QUESTION: What is your Third Place?

Since this is 3/3, no matter whether you’re a 3 March person or a March 3 individual, I thought I’d ask what your third place is. 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.

My third place – shockingly! – is the Albany Public Library. That’s where I tend to go when I’m waiting. If I’m finished with my dentist appointment downtown, but the next bus out to Corporate Woods doesn’t come for a half hour, I’ll go to the library, e.g.

But my third place schedule has been severely disrupted. My favorite time to go to the library was on Thursday nights, after work and before 7:30 choir rehearsal; I would get quite a bit of blogging done there on the computers, maybe a couple pieces. But, for budgetary reasons, the main library now closes at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights, and none of the branches are open that evening either. I’ve stolenborrowed my daughter little pink laptop and gone to a Starbucks one Thursday evening and another coffee shop on Lark Street in Albany another, but it’s just not the same.

Do you have a third place?

Graphic from MCHABIB.com.

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8 thoughts on “QUESTION: What is your Third Place?

  1. Having just had my hair cut, I’d go along with the Wikipedia example of the barber’s shop as a third place. Interestingly, I notice that my behaviour changes when I’m there and my conversation is more ‘blokey’ than it would be elsewhere. The main topics tend to be sport, home improvements, the idiocy of politcians and the unreasonableness of spouses. Definitely nothing that might be considered arty or intellectual.

  2. Hello, Roger. First-time visitor here by way of Mr. Parrot’s blog.
    I was going to say church was my third place, but I suppose that is one of my social places. Then I was going to say the voting precinct was my third place, as I’ve been assisting with the early voting process for the past week, but I suppose that is one of my work places. The library might work for me as a third place, and also the hair-cutting shop a la Mr. Parrot, but my real third place is probably the piano bench. My wife would most likely disagree and insist that my third place is in front of a computer, any computer.

  3. Keegan Ales, a craft-brewery/cantina in Kingston, N.Y.! My “living room away from home!” I’ve got quite the circle of companions who hang there incl. co-workers whom I introduced to the place. Beside having a line of fine beers brewed on premises, they have free music nearly every night, never a cover charge. Sometime it’s just a guy with a guitar and a synthesizer-box, on other occasions, like next Friday, “Stand,” a very good Irish band direct from Dublin. They throw a couple of awesome annual parties as well, such as Halloween. A community-gathering spot like in the old days!

  4. @Lisa, no, it is a good thing! Free exchange of ideas and loads of creativity!

    Roger, my “third place” is any of several locally owned coffee shops in Madison, WI. The comfy chairs of Espresso; the sprawling La Luna, walls replete with local artists; ditto Manna, which also has the BEST matzoh ball soup west of Manhattan… I could go on, but you get the idea. Sometimes it’s a place to be anonymous in a crowd and write, but more often, it’s a place to meet like-minded AND non-like-minded folks for spirited, mutually respectful conversation. Plus, of course, there’s the excellent brew… Amy

  5. Hmm… I work from home, so my first two places would be home and home. As for my third place, I can’t really think of one besides – home. I should really get out more.

  6. Sorry your third place has been disrupted.

    I guess I have a lot of “third places”:

    – Church, which is probably my #1 “third place.” Probably spend about 6 hours a week there at least going to service, studies, parties, groups, etc. Definitely without a doubt my #1 source of community engagement and source of new friends.

    – My gym at the community rec center.

    – My local diner, where I make a point of going twice a week with some old high school friends as well as family.

    Really sad that in our culture so many people are just “work-and-home.” It’s one of those things that’s really normal but not healthy at all.

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