Another Third Place Post

I’ve been up for two hours, long enough to develop a hunger for breakfast and to fuel renewed daydreams about creating a Third Place. But I’m not having breakfast yet; that will wait for a couple more hours until my wife arises from her slumber. In the interim, I’ll focus my attention on the Third Place. If you’re not familiar with the Oldenburg concept and my fantasy, here are some links to relevant posts I wrote:

Despite having not written about the concept much since 2013, it has been continuously on my mind ever since. Since moving to Hot Springs Village, the idea of creating such a place in or near the village has been on my mind. I envision a place where people can gather for casual breakfasts, perhaps incorporating my desires for a “breakfasts around the world” concept—breakfasts from different countries on a rotating basis. The same place would transform into a pub late in the day and into the evening, where Arkansas craft beers and locally sourced pub food would be served. Writers and musicians would share the open mic in the evenings, while people enjoy the beer (and wine and coffee and so on). During the day and into the evening, adjacent studio space would be  available for groups of artists and musicians. There would be a large pottery/sculpture studio, as well, complete with kilns and throwing wheels. And there would be space and equipment available for metal artists; welding gear, plasma cutters, and the like. The place would not be limited to artists and musicians; people who simply want to come watch and listen would be welcomed and there would be comfortable seating for them.

All I need is money and space and enough people who support the concept to join me to make it happen. I recognize, of course, that others may not share this personal dream of mine. I’m not much good at generating enthusiasm for my Third Place ideas; maybe it’s because they’re too grandiose or maybe it’s because my ideas of the desirable elements of the ideas are unique to me. Or, maybe, I just haven’t seriously tried. And that may be because I think the money and support required to bring them to fruition are just unattainable. None of that stops me from dreaming, though. And so, here I sit, just shy of 6:00 a.m., dreaming with my eyes wide open.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to Another Third Place Post

  1. Trisha says:

    John, if this word of advise could be serviceable at all, your dreams are plentiful, and often well thought. However, your are suffering the Libra indication. Seems often the Libra’s share that nasty. So, all above very well could be accomplished. Why do I perceive a “King of the Mountain” in between your lines…I don’t know…maybe, once again it is a La Trisha thing….and I’m just erroneous…often am, but when not, well, people simply flip the coin, and I’m erroneous once more. Personally, I despise that sneaky form…and that it is. Sorry for the jabbering, I’ll be gone here as well as FB in short order. Talk about clearing out ones head!! The only true head to clear is the one on your shoulders naturally, regardless of the other several people or more that give you, or anyone, grief. Good bye, adios.

  2. jserolf says:

    I’m envious of some who find that 3rd place in some pub. I see that sort of thing on TV or in movies with New England contexts, and while being mostly “solitudinal,” I enjoy the vision of collective 3rd place meetings.

    But is that what you mean, my friend? Just want to make sure.

    Teresa is correct to posit whether it’s still 3rd place after retirement, because 3rd places are stow-a-ways for worker types who need that clean well lighted space to mull away, and maybe philosophize. Hemingway, a man gallivanting the world, saw the value of such a space. But what is a 3rd place if it’s no longer a stow-a-way?

    The departmental secretary, who’s been desperately trying to get me out to some pub, reminds me constantly of Friday meets.
    “You need to get out,” she says.
    In my last email, I asked “Yeah, but can I meet good types who like to philosophize about life?”

    No response. In a number of ways the grand art of conversation has gone missing in our culture. Under the dew of good whiskey, I’ve conversed through the night and into the face of the morning, but those days or nights seem long gone now.

    3rd places are sometimes made up of (and in) some hodge-podge, timeless, nearly spaceless places of Facebook crowds and blogs like this one. I guess?

    Are you thinking of writing a book over this? Great idea! I need to read more of the past blogs, though I did read March 26 and 29. It’s a great topic for collective, cultural discussion.

    There’s devil in you that needs to come out, my friend. You have something to do!

  3. Hmmm. Probably not. But I’m not going to change my language at this advanced age. 😉

  4. Teresa says:

    Is it still a third place after you’ve retired? 😉

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