Newcomers and longtime residents can vouch that meeting new people in New York City can be almost as tough as finding an apartment. Sure, more than eight million New Yorkers float around the five boroughs, but they're probably overwhelmed and too busy trying to earn a living so they can continue to live in NYC. That said, if you're on task to establish a new circle of friends or even find that one best bud to hang out with every Friday night, here are some new ideas for how to make friends in NYC.
Check out NYC Meetup groups
Wondering how to meet new people with common interests? When you use Meetup, you have a chance to encounter New Yorkers with similar hobbies, such as photography, pasta-making, volleyball, or travel. Besides folks who have the same pastime or passion, groups of entrepreneurs, startups, as well as people from different ethnic groups schedule meetings on a regular basis. Learn a language or a new skill, train for a marathon, drink wine, connect with fellow writers, or network with other actors. You can find a group for almost every occupation and interest on meetup.com, so you'll surely meet some new and likeminded people.
Explore local happenings with Eventbrite events
Find fun, local events to attend (some are free, but many are not) where you can meet people in person; plus, you can see which events your friends are going to. Events include art openings, women's speed networking, food tastings, happy hours, and many others. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider organizing your own event and promoting it through Eventbrite. (Instead of going out to meet people, bring people to you.) You'll pay 2.5 percent of the ticket price plus 99 cents for each ticket sold back to Eventbrite.
Join a private social club in NYC
Although not for introverts or those who prefer lower key activities, private social clubs are another option for meeting people in New York City. Socialites can engage in dinners, cocktail parties, and host gatherings with co-workers, friends, and clients. The Players Club, National Arts Club, and the Union Club are some of the older, more traditional clubs, while SoHo House and Parlor NYC are a newer, more modern breed. No matter your choice, be prepared to pay up because joining a private club in NYC doesn't come cheap and getting accepted doesn't come easy. Get ready to impress and write a big fat check – initial fees to join plus memberships start at about $1,000 annually and go up from there.
Enroll in a class
You can learn to do just about anything in NYC and with learning comes exposure to new people. From tango classes to parkour to trapeze lessons (don't you want to know how to fly through the air?), classes in New York are as diverse as the people who live here. If you've dreamt of becoming an expert juggler or baking the perfect croissant, you'll find a class in the Big Apple. Check out Course Horse and Brooklyn Brainery for their offerings.
Get involved in NYC volunteer opportunities
Volunteering is a great way to build your spirits, get to know your community, and give back. Not only are you donating your time to help your local community, you're also putting yourself in a great position for making friends in NYC. Find a cause that you care about and start with one session. Chances are you'll return and might even volunteer with the same individuals, especially if you choose the same time slot each week. While you won't learn a skill or be entertained like some of the other options on this list, you will reap the benefits that go along with giving back to your community. There are tons of volunteer opportunities in NYC, so see what sparks your interest and pay it forward!
Join an NYC networking event
Networking groups host business events regularly, so find one that's a good fit for your line of work and social situation. For instance, there's New York's Professional Women's Network, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, an NYC Writers Network, and Out Professionals, an LGBT networking organization. Come across others who are looking to connect and meet new friends just like you. Besides providing the chance to meet someone new, a network could be helpful to your profession and advance your career as well.
Meet people at a gym near you
Yes, you can even meet new friends in your area at the gym. You might not be looking your best and brightest, but neither are most other people taking that spin class. Before your class, arrive early, or hang out at the juice bar afterward if you have time. You'll come across others who have a passion for staying physically fit, so gyms and yoga studios are ideal spots to meet new people. If you're not a gym person and would rather exercise outside, join New York Roadrunners and sign up for running groups and races. You could end up running so well and often that you'll be inspired to run a half marathon or the New York Marathon, one of the toughest courses and most prestigious races in the world.