Periodically I receive an e-mail from "Meet-Up", an on-line social networking portal that offers a way for people around the world to connect with one another around their various interests. I signed up for their e-mail updates about groups in our area, roughly within a 5 to 10 mile radius of San Leandro.
I expected to hear about the usual kinds of gatherings, new moms groups, bridge clubs, bike rider teams and the like. Those typical groups were indeed there for the choosing, but along with them I found people in our area were holding some more creative and sometimes exotic "Meet-Ups" that might surprise you. There are Meet Up Groups for everything from Polyamorous spiritualists to Role Players. There are gatherings for people who want to accept their bodies at any size and for those who love the art of Anime. Want to learn Afro-Boogie Belly Dance? There's a group for you. You can study Kaballah in Hayward and meet other East Bay young vegans and vegetarians. Are you grieving over a recent loss or past experience? Come together with others in San Leandro to write in order to heal.
Below are some others, many just established, you may not have heard about.
East Bay Nightime Photography Fantatics Versie Adams hosts this group headquartered out of San Lorenzo for photographers of all skill levels who want to practice taking nightime photography. It was formed this past October and already has over 150 members. You an read about its recent events and upcoming ones here.
Yoga Moms of Lake Chabot This Castro Valley group was just launched in August with 10 members. It is for women only and although it is called Yoga Moms, you need not be a mother to participate. Its organizers say it is offering an alternative to the expense of going to a yoga studio. Instead the group meets each morning at the Lake Chabot Marina from 9 to 9:30 a.m. for what it says are 12 basic asanas. The group is entirely self-led, without any expert or certified teacher. Children are welcome to attend.
The Starving Filmmakers Association was organized, out of San Leandro, last March and is for people passionate about filmmaking who want to network with others locally who are also making films. So far 28 up and coming filmmakers belong to the group.
Disabled and Non-Disabled Adults Exercise and Adventure was just formed last month and is based out of Castro Valley. It was organized by Kyle Lawrence, a power chair user born with Cerebral Palsy, who says he is interested in exploring trails around the Bay Area. The group is open to all ages. It held one Meet-Up already at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley and already has 28 members. If you are interested in joining the group you can directly e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bay Area Cougars and Cubs was founded out of Castro Valley in 2009 and yes, it is what you think - women over 40 who say age is just a number, not a state of mind, who are interested in meeting younger men in a safe and friendly social setting. The group's next get-together is at the end of the month at Trader Vic's Restaurant in Emeryville.
Small Business and Entreprenuers Group was launched last March and is based out of San Leandro. It meets monthly over a light breakfast. You can read about its most recent past meeting here. The group currently has over 70 members and provides a means for members to learn from and network with one another.
Travel Tips and Explore Don't Go It Alone Anymore Over 130 travel enthusiasts belong to this group headquartered in San Leandro. It came together just this October. According to its organizers it is for people interested in traveling anywhere - whether internationally or on local weekend getaways. It will feature various travel opportunities, including cruises. The group will be meeting for dinner at local restaurants to sample food from other cultures and allow members to connect with one another and potentially find travel partners.
Hayward Hiking Club, was founded over 40 years ago. It formed its "Meet Up" Group in 2009 and now has over 500 members. It schedules weekly hikes throughout the Bay Area. You can read more about it at its official website here.
Fun Fabulous Chicks of the East Bay is a woman's Meet Up Group, based in Castro Valley, which was formed in September and has nearly 100 members. This group of women gets together for potlucks, book clubs, dinners out, brunch, spa days, holiday cookie exchanges, wine tastings and more. It is comprised mostly of women in their 30's who want to do fun social activities with others.
There are many other local Meet Up Groups to choose from including a San Leandro motorcycle enthusiasts group, a Castro Valley Board Gamers Club, A San Leandro Reptile Lovers Club, East Bay Social Golfers based in San Leandro, A San Leandro Board Gamers Group that advertises itself as specifically gay friendly, An outdoor adventure club for Bay Area singles over 45 headquartered in Hayward, A local Beagle Owners Group, and a hiking group for owners and their dogs based in Castro Valley called Hikers and Hounds.
(Please note, Meet Up groups require that you "join" the group before attending events. You can click on the blue highlighted title of each group listed in this article to find out how to join them).