House For Impoverished
Millenials or HFIMChicago: Saturday July 1,
Instead of living in our parent’s basements or above the garage, we have bonded together to reincarnate a Victorian Mansion and an adjoining townhouse. We invest with our rent and share all expenses. We work hours towards the house---which will determine the percentage of the profits when we sell the finished property. Call this a high-end, commune FLIP, entrepreneur style.
Located in the near north side of Chicago a few blocks from the lake. The property is on the edge of the heart of Chicago. Surrounded by upscale properties, high rises, and some “Loft style” old manufacturing buildings, the neighborhood is expensive and stable. These two properties are the last eyesores on the block, so the neighbors are willing to go with our unorthodox arrangement while the renovations go on.
Hi, I’m Carly, short for Carmella Angelina Brooks. I’m a Ballet Instructor, and I also teach at a non-profit center for inter-city kids. I’m 26. Only downside living here, is I have no place to practice.
I’m Richelle Milton, 27, I’m an entrepreneur and sell all types of products on the internet. I work out of a storage unit over on Orleans. I have a business degree from Roosevelt University and still take classes. I hope to have my MBA by next year. I have school debt, but am managing to whittle it away, as I live here in the House while sharing expenses.
This poor old tired living space needs a facelift,
new floors, and electrical work, we hardly use it, as is.
Hi, I’m Barbara Ann Rowan, otherwise known as Barbie. I’m 27 and one of the original owners of the Victorian side of the mansion. When we bought it, the house was on the verge of being condemned. But, now we have Historical Home status, and we are working on bringing the house into the twenty-first century on our own. We’ve been working on it for almost two years.
I was a teenage model, and I have used all my savings to help buy the house. We have lots to do, but with all the ‘tenant-owners’ we have a home here as well as an investment.
Left: I’m (Aurora) or Rory Vance, I’m an apprentice at the Steppenwolf Theatre. I hope to eventually to be on stage there, meanwhile I work on props, scripts, just about anything. I graduated from NW school of Drama two years ago, and I’m 25. Home here in the HFIM—we call it, “Home for Impoverished Millenials,” I am responsible for keeping track of the disposables: food, paper goods, and cleaning supplies. Not easy with 15 people in the house---and right now two guests.
Middle: I am Mulan Katori, 28, I’m also a graduate of NW, in Art Preservation. I currently work at the Art Institute in the restoration department, and I freelance-with computer graphics on the side. I hope to have my own antique preservation studio one day. I love to ‘junk’ and shop thrift stores, and am responsible for finding inexpensive, classic, and innovative furnishings for the HJIM house for almost ‘nothing’.
I’m (Monica) Monnie Auslander, I’m 27 and am a free-lance interior designer, and also work in the furnishing department of Crate&Barrel. Sigh, I’m responsible for the overall look of the interiors in the HJIM house. I want to add some contemporary elements to the reconstruction. Mulan and I, don’t always agree, but she has impeccable taste, so we try and work together. This is my first big project (for free) but that is part of my contribution to our investment.
I’m Bella May Simpson and I'm originally from Atlanta. I work as a rehabilitation therapist at Chicago Hope. My hours are pretty steady, and I like to play volleyball on the beach when I’m not bicycling or skateboarding. I met the girl’s while doing my Masters in Rehab at NW. I’ve invested all my spare money in this house and living here has been great. I’m just afraid I won’t want to move, when it’s done and we sell?
Left: I’m Sindy, 24. I’m the assistant pastry chef at the Hyatt Hotel at River North. I’m still taking classes at the Culinary Institute on specialty baking. So I’m working and going to school, and I’m really busy. I want to write a cookbook on Vegan Baking and Pastries. I practice on everyone here, and do the bulk of the baking for the house.
Middle: Vickie Potter-owner of Vickie’s Vintage. I love cool clothes and have just opened a vintage boutique on the near North side. Lots of students and millenials come in to shop as well as professionals. I try and keep some prices low, so I can always have new stock. I also have hand-made accessories from all over the world and sell free-trade goods supporting women and children in foreign countries. Someday, I want to have my own line of designs. I’m a graduate of the Art Institute in Fashion Design and Merchandising.
Barbie: okay quick vote, everyone raise your hand if you agree on white to start with.
(Everyone raises their hand except Mulan)
Monnie: Smiles at Mulan---we all agree, white it is. Sounds like the Cubs game is over, from the guys groaning, they are losing another one. The guys will be coming in---we can fill them in on tomorrow's plans.
Anna: The boys lost their teddy bears???
Right: I’m Elsa Frost, I’m visiting on a cultural exchange grant from Norway with my sister, Anna. We are enjoying staying here at the HJIM house. Very often young people co-habit in my country for financial reasons. Often many generations are under one roof. I teach classes at Roosevelt University on the history and culture of Scandinavia. During the day, I make sure Anna and Chelsea do their schoolwork, attend their summer classes, and stay out of Ubehagelig trøbbel-(naughty trouble).
Barbie: Thank you all for introducing yourselves to our readers. As long as we are all here, the electrician is coming tomorrow to work on these hanging lights we have---hopefully so we can have light and no cords hanging everywhere. Anything else on the docket for tomorrow?
Monnie: The flooring will be delivered for the great room. We still have to decide on the wall colors, or if we are just going to start with white walls. Anybody want to chime in on that.
Carly: We have to get rid of the pink ceilings, and that mint green, yugh!
Monnie: I know the pink is faded and horrible, and after we removed all the plaster that grid work is just not the best. We will have to wait for the electrician to decide how to do the lights.
Mulan: White may be best---create a blank canvas and we can see where we wish to go from there.
Barbie: well that’s unanimous---so everyone gets up early in the morning and we move all the furniture so the workmen can get started. Don’t forget to log your time, fill out the form, and give it to Richelle---so we can keep the books straight.
(Muffled grumbling comes through the windows from the deck)
Where are Chelsea and Anna?
Chelsea: Ah, the boys are groaning, the Cubs lost, AGAIN!
Anna: They are losing their teddy bears???
Anna: They are losing their teddy bears???
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