A public typewriter is stationed at Tompkins Square Park for whoever wishes to write on. It is the brainchild of the The Poetry Society of New York who original introduced it at the NYC Poetry Festival on Governors Island:
The Typewriter Project’s mission is to investigate, document, and preserve the poetic subconscious of the city while providing a fun and interactive means for the public to engage with poetry.
They call the typewriter “The Subconscious of the City.” We totally GET that, having used a typewriter in the past because of the whole other realm we could access that is not possible with a computer.
We used to haul a portable typewriter on trips to a remote town West Virginia where we’d rent a house to write. And the work that spilled out of our heads was somehow rougher and freer than writing on a computer.
Over the years we went from a manual typewriter to a portable electric; each version influenced our writing in different ways. We let our computers take over our life largely due to space. We just didn’t have room for a typewriter.
The Subconscious of the city typewriter is outfitted with a 100-foot scroll of paper and a USB typewriter kit, which allows every written entry to be collected, stored, and posted online for users to read, share, and comment upo
A few years ago, we passed a man in Chelsea who was giving away stuff, including a portable electric. We brought it home, and enjoyed the strange poetry that flowed out of it…or out of us THROUGH it.
You can STILL buy new portable typewriters and ribbons, as well as find them on Ebay and other second-hand sources. This red vintage Olivetti from 1969 is a beauty.