If you’re brand new to a city, have no local friends, work from home, and you want to have any semblance of a social life, this will require going out alone several times in order to get to know your surroundings and start building a friend base. All of the above apply to me.
I actually have a lot of practice going out alone from when I was in Los Angeles. Even though I lived there for 15 years and had a lot of friends, and I was usually in a relationship, I went out by myself often. At first I started going out by myself because I got tired of hassling to wrangle people to join me, only to be greeted with the inevitable LA flakiness right before said plans were about to come to fruition. Anyone that’s ever lived in LA will know exactly what I’m talking about. I love music and I love to dance, so I started paying attention to the DJs I liked and going out to events that sounded fun to me, whether or not anyone was going to join me.
Then I got really into the Salsa dancing scene, and it’s incredibly easy to go out alone if you dance Salsa. You just show up at a club and stand to the side, and within minutes someone has asked your dance and is twirling you around the dance floor. Basically as long as you want to keep dancing, you will because there are no shortage of partners. And when you’re ready to go home, you just leave. So great.
There’s something very anonymous about going out alone in a big city. Of course, if you tend to frequent the same scene, eventually you’ll see familiar faces and people will get to know you. But you can pretty much guarantee that wherever you go there’ll be a large crowd, and you can either engage with your surroundings, or remain as anonymous as you’d like.
I really didn’t know what to expect going out alone in West Palm Beach. It’s a small city and the music scene is unfamiliar to me. Also, I’m not a big drinker and I’m not interested in dating any time soon, so I’m not going out equipped with a social lubricant or a mission to pick up. Really, I want to meet interesting people and potentially make some new friends.
In the past few weeks I’ve gone out alone 3 times and each time has been nothing short of wonderful.
First Night Out: Into the Garden at Pétanque Kitchen and Bar in Northwood (every Saturday night)
Northwood is my neighborhood, and I discovered Into the Garden from pursuing the Local Facebook app. I walked into a virtually empty bar, ordered a drink, then went outside to the back garden and found a lively crowd of folks sipping cocktails, laughing, chatting, and dancing! The music was fantastic, deep base lines that just can’t resist. Excellent house and electronic music that brought me back to my early days of clubbing.
So onto the dance floor I went, and in no time was connecting with lovely people, laughing, and having a great time. I even got an invite to another event the following Saturday. Score! I highly recommend this event if you like house music. The outdoor garden area of Pétanque is beautiful, breezy, and perfectly lit. You’ll love it.
Second Night Out: Eternal at Todd’s
I was invited to this by Vinu, a DJ I met at Into the Garden. Todd’s is a beautiful restaurant with a large outdoor area where the DJ booth was setup. Unfortunately, there was some kind of scheduling snag and there wasn’t really any support for this event from the venue. However, the music was still fantastic — Vinu is a super talented DJ that kept the small crowd on their feet and grooving — and I met more lovely people on the dance floor, who were welcoming, friendly, and hilarious.
Afterwards we ended up back at Pétanque for Into the Garden, at it was packed! All in all, another great night out.
Third Night Out: JM and The Sweets at Pétanque Kitchen and Bar in Northwood (every Wednesday night)
That’s right, back at Pétanque. Can you tell I love this place? It happens to be a 2 minute drive from where I live, so it’s easy to pop out, check it out, and make it home in time for a full night’s sleep. I heard that soul music here on Wednesday nights is incredible, and it did not disappoint. JM and The Sweets is a South Florida soul band and they blew me away! The vibe is super chill and relaxing, exactly what you need after a long day’s work. I sat down with a cocktail and in no time was invited to join another table.
As I was getting ready to leave, I thanked the band (they were on a break), and they were super gracious and made sure to let me know they play there every Wednesday! As per usual when going out in WPB, I met more lovely, friendly, welcoming people and had a fantastic evening.
So far I’m loving the night vibe in West Palm Beach, or at least in Northwood. Easy parking, casual settings, relaxed vibe, and friendly welcoming people everywhere I go. I give it an A++ and I’m certain I’ll continue to build my community if I keep taking the initiative to explore.