Open Phones: Where Do You Talk Politics?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's not just the barber shop, the office, the local bar, or the gym - where do you and your friends discuss politics? Call in or leave a comment.

Comments [17]

Shirley from North Jersey

A group of us in Northern New Jersey meet on the third Friday of every month to discuss many topics of general interest, and these very often involve politics. The group is called Socrates Cafe, and it is one of many chapters of this community discussion group founded by Chris Phillips. We meet in a conference room provided by St Mary's Catholic Church in Pompton Lakes, NJ, but it is a truly community group with Jews, Christians, agnostics, nonbelievers, and others contributing their opinions/experiences. All views are welcome but must be presented in a calm and respectful manner. The moderator ensures this. We discuss a topic for about 45 minutes, we take a 'cafe break' and then (usually) discuss another topic. At the end of the meeting, topics are proposed for the next meeting but often are replaced when we meet again. We vote on all discussion topics. Proposed topics for the meeting this Friday are "How should misrepresentations in history be corrected?" and "Is the space program worth the risks?"

Anyone interested in joining us, please call 973-835-2694.

Sep. 19 2007 01:40 PM
Chris from Queens

I'm a comic and Wednesdays at 8:00 at The Tank in Tribeca, 279 Church - comics try out their political material at what's called Laughing Liberally Laboratories.

These stand ups tend to be independent to liberal on the scale. Some of the material is really good but the crowd is very well informed and Tank is so chill that you get to chat with everybody, crowd and comics about the jokes. Then over beers and smokes we tend to keep talking politics until late.

Sep. 18 2007 12:08 PM
Eliza from Buenos Aires

My favorite place to talk politics is in my Aunt Barbara's car. When I lived in New York City (the past 11 years), a few times a year we would meet up in Long Island and drive 6 hours north to visit my parents in Maine. I always looked forward to political discussions during the drive. My Aunt Barbara is one of the most informed, thoughtful, and passionate political thinkers in my life. I almost always agree with her opinions, but I find that she does give me new perspectives on issues because she's older and wiser than I am, and brings her many life experiences to the conversation. I know she listens to The Brian Lehrer show sometimes, so Aunt Barbara, if you're out there, hello!
I also love to talk politics with anyone else who will take the time to talk to me. Friends, co-workers, teachers, students, family. We can talk politics in bars, kitchens, classrooms, buses, restaurants, anywhere. I love talking to people who agree with me, so it can be more like a pep rally than a debate. But I find that even if I am in a group of self-described liberals, we can find things to disagree about or things to question.

Sep. 18 2007 11:54 AM
Brinton P. Baker from Accord, NY

I am a potter and talk politics in my studio with my customers all the time. Mostly local politics, but also national and international.

I also battle, wasting much too much time, with my conservative family members via email.

Sep. 18 2007 11:53 AM
Michael Penn from Washington Heights

I grew up near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in an extremely conservative rural area. There are some, but I'm one of the few liberals from the area.

I travel back there regularly and always meet with a polar opposite conservative friend at TGI Friday's bar. It's great. We disagree on nearly everything but appreciated the informed, educated discussion as opposed to empty rhetoric we often hear even from our like-minded friends.

Sep. 18 2007 11:53 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Union Square is a great place to just show up when something is going on and engage in a spontaneous political talk...sched. talks are too tame...

Sep. 18 2007 11:52 AM
eav from Eizabeth NJ

When I'm at college there winds up being talk of politics (conflicting and agreeing opinions)all over campus, but the campus center usually winds up being the most common place for these exchanges. And this applies to many different colleges. Often non student politically active groups would set up tables or hand out flyers in this area.

Sep. 18 2007 11:51 AM
Carol from Hoboken, NJ

We talk politics almost every day in our local cafe. It's not a formally scheduled discussion, just one of the topics that come up. There can be a group of 2 to 20 people, most of whom know each other, but strangers are often drawn in as well.

Sep. 18 2007 11:49 AM
Trevor from LIC

I used to work in a smoke shop in my old city where politics was discussed (mostly conservative and reactionary, lamentably), but I haven't found a congenial place yet in NY.

Sep. 18 2007 11:49 AM
Matt from Brooklyn

Much of my political talk happens during off-leash hours in Prospect Park in the morning. There is not a big variety of positions expressed, but my group of dog-owner friends and I often take time to think through the events of recent days.

Sep. 18 2007 11:48 AM
ab from nyc

Brian, must NOT be a liberal then...

Liberals, are not like conservatives...WE argue with each other about everything!

Sep. 18 2007 11:48 AM
Daniel Bavolack from Manhattan - Talking Politics

Monkey Room 4:00pm Ft. Washington at 187th Street

Sep. 18 2007 11:48 AM
Chris from brooklyn

I talk politics with people at work all time. Also with friends and family, wherever I may be with them.

Sep. 18 2007 11:47 AM

Drinking Liberally really is the best group out there at creating this kind of space where politics can be discussed. Title aside, it's not just for liberals - I've met plenty of moderates and conservatives at meetings - but for people who both like to have a good time and are concerned about the state of our country. Not only does Drinking Liberally have a alternate version for comedy fans (check out Laughing Liberally), but the national network just had a convention in Des Moines, right before the Tom Harkin Steak Fry.

Sep. 18 2007 11:42 AM
mike connery from Brooklyn, NY

Drinking Liberally is the place I go to talk politics. You meet people from all over the city adn all walks of life - publishing, journalism, lawyers, etc. You also tend to meet political professionals. It's a great way to actually talk to someone in the system if you are on the outside, and a great place to debate, argue, rant or have a friendly chat about politics over a couple drinks with your fellow New Yorkers.

Plus, it's national. So when you travel, you can always find a DL near you adn some friendly faces.

Sep. 18 2007 11:35 AM
Fred Gooltz from Hell's Kitchen

My third space (outside of work and home) to talk politics is at Drinking Liberally.

There's a few chapters in NYC, the one I go to is every Thursday at Rudy's in Hell's Kitchen.

It's a low-key social club and political hang-out. The regulars range from professional politicos, staffers, bloggers, but mostly we're just interested citizens.

You can check it out at

Sep. 18 2007 11:05 AM
Jo from Westchester

I belong to a daytime News Discussion Group run as part of the continuing education programme in Mamaroneck. There's a mixture of locals and expats from different countries - it is impossible to discuss news issues around the world without talking politics and we get into some "lively" debates. Love it but call it the weekly dose of depression.

Sep. 18 2007 10:07 AM

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