A Spooky Housewarming in San Francisco

Earlier this month, our west coast community threw a fantastic Halloween themed housewarming party with spooky foods and creepy decorations they made themselves. Micah, of our Minna home, has his own delightful blog with his wife Dianna called Sparking Young Duo! Read his recap of this great night.

I’m Micah, your average twenty-two-year-old, homeschooled, married, professional, South Texan, Bay Area transplant. I spend my days helping small business owners thrive and my free time with my wife of two years, Dianna. We moved to the Bay Area in early 2016 and went through the housing hunt for 9 months before we found our safe haven, Minna.

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We naturally decided to throw a combo housewarming and Halloween party with Halloween just around the corner. Kamilah (our lovely house leader) piloted the ship, destination: “The Warming of the House: A Costume Party.”

It was a casual Friday night when Dianna, Sana, Kamilah, and I were in the kitchen, chatting, making brownies, and enjoying a glass of wine when Kamilah brought up that it was time to start some serious planning. Some of my favorite moments living with others are the random collaborations that happen just because we see one another so often.

minna-halloween-13Kamilah quickly assigned Common members to party items that fit their strengths and hobbies:

Chief Pastry Officer: Joel
He is always baking delicious and creative cakes and pies for our home.
Chief Decorations Officer: Dianna
Check out these cupcake creations!
Chief Drinks Officer: Sana
Her collection helped us create frighteningly delicious beverages

The community came together and knocked it out, Slack channels were started, Facebook invites went out, and a perfect party was imminent!

It was finally the day of our party. A small band of my suitemates and I set off on a march of greatness to collect all of the party’s necessities. On the list: bacon, wings, potatoes, chips, dip, pounds of butter, and all the goodness you’d need to have an epic menu. But wait, there’s more.

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Ana, one of my suitemates, just happens to be an actual pro. She and Joel whipped up the best brain cupcakes while I tossed together some brownies. Ana and Joel put some spooky on the brownies by adding little marshmallow ghosts.

I then joined Zack and Flynn in the third-floor kitchen where the wings, potatoes, peppers and dip all came together. Like magic, Dianna and Kamilah got decorations up, while the lights, music, and movies somehow came about from Hari. Everybody slowly changed into their costumes throughout the day, I was probably the last to slip into my costume right when guests started to arrive.

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Dressed as Mr. Grey I escorted my lovely lady, Anastasia Steele, around the party enjoying conversations with people in costumes ranging from mummies to Captain America, random T.V. show characters, and Waldo, who we succeeded in finding more than a few times. Besides my suitemates, we invited many friends to our new home. Everyone enjoyed drinks, new friendships, games of Cards Against Humanity and giant Jenga until around 4 AM. Clearly, it was an ultimate success!

What I discovered from throwing this party was that a house of people became a home of friends. The community came together and we threw the best housewarming imaginable. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the next Common experience.

Learn more about our communities in San Francisco and Brooklyn and schedule a tour, here.

Escape to Storm King

Every month, Common sponsors a community outing for each neighborhood. This month, Williamsburg and Crown Heights came together to conquer Storm King Art Center. Storm King, for the uninitiated, is a gorgeous 500-acre sculpture park surrounded by fields, hills, and woodlands.

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This outing to Storm King was a welcome break for the members. Brooklyn is full of energy yet can be loud and crowded at times. Stepping away for a day to visit a gorgeous piece of nature was calming.

The timing was perfect. The beautiful Autumn foliage began to pop out. The weather was crisp, but not chilly just yet. Our team set out at 10:00AM to brave the day. Instagram was buzzing throughout the day with stories, videos, and great shots. See some of our favorite snaps below!

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Some of our members getting their measurements.

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Their first album cover, Common, Live at Storm King.

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A breathtaking view of a beautiful fall day in upstate New York.

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Cole, taking a break.

Ronald Bladen’s Untitled (Three Elements)

Ronald Bladen’s Untitled (Three Elements) is a modern looking sculpture placed smack dab in the middle of nature. The juxtaposition may symbolize the relationship between the natural and man-made worlds. According to the official description, “the Three Elements were originally made of wood and later covered in steel so they can be installed outdoors.”

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The Arch is a sculpture by Alexander Calder shortly before his death. As the sculpture is so large, it invites viewers to experience it from all angles.

Louise Nevelson’s City on the High Mountain storm king

At first glance, Louise Nevelson’s City on the High Mountain appears simultaneously gothic and playful. Nevelson often uses black in her works and is very passionate about referring to it as a color regardless of what “academics” may say. She argues, “they used to say black and white were no colors, but I’m twisting that to tell you that for me it is the total color. It means totality. It means: contains all.”

Read more about our events, from Wine and Paint Night to Karaoke. Learn more about homes and schedule a tour, here.

Friendly Debates

Everyone knows the old adage that you should not discuss politics in polite conversation. That’s an outdated adage and is unnecessary between close friends. Friends have healthy debates, not mean-spirited arguments.  At Common, our members on both coasts, in all five homes, gathered to watch all three debates. They weren’t the only ones who found it hard to look away.

This year’s presidential debates were the most watched in American history, and we at Common were excited to be a part of that history. More than 200 million people tuned in to watch Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump talk at (and sometimes to) one another,  including our New York City and San Francisco communities. Each home had their own style of participating in these events.

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In New York City, members gathered in their homes’ shared spaces to watch the debate, discuss the issues, while dining on their local favorites. Our Slack channels were buzzing with orders of pizza and other necessary debate watching items, such as a debate bingo card.

On Slack, our members freely discuss their opinions about almost everything. Frequent friendly debates? Apple vs Android, Yelp vs Foursquare, and once, a heated Chicago Deep Dish vs New York Sicilian. No one is afraid of making their stance known. It’s only natural that our Common-wide channel discusses the election too.

In San Francisco, our community hosted a viewing party of the first debate at our newest San Francisco home, Valencia, for Common members and theSkimm’s local brand ambassadors, known as Skimm’bassadors. “Sip ‘n SkimmTheVote” viewing parties were hosted in more than 25 cities around the U.S. It was exciting to show off our beautiful home and introduce Skimm’bassadors to our community.

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It’s important to stay informed about this election, but it can be hard to keep up. theSkimm is a daily email newsletter that breaks down current events. Skimm’bassadors are brand ambassadors who spread the word about theSkimm in their cities and communities. Our very own San Francisco Admissions and Community Manager, Tiffany, has been a Skimm’bassador since 2014.

In the first post-debate commentary, NBC News’ Chuck Todd said, “This was the most abnormal event I’ve ever witnessed.” All three debates included strong questions (and shocking moments) that had our communities buzzing.

The second debate closed with a very thought provoking question: an undecided voter asked both candidates to name something they admire about their opponent. While the election thus far has been volatile, this question introduced an opportunity for good will and a quick bit of lighthearted relief.

debates-common-skimmthevote-2Our members continued the conversation afterward over some food and drinks. In San Francisco, they headed to the Valencia roof deck and its great views of the sky full of stars. While politics can be a very tricky conversation topic, our community is always able to passionately discuss their opinions freely.

Learn more about our community events (from karaoke to wine and paint night) and visit our homes, here.