Dog Days

The places of summertime

Hello and welcome to the 63rd issue of Place! As seasons change around us, so too do the places we are in. A beam of light earlier in the morning may change the way we look at a tree we’ve seen throughout the winter. Warmer days might lead us to new spaces, for adventures once unobtainable. Even the way we eat shifts, as we opt for fruits and vegetables in season, freshly grown and picked. This week, our editor’s have put together a photo dispatch of the summer scenes around them, and spent some time reflecting on how the season has changed their everyday surroundings. You might also notice that today’s letter is a day late – we’ve been starting some new life chapters here at Place and needed an extra day this week to knit together our thoughts. We’re sorry to keep you, but we hope it’s worth the wait :)

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At Place, we believe that the experiences, sensations and conversations we have as we move about the world stay with us, stacking up as the years go by, forming who we are and the way we view the world. If you’re the social type, follow us on Twitter (@place_letter) where you can share your favourite pieces and Instagram (@placenewsletter) for a visual feast. Yours, The Place editorial team.

Scenes of Summer - Part I

The most apt place to start for me, when I think about summer, is the light of it. These two photos have been taken on walks I do routinely throughout the year and yet, at this time of year, they are completely transformed by the early morning sun, and the lingering dusk of a summer sunset. Shadows shift, facades are illuminated for longer, and at difference angles, leaving my entire walk bathed in newness.

My second stop, is food. Not only does summertime shift what I eat, it also shifts how I eat it. Strawberries are always an initiation into the warmer months, as they come into season across Europe and back in Canada where I grew up. To me, on a summer evening, nothing is sweeter than strawberries and cream. Al fresco dining also becomes the norm for many of us, as we crowd around festooned outdoor tables, stack up paper plates, or eat straight from the grill. In the summer, eating feels like a party, making places playful and accessible.

This one is an easy one, but nonetheless vital. Summer brings fresh colours to places once bare or dull in shade. A plain rock wall becomes the anchor of a rainbow of petals, colourful umbrellas adorn patios in gleeful pops of yellow and red. I often follow suit in my own dressing, trading in my darker shaded clothes for hues more bright, trying my best to match the flowers.

Summer also makes us move differently, which not only transforms everyday spaces, but brings us to brand new ones. The parks around my flat become filled with groups of friends and families on picnic blankets, while in the big blue sky, a hot air balloon takes an early evening flight. On city-break recently, a warm evening encouraged me to go wandering in countryside pasture, coming across a few horses grazing in the evening light. I think they knew that summer had touched this hollow by a stand of trees, and that it was the season that had brought me there to meet them.

- Kylee Pedersen is the co-editor of Place, and a writer and producer based in London.

Scenes of Summer - Part II

Summer, to me, is movement. While we stay quiet and sedentary under the weight of colder darker seasons, as the sun rises earlier it wakes us up and inviting us outside. Long meandering walks, early morning runs, miles of pavement below bike wheels, a plane ticket somewhere new, the destination could be anywhere - I will be going.

The days feel expansive and open, even if filled with plans. When the weather is nice, there is no reason to say no. Excess feels like the default, why not stay for one more drink? Why not order the oysters? The warmth and sunshine are a limited resource, so the days must be used up accordingly. 

It feels like the saturation is turned up for every sense. Punchy red bottle brush flowers demand attention from a front garden while lilac petals coat the sidewalk after a balmy rain. A bush of ripening roses sends its floral scent along the shifting breeze, which alleviates the heat of the sun just as it is becoming uncomfortable on skin more used to the shade. Turquoise waves wet charcoal rocks jumbled up against the verdant green fields. Birds sing to the morning, leafy trees sigh in the evening. 

Mostly I find there is a gentleness in the air. Gone are the harsh edges of a bitter winter chill, no crunchy decay of autumn, nor sopping storms of spring. The mornings slowly heat, days melt into pastel evenings, the nights linger as we delay heading back inside. It is a chance to breath slower, take a rest, release tension. A break, deserved.

-Karis Hustad is the co-editor of Place and a magazine reporter based in London.

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Join us next week for another journey.