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Of all the cities I have personally lived in, this city has proved to be the most challenging place to meet new people. Many would admit that because our city is so spread out it can be problematic just getting around.

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We can spend hours commuting; many of us care for our children and aging parents; we numb ourselves with technology — smartphones, Netflix, video games. Extend yourself, say psychologists like John T. Cacioppowho was a noted expert on loneliness before his death. Readers loved how the couple opened their home on a regular basis, but many were left wondering: How can I get an invitation?

In that spirit, we offer suggestions on how to connect with others. Have a great idea of your own? Share it with us, and we may include it in a follow-up story. Potted, bare-root and exotic plants are available too, but the emphasis is on socializing. I have made a lot of friends through these events.

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There you can share your extra lemons, Swiss chard and other homegrown produce with other gardeners while making new friends in the process. South Pasadena lifestyle expert Leslie Saeta of the blog and Instagram My Year Old Home belongs to not one but two dinner party clubs, one of which has met for more than 30 years.

Her tips: Keep it simple. Pick a theme — Italian, Mexican, fried chickenbarbecue — and focus on your guests and not the food. Creating your own book club means you get to set the tone and theme for your meet-ups. Do you want to be serious and have structured discussions or drink wine and talk about politics? Romance novels or bestsellers? Up next: former Los Angeles poet laureate Luis J. Meet new people and bond with other fiber lovers at the L. Inglewood and the traveling Yarnover Truck. With most stores offering free weekly knitting groups, the Yarn Crawl is the perfect opportunity to find a compatible community of knitters.

Sometimes the best way to win at adulthood is to regress to childhood. When Times audience engagement editor Jessica Roy ed up for West Hollywood Dodgeball several years ago, she had not played dodgeball since middle school. I was wrong. People took it extremely seriously.

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I am not and have never been particularly athletic, but I am competitive, and I quickly realized I was enjoying myself a lot more than I thought I would. I played my first season in ; on Tuesday nights, you can still find me dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and otherwise publicly making a fool of myself. Maybe you like drum circles but want to kick it up a notch.

Times story. Southern California offers plenty of opportunities to team up with others and learn naname, or slant-style drumming, or nagado, upright style. TaikoProject Academy in downtown L. Get outside more, meet more people.

The point is not to hike alone, for safety reasons but also for social ones. You may find hiking groups where you worship, where you go to school, where you work, and on Meetup and Facebook. A good option: The Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, which le daytime and nighttime hikes every day throughout Southern California, from easy beach walks to harder conditioning hikes to tough peak bagging.

If you like your fresh air to be accompanied by an adult beverage, check out the Happy Hour Meet new friends in Pasadena Club. Organized by Times columnist Chris Erskine, the social club invites participants to monthly hour-long hikes along scenic SoCal trails, followed by a beverage in a local saloon. Now in its third year, the group limits most hikes to 75 people and includes hikers of all ages. Hiking experience not necessary, but participants should be in decent health and capable of a three-mile hike over moderate terrain.

The events are free and venues vary.

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the columnist for info and inclusion in future hikes: chris. The L. Get to know your neighbors with wings — what they look like, what songs they trill — and share your discoveries with others. Walks at Debs Park are held 8 to a.

Want to go farther afield? Audubon offers bird walks all around Southern California and the state. Step away from the gym and find your new full-body workout — and maybe your new best friends — in a dragonboat. All are invited to try their hand at this water sport with ties to ancient China that features dragon he prominently on the profile of the boat.

Adults can give it a try for free to a.

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Kid-training sessions start in April. Look at the web of people already in your life. The truth is that there are never enough volunteers. Raise your hand and you will be taken. Serve food to the homeless at the Hollywood Food Coalition ; volunteer at an animal shelter ; or work in the vegetable garden at Grow Good in Bell, an urban farm that provides organic produce to the Salvation Army shelter across the street. The city of Los Angeles lists volunteer opportunities on VolunteerLA, and the nonprofit Big Sunday offers weekly, monthly and yearly volunteer options that include making soup in a jar for low-income families and assembling hygiene kits for the homeless.

Month of Big Sundaysduring which it partners with local nonprofits and schools to host events every day. Move your furniture to create a screening room inside your living room, or if the weather is nice — a safe bet in Southern California — take it outdoors. Throw some pillows and blankets in the yard and invite guests to bring beach chairs and blankets.

Host dinner, a potluck or simply offer popcorn and candy. Tell your friends to leave their devices at the door and come over for game night. People respond so positively to it.

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They talk, they interact and they get real-time feedback. The social-networking site was created as a response to the Sept. Explore historic Los Angeles with other architecture lovers at one of several guided walking tours sponsored by the Los Angeles Conservancy preservation group.

The most popular tour, an overview of historic downtown, includes stops at Angels Flight, Grand Central Market and the Bradbury Building. You can explore on your own with friends courtesy of the self-guided tour itineraries published on the Conservancy website. Guided group tours, with a person minimum, are also an option. Wilson, Taylor Kibby and Ivy Weinglass have all taught workshops at Still Life; artist Wayne Perry is up next, hosting a class on hand-building with slabs of clay on Feb. Because writing can be an isolating process, the Hatchery Press in Larchmont Village has created an environment where writers can work while supporting one another.

The membership-based co-working space is made up of two houses and a courtyard in between, a common area in each house, plus quiet rooms.

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So you start to pick up conversations in the kitchen and introduce yourself while getting a cup of coffee, and soon you feel a real sense of community. Free trial day. With the presidential election nine months away, now is a good time to get politically involved. Find a group that cares about the same things you do. The nonpartisan and nonprofit advocacy group Rock the Vote offers a free tool kit on how to throw a debate watch party as well as tips on how to host a voter registration drive in your community or school.

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Lisa Boone is a features writer for the Los Angeles Times. Sinceshe has covered home de, gardening, parenting, houseplants, even youth sports. She is a native of Los Angeles. What solidarity is and how you can practice it.

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What does Asian and Black racial solidarity look like? This year-old organized a rally for cross-racial solidarity. All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing. Business Visionaries. Hot Property. Times Events.

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