>> The New York dream is to frequently attend a wide variety of intellectual, cultural, and highly entertaining events. Once there, a big bonus is the chance to meet new people who share your passions.
New York plays, concerts, operas, and dances, of course, provide stimulating evenings. If you don't count standing in restroom lines during intermission, however, they are not likely to provide an atmosphere in which you can meet new people.
The types of events most likely to provide stimulation and interesting people are informative events like classes, lectures, tours, and readings. That said, don't let the suggestion of "school" scare you off!
I use the term "edu-tainment" to define an informative, stimulating event. Edu-tainment events are lead by bright people, are usually 2 to 2.5 hours in length, and provide plenty of opportunity for socializing. Best? No tests!
EDU=education and TAINMENT=entertainment
Edu-tainment events are a good investment. They generally range from free to $65 per event, but when bundled (think "courses"), such as 6 events for $120, each event in a series can be as low as $20 (far lower than a dating service).
For the best selections, get on standard mailing lists where you are automatically sent catalogs and flyers. In my opinion, these off-line resources are the easiest to review and bookmark.
Also consider getting on email lists, although many people are shy about signing up due to SPAM overload. As an incentive to use email, however, some organizations send out discounted admission specials. If you think you can find their solicitations in your daily onslaught, get on lists.
All museums sponsor edu-tainment events. In New York, of course, there is a museum for every interest (including sex), so you should be able to find interesting topics without difficulty.
All arts-related schools sponsor theatrical, musical and dancing events performed by great artists (often artists-in-residence) and students alike. And student productions? New York arts students seem to start at a "professional level," then work up from there. I don't know what it is about this city, but everyone is good!
If you have a strict budget, thinking in terms of "per event" prices might help you make a decision that will enrich your life and expand your friendships, without really breaking the bank as you know it.
Questions or comments?
SELECTED EVENT AND EDUCATIONAL
92nd STREET Y
1395 LEXINGTON AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10128
DOWNTOWN NEW YORK, INC.
120 BROADWAY, SUITE 3340
NEW YORK, NY 10271
ART STUDENTS LEAGUE
OF NEW YORK, THE
215 WEST 57TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10019
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN
1000 WASHINGTON AVENUE
BROOKLYN, NY 11225
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT
OF SCIENCE AND ART, THE
NEW YORK, NY 10003
FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
FIT - STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
7TH AVENUE AT 27TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10001
GOTHAM WRITERS' WORKSHOP
1841 BROADWAY, SUITE 809
NEW YORK, NY 10023
GRADUATE CENTER, THE
365 5TH AVENUE AT 34TH STREET
NEW NORK, NY 10016
LUCY MOSES SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
129 WEST 67TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10023
NEW SCHOOL UNIVERSITY
66 WEST 12TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10011
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL HORTICULTURE
200TH STREET AND KAZIMIROFF BLVD.
BRONX, NY 10458
NEW YORK OPEN CENTER, THE
83 SPRING STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10012
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF CONTINUING &
100 WASHINGTON SQUARE EAST
NEW YORK, NY 10003
PARSONS CONTINUING EDUCATION
DIVISION OF NEW SCHOOL UNIVERSITY
66 5TH AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10011
The catalogs shown below will help you jump-start your search for high-quality, reasonably priced events. In addition, their multiple-day (bundled) events provide great opportunities to meet like-minded people.
Obtain printed bulletins and fliers whenever possible, even though information is also posted on the web. As nice as the web is, event information can be difficult to find, list, and/or organize, especially when it covers multiple pages.
TIP: If you can't start at the beginning and courses are not filled, you may be able to audit them mid-term.
CUNY Graduate Center Continuing Education & Public Programs: 44 pages. This is the gold standard for single events. Typical prices: free, $10, $15.
92nd Street Y: 146 pages. This is the gold standard for community events, with lectures, arts, performances, concerts, crafts, food, dating, and tours, plus Jewish cultural and religious topics. Single events average $10 to $25. Bundled pricing averages $30 to $45 per event, such as $435 for 14, or $120 for 4.
New School University Bulletin: 260 pages. Various departments offer free events, but you have to be signed up to get invites. Many single events are $65 each. Bundled pricing averages $35 per event, such as $265 for 8, $445 for 13, and $210 for 6.
New York University Continuing Studies Bulletin: 285 pages. Wide range of subjects, plus certification-oriented and college-credit classes. Many bundled offerings at $46 to $60 a session, such as $460 for 10, and $730 for 12.
Parsons Continuing Education: 50 pages. Fascinating mix of design, art, floral arts, interior decoration, and fashion courses. Consider such things as "Art Deco," "Oriental Rug Seminar," and "Antiques Connoisseurship." Join mid-session if the class has room. Bundled pricing averages $40 to $50 per session, such as $472 for 12 or $394 for 10.
The New York Open Center: 80 pages. Spiritual and health-related topics. Average prices: Single sessions at $15 to $35. Day-long sessions at $110. Two-day sessions at $225.
Gotham Writers' Workshop: 38 pages. Meet other writers through a few free lectures and readings. Bundled classes average $35/$45 each, such as $345 for 10 and $395 for 10.
Lucy Moses School - Kaufman Center for Arts & Performance: 20 pages. Fabulous resource for those who like to sing, play instruments and/or act. Mostly bundled classes at approximately $25/$35 each, such as $235 for 10, $315 for 10, and $295 for 14.
Downtown New York: Pamphlet. World-class entertainment, often free, held at the World Financial Center and Battery Park.
Cooper Union: 37 pages. Single (free to $40) and bundled events includes lectures, performances, and classes. Many types of art classes, architectural topics, wine tasting, history, literature, floral design, and software training. Bundled classes approximately $25/35 each, such as $265 for 10 and $190 for 6.
The Art Students League: 96 pages. The plain cover belies the full-color presentation inside. Examine art teachers' styles before selecting reasonably-priced drawing, painting, sculpture, and print-making classes. Totally exciting stuff where you meet like-minded people creating art in working studios! You generally pay a monthly tuition based on the number of days you attend per week. Examples: $83 for 2 evenings, $105 for 3 evenings, and $155 for 5 evenings per week.
The New York Botanical Garden - School of Professional Horticulture: 22 pages. Classes accessable to enthusiasts. Professionals get credit. Also see classes and lectures given by the New York Botanical Garden proper.
FIT - Fashion Institute of Technology: 35 pages. Bills these classes as "short, affordable seminars and training programs for fashion and related businesses." Learn about how start your own store, how to be a store buyer, how to become a stylist, and all about wholesale/retail transactions. Wide-range of prices. Example: $10 to $150.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 35 pages. Adult and children's classes. Many holiday-oriented classes. Earn a horticulture certificate that addresses such skills as Plant Propagation, Pest Management, Urban Garden Maintenance, and Urban Garden Design, among many things. Wide-range of prices, with many classes free. Multiple week courses range from $75 to $350.
For more options, contact museums, libraries, and theatrical, musical, dance, sports, and professional organizations. Also consider churches, synagogues, social clubs, non-profits, and all the colleges and universities not listed above.
If that doesn't do it, consult a phone directory (Yellow Book or Yellow Pages) for things like golfing and sailing lessons, as well as professional associations.