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new to New York City and friendless
July 1, 2013 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Until this point, your friendships happened through a vague combination of forced institutional socializing, classes, sports and booze. None of your friends can remember exactly how they became friends with each other. But now you are an adult, and now that friend-making is a conscious act, you realize you don’t know how to do it.
posted by showbiz_liz (317 comments total) 87 users marked this as a favorite

 
This person lives in a different New York City than I. It ain't that hard.
posted by dfriedman at 8:47 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe she's even a different person than you are.
posted by Mike Smith at 8:49 AM on July 1, 2013 [138 favorites]


Oddly, gay dating sites provided the bulk of my new to new york friendbase - but I'm apparently one of those people who picks up casual acquaintances like some people pick up cats.
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


Of course.
posted by dfriedman at 8:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, I loved this. Aside from my husband, most of my friends are local runners and gay men's chorus people. I spend most of my time working and running, and don't socialize very much otherwise. Apartment parties are often really uncomfortable.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:51 AM on July 1, 2013


But now you are an adult, and now that friend-making is a conscious act, you realize you don’t know how to do ithow great it is to be an adult.
posted by DU at 8:51 AM on July 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


Yeah, it kind of is that hard. I liked this essay a lot.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:51 AM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Until this point, your friendships happened through a vague combination of forced institutional socializing, classes, sports and booze.

I found that as an adult, I cut out the institutional socializing, classes, and sports, but the booze was still pretty important. It just upped the number of booze friends I have, which is all to the good, since booze friends are the best friends of all.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:54 AM on July 1, 2013 [17 favorites]


My first day of college was a massive bachanalian drunk fest. At one point I stumbled out the back door of a party to catch my breath to find a cluster of other guys similarly overwhelmed by it all. We all continue to be friends decades later, still often leaning on each other when the world becomes overwhelming.

I should add, shortly after meeting the guys the door swung open and a blisteringly drunk frat-boy whiped out and began to pee off the back steps. After peeing for a couple minutes and onto one of the guys did he finally realize that there was an audience. This did not deter him from finishing.

Good times, good times.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:55 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


While I totally understand the desire to have similar-age friends who are in a similar phase of life as you, I'm a little uncomfortable with the way the author writes off friendships with older people. 'You work in an office full of middle-age parents...even if any of them had anything in common with you..." "you have a perfectly fine evening with a bunch of newish moms, all of whom are amazing at knitting and have nothing in common with you. " Maybe the common denominator here is just having nothing in common for reasons that aren't related to age or parenthood. Having a kid doesn't automatically give you cooties.

I say this as a single childless person of about the author's age with a handful of older friends/acquaintances from volunteering and hobbies. I value these friendships in part because they give me a sense of what adult lives that aren't my parents' lives can look like.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:56 AM on July 1, 2013 [31 favorites]


Having a kid doesn't automatically give you cooties.

Of course not, but it definitely drives the conversation one way or the other. I have very few friends who are parents who spend a lot of time talking about things other than their children, at least at first.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:58 AM on July 1, 2013 [23 favorites]


Well picking up a hobby that you don't really have any interest in is definitely not a way to make friends.
posted by brookeb at 8:59 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


But now you are an adult, and now that friend-making is a conscious act, you realize

That actually, hanging around in some internet based discussion forum with a community strong enough to have regular scheduled physical meetups, is an excellent way to make new friends.

Any resemblence etc.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:00 AM on July 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Does the author have nothing they enjoy doing outside of work? I've grown a massive network of friends and acquaintances through my gaming habit, Finnish classes and my interest in glass blowing and blacksmithing.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:02 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Making friends in NYC is hard. I have friends now but I couldn't really say how it happened. Meet ups and church, I guess (though finding the right meetup groups and the right church was hard, too).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:03 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Things I have learned for sure since moving to new york:
1. You dont need that many friends, you just need a few that are conveniently located.
2. Being conveniently located is the most important aspect of a friend.
3. Buying a Wii increases your chances of cementing friendships by 100%.
4. You have to work just as hard as a couple to make friends as you did when you were single to get into a couple.
5. Metafilter meetups are great.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:04 AM on July 1, 2013 [11 favorites]



Of course not, but it definitely drives the conversation one way or the other. I have very few friends who are parents who spend a lot of time talking about things other than their children, at least at first.


See, the thing is, I don't even like kids that much. I mean, I like specific kids, but as a generality I can take or leave them. But I've found that interesting people can be pretty interesting about their kids - like, I'm happy to hear about the latest Topics In Parenting, or the scandal at preschool, etc. It's really just like having a friend who is doing a PhD on an unfamiliar topic - if they're interesting and funny, they can be interesting and funny about the study of court cases in 15th century Venice, even if that's not normally your thing.

I think a lot of people - including me - are really strongly socialized to overvalue youth and to be impatient with or condescend to age. So naturally, we assume that anyone older than us must be uninteresting or illiberal or unhip or unconnected (unless they're a celebrity of some sort). We live in a really age-segregated society and it's not just a matter of practice, it's a matter of our thinking.
posted by Frowner at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2013 [42 favorites]


Of all of the places I have lived, making friends in New York has been hands down the hardest. So, I hear her.
posted by likeatoaster at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. You dont need that many friends, you just need a few that are conveniently located.
2. Being conveniently located is the most important aspect of a friend.


Fucking tell me about it. 90% of my friends live in different boroughs from me. I posted this article because I think I'm gonna have to go through the entire process she outlines again for my borough, even though I've lived in NYC for two years. I'm tired of commuting to Queens to hang out in neighborhood bars or Manhattan for weekend brunch...
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:07 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I used to be the organizer of a Meetup group in Toronto that was specifically for women to meet new friends -- Females for Friendship. Most of our members were 20-30 somethings who had moved away from their University friends or lost touch with them for various reasons, and who were struggling to find new people to be friends with. I watched a lot of female friendships form over those years, and it was an interesting process.

Even in the context of a group of people who have gathered together in order to be friends, it was hard for many of us to make the transition from attending formal group events to hanging out in informal ways. Putting yourself out there to be the first person to say 'Hey, want to grab coffee?' to a prospective friend is the same vulnerability as asking someone else on a date, and there's even less social expectation/structure around it, so it can be harder to figure out when/how to do it.

There were some women who were clearly coming at it from a networking perspective. They'd meet people at events, immediately exchange contact information and move on to coffee friend-dates and try to get a one-on-one friendship in gear.

Other people were more content to just do a number of group things with the group over time. They weren't necessarily trying to make specific friends, some just wanted to get out of the house. But some were hoping to make specific friends and they couldn't make the leap.

I've found the most success with being a part of groups (both that one and other interest-based groups) and gradually narrowing the circle -- having regular events for smaller subsets of people until it comes down to a smallish core group that form more permanent bonds and break away from the larger group.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:09 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just move to Queens tho then we can be buds.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:09 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can pry Manhattan of my cold dead hands. I'll compromise and meet you halfway.
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was so very lucky that my best friend already had lived in New York for a few years before I moved here. I was also lucky that I hit it off immediately with a group of three women that lived together at the time and who had all lived in New York for years. With those four nodes, my social net expanded rapidly and I barely even had to work at it. Of course, it helps that I am generally an affable and easy to get along with type of person and that the initial close friends I made all already had large social networks, but a lot of it was luck and happenstance.
posted by Falconetti at 9:14 AM on July 1, 2013


Potomac Avenue: "Just move to Queens tho then we can be buds."

:)
posted by zarq at 9:15 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


2. Being conveniently located is the most important aspect of a friend.

Another thing that really helps is some occasion to see each other that you don't have to plan each time you do it. Something that just happens unless you choose otherwise. A standing weekly lunch, church, D&D night, coming over to watch that TV show, going jogging together every Monday morning.
posted by straight at 9:15 AM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's not just new york though, I went through this whole thing in DC after I was no longer in a couple. I looked around and realized I only had like 3 friends left from College/HS and knew nobody. So I did a bunch of stuff and made some guy friends. Then I was like "Hey I should make some female friends" so I found some women who lived near me and told them and they said "LOL ok let's be friends." And they are still my besties.

It's not just new york, it's the disappointment of college kids who realize that life isn't going to be like college. Some people never have to deal with it if they live near where they grew up or in a small place. But for a lot of folks when you hit your mid-20s there's a harsh awakening that includes making a lot of effort that you didn't have to make before just to stay afloat. Don't worry young people, it just gets harder! (But fortunately you aren't surprised again)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:17 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like how feminine this article is. I think guys think about friendships totally differently, I really appreciate reading a woman's take on it. As a gay guy I never feel like I quit fit either gender norm.
posted by Nelson at 9:18 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


There needs to be a friend swap site where I can trade all my friends that moved to Brooklyn, and thus are roughly 3 hours away, for new friends that just moved to Manhattan, and are now roughly 3 hours for their old friends.

Seriously friends that move to Brooklyn, I know you are totes excited you moved to Kensington, but I ain't spending 9 hours total on the train and 45 minutes walking just so I can see yet another apartment in Brooklyn.

Maybe I am the dick here though.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:18 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


most of my friends are local runners and gay men's chorus people.

This should really be in the new lyrics for an updated "Spoonman" by Soundgarden.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:19 AM on July 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Sorry to link to Dilbert, but this is how adult friendships seem to me much of the time.
posted by Melismata at 9:19 AM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


I know what people mean about not shunning friendships with older people, but I get where she's coming from. For most people, when you've just graduated from college, you're really trying to replicate at least the feeling of what you had with your college friends - and that feeling is based around similarity and shared experiences. I think it's less about overvaluing youth and more about trying to find people who are going through the same thing you are, or share your perspective, and it can take a while to figure out that people in totally different stages of life can share your perspective - or that they don't, but you still enjoy hanging out with them.

I was really lucky in a way, because even thouh I spent most of my twenties moving around, I was working as an organizer on campaigns, which means I pretty much always had a ready-made tribe of insta-friends. Although that has its own issues (those friendships can be highly situational and fleeting), it's the reason I always tell people in their early twenties to get involved in some sort of community where they're working towards a shared goal.
posted by lunasol at 9:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


The part about having someone's apartment to go to or having someone to just call is the big one. It's the difference between having a bunch of close acquaintances that you meet for dinner or a beer bi-weekly, and then actual friends that spontaneously come over and hang out when you're both bored.

I just moved to NY and am lucky to know a few people, but I am jealous of these groups of friends that seem like they all deliberately planned to move here together after college. I don't know if I'm the only one who experiences this, but I'm getting a little sick of going to parties where EVERY single person is an alumni of ______ College, oh you've never heard of it? It's a small liberal arts school in _______.
posted by windbox at 9:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I moved a few times and divorced and concentrated heavily on my job, and now I find myself without a circle of friends, (and no, no MeFi meetups anywhere near here have ever taken off). This hit just a little too close to home.
It does not help that the small city I live in seems to be entirely populated by 27 year-olds. Not that I wouldn't hang out with 27 year-olds, but that seems creepy after a while.
posted by oflinkey at 9:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I feel this article.

With the exception of a few guys who dated guys I dated or lovely people I met through Metafilter, I have literally no friends (or even acquaintances) that I see on a regular basis that I didn't meet in college almost 20 years ago. Hell, include family and work, and I this takes care of anybody I speak to at all. Ever.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:21 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is such an individual experience that I'd never tell anyone they weren't doing it right.

But in my experience, this is backwards. You don't go out trying to make friends and then sort the people you meet by whether or not you have things in common with them. You go out and pursue your interests, and then when you hit it off with someone you meet, you already have something in common with them.

