You’ve co-worked, co-lived and co-exercised. Are you set to co-commune?
Welcome to the Assemblage, a fresh club found in Manhattan’s upscale NoMad neighborhood. Its evening-simply memberships begin at $200 monthly, all-day use is $900 – and the menu of companies tops out at $6,500 for services that add a private office with “room to stretch your hip and legs.”
On a recent nighttime Alberto Villoldo, a medical anthropologist, psychologist and shaman, gave a talk in the club’s dim lobby called “Hacking Your Neurology With Sacred Plant Medicine.” To a packed audience of mostly young urban professionals, some nonetheless in matches and ties from the work day, Mr. Villoldo was extolling the great things about ayahuasca, a psychedelic material created from Amazonian tree vines, broccoli flower extract and daily doses of omega-3.
“I don’t guess there’s a subject that is nearer to my heart,” said Rodrigo Niño, the founder of the club. Mr. Niño, 48 and the C.E.O. of Prodigy, a program that uses crowdfunding to buy commercial property, was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma six years back. Terrified of dying, he observed articles in National Geographic about ayahuasca. He promptly left for Peru to invest fourteen days taking the material and reckoning with his own mortality.
“What I saw from that point of view was that culture today was not in very very good condition,” Mr. Niño said. “What I saw, in this hallucination, was how all living factors were connected as one, but we weren’t alert to it rationally.”
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When Mr. Niño returned to NY, he was no longer plagued by concern with death, he said. But he struggled to integrate his eyesight of interconnectedness with his daily do the job. “I possessed this radical inner knowing that we were all together as one,” Mr. Niño said, “but I was a real-estate developer, an economist, from a mathematical, evidence-based background. I couldn’t verify it.”
He has now decided to give it a try in $400 million worth of Manhattan property that include two additional Assemblange-branded locations, 1 on lower Park Avenue and the additional found in the financial district, that will offer apartments and a hotel.
Mr. Niño said his new organization was funded from little investments from a lot more than 34 countries, and that every new qualifying member of the organization will get the option of trading to become co-owner of the structures themselves.
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He has donated some of his contemporary art collection to decorate the NoMad club, and Peruvian weavings he ordered especially created from the Shipibo tribe whose ayahuasca ceremonies he attended during his trip.