Organizer Spotlight: Astoria Newbies

When Edina moved to New York’s Astoria neighborhood two years ago, she didn’t know anyone nearby. She was used to having neighborhood friends, and wanted to get to know her neighbors. Things came to a head when Edina read about an exciting Shakespeare performance happening in the park around the corner from her new home. She didn’t want to attend alone, so she started poking around on Meetup. There were a few Meetups in Astoria, but none of them were exactly what she was looking for. So she started her own, The Astoria Newbies. Before she knew it, Edina had five companions for that Shakespeare show.

These days, she has more than 1,200 members and dozens of regulars (including two people from that very first Meetup). Walking around Astoria, Edina finds herself running into friends and acquaintances from her Meetup around every corner.

She attributes some of the Astoria Newbies’ success to the variety of their Meetups. “[The newbies] don’t do the same thing over and over again,” she says.

To that end, the Astoria Newbies have a number of Co-Organizers who each specialize in something different. One loves beer and regularly hosts Meetups at beer gardens. Another specializes in sporting Meetups. Edina encourages each of her Co-Orgs to always post photos – she’s found that they’re great for marketing the Meetup.

When a new business opens in Astoria, Edina gets to work. She tracks down the owner and explains that, “they’re both newbies,” and suggests that they partner up. Last year, she approached a new pizzeria about shutting down for a pizza making class. The Meetup got hands on lessons on how to make their own pies.

Edina’s group has changed her life and the lives of many of her members. Maybe your Meetup will do the same. Start one today.


Alex Godin
Alex helps with user research, with a focus on communication and connections within the Meetup community. He's a big fan of the Internet, NYC and weird foods.