Into bands? Go see bands. Into film? Go see films. Into running? Go running. She kind of keeps saying she has nothing in common with people, but the people I became close friends with as an adult weren't people I met by trying to have friend dates or asking my friends to introduce me to their friends (THE HORROR), but people I met by doing the things I was interested in and befriending the people I met.

I think it's kind of telling that you can read that whole thing without really knowing anything about what she likes or cares about, other than making friends (and a bluegrass album). Again, a very individual thing, but emphatically not the way I'd go about it.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:22 AM on July 1, 2013 [40 favorites]


This person lives in a different New York City than I. It ain't that hard.
posted by dfriedman at 4:47 PM on July 1


Gotta say, I'm with you, and I am someone who always struggled greatly to make friends (and to keep them, but that's another story). When I lived in New York I was absolutely astonished at how friendly and easy to talk to people were, including complete strangers in bars. I was wholly unused to being able to strike up easy conversations in bars yet somehow I found it happening all the time, without my even trying.

Mind you, I came from London, which is a very, very difficult city to make friends in. Maybe that had something to do with it. Anyway, New York City was far and away the friendliest place I've ever lived. God help this person if they ever move to London.
posted by Decani at 9:22 AM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


The thing that has sort of screwed me up is that as a couple we built up a bunch of friends in our "hometown" in Japan where I lived for 10 years, but left them behind when we moved to Canada. We made new very close friends here, typically other people with an international background, (since Victoria is a very conservative and somewhat unimaginative town where the locals love real estate and not much else), and so our friends just decide to pick up and move to another country.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:24 AM on July 1, 2013


Linda_Holmes: "Into bands? Go see bands. Into film? Go see films. Into running? Go running."

All of which are essentially solitary activities.
posted by zarq at 9:25 AM on July 1, 2013 [33 favorites]


You go out and pursue your interests, and then when you hit it off with someone you meet, you already have something in common with them.

haha this does sort of presuppose that you're an extroverted person who is good at interacting like a human being and not, like, some crazy person who will slowly attempt to become one with the wall in groups over 10 people, who does that, definitely not me
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:26 AM on July 1, 2013 [81 favorites]


zarq, running doesn't have to be solitary. There are about 100 running clubs that are affiliated with New York Road Runners.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:26 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not just new york though, I went through this whole thing in DC my hometown after I was no longer in a couple had graduated college. I looked around and realized I only had like 3 friends left from College/HS and knew nobody.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:26 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mind you, I came from London

You don't count because you have what we call "the british accent advantage".
posted by windbox at 9:27 AM on July 1, 2013 [33 favorites]


I'll just add that all of what she wrote applies to old York, too. Except without all the potential for socializing, because York is like 1/100th of the population and that much less to do as well. Also, everybody is under 22 or over 50 or works in Leeds. I am a West Coast California girl but I often find myself fantasizing about living in New York these days. As if friendships and excitement were just a small semantic step away, instead of an ocean.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:28 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


jetlagaddict: "haha this does sort of presuppose that you're an extroverted person"

Exactly.

I don't drink. So hanging out in bars, as Decani suggests, is really not for me. I'm an introvert, so it's unlikely I'm going to strike up a conversation with someone at a movie, show or while running.

It's hard as hell to make new friends when you're an introvert. You're far more likely to be introduced to or meet people who are friends of friends.
posted by zarq at 9:28 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


On the other hand a Londoner would rather stab himself in the hand than talk to a stranger
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


This reminded me hardcore of the summer I moved across the country from NC to work in Seattle at age 20. If only I had known about volunteering.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2013


roomthreeseventeen: "zarq, running doesn't have to be solitary. There are about 100 running clubs that are affiliated with New York Road Runners."

Sure, and you could also join a film discussion/watching group or a band fan club. But the act of watching a movie, or going to a show or going out for a jog is a solitary act, and for people who are not particularly inclined to strike up a conversation with a random stranger while watching a movie, it's an unlikely place to make friends.
posted by zarq at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not just new york though

No, it's not just New York. It's anywhere that you move to without a context. I've struggled for a decade to find real friends here in the Spokane area, but I've talked to friends who have moved to Boston, Seattle, Phoenix, Dallas... they all have the same story. Finding people who are TRULY friends (and not just people you do stuff with) is exceedingly difficult.

I've had a lot of false starts, people I have connected with at first, but then later it all just burns out because one or the other of us ends up not being the kind of person the other one wants to know deeply. I'm just now starting to find some social context which goes beyond the surface, and that's after 10 years of trying. And even now, I don't think a lot of the people I'm meeting are going to last in the long term.

I have many many friends online, people who have stood with me over the years and through many personal times of difficulty. Who have put up with my bullshit and just rolled with it. Many of them I've met in real life, and meeting them has only enriched the relationship. Why is this so impossible with locals? It seems to be endemic no matter where you live.

Thank goodness for the big reunion halloween party the people who were the core of my friendship circle throw for each other every year. We all come back to the city where we met, we all have our own lives going on from all across the country, but we are all in constant touch with each other, and for 4 days every October we gather and party and catch up on each others' lives face to face. It feeds my soul on a deep level.

What is sad is, I can't see that same kind of party growing out of the people I meet where I live.
posted by hippybear at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


You know, it's interesting. Two of my daughters are relatively recent high school graduates and the other night at dinner were talking to their little brother, who's about to enter high school, about how the last year and a half of high school sucks so badly because you realize the only thing you have in common with your friends is geography. And as soon as you leave town, you make your real lifelong friends.

They were trying to explain to him that it's okay to sometimes feel down about your social circle, because when you get older, you get to actually pick your new friends. My eldest talked about her new friends from veterinary college and my younger daughter talked about her friends from college and from singing at nightclubs in NYC.

I want to hide this article from them because Christ, I had no idea it was so hard to make friends as a grownup.
posted by kinetic at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2013


You don't count because you have what we call "the british accent advantage".

To replicate this advantage, simply do the following:

1) Upon meeting a potential new friend, say loudly, "Corr and Blimey!"
2) If they do not react, say it louder. "CORR AND BLIMEY!"
3) If they start to look a little nervous, knock the nearest thing to you over. Repeat "CORR AND BLIMEY!!"
4) If they start to back away, rip your shirt and start to sob. Do not forget to howl "CORR AND BLIMEY" as you do so!
5) By now, they should be backing away from you at great speed. Grab your head and shout "CORR AND BLIMEY!" again before collapsing to the ground. Whimper.
6) You will be approached by your new friend. Sometimes this may take awhile and said friends may be dressed as paramedics or police officers.
7) Ask the new friend in a soft and wavering tone, "Do you want to get a cup of coffee with me and talk about The Decemberists?"
8) If they say No, Go To 1).
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:34 AM on July 1, 2013 [19 favorites]


Understood -- that's what I meant when I said it's very individual. But I can't imagine being uncomfortable striking up a conversation with someone sitting near you at a movie but comfortable asking your friends to set you up on friend dates. I mean, friends-of-friends are obviously ideal, of course, but that works for me when I'm around the friends and everybody can socialize together. The question is presupposing that you have no friends in the area, so you're stuck with the blast e-mail asking people to "set you up" with strangers, which to me is a MUCH huger horror than, for instance, going to a movie and chatting up someone who's there.

And I am an introvert myself, actually, so I'm not coming at this from a strikes-up-conversations-with-strangers-easily perspective at all. Not at all. But it's easier for me to start with the interest and meet the person than it is to start with a complete stranger and try to figure out whether we have anything to talk about.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:35 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, this is a pretty good explanation of why my friends at age 30 are the same groups as my friends at age 21, minus those who I've fallen out of touch with.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:35 AM on July 1, 2013


We should start some kind of club to befriend Mary Mann.

No offense to Mary Mann, but I don't think she will make it here by herself. I mean she doesn't like people who do coke or people who are gluten free and combined that is like 3/4 of the population.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:38 AM on July 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


God that article really should have been written in the first person.
posted by Aizkolari at 9:38 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


You disagree.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:41 AM on July 1, 2013 [23 favorites]


How can you guarantee that coke is gluten free?
posted by sciencegeek at 9:43 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I can't imagine being uncomfortable striking up a conversation with someone sitting near you at a movie but comfortable asking your friends to set you up on friend dates.

Oh, I don't know, maybe I've just been doing it wrong but I hate both of those things with a fiery passion. I actually used to work up the nerve to do a lot of this: I'd order interesting whiskys in bars and ask questions about them, I'd bring interesting books to read, I'd go to LoC movie nights and talks and Millennium Stage events and Goethe Institut movies and Screen on the Green and Black Cat shows and I think one person ever voluntarily talked to me.

Probably we were all sobbing inwardly about how terrible we were at being people! Or maybe I'm just really bad at being an interesting person! Probably some of it was also being aged 20-23, which was a little young, I think. The good news is that I learned a lot and I've certainly drunk a lot of interesting whiskys, so it wasn't a total wash, but in terms of friends it was this enormous, crushing defeat.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:44 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Linda_Holmes: "Understood -- that's what I meant when I said it's very individual. But I can't imagine being uncomfortable striking up a conversation with someone sitting near you at a movie

I was just envisioning someone coming up to me in a theater lobby, introducing themselves and trying to make friends. In New York, where people always eye friendly strangers with a certain amount of caution / suspicion. I don't think it would end well. ;)

...but comfortable asking your friends to set you up on friend dates.

When it's happened to me, it's been much less formalized. Friends have hosted small gatherings at homes and their friends have gotten to know one another. No pressure. Just a bunch of people getting together. The premise is still the same: you have people you know in common, and can then determine if you have common interests.

And I am an introvert myself, actually, so I'm not coming at this from a strikes-up-conversations-with-strangers-easily perspective at all. Not at all. But it's easier for me to start with the interest and meet the person than it is to start with a complete stranger and try to figure out whether we have anything to talk about."

True. That makes sense.
posted by zarq at 9:44 AM on July 1, 2013


When you're 25 you often don't have any interests. If they had awesome outside interests and skills they would have friends and wouldn't feel continual yearning. It's the same with dating. "What do you do?" I work at a meaningless job. "But what do you like to do?" I like to be loved! I don't know! Will you please just love me?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:47 AM on July 1, 2013 [58 favorites]


How can you guarantee that coke is gluten free?

Oh, I know the farm that produced it; it's this little patch of land on Long Island that's totally beautiful, and the folks that sell it at the farmer's market are just wonderful. They sell it in little mason jars with checkered ribbons, and they have the nicest dog!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2013 [31 favorites]


I feel the pain. I'm an introvert and it's hard for me to make quality friends. I am a native New Yorker but most of my friends have moved away to other states. Luckily, my family is here and I lavish my attention on them as well as my husband (my ready made best friend). No advice to give but just shared empathy. :)
posted by ichimunki at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2013


I would post a reply here, but fear not getting a response and risk being reminded about just how friendless I am.

But seriously, if anyone is in Charleston and wants to hang out with a 42-year-old, recently divorced, new transplant from DC, let me know. We could meet up for cocktails or coffee or caramels.
posted by wensink at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm an introvert too. And in NYC. OK, I moved here the first time when I was in my 30s rather than 20s, but I don't think that would have made that much difference.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2013


Also I'm moving to a new city I've never lived in, in just a couple months, and have no friends there, so mefites in St Louis, get ready for me to FRIEND THE SHIT OUT OF YOU

I'm coming

I'm coming to friend you

I'm coming to friend you whether you like it or not
posted by Greg Nog at 9:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [36 favorites]


When you're 25 you often don't have any interests.

