Her first email stated:
I haven't had a lot of interaction with other people since moving, and I didn't know anyone in the area to begin with. Any suggestions for things to do, clubs to join, classes to take, etc. that would help me meet people? I joined a gym and a yoga class, but they're not quite doing the trick. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!(Does this sound like you? Or maybe sound like someone you saw in yoga class and didn't say hi to? I'm guilty of this too sometimes.) After I quit beating myself up, I asked her:
You mentioned the gym and yoga as two interests, but what else do you like to do? Would you take an art class at the community college, PSU or ArtsQuest? Or teach one? Would you join a sports team with a bunch of strangers? Do you like wine and beer? Irreverent comedy?She replied:
What age range of people and gender are you looking to meet? Couples to hang out with your boyfriend? or girlfriends? Mentors? What area do you live in?
I'm 25. I live in west Allentown a few blocks north of Muhlenberg, though my boyfriend and I have found ourselves in Bethlehem a lot, especially when we want to go out to eat. We're both sort of foodies. It would be great to meet people we can both hang out with, though of course I wouldn't say no to girlfriends either.Wow! I thought. A swing dancing, softball coaching artist working from home in the West End? How many of those amazing, multi-talented, interesting women do you know? And to think, you didn't even say hello after you did 400 sun salutations on a mat three feet from her. Armed with that information, I did a little thinking and sent back this response:
I actually looked into some art classes to take and teach, so you kind of read my mind! I would LOVE to take an art class. My main issue with that is I'm not exactly rolling in money, so I'd want to make sure it would be worth my while as a class as well as an opportunity to meet people. I do have extensive art training so I don't really want to take a beginner watercolor class, for example. I would definitely be open to teaching too, if I could fit it in my schedule. There is a JCC a couple of blocks from my apartment and I went there asking about teaching opportunities, because back in high school I took a figure drawing class at my local JCC. This one didn't have an art program set up. I don't have a master's degree, so I guess it would have to be a more casual sort of class if I were to teach.
I played softball for many years, and I could definitely join an adult softball league. I could probably persuade my boyfriend to do that too, if they take people of all talent levels. I've been coaching softball and teaching pitching for the past 7 years too. I completely left that back in NY. I don't think I can make the time commitment to coach a team, but I would love to continue giving lessons if I had a place to do it.
My boyfriend and I also swing dance, and would LOVE to get back into that again. We met a lot of people that way in college. I have looked into this, and any weekly or monthly dances I've found have been in Philly. Any idea if there are any around here? We do east coast swing and lindy hop.
Thanks SO MUCH for your help!
You live in such a beautiful neighborhood, and the JCC is a tremendous resource there! I am actually surprised there's no art program. Here are my thoughts:Readers, what do you think? What did I miss?
Yoga: I'm not sure where you're taking yoga now, but the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem is pretty social. They have a lobby with couches where people hang out, especially on weekends and especially before and after special workshops.
Art classes: The Muhlenberg College arts department may be a good place for you to look into. They have so many programs in the arts. Have you looked into teaching at ArtsQuest/Banana Factory? There are also artist studios there. You could work there alongside other artists.
Dancing: The only regular dance program I know of is in Easton, at the Third Street Alliance. http://eastonmainstreet.org/ "Dancing on the Thirds - Every Third Friday, 7:00-10:00pm September 16th - Lesson: Night Club Two-Step Enjoy a one-hour lesson in Night Club Two Step with instructor Christine Kam, followed by an evening of open dancing with DJ, Carol Coffinger. Come practice all your favorite ballroom dances! Casual dress, all ages, singles and couples. (Half price admission with college ID). No reservation neccessary, just c'mon down for an evening of good fun and great excerice. It all happens at Third Street Alliance, 41 N. Third Street, downtown Easton.Questions? Call: 610.330.9942. Enjoy dinner or drinks downtown before or after the dance!"
Softball: Not being a softball player myself, I don't know too much about coaching. I do know that The Velocity Sports Performance Center offers coaching for all kinds of sports. I am sure there are lots of leagues out there, but the only one I know of where you can join a team with other random folks is the Roc Social Club. It tends to have a lot of people in their 20s and 30s, vs. the geezer leagues.