Making friends in a cooking class in NYC

How To Meet People and Make Friends in NYC

house David Chang Jan 26, 2023

As the leading piano teacher for adults in Brooklyn, I often hear about the pressures and adventures of being a young adult in New York City. There’s career pressure, rising rents, and neighborhood changes of course, but one of the most common bits of feedback I receive is that it can be challenging to make new friends.

This isn’t unique to NYC of course, but our city is filled with young professionals moving here for job reasons. Medical professionals, finance folks, artists and more transplant to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and other boroughs for the opportunity to advance in America’s leading city.

Hopefully you will find this blog helpful - and if you’re interested in joining my musical community, please get in touch! We will discuss the following ways to make friends in NYC:

  1. Joining my piano studio
  2. Attending music-related meetups and camps
  3. Pick up a new hobby
  4. Attend a regular class or event
  5. Don’t discount your neighbors
  6. Consistency and Patience Matter - and say yes

#1 - A Shameless Plug To Join My Piano Studio in Brooklyn

David Chang Music caters to adults, and my students meet each other, share music and experiences, and often become friends. It’s especially exciting because my students come from all walks of life to learn the piano! Accountants, marketing leaders, bankers, and more come together to tackle the challenge of learning to play the piano at an advanced level. I hold regular studio classes, recitals, and other opportunities for my students to mix and mingle, and I even have online students who fly into NYC to participate. I would love to tell you more, so feel free to get in touch.

#2 - Music-Related Meetups and Camps For Adults

I’ve written previously about classical music meetups for adults in NYC, so I’ll mention it again here. The New York Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of NY, Manhattan Theatre Club, and other institutions have members-only “clubs” for adults under 40, and they aren’t financially burdensome to join. If you are musically inclined, you can enjoy discounted tickets and make new friends at various cocktail hours and other events.

Summer music camps for adults, particularly piano-related camps, are also very popular. You can get away from Manhattan (or attend a camp in the city), and you will enjoy intensive piano-related activities with like minded peers for 3-5 days. There’s always plenty of time for socializing and meeting other people.

#3 - Pick Up a New Hobby in NYC

This might seem cliche, but hobbies really do lead to new friendships. New York City is huge, and whether you want to race electric RC cars, join a bowling league, or shoot darts on a pub team, you have options. Niche hobby communities are almost always warm and inviting - they take it as a compliment when someone wants to become “one of them.” Also, most leagues (bocce, bowling, darts, pickle ball etc.) have a free agent process where they pair new members with an existing team or club. You will enjoy the added benefit of developing a new skill that gives you something in common with other people - this is a much more wholesome way to meet people than simply chatting on a speed date or hanging out at the same bar each week.

#4 - Explore Classes and Learning Opportunities

The Brooklyn Brainery is a popular choice for young adults, and it hosts regular classes for everything from bonsai to art and health. You’ll be on equal footing with other class members; it’s composed of people interested in a subject (but without expertise).

Workout classes, yoga, running clubs and other health-based activities are also a decent way to make friends. Members of local classes often hang out after sessions to grab lunch or coffee.

#5 - Be Outgoing Around Your Neighbors

Everyone in NYC has neighbors that they run into from time to time. If you’re a young professional, there’s a great chance they are in the same boat as you. Don’t aggressively pursue people when you first move in, but don’t shy away from casual conversation from other people in your building, folks on the stoop next door, or other shared environments. After a few casual conversations (unless these conversations are exceedingly awkward), work up the courage to suggest a meeting somewhere other than the hallway or lobby.

#6 - Consistency and Patience Matter

When trying to make new friends in a new place, realize that it won’t happen overnight (unless you get lucky or have unusual social skills). Maintain some semblance of consistency - for instance, go to the dog park at the same times, walk through the apartment building lobby at similar times, etc. You will start to see familiar faces, and after a month or two, it would be appropriate to approach people. If you regularly attend classes or a rec league of some kind, you will experience the same thing.

And over time, you will start to receive invitations to activities and events. Do the very best you can to accept invitations the first time you receive one from a new person. People are often hesitant to ask twice! The networking effect will eventually kick in, and you will start to build a new community.