In his book The Great Good Place, Oldenburg demonstrates why these gathering places are essential to community and public life. He argues that bars, coffee shops, general stores, and other â€œthird placesâ€ (in contrast to the first and second places of home and work), are central to local democracy and community vitality.
I talked about third places in relation to The Sentient Bean at the southern edge of Forsyth Park. The Bean’s 10th anniversary celebration is Friday evening, September 30th.
I also mentioned Oldenburg in a recent post here that includes a link to a guest column I wrote for The Inkwell, the student newspaper at Armstrong Atlantic Satate University.
In my life, the closest rival as a third place is the bar at American Legion Post #135, which is right around the corner from and the landlord of The Sentient Bean.
I have heard from a couple of readers who live in neighborhoods lacking such third places. I hope it’s something we’ll focus on as we continue to rethink how we live and where we live.