Location: Cafe Dulce, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles
I knew this cafe would be a good location for this project when I asked the cashier, “Would it be ok if I used my typewriter here?” and he jokingly replied, “I’m sorry – we have a strict no-typewriter policy here.”
Instead of setting up a prompt, like I usually do, I decided to go back to the basics and stick with, “A penny for your thoughts”.
Perhaps the prompts in the past were a bit restrictive and it may have deterred more people from participating. Leaving it open-ended made it more inviting; all they needed were the curiosity and courage to share what was on their mind.
The Japanese Village was filled with people, especially because it was lunch time, and many people came by to ask what the typewriters were all about. A quick explanation of the concept intrigued many people. One person even thought I made my living doing this, simply by collecting donation money!
Today’s participants were of all ages and they were great to talk to. A young boy who was talking to his parents about video games came up and asked me what I was doing. One participant was a photographer who was interested in taking some photos of the typewriter, and we talked about the value of using analog equipment (like in photography). I also met a journalist, named Daina, with whom I had an interesting conversation about the future of journalism, the role of story-telling, and the necessity of creativity. She also introduced me to her companion, Rocket; a friendly dog with much love and patience.
The pleasure of meeting all of these people in a physical space is what makes this project rewarding.
I am looking forward to this venue next week as well!