A Barber Shop. A Lounge. A Group of Men. Cigars. Rum. Classic.

 Mastermind Connect members at Classic Man Barber Lounge

Mastermind Connect members at Classic Man Barber Lounge

A barber shop. A lounge. A group of men. Cigars. Rum. Classic.

Every time we meet in the East Village, NYC at Classic Man Barber Lounge, for our monthly MC Recess event, it brings to light how needed this brotherhood, this tribe that we’ve been building since late 2016 is. It's something that we've been all clamoring for, and now we got it.

When I say we, of course, I’m talking about the men who decided to become part of Mastermind Connect. The members of this gentlemen’s group of progressive men continue to strive and forge new ways to open up the doors to conversations of vulnerability, mental health, lending a hand to the next man, and changing the narrative. We understood that we are far from perfect and that we need help, but that we also have the power to ask for help, and to help shape the path for the upcoming generation. We are creating legacy, individually and collectively.

Mastermind-connect.jpg

I can tell you that I enjoy a good stogie, especially when I can wash it down with a nice glass of Banks Rum, as my good friend Stilo Pimentel has shown me, but the company… the company is what creates the experience, while the place sets the stage for unforgettable memories.

Sitting on that bench, right outside of the barber lounge, having deep conversations, laughing out loud, all while waiting for my turn to get my beard trimmed by artist/barber Frank Billini, creates a moment that is my version of quintessential #NYCSummer.

 Manny Almonte and Frank Billini

Manny Almonte and Frank Billini

The fact that people walking up and down the street would casually stop, curiously asking about us and the venue, and joining in our group’s conversations (this has happened every single time we do this event), is a testimony to the cool vibes we have, and sweet smell of the Dominican cigars we smoke from Hispaniola Cigars.

I look forward to this month’s MC Recess event. This time we will be celebrating Mastermind Connect’s founder Mike McConnell’s birthday. Come on, stop by and meet our members. You might end up having an enjoyable conversation, or a great haircut. Piece of cake!

 Tramaine Montell Ford

Tramaine Montell Ford