"FEAST" - Take a Bite

It has come to my attention that, somehow, I neglected to mention a project about which I've become increasingly more excited over the past 2 months.

In the summer I auditioned for two film makers for a horror short.  If you know me you know that I love horror movies.  I'll see every one that comes out regardless of reviews, premise, actor lineup, director, etc.  I'm a creep at heart and I'm totally fine with that.

The term "short" refers to a film less than 40 minutes in length and can, unfortunately, connote something created without the amount of love required to produce an amazing, full-length feature.  A lot of times budget, actor availability (we can't all do it full-time), budget, and budget are huge factors in how grandiose a project can be.

Since being cast as Edith in the film, I have come to know the cast and crew and am blown away by the passion for creating something truly great - a "calling card".  I wasn't thrown a script and told to learn it and show up on the first day of shooting.  It's evolved, the relationships between the characters have been fleshed out (see what I did there?) and it's been made increasingly apparent how much this horror short means to our writers.

If you're interested, check out the trailer on the link below.  This is an Indiegogo page so if you want to throw us a buck, thank you.  I'm generally against crowd-funding but after working with everyone so far, I have no guilt in sharing this campaign.  And, of course, if you just want to watch the trailer and see a tiny taste of what's in store - right this way...

(And now I'm finished with the cannibal puns).

Thanks for reading and your continued support on my journey.  I'm having a fucking ball.

FEAST - Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/feast--3

A Moment of Thanks.

Around this time last year I was hit with 2 bombs: I had to put my Dog, Boston Baked Bean, to sleep and I was losing my job.

Today, in a few hours, I start filming my 1st feature film that will be released next Fall.  I have new jobs that I enjoy (yea - more than one), new friends and deeper relationships with existing ones, and have had so many great experiencing on-stage and on-camera.

This isn't meant to brag but, I suppose, more of a metaphor?  Perhaps a bit trite but I've realized that everything happens for a reason.  When your world seems like it's completely toppled down and everything has fallen away, that's your New Years - your time to start over and pull close the things that you want in your life and sweep the rest away.

While I still have dreams about Boston and miss him almost everyday, I now see losing my job as the best thing that ever happened to me.  Had it not been stripped away from me I probably wouldn't have had the courage to admit to myself that I want to act and I want to do it full-time.

Thanks to friends and family who have been there when all I could do was cry and feel sorry for myself.  Thanks for the encouraging words and for everyone who takes the time to read my blog and see the shows and films I have done up until this point.  Thanks to my therapist for putting up with this basket case and calling me a warrior and thanks to all the amazingly inspiring folks that I have had the pleasure of working with this past year.

With no signs of slowing down on my calendar, I hope I can always be involved in great projects that entertain.

And to anyone who hits that point where all they wanna do is sit on their beds, hair dirty, pint of Ben & Jerry's at the ready... let it happen.  The only way out is through and the only way through is to put one foot in front of the other and keep it movin'.  I still have my days where everything feels heavy.  I tell myself that I'm pursuing a pipe dream and should just give up but I do believe that giving up is the only way a person can every truly fail.  

Self-doubt is a bitch, and to it I say...

Not today, Satan.  Not today.

<3

Any Moment Productions - "Officers of the Law"

Recently I was cast as the "Perp" in Any Moment Productions comedic short, "Officers of the Law".  I was super excited because I love playing the bad guy, and I love things that make me laugh.  

When Sebastian (the producer) sent me the script I was immediately interested and so glad I was able to be a part of it.

This was originally meant to be a web-series so if you like what you see make sure to like the video on YouTube and leave your comments below.  I would personally love to keep Perp Ricky alive so any support is welcome and appreciated.

Also be sure to check out the other shorts and features on the YouTube channel and casting news on the website.

Check out the film below!

 

B.R.F.

On my way home today, I was 50 minutes into my 60 minute commute and noticed a ginger-gay standing a few feet in front of me.  He was well-dressed in his navy chinos and brown GILT wingtips with an unkempt, Patrick Dempsey mop that I could only achieve in 30 minutes with a 1/2" barrel curling iron.  Right as I'm about to give him 4 out of 5 Doctor Bailey's, it hits me -  It hits me, right between the eyes. His pursed lips and narrow gait... The way he rolled his eyes slowly but purposely from left to right, without moving his head.

