Best Front Desk Operators

Carolyn Taylor, Alice Bell, and Doreatha Williams at the Calverton
1673 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

If you live in an apartment, much of your life revolves around the people manning the front desk. They greet you in the morning. They keep your Amazon packages waiting for you when you come home at night. The rest of the time, they keep order and keep the riffraff out. The three women who operate the front desk at the Calverton take this task as a full-time occupation. All Calverton activity revolves around the front desk. It’s their stoop. Alice Bell has been known to bring tea to a sick tenant’s apartment. There is no better place to watch Dancing with the Stars and American Idol than with Carolyn Taylor when she works the night shift. And Doreatha Williams knows her Skins. But they aren’t all sweetness and light. If a tenant throws up in the elevator or cranks music at 4 a.m., they’re going to hear about it. If residents don’t say “good morning” to Bell, they’re going to hear about it. And if Calverton’s citizens don’t attend the annual holiday party—or taste Taylor’s potato salad while they’re there—they’re going to hear about it. As it should be.

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