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How I’ve Made Friends in New York City

Recently I went to the loveliest  little backyard in Brooklyn for a girls’ garden party… complete with a firepit and s’mores and lights hanging over head.  It was magical.  But mostly, it was magical because of the women I know.  We have deep roots.  We show up with meals when someone has a baby.  We circle around when someone gets divorced or has a death in the family. We really are more like family.  But what’s interesting is a lot of these women are likely ones I would not have crossed paths with due to geography, different stages of life, different socio-economic backgrounds, etc.  Our close friendships aren’t even because we’ve spent many years together (a lot of people that come through Brooklyn are very transient.)  Yet, we have quickly become dear friends.

How is this possible?!  Well, I’ve lived in Brooklyn 13 years and have seen this pattern of deep friendships developing over and over and over again in the city.  I also know New York can be a very lonely place for a lot of people, and so I’ve tried to figure out the secret to this.  Here’s my answer:

-When you serve someone, you develop a love and friendship with them.  

-When someone serves you, you develop a love and friendship with them.  

A lot of the women I hang out with live this way – they serve each other and watch out for each other.  And I really think this way of life is what leads to the most amazing friendships.  It cuts through all insecurities, social, economic, academic or geographic boundaries.  It gets right to the core of what connects people the most: love & friendship. 

Here are some ideas for anyone who wants to grow their friendships in New York (or anywhere).  Do these things regularly, and watch your life become so rich with meaningful friendships,  you won’t even be able to keep up with them all.

SEE 13 IDEAS AFTER THE JUMP – Including some pictures of New York, to remind us that it’s the connections we have with people in New York that make this place awesome – not just scenery!

nggallery template=’carousel’ id=’10′

  • Every time you make some cookies or rolls, just take a plate to your neighbors. 1 of 12
    Every time you make some cookies or rolls, just take a plate to your neighbors.
  • Offer baby monitor baby-sitting to those in your building! (We do this with our neighbors.) 2 of 12
    Offer baby monitor baby-sitting to those in your building!  (We do this with our neighbors.)
  • When new babies arrive, show up with some groceries. Or some homemade soup or granola that can be eaten over a few days. 3 of 12
    When new babies arrive, show up with some groceries.  Or some homemade soup or granola that can be eaten over a few days.
  • Offer to give your clothes or home goods to people who could use it. 4 of 12
    Offer to give your clothes or home goods to people who could use it.
  • Invite friends and neighbors to clean up the block and start a gardening day. 5 of 12
    Invite friends and neighbors to clean up the block and start a gardening day.
  • Find out who in your building has needs at this time. Make them a meal or offer to watch their children. 6 of 12
    Find out who in your building has needs at this time.  Make them a meal or offer to watch their children.
  • Offer to be a mentor to some children or teenagers. Meet with them once a week for an hour and teach them a skill or just talk with them. 7 of 12
    Offer to be a mentor to some children or teenagers.  Meet with them once a week for an hour and teach them a skill or just talk with them.
  • Shovel snow or sweep another neighbors’ walkway. 8 of 12
    Shovel snow or sweep another neighbors' walkway.
  • If you hear a family member has died, take a meal over or a card. 9 of 12
    If you hear a family member has died, take a meal over or a card.
  • Adopt some families in the neighborhood. Visit them regularly. 10 of 12
    Adopt some families in the neighborhood.  Visit them regularly.
  • If you find out someone is sick, accompany them to their dr. or chemo appointments. 11 of 12
    If you find out someone is sick, accompany them to their dr. or chemo appointments.
  • Surprise all your neighbors with holiday treats or small gifts (thank you, Pinterest, for millions of ideas!) 12 of 12
    Surprise all your neighbors with holiday treats or small gifts (thank you, Pinterest, for millions of ideas!)

Follow Mara at:
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