A New Butterfly in Williamsburg: The Butterfly Effect

The holiday season always puts everyone in the giving spirit. When one of our Community Interns, Peter, heard about the Butterfly Effect, he knew it was the perfect way for our members to give back to the community.


Artist and entrepreneur, Tasha Wahl founded the Butterfly Effect in 2013 with the hope that through art and small acts of kindness, the world can become a better place. Her art is embodied by the concept popularized by Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In 2016, Wahl2Wall art installations began to encourage a new way to give charity through social media.

One Sunday afternoon, Common members along with the greater Williamsburg community gathered outside our Havemeyer home to fill in the stencil of large butterfly wings. They designed the wings with cool patterns and even added the Common logo for a personalized touch.

nyc-wb-hav-members-painting-butterfly-effect-3 nyc-wb-hav-members-neighbors-painting-butterfly-effect-1

After it was finished, members took photos posing with the butterfly wings and shared it on social media using the hashtags #commongivesback and #butterflyeffect. Here are a few we found on Instagram so far.

spread the positivity #butterflyeffect #williamsburg #thanksgiving

A photo posted by DandelionDayDreams (@fahvasu) on

🦋 Part I

A photo posted by North Brooklyn (@northbrooklyn) on

🦋 Part II

A photo posted by North Brooklyn (@northbrooklyn) on

#bethechange #butterfly #effect #butterflyeffect #streetart #speaking #truth #graffiti #art #modernart #beautiful #brooklyn #nyc

A photo posted by AlexanderTheJames (@alexanderthejames) on

Common is using these photos to give back to the local Williamsburg community. For each photo of these wings on social media, we are donating $10 to Reconnect Brooklyn. This organization helps employ Brooklyn’s youth to help create a better community in the future.

Thanks to Tasha and everyone who participated Williamsburg is now home to a new butterfly.

Learn more about our community and schedule a tour here.

Common Baltic: An Expanded Vision of Community Living

I am pleased to announce our newest and largest home yet: Common Baltic. It will be home to upwards of 135 members in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and will open this winter. I’m especially excited to see this home come to life, as it’s a little different than any we’ve opened to date.

A preview of Common Baltic in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

A preview of Common Baltic in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Since Common was founded a year ago, we’ve been a standard-bearer for coliving, which has typically meant private bedrooms that share a kitchen and living area. Over the past year we’ve grown into a passionate community of over 120 members living in our coliving homes in New York and San Francisco, with a new home soon to open in Washington, DC.

Our vision is to create communities where people know their neighbors. This encompasses coliving but is not exclusive to it – knowing your neighbors doesn’t necessarily mean you share a bathroom with them. We meet a lot of people who want Common’s community and our dedication to creating a great member experience, but also the larger private space they’d get in a more traditional apartment. In fact, Common’s most popular rooms available are designed for couples and feature private bathrooms, and a significant number of couples live in Common.


Members toasting one another in San Francisco, celebrating during a hike at the Berkshires, and grabbing lunch in their backyard in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

At Common Baltic, we’ll be able to meet this need even more directly. In addition to the 70 members living in coliving suites, we will be opening 67 Common studio and one-bedroom apartments. Like any other studio or one-bedroom, Common apartments feature more private space, including a private bathroom and kitchen.

As more and more of us pack into already dense cities, we feel more socially isolated than ever. By including a variety of apartment layouts, we are able to bring our brand of community to a broader group of people. Living in Common means that you won’t only know your neighbors, but you’ll have a group of people you can laugh, cry, and kick back with – all next door.

Members moving into Common studios and one-bedrooms will be Common members just like our coliving residents. They will join through our seamless online onboarding process. They’ll use Slack, our online chat and community app. They’ll have optional access to Common conveniences including weekly cleaning, shared supplies, and furnishing. And most importantly, they’ll be part of our community.

Like all our homes, Common Baltic will feature House Leaders on every floor to encourage members get to know each other and host their own events and gatherings. We are excited to create programming that includes Common staples, such as book club, movie nights, wine and paint night, and outings to support local small businesses. We’ll look to our new members at Common Baltic to create new traditions and continue to shape the community.

We’ll be releasing more information on Common Baltic in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’re very excited to take the idea of knowing your neighbors to the next level by opening our community to an even wider audience.

Snow in the Summer: A Movie Screening

Common sponsors monthly outings for our members in each neighborhood to get to know one another. We also support our members when they want to plan their own events. Once a month, members can apply to organize an outing of their choice. Our community team and house leaders pick the entry that would bring the community together and is, simply, fun!


Member Led Events

Jane from our Williamsburg home brought the community together for singing and delicious Korean food. Danny from Williamsburg and Alex from Crown Heights joined forces to teach our members to paint their own masterpieces. On a regular basis, Cole leads a book club covering all sorts of genres in his Crown Heights home and via hangouts now that our community has grown to the west coast.


The Fourth Phase

Earlier this summer, Marty from our Williamsburg home, hosted a screening of a new release The Fourth Phase in the beautiful movie room at Havemeyer. Travis Rice and Red Bull, the creators of the film, distributed the film online. All you had to do was sign up as a screening site and invite the public. Add some sushi and beer and you’ve got a perfect Sunday evening at Common.


The Fourth Phase is a film that follows professional snowboarder Travis Rice and 12 “riders” as they embark on a 15,000-mile trek through the snowy North Pacific Rim. It’s an adrenaline-fueled film, with an avalanche scene that will leave you breathless.

One of our more enthusiastic athletes at Common, Marty is one of the founding members of the Slack channel #hav-running-club. There, the early risers plan their morning runs across the Williamsburg bridge or other quality running routes. Many members were pretty excited about the screening. Who wouldn’t love sitting in an air conditioned comfy movie room while watching snowy scenes during the hot and humid New York summer?


Marty wanted to share the experience of watching this film with his housemates and the local community in Williamsburg who would see Havemeyer as an option and come visit. Marty proposed a simple plan: “have some food, drinks, watch the premiere, and generally get excited for winter.” The screening was quite the success!

Our members were excited about a different type of screening event. Zoran, from Williamsburg, shared, “It was a great night! It was great to meet some new friends from our neighborhood that registered for the event online.” Alice, also from Williamsburg, agreed, “It was cool to meet the locals and new members from other Common homes I haven’t met yet!”

Weekly Get Togethers

Marty’s screening allowed those who were never hardcore ski and snowboarding buffs to peek in and try something new. For most, all it took was walking down a flight of stairs.

Every week our members get together to hang out. When Game of Thrones was on, Sunday night was the night to meet up, order in from their local favorites, and watch the epic fantasy. Later, different homes gravitated towards different shows to watch, created movie screening schedules, or branched out to try other events.

Learn more about our community and schedule a tour to get to know our homes, here.