Long Island City Is a Creative Community to Watch

The Cigar Factory Is Proud to Call LIC Home

One of the prerequisites for The Cigar Factory was that it had to be rooted in a creative area. Naturally, we started looking at Long Island City, a place with a long-standing history of fostering an immense and diverse creative culture that goes back decades. We’ve compiled a list of some favorite inspirational local artists and chefs in the Long Island City area. If you’re in the area, be sure to check them out!

Long Island City Artists

Jody MacDonald

Hailed as an artist that “mischievously encourages us to investigate our own eccentricities and behaviors and accept the absurd nature of being”, Jody MacDonald and her creations are something to behold. The graduate of Emily Carr University has shown her work – which delves into the complexities of self identity and social structures/hierarchies – across NY and Canada. 

Anastasiya Gutnik

This artist has shown her work throughout Long Island City and NY as well as abroad. Her interdisciplinary creations focus on life cycles in nature, such as the “processes of decay and renewal and the intersections between the human and natural world”. To emphasize these relationships in nature and humanity, Gutnik only uses natural materials and physical “relics that once held significance, neglected through time”.  

Cecilia André

While simultaneously curating shows in Brazil, this Lebanese artist focuses on sculptural art that highlights the beauty and mystery of natural light. She was recently 1 of 6 women to receive a Queens Council on the Arts grant to create an outdoor installation at the Queens Botanical Garden which was displayed July-September 2020. 

Long Island City Chefs

Chintan Pandya

Fans of comfort food and Indian cuisine, rejoice! Because you’ve never seen Indian food like this before. Chef Chintan Pandya is a James Beard nominee with a local LIC restaurant called Adda, an eatery that specializes in “’unapologetically’ authentic Indian food”, such as junglee maas and paneer tikka. Spice lovers, ready your palates! 

Helen You

Owner and chef, Helen You, is behind Flushing’s Dumpling Galaxy, an eatery dedicated to some of China’s most popular comfort foods, most notably – the dumpling. With both savory and sweet options, there is something for everyone at this cozy restaurant. There’s also a cookbook available!

Ghaya Oliveira 

This renowned James Beard winning pastry chef is striking out on her own for the first time in Jacx & Co., a new food hall featuring several local artisans now open in Long Island City. The Tunisia native’s restaurant is named Ghaya and features food from her home country (such as poulet and pkaila) as well as some signature sweet delicacies, like pumpkin pie with chai whipped cream. Sign us up…

Are You a Chef or Artist In Need of Space? The Cigar Factory Can Help!

The Cigar Factory’s goal was always to provide creative office space to the creative professionals of NYC. When we found this spot with so much history attached to it, we knew we had found the perfect place. 

Are you an artist or chef who’s looking to expand into commercial space? We have several “white box” spaces available ranging from 800 to over 4,000 square feet that you can customize to fit your needs whether you’re an artist needing studio and/or showing space or a chef needing commissary space, we have spaces that will work for everyone. Contact us today to learn more!

Tips and Tricks to Instill Creative Inspiration

Don’t Let Creativity Stagnate Going Into the New Year

2020 is almost behind us and everyone is gearing up for a very different looking holiday season. However, this doesn’t mean that creativity needs to stagnate — there are plenty of ways to enjoy and inspire creativity. The Cigar Factory team has put together this post to help our creative tenants and other like-minded creatives with instilling and keeping creativity alive throughout the holiday season and into the new year. We know we’re ready for 2021…

Break Through the Block

Perhaps you’re having trouble finding the inspiration to start creating. Maybe you’ve lost inspiration in the middle of a project? Whatever the situation, here are some ways you can get the creative juices flowing again. 

Move Things Around

Feeling uninspired? Try rearranging your work area. Clear off and organize your space, get a new chair and/or desk or tools, place your favorite trinket on your workstation  — maybe even try moving to a new area altogether. A simple thing like changing your vantagepoint could be all you need to stop the blockage. If you do try moving your workspace, try somewhere with natural light and fewer opportunities for distraction (even if that just means putting your phone away).

Get the Blood Pumping!

