Date Night

Seeking a Friend (or Date) in NYC

Want to spice up your social life? Look no further.

View at Lovage

Home to more than eight million, New York has no shortage of people ready and willing to mix and mingle. But in a world ruled by mobile apps and social media, fewer and fewer interactions are happening face to face. So for those wishing to socialize beyond a cellphone screen, here are a few ways to connect with likeminded folks in the flesh across the five boroughs.

Meet at the Top

Looking for love, but not a fan of online dating? On August 23, head to Lovage NYC, where UK-based private dating club Social Concierge is hosting a Rooftop Romance party to toast the end of summer. Mix with more than 300 eligible singles at this chic, 4,000-square-foot lounge in Hell’s Kitchen. Only members of the network may attend; it’s $25 per month to join. (Plug in the code WSWD for a fast-tracked membership, which includes complimentary tickets to the club’s monthly bashes.)

Play Ball

One of the best ways to make new acquaintances is to become part of a team, and ZogSports offers New Yorkers dozens of leagues to join. Just pick a neighborhood (locations are scattered throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan) and a sport—from basketball, softball, and the other usual suspects to spikeball, Frisbee, and cornhole. (There’s even corporate blacklight dodgeball, which involves LED lights and glowing body paint.) Similarly, Queens-based Astoria Social has a handful of intramural teams, among them darts and kickball…not to mention a trivia team that invites players of all levels to an easygoing battle of wits fueled by great grub and drinks at local bars.

Photo courtesy of Brandon Bitterman

Running into Friends

Avid sprinters who want to connect with like-minded spirits can sign up for New York Road Runners, a nonprofit “global champion of the running movement” that offers a slew of events and programs worldwide, including free weekly runs and walks in the city. The Nike+ Run Club operates on the same ethos, hosting coach-led runs alongside local groups like WRU Crew and NYC BridgeRunners.

Start a New Chapter

More of a bookworm than a jock? Fraternize with fellow bibliophiles through Word Bookstore, which has an array of groups for all kinds of readers, from the Gilmore Girls Book Group in Greenpoint to the Cookbook Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. And those with broader literary tastes can head to JCC Manhattan, home to the Strictly Fiction Book Club (along with its nonfiction equivalent).

Word Bookstore; photo courtesy of Danielle Murphy

Feed Your Soul

Foodies can blend with other epicures courtesy of Tasting Collective, a members-only cohort that grants access to private dining experiences at some of the city’s top restaurants. (Most recently, gastronomes bonded over yaki onigiri and tarte flambées created by veteran chef Gabe McMackin at a 10-course seasonal American feast at The Finch.)

If you’re not willing to pay the Collective’s $165 annual fee, there’s also the Queens Dinner Club, which holds similar gatherings every week. On September 9, the group will head to Pig Island at Brooklyn’s Erie Basin Park for “swining and dining with heritage pork prepared by over 25 chefs and fine libations!” You might just meet your soul mate while reaching for the same rib. (Hey, you never know.)