3rd place has a bad rep—It’s not 1st, and it’s not close enough to first to be considered 2nd. However, in this wikipedia entry, it gives a whole new meaning to 3rd place. I have no idea how I stumbled upon it, only that it fascinated me enough to make a mental note to explore the concept further. Ray Oldenberg suggests the “third place” as a setting where one can find a sense of belonging, a sense of community or (one can argue) a place that can “give life” or energy to those that visit. It’s not home, and it’s not work—it’s a third place where one can interact with others. Goodness knows that there are sometimes stresses that come from home and work, but the third place seems to be somewhat less prone to the types of stresses that emerge in the first and second places. I can’t help but hum the theme song of “Cheers” in my head, “Where everybody knows your naaaaammme..dum, dum dum…and you’re always glad you caaaamme…” In reality, a third place could be many settings, not just a local pub. Without knowing it, perhaps many people have and rely on a third place. For me, I seem to float to a bunch of temporal thirds places from time to time, perhaps not often enough. And I wonder whether third places are found or created? How can we leverage the third place as a possible oasis to cope with 1st and 2nd places?
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