Brooklyn Communal Cool: The Brand

(The New York Times) On a recent Tuesday evening, Dickerman Cade Sadler III was in the kitchen making tacos for his roommates, sautéing beef in a frying pan and setting aside a bowl of rice and beans for the vegetarians. In the living room-cum-recording studio, Denitia Odigie was sitting at the drum kit tapping out a beat, her back to the wall papered with old-fashioned damask, while a man who calls himself Sene (his real name is Brian Marc) set up a mike under the glass and bronze chandelier. Standing outside, on the quiet cul-de-sac, two 20-somethings in clunky glasses and knitted beanies braved the freezing winter air to smoke a cigarette.

It was a typical weeknight at the Clubhouse, as the shabby Victorian home in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, is known to its inhabitants (it also goes by the name Club Casa.) A collective that some might consider a commune, eight roommates, most of them musicians and artists, share meals and expenses, use a Google doc to keep track of their chores, and pitch in to shop for groceries and stock the bathrooms. In addition to the core members, there is a vast network of friends and former residents — a total of 35 people have lived at the Clubhouse since it was established five years ago — who crash on the couches, often for indefinite periods. There’s a waiting list for residency, and the application, as it were, includes having to “vibe out” with current members, including the house’s founder and de facto president, Andrew Thomas Reid, 29.