Thoughts on “Third places”

So, this morning I have a meeting which is across town, so I’m sitting at a Panera Bread Bakery with my laptop and a cup of coffee.


Coffee shops are an interesting type of “third place“. In a way, they’re all very similar, perhaps even copies of each other, and in some ways they’re unique places. Actually, I don’t think that the coffee shops themselves provide much of the difference; rather, that comes, I think, from the people who are there. Sure, one starbucks is much like another Starbucks, and the same goes for Panera Bread (my coffee shop of choice, at least where I am now). Some of the indie shops have some character. But I do think on some level, the environment in any given coffee shop is greatly affected by the people there as much as the branding of the shop.

So, for example, the Panera location that I normally use is located close to Fort Jackson, and it is often very quiet (and conducive to getting work done) until around lunch time, when Army and Navy personnel flood in. The one that I’m working at today is close to downtown, state government offices, and the University of South Carolina. As a result, there’s a lot more foot traffic, and a more diverse crowd.

I tend to use Panera for working on things like my parish newsletter, Sunday bulletins, and sometimes sermons. Those can be a little more difficult to do away from my office because I don’t usually carry a library with me. I could go digital all the way with the kindle, but even then sometimes I use things that either aren’t on kindle or are just easier  to use in a paper book format. Plus I underline. A lot. So, for example, when I was using Athanasius’ On the Incarnation for my Annunciation sermon, I could easily have had the text in a digital format without even taking my kindle, since it is online. However, I like to underline and take marginal notes. So, I do sometimes find myself at a table with a small stack of books.

Just my thoughts for the day. If you like what you read, share this post and let others like it too, and leave comments below.


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One thought on “Thoughts on “Third places”

  1. Pingback: Friday Link Salad | 21st centuryanglican

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