Lucky-to-know-each-other friends.

Hello! Welcome to Maples!

My name’s Ted Pearlman and I have a hobby that makes me happy. I plan fun outings for folks who’ll like and help one another.

A few examples.

I might plan a lunch for someone trying to balance family and entrepreneurship with someone who just wrote a book about that very challenge.

Or I might plan a playdate-picnic for two parents whose toddlers would love having a friend in the neighborhood.

A few years ago I arranged one for two moms, Jenna Shapiro and Celine Vernon, and their toddlers, Luco and Sila. Those are the kiddos smooching after the picnic in the top photo. And below is a more recent Instagram video of the two giving a sassy-adorable one-star museum review.

Or I might plan a gallery crawl and gourmet hot dog run for two art and street food lovers who’ve been feeling culture-deprived.

I recently arranged for Suzanne Mozes and Susan Ash-Lee to explore the paintings, ceramics, and cuisine of Denver’s River North Art District.

Frequently asked questions.

Why is this called maples?

That’s just my borrowed word for the type of people I like to introduce — sincere, generous laughers.

And why do you use that particular word?

Two reasons.

First, it’s in honor of my mom. I got my love of introducing people from her, and she had a thing for maple trees.

One of mom’s frequent friendship-seeding parties for folks she thought would hit it off, and their kids. At her maple tree-colored, Northern New Jersey apartment during the early aughts.

And, second, what’s more sincere, generous, and inviting of laughter than a maple tree?

Why are you so into this?

Several reasons:

I spent my entire childhood watching my mom do this sort of thing and I simply can’t help myself.

It makes me feel good when I successfully seed a new friendship. Every friendship can have such a big impact, not just on the two people in it, but on everyone they know. Plus, good friendships can last a lifetime, and that, in turn, makes me feel like I’m making an impact.

I love showing people how simple acts of generosity can make a huge huge impact on others. When a maple refers a new maple to me, I make sure to share stories of the good things that happen downstream. I want that referrer to know about the other maples their referee made friends with, collaborated with, took trips with, and the like. It makes everyone’s day.

I think friendships between maples improve the fabric of the cities they live in. There’s something wonderful about two sincere, generous, laughers spending time together that can’t help but spread outward.

What cities do you do this in?

Mostly Denver. But I’ll be adding New York and London soon. Plus, I do some pretty crazy-fun group destination events from time to time you can read about further down the page.

What does this cost?

It’s free! This is my hobby.

How do I reach you?

Ping me at… or
(303) 305-4363.

How do you find these folks?

I ask the maples I know to send me more. That’s probably how you got here, unless you heard about the project through the Maples Podcast. Either way, I’m glad you made it!

Maples Podcast? What’s that?

Each episode is an interview with a maple. The podcast isn’t quite live yet, but we have our first three episodes in the can. The first is with the illustrator, Christoph Niemann. I went to Berlin to meet him. You can listen to a rough cut below.

Christoph in his Berlin studio telling me about the book his parents bought him when he was thirteen. It inspired endless hours of figure drawing.

Christoph in his Berlin studio telling me about the book his parents bought him when he was thirteen. It inspired endless hours of figure drawing.

Umm, I think I might be a maple. Can I nominate myself?

Yes, though if you have someone else nominate you (it doesn’t matter whether or not we know them), you’ll get into the queue faster.

What if I’m an evil warlock masquerading as a maple?

I’ll find another evil warlock masquerading as a maple you can trade incantations with. Everybody needs compatible, helpful friends.

Where can I read about your background?

Right here.

Do you get maples together in bigger groups?

Yes! I’ve created three groups. All members of a particular group are maples and have a bunch of other things in common.

  • Sugar Maples — Night owls who like surreal and silly humor.
  • Coliseum Maples (yes that’s a real species) — Company owners who are super-athletic.
  • Paperbark Maples — Independent for-hire creatives who are working on big side projects.

A few years back I created a little mini-conference, called Meddle, just for Paperback Maples. It was held in a 15th century manor estate in the English Cotswolds.

Are these maple groups meant to be like Meetups?

That’s not really the intention. But you’re right. They are a little like Meetups. The main difference is there’s less emphasis on coordinating activities and more emphasis on the personal compatibility of the members.

What do you do for a living?

There’s some info here.

Who did the illustration at the top of the page?

Elena Genova and I collaborated on the ‘M’ logo. The scratchboard background of trees and leaves is part of a larger illustration I commissioned Howell Golson to make for us.