I signed a lease for a new apartment this week. Yatta! I thought I'd stay in my current building longer, but things happened: 1. I met a great geek guy. 2. My place was freezing cold this past winter, despite mild temps. 3. There weren't enough shelves for my action figures. ...I'm not going to tell you which of those I consider most important.
Finding a home for two geeks was surprisingly trying. I asked a few readers who are also searching, and it's unanimous; we have needs. Here's what I learned. The perfect geek apartment should come with...
A large living room. Wide open space means lots of bookshelves, and custom furniture arrangements on board game night. After the crowds leave, you'll have ample floor space for hobbies.
Built-in shelves. You have statues, ships, models, maquettes, etc. They all need to be on display. Some older Chicago buildings feature built-in hutches or china cabinets. Even better, look for an updated kitchen with an island- the perfect surface for your 400-dollar LEGO Super Star Destroyer!
Lots of electrical outlets. No joke. Particularly if you're in a multi-geek household, you'll want lots of options. So. Many. Chargers.
Ample closet/storage space. Admit it- you're never going to sell your collectibles- not even the valuable or embarrassing stuff. You also don't want anybody touching your mint-condition treasures or secret card decks. You'll need all the storage you can get. We cosplayers know the importance of closets, too; sometimes costumes outnumber "real" outfits.
A geeky neighborhood. Nothing is better than living around folks who understand you. Three Chicago neighborhoods stand out above the rest for their unique destinations*:
1. Wicker Park (The Wormhole Coffee, Brainstorm MCG)
2. Logan Square (Logan Hardware, Challengers, G-Mart)
3. Lakeview (Galactic Force, Uncle Fun, Chicago Comics, Graham Crackers, RobotCity Workshop... whew!)
As it's moving season in the Chi, new places pop up on CraigsList, Domu, and Padmapper every day. Good hunting, may the Force be with you, and do share your stories in the comments below!
Special thanks to readers Alexis, Katherine, Mary Jo, Jennifer, and Jay for contributing to this article:. )
*Yes, I know I'm leaving out Ignite Network in Roscoe Village, Rotofugi in Lincoln Park, and much more. Keep reading the blog; they don't go un-mentioned. <3