Hi friends! I recently moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles after finishing grad school in Edinburgh It’s always fun to come home after being away for so long. My family didn’t let me down at all, and my amazing mami surpassed my breakfast expectations! My cute dog Pip and I went on morning runs and on light hikes in the surrounding Hollywood Hills. Love-person and I went to a few local shows, and I caught up with my best friend. I came home to find lots of love. Even with all of that love, I was really missing the beautiful queer circle of community that I left behind. Where were my all my queer friends in the large city of Los Angeles?
I decided to go out and start over, using the city as a metaphorical playground where I could go play and come across some friends. Do you ever have trouble trying to make friends as a young adult in a large city? If so, I created a list of cool spots to meet cool people. These spots are either queer-friendly or ran by POC (and maybe if I see you there we can exchange numbers and be friends!):
Cuties - a café in East Hollywood run by queer folk and that hosts events that prioritize the LA LGBTQ community. I went to their monthly series, Cuties, Donuts and Coffee and was surprised to see a line out the door and a large group of beautiful people hanging out inside and outside the establishment.
La Cita Bar – A bar in Downtown LA that hosts themed events like Punky Raggae Party on Friday nights!
The New Jalisco Bar – a Latin American gay bar in DTLA that reminds me of a gay quinceañera party, equipped with young and older people. There are tía-like women and the cash bar sells Mexican candy, like tamarindo sticks! Saturdays, they have drag shows.
Mayday Space – If I ever go to New York, I’d love to visit this activist space that hosts planning and community arts events.
Starr Bar – This bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn sounds awesome! They support social justice movements and a portion of their profits go to Mayday Space. Magical!
Hella Vegan Eats – While I’m not the type to make friends at an eatery, the extroverts can strike up conversation at the bar seats. I’d eat here if I were in Oakland! I love me some vegan doughnuts and brunch!
Rock Paper Scissors Collective – An art collective in Oakland that sounds like a promising place to meet other cool artistic/creative folk.
Brown Recluse Zine Distro – This is a collective of zine makers and distributors in Olympia, WA that prioritize POC zine makers, run by POC. They sound super cool and have some rad zine events coming up!
Austin Poetry Slam – Austin's premiere showcase of slam poetry. Every Tuesday night they host slam poetry at The Spider House Ballroom. Definitely a great place to meet folks who are woke, or at least like poetry.
Food Is Free – A community space in Austin, TX that teaches folk to grow food. How amazing! Go learn to grow food and make cool, cute foodie friends.
East End Houston – They’re a cool community space that prioritizes the East Houston community, and they promote events happening around the area, so you can go to events that interest you. There's something for everyone!
Chicago Latino Writers Initiative – This is a writers group for Latinx folk, and they have regular meet ups. What an easy way to make fellow Latinx writer friends! Someone please go and tell me about it!
Black and Brown Punk Show Collective – This group of folk in Chicago organize to create a queer, POC punk scene and prioritize the coming together of Black and Brown communities!
Chicago Urban Art Society – An art space in Pilsen. The space hosts creative events for the community members, like the Slow & Low: Lowrider festival.
La Catrina Café – This is a café that also hosts events. It sounds like a café where if you stay long enough, you’ll be in the middle of some cool event full of potential new friends!
Okay, so there we have it. Cool spaces that are community-centered, socially conscious spots that probably have cool people. So, with promising places to go and make new friends, why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? Who knows? But the playground extends...
Alternative ways to make friends is through social media.While this list doesn't include every cool spot Google and Yelp are the best places to start! Have fun!
What are some cool spaces in your city you suggest to make friends? Leave a comment below!