Wistful for Wizard World Fun? Keep the Fun Going with Nerdy Neighbors You Should Know

Photo: Aaron Cynic Wizard World Chicago has wrapped up and the pop culture playground that existed in Rosemont is no more. This can create a sense of ennui if you're a pop culture enthusiast (or a straight up nerd before it was "popular"), but you don't have to push that Harley Quinn costume all the way to the back of the closet yet. Instead, check out our roundup of some of the awesome locals we found at Wizard World Chicago that will be there for you all year round to scratch any itches you have for Quidditch, a trip in the Tardis, bustin', cosplay, nerd apparel or delightfully delicious nerdy treats. Here's our suggestions on how to keep the con spirit alive until C2E2 rolls in in March. Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good!--The Windy City Ghostbusters aren't just a group of local cosplayers who love the Ghostbusters franchise and are actively involved with national groups and Sony to keep the fandom alive. They're a charitable group of ghostbusting goofballs who raise money for animal rescue groups like Treehouse Humane Society as well as children's hospitals, and they also make appearances for charity, including hanging out with sick kids and their families at said hospitals. If you ain't afraid of no ghost, you might consider joining up with these guys to make the Chicago area better while you pal around with Slimer and take joy rides in Ecto-1. Check out our video interview with the Windy City Ghostbusters for more on who they are and what they do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvoUCVn1PM0 Cosplay is For Everyone: While we were at the con, we saw a lot of amazing costumes on all sorts of people, young and old, big and tall. Sadly though, even in nerd circles (and sometimes especially, as we've seen with the Star Wars franchise of late) there's bullying and discrimination. Cosplay should be fun for everyone at any age, weight, height or color, and the fine folks at Chicago POC Cosplayers are there to create a safe space in Chicago for everyone to enjoy making and wearing costumes! We hung out at their booth for a bit to get an idea of why the group formed, what they do and how you can join up with them! Check out more about this amazing, positive group of cosplayers below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7q3pR6HcEc Nerdy Noms: Sometimes, you want to throw a Harry Potter party or you're getting married and you would really prefer your cake to be the USS Defiant from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine instead of 3-tiered fancies with beads and baubles. Or, you'd like to rep your house and make sure all your cookies say Gryffindor. Maybe, like me, you were wandering a convention's show floor and sick of paying 13 dollars for Sodexho pizza slices, but super hungry, and you run across cake-plate sized cookies in all manner of amazing combinations including a very popular spicy snack, the Spicy Machete, with Habanero, white chocolate and cinnamon or the Timey Whimey with Oatmeal, Caramel Bits, M&Ms and Chocolate chips. This is how I discovered the wonder of Crumby Art Bakehouse & Cakery out of Milwaukee. While this bakery isn't right on our back doorstep in Chicago, for one, you can order their amazing (and gorgeous) treats online, and since at some point you know you're heading to Wisconsin for that New Glarus run or to visit the Mars Cheese Castle and stock up on dairy delights, so you might as well make a run for Milwaukee and get some delicious treats to take home when you do! Visit their website and thank us when the last cookie's been devoured! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xNWKkApOa4 These are just a few of the wonderful locals we saw at Wizard World but there's plenty more to explore, and we encourage you to keep the nerdy fun going! Shout out your favorite nerdy local places in the comments and we'll be sure to follow up!
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Marielle Bokor