[dropcap size=big]K[/dropcap]eep running weird. Keep social experiences weirder. I remember one night when Sophia, Ja (Tecson) and I went to this Complex event in Meatpacking for a total of 12 minutes. There was a line around the corner for the hype but once you got inside it was just another four walls, filled to the brim with thirsty kids. People screaming social handles over loud music. Drinks kindly being spilled on some shit you took precious time to pick out and put on. It was college all over again, but I’ve been out of college for almost a decade. No shade to Complex and the events they throw, but I need something a bit more adult. Yelling really isn’t polite. I love meeting new people and holding great conversations but I refuse to raise my voice over a certain decibel.
For our launch event, I wanted to steer far away from a traditional party. People can drink and dance anywhere; I like to make moments special. We threw around the idea of a few venues but nothing seemed more fitting for this experiment than 9J in the Bronx. UNDO is fueled by community efforts. Jerome Lamaar, the owner of 9J, is a featured creative in the new issue and like a brother to me. The work he and his business partners are doing in the Bronx will help to keep brown culture in this gentrifying climate. Community is all about supporting the small businesses early enough to give them a solid foundation before the corporate bullies show up marking territory. Trust, it is already happening.
With the help of Chris Nec and the staff at 9J, we were able to transform the space into a kaleidoscope of thoughts and feelings. I placed triggers around the room to influence critical thinking and conversation. We started the series off with a run with Bridge Runners – from the Lower East Side of Manhattan all the way Uptown. Patrons were greeted with refreshments by Wtrmln Wtr and William Wolf Whiskey. We mimicked the “five sense” theme of the magazine with five days of experiences, ranging from binaural audio waves with Axel Audio, a bootcamp with We Run Uptown and The Body Prjct, Yoga and Chill with Lisa Jamhoury and Detox Water + flavor tripping with Budget Hungry and Well Well. Let’s just say we jammed a bunch of awesomeness in five days and it was totally worth all the commuting from my quiet neighborhood in Queens. For the first time in our launch history, I had the chance to actually talk and engage with participants. I explained the process and direction of this issue to as many people as I could, without screaming. It was great and we’re doing another one, but this time in LA. Join UNDO on Friday, August 26th for an unforgettable sensory experience.
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