I noticed a small article in our fine publication the other day concerning the proposed plan to build another high-rise apartment complex on the corner of West Johnson and Bassett streets. Should I be outraged, or should I be glad? Perhaps both.
The largest and most obvious problem with the complex being built on that site is it is currently home to the original Casa Bianca restaurant. Not only does Casa Bianca make the finest New York style pizza in town, but they also delve out large portions at relatively inexpensive prices.
And who could forget the atmosphere? At bar time on a Saturday night the operation can only be described as \Soup Nazi-esque."" When your turn in line comes and one of those foreign guys points his pizza paddle at you, you had darn well better know what slice you want.
Honestly, I am not too worried about Casa B. Those guys are not chumps and if the ""Goodfellas"" poster on the wall is any indication of how they operate, then I am sure they got a good price for their property. And the State Street location will still remain.
More than restaurants, the whole high-rise apartment trend is a bit disturbing to me. Who exactly is paying 500 dollars a month and up to live in these places, and why? Are they too good to live in a hundred-year-old house on Mifflin Street or over by James Madison Park?
I think everyone should live in a really ghetto house or flat at least once in his or her college career. It is a good experience that builds character. Any house, no matter what the condition, can be habitable if you put some time and thought into it.
After all, a lease is only for a year; it is not like you are damned to live there for all eternity.
Approaching my third year of apartment hunting and living, I have a few tips for the misguided and misinformed.
First off, having a slumlord is not the worst thing in the world. Think of it as a game or comic book action adventure. He or she is the villain and you are the good guy with all your super friends like the people at the Tenant Resource Center or quite possibly a lawyer. You will fight the forces of evil in pursuit of a full return on your deposit.
Next, you have to realize that mice are not that big of a deal. If you have more than one, simply befriend a roaming neighborhood cat and let it hang out at your house once in a while. Your mouse problem will be solved within days. I have first-hand experience in this matter.
On to rent prices, you should be paying in the range of $300 to $350 dollars, but less is even better. And this is for your own room, folks; none of this sharing-a-room-in-a-Langdon Street apartment crap.
Lastly, watch out for those converted apartment buildings that used to be something else. The Quisling apartments for example used to be a doctor's office. Once upon a time, yours truly had his family jewel cupped while he was told to turn his head and cough in that very building. I also had many an ingrown toenail removed (my favorite surgery) in the basement of that building.
Well, I guess someone has to live in those fancy psuedo-adult high-rise apartments. It just makes it easier for the rest of us to get the good houses and apartments.