If you’re feeling sluggish and this is contributing to your lack of creative inspiration, try getting up from your workstation and go for a walk or do a yoga lesson or workout session. Anything that will stimulate your senses and get the blood moving again will do wonders for your stamina, creatively and physically. Win-Win.

Write It All Out

If you have a large project looming, it is easy to feel overwhelmed which can lead to the ever destructive snowball effect. How to combat this? Write it all down. Make a step-by-step list and follow it so you don’t let creativity stagnate due to procrastination from being overwhelmed.  

Brainstorm With the Team

For those creatives who work on a team, make time for a brainstorming session. If you can, strip off the professional facade and make it fun. Turn it into an informal virtual happy hour with pizza and beer (or your social comfort foods of choice) and discuss the direction of the project you’re all tasked with. Who knows? You might go in a direction that you never even thought of!

Join a Group Outside of Work

On the flipside, perhaps you work alone. This might be especially difficult at the moment, given the year 2020 has been. If loneliness is the source of stagnant creativity, consider joining a creative group in your area of expertise and/or interest. Meetup is a great resource to find like minded people in your field.

Mind Map It Out

Mind maps are a creative’s best friend. It is a visual way to map out and organize more visual information and details that can help make your project the best it can be. Unfamiliar with mind mapping? Check out this guide on How To Mind Map

Utilize the Creative Tools of the Internet

The world is at our fingertips these days — take advantage of it! Browse through creative sites like Pinterest, Etsy, Tumblr, DeviantArt, and other similar sites for creative inspiration. 

Take a Break

OK, burnout is real. If you’ve been working at 110 miles per hour all year, you might be struggling to find the inspiration you need to be creative — even for a personal project. After all, you’re only human. Don’t try to push through burnout, your body is telling you it needsa break. Take some time to watch your favorite movies, listen to music, read that book you’ve been putting off, or whatever you do to unwind. You’ll be surprised at how much it makes a difference when you get back to it.  

Be Your Best Creative Self Going Into 2021

The above mentioned ways will help you get started on your journey towards creative inspiration. But don’t stop there! We’re certainly not the end all be all when it comes to all the ways you can instill and keep inspiration going throughout the holiday season and into the new year. Ultimately, you know what’s best for you — take a moment to ask yourself what you need. It may not even be something on this list. Maybe all you need to do is listen to your favorite song and Voila! masterpiece created. 

We wish you all the creativeness this holiday season. See you in 2021!

Long Island City Creative Events

Get the Creative Juices Flowing This Holiday Season

There’s nothing like New York during the holidays. The city is all cozy and lit up, everyone gets to take some time to breathe and reflect on the year — and what a year it’s been — while spreading love and kindness. There are often so many things going on in the community that it can be overwhelming to try to keep up, especially with most events being virtual this year. We’ve put together a list of creative events happening in Long Island City and surrounding areas during the holiday season that we believe the creative tenants of The Cigar Factory will enjoy. 

For the Artists 

If you love celebrating local as much as we do, you might consider checking out the Native Artist Spotlight Panel that is being put on by Flushing Town Hall via Facebook and Zoom. The panel will celebrate and showcase Native American artists in the Long Island City area. 

For Those Who Are More Hands-On

Get your design on with the Virtual STEAM workshop being put on by the Lewis Latimer House Museum on December 3rd. Those who enroll in the workshop will be tasked with a design challenge to build structures based on the objects they see around them in their home in order to build a unique structure for their community. 

For the Writers

Jonesing for a new book club? Consider attending the newest Reading and Discussion series, Your Silence Will Not Protect You!, put on by the aforementioned Lewis Latimer House Museum. On December 5th from 2:30-4pm, the organization will be discussing the works of Audre Lorde and how her storytelling techniques empower the readers of her work.

For the Chefs

Want to stretch those culinary muscles? On December 5th from 4:30-6pm, Alley Pond Environmental Center is hosting an online class for attendees to learn how to make homemade dumplings from scratch. Led by Diana Kuan, a Brooklyn-based food writer and photographer, attendees will learn how to make tasty dumplings using simple ingredients you can find in your kitchen. All you’ll need is some all-purpose flour, a rolling pin, and whatever you’d like to fill your dumplings with. 

