In the taste-based
virtual world, it’s easy to get trapped in a “filter bubble
” of narrow, pre-approved content. But the inclination to bond with people of similar mindsets exists offline as well. Rather like some of the latest social networks
that aim to create real-world connections between users with compatible interests, private social clubs are bringing together urbanites who share specific passions—and a liking for exclusivity.
Bklyn Rod & Gun:
Brooklynites longing for the great outdoors might consider applying to this private club, whose members include aficionados of fishing, boating, hiking, camping, and shooting. Located in Williamsburg just a block from the East River, Rod & Gun organizes fly- and bait-fishing outings, voyages into Brooklyn’s surrounding nature, and classes on outdoorsy skills (saltwater fly tying
, anyone?)—all activities that appeal to Gen Y’s wilder instincts
. The clubhouse is also host to music and social events, which are free and open to the public. The club’s mission is to instill in its community a profound respect for the borough’s limited, yet still lovely, natural resources.
The Oracle Club:
Part shared workspace
, part literary salon, this members-only club for artists and authors operates out of a drawing room-inspired space in Long Island City. Channeling the same social spirit as your average “coffice
,” the idea is to enhance individuals’ creativity, and their artistic output, through collaboration. Members pay a $125 monthly fee for access to a shared library, living room, and studio, as well as Oracle-sponsored events. The club also holds classes
which are open to the public. Recent offerings include Ballet Stretch, Sunday Painters (described as a “painting party”), and the curiously named Moon Shadow Spirit, in which participants express their animalistic subconscious through drawing and collage.
The Secret Fork:
Elevating the pop-up trend
to new, more mysterious heights, The Secret Fork orchestrates underground marketplace pop-ups in Southern California. These flash market events
feature the edibles of an enigmatic cadre of club members including chefs, farmers, shop owners, vintners, cheesemongers, and the like. Market dates are announced in advance so that interested gourmands can reserve their tickets. Only ticketed members can enter the market and shop, and the location remains undisclosed to outsiders. While membership to The Secret Fork is free, all potential vendors must adhere to one fundamental club tenet: their edible products must contain only natural ingredients grown or raised in the Golden State.