Hmmmm. I might just join a club. Even if it would have me as a member.
June 16, 2007 6:53 PM   Subscribe

May I pick your brain for a moment? Yeah, thanks. See, I'm thinking I want to join some clubs or groups or organizations in the Bay area to inspire myself as well as to meet more creative, vibrant, funny, smart, interesting people my age. Tell me, what does the Bay area offer that might really enrich my life here that I might not know about?

I'm back to working at home right now which is way too solitary. My language classes have helped me to realize that it's definitely about time I get more deeply involved in the community here, that I should expand my horizons and meet more cool peers. Preferably active people who are youthful & energetic about life (living on the Peninsula, I'm currently surrounded by soccer moms who act like 30-40 is a hundred freaking years old, and I just can't allow myself to relate to that. Sorry. Nuh uh.).

If there are groups for people really into world travel, design or culture that would be cool too. Also wouldn't mind taking a digital photography class. Basically I'm open to all suggestions, including good places for fun events, workshops, high quality classes or lectures, music, writing courses, volunteer organizations... even quirky stuff is ok. I'm basically just open to hearing about anything interesting you've found that you've had good experiences with & enjoyed. Anything kickass stuff you can recommend? (No computer clubs please. I spend WAY too much time behind this damnable thing already.)

Big bonus points if there happen to be tall, dark, handsome, non-crazy, unattached & heterosexual men (with an attraction to me) present in said groups. ;)
posted by miss lynnster to Society & Culture (25 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I've heard great things about One Brick although I haven't volunteered with them myself (yet).

The gist is that they're a volunteer organization for people who are social and relatively non-committal. That is, their calendar of events is online, and you sign up for one day of volunteering at a time, then just show up and help out. After the event, everyone who wants to goes out for a beer.
posted by nadise at 7:12 PM on June 16, 2007

The XY group at Meetup seems to do interesting things, but the people themselves are kind of vapid. I'd avoid everything else at meetup like you'd avoid a tossed cat.

/will lurk and observe all answers but will then not actually do anything about them
posted by OrangeDrink at 7:13 PM on June 16, 2007

Response by poster: Okay, you guys are cracking me up. So this post has already been beneficial to me.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:16 PM on June 16, 2007

There's the Community music center, which provides reasonably low-cost music lessons. The summer session starts in a few weeks. You might still have time to sign up if you act fast. There's some group classes, but it's not a club, obviously, so it may be less social than you're looking for.
posted by beerbajay at 7:34 PM on June 16, 2007

Response by poster: No, classes are cool too. I don't know if club was the right word really. I'm just trying to find communities in the city that are interesting and that I might want to be a part of, really.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:52 PM on June 16, 2007

Save The Bay has a really fun group of volunteers if you're into outdoorsy stuff and would like to hook up with local sea kayakers etc. Sometimes you get to go places that are off limits to the public, which is cool.
posted by fshgrl at 7:52 PM on June 16, 2007

REI sponsors outdoors events that are fun to go on.
Yoga Fitness is a great studio - I really recommend Linda as an instructor.
I didn't find any good volunteer organizations that met my needs and interests while I lived there.
posted by plinth at 9:39 PM on June 16, 2007

Not Bay-specific, but what about a biking club? Not like racing, but maybe more community focused. This is on my mind because I'll probably be volunteering with our local organization that administers building the bike paths around town. I'll be helping with the website and whatever else my talents can do, but I am doing it as much for the social connections as anything.

Good luck.
posted by The Deej at 11:18 PM on June 16, 2007

One Brick looks awesome- I'm going to check it out too.
City College has a whole bunch of free non-credit classes... I got their course calendar in the mail and have been daydreaming about all the classes I want to sign up for.

