Ways to make friends: Coworking spaces
Freelancers can make friends while meeting potential colleagues at these flexible pseudo-offices.
Wed Dec 5 2012
Even if you’re not the corporate type, it’s nice to have colleagues. Make friends with your fellow freelancers at one of these coworking spaces, where you can chat about things both straitlaced (New York’s best restaurants) and inappropriate (best sex toys)—just like the suits do.
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Bat Haus Coworking
Natalie Chan and Cody Sullivan opened this congenial spot earlier this year, after determining that there weren’t many places in the area that were serving the needs of freelancers. Fifty to sixty people use the 2,500-square-foot clubhouse each week, taking advantage of perks such as Wi-Fi, mail delivery and a shared kitchen. At least one collaboration, between a Web developer and a graphic designer, has been sparked among Bat Haus members. The venue also hosts events, including monthly Presentation Party Night lectures and a flea market on weekends. • batha.us. Unlimited membership $149/month, part-time membership $99/month, day pass $10.
- 279 Starr St between St. Nicholas and Wyckoff Aves, Bushwick, Brooklyn
New Work City
Founded in 2008, this Soho coworking space was among the first in NYC, and it’s now one of the biggest, with about 50 people using the venue each day. According to founder Tony Bacigalupo, the idea was to build a community where members are invested in connecting with one another. “Honestly, the best community-building tool we have is our small coffeepot,” he explains. “When people get away from their computer screens to make a pot of coffee, they inevitably bump into new people and start talking.” Members enjoy perks such as meeting rooms, a mailing address and access to an online forum. • 212-226-1585, nwc.co. Unlimited membership $300/month, part-time membership $100/month, community membership $30/month, day pass $30.
- 412 Broadway at Canal St
This early-morning networking group was started by tech entrepreneurs Piers Fawkes and Noah Brier more than five years ago, and has since spawned more than 30 offshoots around the world. The idea is simple: Participants show up and make connections over a cup of coffee. “We’re not a ‘just come here to exchange business cards’ kind of group,” explains Alisha Miranda, who cofounded Brooklyn’s Likemind group in May. “We’re more about meeting friendly people and exchanging interests or ideas.” There are currently two NYC groups, both meeting on the third Friday of each month: Likemind Brooklyn, whose members gather at Hungry Ghost (253 Flatbush Ave at Sixth Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn), and the original Likemind, which meets at ’sNice (45 Eighth Ave at 4th St). • Visit likemind.us for details.
“People who show up often have connections or, at the very least, shared interests. People don't expect anything and therefore leave pleasantly content.”—Jen Bokoff, 26, program associate; Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
- Critics choice
Since it opened in 2010, the Brainery has acted as a hub for folks who want to sate their curiosity about food, history, or any number of quirky topics. Small class sizes make it easy to chat with other attendees, and more hands-on workshops encourage interaction among participants. This winter, the Brainery will open a new classroom in Prospect Heights that will also function as a coworking space, further helping nerdy types meet and mingle. • brooklynbrainery.com. New space opening TBA.
- 515 Court St, (at 9th St)
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