Where to meet nice NYC people?
February 12, 2008 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Please help me meet good people in NYC!

I've recently realized that I don't really have the close friends that I'd like to have in my life. The friends that I do have are all pretty much wrapped up in their own lives and I don't feel that I can count on them when I really need them.

I'm a female in my mid-20's, have been living in NYC for several years, and find it difficult to meet new people. I'm in a committed relationship and would love to find a close friend outside of my romantic partner. He has plenty of people to blow off steam with, but I do not.

I'm not opposed to taking classes, but I don't have tons of money to pay for such things. I'm also pretty tired of the bar scene, so going to parties doesn't really appeal to me either. I would enjoy having someone to workout with, drink tea with, or have a meal with. Nothing fancy, no shopping marathons, just a buddy that I can talk to.

I think the problem I've had with meeting people is that there are too many outside gimmicks. I'm not looking for a person to perform some specific activity with like getting our nails done, just a good person who wants to meet another good person.

My friends tend to use me as a therapist and I'm completely willing to be there as a loyal listener, but it would be nice to have that be a mutual thing. Any suggestions on how to meet these phantom friends? Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
meetin.org?
posted by waylaid at 9:08 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


meetup.com?
posted by de void at 9:14 AM on February 12, 2008


You just missed the last NY MeFi meetup! Don't miss the next one!
posted by caitlinb at 9:39 AM on February 12, 2008


I've been in NYC for almost a year and am in exactly the same situation. You can send me a message.
posted by defreckled at 10:00 AM on February 12, 2008


I sometimes, not always, but sometimes feel like I'm in a similar boat, yet I think the answer has to be more specific than the question allows. I'm into class struggle and revolution so I go out and help at the indypendent (indypendent.org) sometimes. I know not everyone there will be my new best friend, but there are enough smart and funny people in the room to make it a good time.
Is there anything you want to do? If so, see if there is a large enough group doing work around it. Chances are, you will meet twenty people that are fine to spend time with on something you want to do and one or two that you'd like to go work out, drink tea, and avoid shopping marathons with.
good luck.
posted by history is a weapon at 10:09 AM on February 12, 2008


Well, the trick to meeting people in NYC is, of course, that you do have to meet them at some venue, since everybody goes out all the time to get out of their little apartments. So, think about what you have in common with a hypothetical group of people, and go find some of those people. A percentage of those people, once you meet them, will be candidates for good friendship.

A MeFi meetup is a good example: people who like to share neat things and have mostly-intelligent conversations about those things. MeFi people are fairly tolerant of differences of opinion, too, and in fact enjoy the variety that those opinions create.

I think the key is to cast your net wide, since you won't connect with everyone you meet, and not to go grasping for "meaningful-ness" right away, because that turns many guarded New Yorkers off. It takes effort, especially if you're not good at putting yourself "out there", and some good luck. If you feel like you're not getting reciprocal treatment from your current friends, spend more of your energy on meeting new people versus tending to them.

Send me a MeFi mail if you like with more info about the kinds of things that you're interested in, and maybe I can help. Take it from me, someone who was very lonely among 8 million for a long time: there are lots of really nice, fun people here, but it's challenging at first to find them.
posted by dammitjim at 10:09 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have met many good people volunteering. Idealist is a great place to start.
posted by anthropoid at 11:43 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm in a sort of similar situation, although it's improved a lot over the last year or so- my problem was that I don't tend to like the sort of people who join clubs, so joining clubs wasn't really an option. Memail me if you like-
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:29 PM on February 12, 2008


Have you tried yelp.com? It's an online community devouted to reviewing bars, restaurants, dry cleaners, etc. Most of the community is all about being in their mid-20s and they have get togethers and events all the time. Plus, with an active events page, you can find fun things to do.

And yeah, come to meetups. We might appear insular but we're really not - we're a large rotating cast of individuals who love meeting new people.
posted by Stynxno at 12:45 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


We went to a Yelp meetup once and the people were so friendly, I felt like I was at some sort of cult gathering.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:39 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


By which I mean, you should go! Lots of very friendly folks dying to meet people!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I recommend going on a bike ride with one or both of NYC's recreational bicycling clubs. The NYCC and the 5BBC are two organizations in which you can A. meet people, B. get exercise, and C. travel, under your own steam, to new places in and around the city. The rides are free and you don't have to be a club member (though membership is around 20 clams a year), and generally all the money you need for any ride is to buy yourself lunch. The only requirements are that you have a bike and be in minimal physical shape--and if you say you can't ride X number of miles, believe me, you get with a group and start chatting, and the miles just fly by. There are rides for everyone from absolute beginner to geeked-out bike dork, lycra and all.

I was in a similar boat when I first moved to the city, and was casting around for something to do. Bike riding filled a few niches in my life. It's expanded my confidence, I've seen a lot of the city, I've made a lot of good friends, as well as met my husband. It's true: the men to women ratio is really in women's favor, that is, if you're looking to meet any potential dating partners.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:41 PM on February 12, 2008


I second volunteering as a great way to meet new people. Try onebrick.org There's a chapter in NYC and there's always a social after the volunteer activity.
posted by bananafish at 4:43 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm going to second computech's suggestion above - 5BBC lists there rides online, so you can show up, ride a few times before deciding if you want to join. You will probably meet a person or two to start biking with on your own (I did).

Another club is Apalachian Mountain Club (costs for the year, but very affordable) - they go hiking, biking, canoeing, even out to walk around the city.

Finally, you can post a craigslist ad in the activities section. I found a few people to bike with that way. Another friend wrote something along the lines of your description above (e.g., want to meet other friends to XYZZY). You can be specific and post whatever you want (e.g, workout buddy or small group of women in their 20s who want to eat an 1 new place/month - cheap). I guarantee you will have people reply.

Also try googling for a club and your particular interest - in a city this size, every type of club exists.

Good luck.
posted by Wolfster at 7:48 PM on February 12, 2008


Are you at all religious?

Because my church absolutely solved this problem for me and I have simply no idea how people w/o a casual environment where the focus isn't on the other people there actually make real, lasting friendships. I mean, I guess I've done it with a few work friends, and people I've met in other venues, but it really just comes with the territory at church.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:03 PM on February 12, 2008


*my church of 5 years in NYC, I mean.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:03 PM on February 12, 2008


I've found a lot of friends in the Unitarian church, actually. All Souls has a great youth group that very inclusive, and open to every religious background (or no religious background). That doesn't mean just liberal folks, I know a few evangelicals who really like it there.

This is the facebook group that announces the All Souls First Sunday brunches. They are on the first Sunday of the month and a lot of people enjoy them. The church also does stuff like yoga and a soup kitchen. If you want more details, mefi mail me and I will hook you up. Or I can give you my name and info so that you will see a familiar face, or if it's an event I don't attend, I can give you the contact info of someone who does.

I also enjoyed the Lunch Club (I'm too busy now to go regularly). There are a lot of nice people there, if you keep an open mind and go to multiple events you will certainly make friends--it is not a younger-and-hipper-than-thou group, it is very diverse. Jared is a cool guy but a little tetchy--don't take it personally. Upon moving back to the city, I made my first friends from that club.

Oh, and if you want to hang out, mefi mail me. I'm sure I'll know some event or group that we could enjoy together in a friendly way. I don't do bowling or live music, but my partner does.

Good luck!
posted by sondrialiac at 2:07 PM on February 14, 2008


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