That, actually, is a great point. It may be that the thing that makes it very hard to find someone who bonds perfectly with your true self is that you don't have a firm handle on who that is. It may be that the best advice for somebody in her position is to get good at being solo and work on having a good year in New York irrespective of whether you make friends, and once you have a strong sense of what you want to talk about, you'll know who you want to talk to.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've moved to 3 brand new and not large cities in as many years. I get the advice of 'go to classes, volunteer, groups' as if that's the end of the struggle to make friends. I go to multiple classes and activities and have yet to make any meaningful friendships. I've made puppets and Christmas decorations and read a lot of books, but it's often a very polite, contained affair. The only exception to this is amateur dramatics, because we meet up several times a week and spend production week basically living together in a theatre. Drama is way down the list of things I'm interested in (much more a movies and art and cocktail kinda gal), but I'll pretend to be other people once every 6 months or so because I get half a dozen new buddies with every production. Plus we play games - proper, run-around-making-silly-noises style games. Grown ups don't do that often.
posted by dumdidumdum at 9:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm a pretty friendly person but I don't know if I've ever struck up a conversation in a movie theater. I mean, it's dark and people are usually there in groups or on dates. It's not super-conducive to meeting people.
posted by lunasol at 9:51 AM on July 1, 2013


I'm just chiming in that I live in NYC and have made tons of friends in my (eek) almost ten years here. Mostly I make friends with my friends' friends, and so on, and so on...

Facebook has also helped with this, because I'll just write, I'm bored, wanna do x anyone? And someone I briefly met at a party and then friended on FB will say, sure! And then, instant additional friend.

Also through work.
posted by sweetkid at 9:54 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Introversion, extroversion, blah. I didn't learn how to make friends, so now I have no friends. If I had been extroverted I would simply have annoyed more people.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:54 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I think I like the idea of having lots of friends more than I actually like having friends. I've lived in NYC for 6 years now and I don't think I've made one close friend here in the city in all that time. All of my closest friends - all two of them! - live out of state. There are people at work whom I like, but not enough to hang out with outside of work. We just don't share any common interests. And for the most part, I'm okay with that. I've always been a bit of an introverted loner to begin with; I like going to movies and restaurants and the theater on my own. But at the same time, it's kinda... sad? Really, I've lived here six years and haven't been able to make a single close connection? I really need to get out more. Go to meet-ups, maybe start attending church again so that my social group doesn't consist solely of work.

And then, once in a blue moon, I'll go out with some coworkers to a bar and have fun, but by the end of the night, I'm thinking, "Oh yeah, this is why I don't do this more often." Just hearing about some of my friends' incredibly active social lives exhausts me. At the same time, I'm jealous. But then I'm not.

...I don't even know what I'm saying here. I guess I have a lot of conflicted feelings about being ~forever alone~ in NYC, heh.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 9:54 AM on July 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Facebook has also helped with this, because I'll just write, I'm bored, wanna do x anyone? And someone I briefly met at a party and then friended on FB will say, sure! And then, instant additional friend.

When I do this, I get crickets. Feels bad, man.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:55 AM on July 1, 2013 [25 favorites]


it is really not that hard. one of the main reasons i can never leave NYC is that i can't imagine how people make friends in other places. how do people meet in a city where everyone is in a car most of the time that they are outside? maybe i'm lucky or delusional, but i have a few friend circles that i can thankfully cycle through for my different social needs and my biggest fear is that i will accidentally mingle these different streams through the joy of having all the people i like in one room.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:55 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was having this problem, so I joined the Elks Lodge in an attempt to make friends. I ended up with a bunch of people who feel like kindly old aunts and uncles to drink with, which ain't bad but I'm still looking for a way to make friends my age.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:56 AM on July 1, 2013


one of the main reasons i can never leave NYC is that i can't imagine how people make friends in other places.

Aargh, me too!

The other thing about the making friends thing is that you have to be sort of this mix of shameless and fearless about talking to new people, but actually have interesting things to say. You're going to annoy/weird out a certain percentage of people based on how annoying/weird you actually are, but you'll get somewhere with practice.
posted by sweetkid at 9:58 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


This reminded me of this short article on how to make friends as an adult, which basically boils down to, "You need to actually try now."
posted by Pwoink at 10:03 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Facebook has also helped with this, because I'll just write, I'm bored, wanna do x anyone? And someone I briefly met at a party and then friended on FB will say, sure!

BUT WHAT IF NO ONE RESPONDS. Then everyone on Facebook will see it! And they'll take a screenshot of you looking like a loser and share it on THEIR newsfeed, "HAHAHA, look at this IDIOT. Tried to make plans and no one even wants to hang out with them. STUPID." And it will get 100 Likes and become an internet meme.
posted by windbox at 10:07 AM on July 1, 2013 [48 favorites]


People should befriend natives more, just try not to say stupid shit . I sometimes wonder why we don't mix but I run into groups of friends and they are all from like Albuquerque and they tell me stuff like "you should really check out XXXX place, it's really nice now, it isn't the ghetto anymore"

Fuck is that about, thanks for the tip assholes.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:08 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Could someone start a MeTa where we could all jump in and say where we live, what our interests are, and our age & whatnot? I'd do it myself only I'm shy.
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:10 AM on July 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


shameless and fearless about talking to new people, but actually have interesting things to say.

I REJECT YOUR SECOND CLAUSE WITH ALL MY IDIOT HEART
posted by Greg Nog at 10:10 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Facebook has also helped with this, because I'll just write, I'm bored, wanna do x anyone? And someone I briefly met at a party and then friended on FB will say, sure!

BUT WHAT IF NO ONE RESPONDS.

Oftentimes they PM me about it because no one wants to see "hey what about 7:30? I just need to shower, etc" "Oh, well I have the dog so..."

Unless it's me and Sara C., we put all that stuff out there and bore the poor one other person who posted in the status to tears.
posted by sweetkid at 10:10 AM on July 1, 2013


Actually, despite it's reputation, New York is a place where strangers speak to eachother more often than other places, I've lived. Plus, you find friends the same way as anywhere else, work, around the neighborhood, places you frequent, etc.
posted by jonmc at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Congrats to all of those who effortlessly and instantly make boatloads of friend wherever they go. Feel free to reach out to someone else who might not have your initial charisma, but still may have something to offer.
posted by Halogenhat at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


shameless and fearless about talking to new people, but actually have interesting things to say.

I REJECT YOUR SECOND CLAUSE WITH ALL MY IDIOT HEART


Fair enough. I guess you don't really need to be that interesting. Just interested, blah blah.
posted by sweetkid at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like to imagine that Ad Hom actually lives IN the Newtown Creek and that he's a snakehead.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


All y'all can come to my place in Manhattan if you like cats.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:12 AM on July 1, 2013


Oftentimes they PM me about it because no one wants to see "hey what about 7:30? I just need to shower, etc" "Oh, well I have the dog so..."

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but if someone PMs you, you've gotten a response, no?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:13 AM on July 1, 2013


But in my experience, this is backwards. You don't go out trying to make friends and then sort the people you meet by whether or not you have things in common with them. You go out and pursue your interests, and then when you hit it off with someone you meet, you already have something in common with them.

The introvert response to this has been covered well here, but to add: I completely connected with this essay and have had essentially the same experience making friends in New York. However, at times when I have been lonely and tried to do this by going alone to comedy shows, storytelling events, lectures, festivals, etc., I perceive myself as surrounded by groups of friends and couples talking, laughing, and enjoying the events in their own insular way. For someone who is already in a lonely space, it can be incredibly disheartening and intimidating to be at a venue and not see a single other person there alone.
posted by gregoryg at 10:14 AM on July 1, 2013 [25 favorites]


Ugh, who likes cats? Request Denied.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:14 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Be over in an hour.
posted by sammyo at 10:15 AM on July 1, 2013


But what sort of cat?
posted by imnotasquirrel at 10:15 AM on July 1, 2013


Oftentimes they PM me about it because no one wants to see "hey what about 7:30? I just need to shower, etc" "Oh, well I have the dog so..."

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but if someone PMs you, you've gotten a response, no?


Ummm that was in response to the screenshot joke windbox posted.
posted by sweetkid at 10:16 AM on July 1, 2013


I like cats.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:16 AM on July 1, 2013


But what sort of cat?

Fuzzy and Fuzzy Jr. (not their real names)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:17 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my experience its even harder to make friends if you're in a couple but then that difficulty is mitigated by having a nice soft person around to compliment you while you're naked so it's less tragic.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:18 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I wish I lived in St. Louis so I could friend Greg Nog.

*Looks up Greg Nog's current location*

Dammit.
posted by yeti at 10:18 AM on July 1, 2013


Those cats better not be related cuz it's getting major romantic up in that picture.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:18 AM on July 1, 2013


No, we are not relations Sir. - Forrest Gump
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:19 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my experience its even harder to make friends if you're in a couple but then that difficulty is mitigated by having a nice soft person around to compliment you while you're naked so it's less tragic.

Yea I have been mostly single for the last long while which has much to do with my compulsive friend making.
posted by sweetkid at 10:19 AM on July 1, 2013


BUT WHAT IF NO ONE RESPONDS.

As someone whose brain enjoys the catastrophization of everyday life, and can thus relate to this sentiment+fear, I came up with the "If anybody wants to go, text me" gambit. That way, the lack of FB posts doesn't necessarily mean lack of responses.

And then one can go by oneself and not feel like the inevitable shame is also being publicly mocked worldwide.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:19 AM on July 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think it's tougher to make friends in NYC because every one here is an ambitious workaholic. People need friends, but they are a second priority to work. Hell, a lot of people don't even date because they need to work more.

I spent this past New Year's alone and I didn't beat myself up about it too much. I'm a decent guy. I just realized that I need to be a better friend. 2013 has been much friendlier than 2012.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 10:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ummm that was in response to the screenshot joke windbox posted.

Fair. Most versions of that joke, that I've seen, anyway, have the person who posted the invitation responding to their own invitation with complaints about the lack of response.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


For myself, as an introvert, there seem to be a few keys to making new friends:

1) Activities which require interaction with others. I met most of my friends through martial arts or D&D or playing music or the SCA. (The rest were friends of friends that I had met doing those activities.)
2) Being open to being friends with all kinds of people in different stages of life. My best friend is 15 years older than I am, but I also have other friends who are half my age.
3) Being patient. Some folks you meet might make great friends, except their social circle is already filled up with as many friends as they have time for. Sometimes you have to keep doing stuff with different people until you encounter someone who is both sympatico and in the market for a new friend.
posted by tdismukes at 10:22 AM on July 1, 2013


I think it's tougher to make friends in NYC because every one here is an ambitious workaholic.

I present myself as Exhibit A in the rebuttal to that statement. I gotta go, but from 4pm on I'll be here for my Old White Guy Music Hour. If your lonely drop by, I'll introduce you to the other barflies.
posted by jonmc at 10:24 AM on July 1, 2013


I am lucky in that I have some good high school friends (of the four I kept in touch with) in New York and they introduced me to their friends and so on.

On the other hand, I find that I don't have a great number of friends that I hang out one on one with, which I attribute to geography. Everyone is at least 30 minutes away from me.

So I end up trying to schedule activities, rather than simply hanging out. Which works ok, but some days I think I should say forget it to having great roommates and being on a functional train and move up to Greenpoint.

Then I read about the northern part of the G being shut down for 18 months and think that, just maybe, I did the right thing.
posted by Hactar at 10:24 AM on July 1, 2013


I didn't like the specifics of the article but otherwise, yeah.

When I lived in Phoenix I went to rock shows for a solid decade and by the end had met a decent number of people, just from seeing them repeatedly. But they all were just show acquaintances, none of them ended up being people I saw in other contexts.

Pretty much everyone I know now is from the internet. Or friends of friends, often still with some internet connection.
posted by mountmccabe at 10:25 AM on July 1, 2013


This is one of the hardest parts of adulthood no one told you about.
posted by saul wright at 10:28 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


"you should really check out XXXX place, it's really nice now, it isn't the ghetto anymore"

Fuck is that about, thanks for the tip assholes.


