Where are the dorky guys in Chicago?
March 29, 2008 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Where do single male computer science/physics/engineering nerd-types hang out in Chicago?

I moved to Chicago and haven't found any sexy science geeks ...but I could be looking in the wrong spots. So where do the geek/nerds/computery guys hang out? I'm totally not into the hipster/Wrigley scene, and don't know how to find the guys who were engineering band geeks who live in Chicago. (former engineering band mid-20s girl-geek, here....) Is there a secret underground playhouse? A shade-filled beach where they congregate? A lecture series in Fermi's lab? I know they're here, but I don't know where...
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Geez, where were you five years ago when I was a painfully single physics graduate student? I'm spoken for now, but there are plenty of geeky guys down here at the U of C — you'd have to make it down to Hyde Park, but once you're here, there are more than enough nerds to go around. Try the coffee shops in the Classics building or in Reynolds Club, Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap (although it also attracts the dive-loving hipsters, so fair warning), or, if you can get in, the campus Pub in the basement of Ida Noyes (officially only open to U of C people and their guests, but the gatekeepers aren't always strict about it.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:55 PM on March 29, 2008

This seems pretty easy if you're willing to get your hands/mind dirty and have some fun. Go to meetup.com - sign up for the sci-fi/fantasy meetup and the board game meetups - there - you'll have fun and meet your criteria. Check out user forums like Make magazine and find Chicago gatherings where there's sure to be geeks - http://dorkbot.deadtech.net/ has activities from time to time. Do internet searches for where sysadmins, developers, science speciality geeks meet. Bookstores and libraries have tons of interesting meeting postings. I'll second Hyde Park - there's tons of young, smart men and women around U of C. Local blogs like gapersblock.com and chicagoist.com seem to specialize in running announcements about fun, geeky stuff in town.
posted by mctsonic at 7:17 AM on March 30, 2008

As far as bars go my friends who fit that mold tend to go to the Map room - I mean, just look at this.

"The concept is simple: a group of people interested in science meet in congenial surroundings (alcohol seems to fuel the conversation), listen to a speaker for about 20 minutes, and then ask him or her questions and launch into a general discussion of the issues raised. The watchwords are informality and democracy."
posted by true at 7:43 AM on March 30, 2008

Oh, and if you go to the map room make sure to hit up international night - the food can make a nice conversation starter.
posted by true at 7:51 AM on March 30, 2008

Start a MeFi meetup?
posted by purephase at 9:09 AM on March 30, 2008

Best answer: the campus Pub in the basement of Ida Noyes at the U of C. Second best - Jimmys - aka Woodlawn tap.
posted by MiffyCLB at 3:14 PM on March 30, 2008

I know this is flippant, and I'm not making fun, but I believe it's true. At least in the Chicago area where there isn't a "tecchie cool culture" going on:

They are either hanging around with each other in private or they are at "normal" hotspots trying to act normal.

Now if your kink for geek extends to a certain type of geek, find a club online that caters to that. There WILL be steampunk/wiccan/christian/linux/geocaching/gadgetgeek groups, you just have to find them.

If you are really looking for Hipster, go to Ukrainian Village, Logan Square, Wicker Park and find a place that looks fun.
posted by gjc at 6:55 PM on March 30, 2008

Send me an email! (I'm a fun science geek, and I've got fun friends, though not geeks all.)
posted by funkbrain at 11:00 PM on March 30, 2008

Based on recent experience I'd say the Chicago MeFi Meetups are what you're looking for.
posted by wfrgms at 3:56 PM on March 31, 2008

The description hits my 'type' spot on...

Anyone have a lead on where to find this species in Cincinnati?
posted by caveat empress at 10:14 AM on April 1, 2008

You might find this of use, where I asked a similar question wondering if there were such things as Chicago "geek bars". Also, as you might intuit from that question, I'm an unattached Chicago geek guy, so, erm, *shyly rubs toe in the dirt*, my e-mail's in my profile.

Also, the Newberry Library usually has some neat intellectual-themed activities going on.
posted by WCityMike at 11:44 AM on April 1, 2008

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