Meet your tribe. In small groups. At tasty restaurants.

Anne, a retired attorney, and Julie, a home loan officer, enjoying dinner on the patio of Denver’s Root Down.

Welcome!

Hello there! I’m Ted Pearlman.

I’ve had the same favorite hobby for 34 years: gathering together people I think will have long, candid, laughter-filled conversations.

When I turned 50 in December 2018, and mortality slapped me in the face, I realized it was finally time to turn this hobby of mine into something a little bigger.

I started Warmhearted City a month later.

Laura, a social worker, Renee, a palliative care nurse, Deb, a children’s librarian, and Courtney, a horticulturalist, at Saigon Bowl.

What Warmhearted City is.

Warmhearted City is a Denver dining and conversation club.

We arrange small-group lunches and dinners for folks who have closely aligned senses of humor.

Susan, an executive at a cancer care organization, and Suzanne, a freelance writer, enjoying gourmet hot dogs at Biker Jim’s.

The age-old problem.

Once we hit our forties, it becomes quite hard to meet people we genuinely resonate with.

My mission.

My mission is to make meeting resonant folks easier, for as many people as possible. Part of that will mean expanding to other cities down the road.

Lauren, an architectural interiors consultant, and Jill, an advanced practice registered nurse, trying out Lola Coastal Mexican.

My ultimate dream for Warmhearted City is for people from one city (Chicago! New York!) to be able to arrive in another city (London! Barcelona!) knowing there are folks they’re sure to resonate with who’ll be eager to meet them.

The first year.

In Warmhearted City’s first year, I’ve been focused on building a membership of women, as they are naturally much more candid than men about their feelings and, as a result, derive a lot more value from conversation.

As of January 25th, we have 261 members.

They range in age from 34 to 87, though most are between 45 and 70. About 75% are single, divorced, or widowed. Very few have small children. More than 60% self-identify as introverts.

The best lunch date of my life. We were there for two-and-a-half hours but could easily have stayed for five.”

Tina Roth Eisenberg
Founder of Creative Mornings and Tattly

 

Nonetheless, I’m going to take a shot at building a similar and separate dining club for men, starting in late 2020.

I love what you’re doing.”

Jason Fried
Founder of Basecamp and NY Times best-selling author of Rework, Remote and It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

 

What the conversations are like.

Members talk about everything you could possibly imagine.

But each meal jumpstarts with the discussion of a podcast episode, pre-selected by one person at the table, that everyone can listen to beforehand.

Julie, a registrations manager at a non-profit, Linda, a professor of nutrition science, Kristin, a retired mom with four grown daughters, and, Roxann, an interior designer, discussing an episode of Alan Alda’s Clear+Vivid Podcast over dinner at Ototo.



The logistics of membership.

Every Friday, I send the members a list of time slots for the upcoming week (Monday through Sunday). They let me know if they’re up for an outing and, if so, which time slots work for them.

Then I put together the groups (either two or four people), pick out the restaurant, and ask folks to pick out podcast episodes.

Members can participate in Warmhearted City lunches and dinners as often or as seldom as they like.

How to apply.

If you’re interested, you’ll fill out this very quick form.

I’ll contact you back and we can arrange a time to talk on the phone, so I can answer your questions.

After that, if you’re still interested, we’ll set up a time to get together for an interview, over coffee or Diet Cokes. This is when I’m going to try to understand your sense of humor.

Prospective member, Anne, interviewing with me at Officer’s Club in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood.

What membership costs.

It’s $28 per month.

All newbies can try membership out for a month for free.


I’ll contact you back to
set a time for me to answer
your questions over the phone.


Why I love introducing gathering people together for conversation.

It’s all because of my mom. Her life revolved around sprouting, fertilizing, and pondering friendships.

Nearly every day while my sister and I were growing up, mom would gather a new group of folks she thought would like one another (or already did), for a coffee klatch or party, at the family apartment.

