Create community and lessen loneliness


You may have noticed a series of recent articles and podcasts about the emotional and physical health risks of loneliness. Everyone is writing about it, among them Hillary Clinton, David Brooks, Arthur Brooks, and the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Not only has loneliness become recognized as one of the leading risk factors pertaining to individual health, but it seems that the future of democracy and humanity depends on how well we create and nurture real-time connections.
Being an immigrant, an introvert, and single living in Minneapolis, I have personally experienced loneliness for long periods and came to accept it as a normal part of modern life. However, I often questioned it and wondered if its opposite – conviviality, friendship, and meaningful community connection – are simply part of my past life.
Eventually life offered me a lesson. Just a few years ago in a very difficult and lonely time of my life, I was saved by a communal table in the cafeteria of a small Italian city where I lived. Although I was lonely and struggling on many fronts, I found healthy food, good conversation, reliable company, and, in due course, friendship at this cafeteria. I became a regular, and I still maintain many of those friendships. When I returned to Minneapolis following this experience, I decided to start the Communal Table here using a similar model I observed in Italy. But COVID-19 came and the plans changed overnight.
COVID is now mostly behind us (we hope), but loneliness persists in our community. So, I decided to bring back the Communal Table. I am convinced we can rediscover comfort, social connection, strength, and even inspiration when we share meals and conversation. After all, what could be more optimistic than human connection over good food?
Almost 42 percent of households in Minneapolis are comprised of just one person, making us one of the top 10 loneliest cities in the country, according to the the U.S. Census Bureau. But it does not have to be this way, especially during the challenging holidays and winter period.
I am offering you an opportunity to connect with your neighbors. I invite you to come to one of the most welcoming restaurants in Minneapolis, Harriet Brasserie, and bring spontaneity and warmth to your lives. Owners Kalinka and Fernando Silvo and a few volunteers, including me, will be there to greet you, engage with you, and laugh with you; to share a simple meal, a conversation, and perhaps a glass of wine. Feel free to invite anyone in your circle who may benefit from being in a friendly, unscripted, and warm environment.
Come as you are, come when you can, come for as long as you want... come and we will create something good together...
When: Every Thursday 6 -9 p.m. beginning Dec. 7, 2023
Where: Harriet Brasserie, 2724 W 43rd St., Minneapolis, MN 55410
What: Meal/Drink/Conversation
Questions?: Contact me at 
See you, Thursday!


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