Finding venues to meet people

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Finding venues to meet people Empty Finding venues to meet people

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:00 pm

With a sudden opening in my schedule today, I was hoping to go out somewhere that I can meet people, but I don't know how to find a place!

I've been trying to google my way into success with finding a bar or club, but I can't figure out how to tell which ones will have people at them and which are more likely to just be restaurants with a 6-person bar at them that no one will ever be at. While I want to go out and do something, I have a hard time picturing anything more depressing that sitting alone at a bar with no one else there but the bartender.

How do people FIND places to go and do things, particularly when they're stuck in picket fence suburbia? I don't really have any single friends to go out with...

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Post by Gman on Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:13 pm

Well, I'm pretty much biased when it comes to this, but try to see if there are any regular social dancing events in your area. Doesn't really matter what dancing style it is. I personally began dancing salsa about 2 years ago - it pratically saved my social life and boosted my life in ways I couldn't even imagine. Though I will say that it's a personality thing - some people like to dance only certain styles, some people try everything at least once and some people actually hate dancing (though from my experience, those are far and few in between and I'm also willing to bet that they haven't given it a try even).
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Post by Mel on Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:18 pm

If you're looking for a bar or club type place, I would recommend Yelp (reviews there should give you an idea of which places are popular and what sort of crowd) followed by a Google image search of the place name to check out the layout etc.

In general, are you talking about looking for things to do in the city you're in a suburb of? Maybe check to see if there's a Facebook group for the area where people might be posting about events?
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Post by Guest on Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:30 pm

Ooh, dance stuff is a great idea. Not too much searching just found me a west coast swing event tonight that I think I'll hit.

And Mel, I'm open to going into the city, but my fear is that I'll get in there and find that places are too full or stressful or wild. It's not a quick trip (I'd be on the road nearly an hour each way), and I'd really rather find places out in the suburbs that I can go to.

The reality may just be that what I want doesn't actually exist: a place within half an hour of me that has a decent but not overwhelming crowd and where people are actually interested in meeting people, rather than having a meal with friends and then going home. Most of the Yelp reviews are very food-focused, rather than describing the venue, and I haven't found any at all that suggest that the places would be a spot to meet people.

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Post by Mel on Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:41 pm

ElizaJane wrote:The reality may just be that what I want doesn't actually exist: a place within half an hour of me that has a decent but not overwhelming crowd and where people are actually interested in meeting people, rather than having a meal with friends and then going home.  Most of the Yelp reviews are very food-focused, rather than describing the venue, and I haven't found any at all that suggest that the places would be a spot to meet people.

I was thinking more that you start out by looking for bars/clubs in the first place (rather than restaurants), since those tend to lend themselves more to meeting people, then see which ones people actually like on Yelp, and then use Google Images to check whether the ones people review well have what looks like a social atmosphere. Although that does depend on there being bars/clubs in your area rather than mainly restaurants.
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Post by Gman on Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:51 pm

ElizaJane wrote:Ooh, dance stuff is a great idea.  Not too much searching just found me a west coast swing event tonight that I think I'll hit.

awwwwww yeah cheers ! West Coast Swing is pretty cool. I really like it cause it's relativley simple to catch the basics but allows a lot of room for personal interpretation! 
Just a word of caution - if you are like me and you try a lot of different styles at least once, a possible side of effect of that is finding yourself torn with the question "which style do I want to dance today" (that's why I like going to a single place that offers ALL the styles that I dance - I usually end up floating from one room to another, depending on my dancing mood)

PARTY TIME!!!!!
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:55 pm

Honestly, when I have a sudden bug to go out and meet people, my first stop is Facebook. I have enough Facebook friends outside my usual peer group that I wind up with a bunch of event invites to things that won't have many people that I already know. For example, tonight there's a Dr. Who viewing party, a burlesque show at the zombie apocalypse bar, a pre Ren Faire celebration at a third place and a hearse car show. My second stop would probably be Meetup but I tend to wind up with an intimidating amount of options there. If your event list isn't full, try joining some groups focused on the big city nearby.

Also, if your town or the big one that's a bit of a drive have a main drag, that can make it a lot easier. You're looking for somewhere that has a bunch of bars/clubs/social spaces all together. Then you can just bounce in and out and ifnd the one that's right for you.

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Post by nonA on Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:08 pm

Something I've been wondering about between your blog and your posts.  Ho often do you make non-date plans to go out with people?  Something about mentioning all the dates and bars and clubs makes me wonder how often you pencil in time for yourself to be something other than Mommy or Singleton?  Sometimes it is good to look for ways to spend time with other adults that doesn't have implications of adult time.

More germane, what are places near you that people will go to congregate?  Book/comic/etc. shops come immediately to mind.  You don't strike me as any sort of club gal.  Honing your approach/conversation skills with strangers might work better if it's somewhere more in your idiom.

