Chelsea is a writer based in northern New England. As a staff writer for
Emergence Magazine, she explores the human relationship to place. Her work has been featured in Crannóg Magazine, Inhabiting the Anthropocene, and the EcoTheo Review. She is currently writing her first book. Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder's Articles The Evolution of the Fare at Fong On, New York’s Oldest Family-Owned Tofu Shop We’re typically told not to mess with family recipes—but for Paul Eng, an artist and the third-generation owner of a storied tofu shop in New York, doing so can be an act of both respect and self-expression. In 1933, his grandfather opened Fong Inn Too in the city’s Chinatown district after immigrating to America from China. The store specialized in tofu, but was also known for its herbal jelly (leung fan), rice cakes (bak tong gou), and other traditional fare. When Eng’s parents closed the space, in 2017, it was the oldest family-owned tofu shop in the city, and one of just two places in Chinatown where customers could buy blocks of freshly pressed bean curd. Eng decided to shift his focus to bringing the business back to life, but faced a steep learning curve: No one could tell him any of the shop’s beloved recipes, which had never been written down. The Sophisticated, Scent-Centric Language of Ants “Apparently some people can’t smell dead ants,” a stunned TikTok creator says in a post she made last November. “Dude, huh?” The video went viral, amassing hundreds of comments and replies that debated whether or not the fallen insects emit an odor, and if so, what it smells like. How to Eat Your Way to a Stronger Immune System As the world clamors for Covid-19 vaccines, the notion of immunity seems to be on everyone’s minds. But a primary tool for fighting illnesses is already inside us: our gut. The trillions of bacteria and other microbes that line our intestines impact our chances of developing an array of conditions, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, and the composition of those microorganisms is primarily determined by what we eat. This Perfume Brand Makes Scents That Evoke Los Angeles’s Rich Music History “Smell can transport you out of wherever you are,” says Cathleen Cardinali, who left her job in the luxury fashion industry to co-found the California-based perfume brand Thin Wild Mercury with her partner, musician Anthony Polcino, in 2017. Place-based storytelling lies at the heart of its four scents, which offer distinct, multi-layered aromas that whisk wearers to another time—specifically, to moments from Los Angeles’s ’60s and ’70s rock-music milieu. “There has to be a narrative behind what I’m doing,” says Cardinali, who puts together the notes that inform each spritz, while Polcino creates corresponding visuals for the bottles and boxes. “It could be a photograph I saw, a song, or a house that I drove by. The vision in my head sets the scene.” A Podcast Dedicated to Deepening Awareness About Arab History and Culture In colloquial Levantine Arabic, عفكرة roughly translates to “on second thought” or “come to think of it.” Pronounced afikra, the term is a fitting name for the grassroots movement social entrepreneur Mikey Muhanna founded in 2014, dedicated to cultivating curiosity about Arab history and culture. Unable to find meaningful ways for he and his friends to explore their Arab heritage beyond traditional family celebrations and engaging in activism, Muhanna began hosting events in New York City, where he was living at the time. Their popularity led him to form Afikra chapters in other parts of the world, including Amman, Bahrain, Dubai, and London. Today, the venture organizes free, regular talks, workshops, and presentations (currently hosted online, due to Covid-19; anyone can RSVP to receive a link to the meetings), all focused on deepening awareness of the Arab world. A New Podcast Unpacks the Beauty and Fragility of Glacier National Park Nestled in northwest Montana’s Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park comprises 1,583 square miles of scenic wilderness—a refuge for endangered species and human encounters with the natural world. But there’s another side of the landscape simultaneously at work, as climate change and extractive industries strain its fragile ecosystem.