At around 5 a.m. on a particularly late night in architecture studio this past week, I deliriously announced to a room of several other archi–geeks, “I think it’s better in life to be silly and happy when on the brink of exhaustion than to be sad and cranky.” One responded, not so jokingly, “It’s only when you get silly and happy that we get cranky.”

After nearly two and a half years of all–nighters together, the seniors in the architecture major are particularly close. We can predict each other’s "it’s–almost–dawn cravings"; we know each other’s particular methods of releasing steam and flipping out. It’s not as if any of these people are my nominal ‘best friends,’ but they know my habits and quirks better than anyone I've ever shared an address with.

When you spend the entire night trapped with the same people in the same room — whether it’s a study room in Huntsman, an offensively lit studio in Addams, or a performing arts rehearsal room in Platt — things get crazy. As they say, “people stop being polite and start getting real… ” and what started as a pleasant working environment can become deeply personal and extremely genuine.

After a particularly saucy 30–year college reunion a few months ago, my mom called to gab and left me with a particularly thought–provoking piece of advice. She gushed, in words probably not as eloquent as I’ve transcribed here, “Your college friends will know you in a way that no one else ever can. You share a time of your life with them that is so formative and so bizarre; they get a glimpse of your person that can never be replicated.”

I think I rolled my eyes at the time. But as the sun rose on Philadelphia and I glued together the final pieces of my silly chip board model, her words rang true. The all–nighter, the time tested and nearly univeral college phenomenon that it is, is both formative and bizarre. And with that, my studio–mates understand a part of me that no one else ever can.

Just in time for this Hallowcomingweekend, Street's getting spooky: our cover story is a look at haunted spots around Philly (see page 10) and the issue is chock full of hallowed how–tos (see pages 5, 7 and 13). And for a glimpse at West Philly all dressed up to trick or treat, see the back page.

‘til next week,