Ginger gay had it; Bitchy Resting Face.

Bitchy Resting Face, also referred to as BRF, is a condition which affects the facial muscles and causes those afflicted to look hostile and/or angry while at rest, rather than "blank" or "unexpressive".  While these looks don't always signify how an individual is actually feeling, more often than not BRF appears to be caused by feelings of annoyance or discontent.  In the instance that BRF is caused by smelling flatulence, it is more commonly referred to as SFF or Smelly Fart Face which is also a commonplace while riding the CTA.

This condition, once reserved only for women, has spread wildly throughout the gay community affecting homosexual men at an unprecedented rate.  While the causes of BRF are not 100% known, possible influencing circumstances may include but are not limited to the following:

• Waiting in line at the Post Office

• Pretending to listen while someone talks about themselves

• Waiting for your friends at a bar while trying to look like you're not actually alone 

• Karaoke

• Reading posts about someone's children, love life, job promotions, or overall sense of happiness and/or success

• Trying not to call someone the "C" word

• Looking at your checking account and realizing 60% of your money goes toward booze and poor decisions

• Silently judging a new acquaintance's apartment, significant other, or body

• One Direction

While there is no cure for BRF, relief is possible. Alcohol, tacos, and Iggy Azalea have all shown amazing results in the treatment of bitchy faces, nationwide with unprecedented results when combined with the company of friends and men in short-shorts.

Remember - you don't have to to look like you smelled a homeless person simply because you're uninterested.  Nobody deserves to look like Kristen Stewart.

Nobody.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Religion Bites. So do I.

This is Joshua Feuerstein.  This is his video debunking the Theory of Evolution in 3 minutes.

And. I. Can’t.

The Theory of Evolution doesn't state that a perfectly functioning world was created at the time of the Big Bang. That's why it's a theory of evolution - change over time that occurs through natural selection.  Over time.  Slowly. 

What did this guy do?  Google a bunch of "science words" on Wikipedia and create a Vlog so he can showcase his well-rehearsed, televangelist voice?  Read a few articles, Bub, before you try and put your Theology degree to use by debunking Mr. Atheist’s POV.

What's the difference in saying all life developed from a single-called organism and saying all mankind was born of Adam and Eve, one of which was created out of a rib? Had I known I could create people out of bones I would have had a new friend every time I left BW3’s.

Everybody has an opinion and everybody should have an opinion.  But have you ever heard a nun or a priest hammer a opinion into someone’s head by dumbing down an opposing view or calling something someone believes as stupid? I have - in a Baptist church.  They also told me that God created Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve all while heterosexual infidelity and money-laundering scandals were brewing behind the alter.

A person who is safe in their faith doesn't have to tell someone else that what they believe is wrong.  You know why?  Because a person who is safe in their faith is not threatened by an opposing opinion.  What you're doing by calling a person and their beliefs "stupid", is bullying.  And it's 2014 - that shit's old.

You wanna put yourself out there Joshua?  Do it.  Build yourself a Big Butter Jesus (#StateRoute75) and pray and sing and worship.  But let’s not try and disprove a scientific theory while we’re driving in our 2015 Chevy Suburban that the church tithes, undoubtedly, paid for. You look like an asshole.


Being a TV Extra - "Chicago Fire" Season 2 Finale

About a month ago I was an extra, or "background actor" as some prefer that illusion of grandeur, on Chicago Fire.

We weren't allowed to post pictures or videos so I schemed to make a video and wait until the show had aired thereby breaking no rules and still being able to show what the experience of being an extra is like on a show that's actually going somewhere.

Here's a peek:

ricky-lee-barnes-chicago-fire-actor-tv.jpeg

Overall I think the biggest difference between this experience and when I was on Mind Games is that we were filming the season 2 finale and the show was already renewed for a third season.  That being said, there's a noticeable difference when you're on the set of a show where the cast is comfortable with their characters and the production value is high.  They seemed to actually be enjoying themselves because their performance wasn't over-shadowed by the fear "this might not actually work out". 