That came out wrong, I like transplants much more than most natives. Its just why do you have to keep telling me how shitty the place I grew up was before you moved there and made it all nice.

We know it was shitty.

I'm going to stop now because I am three sentences away from talking shit about Park Slope.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:29 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm going to stop now because I am three sentences away from talking shit about Park Slope.

Oh, but you should really check it out, Ad Hom, it isn't the ghetto anymore.
posted by whir at 10:31 AM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


I think it's tougher to make friends in NYC because every one here is an ambitious workaholiC

I submit to the court the afternoon i should've been working that I spent admiring my hair in the window.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, but you should really check it out, Ad Hom, it isn't the ghetto anymore.

I should really give it a chance. I never even lived in Park Slope, it was always the really nice neighborhood I didn't live in. I should let go of 30 year old resentments.

Well, now I feel I've grown as a person due to this article. Thanks Mary Mann!
posted by Ad hominem at 10:35 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was really lucky in a way, because even thouh I spent most of my twenties moving around, I was working as an organizer on campaigns, which means I pretty much always had a ready-made tribe of insta-friends.


At the very least it guarantees that your phone will be full of people to grab beer with when visiting Washington, since the Great Capitol Lodestar lures nearly every campaign hack into the vortex at some point while they are young tadpoles.

You will know who your real friends are if you go away for an election, come back, and you pick up right where you left off like nothing had happened. Nothing forges friendships like a crucible.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:37 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


zarq: Linda_Holmes: "Into bands? Go see bands. Into film? Go see films. Into running? Go running."

All of which are essentially solitary activities.
... until you join Meetup.

Seriously: I joined initially to facilitate a first date, but quickly found out Meetup is fantastic for three things:

1. Meeting people who like to do what you like to do
2. ... and forming instant social groups around those activities
3. ... as well as being informed of the cool happenings around your city.

I really only use it for #3 right not, but that alone makes it worthwhile.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:41 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I do this, I get crickets. Feels bad, man.

No, instead of crickets chirping, what happens to me is that only one person will respond, and it's the person in the group who's a little needy and I can only take in small doses. And I can't back out of it, since I've already announced my plans. (Saying "ooh, sorry, I just remembered I have to wash my hair" is a little too obvious.) And once we're together, there's no one else to help out with the listening or the small talk. For this introvert, it's much worse than no one responding at all.
posted by Melismata at 10:42 AM on July 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


Ugh, who likes cats? Request Denied.

But what sort of cat?

I like cats.


The Man Who Stole A Leopard [directed by David Lynch]
posted by hippybear at 10:42 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wanted to highlight this comment:

We live in a really age-segregated society and it's not just a matter of practice, it's a matter of our thinking.

I think that's a big part of it. We are socially conditioned toward age segregation from the time we are children because of our schooling, and most of us never really shake that off.

When I started full-time in my career, I was fairly young (a decade away from my closest colleagues) so I learned how to have friendships with people a variety of ages older than me. And then, because of my work (I teach college students in a field with a lot of professional mentoring), many of my former students have become good friends, so I have friendships with people a variety of ages younger than me now, too.

It is WONDERFUL. I keep hearing about life from so many different perspectives, and kinds of energy, and varieties of wisdom. So many of our stereotypes about people at different ages/stages of life than ourselves are just not true. Were you funny and irreverent as a youngster? I'd bet you still are. Not much is funnier than a truly irreverent and mirthful person with a lot of life experience behind it. Feeling middle-agey and a little lost on the life path? Some friends in their late 20s or early 30s can really recharge the take-on-the-world batteries.

And so on. Just wanted to say, be open to friends of all ages. Totally worth it.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:48 AM on July 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I want fewer friends. I hate the idea of being talked about after I leave.

Fuckin' New York.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:49 AM on July 1, 2013


Try living in the rural South, surrounded by Southern Baptists and the wrong kind of Republicans. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 10:49 AM on July 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


No, instead of crickets chirping, what happens to me is that only one person will respond, and it's the person in the group who's a little needy and I can only take in small doses. And I can't back out of it, since I've already announced my plans. (Saying "ooh, sorry, I just remembered I have to wash my hair" is a little too obvious.) And once we're together, there's no one else to help out with the listening or the small talk. For this introvert, it's much worse than no one responding at all.

I suspect I get nothing because I am that needy person. Don't act desperate; don't rumble, stomach.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


A couple years back we had a guy that had a lion, tiger, and alligator in his apartment.

That is pretty bold considering it is illegal to keep ferrets and squirrels here.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:51 AM on July 1, 2013


I moved to my current location to attend university at the age of forty, after ending a twenty year marriage. I've had no trouble meeting men, dating and all that (I now have a live-in SO)but I've not been able to make friends. The twenty year age difference between me and my 'peers' means not making friends through work, and my abject poverty makes 'just go to shows, go to films, do what you're interested in' non-workable. At times, I suffer from crushing loneliness because there are many people that I'm friendly with, but I don't have friends.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 10:52 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Try living in the rural South, surrounded by Southern Baptists and the wrong kind of Republicans.

It can make for some close friendships once you find some allies though!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:53 AM on July 1, 2013


I can usually find people to do things with, but that doesn't make them friends. Friendship for me usually requires putting in a couple hundred hours with a person, often in boring circumstances. THEN they're a friend, and not just a running/hiking/coffee/[x] buddy.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I kinda love being an NYC transplant, maybe because I'm so green I can walk up to semi-strangers and exude (or feign) "Give Me Suggestions" vibes until they break down and tell me all about their favorite subway hacks and brunch spots even if I could find that info just as easily on google and don't really eat brunch anyway. I plan on pretending to be new for at least the next 5 years at which point I will become a haggard vet and make snide comments about every neighborhood that isn't Hunt's Point.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:55 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man this hits right in the spot that hurts.

My wife and me realized that we only have 2 close friends in this city, and we see them like once a month. It was one of the causes of a very serious episode of depression.

We are working hard to make friends. I met a group of people I like. They drink in my local bar, live within 2 blocks of my house, are homebrewers and tech geeks. I am working hard to develop a friendship, but it requires going drinking till late at the local bar several times a week. It is hard to do that with a baby.

My wife us trying to meet people with babies so we are in the same wavelength, but so far she has only met people we have nothing in common with.

If I show up at a mefi meetup with wife and kid, and we hit you as being weird and overeager please give us a break. We are just learning how to make grown up friends.

BTW, we have been here since 2006. We suck at meeting people :)
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 10:56 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


but I'm apparently one of those people who picks up casual acquaintances like some people pick up cats.

With a hand around their chest just under the armpits, then holding their legs to keep them from dangling as you cuddle them close? I dunno, man, that could lead to some serious sexual harassment charges.
posted by eviemath at 10:57 AM on July 1, 2013 [18 favorites]


or a sexy Benefits situation
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:58 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can usually find people to do things with, but that doesn't make them friends.

Yeah, this is the problem with things like "just join the running club!" I've done so many social activities and met a TON of people and by doing so I've made, like, two friends. Because, ok so we both like [a thing]. But what else do we have in common? Oh, nothing, ok! See you at the next [thing] meetup but never in any other context!

My closest friends up here are still my two former college roommates from North Carolina.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:59 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not so good about the making new friends thing now because they inevitably want to Do Stuff and I have to explain that I hate Doing Stuff. Like, can't we just send each other obnoxious txts all day long and occasionally see a movie where things explode?

Also most people my age have kids and I don't like that.
posted by elizardbits at 10:59 AM on July 1, 2013 [21 favorites]


Doroteo Arango I will be friends with you guys! (offer extends to Western Queens only good for 40 years max)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:59 AM on July 1, 2013


I am jealous of these groups of friends that seem like they all deliberately planned to move here together after college. I don't know if I'm the only one who experiences this, but I'm getting a little sick of going to parties where EVERY single person is an alumni of ______ College, oh you've never heard of it? It's a small liberal arts school in _______.

I was on the periphery of a group that did this after college, years back, and it's almost certainly nice at first but what I think many of those people discovered is that it's easy to not make any other friends and then when the core group of "people who all moved here from ___" disintegrates, which it will as people move on from the First Big Job to other cities or get married or whatever... then you can get stuck.

Like I said, I was on the periphery of a group: I didn't get invited to live in the big group house that they rented together, and never felt like I could cross the line from "someone who gets invited to parties" to "someone who can casually drop by whenever" and was pretty annoyed about it at first. But, partially out of sheer spite, this led to me making an effort to make other friends who didn't all move away in 24-36 months like clockwork. And I think that worked out much better in the long run.

So there is something to be said about going outside your comfort zone when you have the motivation and energy to actually do something about it, which is normally right when you move to a new place. I think it's actually much harder if you move to a city with friends or in a couple and then, after having been there for some time and having gotten into a routine, end up needing to make new friends. That's a pretty difficult situation.

And so on. Just wanted to say, be open to friends of all ages. Totally worth it.

Also definitely true. One of the best things I did, once I realized I was probably going to be living in a place for at least a couple of years (i.e. quit lying to myself and saying that it was "only six more months") was to start doing fairly high-commitment volunteer activities. The best unanticipated benefit has been meeting people across different age ranges and generations who wouldn't, I think, normally hang out together. It's the mutually shared interest and commitment to the organization that seems to be enough to get over what would otherwise be the social conditioning against hanging out with someone more than a few years apart in age.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:01 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


a movie where things explode

OMG I just saw This is The End and...wtf in the what but things did explode. Mostly Los Angeles and parts of Danny McBride.
posted by sweetkid at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


My definition of a friend is A Person Who Will Get A Drink With You At A Bar on 1 Hours Notice Sometimes. With the right kind of Iphone App technology I could have as many friends as Grindr users have Husbands.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


but it requires going drinking till late at the local bar several times a week. It is hard to do that with a baby.

you need to make sure that the baby has a full glass of water in between each drink or he's gonna get super hammered and will probably start a fight
posted by elizardbits at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2013 [36 favorites]


Things I have learned for sure since moving to new york:...
3. Buying a Wii increases your chances of cementing friendships by 100%.


Is playing Wii and ironic NY-hipster thing now?
posted by cosmic.osmo at 11:03 AM on July 1, 2013


My definition of a friend is A Person Who Will Get A Drink With You At A Bar on 1 Hours Notice Sometimes.

That's a tough one in New York, I grant you. It's usually coworkers.
posted by sweetkid at 11:03 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm just chiming in that I live in NYC and have made tons of friends in my (eek) almost ten years here. Mostly I make friends with my friends' friends, and so on, and so on...

Same here; except I got even weirder and have made friends of two of my exes, and have now befriended one ex's current girlfriend and am feeling my way towards befriending the other ex's wife.

Then there's the friend I met through a co-worker's-new-boyfriend, who's still around even though neither the co-worker and her new-boyfriend (now husband) have dropped out of sight (the guy and I are both a little bitter about it); we were the token single people that two couples would invite out with them when we all wanted to do shit, but both couples have "turned into mole people" as the guy says; he has a new girlfriend now, and she likes that I can argue with my friend, but I've only met her the once so she's still girlfriend-of status. The weirdest connection is friend-who-was-always-on-the-opposing-team-at-my-old-pub-quiz.

I actually am trying a little friend-matchmaking, though. I just had a new roommate move in today; a guy just out of college, just moved to the city, much younger than me. (He was the only guy standing out of an exhaustive last-minute scramble-search for a roommate.) I was feeling a little guilty about the poor guy having to live with someone who's old enough to be his mother - but then yesterday, I saw another young guy also moved into another unit in my building, and was also moving in in a roommate situation with someone old enough to be his mother. I chatted with him a bit, discovered he dug a couple of the things I knew my roommate dug, and said "well, listen, you should totally come up and meet the guy who's moving in to my spare room tomorrow." I'm hoping that the two of them end up bonding over music and Being Guys In Their 20's, so they can go out on the town and I can stop feeling like I'm cramping my poor roommate's style.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:04 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is playing Wii and ironic NY-hipster thing now?

This sentence appears to be in English but I do not understand it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:05 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Of course, like everything else, I think that friendship has changed drastically since the internet/Facebook. Before these, you'd actually have to GO VISIT SOMEONE and talk to them, see their house, fall in love with their artwork over the fireplace, and therefore often develop more of an intimate bond. Now, we just post cat pictures at each other, keeping everything on a superficial level. Not always a bad thing; but it changes the way we make friends.
posted by Melismata at 11:08 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's a tough one in New York

Working in Midtown helps because everyone works nearby. Which is weird because there's just about nowhere in Midtown that anyone would ever choose to drink at unless it was convenient.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:10 AM on July 1, 2013


First, if you have kids, you're going to have a lot of trouble meeting people who aren't other families anywhere in the world, New York City or not. I have very few active friends with kids - because they're always busy with the kids and have to deal with sitters and etc.

If you don't have kids, the way to meet people is to get out of the house and do things you really like. Go to galleries - SMALL galleries! Go to concerts - in small venues. Go to Metafilter meetups! Go to open mics - there's really no better way to meet people than an active open mic. Political groups - Occupy is working hard to clean up after Sandy, since the federal government isn't going to do it. Churches and other spiritual groups are not my bag; my friends who do do this report only moderate success because often the only thing they have in common with other people in their church is religion itself.

Reading groups. Trivia competitions at the local pub - you're forced to cooperate with a bunch of strangers for an hour or two. Demonstrations are great ways to meet people - get out there, support change, and meet someone who has something in common with you. I have friends of all walks of life, but practically no "Conservatives" at all.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I work in Midtown and drinking here is horrible.
posted by sweetkid at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2013


I've followed the same process that the writer did but gave up a little sooner than she did. Once you get used to not having friends, it's actually not that bad.
posted by averageamateur at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Which is weird because there's just about nowhere in Midtown that anyone would ever choose to drink at unless it was convenient.

Midtown is 10 minutes' subway ride from the East Village. Do it! Do it!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2013


Go to galleries - SMALL galleries!

I know this is a big criticism of the article, but when I've gone to galleries alone it's usually all old people. I mean REALLY old people, like "what's that again?" old.
posted by sweetkid at 11:12 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also I sometimes have trouble distinguishing between people making friendship overtures and people being potential organ harvesters.
posted by elizardbits at 11:14 AM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


Working in Midtown helps because everyone works nearby. Which is weird because there's just about nowhere in Midtown that anyone would ever choose to drink at unless it was convenient.

STRONGLY disagree, some of my favorite dives in the city so far are in Midtown.
posted by windbox at 11:14 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I work in Midtown and drinking here is horrible.

Monkey Bar?
posted by The Whelk at 11:14 AM on July 1, 2013


Or twenty minutes to Williamsburg. Tons of excellent bars around here...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:15 AM on July 1, 2013


Manhattan is so different from the Outer Boroughs. In Queens people still on their stoops and there's local bars rather than trendy hotspots. This atmosphere is more conductive to making friends, I think.
posted by jonmc at 11:15 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


> > Go to galleries - SMALL galleries!

> I know this is a big criticism of the article, but when I've gone to galleries alone it's usually all old people. I mean REALLY old people, like "what's that again?" old.

HUH?! Well, I'm completely baffled. For example, I usually hit some significant subset of these galleries and I'd say the median age is about 30.

Are you really going to small galleries? If you go to the Met, you're going to see a lot of old tourists of course...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:16 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but getting back into the city from billsburg at night when you're drunk is a fucking hassle.
posted by elizardbits at 11:17 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I totally agree about not self-segregating by age, though in my case it was sort of a necessity because most people in their twenties annoy the shit out of me.

Anyawy, my strategy has always just been to find places like a bar or a cafe where a regular group of people bloviate in public and then start bloviating along with them when you find the group of people who bloviate about things you like bloviating about, though YMMV of course because this is a very bloviation-heavy approach

Also I'm moving to a new city I've never lived in, in just a couple months, and have no friends there, so mefites in St Louis, get ready for me to FRIEND THE SHIT OUT OF YOU

YO! That's happening? Nice!

posted by invitapriore at 11:17 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Clearly, everyone should just join a D&D group.

(Only mostly joking. Really, everyone should find a Storygames group.)
posted by jiawen at 11:17 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


twenty minutes to Williamsburg.

Literally 0% chance.

some of my favorite dives in the city so far are in Midtown.

Tell me them so I can invite you to drink with me at them.

Monkey Bar?

See now this is how you do it people. TAKE ME TO MONKEY BAR THE WHELK!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:18 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyway best new friends story , two exes of mine moved to Chicago independantly of each other, met at a bar , and both called me within an hour of each other to tell me about this great guy they met - its a small gay world afterall
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


You should go to Peter Dillons on 41st and Lex.
Or the Blarney Stone on 44th and 3rd.

I'm ok with places like Overlook on 44th between 2nd and 3rd but I suspect most Mefites would hate it.

You could also go to the east side. Holland Bar, Rudys, etc.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:19 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but getting back into the city from billsburg at night when you're drunk is a fucking hassle.

A fuckibg men

Midweek monkey bar meetup?
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


With the right kind of Iphone App technology I could have as many friends as Grindr users have Husbands.

We've been using GroupMe for this lately, and it works out really well! I mean, you need to have the friend group ahead of time but once everyone's plugged in to a group it's really easy to send one message to everyone and usually someone will respond.

I also use to let people know when I have seats available on the plane for fun day trips, so if you're in Boston and want to risk life and limb go on adventures, hit me up and I'll put you in the group.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yea seriously if people are all "let's get a drink after work" they mean near work, not "let's enjoy the magic of the public transit system."
posted by sweetkid at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


i wanna go on boat adventures, does your plane become a boat
posted by elizardbits at 11:21 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Midweek monkey bar meetup?

Do we have to wear pearls?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:21 AM on July 1, 2013


I wad just on a boat..

Wait what was that place we had the NASA mewtup at? That was like a block from Times Square and totally not douchey
posted by The Whelk at 11:22 AM on July 1, 2013


See, this is my other problem. If you're an introverted transplant who doesn't drink, you're basically fucked, socializing-wise.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:22 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


> Yeah, but getting back into the city from billsburg at night when you're drunk is a fucking hassle.

Even at 3AM, it's just 20 minutes from the Bedford Avenue stop to Penn Station. If you miss a connection, perhaps 30 minutes.

Or if you are TOO drunk, we did the reverse commute on mushrooms at 3:30AM on Friday night. From the Upper East Side it was just over $20 for a taxi - really not outrageous. And you really can get taxis pretty easily in W'burg.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:23 AM on July 1, 2013


One thing that surprised me when I first got a job is how common just being friends with your coworkers is. Not that I see anything wrong with it, but I've never really worked with anyone that made me want to spend more time with them than I was contractually obliged to, and so the imbalance where they invite me to things and want to hang out and I just don't can be tricky to navigate.
posted by invitapriore at 11:23 AM on July 1, 2013


does your plane become a boat

It can... but only once.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:23 AM on July 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


My office is downtown but my goto place downtown is Whitehorse tavern on Bridge street. They will even give you a to-go cup of jameson for the train ride home.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:24 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


shhh that's illegal
posted by sweetkid at 11:25 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean REALLY old people, like "what's that again?" old - sweetkid

I think that's a good pool of potential friends though. They were wild in the sixties and have fantastic stories to tell, and seem to often have more time to spare than younger people.
posted by springload at 11:25 AM on July 1, 2013


If you're an introverted transplant who doesn't drink, you're basically fucked, socializing-wise.

This is me. I need to learn how to fake drink.

Or just find something that doesn't taste like alcohol.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 11:25 AM on July 1, 2013


shhh that's illegal

Of course, thats the only reason I do it. I don't even like Jameson.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:26 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


The ideal place for everyone to meet and make friends should be the bar around the corner from me because I don't want to have to get on a train
posted by The Whelk at 11:26 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]



I think that's a good pool of potential friends though. They were wild in the sixties and have fantastic stories to tell, and seem to often have more time to spare than younger people.


I'm pretty sure they have to go right to bed at 9 PM sharp. Also, I think more than being wild in the sixties old, they are "tied an onion to my belt, as was the style at the time" old.
posted by sweetkid at 11:27 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the chat room right now we're having an impromptu MeFiCamp brainstorming session, inspired by this thread.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:32 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like Adult Camp? Damn thats a great great business idea.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:33 AM on July 1, 2013


I would log into chat but that looks even less like work than MeFi.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:34 AM on July 1, 2013


Hail to thee Camp Mefi
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It would be great if someone could design a skin for chat that said Microsoft Office Live Helpdesk across the top or something.
posted by elizardbits at 11:35 AM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


> Yeah, but getting back into the city from billsburg at night when you're drunk is a fucking hassle.

or

> > twenty minutes to Williamsburg.

> Literally 0% chance.

If you lived in, say, Ottawa, Montreal, Sydney, Rome or Berlin (forget London!), it might take you an hour in the middle of the night to get wherever you wanted to go - IF you were going between two hubs. If you wanted to get from one "random" spot to another, it might take you twice as long - two hours. Or there might simply be no way to accomplish it at all without a car.

New York City has a simply amazing transport system. You should really take advantage of it. If you aren't willing to spend even half an hour to get a little off the beaten track, you're going to miss all the good stuff.

I realize that there's a reason that I have a lot of friends and I keep meeting new ones, at (almost) 51 - it's because I'm willing to go out of my way to find something really interesting to do.

So here's a list of random facilities where I have met cool people before.

monthly Williamsburg gallery walk
Annual Bushwick gallery walk
Nonsense NYC mailing list - best of the underground.
Silent Barn - an excellent community space that I'm associated with - with excellent music shows.
Death By Audio - a really good underground club.
Le Poisson Rouge - top-line music club, though perhaps harder to meet people.

ALL of these spaces, and most of the events on the NonsenseNYC list, are within 40 minutes of midtown, tops.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:36 AM on July 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


More than a camp, there should be Officially Designated Mefi Places in each city. Mefites in the know go there whenever, happy in the knowledge that if they spot another person wearing the Blue Ribbon, they can start up a chat.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:37 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


imnotasquirrel: If you're an introverted transplant who doesn't drink, you're basically fucked, socializing-wise.

This is me. I need to learn how to fake drink.

Or just find something that doesn't taste like alcohol.
I have a teetotalling coworker who shows up at all the celebratory open-bar events my company throws, and stays to the end. When the company tab is shut down, and people start buying rounds for their cluster of friends, he buys a round, too. No one gives a shit what's in his cup, when free (their drink of choice) magically appears in theirs.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:38 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


and if you're living in Yonkers, you can just give up entirely.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:38 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Potomac Avenue: Tell me them so I can invite you to drink with me at them.

Rudy's, my friend. Free hot dogs and 7$ pitchers. 2 avenues over from Times Square.
posted by windbox at 11:39 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kind of like a gay bar but for dorks!
posted by The Whelk at 11:39 AM on July 1, 2013


Soooo midweek midtown meetup? I promise to dress like the television character of your choosing.
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


More than a camp, there should be Officially Designated Mefi Places in each city. Mefites in the know go there whenever, happy in the knowledge that if they spot another person wearing the Blue Ribbon, they can start up a chat.

I would take really good care of this pony, mom, I promise.

