We’ve known for a while about the Capitol Hill row house shared by high-profile U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Charles Schumer. It received attention when the New York Times wrote several pieces about it and later, when Amazon developed a fictional comedy about a group of Republican senators who were roomies in D.C. What we didn’t know is just how much like a frat house — they share the house with other Democratic politicians — the residence is.
The Times articles led us to believe that the scene was cozy in a disheveled sort of way. While the powerful Democratic senators joked about their arrangement, they also shared an idyllic image of the distinguished gents lounging together.
To be fair,they did hint to slovenly living habits.
“I once had to pick up a mouse by the tail that Durbin refused to pick up,” complained Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, referring to his roommate Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois.
This characterization is not fair to Mr. Durbin, interjected another tenant in the Capitol Hill row house, Representative Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts. For starters, it overlooks Mr. Durbin’s gift for killing rats. He will kill them with his bare hands, Mr. Delahunt marveled.
“Oh, will you stop with the rats,” said the annoyed fourth roommate, Representative George Miller of California. He owns the house and is sensitive to any suggestion that he harbors pestilence. It’s dicey enough that he harbors politicians.
But this was not a place for elegant living. It’s a place for “sleeping, ditching stuff, and fast-food consumption.” (Times)
Now CNN has produced a video of the home that shows just how raw the situation is. The roomies have done nothing to update the house since Rep. Miller’s family vacated years ago to move home. You’ll find there:
- Vinyl records lining a bookshelf.
- Bestselling books from the 1980s.
- Furniture salvaged from family members and friends.
- A 46-year-old coffee table.
- A mattress on the floor by the kitchen where Sen. Schumer sleeps.
- Bent and broken window blinds
- A couch that serves as Sen. Schumer’s closet.
- A refrigerator with a non-working freezer.
- A cook-stove with a hole in the top.
- Peeling paint.
- Sheets for curtains.
- A life-sized cardboard of Pres. Barack Obama over Schumer’s bed.
The gentlemen joke about all of the “features” but the fact is, they enjoy the notoriety and they love the place. It’s near work, the price ($750 per month) is right, and as Schumer, who has lived there for 31 years, says “it’s home.”
Watch the CNN video: