As shy as I naturally am, I still love meeting new people. As much as I like meeting new people, I find it extremely difficult to just go up to a stranger in a bar and say, “Hi–you seem cool; do you want to get to know me?” Actually, I’ve never tried saying that because I can’t imagine a scenario where that wouldn’t be creepy to the other person.
Enter Chowbunga. They host–and help you host–pop-up parties where the aim is to meet people in a fun setting. The one I went to last night was held on a rooftop in Astoria. It was very laid-back and resembled any number of rooftop parties I’ve attended over the years. The difference here was that ostensibly, the guests were all there to meet other people. So whereas at a regular rooftop party you’ll arrive with your friends, try to talk to other people, but inevitably stay pretty much with the group you came with, at this one, people were encouraged to introduce themselves to the other guests (at least, that’s what I did, and no one seemed to think it was weird).
In a city so large and impersonal, it was a great way to get strangers together who might actually want to hang out again sometime.
This particular party also led me to accomplish an amazing feat. At the taco truck afterward, I said yes when they asked if I wanted “everything” on my tacos, not realizing everything included hot sauce. (I cannot handle spicy food in the least.) So the tacos were miserably spicy–to anyone else, they probably just had a slight kick. And yet, I finished them. I drank some water when I was done, and I was okay. I lived to tell about it. Take my word for it when I say this is an incredible milestone for me.
What’s next? Ordering my pad thai “medium”? No. Absolutely not. But still, 2 new things in one day. Not too shabby for Astoria.