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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Little Shapiro, Big World

Ariel looks for post-graduation housing in the nation’s capital

We all know how stressful it is finding off-campus housing in Madison, and that is in a town we know and presumably with people we know, as well. Imagine, then, finding housing in a big bad city. If you have done this before, you will know what I am getting at. If not, then prepare yourselves for the excruciating and uncomfortable experience that is finding housing post-graduation.

I found out last week that I will be moving to Washington, D.C. for the summer, and possibly forever. I have wanted this for as long as I can remember and have been to the District many times, so I felt like I knew what I was getting myself into. Not, as it turns out, where housing is concerned. I wrongly thought I would be able to avoid the cesspool that is Craigslist, but like Rome, all roads apparently lead to it. I had it in my mind that I would be able to find something reasonably priced, close to my job and with chill peeps who have connections to White House staffer parties. Completely realistic, right?

Well, I have run into a few SNAFUs. First there is the issue of being close to my job. My internship is in Dupont Circle, one of the most bustling and hip areas of D.C. You know what bustling and hip costs? A lot. More money than I have ever had and probably more than you have too. The run-of=the-mill sublet in a funky yet painstakingly preserved townhouse goes for at least $2000 a month, and a studio or one-bedroom the size of my infanthood crib goes for much higher. So staying in the neighborhood is not really a thing.

Then, eureka! A posting for an apartment not far from Dupont for a mere $600 dollars a month. Could this be? Am I dreaming? There must be some catch. This seems perf – oh wait no, this dude wants a stripper. Not just any stripper, but “a real down to earth female,” so a stripper with a heart of gold. While this could be the makings for either a wacky sitcom or depressing TLC special, I think I will have to pass.

OK, so the price and location are not things that are going to happen, that is fine. Worst comes to worst I live in Northern Virginia, right? It is like the Brooklyn of D.C. only not even a little like Brooklyn, but that is fine. Interns cannot be choosers. The problem is that the Virginia crowd is kind of old. Like, looking to have children soon and playing couples mahjong old. C’mon, I’m only 22! I may be out of college three weeks from now, but I am not dead! I need to be with people who like to party even a little bit.

Well, dear readers, every prayer has an answer. “$800 Looking for a frat-guy/sport roomie.” Alright braaa, let’s do this! “Do you like sports and drinking? Be cool to watch sports together and chill while we drink after work, lol.” I could be a cool dude and end completely non-relevant sentences with “lol.” Pick me! “Wouldn’t mind a frat-house setting where we chill in gym shorts, etc.” I, too, enjoy loungewear. Now I just need to bind all my lady parts, grow patchy stubble on my face and stick a sock in my gym shorts and we are good to go!

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Or, you know, not. The search continues. After sending out about a million sublet requests, I have gotten only one nibble, but I think it is a good one. Capitol Hill, the exact dates I want and one stop from the metro. Granted, it is with a couple of California bros who probably sk8 or whatever, but that is fine. At least they did not put “frat” in their posting. Maybe they have the White House party hookups. Or maybe I could be like the adorkable Zooey Deschenel and bring a touch of domestic cuteness to the dude lair. More likely I will just unsuccessfully pretend to know things about sports.

By the grace of God are you a White House staffer with an available bedroom for the summer? E-mail Ariel immediately at She will make you  cous cous.

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