Every Sunday night in the Mission is Classical Revolution Night at Cafe Revolution (22nd St btwn Valencia and Mission). 8-10 PM, free admission, and it's just a bunch of freelancers/professional musicians/conservatory students who get together and play great music in a relaxed environment (while enjoying a beer or three). It has gotten VERY popular in recent months. (I'll be playing there tomorrow night....)
posted by purplefiber at 1:00 AM on June 17, 2007

Several volunteer organizations that are very important to me and I wholeheartedly recommend:
  • If you like to swing a hammer and such, you can't go wrong with Habitat for Humanity (SF, Peninsula). Definitely fits the criterion of active, energetic people.
  • If you like kids, there are loads of tutoring/mentoring volunteer gigs all over the Bay Area -- in particular, 826 Valencia in SF is awesome (they have a pirate store!) -- and there are generally plenty of interesting grownups there with you.
  • If you have the most minimal medical training (CPR cert) you can join the incredibly fun bunch of people at RockMedicine in various concert venues around the Bay Area (with the added perk that you get to be at shows for free).
Lots of cool folks to meet... at Habitat, it'll be mostly different people from day to day; at the other two, volunteers tend to be more ongoing so there's the chance to get to know people if you keep at it.
posted by night kitchen at 1:07 AM on June 17, 2007

Oh and The Deej's comment just reminded me of SF Bicycle Coalition's monthly night rides (which definitely lean more toward being fun social gatherings than heavy-duty rides).
posted by night kitchen at 1:28 AM on June 17, 2007

Improv. Will use your brain. Take a class, then join a group.
posted by amtho at 5:36 AM on June 17, 2007

If you're so inclined, you might enjoy joining a drinking club with a running problem. A list of California chapters appears here.
posted by harmfulray at 7:27 AM on June 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Went to a meetup in NYC the other day- very cool group, very friendly. They have a San Fran community; check it out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:01 AM on June 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you are okay with East Bay, CHAOS is a hiking/camping club with a great assortment of fun and interesting people. It's run out of UC-Berkeley, but has many community members (it's not just students). Their gourmet camp-out at Point Reyes is a great way to meet many members of the club.
posted by Eringatang at 10:55 AM on June 17, 2007

Well there's always Burning Man. Everything's revving up for this year's burn and there's a huge, fun, creative, crazy, passionate, progressive community in the Bay Area. It's become a year-round thing for lots of people with parties, camp-building, art project development, crafting, etc stuff going on all year around here. I swear, it's not all drugs and nudity!

How about any of the younger "friends" groups attached to the local museums. Both the deYoung and SFMOMA have them.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:17 AM on June 17, 2007

Following up on harmfulray's suggestion, bananafish and I occasionally hash with svh3. We could make it an micro-metafilter-meetup, but with more dirty songs :)
posted by jewzilla at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2007

I'd never heard of 3H. I think this is something worth investigating. (The Muir Woods Hash looks particularly awesome)
posted by OrangeDrink at 12:07 PM on June 17, 2007

There are sooo many nonprofits with pretty cool volunteer opportunities. What's your inclinations along that line? (I may or may not have any suggestions, depending...)

Off the top of my head: A friend of mine volunteers at the Berkeley Free Clinic, and their volunteers are all really cool people because you have to be to make it through their intensive training process. But that's medicine-related, so ... I guess if you knew exactly the kind of volunteering or nonprofits that would interest you, you'd already be there, :) but even a few more keywords would potentially help.
posted by salvia at 2:32 PM on June 17, 2007

Tuesday is a local drawing event at Minna Gallery. My roommate drank beers and drew pictures of Taye Diggs, but if you were social it could be fun.
posted by OrangeDrink at 11:20 PM on June 17, 2007

Imagine the type of club you want to join and then start it yourself. The Bay Area seems to work that way, that is the start-up culture culture of Silicon Valley affects the social scene as well.
posted by vacapinta at 5:14 AM on June 18, 2007

Roller derby. Seriously. Strong, smart, funny, active, friendly women in abundance (and some men too!), great exercise, and most leagues do some community/charity work too. I love it.
posted by corvine at 5:50 AM on June 18, 2007

not really a club, but this looks like fun

also, Root Division has fun, casual art classes (i took one but it was all women so not necessary great for meeting men). they also have artsy events.
posted by hazel at 1:27 PM on June 18, 2007

Response by poster: This AskMe was well spent, thank you all! So many great ideas here that I can't select a favorite! :D
posted by miss lynnster at 7:35 PM on June 19, 2007

For events, I'd check out Upcoming, Squidlist, & Tribe, which I think is still popular amongst Burners.

For work isolation: If you're mobile, you might consider sharing a coworking space. Some places offer daily & monthly rents.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:58 PM on June 29, 2007

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