For the History and Culture Buffs

This year, Flushing’s historic Holly Tour is completely virtual! Join in on the fun on December 6th from 3-5pm with arts and crafts, musical performances, plus virtually tour and learn about the charming historical town of Flushing all from your living room!

On December 12th, learn more about Kunqu, a traditional method of Chinese theater that celebrates the culture and heritage of humanity in Kunqu in America: Memories of Chung-ho Chang Frankel. In this virtual experience, the Flushing Town Hall commemorates the legacy of Ms. Chung-ho Chang Frankel, “an amateur devotee of Kunqu”, who emigrated to the US — where she continued to teach the art of Kunqu until her 100th birthday — in 1949. 

The Winter Wonderland of Creativity Awaits

Although the holidays look a bit different this year, that’s no reason to let your creativity stall out. There are plenty of affordable ways to stimulate and grow your creative skills with virtual events! Don’t be afraid to branch out and step outside your comfort zone and try new things, too. For example, maybe cooking isn’t your thing; why not try an online class, like the dumplings above, and see if you like it? 

Calling All Artists!

The Cigar Factory Offers Artist Studio Space for Rent

It’s no secret that we love catering to the creatives of Long Island and New York City. Our mission has not changed since we renovated this commercial loft space that has plenty of room for kitchen commissary space, large creative installations, and other artistic projects. Artists can even hold events like art openings and demonstrations if they like. If you’re an artist looking for a more expansive permanent space to customize, house, and show your work, consider renting artist studio space at The Cigar Factory in Long Island City and share your artistic voice with the world. 

How Do I Know If I’m Ready for a Commercial Artistic Space?

Ultimately, it depends on where you are in your career. If your work is impeding your personal space, for example, it might be time to upgrade to a commercial artist studio so you can better separate your work from your play. Alternatively, you might have simply outgrown the current commercial space you’re in or are having trouble finding the inspiration you need to create. It might be time for a change of scenery (and not just on your canvas). You might even want to hold classes/demonstrations or hold openings to show off new exhibitions; these showings could even be virtual while we’re still under COVID-19 restrictions.

If you have the budget, having a separate space to create and showcase might be the answer. Maybe you want to go bigger with your work (floor-to-ceiling installation, anyone?) and are restricted by the space you’re currently in. The Cigar Factory offers loft style commercial space with high ceilings and open space fit for the most grandiose ideas. 

What Kind of Artistic Studio Space Is Available at The Cigar Factory?

Much like the commissary space at The Cigar Factory, we offer a “white box” studio loft space that can be customized to fit your needs. There are spaces ranging in size from 1,037-8,978 square feet so there is something suitable for everyone with plenty of space to bring your artistic visions to life. Whether you just use the space to create, showcase your work, or both, you have free reign to make the space entirely your own. Build out your rented space with any appliances, built-in materials (shelves for supplies, etc), extra power outlets, and anything similar you need to produce the creations of your dreams from start to finish.

The Artist Studio Space Of Your Dreams Is In Long Island City

With your own personal commercial space, the possibilities are endless. Even in the world of COVID, artists can use their space to hold virtual art shows or online classes and demonstrations. At The Cigar Factory, you’ll have plenty of room to stretch out and produce the work you visualize in your mind from beginning to end. 

Get your name out there in an eclectic historical location that will lend its character to any work of art. Create a space that’s entirely your brand with the specifications you need to create your projects exactly the way you want. Thousands of square feet are at your disposal here at The Cigar Factory to create and share your creative voice to the world. 

Call us today to learn more about our available artist studio space and how it can help you meet your creative goals. 

Calling All Chefs and Bakers!

The Cigar Factory LIC Has Available Commissary Space for Rent

Who said our Long Island City office space had to be all business and papers? Certainly not us as we designed this space to cater to all types of creative careers – including culinary! The Cigar Factory LIC is proud to provide a home for two existing bakeries — Levain and Padoca — who cook, prep, and ship orders all from one convenient location. If you’re a culinary entrepreneur with an established bakery looking to expand your business into a commercial commissary space that allows you to create the kitchen space of your dreams and conduct business all from one spot, consider joining the existing culinarians at The Cigar Factory in Long Island City. 