And in the case of Mind Games... it certainly didn't.

The Reel Deal - How to Vote on Squerb

Hey Friends!

Thank you SO much to everyone who has liked this, liked that, and voted (or attempted to vote) for me on Squerb.  It's been a really fun and moving experience to have so many people ready to help me do something super exciting.

That being said, there has been A LOT of confusion about Squerb and how to use it.  A good amount of people have talked to me and thought they voted but, in actuality, did not because they weren't sure how to navigate the Squerb website.

I took a minute to make a video showing how to cast your vote so if you have voted but only once, if you think you voted but aren't sure, or if you haven't voted because the Squerb grid scared you check out this video and give it another go.  It's going well so far but I'm still a few hundred votes/Squerbs below some of the contestants.

How To Vote on Squerb

ALSO, there have apparently been some people going about getting votes in a not-so-nice way...  So in the spirit of good-sportsmanship I wanted to share some of the audition videos from other contestants that are my favorites.  I get to work with some really talented people if I am cast so I think it's important to support each other and share the love.

You can vote for me here: http://thereeldeal.tv/ricky-lee-barnes/

You can check out all the contestants here : http://thereeldeal.tv/voting/#reel_deal_actors

And these are some of my faves :

Adam Nelson:

http://thereeldeal.tv/adam-nelson/

Ali Hill:

http://thereeldeal.tv/ali-hill/

Charissa J Adams

http://thereeldeal.tv/charissa-adams/

Alissa Juvan:

http://thereeldeal.tv/alissa-juvan/

Conner Marx:

http://thereeldeal.tv/conner-marx/

Allene Quincy:

http://thereeldeal.tv/allene-quincy/

Betsy Reisz:

http://thereeldeal.tv/betsy-reisz/

Jeffrey Masters:

http://thereeldeal.tv/jeffrey-masters/

Again, thank you (thank you, thank you) to everyone who has been a part of this so far.  I've got a big hug and, probably, a smooch ready for you.

*high-five

What is "The Reel Deal"?

If you’ve seen my videos lately you know I am auditioning for a Reality TV show called “The Reel Deal”.  Just to clear up any confusion about what is happening, here are all the juicy details:

“The Reel Deal” is a new show that challenges groups of artists to create an independent film.  Sometime in July, 6 groups including 1 director, 1 writer, 1 composer, and 3 actors will be challenged to write and produce a short film in 7 days under the watchful eye of a celebrity-mentor.

That’s ALL I know!  I’m not sure if there is prize money, if there are mini-challenges along the way, if there’s any contact to the outside world, etc.  

After creating a personality video stating why I think I would make a good addition to the show, approximately 27,000 entries were whittled down to about 200.  Currently I am a semi-finalist and we are given 3 chances to record a callback video.  At 3 different dates and at different times a website opens up for 2 hours.  On it there are a selection of monologues from which we select, learn, film and upload our video to YouTube and our semi-finalist page - WITHIN those 2 hours.  On April 24th public-voting commences and it is in the hands of the viewers as to who makes it onto the show.  We have 2 weeks to get as many votes as possible.

I’m super excited - I think it’ll be a really great opportunity.  I’m too old to be the next American Idol (not to mention there’s waaaaay too much dirt floating around about me to even get past the first round).  No but seriously, I never dreamed of being a Reality TV “star” but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this one.

For more information you can visit the show’s website here: http://thereeldeal.tv

And this is a link to my personal, semi-finalists page which (I think) will host my voting link on April 24th: http://thereeldeal.tv/ricky-lee-barnes/

Stay tuned for info and check out my videos below!  They are also on my Videos page.

Audition Video

The Reel Deal Callback 1

The Reel Deal Callback 2


"Never Change" - A Writing 6 Sketch Show at Second City TC

"Do you believe life was better yesterday? Do you long for a world where adult softball games take priority over having children and policemen reign as holy cowboys of the highway? Do you lament the rise of Ventra, autocorrect, and job accountability? Or do you believe in love - the idea that one lapdance or parked car can change your life forever?This is the show for you."
 

