Ways to make friends: Classes
Everyone loves having smart, talented pals. Learn a new skill—or hone an old one—while you make friends at these workshops and seminars.
Wed Dec 5 2012
Cultivate an interest and make friends in one fell swoop by enrolling in one of these classes or seminars. You can experiment with soap making, or craft your own beer while chatting up curious souls with shared interests.
RECOMMENDED: 50 ways to make friends in NYC
BYOB Painting Workshop at the Painting Lounge
Rub elbows with other budding Picassos at this booze-fueled art lesson, where you’ll re-create a masterpiece. Each session focuses on a famous work by Van Gogh, Monet or another legend. Teachers go through the brushwork step-by-step, so no need to stress if you’re not Da Vinci. Participants are encouraged to bring their own beverage to get creative juices—and conversation—flowing. • paintinglounge.com. Schedule varies; $50–$65.
- 438 Union Ave between Metropolitan Ave and Devoe St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Brewshop 101 at Bitter & Esters
Learn to make your own craft beer at this two-hour workshop. Instructors will teach you about malt, hops, yeast and styles, then you can chat with classmates and sample a few pints for inspiration before starting on your own creation. The intro course is a one-session deal, so make the most of the preclass socializing time. • bitterandesters.com. Schedule varies; single class $55.
- 700 Washington Ave, (between Prospect Pl and St. Marks Ave), 11238
Intro classes at Fluent City
This company offers electives in ten languages (including French, Spanish and Arabic), and the 15-person classes ensure everyone gets personal attention. There’s significant focus on partner work, and Fluent City also organizes events outside of class and occasional trips abroad. • fluentcity.com. Manhattan locations and schedules vary; $315–$355.
“People I’ve met are open to new things and curious. It’s easy to maintain friendships, because you have mutual acquaintances and things to talk about.”—Julia Schweizer, 24,event manager, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- 143 Skillman Ave between Graham and Manhattan Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Improv 101 at UCB Training Center
Find your new sounding board with UCB’s introductory improvisation course. The three-hour, eight-week classes are capped at 16 students, breaking the ice with a slew of get-to-know-you exercises. Once you’re past the name game, you’ll jump into building comedic scenes on the spot, culminating in a one-hour graduation performance. If you’re too Method to chat people up in session, you can meet friends in smaller practice groups outside class or invite a buddy to check out one of UCB’s cheap, hilarious nightly shows. • 212-366-9176, ucbtrainingcenter.com. Schedule varies; one eight-week session $400.
- 145 W 30th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves
Music Writing Book Group at WORD bookstore
More of a curated book club than a straightforward seminar, this monthly gathering is great for meeting scholars of music and the written word. Leaders Tobias Carroll and Daphne Carr are experienced music writers and editors: Carr edits the Best Music Writing series and Carroll is the managing editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn. They head discussions about all manner of tomes; recent selections include Margo Jefferson’s On Michael Jackson and Throbbing Gristle’s Twenty Jazz Funk Greats by Drew Daniel. Free to attend, the group’s small size (five to 12 members a month) makes it easy to connect with other audiophiles over topics like the history of disco. • 718-383-0096, wordbrooklyn.com. Meets the second Saturday of every month, 3pm; free.
“I didn’t know anybody going in. Everyone there was totally friendly and glad to geek out about music with a new person. The group definitely doesn’t have a big-scale fun/chaotic friend-making vibe of something like a BYOB cooking class, but I think for dorkier, quieter kind of meeting people it’s been wonderful. Also, the book selections are awesome.”—Dave Koenig, 27, musician, Greenpoint
- 126 Franklin St, (at Milton St)
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Ways to make friends
Ways to make friends: Classes
Ways to make friends: Cultural groups
Ways to make friends: Coworking spaces
Ways to make friends: Sports leagues
Ways to make friends: Volunteer projects
Ways to make friends: Offbeat events
Ways to make friends: Hobby groups
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