Why Use Commissary Space?

If you don’t want to send out the work to manufacturers and other third-party culinary businesses, consider renting and building out existing commercial commissary space. There you will have room to stretch out and really have the space you need to provide the quality product that you and your patrons love; maybe you’ll even have multiple projects going at once – the world is your oyster when you move to a fully customized commercial space.

The biggest reason people don’t consider commissary/commercial kitchen space is the cost. While this is an understandable concern, weigh the pros and cons of your current situation. Perhaps having limited space is causing your business to bottleneck? Or, worse, even completely putting orders at a standstill. If these issues sound familiar to you, then it might be worth it to research your options, including building your own commissary space. 

How Do I Know If a Commissary Space Is Right for My Business?

Maybe you’ve considered buying a brick and mortar space for your restaurant or bakery. If you must have a retail front, that’s one thing, but consider that this cost can be exponential compared to simply renting commissary space. Renting commissary kitchen space and equipment will cut down overhead costs — not to mention stress — and often come with protections and warranties should anything break, allowing you to focus on putting out a quality product without cutting corners. 

Ultimately, you as the business owner know what’s best for your business, but consider these questions if you’re asking yourself whether or not you need a commercial commissary space. 

  • Is your current situation working for you? Perhaps you are renting a shared commissary space. Is the confinement a detriment to your business? Do you have a contingency plan (or space) in the event that space is not available? With their own private commercial commissary space, business owners don’t have to worry about such events as many places — including Cigar Factory — allow 24/7 access as well as storage space.

How often are you using your current space? If your orders can easily be done from your home kitchen, or if your business is more of a hobby, then maybe renting or building commercial commissary space is not for you at the moment. However, if you’re a more established bakery in need of space to produce bulk orders or complicated dishes on the regular, then a personal commercial commissary space might be something to consider as renting commercial kitchens by the hour is one of, if not the, most expensive options.

Are There Different Types of Commissary Spaces?

Yes! There are many commercial commissary options for businesses in all stages of development. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common commissary spaces available.

  • Shared commercial kitchens. If you rent this type of space, be prepared to share it with multiple people at once. Typically, renters of these spaces have allotted storage areas and times they’re allowed to use it, which can be pretty limiting. If you need to create small batches of product on a less regular schedule, or if you don’t mind these limitations, this might be a good option for your business. 
  • Private commercial kitchens. These types of spaces are reserved for only the renter and their team. The lease is entirely your responsibility as well as keeping up the place. Private kitchen space is a good option for larger food operations with full teams who need to produce orders in bulk.
  • Restaurant kitchen space. Sometimes local restaurants will be amenable to letting smaller operations rent their kitchen space during non-operating hours. This is often a lower-cost option than the first two above, but usually comes without the amenities (parking, etc). Availability can also become an issue as many restaurants open early and close late with many employees still on the premises before or after these hours to help open and close the establishment. 
  • Miscellaneous sources. This is the least preferred option, but an option nonetheless. These sources are often not culinary-focused operations, but rather churches, schools, community centers, etc. These organizations might not always be willing to rent their space out either and it will be your responsibility to ensure the space is up to code and meets all the legal requirements in order to operate your business. Such places don’t usually have the best equipment either and will therefore likely affect your product’s quality. 

What Type of Commissary Space Is Available at The Cigar Factory?

The Cigar Factory offers private commissary space. The space you’d rent would be entirely your own. We offer a “white box” shell that tenants can completely take over and build out with their preferred appliances, additional power outlets, water and exhaust systems, etc to create the commissary kitchen of their dreams. As mentioned, tenants can access the building 24/7 for those that need to work later into the night or must start prepping early in the morning.  

Build Your Dream Commissary Space in Long Island City

The Cigar Factory LIC was created so creative professionals across industries could have their own private space in a building where their inventions, projects, and products could be produced and shared. Join the legion of artists, bakers and other creatives that are already part of our eclectic clientele. All tenants enjoy top-notch amenities and full use of the common areas in addition to their private space. 

Schedule a tour to swing by and see why our existing culinary patrons call The Cigar Factory home. It could be just the perfect fit for you and your business’ needs. 

