August 1st, 2020 started like most others. It was a typically hot summer day in Austin, TX and I was enjoying the cool air-conditioned comfort of my home office, perusing the latest decentralized applications (dApps) on stateofthedapps.com. A fun-looking “Spotlight” dApp caught my attention: Upland, Play. Earn. Connect. I click on it and as I begin to learn more about the dApp I notice the “Get it on Google Play” icon. “Wow! A dApp that’s gone mobile?!”, I think to myself. To this point, most dApps I had seen were overwhelmingly bad in terms of graphics and user interface, and the playability was severely lacking. Upland was different. I was instantly attracted to the colorful map, easy-to-understand tutorial, and was very interested in the concept despite having little to no experience in the real-estate market. I decided that I would go ahead and reserve my username, TDavis, with a $20 deposit. Unbeknownst to me, this would be the beginning of an incredible journey.
As I completed my first few property purchases with my initial 20,000 UPX (the in-game currency), I begin to look for what I considered to be hidden gems in the San Francisco area. A Google search for “famous San Francisco addresses” yielded me very disappointing in-game results. “Damn, Janis Joplin’s home is owned… MAN! So is the home from Full House... HOW IN THE WORLD DID SOMEONE KNOW TO BUY JOE DIMAGGIO'S CHILDHOOD HOME?!?!”. To me, despite the game being in Open Beta, it appeared that I was very late to the party. Nevertheless, I carried on, and over the next few weeks begin to learn the basics of Collections, neighborhood initiatives, and the other parameters that make Upland properties desirable. The extreme amount of luck and/or fortune needed to secure a world famous address or landmark property is not to be misconstrued. These have always been, and always will be, the first to be purchased. As I now am well aware.
Alas, a new city is ready to release. A big city. Arguably the biggest. Upland announced that Manhattan would be unlocked for minting on August, 20th. FINALLY! I would get the opportunity to buy a famous property! Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be unfettered access to all of NYC as Manhattan was released in “bubbles”, meaning only select neighborhoods and zones would be available. Regardless, this would be my chance to get my choice of properties. The first area available in Upland NYC was, “The Lower East Side Bubble”. This bubble included the neighborhood known as Little Italy. An area I was very familiar with from my high school years growing up in South Jersey. The crown jewel of this neighborhood to me, a huge fan of mafia lore, was 247 Mulberry Street. John Gotti’s social club, The Ravenite. This was the first property I purchased in New York City, Upland, on August 20th.
It was the first, but not the last. Not even close. I used a blog article titled, “Little Italy Mafia Walking Tour” as my personal checklist. Buying up every property in my price range (I believe I was able to secure 6 of 10) from the blog article, and a couple dozen other Little Italy “gems” (see: Tristan Eaton Audrey Hepburn Mural). This buying frenzy I went on in Little Italy was the culmination of several weeks of absorbing information about how neighborhood initiatives in Upland organized. How they were led by an unofficial “mayor”, and how to be nominated for such a role. To be considered for such a prestigious Upland Community recognition, you needed to own a large percentage of that neighborhood, have direction and vision for the future of the neighborhood, and get community buy-in. This was the goal I set out to achieve, and on September 15th, 2020 it became a reality. Huge thank you to my friend, Recourier.
On December 18th, 2020, Upland announced that Little Italy would be the first revealed Collection in NYC. It would also be the first (and currently only) 2 property Exclusive Collection. It has a 2x Multiplier, and a 9,500 UPX one-time reward bonus.
The intent of this article is not to brag on all that the UplandLI initiative is, nor to make comparisons with other neighborhoods. It was written to give perspective, and a reference point for all future Uplanders. Oftentimes in the Upland Discord community, comments are made like the ones I made early on in my Upland career, and I can certainly empathize with new users who feel like they do not have opportunity in the game. The same feeling of “no good properties” being left is repeated time and time again. The UplandLI initiative stands as a shining example of “making your own value”. Despite the fact that Little Italy was finally revealed to be a Collection neighborhood, it had already maintained a consistent 200% resale floor. That mark has since shot way past 500%, and has rarely ever fallen below. None of this would have been possible, had I never put in an effort to “pump” it. As rudimentary a technique as this is, you would be surprised how little we see it. There are dozens of unoccupied, unclaimed neighborhoods in all three Upland cities.
Who will be the next to step up, and who will be right there to support them?