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By Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Perhaps International Friendship Day should be every day, right? Officially, it’s on July 30, which is as good a time as any to focus on the best places (beyond the internet, that is) to meet new people in San Francisco.
San Francisco Running Club
A Runner’s Mind
3575 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Sign up for a season at a time. Four times of week, there are opportunities to join fitness-minded folks downtown, in Golden Gate Park or in the Marina for workouts, boot camps, and running maintenance activities. Meet up with other runners at the store, A Runner’s Mind, in Presidio Heights on weekend mornings at 9:00 or 9:30 a.m. for longer runs in nearby parks. Activities are organized by Marathon Mike, club director of San Francisco Running Club. Three pricing options are based on how often you want to join is, starting from $10 a week for one weekly workout over a 10-week period.
More details at www.sanfranciscorunningclub.com.
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668 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
Prizes are waiting to be won! In 1996, the Irish-born founder of Brainstormer.com promoted the tradition of trivia pub nights to the Bay Area. They’ve proven to be massively popular and Liam McAtasney’s hosted pub quiz phenomenon is now drawing lively crowds on various weeknights in San Francisco venues such as McGah’s Pub & Piano, SoMa StrEat Food Park, Dubliner Noe Valley and more. Questions are a perfect mix of pop culture, sports trivia, Shakespeare, general knowledge, current affairs, a picture round, brainstumpers, you name it. What useless knowledge can you put to work? Build a profile online to connect with other quizzers, form a team or join one.
3200 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
From art to zen meditation, the Jewish Community Center offers its members a wide variety of instructor-led adult classes, fitness, and sports leagues throughout the year. Sign up to learn Spanish, urban gardening, dancing, pilates, aquatics, ceramics, or even take a group overnight trip to a cultural event, such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Arts and Ideas lecture series always attracts big names doing the circuit on their national author book and author tours. Why not volunteer as an usher to assist JCCSF staff with the greeting and seating of guests before an event and during intermission before you enjoy the program.
Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Social gatherings will be better housed at the newly constructed headquarters at 110 The Embarcadero, opening soon. Founded in 1903, the Commonwealth Club is famous for being the oldest and largest public affairs forum in the nation and for its live recording of lectures across NPR stations. In addition to a regular week-to-week politics roundtable and social hour event, member-led forums on various topics include book discussions, health, education, international relations, LGBT, personal growth, end of life and more. At the Commonwealth Club’s Inforum division, young professionals host celebrities in entertainment, tech, food, design, pop culture and politics. VIP access includes meet and greet exclusive receptions for many such events.
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Ladies Who Vino
This San Francisco-based, no membership fees, grass roots friendship and networking group for women grows by introductions via word-of-mouth. From its beginnings as just four 20-something women in tech and PR sitting around a living room to currently more than 1,500 members, LWV has no physical location beyond a Facebook page. Bi-monthly gatherings featuring “lady brags” and occasional speakers are posted and members frequently connect independently, both socially and professionally. At a recent after work gathering (everyone buys their own drinks and room rental fees are waived), one new member had only just moved here from Israel where she’d already learned about the group.