I spent a lot of time crafting a humorous, thoughtful Craigslist post when I was looking for a new roommate. Here's my ad:
$366, One Roommate needed for Victorian Castle, Feb. 1st
When my brother was helping me move in, he described the space as a Victorian castle. My boyfriend stood in the dining room and gawked at the chandelier. The double oven made my friends jealous. This is a truly wonderful place. We are on beautiful Humboldt Boulevard near the little park that is Palmer square and a seven-minute walk from the California Blue Line stop. We have tons of light, unpainted woodwork, a nutty Family-Ties-style bathroom, in-building laundry, a giant beautiful boulevard park out front, and dirt-cheap rent.
I am a School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduate (painting) and currently work at a Trader Joes, doing all the handmade signs. I keep early hours and am quiet and tidy. I paint in a studio elsewhere, so as not to bother anyone with the fumes. I read boingboing, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and Harpers. Music/ musicians I care about: Smog, the Microphones, Cornelius, Elsa Lanchester Sings Bawdy Cockney Songs, Bill Fay, Dusty Springfield, most of the bands on Drag City, and Beach House. You can read my blog if you want to know more: www.fairwhitefrogman.blogspot.com
Amanda is a chemical engineer. She has an excellent collection of books including the wonderful translations by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokonsky. She likes to bowl and belongs to a choral singing group. We are both non-smoking very very clean, respectful girls. No pets.
Security deposit: $600, plus $35 background check.
Rent: $366 a month, plus 1/3 heat, electric, Internet, phone (all of which are cheap).
Your room is about 9ft by 11ft. It has the best light and a good closet.
For some reason it attracted a lot of foreign weirdos. This one came from a woman with a Christian sounding e-mail:
How are you doing? Am writing you in regards to your advert and i'm interested in your room apartment, Am from Australia and i will be having some seminars coming up soon in US. Right now am working for a Non Government Organization on a program on children with orphans and heart related probs.My next program/seminars will be in US and I will need a room to stay for these seminars, so I want to secure a room before my arrival to the states. I can't wait to arrive to US cause I've heard a lot about US.Moreso I will be staying for the period of 12-13 months, Pls do get back to me with the room description, move in rent fees for the first month,Utilities and deposit if included. And if any picture of the room is available, kindly attach it with your reply please.Hope to read from you. Have a wonderful and productive day.
Here's one from a fellow who also left long, creepy phone messages:
ill take the room asap
but can i c the room first?
give me the full address and when can i pass by and c t
Have a nice day,
if still up til end of feb and there is any interest i'd like to take a
i'm a postdoctoral fellow moving to UIC by feb, looking for room to stay
(for few month) til i can find my own. i'm from rio, brazil, 32, non-smoker.
Sorry, Doug. If you're a post-doc fellow and you have grammar errors I can't live with you.
Not to worry, though. I was feeling kind of discouraged until two Saturdays ago when I got a rush of really wonderful replies. I picked someone great, he moves in soon, and I couldn't be more pleased.