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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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The lights are always on at The Motel Five

Steve Yang, Features Editor

At 1132 Broad Street you’ll find The Motel Five, nicknamed both for its five fourth-year residents and its location across from the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast: Amelia “Meals/Horse” Greenberg, Yishi “Yeesh (aka Claire)” Liang, Phoebe “Pheebs or Bup-Bup” Mogharei, Claire “Claire” Graebner and Elizabeth “Betty/Beeja/Claire” Allen (all ’16). Painted in a warm shamrock green, its residents have done their best to make the home a loving and warm place, worthy of its spring-y name.

“Our motto is we’ll leave the light on for you,” Mogharei said.

“Also, because we can’t turn it off,” Greenberg added.

There’s a lot more to The Motel Five, however, than a cheesy moniker: between a tradition of house nudity, a ghost named Yeagas and a generally high noise level, the house’s personality is so layered that Liang described it as “Parfait House.”

“We buck tradition,” Greenberg said.

From left to right: Elizabeth Allen, Claire Graebner, Amelia Greenberg, Yishi Liang and Phoebe Mogharei, all 16, celebrate the arrival of spring on their porch at 1132 Broad St. Photo by Hung Vuong
From left to right: Elizabeth Allen, Claire Graebner, Amelia Greenberg, Yishi Liang and Phoebe Mogharei, all 16, celebrate the arrival of spring on their porch at 1132 Broad St.
Photo by Hung Vuong

Traditions bucked include clothing or solitude, for example. Allen explained that due to the lack of curtains, none of them can be naked as often as they’d like, as their nudity is for themselves. When they first discovered the house, the group expected to have curtains and to be able to rumble.

“When we were second-years we all lived in Cleveland [except Graebner], and there was an ad for free hangers,” Allen said. “There was a sign above the door … that read, ‘only eager lovers in the Rumble Room.’ I knew in that moment, that was the house I want to live in.”

The Rumble Room is currently filled with suitcases and shoes.

“We need to remove the baggage in order to rumble,” Liang added regarding the symbolic nature of the suitcases.

These get-togethers can draw in all sorts of company, both wanted and less wanted. In regards to the former, residents noted that there have been a lot of Frenchmen in the house, to the point where it is almost a tradition. Also sometimes referred to as “La Cabaña Cinco” or “Le Château Cinq” 1132 Broad has hosted a “Fresh Flutes” party, which utilizes the instruments of the College’s “premier flute ensemble” for more alcohol-related purposes.

“It’s perhaps the best flute ensemble in the nation. I don’t know. I haven’t listened to that many,” Graebner said.

In the future, the house plans to host a karaoke party, after noting that they have all the equipment necessary in order to execute every step of the plan.

“We have unlimited lyric videos on YouTube and we’re really good at singing,” Liang said.

But in the moment, there are more urgent concerns to attend to. Like the ghost baby Yeagas, for example. Yeagas has certainly left their mark on the house, from strange appearances to a little eyelash printed on the bottom of a cup.

“When we moved in my room had tiny baby handprints on the window,” Mogharei said. “So that, combined with random drippings from different faucets and Yeagas giving us strange dreams, tells us that … ”

“Also, the other night, I felt a small hand as I was falling asleep,” Allen finished. “That was creepy.”

It is unconfirmed whether the small hand belonged to Yeagas or Liang.

The baby hasn’t been disturbed by the considerable amount of hair everywhere in the house, not to mention the constant shouting and yelling that is required due to The Motel Five’s poor acoustics.

“Elizabeth’s hair is in everything. I pulled it out of my underwear at home,” Mogharei said. “We’re a hairy house.”

“Phoebe apparently has really bad hearing. Yishi often gasps really loudly, making me think she’s having a heart attack. But it’s just her getting her grade,” Allen said.

“Our common volume is ‘shout,’” Greenberg said, especially in reference to the upstairs. She is a resident of the first floor.

Hair and hairy situations aside, 1132 Broad’s current residents never doubted that they would one day live in the house, as a chance encounter brought them together and nothing could split them apart after that. Living off campus creates new opportunities for self-discovery and independence. In the space of their living room, a new culture can be created and treats can be handed out for Halloween in comfort.

“We’re the Scooby Gang, our house is unofficially known as the Mystery Machine because it is green and mysterious,” Liang said.

Some comforts must be forgone in exchange for others, of course, like the free toilet paper that living on campus provides.

“I like being able to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night not encountering strangers,” Mogharei said. “But I don’t like pooping in our house because then I have to use toilet paper.”

Aspirations for the future of the house include raising a surrogate baby that isn’t Liang, hosting more parties, getting more gifts (like a box of Spam from Bryce Lew ’19) and hosting more friends. Just like the layers of the house, however, its guests are expected to continue being similarly unpredictable.

“When we throw a party, you never know who’s gonna show up,” Graebner noted.

—Editor’s Note: Yishi Liang is an Editor-in-Chief of the S&B.

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