Summer Series # 2

Place and the senses

Hello and welcome to the 65th 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. With that in mind, we are publishing an ongoing series of themed collections of Place stories to focus the mind as we have a chance to slow down. Today we’re going back to the fundamentals: how place interacts with our senses.

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 #2: Sensing Place

Stop for a second to look around. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What can you taste?

While we tend to think of place in geographic terms — where we are — what actually makes a place important or memorable to us is how we sense it. Whether it’s the damp herbal scent wafting from grass just after a rain, the quiet notes of a piano drifting out of an anonymous open window, the particular local ingredients that shifts the flavor of a familiar dish, these sensory experiences are the contours of the memories that anchor us throughout our lives.

However, this isn’t always a given. Connecting with senses is an act of mindfulness that can be difficult to achieve when distracted or on the go. When that happens, we find the places where we find ourselves slipping away into the background, untethered to the meaning that we are always seeking in some capacity.

With that in mind, we invite you to read the following piece, each of which focuses on the experience of a different sense as it relates to place. Consider the attention that you give to that which is around you. What

“We offer up meaning to a space when we orient ourselves within it with our fullest attention – giving in to the pull it has on our senses, drawing us further into our environment and, somewhat paradoxically, leading us further into ourselves at the same time,” writes Molly Simpson in “Making Sense of Place.”

1. Kings and Queens

Kylee Pedersen explores taste.

2. Under the Bottlebrush Arch

Julia Rignot explores sight.

3. Singing to Strangers

Giorgia Macrelli explores sound.


Place recommends:

The state of Singapore’s food stalls,

A real estate gold rush,

Local’s stories in tourist towns.


Join us next week for another journey.