(The only problem with New York would be trying to get some kind of consensus on exactly where such a place should be.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:40 AM on July 1, 2013


Could someone start a MeTa where we could all jump in and say where we live, what our interests are, and our age & whatnot? I'd do it myself only I'm shy.
posted by toodleydoodley
Post a meetup. I went to a poorly attended meetup, and had an excellent chat with some visiting MeFites, and also recently got a very nice followup. Difficulty:shyness, but there are probably some really nice Mefites near you. I have to meet anybody at a MeFi meetup who wasn't cool, interesting and nice. So, maybe I'm the statistically probably loser, but they don't kick me out, so I keep showing up.
posted by theora55 at 11:41 AM on July 1, 2013


This might all be easier to accept if you're OK with the idea that a lot of your social relationships are simply just going to be based on a small set of activities (snowboarding, drinking, sports, etc), and temporary (though possibly very long lived) - people's lives change rapidly, especially those in their 20s. I grew up in NY (Queens in particular), and I'm only in touch with two people I went to high school with, and one person from the neighborhood I grew up in. I've noticed that my social circle seems to have some major turnover every five-seven years, simply due to people moving away, or having kids, or both. I am willing to travel to hang out though, so while I have friends in several boroughs, I am the only common denominator between a lot of those groups - a lot of those people will never know each other simply because of geography. I might be subconciously trying to keep those groups separate though - one reason I've never attended a NY meta-meetup is I'm afraid I'm going to run into someone I know in real life at one, and now I'll know their mefi name and worlds will collide.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:42 AM on July 1, 2013


I assume New York or other locales with many Mefites would have multiple locations. The locations would start to form rudimentary tribal communities and would challenge the others nearby for status and glory.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:43 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


With the right kind of Iphone App technology I could have as many friends as Grindr users have Husbands.

We've been using GroupMe for this lately, and it works out really well! I mean, you need to have the friend group ahead of time but once everyone's plugged in to a group it's really easy to send one message to everyone and usually someone will respond.


Um hi it's called twitter.
posted by misskaz at 11:44 AM on July 1, 2013


Um hi are you @PeanutFreeMom?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:45 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


midweek midtown meetup

Next week, lets do it. I promise to dress like Greg Nog.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:49 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


You need a kilt and a kitty
posted by The Whelk at 11:50 AM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I promise to dress like the television character of your choosing.

Mabel Pines.
posted by elizardbits at 11:51 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


do not use the kitty as a sporran.
kitties have claws.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:52 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I promise to dress like the television character of your choosing.

Alf.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:53 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Um hi it's called twitter.

Fair enough, but if you've got a specific activity you're interested in, or a specific group you want to do things with then GroupMe has been good for not spamming everyone in your followers list.

We have a few groups set up, mostly with the same core set of people but since, say, I own one group I can include that core plus friends of mine that are not necessarily friends with those other people.

And now you can set up your day drinking group and not have your boss/mom/whatever on Twitter realize you're popping open a bunch of magnums at 10:30 in the morning not that that's ever happened before, of course.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:53 AM on July 1, 2013


what? I'm not supposed to have been drinking for hours now?
posted by hippybear at 11:55 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mabel Pines

Its funny that you assume I don't have a glow in the dark sweater
posted by The Whelk at 11:57 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I promise to dress like the television character of your choosing.

How about the Funky Phantom?
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:58 AM on July 1, 2013


Wish I could but I have half a dozen parties that night and training for a triathlon in the morning. I'm in Gstaad all next month but I'll make a note "drinks with Metafilter" for when I get back.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:02 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jackie from Roseanne is played out, I want you dressed as Dave Thomas from Grace Under Fire.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:03 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah to be fair most of my twitter friends are all from the same large-ish group of people so we're all more or less interested in the same things (booze, brunch, bands, etc.) Also, I and several friends maintain private locked accounts for the "let's go get plastered" and "omg work is the worst" stuff while maintaining a public one for more general whatever-it-is people use twitter for.

I also understand acutely how much a difference location makes. All of my friends live in the Logan Square and surrounding neighborhoods in Chicago (Avondale, Humboldt Park, etc.) while I live waaaay the fuck north in West Rogers Park. It's actually not that far, physically - 6-8 miles depending which neighborhood I'm going to - but mentally it's hard for many of us to get past. It requires a bike or a cab or a very long bus ride because my neighborhood is poorly served by transit. So while they are getting together for last-minute weekend brunches or "I had a shitty day at work" rescue beers, I'm watching from afar on twitter imagining how different my life would be if I lived in coolville too.

But twitter helps me feel like I maintain connections even when I don't see them in person as much as I'd like. I honestly couldn't imagine my social life without it. One of my twitter friends created a regular every-other-friday Friends&Fun meetup that helps a lot; similar to the regular Chicago monthly Mefi meetup, even if I don't attend every time it helps just knowing that if I wanted to see my peeps, I could.
posted by misskaz at 12:05 PM on July 1, 2013


I can't not to go to a midweek Monkey Bar meetup. It's a stone's throw from my office.
posted by zarq at 12:07 PM on July 1, 2013


Well that's clinched it. I'll come dressed as Nathan Barley.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:08 PM on July 1, 2013


haha. I Thought you guys were kidding about the Monkey Bar. I got money but not $26 a drink money.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:10 PM on July 1, 2013


GUYS IM IN LA NEXT WEEK SO STOP PLANNING THINGS NOW
posted by sweetkid at 12:11 PM on July 1, 2013


Actually, no drinks listed over $20. I could go for half a dozen $16 Bourbon Smashes.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:14 PM on July 1, 2013


26 a drink? I was thinking about doing a mad dash from Yonkers via metronorth and trying to actually make it to have a drink with all of y'all. even though i'd be in my extremely grubby work clothing, but i can't do that kind of thing in 26 dollar drink quanta.

and they'd kick me out in my carhartts covered in mud.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:15 PM on July 1, 2013


26 a drink?

I amended that, They have drinks in all price ranges. And ask about the certified pre-owned drinks
posted by Ad hominem at 12:16 PM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


I am just looking for a used car...what is all this?
posted by schmod at 12:18 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait are we supposed to be inviting the poors to this meetup? I'm all for making a diverse group of friends but class mixing is a step beyond the pale if you know what I mean.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:19 PM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I am fundamentally opposed to any place that'd throw out a patron for wearing mud covered carhartts.
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:19 PM on July 1, 2013


I'm pretty sure that cash is ultimately king, even in most of NYC, so we should be good.
posted by larthegreat at 12:20 PM on July 1, 2013


I'd be up to meet up with anybody in Seattle. If you can cope with cats I can host.
posted by wotsac at 12:21 PM on July 1, 2013


Also I like that a thread on the difficulty of making friends turned into a meetup. who's throwing up the IRL?
posted by larthegreat at 12:21 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


High prices encourage temperance

There was that place we all met for the NASA Mars Lander that was right in Times Square and totally reasonable
posted by The Whelk at 12:22 PM on July 1, 2013


First we have to fight to see which is the most introverted among us, and the loser has to post the meetup.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:22 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


In addition to the mud covered carhartts I come with the sweat of working outside in the sun. And possibly the bits of grass and other plant life of weed whacking. I might kick me out if it were my bar.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:23 PM on July 1, 2013


Potomac, Imma assume you're being sarcastic, but given that this is a thread about the problems of awkwardness and anxiety in making new friends, you may want to explicitly disclaim that.
posted by KathrynT at 12:23 PM on July 1, 2013


High prices encourage temperance

Exactly, so let's go somewhere cheap
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:23 PM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Kathryn, I do so explicitly disclaim that comment, and also for all future comments of mine please read them as either not serious or so markedly uninformed as to be considered not serious by any serious person.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:26 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel for you misskaz - I've had friends in Rogers Park, and there is no quick, easy way to visit them. Even now that I live on the West Coast I don't think I'm likely to see my Rogers Park friends much less often than when I lived in Lincoln Square.
posted by wotsac at 12:28 PM on July 1, 2013


sciencegeek, I'm used to a pack of archaeologists taking over a pub right after leaving the dig site. You, at least, probably don't have to worry that you were digging in contaminated ground.

Also, I always loved taking the tube home in dirty trousers as I would get at the stop right after canary wharf, so I'd be in there with a carful of bankers in suits.
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:28 PM on July 1, 2013


Forced to confront this problem a few years back, I realized the only adult option - apart from going back to school (nooooOOOOO!!!) - was attending get-togethers of people with a strong passion in some activity or speciality.

Despite being a generalist, I was lucky enough to hold a couple of those cards in reserve. EVEN THEN. It was as though, since I'd been 20, the whole country had turned into nitpickers who'd permanently shy away over a hair in the wrong place, or choosing the wrong adjective.

Eventually I realized that, as an adult, I had become fairly picky myself. I decided I could live with that. I don't think I could have, or would want to have, the kind of extended-teen friendships I'd leaned on long ago.
posted by Twang at 12:29 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is also the issue of Graydon Carter. I am philosophically opposed.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:29 PM on July 1, 2013


Also I like that a thread on the difficulty of making friends turned into a meetup.

The generous part of me is happy. The ungenerous part googles the distance from Boston to New York City and back.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:33 PM on July 1, 2013


Lillie's! the bar I was thinking of is Lillie's
posted by The Whelk at 12:37 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


fire up the hovercar. it won't take long.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:38 PM on July 1, 2013


There is also the issue of Graydon Carter. I am philosophically opposed.

Sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a your favorite magazine editor/movie producer/restaurateur/Bored to Death character sucks thread. I'm just honing my wit if I'm going to be in the same place Dorothy Parker and The Whelk drank.

Sorry team Graydon.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2013


I like lillies!
posted by larthegreat at 12:40 PM on July 1, 2013


Everyone should come to Midtown West for the mid-week meetups because that's where I live. It just has to be late enough so that I can get home.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:41 PM on July 1, 2013


I was making a joke but I would go to Lillie's!

Also I see Monkey Bar and counter with the Pony Bar, both the Midtown West and Upper East side locations have great beer selections and reasonable prices.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:45 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK its settled mid-town meetup right across the street from zarq/a NQ station at a classy hipster bar with cheap beer, fancy cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks options, no Editors and a decent jukebox from 5pm-1am Thendsday evening. Should be a cinch!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:45 PM on July 1, 2013


I want a daft punk listening party meetup!

Anyway, some of the issue is that in NYC intimacy phobes like me can socialize for quantity, and I bet we're frustrating for people who want to make Friends.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:47 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


However I consider you a friend despite all indications and statements by you to the contrary.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:47 PM on July 1, 2013


Meet me at the White Horse Tavern in one hour.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:49 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also if anyone is near Commonwealth in Brooklyn, Grobstein and I go there constantly.

Lilles it is. Someone post it already. I would but I'm not sure of my schedule.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:49 PM on July 1, 2013


"I'm not so good about the making new friends thing now because they inevitably want to Do Stuff and I have to explain that I hate Doing Stuff. Like, can't we just send each other obnoxious txts all day long and occasionally see a movie where things explode?"

I'm down. I can't even imagine there not being a line around the virtual block for Texts from elizardbits. I may also like explosions.
posted by Eideteker at 12:50 PM on July 1, 2013


Isn't it terrible when your own life is too close to the posted article (and even worse, probably more pathetic) for you to make puns or snarky jokes?

My usual commenting strategy is coming apart at the seams.
posted by Erberus at 12:53 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I have a kid & am highly social, just not at the same time that his dad is being highly social. We both go out 3 times a week or more.<
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:53 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like that a thread on the difficulty of making friends turned into a meetup.

