The North American Nerd (also known by its scientific name, Nerdus Dorkulus Americano), is an adaptable creature. Usually swarming in and around areas with heavy pop-culture content, the Nerd can usually find something in almost any situation to “Nerd Out” about. There are, however, geographic hot spots where Nerds are either drawn to, develop out of, or in some way flourish around.
We at The MindHut have taken our incredibly sensitive and high tech Nerd detection equipment on the road. We have mapped the hills and valleys of this great land, and we have found, conclusively, the absolute nerdiest places in the United States.
Just a warning: visiting any of these places may induce hyperactive conversation about J.R.R. Tolkein, high pitched laughter at the mention of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and excessive palm sweating.
The National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York
This museum is dedicated not only to toys, but to the entire idea of… well… play. It is a dream come true for nerds from eight to eighty. Are you a straight laced, bookworm nerd? Why, come right over to Reading Adventureland. Where’s that? Oh, right next to the ENTIRE WING DEDICATED TO THE BERENSTEIN BEARS. More of a disheveled fanboy? Aren’t we all! We dare you to not salivate all over yourself in the National Toy Hall of Fame, or the recent installation dedicated to the American comic book hero. This place could incite a Nerd riot.
2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, California
From the outside, this modest ranch-style home looks as innocuous as any single family dwelling throughout the U.S. And inside the house itself, the needles on our nerd-o-meters remained unmoved. Once inside the garage, however, the power of nerd became overwhelming, for this very garage was the exact physical space where Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne invented and developed the very first Apple computer. Quiver with humility, and genuflect to the master.
The Javits Center, New York, New York
Sure, there are plenty of New York based nerds, but New York is so diverse and active that it’s hard to collect them all in one place at one time. Unless you have a convention. And the number one spot in the Big Apple for the Nerd Herds to gather is at the Javits Center. This monstrosity of glass and steel has been host to a billion Comic Cons, a trillion Star Trek Conventions, and a bazillion Star Wars nerd-fests. There isn’t enough bleach in the universe to clean the residual geek off of these walls.
Mile High Comics, Colorado
This is the comic book store to end all comic book stores. And just be quiet you… yeah, you know who I’m talking to. I know you think the comic book store around the corner from you is the best, most underrated comic book store in the world. They were so alt,that in the ‘90s they didn’t even carry Spawn and they have the first Kitchen Sink Press printing of Sam and Max. Well, Mile High Comics is BETTER than that place! They have everything. Literally. Also, they know more than you. Don’t front on their knowledge, ‘cause they’ll give you a smackdown fit for Stan Lee.
The Ghostbusters Firehouse, New York, New York
The first time anyone ever walks by 14 North Moore Street in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, they stop dead in their tracks and start laughing like a drunk toddler. Because… come on! It’s the Ghostbusters Firehouse! I mean, how cool is that!? Answer: very cool! Then, they stand around and look at it a little more, probably take a bunch of pictures on their iPhone, and go about the rest of their dumb day knowing that you won’t see anything else nearly that cool for the rest of the week.
Why? Just ‘cause. Sure, it’s the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and if you want to be technical, some of the members of the Hall of Fame were just big nerds who made good… hello, Buddy Holly!?), but more than that, there’s just something inherently nerdy about the place. Maybe it’s the fact that it was the backdrop for the Drew Carey Show, arguably the nerdiest sitcom in the last couple decades. Maybe because it’s in the middle of nowhere. Either way, Cleveland is off the charts nerdy. And its residents should be darned proud of it!
Did we miss any?