This is my first sketch show at the Second City TC and I'm super excited about it.  We've all put in so much work rehearsing, filming promo videos, testing blackouts and eating trail mix that it'd be a shame for you to miss it.

What I love about the show is this is the final showcase for all of our writers - a graduation, if you will.  After being a part of the Writing program at Second City for one year, they write, cast, and bring original sketch material to fruition.  It's amazing to know that while this is my first sketch show, this is there first at SC as well and they've worked through 6 classes to get to this point.

The show is a little under an hour and incorporates sketch, blackouts and even a musical number.  So if you're free on a Friday and wanna laugh at bananas and humanity's inability to gracefully accept change, please come hang out.  We'll be sure to act up.

Directed by Angela McMahon
Music by Jeff Bouthiette

Starring Ricky Lee BarnesAshley GeronVictoria ReynosoAriel Ringham,Max Sterling, and Rich Williams

Written by Amy Brown CarverJamie FergusonLisa FloranAmanda Holland,Katie MarkovichSara O'ScanlonJess Proulx, and Nate Steele

March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th and April 4th
7:30pm DeMaat Theatre 
Tickets $12 General Public, $10 Students, $6 Second City Training Center Students

Craft Beer Tour Challenge

The other night Teddy and I decided to hibernate at home with 12 craft beers.  A few days before, we went out for a date night in Evanston, IL and hit up the World Market.  

One, 35% off Make-Your-Own-12-Pack later I came up with this VLOG idea.

I dedicate this to all the kids out there who grew up on Boonesfarm and Zima.  Someone loves you.

Extended

For those of you with more time - It's a little more gay and a lot more Miley

Food Stamps & Obamacare

Most of you know I lost my job at the end of November.  I have been dealing with the aftermath of that since then and, today, had my first meeting at the Unemployment Center to discuss food and medical assistance.

Rather than type the experience out I decided to vlog.  It's not a witty one so I apologize in advance for that but I think it gives a little look into the process.

It's all certainly new to me.

Being a TV Extra - "Mind Games"

Recently I was an extra on a TV show that will debut (I think) in March 2014 called "Mind Games".  I had never done it before so I put on my best "background artist" dress and gave it a whirl.

So I found the listing on Facebook as well on Backstage.com.  I sent in my information and they called me back and told me what I needed to do; call a number the day before and listen to the instructions on where to go, what to wear, what to bring, etc.

We were doing an airport scene so I had to bring luggage and changes of clothing (casual and business) and I couldn't wear white or red... so naturally I brought my red suitcase so I could easily spot myself when the episode airs.

This isn't the BEST vlog because some of my videos didn't record any sound but I made a little video to share.  I'll be doing it again on Friday so I'll try and fill in some of the gaps with that one.  

The production company is very adamant about not using your phone because there are people who scour the internet for pics and such on social media so I couldn't snag any shots of Christian Slater or the actual scenes we were shooting.

Without further ado...

Twerk Patrol - Instant Soap Opera

At this point my fellow improvisors and I have completed Improv levels A-C at The Second City here in Chicago.  So 24 weeks after we started we had the opportunity to grace the deMaat Theater stage in a demonstration performance - a 20-minute showcase of some of our favorite games so our friends and family had the opportunity to see what we've been up to.

For those of you who couldn't make it, the entire performance can be found here: Level C Demonstration.  Below is the snippet of my 5-minutes of mental breakdown with two of my favorite ladies.

BEHOLD _ Instant Soap Opera!  It's not long and I think we were all completely blacked out BUT for our first time on stage I'm proud of us.

Sauce and Bread Kitchen

Sauce and Bread Kitchen is a small/medium sized eatery on Clark Street just a bit south of Devon in Edgewater.  It's easy to miss if you don't know it's there but it's definitely worth keeping those peepers open.  I've been twice and tried four different things and they all knocked my panties off.  Knocked em right off.

The self-proclaimed bakery/cafe boasts a menu of sandwiches and baked goodies with a rotating menu.  Don't think small-business Subway - it is not.  Everything is made to order (aside from baked goods) from organic and locally obtained ingredients.  If you're looking for a mechanically separated chicken breast you'll be disappointed.

