Ready for the good times: A look at our neighborhoods post pandemic
– VOL. 2
While Venn supported its community in unique and necessary ways during the height of the Covid lockdown—facilitating collaborations between local musicians, organizing virtual seminars, or finding members safe places to work outside of their apartments—nothing compares to gathering in person.
“Right now, people are just so desperate to connect with their neighbors face-to-face, eye-to-eye,” says Gali Sheskin, a Venn community leader in Tel Aviv. “It’s a very exciting time to be putting together these events because people need them and want them so, so badly.”
Why not start with a monumental pillow fight?
Thousands of Neighbors gathered in the streets of Tel Aviv for an epic pillow fight Venn hosted in partnership with Pillow Fight Club.
To celebrate Israel’s Independence Day in mid-April, Venn collaborated with Pillow Fight Club to put on a massive block party that included an epic pillow fight on the streets of Shapira, the south Tel Aviv neighborhood in which Venn is based. How epic? Nearly 1,500 happily vaccinated people showed up.
“People were super happy to participate in something so fun and crazy. They were just thirsty to gather around one another.”
Few get-togethers will be quite as supersized and over-the-top as the pillow fight, but the post-lockdown events that Venn community leaders are putting together promise to be just as joyful—and every bit as necessary.
Looking ahead post pandemic
Later this summer and into fall, Venn’s events will be as varied and vibrant as Venn’s connection-hungry Neighbors
“We build the community around our members,” says Sheskin. “It’s a partnership.”
In Bushwick, Brooklyn, things are starting to look up, with art openings in Venn’s shared co-working space, and pop-up concerts at General Irving, the all-day coffee shop and cafe Venn opened last December.
In Tel Aviv, all sorts of community-focused events will be happening within their latest neighborhood project, the 170-apartment Florentin Village.
And in Kansas City, expect rooftop wine tastings at the Ambassador Building and yoga classes at the pool house. That is where, in September, they will close out pool season with—can you handle the cuteness?—puppy swim day.
“Whenever we have events now, there has been a palpable feeling of relief,” says Jessica Prestia, a Venn community leader in Bushwick. “People are pumped.”
Kansas City Neighbors were excited to gather again for a pool party at the neighborhood pool house which Venn recently redesigned.
And yet, after nearly a year and a half of virtually all our interactions being, well, virtual, being together in person is an adjustment.
“People have been online for so long now, that they forget that the real world is not Zoom, and that being social is different than social media,” says Arie Cutler, a Venn community leader in Kansas City’s Midtown neighborhood. “People can struggle just to say hello to a neighbor they don’t know as they are coming out of the elevator. Forging those connections is something that we really try to help and support.”
For Venn newbies, that means they can expect face-to-face encouragement to attend community events —whether it’s from a Venn building leader or another member.
“We make sure that that first invite to an event comes from a person and not just an email,” says Cutler. “It’s an important way of easing people back into being social again.”
More from the Venn Journal