Embrace Creativity at the Cigar Factory LIC

Learn Why Our Artistic Tenants Call This LIC Creative Office Space Their Professional Home

Long Island City is home to some of the most unique and creative attractions in NYC. From museums to parks to outdoor art installations, there are plenty of places in the neighborhood that our creative patrons can visit to conjure up some inspiration for their current and future projects. Discover some of the reasons why our artistic tenants call The Cigar Factory, a renovated piece of LIC history, their home away from home. 

Area Attractions to Fit Any Creative Need

Whether you’re a photographer, visual artist, a performer, or hold any other creative title, there’s something that everyone can appreciate within a short distance of The Cigar Factory LIC. 

Gantry Plaza State Park

Named after the gantry cranes that can be seen on any one of the 4 piers, this 12 acre park is a great location for photo shoots and inspiring backdrops for your next art piece. Even if you don’t consider yourself creative or do creative work per se, this is a peaceful spot to reflect with fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline — particularly of the UN and Empire State Building — and gain inspiration for whatever you need to set your mind to. It’s just a 20 minute ride or 30 minute walk from The Cigar Factory. 

Noguchi Museum

This museum dedicated to the sculptural art of Isamu Noguchi is the perfect place to find inspiration. Noguchi himself (1904-1988) built the museum so he could display works of art he felt best represented his work and his life. In honor of Noguchi’s legacy, the museum is still dedicated to carry on his mission of providing “a place for the exploration of individual artistic endeavor and creative collaboration”. Unfortunately, the museum is temporarily closed due to COVID, however the institution still offers inspiration in the form of digital content in the meantime.  

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates said “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature”. So take your pen, paints, and mind down to Socrates Sculpture Park for some meditative inspiration. This massive outdoor area hosts unique sculpture exhibitions, weekend farmers markets, and year-round events that help center the mind and body, such as yoga in the park. 


The museum is temporarily closed due to COVID, but MoMA has developed online content so patrons can still enjoy what they have to offer virtually like a Cooking With Artists video series. The institution holds more than 200,000 works of art, both modern and contemporary — 88,000 of which are available online during the pandemic. Virtual inspiration here we come…

Welling Court Mural Project

The expansive mural project in the Welling Court area consists of over 50 years of work from artists all around NYC. The project debuted in December 2009 with its first mural before opening up to a multi-block project in May 2010. It has now gone through 10 phases. Each project has featured a wide range of emerging artists around NYC who span across various art styles. It is considered by many to be one of the best public collections of contemporary art in the world. 

Come Experience the Artistic Haven That Is Long Island City 

It was important not only to us, but to our existing tenants at The Cigar Factory to be immersed in a creative atmosphere not only while in the office but also when they stepped outside of it. That’s why Long Island City was chosen above other neighborhoods in NYC; we felt that the culture of the area fit perfectly with our goals for the space. We are proud to provide this space to our creative tenants who love the artistic feel of The Cigar Factory. 

If you’re a creative looking for an official place to call home, we would love to talk with you about how The Cigar Factory LIC can fit all your creative business needs.   

What New York Reopening Means for Commercial Offices

Here’s a Breakdown

It’s become apparent that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Thankfully, New York seems to be on the right track (compared with the rest of the country) as New York leaders have seemingly taken the correct precautions so that businesses and other establishments can reopen safely in a limited capacity this summer. At the end of June, New York entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan which allowed many of these businesses to reopen – including many businesses housed in commercial space like The Cigar Factory. What does that mean exactly? How do Phase 3 and 4 affect commercial office space? Here’s a breakdown of info to know about New York reopening plus how we’re handling it at The Cigar Factory.

New York’s Reopening: A Breakdown

After adhering and paying attention to precautions and guidelines set by the WHO, CDC, and other notable health organizations — such as hospitalization and infection rates — New York rolled out Phase 1 of its 4-phase reopening plan. Phase 1 allowed curbside pickup at retail stores as well as certain manufacturers and construction sites to resume work again. 

