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Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Great Good Place: Park + Vine

The Great Good Place is actually a book written by Ray Oldenburg. The book covers the places that are often hangouts and community gathering points. We're not talking about public squares or private halls, but rather, those places that seem to be nodes of activity without meaning to.

These places are described as Third Places since they are nether home (first place) nor work (second place), but are comfortable and help to create a sense of place. Every neighborhood has them, so what and where are they in Cincinnati? Maybe it's the neighborhood bar, bookstore, coffee shop, barber shop, or cafe. Or, if you're live or visit the newly emerging Gateway Quarter, it is more than likely that you have spent some serious time in Park + Vine for more than just shopping for the latest/greatest green merchandise.

I know I have gone to Park + Vine just for the conversation...and on more than one occasion I have walked out of the store after meeting and getting to know someone new. Stephen Carter-Novotni, from CityBeat, described Park + Vine as a, "swank hang out for sustainable living enthusiasts in the area. Stick around for a few minutes and you'll meet local people who are driving biodeisel cars, tending organic gardens or figuring out ways to turn junk into art." So what's your great good place?


Anonymous said...

Even though cafés, bars, and bookstores are based on consumption they are geared towards leisurely enjoying the space and have tables and couches to do so.

It seems hard for a retail environment to be a third place of any consequence. Park+Vine does this to a certain extent, but it isn't really an environment for lounging.

5chw4r7z said...

The thing that makes Park+Vine a third place is Dan. Park+Vine is a destination and its nice stopping in to talk to him. Last Friday, man, you should have been in there. Dan was a rock star, I had to fight through a dozen people to get to him.
But you're right justforview, if you are looking to kill hours of time, this wouldn't be it.

justforview said...

Totally, dan makes the place a great visit.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Dan is the man. He makes Park + Vine what it is. He truly loves the place and it shows. He has great passion for what hes doing and he passes that on to others. The conversation is all thats needed to get me in the door, the merchandise I happen to stumble upon from there is just a plus. Personally I believe there is no need for lounging, the conversations are always upbeat, positive and pleasant. Never boring nor sleep provoking, therefore the justification that there has to be a "lounge" area is nonsense. Besides if there were areas to lounge no one would use them, else they would lose their place in line to talk to Dan. No one I know is willing to take that risk.

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