pose for a shot in The Dark Room. Photograph by Tela Ebersole.

Luckily, their first-floor counterparts have had less trouble with food. According to Butler, she and her floor mates have yet to have a poor food experience. She also attributed Denson as being the most consistent cook, though, when inspired, Singer has also exemplified high culinary skills.

In addition to being well-staffed, their kitchen is also well-stocked thanks to the plethora of plates and utensils left by previous residents, Lee Purvey and Thomas Neil (both ’14). But the house has made its own additions to the kitchen and beyond.

“I think our house is full of goodies, no matter your appetite,” Butler said.

Denson added that she has found herself travelling to campus far less since moving in with her closest friends.

“Everything’s under one roof—food, entertainment, love,” Denson shared.

However, Garcia and Edionwe have found that they are often not under the Dark Room’s roof, but out and about due to their various commitments. The other housemates accused Garcia of this to a greater degree.

“Tolu’s a latchkey kid,” Butler said of her upstairs neighbor. Though Garcia considers his relationship with Edionwe to be more “coupley-ish.”

But even when life slows down enough for all five housemates to be in the Dark Room at once, the friends agree that it is sometimes still challenging to be on the same page.

“We move at different tempos. We got to respect the pace that other people are at,” Butler said.

Garcia noted that he has found that the two floors have very different speeds. Because of this and the fact that each floor has its own common areas, the house could easily feel like two separate units. But the group credits Denson as the main connecting force in the house.

It appears that every member of the house serves a unique role within the Dark Room. The first-floor residents, consisting of Butler, Denson and Singer, believe that the three of them have done a fairly good job of balancing each other out, thanks primarily to Singer.

“I don’t know any other person who could have effectively handled living on the same floor as me and Briona besides Gabe … Not many people can handle [our] unit and Gabe just thrives. Not survives, thrives,” Denson complimented. “He’s the perfect housemate in that way.”

“I’m vers[atile],” Singer replied.

Not only is Singer versatile, but so is the group’s taste in music, with each member contributing their own style.

Therefore, when events are held at the Dark Room, the house assures that attendees can expect only the best in music and other accommodations. Denson said that when she and her four housemates share their own, they truly want to be hospitable.

Denson described the general mantra of their house as “Being far, but worth the walk.”

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