Wednesday, January 6, 2016

You couldn't have typewritten it any better: Polt brings the typewriter to Los Angeles

Los Angeles. The Monday after Christmas. Los Angeles. At rush hour no less.

Despite this, the question remains:
How do you end the year with the proverbial bang, start the fireworks show early and have it run through and usher in the New Year?

Grab the one and only Richard Polt, his revolutionary book in hand, with the setting of The Last Bookstore, nestled in the middle of Downtown LA, against the backdrop of a cold, windy, sprinkly - a rare sweater-weather evening, sprinkle in some of our lovely machines of dream & yore, with the perfect complimentary Melrose Poetry Bureau and guest morsels celebrity typewriter collector and LAPD badass Steve Soboroff, inspired artist L.A. Marler, and typewriter documentary director & musician Christopher LockettSoufflé - and it rises with the music of click and clack. Of course, i was there too along with fellow typospherian Annalese Stradivarius

Mr Polt has already blogged about this event here.

I roamed the streets of LA starting at 11am
The Last Bookstore storefront
Neon signage. and across the street: the Hotel Alexandria, featured in the movie Se7en
typosphere unite. There was even a brief appearance from Frank of Streamlines Deluxe. He did some of the art for Richard's book. No pic of him though.

Polt holds center court and reads from his book. At the event start, there were easily 25+ people in the audience.

Polt in his element.

Melrose Poetry Bureau, seated and typing up some on-the-fly poetry. If you are interested in them, they have an event this friday in Los Angeles: Quick Draw Poetry Cabaret.

another view. Yes, this is a bookstore. Because it is also a landmark and tourist attraction, there was lots of foot traffic and by one of my counts, the crowd swelled to 40 people and probably more.

Soboroff came to the stage to tell about some stories about why he collects typewriters. He recounted a story with Tom Hanks and explained to Tom why he and Tom aren't the same type of collector. Tom collects typewriters because of the machine. Steve collects them because of the person behind the machine. He told Hanks, i collect typewriters that belonged to people who are on the cover of Time Magazine. Steve said this made Tom pay attention to him solely and completely. Tom said, "I've been on the cover twice." Soon thereafter, Tom sent Steve copies of the 2 Time magazines along with one of his typewriters. I thought this was a splendid story. I found an article about it here. And this interview is interesting as well.

Corona sweatshirt worn by a Corona specialist. I forget his name but he told me he buys-repairs-sells only Coronas, especially the Corona 3, which he has 40 machines, and the Corona 4, which he has 30.

The Corona Man's Corona Special. It got a lot of attention.

Another typewriter enthusiast who brought this Underwood Universal. For some reason, he chose his own machine to type on primarily.

Soboroff showing how to use Bradbury's Royal KMM to a young girl.

More people typing on machines and discussing memories/experiences with the typewriter and showing how to use one. The guy in the salmon shirt is new to typewriters - i searched for what i thought was the name of his blog but i guess i remember it wrong. He was inquisitive and friendly with everyone.

The Melrose Poetry Bureau had dozens and dozens of walk-up requests to write up one of their instant poems. Good thing there were 4 of them. These guys are cool f'n dudes with the literary chops to boot. They were slammed from the get-go and it didn't let up.

Some solitary, some groups, all typewriter.

A kid writing on my Olivetti ICO. Even though i cringed at the thought of bringing her, i decided that since these events are rare, i should bring one of my favorites. She got a lot of attention but i didn't stand over her like Soboroff did with his machines. My ICO was in perfect condition, both function and appearance; however, by night's end, i discovered only the top half of the typeslug is making an imprint. So that bummed me out.

More typewriters, all around the stage.

L.A. Marler and Christopher Lockett

Just another view

Soboroff actually let people type on his machines, while he looked over their shoulder, of course hahaha.

Christmas Tree view

Very decent crowd. Check out the Yelp pics of the Last Bookstore because they have some very interesting book art.


  1. This was a great write-up; wished I could have attended.

    I hope you can find the contact info for the Corona 3 guy, I'd like to see what he has for sale.

    Is that old hotel the same one used in Blade Runner?


    1. Joe - I have his contact info. When I get home, ill email it to you.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Robert. It's so fun writing about typewriters, as you probably know all too well :)

  3. Fab write-up and pictures. I know Richard had a busy time promoting The Book between Christmas and New Year - really good you got along to the event - an evening with the stars.

    1. Yeah, not bad for a Monday night too. I think most people would rather go to an event on Friday, rather than just a random weekday. But it seriously had a great turn out. The constant foot traffic made it even better. It seemed not many were deterred by the cold and sprinkly weather

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