I don't; it's a noisy chatty derail of what was an interesting thread.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:55 PM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


(My social life recently has consisted mostly of sending tauntig photographs for fancybeers I'm having to shakesperian)
posted by The Whelk at 12:58 PM on July 1, 2013


Ok ok go here we'll hash it out there instead perhaps
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:59 PM on July 1, 2013


Is this the party thread?
posted by klue at 12:59 PM on July 1, 2013


It used to be but someone's just shit in the punchbowl.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:59 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Party thread up above
posted by The Whelk at 1:00 PM on July 1, 2013


Also regarding the article I realize that this was a device but liking tuna, The Devil Makes Three and T.S. Eliot says very little about a person. The story/article doesn't end with her realizing that she's going about this wrong and in my opinion it doesn't really end on a happy note.

The problem with the no gluten potential friend wasn't that they didn't eat gluten but that they made it uncomfortable for the author to eat it.

And as many have said the problem with the Meetup meetup wasn't a problem with Meetup but with the author's approach and the author herself. Was there a bluegrass meetup? A poetry/modernists/literary meetup? And hell, she could have gone back to knitting a few times, it'd be a thing to do and people to interact with and they may have friends and there could be members more her style that didn't go that particular night.

But still, this is about finding acquaintances, activity buddies, etc. And those people CAN become friends but most of them will not.

Some of the more recent good friends I've developed have developed without me noticing, we'd start to hang out in more and more contexts and eventually I realized they cared about me and that we were friends.
posted by mountmccabe at 1:04 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Results from meeting people who are wildly funny and peripatetic online from the past 10 years of going to internet meetings:

1. Sometimes those people are really quiet at first because they are embarrassed by their reputation but then warm up and become conversational superstars
2. Sometimes the embarrassment grows like mold over everything and they have to leave
3. Sometimes those people come on super strong and weird everyone out a little
3. Sometimes everyone else comes on too strong and they get weirded out.
3. Sometimes people relax and everyone stops being weirded out.
3. Sometimes they are totally creep-vibe and you realize their persona actually is not a joke at all.
3. Sometimes they are totally regular and nice.
4. Sometimes they are completely made up and invisible.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:16 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


3. Sometimes they use the number 3 a lot.
posted by mountmccabe at 1:18 PM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


The problem with the no gluten potential friend wasn't that they didn't eat gluten but that they made it uncomfortable for the author to eat it.

TBH you just have to take this in stride sometimes. I have friends that tell me I am one Diet Coke away from total organ failure.

People rarely move to New York because they want to be left alone. We are a Mecca for the loudest,most obnoxious collection of people who are either kooks or want to be famous.

You are going to get lectured about everything, and come into contact with people doing all kinds of shit you never knew existed.

It is all part of the beauty of New York, there are very few restrictions on behavior besides the ones you bring with you.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:24 PM on July 1, 2013


I hope I'm #2 but I fear I'm #3 #4.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:25 PM on July 1, 2013


Not, on second reading, that I'm wildly funny anywhere.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:40 PM on July 1, 2013


I think I'm some mixture of: off-putting, creepy, come on too strong, mask my social anxiety with a persona, don't drink, introvert, exhausted from work/performing+rehearsals/sleep apnea.

Really, the people who have managed to become my friends are to be commended for their perseverance.
posted by Eideteker at 1:44 PM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm moving to New York soon can we meetup then? Soon?
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:46 PM on July 1, 2013


Looking back, all I know is that if I didn't try, I'd definitely have no friends. And that sometimes, something doesn't happen.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:46 PM on July 1, 2013


And maybe I'm unique, but making friends has actually gotten easier as I've gotten older. Not that it's anywhere near easy, but it's not quite as paralyzing as it used to be.
posted by Eideteker at 1:55 PM on July 1, 2013


paralyzing is a good word to describe the feeling of going into a group of people you really don't know and trying to start a conversation. I feel like I really missed out on some basic human training in this area.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:58 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


so this one time I was terrified of talking with other human beings and so I majored in journalism
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:02 PM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


I hear you, sciencegeek. I actively envy people who can talk to anyone without fear of instant rejection. I've never been able to shrug that off, even in my 40s. Mind you, I haven't actually been rejected like that since I was a little kid, and I make/have friends, but that initial fear hasn't gone away. This is probably why almost all of my girlfriends and almost all of my friends over the years have been outgoing types who can talk to anyone and take the time to draw me out.

Note to all parents: send your kids to preschool and make sure they're surrounded by other kids at a very young age so that they're socialized. Kids who don't get to hang out with other children until they're 6 are going to be poorly socialized, are not going to know how to make friends, and they'll have a very thin skin that increases the odds of rejection.

Also, let them have their friends come over instead of telling them that their friends are not welcome in your home. Otherwise, they'll feel like they're not welcome in anyone else's home, and that even when their friends' parents say "come in" and treat them well, they'll worry that secretly the parent wishes they would go away.
posted by davejay at 2:03 PM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


I had actually not thought about that last paragraph before, until just now, and so I have something to think about, there.
posted by davejay at 2:05 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


"paralyzing is a good word to describe the feeling of going into a group of people you really don't know and trying to start a conversation. I feel like I really missed out on some basic human training in this area."

And yet despite this, you're one of my favorite people met through MeFi! Or perhaps because of.
posted by Eideteker at 2:19 PM on July 1, 2013


I'm moving to New York soon can we meetup then? Soon?
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:46 PM on July 1 [+] [!]

We meet up constantly, seriously. No one worry.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:24 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


wemayfreeze: I'm moving to the NYC area soon too! NYC n00bs meet up!
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:24 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yeah from the couple times I happened to be in NYC at the same time as MeFites there were meeting up I can confirm that they are 1) friendly and 2) lovable and 3) either intimidatingly hip or impressively square, I haven't figured out which
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:25 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


thanks eideteker. we need to hang out in cemeteries more often. or you should get on your motor cycle and visit the crazy place where I work. because: greek temples, son of sam, and yonkers.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:27 PM on July 1, 2013


Also, I spent three years of my life surrounded by studying actors and actresses, most of whom train themselves early on to skip past the awkward formalities phase of meeting new people and go right ahead to the being themselves part, which is a combination of admirable and frustrating and irritating and occasionally creepy.

I feel that usually people either keep quiet when they've actually got something to say, or when they talk they do a bad job of gauging how everybody else is responding to them, either because they're so scared of others that they have already created a persona and they've convinced themselves that any reactions they get were "intended" or because they have far, far, far, far, far too much faith in other people's abilities to find subjects they know nothing about fascinating. The latter of which is why I find large clusters of super sciencey people worrisome, but also why I try to stay quiet as best I can whilst in public. Because I am One Of Those People, and I do my best to keep it from spilling out into the world.
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:32 PM on July 1, 2013


which is a combination of admirable and frustrating and irritating and occasionally creepy.

I-hey!
posted by The Whelk at 2:36 PM on July 1, 2013


so this one time I was terrified of talking with other human beings and so I majored in journalism

Freakin' tell me about it. I can corner and harass legislators and judges who could basically have me thrown in jail for not liking their shoes and I'm fine, but ask me to make small talk with a stranger who I already know likes the same movies as me and I freeze up. It's a wonder I can manage to feed myself sometimes.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:41 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh no, I meant my journalism education/abortive career was a predictable disaster
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:52 PM on July 1, 2013


"It ain't that hard."

That is such a cold, cold, cold response.

It is that hard for some of us.

I admire the writer for putting herself out there in so many ways.
posted by MoxieProxy at 3:29 PM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I understand the "not that hard" response. It's because of the second person narrative - makes it sound like it's meant to be universal not Personal.
posted by sweetkid at 3:34 PM on July 1, 2013


Sorry meant to add - and it's not universal. For some people making friends in NYC is not that hard. The 8 million bit sounds uninviting but the city doesn't feel that way.
posted by sweetkid at 3:36 PM on July 1, 2013


I basically gave up on this article when the author went to a knitting meetup without actually knowing how to knit. Wtf girl. Don't you have things you actually like to do? Don't you have hobbies? Go to a meetup for THOSE.

Seriously, I've been going to a cartoonist meetup for a few months. I'm on my way to being a regular, getting to know some other regulars. Maybe some of them will even graduate to friends. And at the very least it's a way to get out of the house and get some work done on the next page of my comic, and pass on some of my knowledge of how to draw here and there, and talk about a thing I like while getting a little drunk.
posted by egypturnash at 3:40 PM on July 1, 2013


egypturnash, I saw that as her showing how willing she was to try new things, just to meet people.

I've twice moved to large metropolitan areas where I knew *no one*, and have just moved to an area where I literally knew two people. It's not easy (for me, or the friend who moved here with me).
posted by MoxieProxy at 3:54 PM on July 1, 2013


egypturnash: Don't you have things you actually like to do?

I know I am in the position that after basically burying myself in my job for the last 7 years, no. No I don't. I can see why she would do this.
posted by oflinkey at 3:54 PM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Egypturnash- I'm not sure why being inexperienced in a hobby should preclude you from being able to attend. How the heck is she supposed to develop new intrests? "Stay in your studio apartment, all alone- Untill you have mastered baby blankets!"

When I moved to nyc it was really hard. I met some girl on the internet and she pretty much introduced me to all of my friend circle- even my fiance- but that was pure luck. I wouldn't poo poo at anyone's attempt to make friends. It's freakin lonley at times and I've been here nearly a decade.
posted by Blisterlips at 4:23 PM on July 1, 2013


Don't you have things you actually like to do?

I entirely sympathize with the people above who pointed out that for many people in their 20s (and, um, up), they don't have interests because they don't take time away from whatever's easy to do passively.

Also sometimes it turns out that the people who also like the things you like are deadly boring. I do triathlons, but if I end up in another social event where the entire conversation is nutrition/injuries/race strategy/what pro triathletes are up to, I will snap.
posted by psoas at 4:29 PM on July 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Making and keeping friends is hard as an adult (which I will arbitrarily define as 30's or older) and gets harder for most as age advances.

I remind myself that to have a friend one must first be a friend, and even then nothing is guaranteed. Befriending people always risks rejection and requires commitment.

Ms. Mann seems earnest and I agree she seems a bit stuck on "commonality" rather than dropping her bucket where she is. I do hate to be uncharitable (please excuse me if I am being so) but I suspect Mann may be a bit picky about who she befriends (nothing wrong with that) in which case she should expect to have an attenuated network of friends for the rest of her life (and nothing wrong with that).

If one is going to be choosy that one's friends must have a high degree of commonality with one's own appearance, behavior, ideology, predispositions, etc., one can expect to have even fewer friends than most people, which is really very very few.
posted by mistersquid at 4:31 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Facebook has also helped with this, because I'll just write, I'm bored, wanna do x anyone?

Yes, offering free drugs on the internet is a strategy, but it’s not for everyone.
posted by bongo_x at 5:17 PM on July 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


I agree this isn’t about New York, or your 20’s, it’s realizing making friends as an adult is a different thing, and a lot harder.

Ms. Mann seems earnest and I agree she seems a bit stuck on "commonality" rather than dropping her bucket where she is.

Yeah, "has to be the same age as me, and like all the same things as me" might be part of the problem. She’s maybe not realizing that that’s what "friend" means when you’re a kid, it can mean something else as an adult.
posted by bongo_x at 5:26 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am sociable enough so that people don't take me for a misanthrope, but not social enough to seek out new friends apart from my SO. If I really tried, like when I was single, I'd never see him. Metafilter meetups are full of work people, which annoys me! So I rely on old friends.
posted by skbw at 6:09 PM on July 1, 2013


Oddly, gay dating sites provided the bulk of my new to new york friendbase.
Thanks for the tip, Whelk.
posted by Oddly at 7:07 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Goddamn New Yorkers.
posted by Nomyte at 7:14 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This article hit home so hard. Just moved to New York knowing virtually no one, and I'm living in far out Queens due to a job that involves me traveling more than 50% of the time. I've moved to new cities before, but have usually had some sort of built in social scene. This move has got me real overwhelmed and lonely.
posted by jaksemas at 8:04 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok, I only read about half this thread, but many people have expressed skepticism at spending more than like, 15 minutes on the subway to visit a friend. What? I seriously don't get it. When I visited New York, riding the subway was just a joy. It is so much more efficient in your dense city than it will ever be here in LA.

