Pink House. 130 North Street. Back In The Day.

Fellow residents from the 1991-94 years were Clint Curtis, Shyam Patel, Raj Krishnasami, Lydia Craft, Jess Deltac, Kyle York Spencer, Caroline Rivers Hall, Mel Lanham, Michelle Sinnott, Jay Murray, N'Gai Wright, Scott Bullock (who crashed on the couch for a year before finally moving in), Bryan Ellerson, Karen Hurka, Sally Stryker, Ryan Mathias, Charlie Speight, Chris Palmatier, Trent McDevitt, and Steve William.



Besides holdovers and returnees Jay, Scott, Mel (& Laverne!), Chris, and N'Gai, residents during 1995-97 included Allen Sellars (who, like Jay, lived at both the Pink House and 401 Pritchard), Ian Williams, Zak Bisacky, James Dasher, Linden Elstran, Jiffer Bourguignon, Grant Tennille (who first made the scene as a fixture in N'Gai's room circa summer '93), Zia Zareem, Ben Folds, Tom Holden, and Chris "Chip" Chapman.

- Erik Ose

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Remembering the Pink House, 15 Years Later

2009 marks fifteen years since I graduated from Carolina and moved out of the Pink House, the legendary off-campus crash pad located at 130 North Street in Chapel Hill. To celebrate the occasion, I'm digging up some Pink House photos and stories from the early 90s, the last time control of the house was wrested away from civilians and turned over to the bohemians.


Pink House dinner at El Rodeo, 1993. Firas, N'Gai, Erik, Jay, Scott, Kyle, Caroline, Lydia, and friends.

I lived in the Pink House for three years, from the summer of 1991 through the summer of 1994. By the time I left, most of our original crew had graduated, except for Jay Murray, who took over as Pink House den mother. We passed the torch onto a new group of nonconformists, who went on to have three more years of their own adventures. Some former denizens from the early 90s even moved back into the house, most notably N'Gai Wright.

More freewheeling parties were thrown, with DJ Pez continuing his residency behind the turntables. Although most events were not quite as off the chain as the ones we got away with during our era, before the neighbors got completely fed up with Pink House Jams. The house even inspired a feature-length movie, named, aptly, The Pink House, written by Ian Williams, who lived there during 1995-97 and has done his best to chronicle everything he remembers of those years in occasional posts on his own blog, XTCian.


Freestyling in the kitchen at Pink House party, mid-90s.

Unfortunately, six years of tomfoolery and hedonism took their toll on the poorly maintained Pink House infrastructure, and the place predictably deteriorated. The absentee landlady had a Hong Kong lifestyle to maintain, and kicked everyone out in the summer of 1997 so she could renovate the place and rent it out to kids with more of Daddy’s money to burn than slackers in our circle could ever hope to scrape together. They paved the beautiful, overgrown backyard, and as a final insult, painted over the Mona Lisa mural in the downstairs front bedroom that Clint and I shared during our first year in the house (Ian wrote a great column for the Independent Weekly in 1997 about what a tragedy the loss of that mural was).

For several years afterward, in a stunning twist of fate, born-again Christians and traveling Mormon missionaries took up residence. But I recently stumbled across an on-line stash of Pink House pics dating from the spring of 2005, showing drunken party antics in the spirit of yesteryear. It warmed my heart, even though the house had come full circle and was full of sorority girls again.

The property was put up for sale in the summer of 2008 for a cool $625,000. I haven't driven down North Street in a while, so don't know whether it's still on the market or not. But even if evil next-door neighbor and local developer Larry Short was to buy it for a teardown and put up a McMansion, the friendships that were formed there (and the spiritual lessons learned during all-night "rap" sessions) will live on forever.


Pink House reunion dinner at Mariakakis, 1995. Scott, Zak, Jay, Jenny, Erik, Mel, and Lydia.

7 comments:

  1. I thought you did a pretty good job summarizing the Pink House, but of course, it's not really something you can put into words. It was just the ephemeral existence of our selves at that moment in time. My wish for everyone is that they had a Pink House in their lives, that they recognized it for what it was (either then or since), and that they've also moved on from it, hopefully to bigger and better things. I mean, I miss the Pink House, but I don't want to go back to it. It can only exist in our memories. And possibly some photographs... but I kinda hope not!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're cracking me up with these Pink House memories...or lack thereof...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do have fond, yet fuzzy, memories of the Pink House.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just checked out this blog and lost about 40 mins. of my day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Erik, I remember meeting you early in Mark's campaign for Town Council and spending entire evenings coloring in those #$% leaves on the flyers with green highlighters because you told me to.

    The Pink House pictures really brought me back to a very magical time in my life. And to memories of some of the best parties I've ever been to. I don't want to wax too nostalgic but I do think that was a special time and community of people in Chapel Hill in the early-mid '90s. I guess I'm getting older but all of you guys who I thought of as 'older and sophisticated' when I was an 18 yo freshman look like such kids to me now... One photo of Columbia St or the Hardback and I'm plunged into memories.

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  6. Pink House..I too remember you

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  7. terrence_garrison@yahoo.comMarch 17, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    It seems like I was in every bodies house.....kinda like a roach. Man, you pink house
    people were the greatest...I'm flattered to
    be associated with it; even if I was a mere insect.

    ReplyDelete

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