The Third Place
As a kid growing up in the west end of Davenport Iowa, I used to love going to places that my friends and I would go to just to hang out. Nothing really important happened there ……or did it?
Places like the friends garage that had everything from an old stereo in the corner playing the best 70’s rock n roll KSTT had to offer to bicycle parts and everything you could imagine that kids love to tinker with. An old couch, or a wood burning stove that gave off the best smell in the world, firewood smoke.
Another place was our favorite tree house in the oak tree just outside the view of civilization and our neighbors view. In that tree house we could dream of anything and spend hours talking about the possibilities.
I guess those places still exist today. They are known as your “third place”.
Our family loves our third place here in Prescott Arizona, Coffee Roasters is a place to connect and have conversations that keep us connected to the people we love and cherish. http://www.prescottcoffeeroasters.com/
Brenda and Caleb enjoy a “third place” day
at Coffee Roasters.
Many others more gifted than I have described just what a third place is and how important it is for us to find one.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – The third place is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg (1989, 1991) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.
Oldenburg calls one’s “first place” the home and those that one lives with. The “second place” is the workplace — where people may actually spend most of their time. Third places, then, are “anchors” of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction. All societies already have informal meeting places; what is new in modern times is the intentionality of seeking them out as vital to current societal needs. Oldenburg suggests these hallmarks of a true “third place”: free or inexpensive; food and drink, while not essential, are important; highly accessible: proximate for many (walking distance); involve regulars – those who habitually congregate there; welcoming and comfortable; both new friends and old should be found there.
Starbucks speaks the “third place” language.
Starbucks uses the term the third place in its marketing because it vies to be the “extra place” people frequent after home and work. This idea came from a marketing concept by Howard Schultz. In an attempt to make Starbucks a “home away from home”, the café section of the store is often outfitted with comfortable chairs, as well as the usual tables and hard-backed chairs found in cafés. Free electricity outlets are provided for patrons, and many branches also have wireless internet access, provided on a charge basis by T-Mobile and AT&T. Many larger retail stores also host “mini-concerts” for local musicians.
Oldenburg, Ray (2000). Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories about the “Great Good Places” at the Heart of Our Communities. New York: Marlowe & Company. ISBN 978-1569246122.
Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Place”
Also, Mark Batterson’s blog talks about the churches roll in our culture of creating a third place for people to connect and stay connected.
I think great dreams come from your third place. Look for one and stay fresh.