One of mom’s innumerable, reliably over-the-top friend-connecting parties (complete with presents!), at her Northern New Jersey apartment. I think this one was in 2001.

Why I match people up by sense of humor.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve understood people best through what makes them laugh (and what doesn’t).

It’s all because of my dad.

He was a borscht belt comedian in the late 50s and, despite that, a very funny guy. He loved gathering folks together to laugh and he had crazy-good instincts for gauging people’s senses of humor.

For example, he organized a purely-for-laughter, weekly restaurant dinner for fellow NBC News TV journalist friends that ran for more than forty years.

Dad and me in the Grunewald, a giant forest park in Berlin near the family apartment, 1969.

When I got my start.

I got started getting folks together for conversation in 1986, during my college freshman orientation week. Very few of my fellow students had made friends yet. And I couldn’t resist the temptation to introduce the ones I’d met I thought would hit it off.

The path from the undergraduate library down to my freshman dorm at Cornell.

Why I've been at this for 34 years.

It feeds my soul and, to be honest, my ego. Every time I hear a story from folks I’ve introduced, I get a rush of adrenaline that can keep pumping for days.

For example, in 2012, I arranged a picnic lunch for two unacquainted moms — and their toddlers. Right afterward, one of the mom’s sent me this picture:

Four years later she sent me an Instagram video of a trip they took to an art museum with the kids (my apologies, but this is just a screen shot; the video is a minute of the two little ones harumphing at how long they’ve been forced to look at art).

That video had me euphoric for a good week.


I’ll contact you back to
set a time for me to answer
your questions over the phone.


More frequently asked questions.

I'm a little nervous about reaching out to you. Are you going to try to push me to join?

Absolutely not. Warmhearted City works because all the members are naturally enthusiastic about being part of it. Pushing someone who’s reluctant would be pointless.

Is this a good platform for networking?

No. I strenuously discourage any career-related or commercial talk of any kind. For fulfilling your networking needs, I recommend Meetup.

Are there any weird members?

I’m not a psychologist nor an FBI profiler. But I’ve developed pretty formidable crazy-dar.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to meet lots of odd/​uncomfortable people in the past through organizations like Meetup, I can safely say that this is probably the weirdo- and sociopath-free social outlet you’ve been looking for.

Is this a good way to meet romantic partners?

No. That’s not what this is about.

Is Warmhearted City good for introverts?

It’s great for introverts, who make up about 60% of the membership. That’s the main reason I keep all the dinners and lunches to two or four members, max.

How often do members dine out together?

About a third of the members dine out every week. Another third about every two weeks. And the remaining third, sporadically.

There is no minimum participation requirement. You’re encouraged to participate as often or as seldom as you like.

Is there much political talk among the members?

Sense of humor is a pretty strong predictor of whether someone enjoys political talk or not. So members with differing feelings about political talk rarely get matched up.

Why not introduce members based on common interests?

Two reasons.

In my experience, it doesn’t do a very good job of predicting whether two people will truly like each other.

And we already have Meetup for that.

Are LGBTQ+ folks welcome?

Absolutely.

What if you don't have members whose senses of humor match up with mine?

I’ll put you on the waiting list. As Warmhearted City’s membership grows, it’s very possible (even likely) that those folks will materialize.

Is there an online component?

There is no online community component nor are there discussion forums. But I communicate with the members through a mobile app called Twist. It’s a kinder/​gentler/​quieter competitor to Slack.

Are you hiring?

There are no current openings. But there will be soon. The next person I hire will likely be someone who can help manage the logistics behind the scenes. If you’re an extremely organized, never-drop-the-ball type of person, and you’re interested, feel free to shoot me an email at:

ted.pearlman@warmheartedcity.com

What's your background?

You can read a bit about it here.

Why do you call it Warmhearted City?

I’m a big believer that whether or not we have a resonant tribe of people in our cities we spend time with is the main thing that determines whether our cities feel warm- or cold-hearted to us.


I’ll contact you back to
set a time for me to answer
your questions over the phone.