The space is decorated in the popular industrial meets repurposed/minimal.  That combined with the "we're different" menu items like the Broccoli and Cheese Sconiscuit (somewhere between a scone and biscuit) topped with cauliflower gravy may lead you to expect this spot to be ANOTHER establishment built on a cornerstone of snobbery.  This is not the case, in my opinion.  The staff is comprised of a handful of friendlies and 50% of all the profit of their sauces go to help with a local children's art fund. 

You had me at "art".

Expect

  • Creative and interesting menu items like a Guajillo and Tamarind Smoked Turkey Sandwich on a demi-baguette  with whipped feta spread and house Chow Chow Pickle Relish.
  • Coffee, water, or bottle beverages
  • $10-15 bill

Don't Expect

  • To have your food in 2 minutes
  • Anything corporate (like a soda fountain)
  • "Combo Meals"

 

Give it a whirl.  I highly doubt you'll be let down.  And make sure to grab a cookie for the road.  Just like your mammaw used to make. 

Treasure Hunt : Chicago Apartments

In Chicago you have a few options for living situations:

- Apartment

- Condo

- Single Family Home

The majority of the 20-40 somethings I know go with an apartment. It is temporary, nothing is your responsibility to fix or maintain, if you find a nut-job roommate off Craigslist you ONLY have to sleep with a knife under your pillow for one year.   Water off a duck's back. 

A year in, I have lived in two apartments here - The first I left because of "louse" issues. Coming from small-town Ohio, I was not prepared to shop around for the things I assumed came standard in an apartment because I never really had to - it was typically trashy, so-so or nice. I promised myself that the next time I box up and scoot into a new pad, I would be prepared and know exactly what to look for/consider & what absolutely won't work.  I'm clearly not a pro but I'm one particular guy and I pride myself on having a comfortable home. 

I present you with:

My Guide to Neighborhood

Apartment Hunting in Chicago 

Important Terms (and what they really mean)

• Charming - Small

• Vintage - Old and probably a bit busted

• Renovated - New Microwave

• Easily Accessible - Within 1 mile

• Carpet - Run. Run away fast. 

A lot of the apartments buildings here are very old.  At least the structures are old. Now one of the things I do love about Chicago is that there is always a building somewhere being completely gutted and renovated beyond a new microwave or light switch cover.  The masonry and architecture here is pretty much stunning as well and there are a lot of hidden treasures tucked into random nooks and crannies. 

Old units, while they have their charm, come with a slew of issues with which you might not be accustomed to dealing...

Vintage

Old Pipes

Garbage disposals became more readily available in the 1940-50s but that doesn't mean they were installed or, if they were, updated in apartment buildings. Pipes gunk and close off smaller and smaller until they are almost unusable without the assistance of a plumber. Some landlords will pay for a visit and some won't. Check for a garbage disposal and know that if its not there, u need to be careful what goes down the kitchen drain. If you cook a lot, that could definitely end up an issue.  I don't know about you all but those little drain catcher things that let water through but hold all the food parts... gah-ross.  That totally freaks me out touching a bunch of cold, wet food nibblets.

 Water is always included in rent in Chicago so check how everything drains. Just pretend to use the restroom or I mean, I guess you could actually use it but they still might wonder why you turned on the sink, shower, and flushed the toilet.

Paint/Fixtures 

The walls and baseboards in a vintage unit have probably been painted 100 times. Anything like a built in cabinet or old French doors will probably have that thick-with-paint look and stick whenever you open or close them. Don't expect clean lines and the paint is usually super glossy white.  I mean will this affect your living situation?  Not necessarily.  But depending how old the building is and how it settled you can have separations between baseboards and the floor WHICH can lead to bug problems.  Also, buildings in the 1950's weren't made to accommodate 6 TVs, a computer, 8 iPhone plugs, etc. There usually isn't an abundance of electrical outlets peppered throughout every room so keep that in mind when you mentally place you furniture. 

