Madison’s outdoor ‘third places

Every town needs third places away from home and the workplace. These are usually coffeehouses, pubs or a bookstore cafe. While the best third places in the world are outdoor rooms, like Italy’s piazzas, the best in the U.S. often comes in paseos (streets closed down to cars) and waterfronts. Madison has both.

Madison’s State Street ‘paseo’ was covered in Tuesday’s blog. Madison’s University of Wisconsin has a waterfront terrace that has probably hosted some of the most inspired conversations in the town. Why? It has a spectacular view of the lake, is fronted by two dining venues, has room for hundreds of people, transmits free wireless internet, and sells beer by the pitcher (keep in mind this is Wisconsin). It all makes for a dangerous, highly creative spontaneous combustion chamber.