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
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
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
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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.
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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
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