August 19, 2006

Eating, drinking, WiFiing at my local third places

The cafe is one of a neighborhood's third places. The home is the first place and work is the second place. I admit to not having read Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place (1989) or Celebrating the Third Place (2001), but the tables of contents of both books are revealing. In his first book, Oldenburg emphasizes "personal benefits" and "the greater good." His list of third places include the German-American lager beer garden, main street, the English pub, the French cafe, the American tavern, and the classic coffeehouse. His second book is an edited collection of essays. The third places of this book are a gift and garden shop, a coffeehouse, a crossroads, a bookstore, a restaurant, a taco shop, a tavern, and an espresso bar in a church sacristy. My favorite cafes coincidentally offer free WiFi. The cafes are local and although I am "online," I often talk with other customers (friends and strangers). The cafes are also great places to observe all sorts of neighboring activities. The Cafes (not ordered by preference) A Cup Above - a new cafe that makes excellent macchiatos and cappuchinos (Caffe) Strada - a popular cafe Crixa Cakes - delicious pastries (Read Tea treats at Crixa Cakes) Le Bateau Ivre - it's a restaurant but the coffee is good Musical Offering - a cafe/ classic music store Nomad - a "slow food" attitude but there's thick crema on the macchiato

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