Friday, December 26, 2014

A typospherian Disneyland?

I'm spending a few days in Orange County, California, enjoying Christmas with the in-laws. On this Boxing Day I took the opportunity to visit Ink & Bean, a "coffee saloon and wordshop" in downtown Anaheim, less than 3 miles from Disneyland, that was recommended by Keith Sharon in his "Mail Bonding" column. I had high hopes that this would be a Magic Kingdom for typewriter insurgents.

And indeed, the little coffeehouse features some magnificent old black office typewriters ...


... a flatbed Royal ...

... an Underwood Champion — but what's this?

"Please do not touch the Typewriters"!

It turns out that you can't, as I had imagined, simply pick up one of their writing machines and start pecking away. Furthermore, the barista told me that Keith is the only customer who's ever brought in his own typewriter.

So, a typospherian Disneyland it is not. The typewriters provide ambience, but don't get to produce any text.

It's a start, though. And this is certainly one place where you wouldn't get frowned upon for public typing, so it's still going to make it into my book as a typist-friendly locale.

Elsewhere in the shop we find more vintage atmosphere ...

... books dangle from the ceiling, unreadable ...

... but outside Ink & Bean, a newsstand invites you to partake of the pleasures of the printed word ...

... as does the Park & Read station, featuring a Little Free Library in a streamlined trailer.

And that's where I found myself sipping a rich cappuccino in the cool but sunny afternoon, and putting the finishing touches on my manuscript ...


... or more precisely, my annotated printout. It's true, typewriters are playing no role in this  phase of my book's production. I would have done some typing, but a machine didn't make it into my suitcase for this trip, and I had been counting on borrowing one from Ink & Bean. Oh, well!

Next stop: the San Francisco Bay Area, where I'll be meeting filmmaker Doug Nichol for a sneak peek of some of his typewriter movie and the filming of a few last scenes. This time I know that I'll be able to borrow a typewriter: Doug has dozens!


  1. It's a little sad seeing thise typewriters sit there, collecting dust-- don't get me wrong, it's far better than keychopping, but I can help but think about how all they typewriters will slowly erode instead of being properly used and cared for. That Royal 1, especially!

  2. Too bad they don't let anyone use the typewriters. Then they may fear non-typists will damage them. It is definately a place I must visit if we to to CA this year to see our daughter. It's a few hours away, but may be a nice week end side trip for all of us.

    I can't wait for the book's publication.

  3. Very interesting post, thank you. So pleased to hear Doug is continuing to work on the movie and looking forward to reading your update on it.

  4. I love it! Absolutely love it. All we need now is for people to start taking those typewriters off the shelf and start writing.

  5. Great trip, sorry to hear you don't have a typer handy. Perhaps a quick trip to a thrift for a disposable (or giftable) find? :D

    To be fair to Ink & Bean's restrictions on touching their machines, I've seen machines in environs where they can be manhandled by the general public, and they do not really last very long. Machines as antique as the ones in Ink & Bean are would fall victim to all sorts of mishandling. They'd almost have to rent time on them to afford the maintenance, and that carries expenses and complications itself. It seems understandable to keep typewriters as mood-setting untouchable decor, especially when you don't have the infrastructure to properly mind the machines in a public setting.

    1. True enough. A typewriter library was too much to expect!

  6. Richard - sad to have missed you but hope your visit to the OC was pleasant enough. There aren't too many affordable machines around here but about 3 weeks ago there was a gold Olympia SM3 in Huntington Beach advertised on craigslist for $250. I didnt bite and last week the ad disappeared.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of the holidays and have a safe new year!