Exactly two weeks later, right on cue, Phase 2 of New York’s reopening plan went into full swing at the end of June. This is exciting as Phase 2 allowed people to start enjoying life more as they knew it before COVID-19: Outdoor dining, in-store shopping, hair and nail appointments and other similar establishments were all allowed to reopen (under strict restrictions, of course) in this phase. Most importantly for The Cigar Factory, many commercial offices were allowed to reopen with limited capacity and with strict precautionary measures in place.

On July 6th, Phase 3 rolled out in New York City. This phase allows more businesses in the hospitality industry to reopen. Additionally under this phase, gatherings of up to 25 people (rather than 10) are now allowed. 

Some regions have already begun rolling out Phase 4 of the plan which allows “low-risk” art and entertainment establishments — such as outdoor zoos, parks, higher education campuses, museums, and more —  to reopen. Additionally, gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed under this phase. However, movie theaters, malls, and gyms are still not allowed to reopen in Phase 4. Governor Cuomo has announced that New York state will evaluate whether or not public schools will reopen in the fall at the beginning of August. 

There are talks of a potential Phase 5 since many businesses are not included in the 4-phase New York reopening plan, but nothing is concrete at this time. 

What Restrictions Are Still in Place?

As much as we’d like to say it’s back to business as usual, it will be anything but usual for a while still. Under New York’s reopening phase plan, certain guidelines must still be followed in order for this rollout to stick. None of us want to revert back into full lockdown, so here are some important tips on what we must do as a community in order to keep things rolling:

  • All businesses are required to follow social distancing guidelines (ie: patrons/employees must stay at least 6 feet away from each other). Businesses are encouraged to purchase and display social distancing decals to help patrons remember and adhere to these guidelines correctly. 
  • Only one person only is allowed in confined spaces (such as elevators or behind a register) at a time.
  • Wear a mask at all times in public places.  
  • Limit in-person meetings (if you must have them, follow social distancing and mask guidelines).
  • Constantly disinfect surfaces – between each interaction is preferable – and put up signs/markers to help patrons correctly social distance from one another. 

What Does New York Reopening Mean at The Cigar Factory?

Like the rest of the world, we have been carefully following the progression of COVID-19 in the U.S. as well as locally here in New York City. We are ecstatic to announce that our tenants can come back to work (as long as all mandated guidelines are followed). Please maintain social distancing, disinfect your office as well as all the equipment in it, and wear masks. We will do our part to make sure the rest of the building is properly disinfected and cleaned at all times as well. 

We’re here to answer any questions you may have, either as current or prospective tenants. Please feel free to contact us at (646) 964-6184 and we’ll be happy to help however we can. 

Available Tenant Options at The Cigar Factory

How Our Creative Office Space Can Help Your Business Achieve Its Goals

New York is poised to reopen for business and many people are starting to venture out in small groups back into this new normal. Are you a small business looking for office space to move into once the “all clear” comes through? Look no further than the creative office space at The Cigar Factory in Long Island City. Whether you need a smaller area or a larger one, The Cigar Factory has available office space ranging from 1,000 rentable square feet (RSF) to 11,000 RSF all primed and ready to fit your business’ needs. 

Everything Business Owners Need Under One Roof 

Tenancy with The Cigar Factory means well-rounded access to modern day urban amenities like full-sized shower and locker rooms, a landscaped tenant courtyard where you can take a well-deserved break, and onsite parking. Every space is ready-to-move-in and our team is always available should you have any questions or maintenance issues. Our goal is meet all of our tenants’ daily needs from the moment they step foot through the doors until they leave for the day. 

The Cigar Factory is an eclectic, unique space that will stick in the minds of your prospective clients and business partners. Welcome your clients and other guests into a little piece of New York history when they enter the newly renovated entrance and lobby area bedecked with historical photos from the Long Island City neighborhood. Hold meetings in your designated office or use the well-manicured tenant courtyard – the world of The Cigar Factory is your oyster.  

Some Questions to Keep in Mind While Office Hunting

Committing to an office space is a big step for any business, especially a startup or one that is moving from another office or work from home setting. Here are some things to keep in mind while shopping around.

How Much Space Do I Need?

This answer is ultimately left to the business owner as he or she is the one with the most accurate knowledge of the business. However, a good general rule to follow is to allot roughly 175 sq. ft. of space per person. Take into consideration future hirings, how much of that space is taken up by furniture, and whether or not a reception area will be in the space. 

