Hello and welcome to the 62nd issue of Place! As the days of summer settle in around us, we are feeling the need to get outside, reset, and take some time to reflect on all that Place has sent out into the world so far. Thats why, starting this week and until the end of August, we’ll be launching our summer series – dispatches which, instead of introducing topics entirely new, will bring you back to a series of stories we’ve already published, all connected by a common thread. Our round-up summer series will come out every other week throughout the summer, so you’ll still be getting plenty of brand new writing from Place as well. We hope that our moments of pause may also lead to some stillness for you. A chance to take stock of the places that surround you, perhaps even away from the familiar glow of a computer screen. This week, the topic for our first summer series seems apt in a way that is perhaps all too surreal for the current moment – but also hopeful: Places that bring us together.
Have something you’d like to write about for Place? Or know someone who might? Check out our pitch guide. We really want to hear your stories, and the great news is, we can now pay our contributors thanks to our generous subscribers who have supported us through our membership program. Even if you’re unsure if you idea fully fits Place, please do drop us a line – we’d love to chat.
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.
Summer series #1: Places that bring us together
After a year-long deferral and worldwide delay in sporting events as a whole, watching the Euros over the last couple of weeks has been oddly therapeutic (and it’s not just because my team are going further than I would have thought). Granted, I love the sport – but beyond that, it’s been such a joy to have people together again. Players on the field, fans in the stadium, gathering in front of the tv at home or at friends houses, providing amateur commentary over takeout or a real homemade dinner. I’ve noticed that as each game ticks by, my eyes are drawn again and again to the stands– at the thousands of chairs once longingly empty, filled up once more.
For many of us, it’s been a while since we were together. At least in a traditional sense. Perhaps the places we used to gather still remain empty, swapped out in favour of something thats working better for now. Or maybe some of us have returned to these locales, only to find them drastically changed, or just as we left them.
Whatever the case may be, the places that serve as a vessel for these shared communions are unique. Some of them may have a specific purpose built-in, like a nail salon or a movie theatre. Others are places we’ve merely stumbled upon and made our own.
This week, for our first summer series, we’ve selected three previous dispatches that bring you to a place that in turn has brought people together in some way. From a living room where traditional courtship in the Philippines was born, to an American local diner that served as the backdrop to a coming-of-age, to a village-church in Italy on Easter Sunday, each story is anchored in a Place that shaped those who were experiencing it, in relation to another.
We hope you enjoy revisiting some of our favourite dispatches over the summer, and maybe even seeing them in a new, fresher light.
By Nina Unlay
By Joel Dickens
By Kylee Pedersen
Places that determine who we are,
and rebuilding after an earthquake.
Join us next week for another journey.