FLAMER Celebrates 4/20 With Annual NYC Park Picnic

FLAMER Celebrates 4/20 With Annual NYC Park Picnic

Story by Kobi Naseck / Photography by Matías Alvial
Apr 24, 2024

Last weekend, marijuana lovers around the world celebrated 4/20, the official unofficial stoner holiday. Just three years out from legalization, celebrating the holiday in public is still new for most New Yorkers, and for a few hundred of the city's most wholesome queers, FLAMER’s annual picnic in Prospect Park was the place to be.

Recently named "NY's hottest queer weed brand," FLAMER is a collective of artists, creatives and innovators brought together by New York's best cannabis. Since its inception in 2021, the company has hosted a picnic to welcome the spring with flowers and flower. Company muse Hazyl feels a deep connection to the holiday, which for them is all about freedom of expression.

“You can kinda tell from top to bottom, from the farmers to the CEO, that pretty much everyone’s queer, because everything is done with such style. Queer people have a mark they make that’s very apparent. There’s something extra. We’re a little extra,” they tell PAPER.

In addition to the high-quality bud in FLAMER’s signature red rolling papers being passed around, the picnic offered attendees a range of activities that perfectly mirrored the peaceful, euphoric and grounded mood of the crowd. Weed Auntie and harpist Aviva Jaye led the meadow in a guided meditation just before 4:20 PM, inviting picnickers to take collective breaths, lead with love, and reflect on conscious consumption. Eric Mosley followed, leading a yoga session that had everyone smiling. Participants who wanted to be less active enjoyed a nonverbal arts and crafts space facilitated by Chala June and Ariel Friedlander, while others received tarot readings from Rob Truglia of The Pasta Tarot. MFNY provided dabs and gummies for all.

Cornell-educated food scientist and weed entrepreneur Breanna Neff of Brelixi set up shop next to the heavily trafficked “munchies station,” sharing her highdrating THC and CBD elderberry-hibiscus and yuzu-turmeric drink mixes. “I fell in love with cannabis as a functional ingredient, and I always wanted to find a way to integrate it more into our daily lives. When I discovered a water-soluble powder, it inspired me to make Brelixi,” she tells PAPER. “I like to be a functional stoner,” says Neff, dressed in what one attendee grabbing their free sample described as a “Dune-inspired glitter outfit.”

The picnic, which lasted until the sun set on a balmy Saturday afternoon, was a far cry from many of the commercial and ticketed 4/20 events that have popped up to celebrate the once-illegal holiday. It’s clear that a new, queer smoking culture in New York is striving to reclaim a sense of community in the legalized era — though the event was not without fanfare. RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 winner and All Star Yvie Oddly dropped by for a visit and a pre-roll with New York Dispensary, The Travel Agency.

“So much of socializing happens over alcohol in nightlife,” says FLAMER co-founder Matías Alvial, showing off a freshly bedazzled lighter. “I want to reimagine events that prioritize an environment conducive to good friendship and self-care.”

Photography: Matías Alvial