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September 19, 2002 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-19

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1OB - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Maguine - Thursday, September 19, 2002

Cost of living: Are
we the weenies?

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thur
Party store pizza slices: Where you -
can get the most bang for your buck '

By Rebecca Ramsey
Daily Arts Writer

Tanay Mehta enjoyed his hotdog
. as if it was his last meal. Careful
not to have any relish or sauer-
kraut drip off of his dog, the LSA
sophomore explained that his food
was actually quite an investment.
"At home in India, this would
not cost much. The food here in
Ann Arbor is way more expensive.
I could buy seven hotdogs in
Bombay for the price of this one,"
he said.
You may wonder what charac-
teristics set Ann Arbor apart from
other college towns. Maybe you
think it's the diverse student body.
Or, it could very well be the errat-
ic weather that causes you to buy
a hot chocolate on Tuesday and an
iced latte on Wednesday. But, did
you ever realize that certain things
cost so much more here? (By the
way, how much did that iced latte
Whether or not one sees the cost
of living to be high in Ann Arbor
is a debatable issue. For some stu-

dents, the prices for rent and food
may be reasonable and even simi-
lar to the costs at home. However,
other students, particularly those
coming from small towns and
other countries, might think the
costs to be ridiculously expensive.
Michelle Billing, a junior in the
School of Education, agonized
about the amount she pays for rent
compared to 'her friends back
home in New York.
"My friend at Buffalo pays $200
a month for apartment rent. Here,
the cheapest place you can find is
probably around $400, and that's
with sharing a room," she said.
In a 2001-2002 survey answered
by Ann Arbor landlords, the Uni-
versity Off-Campus Housing Pro-
gram found the average rental
rates for a two bedroom house or
apartment to be $1204.50. While
this figure is near the same as
Billing's estimate for a single
room, one needs to take into
at-count the costs of utilities,
cable, telephone and food.
Ann Arbor is not a representa-
tive model for other Michigan

By David Enders
Neekend Food and Drink Critic

Many students opt to buy coffee at Amer's in the Union where they can use their MCards instead of forking over cash.


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campuses. At Michigan State Uni-
versity.in East Lansing, students
enjoy a fairly cheaper lifestyle
that may include a newer place to
"Newer, bigger apartment build-
ings are being built further from
the heart of the campus and many
students choose to live in them,"
explained Gary Murphy, East
Lansing finance director.
"Although students now have to
drive to class, these apartments
are more updated and less expen-
sive. This may force landlords to
fix up the homes that are closer to
As the property value of Ann
Arbor increases, you can expect
that the rents will too. Kathleen
Hines, Ann Arbor interim commu-
nity development administrator,
describes the living costs to be
based on principles of supply and
"It's entirely possible for rent to

increase when renovations are
completed," she stated. "If a land-
lord puts $10,000 into a house, he
has to make up for the costs by
increasing the rent of his tenants.
People want to and will live in
Ann Arbor even though the cost of
demand is so high."
A University student can live in
a very old home that is in dire
need of renovations and still pay
more than their friends with new
single-bedroom apartments at
other universities. Perhaps the stu-
dent body is being ripped off, and
we need to ask ourselves one
thing: Why is Ann Arbor so
Dave Brown, an Ann Arbor resi-
dent since 1968 and general man-
ager of Shaman Drum Bookstore
for five years, may have the
answer to this elusive question. As
a longtime member of the commu-
nity, he has seen people and busi-
nesses come and go.

"Over the years there has been
more development in the down-
town areas and the outskirts of the
city, causing the rent for business-
es to increase," he noted. The stu-
dent population has also increased
dramatically, and with the last
dorm being built in the 1970s
(Bursley), more and more students
need to find off-campus housing."
Brown, who brings 'his own
lunch to work every day to avoid
high restaurant prices, also added
that the value of the dollar and
education has changed while he
has lived here. As the University
increases the cost of tuition, the
city can charge whatever the mar-
ket allows, which seems to be
basically any desired amount.
"The school can charge certain
prices and be successful," he
added. "The cost of education has
altered so much that you have to
have quite a bit of money to come
An Ivy League education is also
associated with affluence, but sur-
prisingly, it can be less expensive
to live at a private school than at
the University. Jenny Soble, a
first-year law student at Yale who
completed her undergraduate stud-
ies here in Ann Arbor believes that
her living expenses are cheaper in
New Haven, Conn. r
"Living is definitely cheaper at
Yale. When I was here, I lived in a
house on Greenwood and now I'm
in a much nicer place for $20 less
each month. But, the pizza is bet-
ter at Michigan and I used to have
in-state tuition."
Apparently, Ann Arbor can expe-
rience inflation of rent and food
(Remember when colliders were
$4?) because people will eventual-
ly pay the price to live here.
It's a great town, even if you
live in an expensive shoebox of a
room. As for Tanay Mehta, he's
taking his hot dog and going back
to Bombay after college.

