In a Pandemic, Artistic and Largely Digital Socializing

In a Pandemic, Creative and Mostly Virtual Socializing

Instead of a normal happy hour with Zoom, he created a series of weekly wine tasting happy hours, each with a themed wine list compiled by a sommelier from Sotheby & # 39; s Wine. The themes were simple: one week focused on California reds, another on wines under $ 50, and participants swirling and tasting the wines pre-delivered to each participant online together.

Mr. Fazio hosted a story program that families could enjoy together using Drag Queen Story Hour performers who offered virtual readings of stories such as "Go Away Big Green Monster" and "The Kindness Book". And he planned a quiz night and got it done by bringing in quiz master Noah Tarnow of The Big Quiz Thing to oversee the action.

The events were popular with the company's young, technology-driven New York tenants. And because the virtual events are open to Gotham's entire portfolio of buildings, attendance has been higher than typical in-person events, which are limited to tenants in the property where they are held.

But what if the residents don't know how to log into the computer or have no access to it? That was the question at RiseBoro, a New York City nonprofit whose portfolio includes senior citizen centers and 3,000 affordable housing units. After all personal programs at their senior centers were suspended in March, they decided to try something they had never done before – put content online.

Sandy Christian, vice president of RiseBoro's senior division, said designing the programming wasn't a challenge. They started with yoga, Zumba, theology lectures, and nutrition classes via Zoom or YouTube. However, many seniors on their network do not have tablets or laptops, and those who have had problems with work. At the beginning of the blocking, personal IT visits were not possible.

So they went analog and called seniors on the phone. Those who had tablets were given free coaching sessions with computer teachers. those who could not dial into events via conference lines. Today, some courses have up to 200 participants, including a popular Friday virtual dance party with music such as salsa, merengue and rhythm & blues.


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