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Home Sweet Home

I’ve recently been dealing with my move from a dorm into an apartment here in Hyde Park. It’s been stressful to say the least–fickle subletters, no-show movers, and endless hours of scrubbing…

A friend and I were discussing apartment options here, which is a pretty big issue since most students move into after their second year at the College. My roommate and I ultimately chose to go with Blackstone Management, a small real estate agency (can you really call it that?) run out of a pretty sketchy basement office by a Russian landlady, her single softspoken maintenance man, and the shadowy “they” she often invokes–as in, “I’d love to tell you whether or not this apartment has ever been robbed or broken into in the past, but ‘they’ won’t let me…”

We opted for a one-bedroom, but most of the other, larger apartments in the neighborhood are monopolized by a company called Mac. It’s hard to know exactly what to make of Mac. So many of my friends and acquaintances have complained about Mac, which, although it’s a large company, seems to have trouble really caring about its student residents. However, the Mac offices my roommate and I visited a few months ago now seem reassuringly professional and sparkling clean when compared to that dingy basement office. Mac has an entire network of staffers for its Hyde Park properties, while dealings with Blackstone are strictly limited to the Russian landlady (communication can often be a problem).

A friend of mine put it this way: “Blackstone is incompetent but not malicious. That’s why I chose them over Mac”. I wonder how this coming year will turn out–is it better to deal with a ‘malicious’ but efficient company, or a company that seems neutral but shoddily run? I hope it won’t lead to a lot of headaches…

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