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 “third places” (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.