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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?

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.