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A letter from guest Editor-in-Chief Susan Sarandon

By Dana Varinsky

All this week we'll be running the content curated by our guest Editor-in-Chief Susan Sarandon—her issue (which turned out quite well, if we do say so ourselves) will drop at a launch party tonight at SPiN, and will be available on stands Wednesday. We’ll be featuring highlights from the upcoming issue online each day, but to kick us off, Susan explains why she agreed to take over Time Out New York in the first place.

I’m a born-and-bred New Yorker—Jackson Heights, Queens, to be exact—although I must confess that as the eldest of nine, we eventually moved to more affordable housing in New Jersey. After college, I returned to the Big Apple and never left again. New York has always felt like home.

My three kids grew up dancing to flute players in Union Square and watching speed chess in Washington Square. They played basketball, soccer, baseball, flag football and roller hockey in the city leagues. They knew all the museums, zoos, parks and where you could buy booze with a fake ID. They loved the unexpected that is NYC. They grew up surrounded by many religions, languages, colors and colorful people. And they developed a New York sense of humor, flexibility and adaptability. They had no choice; New York does that. They’re grown now and still dancing, shooting hoops, going to Punderdome and concerts, and having a good time.

In this issue, as the summer draws to an end, before it’s “back-to-school time”—even though as adults we aren’t buying our new books and pencil boxes—I wanted to encourage an end-of–summer camp last fling. A chance to rediscover and embrace the silly, the un-self-conscious, the wonder, the serendipity of New York. Being an adult does not have to cost you freedom and silliness. So we looked around to see what our city has to offer to blow off steam, to be creative and, most of all, to make contact, to connect,
to celebrate.

In looking around, I hoped to also take this opportunity to shine a little light on the struggles of some of those New Yorkers who are not as lucky as my kids. Those who, due to a lack of affordable housing and lack of health care, and due to domestic violence, mental illness or addiction, have fallen through the cracks and are now the hidden homeless. They are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, veterans and working poor. They are us. I was hoping to dispel some of the false myths about the unhoused. I am hoping to give them a face. I am hoping to give you a chance to see them and maybe give them a chance to feel human, to no longer be invisible. Maybe start with a smile.

-Susan Sarandon, Guest Editor-in-Chief


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