Nerds in love: 5 date ideas for returning college geeks
Everybody needs somebody to love, and geeks are no different. But thanks to the once socially awkward love of pop culture, more and more relationships are coming off the computer servers and onto the streets. That’s especially true in college, where access to like-minded members of the opposite sex is at an all-time high. As the new school year begins, The A.V. Club offers a few humble suggestions on how to pass the time with the future mother or father of little Hermione and/or Samwise.
The shopping date: American Science & Surplus / Lost World Of Wonders
What is it? These two stores in Greenfield cater to a decidedly nerdy clientele. American Science & Surplus mixes a variety of educational toys, military surplus, and straight-up oddities perfect for discussion after you get back into the car. Lost World Of Wonders has a huge selection of comics and anime perfect for browsing and starting the kind of arguments that hopefully lead to sexy times.
Geek appeal: Part of a good relationship is finding the right mix between shared interests and interesting differences. Do you really want to wait until after the wedding before you know how your spouse feels about Ultimate Spider-Man or Full Metal Alchemist?
Nerdiest part: Lost World has a back corner filled with ’80s arcade games, while American Science & Surplus has a back corner filled with electronic bits from the early ’80s. Coincidence?
The museum date: Harley-Davidson Museum
What is it? Milwaukee has plenty of good museum choices, from the impressive art and architecture of the Milwaukee Art Museum to the kitschy dinosaur exhibit and IMAX Theater of the Milwaukee Public Museum. But there’s only one (official) Harley-Davidson Museum.
Geek appeal: The museum isn’t just for enthusiasts and leathery biker dudes. There are a lot of exhibits that appeal to history buffs—like one explaining Harley’s participation in the WWII effort—as well as exhibits that talk about the pop culture image of both bikers and the company they adore.
Nerdiest part: At the end of the self-guided tour, visitors are encouraged to sit on a variety of vehicles from Harley’s history. Why not get a picture aboard Harley’s Topper scooter, an attempt to break into the Vespa-style scooter market from the ’60s?
The dinner date: The Safe House
What is it? The Safe House is Milwaukee’s famous spy-themed downtown pub. It offers a unique experience and custom take-home glasses perfect for holding everything from your dice to additional alcoholic beverages.
Geek appeal: The Safe House is the Austin Powers of casual dining restaurants: Chili’s wants it, and Applebee’s wants to be it. There are plenty of gags, hidden items, and secrets to be found while you wait for dinner, and leaving through the secret exit always impresses.
Nerdiest part: Back when Gen Con was still in Milwaukee, many of the guests of honor came by and left autographed pictures on the wall. John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek) may not be a name non-geeks recognize, but he legitimately signed a picture on display.
The active date: Historic Milwaukee walking tours
What is it? Historic Milwaukee offers multiple walking tours in different neighborhoods led by tour guides knowledgeable about the buildings.
Geek appeal: Nerds and history buffs tend to run in the same circles. If the date goes well, you’ll have plenty to talk about at dinner. If not, your tour guide will soak up the awkward silence.
Nerdiest part: Tours include the Third Ward and Brady Street. Walking around these neighborhoods and walking past the bars is not something the cool kids do.
The competitive date: Game Universe
What is it? Games Universe has a wide selection of board games that go beyond the usual Risk and Monopoly. On Sunday afternoons, it offers demos of new games to anyone who wanders into the store.
Geek appeal: Board games are a great way to get a flirty competitive streak going with your date. The store also has a huge selection of role-playing games, and runs Magic tournaments on a regular basis.
Nerdiest part: Cooperative games are currently a hot property. What better way to—ahem—swap dice with a member of the opposite sex?