Whether you’re fresh off the boat or a New York City native, loneliness has a funny way of creeping up on us even amongst millions of our closest friends. You’d be surprised how people that share tables with strangers in cramped East Village eateries and residents who squeeze between each other on crowded subway rides to Midtown on Monday mornings can feel that twinge of isolation, but it happens to the best of us.
Perhaps your group of friends have slowly moved to the ‘burbs of New Jersey, leaving you fighting the Manhattan fight alone, or you just moved here filled with the hopes and dreams of big city living. Regardless, we all want to make some new friends now and again, but the sheer number of people and options for friends can be overwhelming. Plus, there’s that whole “unfriendly New Yorkers” thing we’ve got going on.
So, how does one make friends in NYC?
When You’re Looking for Sporty Friends that Really Aren’t that Sporty
For those that aren’t athletically inclined, it can be intimidating to join a sports team. That’s where kickball comes in. Remember? That game you played in 6th grade P.E. class? If 6th grade you could do it, 20- or 30-something you can do it. Working as a team, and post-game drinks, offers the perfect environment for making a friendly connection.
When You’re Looking for Foodie Friends
Is your idea of athleticism cracking open a good snow crab? No judgement here. Finding some like-minded foodie friends is easy with dining clubs and events popping up all over the city. Join a group like Tasting Collective and enjoy access to private chef-led group dining experiences at top restaurants across Manhattan and Brooklyn. After all, no one should eat alone!
When You’re Looking for Friends to Drink With
While fancy dinners might not be your thing, there’s no need to crash a stranger’s happy hour shindig when you can join a bar games league. Yes, you heard us right… that’s not the beer talking. Bond with some new peeps over your shared strategy for the perfect beer pong shot, or the lost art of flip cup. Maybe you’ll even meet some friends to grab drinks with after… or, during?
When You’re Looking for Friends Who Always Have Their Nose in a Book
Sure, it seems cliché but joining a book club is a great way to make friends in NYC. You may think it’s tough to meet friends if you’re reading all the time but book club meetings are usually small and in more intimate settings. They are also jam packed with conversation so it will be easy to get to know people much more quickly. Cracking a good book isn’t just for loaners anymore!
Get a Job Instead!
We’re not saying to give up your search for new friends in NYC, but in a city full of creatives, entrepreneurs and remote workers, it may be that working alone is making it difficult for you to meet a new gang. Many people find that work is the easiest place to meet your lifelong friends since you’re stuck with them for most of your waking hours. If you don’t have the luxury of an office job to meet new people, get a part time job at a place you love. That coffee shop you love to bring your laptop to? Start serving up some lattes there and really get to know the staff. Do you have a passion for plants? Spend some time working at a botanical garden or flower shop and meet like-minded botanists. Whatever your passion, working it for a little extra green (no pun intended for the plant-lovers here) is an easy way to fill your wallet and your social calendar.
The city can be an intimidating place, but with a little effort and courage you’ll have some friends in no time. In a city that is full of millions of people coming and going, we know there are cool people like you out there looking for a new bud, too! Go find them!