Water Pressure

Water pressure issues happen more often than not. Older buildings can have TERRIBLE water pressure. Ever tried to shave or shampoo your hair on a campground and rinse off in front of a mist of needle-water from those terrible, cheap shower heads?  Yea, that's what was in my new apartment and it was a complete gut/remodel. Thankfully I was able to really address the problem with a replacement shower head from Bed Bath & Beyond for about $60. This clearly doesn't affect the water from the sinks though or if you have a dishwasher or washing machine in your unit. This is another easy thing to check for when you're taking the pipes for a test drive. 

Sound

Things are gonna creak.  They might even rattle, bang, shebang, wiggle, and thwack.  Wood floors are great for cleaning reasons but if your upstairs neighbor does... well, anything, you're probably going to hear it.  Babies crying, dogs barking, sex (sounds hot in theory but you end up feeling like a fucking creep even when all you're trying to do is read the latest issue of Marie Claire).  If you check out a new place in the day this is going to be a hard one to judge but if you can get in around 6ish you should be able to get a good idea of what goes on after dinner.

Careful Considerations

Location

If you don't have a car the CTA becomes your lifeline. Or is it the bane of your existence...?  Either way your distance from the train will factor into your daily commute, the noise level from the tracks, your rent, and your neighborhood. 

I lived very close to the tracks at first and I couldn't open my windows without hearing trains zooming by. Trains are not quiet. But I was 100ft from the entrance so I was basically home as soon as I got off the platform.  When I moved I went to a location that's about a 7 min walk to the nearest platform. Doesn't seem like a lot but if you miss that one train you can be standing there for another 7 minutes and u just added 15 to your daily commute. 

Most people live close to the redline followed by the brown and blue lines. Rent tends to be more expensive near the red line, being the main north to south line in Chicago #convenience. The further north and west you go the lower your rent but clearly the longer your commute to do everything centrally located off the redline.  

Floor

It matters.  Garden units are darker, usually have tiny windows, are more susceptible to bug infestation AND they are easier to break into.  Personally I couldn't imagine feeling like I am living in someone's basement but I think the pull is that they are usually a little less expensive.  

The higher up you go the hotter your unit is going to be and in a vintage building with radiator heat it can get PRETTY toasty up in there.  I prefer the highest possible unit because of noise.  Ever had a morbidly obese person stomp around on your ceiling at 2:30 in the morning?  Yea, me too until I snatched 'em up and hung them out to dry... and by that I mean I just laid in bed and talked shit about them to myself until I passed out again.

I've had two apartment buildings and I have seen roaches in both of them on the ground levels.  While roaches don't always make it up to the tip top of the buildings if they do regular, monthly spraying, you might save yourself a headache by trying to make it up as high as possible.  This, of course, hinges on whether or not it's an elevator building which I'll get to in a few secs.

Phone Reception

Look at your phone. Does it work?  Does it work in the bedroom but not anywhere else?  Are you going to have to keep it on a window ledge to make sure you receive your texts and phone calls?  The nice thing about some phones is that they enable wi-fi calling which can be a quick fix. It's nice to know this before you lie down in bed for the first time in your new place and realized your phone is basically only good for an alarm clock. 

"LUXURY" Items

No, I don't mean angora stolls and crystal chandeliers. Air conditioning/Central Air, washer/dryer hookups, a dish washer, a separate kitchen/dining space and/or a kitchen with grown-up sized appliances - all examples of things you shouldn't expect to find unless you are WTP... Willing. To. Pay. 

Kitchen

If your appliances are smaller some of your cookware might not fit.  If you cook a lot (everyday) you could find yourself washing dishes for hours a week without a dishwasher. Walking down two floors to do laundry isn't too bad until you start losing dollar after dollar in broken machines that don't drain the water out or dryers that don't get hot... Plus you start finding random panties stuck in your pillow case which makes me a little uneasy. #bedbugs

Central Air 

You nasty beast. Since when did u become reserved for the elite?! Chicago isn't always hot but when it is, expect to sweat through you sheets, take cold showers, and walk around completely naked STRICTLY out of necessity. Some buildings let u install window units and some don't. Some make u pay to have one and some will let you buy your own but schedule a time for maintenance to install it. I thought I could make it this year... I got to June 23rd and refused to go anymore.  

