Exploring alt-community options

Third places, also known as "third spaces," are social environments that exist outside of the home (first place) and work or school (second place) and are considered essential for building community, fostering social interactions, and promoting a sense of belonging and camaraderie. These benefits couldn't be more necessary today as young people in particular — have grown increasingly lonely since the pandemic caused a dramatic shrinking of our social and physical world, which still hasn’t completely re-expanded. As such more of these spaces are being designed to combat social isolation and serve as hubs for friendships, casual interactions, and exchanging ideas, so join us as we space out and explore a few.


Initially created to be a safe digital space for people of color and the queer community, Somewhere Good has evolved to offer IRL hangouts at its community space, located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. In the app’s latest iteration, users can also opt to directly text Somewhere Good, either to create their own hangouts or to learn about local happenings, as creating community remains their core mission.


Located in a disused train station in Paris, France, La REcyclerie prides itself on an eco-friendly ethos of upcycling and reuse. By following the 3R principle (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), the station has been rehabilitated to become a hybrid, 100% eco-responsible space comprising a café-canteen, urban farm, library, conference room, and repair workshop. The site also plays host to such community-building events as seed swaps, readings, and concerts.


Over on TikTok, a subculture of #thirdplace and #thirdspace supporters is growing strong, amassing nearly 12M views collectively. TikTokers such as @interstellar_isabellar are helping debunk and clarify what exactly a third place is while sharing the origins and eight characteristics that make it so. In Australia, @Society City Wollongong invites its community to hang out at a delightful space that is more than just a bookstore/communal workspace - but rather a place for “conscious creativity.”