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The 10 friends you make in New York City

From the local bar friend to the workout buddy. Which ones do you have?

Written by
Kristen Perrone

Although there may be no other city that’s more ideal for solo adventures than New York, living here can be lonely if you don’t have people who will both tag along with your grand escapades and encourage you to leave your comfort zone. Making friends as an adult is tough, but luckily, New York’s everyday scenarios can help you form connections a little easier.

Here are the types of friends you make in New York City with a little luck and happenstance.

1. The fitness friend

Settling into a regular fitness routine at the same gym or studio will guarantee that you see the same faces several times a week. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to exercise, but knowing the guy who’s always on the treadmill or the Pilates instructor whose classes you’re addicted is the ideal motivation to do it. A healthy dose of dopamine is a key ingredient in helping sweaty strangers bond.

2. The local bar friend

If you’re more extroverted, chatting up the regulars at your go-to neighborhood bar or pub is second nature to you. Once you’ve become friendly with the bartenders, get comfortable in a prime seat and keep an eye out for the customers who are pals with the people behind the bar. Unlike other New York tropes perpetuated by TV shows, forming your own little gang at the local bar is totally possible.

3. The “mutual friend” friend

This is the person that your mom or your college roommate connects you with when you first move to New York. They’re someone’s cousin or childhood neighbor with a completely different lifestyle than you, but you both just happen to live on the same island. You’ll grab drinks alone with this friend once or twice and finally bond when one of you plans a group hangout with every far-fetched acquaintance within a 10-mile radius.

4. The overscheduled friend

It doesn’t matter how you met this friend, because you’ve probably only seen them a few times since. They’re updating their social media daily with how much they’re up to, and if you try to schedule an outing with them, they’re only available for a quick weeknight drink in between meetings. Their busyness may make you feel lazy, but would you really want to struggle so much just to see friends?

5. The neighbor friend

As much as you may listen at the door for footsteps before leaving your apartment and hustle up the stairs after arriving, sometimes having to greet your neighbor is inevitable. While every building has at least one oddball neighbor, most of the other residents are likely nice and respectful. When you know the name of whoever’s in 2D, you can inquire whether their shower’s water pressure is also terrible, but there’s no obligation to actually hang out together.

6. The fantasy friend

Who doesn’t wish they were IRL friends with a stranger online? We all follow a local influencer who posts the latest about the neighborhood’s events and new spots, but they often share enough of their personal lives that they almost feel like a real friend (they call it a parasocial relationship). When someone asks how you heard about an underrated nail salon or speakeasy, you don’t have to tell them that the pal who informed you also told a thousand-plus followers on Instagram.

7. The work friend

A spike in working from home briefly put work friendships in jeopardy, but nowadays, having an office buddy to eat lunch with or complain about menial tasks with is back in style. They know every juicy detail about your family and friends and will cover for you when you leave early for a first date. You may not see a work friend outside of your 9-to-5 often, but spending every weekday together forms a solid bond that may rival your closest friendships.

8. The up-for-anything friend

New York presents plenty of opportunities to try something new, but sometimes a new activity is daunting to try alone. That’s when you text this person to pull up as your plus one and help make the most of that Groupon deal. Reliable as ever, they’ll confirm ASAP and be excited to make the most of the day, whether you’re kayaking in the Hudson or making mozzarella in Brooklyn.

9. The wealthy friend

This friend has a beautiful loft in Tribeca or Williamsburg and invites you to $500 chef tastings. You vaguely understand what their job is but you’re still not sure how they earn so much. However, their wealth hasn’t gone to their head, which means they graciously invite you to reap the benefits and they don’t mind when you reciprocate by picking up the bill on $5 beer night.

10. The late-night friend

You only see this person at the end of a long night out amidst dim dive bar lighting and a food truck gyro. Someone in your squad mentions that this friend is nearby and will meet you at the next spot, and without fail, they materialize. They’re several drinks in but startlingly sober, and you manage a quick “hello” before they vanish to another bar. But is it really a true New York City night without fleeting but memorable time with friends?

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