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Post by kath on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:52 pm

I actually ... have no idea how you would go to a bar on your own and then meet people there (but this is like, Not a Thing in my life, so that's why. I'm assuming if it's the sort of thing you do, if you found the right bar you'd be all over it. I just can't imagine what that bar would be like, because when I'm at a bar or a pub, I do want to have dinner with my friends and go home Razz). My "where could I got to meet people" strategy is pretty much GJ's. Find an art opening (which will have a mix of people I know and people I don't), a theatre thing (depending on the type of show - I wouldn't go to my city's large, mainstream, Big Theatre Company to meet people, but I would go to Small Experimental Theatre Show and hope I could find a way to chat with people), a techy thing, a makery thing ... whatever. Generally interest-based versus "show up somewhere and try to make conversation", which is sounds like you could do, but I normally can't. I tend to like places where I will probably know some people though (also I am bad at planning small group things so I like going just to maintain my weak-tie relationships that I rely on).

Also, hilariously, there's an event I can't go to on Thursday called "Talking with Strangers" ... that actually appears to be about professional practice as a visual artist, but I thought the name was funny given the context. It includes artist speed dating!

Oh, I did think of one thing! Do you have bars or pubs that do games? Game nights, pool (if you have some idea of how to join in a pool game, I would have no idea how to go about that if I didn't know the pool players)? There's a bar in my city that's kind of central-suburban and has two locations and it's like got bowling and mini golf and stuff. I thought it was a really weird place, but mini golf was fun?
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Post by Guest on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:59 pm

nonA wrote:Something I've been wondering about between your blog and your posts.  Ho often do you make non-date plans to go out with people?  Something about mentioning all the dates and bars and clubs makes me wonder how often you pencil in time for yourself to be something other than Mommy or Singleton?  Sometimes it is good to look for ways to spend time with other adults that doesn't have implications of adult time.

More germane, what are places near you that people will go to congregate?  Book/comic/etc. shops come immediately to mind.  You don't strike me as any sort of club gal.  Honing your approach/conversation skills with strangers might work better if it's somewhere more in your idiom.

I don't talk on the blog about the non-date stuff, because it's not really germane, but I've got a fairly active social life through my church. I do a weekly bible study with a fairly tight group of people, my Sunday mornings are taken up with that, and I also have once-a-month events like a knitting circle and a cooking group. I try to get out by myself for a chunk of time on my kid-free weekends, too: I spent the afternoon today seeing The Maze Runner and last week I spent a few hours just hiking around in a local conservation area.

I don't really know where people congregate, is the real issue. People suggest things like book stores, coffeeshops, etc, but I've always found those to be very isolated and solitary places, where people will glare at you for getting within ten feet of them, let alone starting a conversation. I don't really have geeky social circles in meatspace anymore, and while I still like all of those hobbies, and miss them, I'm not ready to start thinking about the time investment needed to turn something like gaming into a regular hobby again.

Unfortunately, most of the events I like to attend seem to pull a much, much older crowd -- when I've hit concerts for musicians I like, for instance, the average age is usually 20 years older than I am. Wink

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Post by kath on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:25 am

No chance to meet people through church?

Could you go to events that are closely aligned to your particular religious stripe, but draw people from outside your particular worship group?

Also, you may be able to find geeky events that are more casual, so you don't need to pick up a serious habit to go there, have fun, and meet people. Like go to board game night at a cafe or bar, but not the night where people are playing risk at the games shop.

Meetup groups are also great for balancing the same people and new people, if you want that. And you go to the meetup group and there you find people in the know about where other people like them congregate.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:44 am

I think the general consensus is not to try and meet people at places, as such but at events. Does the book store have a book club you'd be interested in? Does the bar have bands sometimes? Your local library almost certainly has plenty of events. Meeting people at a bookstore or even a bar with nothing special going on tends to be more of lucky break territory. Sure, if you're approaching a lot of people every time you go out, you'll strike lucky more often. Otherwise you're better off focusing on events where people are more open to meeting and where you know you'll have some interests in common.

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Post by Guest on Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:54 am

A note on bars and pubs from someone who goes to many to just enjoy themselves: Yelp and the like are unreliable a lot of the time for these kinds of venues, I find. I'll go to a bar that has rave reviews as being a good place for a solitary drink and it turns out it's a sports bar with about as much charm as a rock. TVs everywhere, no one actually talking and instead betting on races or machines. In other words, not very social.

I'll also see places described as complete dives that aren't worth your time and it turns out what they meant is the place is small and is an actual pub with no TVs, betting machines etc.

If you want to go about finding a place to spend some time with the chance of meeting someone there then it's best to shop around in person at the nearest city/town that has a few venues and see for yourself. Talk to the bar staff, managers etc to get an idea of the events that occur there if any. If you find a place you like, make an effort to go frequently to solidify yourself as a 'regular'. That's helped me to no end in meeting either other regulars or people that go there from time to time and noticed me there every time they have gone and talked to me because they see me all the time.

Of course, I have a preference to venues that lack the gambling side or venues that are smaller in physical side so I have that bias there. But I have been deceived by both review sites and friends before into thinking a place would be great and it's not all that. Best to just go out and try for yourself.

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