Greenwich Village's Writers Room, a low-cost place for writers to rent workspace, has banned mechanical typewriters from its premises, giving Skye Ferrante, the sole remaining typewriter user the choice of switching to a laptop or going elsewhere. He's not going to switch. Ferrante's been using the Writers Room for six years, and is distressed at the news that he's got to leave.
"In the event that there are no desks available, laptop users must make room for typists," read a sign posted in the "Typing Room" for years.
When Ferrante returned to the Writers Room in April after an eight-month break, the sign was gone and his noisy typewriter was no longer welcome.
"I was told I was the unintended beneficiary of a policy to placate the elderly members who have all since died off," said Ferrante, a Manhattan native who's writing children's books. "They offered me a choice to switch to a laptop or refund my money, which to me is no choice at all."
Ferrante was peeved, but not completely surprised.
A growing number of scowls had replaced the smiles that once greeted the arrival of his black, glass-key typewriter.