Wharton Cribz – Episode 1

Tired of your boxy apartment in 2040 Market? Sick of staring at the blank walls and crap IKEA furniture in your hastily assembled bachelor pad? Well, we’ve got just the solution for you — ‘Wharton Cribs’ – your one-stop shop for living vicariously through others!

 1655 Spruce St – The ‘Burrow’ Residence – Neil Burrow (WG’16) 1

First things first I’m a realist. I know interior decorating is not one of my strong points. As I write this, I’m sitting in the basement of my brownstone, surrounded on all sides by untouched white walls. It’s not entirely unlike a mausoleum. I don’t spend a lot of time decorating the places I live because I know I’d do a shitty job. Instead, I try and spend as much time as possible at other people’s apartments.

Enter Neil Burrows (WG’16) and his charming fiancée Jill Bastien, freshly engaged and currently living in pre-matrimonial bliss in a brownstone near 17th and Spruce. The moment you walk into their two bedroom duplex (one bedroom serves as an office for Jill) you feel at ease. It could be Jill’s simple yet elegant design choices; it could be the high ceilings or the abundance of warm lighting, but let’s be honest, it’s mostly the cocktails.

Every guest in the Burrows house is invited, nay expected, to consume their weight in delicious alcoholic aperitifs. To say that Neil stocks a regulation bar is to undersell what is essentially the cocktail equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Moments after entering the apartment you have a Negroni in your hand. Before you’re even close to done, Neil is hunched over the sideboard preparing you a picture perfect Gin Fizz. Sometime after the fifth drink you look up, vision slightly blurred, to find that Neil has pulled out a bottle of Absinth for some nefarious purpose. It is only then that you really start to appreciate your job writing for the Wharton Journal.

Others may have larger apartments, bigger televisions, vistas more panoramic, but few can beat the warmth and general bonhomie (read: drunkenness) that typifies a night at the Burrows residence. I am loath to bring the Olive Garden into this but truly their slogan couldn’t be more appropriate at 1655 Spruce: “When you’re here, you’re family.”

2023 Locust Street – The Church of Bro – (Alden Gordon, Andrew Tiffin, Tom Lawless, Rishav Kohli)

When I was in College, I lived with some bros in a broken down old house that often swayed when there was a strong wind. At the time, we were so excited to get out of the dorms that we put up with the paper thin walls, the lack of any functional heating, and the courageously tenacious bed bugs. It was a great couple years. Sadly College ended, I moved to DC and, lacking a core posse of bros, I was forced to move in with a cavalcade of loopy craigslist Quasimodos. The good news is that while I was exchanging passive aggressive post it notes with a one eyed man, bros were stepping up their apartment game.

Case in point, the four bedroom renovated church currently inhabited by Messieurs Tiffin, Gordon, Lawless, and Kohli. Though the accoutrements of bro-dom are still highly visible – two or three super-sized protein canisters, a full bar, three (!) chin up bars – they are tastefully complemented by elegant wooden paneling and baroque stained glass windows (I have no idea if they’re actually baroque, just go with it). This is no longer a pad for bros; this is a home for gentleman.

Already the apartment has played host to some of the biggest parties of the year, including a Healthcare rager that, alas, many of you were not invited to. But with its enormous (though not to the extent of over compensation) television and comfortable looking couches, the apartment is also perfectly engineered for the watching of high quality television. When Game of Thrones returns, I know where I will be.

It’s key to remember that the 27 year old bro bears little resemblance to the craven, disheveled college era bro. Opening a bedroom door, one might expect to find an unmade bed, or a pile of unwashed clothes. Instead, here you find an immaculately clean bedroom with a sense of space and style that wouldn’t be out of place in an IKEA catalogue (not glowing praise to be sure, but you’ve got to start somewhere).

I do lament the passing of some fine bro-traditions though. Where once you might have seen a poster of a half-naked bombshell, now one finds weird wall dressings like a framed painting of Harvard Yard. I’m not sure which is more offensive. To be honest, I preferred the bombshell.


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