Friday, December 19, 2008

where to meet people in cincinnati: cincinnati sports league

ok, i admit that when it comes to sports, i am pretty much the last person you want on your team. first of all i have a hard time understanding and remembering the rules. also i am really not athletic. on top of that, i tend to get bored and/or tired and start craving a beer long before the damn thing is over.

however, in an effort to try new things, i checked out the cincinnati sports league website one day and looked at all their options: dodgeball, bowling, softball, hockey, etc. and can you believe they even offer the perfect option for sports-challenged, alcohol loving me? yes, that's right, a wine tasting class! i am taking it right now. for $80, you get 4 weeks of classes at tino vino which involve lots of wine drinking and info, snacks, and a bottle of wine at the end of it.

cincinnati sports league also has monthly happy hours and parties which are open to everyone, and they are even organizing a new year's party. yet another opportunity to meet people.

4 weeks is a short period of time, and most people in my class are doing it with friends, so it's not an ideal situation for meeting people. however, if you are into team sports, i think you should definitely check out their website and see what else they have. what's next for me? definitely something not requiring athletic ability and allowing me the opportunity to drink while playing... so bowling perhaps? or maybe euchre...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Do you like arts and crafts? Pottery perhaps....

In the spirit of Liz posting some other ways to meet people, I thought I would give one more vantage point if you like arts and crafts and such. There is a wonderful pottery studio in Hyde Park, Funke Fired Arts (formerly Annie's Mudpie), where you can sign up for different classes, starting with the beginner's class. I took both the beginner and intermediate courses and really enjoyed the experience. I met some wonderful people, both in my classes and people from other advanced classes that were happening simultaneously. Everyone at the studio was always willing to help me out when I asked, which made it less daunting when my mug morphed into a vase or blob. In addition, the pottery studio catered to all ages and there appeared to be an equal number of men and women in the studio.

What I really liked about these classes is that if you wanted to spend time creating something and be in your own zone, it was fine. If you wanted to chat with someone while working on your pieces, that option was also available. There is something about creating a beautiful piece of art from a slab of clay that was very therapeutic so regardless of your motivation, this might be the right fit for you.

Classes were typically 6-weeks in length and the folks at the studio were amazing. Tom Funke is super friendly and even remembered how to pronounce my name - BONUS! For those of you who don't know, it is "of-knee" or "uv-knee" :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

where to meet people in cincinnati: UC's communiversity classes

i have been thinking that it could be useful to readers out there who are new to cincinnati to read about specific things you can do to meet new people who want to meet you in this city. i think i am going to start a little series on here documenting my efforts.

today i am going to recommend the communiversity classes at UC. communiversity is a series of classes that are pretty cheap and open to the public. so far, i have taken golf and japanese classes through communiversity. in january, i'm doing snowboarding. they have a great selection of classes.

i have to say, i have not made any friends through communiversity classes so far, but i think that is mostly my own fault. in golf, it is because i took the class with three other friends (including avani), so we kind of just talked to each other rather than the other people in the class. but there definitely was the potential to meet people there (as evidenced by the girl who appeared to be trying to pick up any male within a 500 foot radius in our class, regardless of their marital status). and most people in the class were taking it alone or with just one other person. and since we were all terrible at golf, there was a lot to laugh and chat about.

in japanese, there were only three other people in the class and actually as it turns out japanese is impossible to learn in 8 weeks so i ended up quitting early. also a language class where you are just sitting there staring at a blackboard reciting sentences you do not understand is not really conducive to chatting and getting to know each other. can you tell i was not really into japanese?

however, i have high hopes for snowboarding! definitely there are people to meet and talk to if you are willing to make the effort and not just stick with the people you know.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Putting yourself out there-Easier said than done!

although i wouldn't consider myself a wallflower, i find it hard to introduce myself to others when there is a large group of people and i don't know very many people. This past week, I had 2 experiences that shed light on how to introduce myself and strike up a conversation with people you don't really know.

liz and i attended the Give Back Cincinnati party at Molly Malones this week. Upon entering the bar, we recognized some people from the Fall Feast event and immediately struck up a conversation. Lesson 1 - a shared experience can lend itself well to conversation. in fact, the people we met were great and we both hope to continue meeting people from this group!

the second experience was a happy hour that I organized for the people who work with me, as well as other groups within my department at work. we had happy hour at the Rookwood Pub, a great locale for both food and beverages at 4:30 or 5pm after work! it was great talking to other people in my department who i got to learn more about outside of the work environment. since it was happy hour, i invited liz so she could meet new people. by nature, liz made a point to memorize everyone's names and took the time to strike up a conversation with every person in the group. Lesson 2-watch liz in action as she works the room and puts herself out there to meet others! it does help that she knew a few people. but the real lesson is that introducing friends from different groups can be great.