Building Community–One Cup, One Book, One Note at a Time
PNA Village meets at Couth Buzzard weekly for “Conversation and News of the Day”
by Cecile Andrews, community member, guest writer
Yes, a well known coffee company popularized the phrase “ third place.”
But there’s a real third place in PhinneyWood. It’s called the Couth Buzzard at 8310 Greenwood Ave N. The Couth Buzzard is a new/used bookstore, a cafe, and a performance space.
Roy Oldenburg, in his book The Great Good Place, explores the importance of people having a place they can drop in and gather with other people.
He talks about the fact that we all need a first place (our families) and a second place (work) and how important it is to have a third place — a place where you can be yourself, not anyone’s employee or mother, just yourself.
And you become yourself by interacting with friends and acquaintances! You need a place to gather and converse and laugh. Social interaction is vital and we don’t have enough it —it affects not only our experience of happiness, but even our health and longevity. In fact some research says that social isolation is as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Ultimately, it’s feeling that you belong. That you have a place where you can just drop in and relax. That you are recognized and valued.
The Couth Buzzard expresses this in its logo: “Building Community — One Cup, One Book, One Note at a Time.”
Too often it seems like all our coffee places are filled with people sitting alone at their computers. At Couth Buzzard you can do that as well, but what you’ll see is a lot of people gathering or (at night) making music.
During the day all sorts of groups meet. There are groups talking about the news, about climate change, politics… People gather as writing groups and conversation groups. PNA’s own Village program meets there regularly for two of their community groups.
At night there are concerts with musicians like the legendary Jim Page. Wednesday nights are open mic evenings. (I love seeing people take the risk to get up and play for others.)
There’s so much to enjoy! But right now there’s an urgency to what I write. Couth Buzzard needs your financial help! You can buy books and beverages, but you can do more: If you feel so inspired, please go to this gofundme web site to learn more about Couth Buzzard’s philosophy, activity and involvement in the community, and how you can help.
Cecile Andrews leads conversation groups for the PNA. She is the author of Circle of Simplicity and Living Room Revolution.