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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.

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: Full guide to how to meet new people in NYC


BYOB Painting Workshop at the Painting Lounge

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. 

Brewshop 101 at Bitter & Esters

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.

Intro classes at Fluent City

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

For more language classes in New York, click here.

Improv 101 at UCB Training Center

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.

Fore more improv classes in New York, click here

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

For more music classes in New York, click here

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