And, coming from another angle, I lived about 20 miles away from my main friend group for years, and visited them multiple times a week, and that's not even really that weird. You can't suck it up and swipe your Metrocard if it means crossing a river?
posted by malapropist at 9:30 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


In college, I found out that I am happy if I have one or two events that I'm looking forward to. They don't have to be very big or exciting events— examples are: dinner with my cousin in the city, concert, weekend to finish my personal project, guitar lesson, etc. Just having a handful of things on the horizon stops me from getting anxious about my social life. YMMV.
posted by yaymukund at 10:53 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


but many people have expressed skepticism at spending more than like, 15 minutes on the subway to visit a friend. What? I seriously don't get it.

After you get what you want you don't want it
posted by The Whelk at 11:04 PM on July 1, 2013


There's no business like the Whelk business.
posted by Nomyte at 11:22 PM on July 1, 2013


but many people have expressed skepticism at spending more than like, 15 minutes on the subway to visit a friend. What? I seriously don't get it.

During the day, ok fine. I'll take the subway. Unless it is sweltering hot, then I am drenched with sweat as soon as I descend into the station.

Nights or weekends? Nah, I'm going to pass. I got better things to do than watch rats scavenge in the tracks as I wait 45 minutes for a train.

Even worse, there are always incomprehensible service changes nights and weekends.

So its 3:30 am. Lost my metrocard somehow.Metro card vending machines mysteriously broken. Drunkenly ask people to swipe me though. No, they all got 3 day fun passes! Hop the turnstyle like I'm 13 again. Clip my leg on the turnstyle. Fall face first to the concrete. Ruin my pants. Twist my ankle.

Hobble to a bench. Dust myself off. Wait 45 minutes for a train. Shit goes express but I'm too drunk to understand. End up on Lennox and can't find a cab at 5 am. Limp across town while the sun comes up.

Gets old after the first 20 times.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:54 PM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Lol, okay that makes more sense now.
posted by malapropist at 2:59 AM on July 2, 2013


This is why I only travel by mighty elk. It's just hard to find a place to hitch it most nights.
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 AM on July 2, 2013


Ok, I only read about half this thread, but many people have expressed skepticism at spending more than like, 15 minutes on the subway to visit a friend. What? I seriously don't get it. When I visited New York, riding the subway was just a joy. It is so much more efficient in your dense city than it will ever be here in LA.

15 minutes? I wish. Try 50-90 minutes if you live in Brooklyn and they don't.

I have just... become used to the idea that I need to be leaving my house an hour or two before I have to be at a given place. When I went home to visit my parents, we were leaving for a movie and I saw the clock and freaked out- you guys we're still SITTING here! It starts in 15 minutes! We will never make it! A leisurely 8-minute drive later, and we were in our seats. It takes me more than 8 minutes to get to a bodega and buy beer!
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:58 AM on July 2, 2013


I'm hardly the best person to give advice on this subject, given my recent track record... but in the past I've had good results when I as actively creating or building something in a group setting. The problem nowadays is I'm more independent, and more of a passive consumer of music and culture so i'm not really building or creating anything. In order to create big stuff I had to get help from people.
posted by molloy at 6:14 AM on July 2, 2013


This article hits home in so many ways. I even wrote an AskMe that sort of deals with this.

All the good friends I miss and love back in the States I made when I worked in the same industry for years. Even when we were switching jobs and what not, there was always someone to text or hang out with.

But it's even harder to do this in another language, making friends. Even the ones who do speak your mother tongue are nice but no one ever does anything. Or rather you keep making plans well in advance, but these are the kind of folks who have already established friend-bases and they've already got plans with those folks, like, months in advance. And you stop trying because no one ever shows up or they do but only if you switch your plans around.

I like the friends we have, but they aren't the kind of people who I can call when I'm having a shitty day, or meet me for coffee or a drink with a few hours notice.

Ugh. I will stop. This is making me depressed all over again.
posted by Kitteh at 6:15 AM on July 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


15 minutes? I wish. Try 50-90 minutes if you live in Brooklyn and they don't.

And we haven't even addressed the cases where "one of you lives in Brooklyn but not in a place that is convenient to subways." It takes me ten minutes just to walk to the nearest subway stop, and about 20 minutes to walk to the nearest logical subway stop (the nearest subway is the G train which is universally mocked by most New Yorkers). I have to take a bus to get to the subway most times I go into the city, or be ready to take a long walk. And would have to be waiting outside on the sidewalk for a bus at night once I get off the subway if I am out late.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:32 AM on July 2, 2013


And the times when you just want to say OH GOD FUCK IT and get in a cab, many drivers will balk at the idea of going into Brooklyn, which is totally illegal but arguing about it is such a fucking hassle, so you hail another cab which of course has just seen the previous one reject you and it becomes a chain reaction of cabs briefly stopping and then refusing to take you anywhere and you're basically left standing on the corner with your ringing bell shouting LEPER OUTCAST UNCLEAN.

Getting a cab from BK back into the city at night is a similar exercise in Sisyphean anguish.
posted by elizardbits at 9:06 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man trying to get a cab from the Unheated Warehouse Art Space in Crown Heights in the middle of the night was just SUPER FUN ALL THE TIME.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on July 2, 2013


Also whoever says "I've got the number of a good car service" is LYING.

That's how ended up accidentally bribing that cop.
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 AM on July 2, 2013


Going to Brooklyn in a cab I just get the hell in and give them the address. Works ok until they pretend they don't know where we are going and we drive around in circles for 45 minutes.

I can navigate by landmarks in Williamsburg but I don't know most street names.

I don't even bother trying to hail a cab in Brooklyn unless I am near a street that cabs take to get back to the bridge. I just find a local car service.

I don't understand how people expect me to go to that Williamsburg Bowling ally or Barcade. Better be something important, I ain't going all the way out there just to have two cask aged ales.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:40 AM on July 2, 2013


turns out you can hire a chopper from Uber now so that's my plan from now on.
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have just... become used to the idea that I need to be leaving my house an hour or two before I have to be at a given place... It takes me more than 8 minutes to get to a bodega and buy beer!

Years ago, someone I know who’d moved away from NY after many years told me that people get sucked in and brainwashed living there because they always feel like they’re doing something. They’re always busy, got things going on, living a full life, but really it’s just that everything’s so complicated and going to get some groceries or visiting a friend takes all day.
posted by bongo_x at 9:46 AM on July 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


A lot of my coworkers have never even been to New York. They ask me what my commute is like and when I tell them 30-40 minutes they think I am commuting like 50 miles.

The utterly ludicrous driving directions iPad maps gives me, they have me driving around the tip Manhattan which may be faster but is much longer, tells me 8.4 miles. I'm probably closer to 4-5 miles from the office.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:16 AM on July 2, 2013


The thing is, when the subway DOES work, like train in station when you arrive, connections are flawless, etc. It's really fast and convenient.

That, of course, assumes it's working and not operating on a schedule determined by trans-temporal beings from a dimension unlike our own.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


After spending more years than I care to admit without any close friends in Chicago, I recently decided that this was The Thing Missing from My Life and that I was going to make making friends my #1 priority in life right now.

What has helped me most is to not worry about coming across as a desperate, friendless loser and just be completely open about liking people and wanting to spend time with them. If I meet someone I like for whatever reason, I come up with a way to see them again or at least attempt to. So far, my success rate has been about 50%.
posted by Jess the Mess at 11:00 AM on July 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


That, of course, assumes it's working and not operating on a schedule determined by trans-temporal beings from a dimension unlike our own.

Ok, I admit, when I was in NY, I was walking back from a metafilter meetup and the Lexington Ave train back to my hostel was inexplicably closed below 14th St, and it was dark and pouring rain on me and my SLR. I, along with a roving band of similarly inconvenienced commuters were stalking from station to closed station until we finally found a bus that would take us back to midtown. That sucked, even happening once, even considering I didn't have to get to work or anything.
posted by malapropist at 11:32 AM on July 2, 2013


turns out you can hire a chopper from Uber now so that's my plan from now on.

Oh wait, The Whelk, you're not even kidding. $3000 to get to the Hamptons from NYC via Uber.
posted by fragmede at 11:50 AM on July 2, 2013


turns out you can hire a chopper from Uber now so that's my plan from now on.

Oh, I thought you meant a custom motorcycle.
posted by bongo_x at 12:19 PM on July 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


It beats waiting for Iron Man to pick me up.
posted by The Whelk at 12:44 PM on July 2, 2013


The morning I accidentally got an town car rather than a cab using the Uber app was amusing, but if a helicopter accidentally showed up, that would have been something.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:03 PM on July 2, 2013


"It beats waiting for Iron Man to pick me up."

Try showing a little leg.
posted by Eideteker at 1:38 PM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


There should be an introvert meetup, and it should be in queens.
posted by bunderful at 6:47 PM on July 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, I have a volunteer job that offers classes, so most of my friends come from there.

Regarding the friends of different ages/parents with kids thing: I have friends with older children/that are older, but the youngest kid pretty much needs to be about 5-6 years old before the friendship sticks. Before that, it seems like the parents literally can't do anything other than kid stuff, and it's just plain easier for them to only be friends with other parents of kids the same age that are in the same boat. In that case, yeah, I don't think you will have much luck with the young moms or the Smug Newlywed Young Marrieds, the latter of which have actually scorned me to my face for not coming with a husband for theirs to play with. Really, people?

I think it depends on your stages of life, though. My friends tend to either be unmarried and young, or older and married, but not dealing with raising small children and have enough free time to do things out of the house. I do think it might be hard to make friends at work, though, especially if you are out of sync with everyone else's marital status. When I worked at a newspaper in my 20's everyone was out drinking at night, now I work in an office that's either filled with teenagers or older married folks, and the few single folks here aren't exactly social. But then again, it may not be the world's best idea to have best buddies at work anyway.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:14 PM on July 2, 2013


the Smug Newlywed Young Marrieds, the latter of which have actually scorned me to my face for not coming with a husband for theirs to play with. Really, people?

WTF? I'm married and I always feel like single women hesitate to invite me to hang out one-on-one, just because of my marital status. Which sucks. I am not surgically attached to him. Then, of course, I have known a few women who do insist on bringing their SOs everywhere with them. And, of course, in most of these cases, the SO is insufferable.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:19 AM on July 3, 2013


Man, having pals where you're bored and you feel comfortable just dropping by- I barely remember what that's like. I have plenty of pals that I see on the regular, but not many "hey, whatcha doing" "nothing" "wanna hang out" "ok but you gotta come here I have been in these jammies for three days and I'm not breaking that streak" friends, not anymore. I think part of it is that everyone is so busy.
posted by windykites at 4:13 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]



egypturnash, I saw that as her showing how willing she was to try new things, just to meet people.


Except she went once, had a perfectly nice evening, but didn't feel she had anything in common and didn't go back. Can she really know that from just a single meeting? Maybe it's just me, but I've usually had to go several times to any sort of activity to discover whether there might be room for friendship with any of those people.
posted by canine epigram at 8:13 AM on July 9, 2013


Related: Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30? (NYT article)
posted by mountmccabe at 1:13 PM on July 10, 2013


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