I had never heard about “third spaces” until catching up on Apartment Therapy the other day. Visit this post for the whole story. The gist of it is that your first and second spaces are home and work, and then third spaces are where you go and feel at ease (your hangout spots, if you will).
So, even though I didn’t know the name for it until the other day, I have to say I am a huge believer in third spaces. They are essential for a little escapism, and they really do help build a sense of community. How are you ever going to ‘be’ in your community if you only ever spend time at home or at work?
I want to share a few of my third spaces with you. If you’ve got a blog (or a Facebook or a Twitter), I’d love to see yours, too! Let me know if you post them.
Third Space #1: The Way Faith Community
OK, so church might be the very definition of a third space…at least, my church is. That’s why you hear people refer to a church they attend regularly as their “church home”. My church meets in a school, so it’s not intrinsically a great hang-out environment, but the people make it home. Every Sunday morning when I walk through those doors, I feel like I’m supposed to be there.
Third Space #2: The Mudhouse
The mudhouse is hands down my favorite (which makes it the best) coffee shop in town. It’s homey without being cluttered; cool without being clinical. The coffee is unbelievable, and I have breakfast there once a week before work while I read with my friend. It’s the perfect escape.
Closely related, my (third) third space is the bar owned by the same people who own the Mudhouse. The drinks are by far the best in town, and the vibe is laid-back cool. In college, I’d come to the Mudlounge at least once a week with friends. I have some great memories here, and I always feel at home when I’m cozied in with friends and a great martini.
Third Space #4: C-Street Market
I’ve been frequenting the C-Street Market lately. I’m trying to eat cleaner, so a farmer’s market is a great place to start. This particular farmer’s market is in a historic part of town with really cool architecture, but the neighborhood is struggling. It’s a poorer part of town, and there are also homeless shelters and services nearby, so it’s not exactly the hip place to be in our city. But there is an intense feeling of community at the shops in the neighborhood and at the market. It’s much friendlier and less intimidating than the giant farmer’s market in the more affluent end of town.