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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  297 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Where's Your "Third Place", Hubski?

While I don't like the taste of Starbucks coffee (it tastes burned to me), I respect the company hugely for being the single largest provider of "third places" in the world.

And that's no small thing. Especially for women and minorities, who have not had many safe places to gather.

For example, if a woman is selling her laptop on Craigslist, where does she meet the buyer? In a parking lot? At a bar? At her home? At their home?

Every one of these ideas is absolutely horrible, for myriad patently obvious reasons.

"Let's meet at Starbucks." A safe, public place to meet, and have your transaction.

It's fascinating to think of, if one (like me) can get out of my white middle aged American male frame of reference, and look at the world through someone else's eyes and experience.

I think about Starbucks and the space they have created a LOT. Like, a couple of times every week. I have been to Starbucks on several different continents, islands, and countries, and seen the same experience around the world.

Fuck the coffee. Who cares about that? I'm utterly fascinated with what they have created, culturally, across the world. That fascinates me.


But when it comes to my "third place"? My privilege shines like a fucking beacon.

I can be comfortable anywhere, anytime.

I may go to dinner alone.

I may go to a bar, and just sit and be by myself for a while. Chat with the bartender. Or not.

I may go to a park with a book.

Or go for a drive in my car.

Because I am a while middle-aged American male, I can make myself comfortable anywhere.

A woman sitting alone at a bar? In a restaurant? In a park? She's a target for men.

Me? I'm just some dude who gets left alone.

So my "third place" is anywhere... because I am confident, comfortable in my skin, and privileged. While the privilege part sucks, because others don't have it, I am able to make use of it and be comfortable anywhere as my Third Place.

I'm kinda conflicted about that. A bit.

steve  ·  294 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is a tangent - but did you hear the awesome news about Starbucks announcing medical benefits that support trans individuals by covering several treatments and surgeries that most insurers wouldn’t touch?


goobster  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

They were also the first company to provide family benefits to domestic partners... not just gays who got married, but ALL domestic partners, including multi-partner relationships.

kleinbl00  ·  297 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would argue that prior to the commonality of Starbucks the general place of meeting was libraries and post offices. Post offices, of course, being assailed by the demise of social projects. Libraries these days are pretty much where the white people aren't. Try it: if you wanna see what the demographics of the 50% are in your neighborhood, go to the library. My neighborhood is startlingly Somali and Ethiopian.

I would also argue that Starbucks hates black people.

zebra2  ·  297 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I would also argue that Starbucks hates black people.

Years ago, wandering through Perris, CA, I came up with the hypothesis that if you're having a hard time finding a Starbucks, you're also having a hard time finding white people.