In following with the theme of
student financial issues, I decided to
pontificate on the most affordable
of all campus pleasures, the great '
common ground of panhandlers and
students alike: The slice of party
store pizza.
Enlisting my roommates to assist
me, we consecrated the evening by
chugging warm keg beer (likely pro-
cured at one of the places we would
later be dining) and hollered at
some freshmen girls. Our advances
ignored and rebuffed, we consigned
ourselves to soaking up the suds
with cheesy consolation, and thus
attacked the Axis of Grease before
us. The only criteria in our search
for the best slice at the nicest price
was that it had to come from a place
.that specifically did not specialize
in serving pizza.
First stop: Diag Party Shoppe
(340 S. State. Hours: Open until 1
a.m. Mon. - Thurs., 2 a.m. Fri. -
Sat., Midnight on Sun.)
Price: $.99 for all slices. Choices
include cheese, pepperoni, sausage
and vegetable.
Grease factor: Crust seemed to
have absorbed most of it. A decep-
tively heavy slice.
Crust: Spongy.
S a u ce:
Couldn't really
find it.
Cheese: ...
of condiments:
Crushed pep-
pers and parme-
san cheese on
P resenta-
phere: Pizza
served on a .
white paper
plate. Styro-
foam boxes
available for lit-
pizza warm on in 'n' Out: Your source1
longer trips.
Service: The guy at the counter
was kind enough to cover my tax
with the take-a-penny tray.
Final assessment: Bonus points
for variety of slices, but it closes
earlier than the others. "Fluffiest"
pizza of the three.
Second stop: Jimmy's Sgt. Pep-
pers (1028 E. University. Hours: 3
open until 3 a.m. Sun. - Thurs., 4
a.m. Fri. - Sat.)
Price: $1 for cheese, $1.25 for
vegetable or pepperoni.
Grease factor: No runoff upon
folding of pizza. A few thick stains,
on the plate.
Crust: Crispy (read: burnt).
Sauce: Closer to tomato paste.
Kind of dry, but the best tasting of
the three.

Cheese: Most likely of the three
to be close to 100 percent dairy.
Availability of condiments: Hot
sauce, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper,
hot Cajun spice, parmesan, hot chili
sauce, salt and pepper are all avail-
able with slices.
Presentation/atmosphere: White
paper plate. Between the wood pan-
eling and the intermittent smell of
marijuana, going to Jimmy's is like
hanging out in the basement of a
guy you don't know very well.
Service: The guy behind the
counter sat on his can until his man-
ager yelled at him to get us some
Final assessment: Best sauce of
the three. It probably would've tast-
ed better if it hadn't been sitting
around for so long and had been
Third stop: In 'n' Out (615 E.
University. Hours: Open until 3 a.m.
Mon. - Thurs., 4 a.m. Fri. - Sat.,
2:30 a.m. Sun.)
Price: $1 for cheese, $1.25 for
Grease factor: The paper plate
the pizza came on was well soaked,
but the slice could still be folded
without causing runoff from the top.
Crust: Crispy.
Sauce: Tangy.
Cheese: Melted.
of condiments:
Hot sauce, gar-
lic, oregano,
basil, pepper,
hot Cajun spice,
Parmesan, hot
chili sauce, salt
and pepper are
all available
with slices.
tion/atm os-
phere: Pizza
served on a
,. white paper
plate. The
counter is near
enough to the
FRANKPAYNE/Daily pornographic
or pizza and porno. magazine rack
that the covers
of said magazines can be perused
while one is waiting to be served.
Service: Second plate was offered
when my roommate ordered both
cheese and pepperoni slices. Intoxi-
cation of late night employees is
sometimes a problem (you haven't
seen disappointment until you've
seen a pizza, fresh out of the oven,
dropped on the floor in front of a
half-dozen very hungry/stoned
However, service from employees
younger than 12 (occurs at various
times of the day, including the 2
a.m. slot) is not a problem, as they
are less likely to be intoxicated and
drop the pizza. Also, you want a
child's honesty at the register, when
you are drunk and forking over

Late night snacks at Diag Party Shoppe on State St.
Final assessment: I would have winner in the party store pizza chal-
eaten the pizza off the floor if they lenge. The choice of which estab-
had given it to me free. lishment to visit should be based on
Conclusion: There is no clear proximity.
1 02/03 Fall Season 1

$10 Rush Tickets on sale 10 am-5
pm the day of the performance or
the Friday before a weekend event
at the UMS Ticket Office, located in
the Michigan League.

50% Rush Tickets on sale
beginning 90 minutes before
the event at the performance
hall Box Office.



Hubbard Street
Dance Chicago
Jim Vincent artistic director
Fri 9/2 8 pm
Sat 9/21 8 pm
Sun 9/222 pm
Power Center

Hubbard Street Dance Chi-
cago returns to Ann Arbor for
three performances of what
the late Fred Astaire called
"some of the greatest danc-
ing I've seen in years."

(White shirt, min. 144)
(White shirt, min. 72)
(White shirt, min. 36)

...... ...................

Anouar Brahem Trio Brahem's trio creates an
The Astakan Cafe innovative sound of "world
Anouar Brahem oud jazz", with influences ranging
Barbaros Erkbse clarinet from flamenco to the music
Lassad Hosni bendir & darbouka of Central Asia, all resting on
the bedrock of Arab music
un 9pm traditions.




Visit the Career Center's website for a list of
schools scheduled to attend.

For more information, contact The Career Center " Division of Student Affairs
3200 Student Activities Building 9 www.careercenter.umich.edu " (734)764-7460

Prices include up to 4-color front imprint:

Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
A valid student ID is required. Limit two tickets per student, per event. Rush
tickets are not offered if an event is sold out. Seating is subject to availibil-
ity and box office discretion.


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