A living co-opportunity. Why not try out a pot-luck dinner?
A couple years back I was fortunate enough to cover a story on a living cooperative that had moved into an old mansion at the corner of Elmwood and North (in 2000). I remember walking up to the house wondering who the new inhabitants were... just before I was invited inside where a couple of young people were hanging out. I introduced myself and before long I was learning about what it was like to be a part of a fully functioning cooperative. Even back then I thought to myself that this sort of living arrangement could not be a long-term proposition, but over time I have learned that the Nickel City Housing Cooperative (NCHC) is here to stay, and the people that live there greatly enhance Buffalo's chill lifestyle factor.
Last night was 'Ol Wondermoth's (208 North) weekly potluck dinner which, believe it or not, is open to the public. Just bring a dish and you're welcome to join in on lively conversations with young people from all over the country (if not the world). The group living at NCHC is very eclectic in regards to lifestyle. If you hang around Allentown at all, then chances are you would recognize some of the faces. If you ride a bike or play an instrument, then chances are you would know a few of them by name. There is one thing that all of the ‘co-opers’ have in common, and that is an open mind.
Like any other cooperative living situation, the members share chores that range from cooking to cleaning to repairing the mansion. There is an admission process that includes filling out an application, and the program has been so successful that there is now a second living cooperative (called Plankton) further west at 126 Fargo. Now that the colleges are back in full swing Plankton is 'flyering' Allentown in search of new tenants, so if you're looking for a change of pace and feel that cooperative living suits your needs, then be sure to contact them. 716-882-6003.
As is life, living in a co-op is not free... though the cost is minimal compared to the quality of life that the living situation offers. As Anna Miller wrote in a January post, much of the provided food comes from locally grown food sources, and one of the members even tends a share of land at a nearby garden on Hudson and West. Last evening co-op members had come together to share a meal, tune and play some instruments, and practice devil sticks on the front lawn. Had I not been late to dinner myself I surely would have stuck around to enjoy the atmosphere a while longer.
For further information visit 'Ol Wondermoth and Plankton online here.