Letter from the Editor
Arriving to New York bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the sweltering summer of 2014, I was wholly unaware of the culture shock I was about to experience. After traversing the rocky waters of Lake Ontario, I landed in glorious Newark, NJ to a sea of international travelers rushing to the city. The comfort of my peers from the other side of the lake—who also respond to misunderstood questions with a “pardon,” call a bathroom a “washroom,” and frequently end sentences with an “eh”—felt increasingly farther away than my one-hour flight led me to believe. My city of origin? Toronto. Exotic enough for almost everyone to tilt their heads slightly when I speak but not noticeable enough to clearly demarcate where, exactly, I’m from. The only thing that is for certain? I’m definitely not from here.
The theme for Embodied’s latest issue is Origins. New York City, as it happens, is a city composed of people from many different countries, each staking a claim on a variety of cultures. Volume 10 is an exploration of what it means to leave a place of origin and come to New York, as many of us do. With the glimmer of New York on the horizon, what do we make of our seemingly distant places of origin, where we were born and bred, that raised us and taught us right from wrong? Additionally, with a constant influx of diverse populations, we’re taking a close look at some of the people, places, and things home to NYC, including the many institutions that originated here, and how they spread their influence across the nation.
Brianna Zimmerman shares with us her steadfast appreciation of the moviegoing experience in New York. After the close of the much-loved Sunshine Cinema, Zimmerman, in her piece Sunset on Sunshine Cinema, delves into the cause-and-effect Moviepass has had on indie movie theaters, as well as the origins of the Sunshine Cinema and what it once represented to so many.
Addie Walker holds up her own fraught Texan identity with that of her grandparents who call Harlem home. In her piece The New Yorkers, Walker transports us into the minds of her grandparents, and their view of their neighborhood and the city as a whole. We come away from her piece with an acute understanding of the communities that occupy pockets of the city that sometimes feel as distant and unreachable as the hometowns we left behind.
First time director, Greta Gerwig joins the ranks of Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Kathryn Bigelow, as the fifth woman to ever be nominated for Best Director. Embodied writer Andie Newell helps us to understand that, despite being behind the camera, the histories of these leading ladies are as important as their films. While we hope that in the future this group continues to expand its ranks, Newell shines a light on their works, bringing their stories to the front pages (of Embodied).
Despite where you’re from, or where you call home, if you're reading this on your laptop in New York or iPhone in Toronto (hi, Mom!), our origins set us apart in New York, itself representing a microcosm of the U.S. While often hidden beneath the surface—and most more distinct than my odd pronunciation of the word “about”—our individual origins weave unique stories, paving our paths until we all diverge, here, in New York.
- Carly Valentine