John and I have a "place." You can find us there many Friday nights hanging out with the yogis. Over time we've gotten to know the staff, other people who hang out there in the same timeslot, etc. It's fun just to show up and see who's there. Or to sometimes text everyone beforehand to bug the person who gets there first to get a table in our favorite section.
One of the things about having a "place" that you frequent is that as relationships develop, anything can happen. Last Friday we celebrated John's birthday. And while we were doing that, our friend Debby and her friend (who I've only ever met at "our place") came to our table with a round of lemon drops for all and a harpist who led us in a round of "Happy Birthday."
As we tried to "read" the party favors I brought that night, we all found ourselves sharing my reading glasses which resulted in a game of "who wore it best?"
But maybe one of my favorite things about having "a place" is the sheer serendipity and friendliness of it. You belong. Just by showing up. You wave at the familiar faces at other tables. You have impromptu conversations while waiting at the bar. It becomes a thing.
And here's the deal. You can create it. All you have to do is select the timeslot. Grab some friends. Pick "a place" and start the routine. It can be anywhere. A restaurant, a coffee house, a bar, a park, a friend's house...it's the frequency, proximity and people who make the place..."the place". In any case, I highly recommend it.