Finding your people in SF
October 13, 2012 6:47 PM   Subscribe

Just moved to SF. What can I do to meet like-minded people and make friends around here?

Well, uh, like the title says, I just moved to San Francisco -- Cole Valley, to be specific. I don't really know anyone in the city and have loads of free time thanks to my job. As a result I'm admittedly feeling a bit lonely at the moment and prove me wrong, but most people around here don't seem that warm compared to LA, where I moved up here from. How does a single 24-year-old guy find his bearings and (for the lack of a better turn of phrase) "his people" around here?

Things I like (or would like) to do or get involved with:
• hiking and generally being outside
• sitting in coffee shops and reading the afternoon away
• playing board games (e.g. Settlers of Catan, etc.) but I'm not really very good at them (nor am I your stereotypical board-gamer, if that counts for anything)
• I'd like to get into sailing, and while I had my sights set on OCSC in Berkeley, I'm wondering if there'd be any options that are just as good but in the city
• I'd also like to get into volunteering, maybe at an animal shelter somewhere in the city. I've also thought about tutoring underprivileged kids in math or something like that, but I'd have no idea where to even start on there.
• ... I'm open to pretty much anything!

Things I'm not really a fan of:
• loud places, like bars or clubs or live music shows, unless I'm with people I know pretty well, as I'm kinda hard of hearing

With these things in mind, are there specific meetup groups or clubs or scheduled activities that I should seek out? Also, any tips on finding dates in my age range would be helpful too -- is OKC the way to go around here? Anyway, with that said, do your worst, Green! TIA.
posted by un petit cadeau to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Check out OneBrick for volunteering events that combine socialization into the event (though I guess they might be loud): OneBrick.
posted by wintersweet at 7:12 PM on October 13, 2012

Best answer: The SPCA (a no kill facility) and Pets Unlimited have active volunteer programs. 826 Valencia is Dave Eggers tutoring program. You can also check with the school closest to you, many have volunteer programs. There is a windsurfing program at Boardsports on Clay. Google SF hiking clubs, there are a few including the Sierra Club. Gamescape on Divisadero might be a good place for info about gaming as well as craigslist.

Also, get a dog. Check out

Take a look at the Commonwealth Club; they have great programs and are always looking for volunteers. They have programs target to younger people (in addition to the normal writer/politician/corporate stuff that can attract older members). I used to volunteer with them and saw some really cool people for free. Even the programs that I wasn't interested in turn out to be informative and they have a number of member-led forums that provide programs around certain interests/topics.
posted by shoesietart at 7:47 PM on October 13, 2012

Best answer: Do keep an eye out for MeFi meetups (or, y'know, suggest one yourself and provide an excuse for folks to get out and be sociable) — you sound congenial, very much the sort of person PirateBartenderZombieMonkey and I would enjoy meeting (and so, by projection, so would a number of other Bay Area MeFites).
posted by Lexica at 8:59 PM on October 13, 2012

Best answer: I like going to internet meetups in new cities. I'd summon up a Metafilter meetup, look for Flickr photowalks, join /r/sanfrancisco and watch for events (they have a similar thread happening right now actually), and go to Wikipedia events (there's one on Tuesday). I would have gone to TEDxSOMA today because a website I use sent out an email about it, I would have gone to the Findery open house a few days ago, etc. I actually miss this part of living in SF - there's always something fun happening related to stuff I use online. A lot of those events are organized via

When I lived in SF, I wanted to sign up for art classes at the Center for the Book and Sharon Art Studio. The scheduling didn't work out for me, but it might for you.

If I were single and in SF, I'd be on OKC, and I'm in your age range, so yes, I think that's right.
posted by dreamyshade at 9:26 PM on October 13, 2012 is good for meeting people in group events: movies, dinners, music, gaming, and such. Don't be shy - I went to a gaming meetup and was new to both the games played. There was always someone there to explain the rules (no doubt groups vary, try a few).
posted by zippy at 10:48 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: ... but Metafilter is better. Propose a meetup or come to one. We promise not to put you through the spank tunnel until your second SF meetup.
posted by zippy at 10:49 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: But zippy, the spank tunnel is the best part! But seriously, we're a super meetup-intensive group around here, and everyone is awesome. We do a lot of "bar and burrito" meetups, but are always open for other, quieter afternoon-type gatherings, too. In warm weather, we are major picnic enthusiasts. Oh, also! If you're a Twitter type, there's a whole passel of Bay Area kids on there, too.
posted by mostlymartha at 11:00 PM on October 13, 2012

Best answer: A friend likes this game night in the Mission which is generally BART and Muni accessible.

The city shelter takes volunteers and is pretty flexible on hours. For cats you go to one or two orientations and get an ID and then you can come in and play with them during shelter operation hours which are longer than public hours.

Not sure of it would be your thing but Burning Man and related arts groups are frequently looking for volunteers. The arts groups don't require special skills and teach their volunteers how to do stuff and Burning man has a bunch of volunteer work in SF.

All the people I know who are dating online are using OKC.
posted by oneear at 12:46 AM on October 14, 2012

Best answer: Didn't you come to an SF meetup a while ago? They aren't always that loud--you could certainly suggest a hiking meetup, or a putzing around the ferry building farmers market if that's more your speed. There's a forthcoming Halloween party, too. You should come! We're nice!
posted by chatongriffes at 7:12 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much, guys! Looks like I have a whole bunch of activities to check out. And, yeah, I've been to a Mefi meetup or two, and while they're fun, they were kind of overwhelming for me as they took place in too-loud settings and everybody seemed to be already acquainted with everybody else, save for little old me. Maybe the next one'll be different!
posted by un petit cadeau at 2:05 PM on October 15, 2012

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