From the Editor: June in the East
June’s Local East is all about reconnecting with what’s real, especially the real community, writes Elizabeth Meryment
The word community is bandied around a lot these days. You hear especially it in relation to online spaces: the Facebook community; the Twitter community and so on.
But at the same time, more people are living alone, loneliness and anxiety are soaring, people have virtual rather than real friends and do their shopping online, sending their money overseas. People can’t write a letter or have a phone conversation but live on WhatsApp messaging.
Personally I feel the online community can be phoney and alienating. Most people don’t present their real life on Facebook or Instagram.
So this month, Local East is dedicated to bringing you stories that are an antidote to all that. This month we look at some quietly growing trends specifically around the desire people have to reconnect with something real. Lara Picone’s story about the reinvention of libraries (It’s hip to be square) is a case in point. Who would have thought that in the digital age that libraries, those bastions of books and silence, would become thriving community hubs? But they have. It helps that councils, architects and designers are putting incredible thought into the design aesthetic of libraries, making them places people want to be, where they can go to be with other people in a harmonious environment. We adore our cover image of the gorgeous new Green Square library shot by Trent van der Jagt, featuring lovely young reader Matilda Breen.
We are also incredibly proud to have partnered with American Express with this and forthcoming editions on their Shop Small initiative. American Express is a corporation that understands the importance of local retail and is prepared to back small business. This month we tell the story of local businesswoman Belinda Everingham who founded the exquisite Bondi Wash brand. Belinda now has two shops, one in Bondi, the other in Paddington, and both offer wonderful retail experiences. We applaud you Belinda and thank American Express for helping us bring Belinda’s story to life.