The "third place" (i.e. the place that is neither your home nor your job, but a gathering spot where you like to hang out) was popularized in Ray Oldenburg's 1999, The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community.
Cafes are surely my favorite third place since I love coffee, like to freeload WiFi, and enjoy a change of scenery every now and again. Since moving to St. Paul, I've discovered some great little cafes tucked right into residential neighborhoods. My current favorites include:
J & S Bean Factory
-- Hamline Midway location @ Thomas and Hamline
-- Highland location on Randolph just off of Snelling
Java Train-- in the Como Park neighborhood on Pascal, just north of Midway Parkway.
Swede Hollow Cafe -- in the Swede Hollow/Dayton's Bluff neighborhood on East 7th.
Nina's Coffee Cafe (pictured above)--in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood on Selby @ Western.
Jerabek's on the Westside is on my list to check out ASAP-- but I haven't made it there yet. Readers, what are your favorite St. Paul and Minneapolis coffee shops?
Image: Allen Zumach photo art.