Campus Cribs: The B on Spring Street

Most students see the B, or the Slippery B as it is sometimes called, as they make the party circuit on a Friday or Saturday night. But the apartments on the second and third floors of 45 Spring Street are a home as well as a party spot and I was interested see what the B has to offer aside from what glimpses on a Friday or Saturday night reveal.

The average party at the B takes place on the third floor, but in the light of day, the B has many more spaces to explore. This 10-bedroom deluxe duplex boasts a veritable hoard of rooms, all of which are kept behind closed doors when the masses descend. The first stop on my tour was one of these: a living room/kitchen on the second floor. A quick glimpse of the room lends a view of two large couches, a 40-inch flat screen TV and . . . books?! No, that’s just the wallpaper. However, the room does boast some classy black and white photos, colorful record covers tacked to the walls (a vestige of previous residents) and a bar complete with the residents’ pride: a homemade beer tap. (As a side note, I was asked to report that those who live in the B are still waiting for the stolen Jets tap to be returned). The keg for the beer tap lies in a closet in the next room, the main kitchen. “We try to keep this room clean because this is where we actually cook,” Rob Hawkins ’08 said.

The second kitchen is located upstairs in the “Party Room,” a place familiar to most B partygoers. This “kitchen” is not conventionally useful, as it consists entirely of a broken down stove and some cabinets. However, the room’s table displays a lacquered collection of beer-bottle caps and coasters amassed from a trip around Europe. The designs are basically symmetrical, with the caps arranged into swirls and letter B’s with “mountain ranges” on each end in which one can arrange the cups for 10 or 12-cup Beirut.

“This took two weeks of four guys working for four hours every day to make,” says Hawkins. When it comes to drinking games, the residents of the B sure know how to keep it classy.

One doorway from the party room leads to the “black-light hallway,” which, as its name suggests, boasts multiple black-lights that shine on numerous glowing posters and highlighter designs. “We really don’t like when people stand in the hallway, so we tried to decorate it in such a way so that they wouldn’t. That’s why it looks like this. It didn’t really work,” Hawkins said.

At the other end of the hallway is the “beer pong” room, singular in its purpose, for it is completely bare save some writing on the walls and the room’s centerpiece: a large ping-pong table. “There used to be a lot more furniture up here, but we got rid of most of it because it was gross,” Hawkins said. “Last year, the B was absolutely disgusting, like, I didn’t want to go inside at all. Most of our bad reputation comes from this building’s history, not anything that the current residents have actually done.”

Besides all these public areas, the B provides what only college students could construe as “personal space.” Many of the bedrooms are closely connected with other rooms or with each other. However, some are lucky enough to be attached to their own bathrooms. All the bedrooms are painted different colors according to taste, and the residents have added their own touches to their well-sized singles. I was surprised to find that when I entered each bedroom I wasn’t met with an obstacle course of clothing and empty beer cans, but instead with well-kept, BO-free living spaces, complete with made beds and art-covered walls. The room belonging to Eric Zaccarelli ’08 features a large flat-screen TV that is hooked up to both a computer and the room’s sound system. This apparatus has earned the room its label, “The YouTube Room.”

“We have lots of YouTube viewings in here,” Zaccarelli said. “It’s a pretty important part of life at the B.”

Although the B’s visitors enter by way of a narrow, dirty staircase, the depths of the B aren’t actually that bad. The cozy living space offers beer pong, foosball and flat-screens galore, and the sound system can be channeled throughout the entire apartment (an addition made this year).

The apartment rivals most celebrity homes in drinking paraphernalia, the relative size and number of parties it hosts (usually one a week), and graffiti, including a “NO POLICE BEYOND THIS POINT” sign that was actually once respected by the police when they came a-calling. Though this may be the only crib that is more well-known than those that live in it, an assortment of nine guys, one girl and Butters the dog, this year’s residents have made the B their own and “spend a lot of time cleaning” – undoubtedly both after themselves and their house’s reputation.

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