What Is Included in My Lease?

At The Cigar Factory, everything onsite is at our tenants’ disposal unless otherwise specified. For those who prefer biking to and from work, for example, there is a newly renovated bike storage room as well as showers and locker rooms where you can securely keep your things while you tackle the day. As mentioned, there is also a private tenant courtyard that you can access at any point during the day, completely equipped with complimentary wi-fi. 

Is the Area Safe?

The safety of our tenants was always of paramount concern so picking where to lay roots was in the forefront of our minds. Long Island City is considered one of the safest neighborhoods in New York City and has a high score for nightlife activities for those after-work get togethers. 

Have More Questions? Contact Us Today to Learn More

While we still have some time before it’s totally back to “business as usual”, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. If you are in need of office space post-quarantine, consider The Cigar Factory and all of the tenant options we offer. 

Although our physical space is currently closed, we are still available by phone. Please contact us today if you would like to schedule a future appointment or have any questions that we can answer in the meantime. 

How to Promote Creativity During Quarantine

Maintaining Mental Health While Under Immense Stress

As the world continues to trek through a post COVID-19 world, we also continue to try and find ways to cope with this stressful situation. In times of such uncertainty, we struggle to maintain control over our daily lives. Rest assured that there are still things you have complete control over even while the ship is sailing choppy waters at the moment. One of these things is fostering creativity.

Whether you consider yourself to be a creative professional like our tenants at The Cigar Factory or not, everyone has the ability to create something beautiful that will also contribute to providing peace of mind and relaxation. 

Ideas to Inspire Positivity and Pure Creation in Isolation

Are you a professional artist? A casual crafter? Don’t worry, there’s something everyone can do in the creative world that will spark some joy.

Create a Space Just for You

Introverts and extroverts alike are starting to feel a little crazy being cooped up with loved ones — or even alone — 24/7. Try creating a space, even if it’s just a corner of a room, that’s only for you. Decorate your space with whatever pleases you that will re-energize and inspire you when you look at it. This space should be away from where you get work done so you can better disconnect. Decorate your space with favorite quotes, music posters, art, a bonsai tree, salt lamp, or zen garden — whatever you want to make it uniquely yours.

Keep a Visual Journal

A thought journal works too, just get whatever is inside of you out on paper. Even if you start drawing and don’t have an idea in mind, just see where that thought pattern leads — you might surprise yourself. Don’t worry about whether your drawings are “good” or not, just create for the sake of creating. Don’t have a point, don’t put any pressure on yourself to create a masterpiece or follow formal rules, just draw whatever comes to mind. Try drawing one entry per day until the end of quarantine and see what comes out. If anything, your journal will serve as an interesting keepsake from a unique time. 

Create an Inspiring Playlist

It sounds simple, but the power of music is undeniable. Think about your favorite song — why is it your favorite? Likely because, in some capacity, it makes you happy. Why not create something that brings you happiness for hours on end? Compile a playlist of your favorite songs and get your tools out, it’s time to create…and take a dance break every now and then.

Need some inspiration to get started? Check out these “Pandemic Playlists” from The Atlantic

Alternate Between Quick and Long Projects

Your brain gets tired of working on the same thing for too long. Give it a break by having both short and long projects on your docket to keep it active and inspired. For example, try writing a two sentence horror story (or any genre) one day while taking a break from a more intricate painting, music, writing, or other creative piece that you’re working on. 

Crafting Projects

For those of you who prefer to unwind with crafts, there are a plethora of options out there — especially in light of the current circumstances, it seems. There are plenty of options for those of us who are not artistically talented, but would still like to create. If you’re under quarantine with other members of your household as well, crafts can be a fun, time-consuming activity for kids and adults alike. Examples of crafts that the whole family can do are paint by numbers kits, scratch art, and vision boards.

Practice Your Craft of Choice

Now’s a good time to perfect your preferred craft. Are you an aspiring filmmaker and/or photographer? Take this time under quarantine to practice angles and lighting inside your own home. Artist? Practice drawing different forms using different materials; or, alternatively, use this time to attempt drawing a different style or use unfamiliar materials you’ve been meaning to try. 

