(WARNING: People with Arachnophobia, this post contains material about spiders.)
“We would like to apologize for the temperature in the building: it has been unseasonably warm recently. According to a Chicago City Ordinance 13-196-410 Residential buildings: “Every family unit or rooming unit to which heat is furnished from a heating plant used in common for the purpose of heating the various rooms of the dwelling shall be supplied with heat from September 15th of each year to June 1st of the succeeding year…” Thus, we are not able to turn our HVAC system over from heat to air yet, but please feel free to call the City of Chicago to address this issue. And again, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. ” – Facebook post from management
Soon after reading the Facebook post from management, I read a comment by another tenant:
“The small opening of our window (which has been broken all year by the way) is not enough to cool down the apartment. Bugs and spiders also come in. May 31st cannot come soon enough.”
We had cracked our windows open too. My eyes slowly moved to my ceiling and lo and behold, two inch-long spiders had already finished intricate webs above my desk. Another had made a web across our window, and yet another was watching over Renee’s laundry basket.
Spiders apparently engage in something called ballooning where they shoot little web-parachutes out of their hineys and get dragged around. For them, it’s an alternative to climbing things like, say, our apartment building. The Chicago Sun Times cheerily reports that this “Spiderfest” is a common occurrence in the Loop. Skyscrapers help create strong drafts that take ballooning spiders and whisk them up to the windows of classy lofts, and of course, our student housing. I find this fascinating and I have a profound respect for spiders and what they do (eat bugs I hate). But in my 5’0″ glory, gathering every spider into a little glass jar and setting them free outside was going to be a potentially risky task. So I whispered apologies as I picked up my shoe.
It’s an undergrad dorm, what do you expect?
Well, certainly not what happened that night. I was sitting in a chair and drawing when Renee’s timid little voice called out: “Ummm..!” She was standing in front of our room the carpet sopping wet beneath her. Indeed, when I stepped on the carpet myself, water spouted up like that scene from that Disney movie Dinosaur (2000) when Aladar found water by stomping down on seemingly dry ground. Apparently, people three floors up had left their sink running, draining water down into the apartments below.
I was at practicum when Renee called me, letting me know that our carpet was being torn up and they were putting de-humidifiers and fans in the room. She told me to come back to the apartment later to see if we wanted to temporarily re-locate to another unit for a few nights until the carpet was dry.
I came back to find this, and the answer was immediate. We packed up a few necessities and moved down a few floors, and will be spending the weekend in an otherwise unoccupied unit until the building has fixed our room. Admittedly, it’s nice and quiet down here and if anything, Renee and I have been enjoying the little change of pace.