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The Garden’s friendship grows through wetting their plants

1018 East Street was passed down to these five by students from last year. Contributed photo.
1018 East Street was passed down to these five by students from last year. Contributed photo.
1018 East Street was passed down to these five by students from last year. Contributed photo.

By Philip Kiely

Affectionately known as “The Garden,” 1018 East St. is home to Emily Hines, Julia Dornbusch, Rachel Knak, Noah Holt and Ruth Isaac, all ’17. The five friends have been living together in various combinations for the past four years.

“Our house is called ‘The Garden’ because we all lived together in Rose Hall first year and we’ve been friends ever since,” Knak said.

Off campus houses are often passed down from one generation of friends to the next, which is exactly how “The Garden” came to acquire 1018.

“We had a group of friends who were seniors last year, … so we kind of took the house over from them just because that was our natural progression as friends,” Hines said.

They have made the house their own with a variety of mottos. “Happy home” and “#teamchill” reflect the nature of the residents, while, “We’re so excited about the garden we wet our plants,” shows the group’s humor. All five share a comfortable, easygoing nature that permeates the house.

Perhaps this is why the house has done well so far, despite a clogged toilet and a seedy basement.

“We had a small gathering of friends and they clogged our toilet with tampons and our basement flooded,” Hines said.

Even when dry, the basement is a dingy contrast to the homey feel of the rest of the house: “[it’s] dark and gross,” according to Holt.

The more positive defining features of the house are a well-lit porch and a popular guest bedroom. While Hines said they “could probably light this entire house with string lights,” they chose to make the porch shine like a lighthouse, which reflects the home’s inviting nature.

“We have our guest bedroom upstairs. We’ve housed guests from all over the world, by which we mean one country other than the U.S.,” Hines said.

Sometimes, the house faces weird challenges, including some in the kitchen. Holt one day decided to make banana bread, and it came out very well. On his second try at the same undertaking, something a little different happened. 

“The people who lived here last year left a lot of confectioner’s sugar here, and so there was what I thought was flour in a Tupperware container. … I put it into the banana bread mix but it was confectioner’s sugar so the banana bread never rose, because there was no flour in it, so it just turned out to be gross banana-sugar liquid-goo,” Holt explained.

Despite the various challenges that have arisen, the five all recommend off campus living. They enjoy eating meals at home, often even lunch during the week.

“It is a good transition into independent life after college,” Dornbusch said.

“It’s nice to have a space that’s actually yours,” Holt added. “It’s also nice to make your own coffee and not have to drink D-Hall coffee or Grill coffee.”

The tenants of 1018 recommend shooting to live off campus even if you’re not sure who to move in with.

“There is a tendency to think that you can’t live off campus if you don’t have a friend group that’s living off campus, but I’d say that even living by yourself, like in a single off campus, … I would also encourage that,” Isaac said.

That said, the distance from the college has created challenges. The physical distance tough, especially for making it to 8 a.m. classes, but the distance from campus culture also plays a role.

“I think it’s hard to feel connected to the College, because a lot of the time I’d rather spend my time here than on campus,” Holt said. “The comforts of home draw us here more the dorm rooms do,” Dornbusch agreed.

But these challenges for the five are easily outweighed by the clear benefits of constant connection with friends. The group has slightly overlapping extracurricular activities but no common majors, so they know their friendship has come out of a deeper connection.

“That’s what brought us together — none of us really fit in on East Campus but we all fit in with each other,” Knak said.

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