Mama Always Said “Creative Is As Creative Does”

Ok, so that’s our own variation of the quote, but the sentiment remains. The power to be creative lies in your hands alone. While there will certainly be days where all you want to do is chill out — and that’s ok, we all need those days  — studies show that fostering creativity can boost health and productivity. Even if you do not consider yourself an artist per se (or even creative in general), there are definitely ways for you to express yourself that will help alleviate the stressors of outside life while connecting with yourself and your loved ones. 

Looking for more tips? Check out The Cigar Factory’s blog on Promoting Wellness While Working From Home During Quarantine.

Working From Home Tips: Promoting Wellness During the Health Crisis

Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Mental and Physical Health

It’s hard to escape COVID-19. It seems like information about the health crisis is everywhere as the world tries to make sense of this new normal and what it means for families, the economy, and the world at large. It may feel like you can’t catch a break from being inundated with information related to the health crisis. 

As many of The Cigar Factory’s tenants have moved remotely, along with the rest of the world, so many things seem outside of our control. This situation can easily seem hopeless and without end. Rest assured that you’re not the only one who feels that way and there are steps you can take to alleviate some of these worries. Emotional health and wellbeing is often something that’s neglected when there’s not a pandemic — turning your attention inward could be just the key you need to set your mind at ease during troubling times.

Control the Controllable

One of the main reasons panic ensues is because it’s easy to let thoughts snowball into an uncontrollable mess of nerves and worries. This isn’t good for anyone and is a direct route to a panic attack. While the seriousness of the health crisis is not to be understated, there is little you can do about the current state of things — pay attention to what you can do to alleviate anxiety. 

So, what can you do?

Beyond adhering to practices advised by prominent health organizations, like the WHO or CDC, such as social distancing and staying indoors whenever possible, there are other techniques you can turn to that allow you to focus your care inward. After all, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others. 

Practice Mindfulness

Have you ever considered mindfulness techniques? Mindfulness has deep roots in Hinduism and Buddhism, but its techniques can be practiced in everyday life while doing everyday things. You may have heard Thích Nhất Hạnh’s famous example about practicing mindfulness while doing the dishes? He says “while washing the dishes, one should only be washing the dishes”, which is the perfect summation for practicing mindfulness in general. It’s all about focusing completely on the task at hand. Why? Simply to stop your thoughts from snowballing, to keep you grounded and focused while you traverse a stressful landscape. This technique may sound simple, but you might be surprised at how effective it can be. 

Limit Media Consumption

While it may be tempting to stay on top of the news, it could very well be what’s bringing you down. It’s good to stay informed, but try limiting your consumption of news and media during this time. When you do tune in to the news, keep it only to informed sources, like Dr. Fauci and the NIH, and limit your consumption to twice a day. Try implementing this strategy by checking the news once in the morning and then again in the evening. Choose times that work for you, but do your best to only check during those times.

Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Now that many people are working remotely, the temptation to work longer hours may be stronger as it helps take your mind off things. However, your fun gauge will suffer, and with it, your mental wellbeing. Consider designating a specific area of your living space for work — preferably a separate room where you can close the door, cutting yourself off from the work world — and maintain a regular schedule. 

Have a solid beginning and cut-off time for work, reserving time in the evening for hobbies and activities to give your mind a break. Do a quick yoga session, cook your favorite dish, or watch a show you’ve been meaning to catch up on — anything that makes you feel happy and rejuvenated. 

Feeling disconnected from friends and family? Consider setting up a virtual activity — even if it’s just virtual dinner and/or drinks — one night in an effort to regain some normalcy and connection. 

We Are In This Together

While we’re not all in the same boat, we are all in this situation together. If you are struggling with this new normal, you are certainly not alone. Try practicing the above techniques and reach out to your support network. This network can include your co-workers and superior(s); don’t be afraid to reach out if you find yourself needing more professional support, whether that be about work flow, morale, or concerns about deadlines. It is all about teamwork now more than ever. 

Most importantly, remember that this situation will have an end and all you can do is your part, which includes taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing. 

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