Radiator heat comes with its own set of special characteristics too. First of all a radiator is hot so yes, you CAN burn/melt things on one. They can also bang if cold water stays in the pipes when the hot steam starts to go through it. They hiss, they make bubble sounds, they can melt your floors if the building uses laminate rather than hard wood and they can warp hard wood if they leak. Keep it in mind when ur placing furniture bc whatever is by it is gonna get warm. 

I woke up once bc I rolled over and slapped my foot right on it.  Just right down on it. 

In Unit/Building Laundry

I would say 85% of the buildings I have seen have an in-building laundry area. That can mean a few things:

1. It's in the basement of your building and you can reach it from the interior

2. It's in the basement of your building and you can reach it from the exterior

I have been fortunate enough to live in buildings where I could walk downstairs to the laundry room which has about 3 washers and 3 dryers. More expensive buildings (closer to downtown) have larger and newer facilities where you could be looking at about 8 washers/dryers. Now if you're someone who just throws it in and forgets it, the location of the facility probably doesn't matter BUT if you're like me laundry can go a little like this:

- Haul everything downstairs and hope the washers are free. 

- Load em up and then hope the washers actually fill with water after you've put in your money. 

- If they fill up you have 18 minutes before you have to come back down and pour in your fabric softener (I don't care what you say - dryer sheets do NOT make your clothes soft). 

- If the washer is broken and doesn't drain you get to wring everything out, put it in a laundry bag and wait to switch it into a washer that does work in another 20-25 minutes. 

- Come back downstairs and switch everything into dryers. You can select the temperature setting but it's usually, in reality, "Hot", "Super Hot", and "Surface of the Sun".

- Come back down in an hour and haul it all back upstairs 

NOTE:

I would not recommend leaving soap, softener, or quarters unattended or leaving your clothes in a machine too long. Even in a 3-5 floors low-rise people are fighting over the machines. 

If your laundry room is accessible from the exterior just know that your "commute" time is going to be even more and you will have to deal with going out in the dark and the weather. Ever had to wear snow boots to walk and snatch your whites?

Laundromats are my favorite (always have been) because you can wash 12 loads at once and be done in two hours PLUS you can watch Spanish soap operas. If you do a load once a week though you can alleviate a lot of this hassle but who has time for that?  This is Chicago and we've all got fun shit to do. 

Elevators

If you are in the market for a smaller building in one of the neighborhoods you may or may not have an elevator.   On a normal day it's really just a minor inconvenience. On moving day, though, it can severely affect your progress and level of perspiration. Are you moving yourself or are you hiring movers?  Will your furniture fit up the stairs?  You are going to have to put down a move-in deposit but if you bang the shit out the stairway you might not get it back. 

Grocery day can prove difficult as well.  I have a small cart I can use when I really need to stock up but then I'm wheeling 75 pounds around with ease and giving myself a hernia walking up 4 flights of stairs.  It also can become an issue if you have someone elderly visit who can't easily go up and down stairs or if you travel a lot and have to travel with medium or large suitcases. 

I don't even have to revisit the laundry situation if you're on 6 and it's in the basement, right?

In Building Maintainence/Management 

My first building didn't have it and my second did. There are actually differences in renter laws that hinge on whether management is located on the premise:

If your management is on-site it seems to be a "better" option. There is always someone in the office to address issues or concerns, it's easy to let someone know about a repair that needs to be done, and the small things tend to be handled a bit faster. There is also somewhere to have packages delivered. 

Now... I'm gonna be honest here - dealing with any kind of landlord is a fucking nightmare. Sometimes things get fixed if they HAVE to be fixed but other things can still fall in the cracks. I've been where I am a year and I still don't have my name in the call box outside but they installed my AC the same day I called.  Pick your battles?

Conclusion

Whew!  So hopefully this gave you a bit of insight into apartment shopping in Chicago neighborhoods.  As I said before - I'm no pro. This is a blog and it's just for fun but if I missed something you have experienced drop me a line!

Happy hunting folks. Good luck. God speed. Mazel tov.