Moving to the biggest city in the country surrounded by all the other people determined to make it in the city that never sleeps is a daunting challenge. Especially when you were working for a NYC based company in Texas and now you're working for a Texas based company from NYC. (I've been doing remote since 2007 - glad everyone could catch up thanks to the pandemic!)
Building a network from scratch was a challenge, but in the same way that everyone who moves to NYC has a certain type of craziness, they also are more open to just showing up to a random invitation and seeing what happens.
Especially if that invitation sounds like it is to something that has some kind of organization or history to it.