Calling all ladies looking to meet new people in NYC! You should consider joining a women’s group. Womencentric clans are on the rise in Gotham, and we’re all about it. We asked Time Out New York editors to volunteer and join the newest female-focused ensembles in the city, and the result was unanimous: These groups are badass! Whether you’re interested in building life-long friendships, fighting the patriarchy or learning from inspiring female entrepreneurs to master your craft, there’s an amazing women’s group here for you, girlfriend. Don’t just search for things to do alone—go out and support your local girl gang!
Best women’s groups in NYC
Joining the Camaraderie is what I imagine it’s like to pledge a sorority—but without all the drama or hazing. During my first meet-up, I walked into a skylight-topped penthouse in midtown and was immediately handed a glass of Whispering Angel rosé and greeted by the collective’s founder, 25-year-old Australian transplant Jane Taylor, whose group is all about fostering fun friendships. (Think the bonds made at grade-school sleepovers.) At each late-night mixer—or “happy place,” as the group calls it—women go hard on gratis wine and chow down on Insomnia cookies and, best of all, listen to empowering guest speakers such as Lolly Galvin, the creator of the homeless initiative Dignity Project. (Like all of the groups we highlight in this roundup, trans and nonbinary attendees are welcome to join.) Events range from backstage tours of Broadway shows to DIY essential oils classes and dance-yoga getdowns. Cool stuff, for sure, but the real sell of it is being able to connect with ambitious women who are going through the same struggles, insecurities and fears as you. To be honest, I kind of wanted to bail last-minute after R.S.V.P.’ing. But my fears about being too shy were quickly assuaged by these badass young women, and yep, I am indeed able to find my happy place.—Jennifer Picht. Various locations (thecamaraderienyc.com). Monthly membership $29, events $25–$50. For more information, visit thecamaraderienyc.com/application.
Ladies Get Paid
“Am I at the right place?” I asked upon arrival at Awesome, a fifth-floor loft space at Canal Street and Broadway. The power was unwittingly out, but yes, squinting in the darkness, I made out a group of about 40 women, lit only by lanterns and mini ashlights, a multigenerational mix spanning twentysomethings and Baby Boomers with knitting needles. This quasi-séance was a workshop held by Ladies Get Paid, which was launched seven months ago by Claire Wasserman and hosts open-to- the-public gatherings (both IRL and online) on topics ranging from salary negotiations to “how to give less fucks.” This night in particular targeted how to remain politically active in the months following the Women’s March. The panel—led by Rally+Rise founder Rebecca Davis, WIN.NYC co-chair Monica F. Guerra and Alessandra Biaggi, the former deputy national operations director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign—offered readily accessible, real-world strategies for activism on the city, state and federal levels. “Who knows who their state senator is?” Davis questioned the group. Only a few hands went up. By the end of it, though, the women not only knew who their reps are but also how to effectively reach out to them, from attending community-board meetings to tracking down Mayor de Blasio in person. “We’re bringing light into a dark time,” Biaggi joked about the power outage. Based on what I gleaned here, she isn’t wrong.—Christina Izzo. Various locations (ladiesgetpaid.com). Membership free, town halls $15, workshops $20, webinars $25–$200. For more information, visit ladiesgetpaid.com/join.
New Women Space
This is not the first womancentric venture from Melissa Wong and Sandra Hong, who unveiled New Women Space in East Williamsburg six months ago. Wong had created Up Speak, a goal-setting workshop series for women, and Hong had developed GIRL PARTY, which brings women together in “unconventional” gatherings. So it was a natural progression that the two would open a physical community space for the world’s better half. I found myself in the 2,100-square-foot spot, with 10 others, for an event thrown by It’s Not Personal, a female-identifying dating collective that helps ladies process their romantic relationships. Though at first I was unsure how discussing dating leads to self-empowerment, I was soon put at ease, comfortably sharing my past experiences—while creating colorful collages, no less—with complete strangers.—Jaime Brockway. 188 Woodpoint Rd, Brooklyn (newwomenspace.com). Events $5–$25. For more information, email email@example.com.
Dozens of finely dressed, balayaged women lined up under the pink neon lights of the Fifth Avenue shop Lou & Grey, waiting to hear literary influencers Emma Straub and Amelia Diamond delineate their careers, dreams and failures in a frank panel discussion with Amy Woodside, the founder of OKREAL. The live interviews, stocked with canned rosé and finger-food desserts (served by suited-up men), were just one of four main components of the Instagrammable girl-power brand. OKREAL originated in 2014 and took its initial form as a website created by the New Zealand expat, who was at a crossroads in her career. Since then, it’s morphed into a one-stop shop for career-oriented gals. In addition to panels like the one I attended, Woodside holds mentor circles, cherry-picking seven women she thinks will be beneficial to each other; runs a sort of vocational group- therapy session over breakfast and coffee on Saturday mornings; and meets with women one-on-one, devoting her laser-focused attention to help clients achieve their career goals. The result, she hopes, is a new sense of empowerment and a support group that will last far longer than each session’s three-and-a-half hours. Hear, hear.—Alyson Penn. Various locations (okreal.co). Events free, group sessions $95. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I got to the point where I didn’t want to keep complaining,” Alissa Alvino told a room of professional women, all ages 25 to 31. “I wanted to make an immediate difference in the lives of girls and [provide them with] a safe space.” The result? WORTH (Women Owning Reality, Truth and Happiness), which seeks to empower women to take on the world by offering monthly forums dedicated to dialogue about culture, politics and more. At the time of its first official meeting in mid-February in midtown, WORTH has yet to fully develop but clearly has its priorities in order: Alvino is planning volunteer activities, group outings (museums, concerts, yoga retreats), self-defense classes and inspirational talks. The new group doesn’t have a permanent space and has not developed a substantial following, but with WORTH’s mission—to bring together like-minded females and cultivate their self-worth and common passions—and friendly vibes, I suspect that will change soon.—Anna Ben Yehuda. Various locations (nycworth.com). Events free. For more information, email email@example.com.
Looking for more inspiration?
Sala One Nine
This Flatiron restaurant offers traditional Spanish cuisine, as well as tapas at the bar.
Venue says: “Open Table Diners' Choice 2016! "Escape to Spain" Spanish Eatery with traditional tapas. To make a reservation, call us at 212-229-2300”