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THE FOURTH PLACE

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  You live your life in places. There is your home, your work and if your fortunate a third place where you can socialize, talk with friends and strangers. Examples of these include coffee shops, bars and libraries. But, as Devika Rao points out in her article “The Unfortunate, ongoing disappearance of third places” they are harder to find and fully enjoy as you did in the past. Blame it on the learned social distancing of the pandemic, the rise of social media, the doom loops of downtowns, and the suburb mentality along with a myriad of other reasons. Rao raises a valuable point, one that affects our well being, enjoyment of life, and peace of mind. Life though continues to spin at an ever increasing, confusing, and frustrating pace. So how do you fill the growing void of third places. Perhaps there is a fourth place that should be added to our life mix. One that is just ours to enjoy, one where we can pause, think, and grow our peace of mind. It could be as simple as a chair and a bo

MALL MAN

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  It's probably just a male thing, waiting for your wife at the mall. You've seen all the fancies and been to the Apple Store. Now you just sit and wait, first with anticipation, then concern and finally just growing old while you wait for her to emerge....

THE ART OF FOUND ART

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  THE ART OF FOUND ART - sometimes it just happens, hidden in a corner of an off beat bookstore, discarded torn pages and scraps, $5 for a bundle. You sense there is art buried there. You find old prints forgotten in the bundle. You add a few brush strokes learned from art wandering, a touch of digital magic and imagination. Part from an ever lost book to the world, part from skills found, maybe a view you only see. Maybe art found.

STUDY OF A BARE LOT

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The bare lot stood silent, not saying anything. As if waiting to be called into the wealth on the right side of the tracks. The train though seemed to block its way, lingering on the tracks, seemingly never moving. The traffic rerouted over bridges far from the lot. I wondered would anyone ever want the lot, would people come there. I walked across the street to a small place, The Common Market, ate a sandwich, mingled with people and had a cup of their coffee chip ice cream. All the time looking at the lot across the way, but not worrying anymore…

A STUDY OF DOORS

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  Simple things sometimes reveal special beauty in their detail. Beauty often overlooked.

A FREEWAY SIGN

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 The parking lot half empty, just like the strip mall still painted in dark red. The owner having done everything they could to attract new tenets. But as you turned and looked, a large freeway sign dominated the horizon, pulling your attention away. As if to speed the dying...

LONELINESS OF THE MALL

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Loneliness is at an all time high. The APA (American Psychiatric Association) reported over 30% of adults feel lonely. Malls are one place people go to escape loneliness, but often don’t find it there. You can be with hundreds of others in a modern mall and still feel alone, they lack opportunity for social interaction. Even leaving with an arm full of new purchases can still leave your soul empty for the experience.  Diane Ionescu in her article “The Mall is Dead - Long Live the Mall” points out this is far from the original thinking of how malls should be when they first appeared in the 1950’s. The original designer of malls, Victor Gruen envisioned the mall as a recreation of a European village with a roof. A place to shop, find services and socialize. As malls prospered and grew, space became too valuable to allow room for socializing. When these over commercialized malls suffered big box store failures, they became dying or dead malls. There was noting left to draw people. Now the