The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Two apartments in downtown Grinnell make cozy homes for selves, Part I

Though they’ll swear otherwise, Matt Blakely ‘11 and Michael Horecki ‘12 live fairly exciting lives in downtown Grinnell, and it all began even before they signed the lease.

916 and a Half Cribs
(Left to Right) Pat Stuchlik '11, Derek Gumm '11, Matt Blakely '11, and Dylan Gumm '11 pile in for a photo in front of their signature door frame coffee table on Thursday night - Ben Brewer

“It was all very spur of the moment. We talked about living together on a Monday and signed the lease on a Wednesday,” Horecki said.

They take advantage of living in the middle of downtown. Running everyday errands is not a problem anymore.
“I would say I frequent McNally’s more now,” Horecki said.

They tend to get most of their groceries for dinner and parties there and always take advantage of the specials McNally’s has to offer, like $1.99 cases of mojitos, which Horecki has an affinity for.

The only downside of living on Main Street is its distance from campus.

“It’s great living here except for the walk,” Blakely said.

Especially now that it has been getting colder, the walk to campus seems a lot longer for the residents.

“It wasn’t so bad in August,” Horecki said.

Horecki and Blakely were friends before they moved in together so not a lot of bonding was necessary for these housemates, but they do enjoy many of the same activities. Music happens to be a shared passion of theirs, especially jazz, and both have declared or plan to declare a major in music and play in the jazz band. They tend to play music very often, either for class or for pleasure.

“Sometimes Matt will be in his room listening to Gothic chants for his music history class, and I’ll be in the other room listening to funk. This probably the only place in town where you’ll find that [combination],” Horecki said.
Because they can easily pick up dinner at McNally’s, Horecki and Blakely do eat dinner together sometimes, but being on different meal plans dampers the number of times they eat dinner together. And they aren’t sure if the times they do have dinner constitute a family dinner.

“Do you consider making a Tombstone pizza and splitting it a ‘family dinner’?” Horecki asked.

The apartment building they now inhabit used to be an office building, so its architecture is a little interesting. There’s only one window that goes to the outside in the house, but there are plenty of windows between the rooms. The ceilings are very high, and because of this, Horecki and Blakely haven’t turned on the heat yet.

“We just bought space heaters to put in our rooms … and we use the oven as much as possible,” Horecki said. “To heat this place would be absolutely unmanageable.”

The narrow doorways made moving in very difficult for the residents.

“It took the two of us to push Matt’s obscenely large beanbag through the door into his room,” Horecki said.
The apartment has been passed down from Grinnellian to Grinnellian for many years now. Horecki inherited the house from someone who graduated last year. But they also inherited all the furniture in the house.

“And it’s mostly broken furniture,” Blakely said.

To be able to use their kitchen table, they have to prop up one end of it with a bench of the same height. They also have to strategically place the blankets on their couches as many of them have stains or tears, and they’ve acquired some interesting additions such as a stockpile of expired firecrackers that someone left in their kitchen cupboard.

“They don’t work,” said Horecki. “I’ve tried.”

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