Noah Witt grew up in the Internet age, but about a decade ago, he started to appreciate the typewriter – a retro-but-not-forgotten machine that changed the world and was invented in Milwaukee.
A few months ago, Witt launched Typewritten Tuesdays at The Estate, 2423 N. Murray Ave. The weekly "type-in" and cocktail klatsch runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and takes place on the sidewalk patio, weather pending. It moves indoors for inclement weather.
"I like typewriters as a physical medium and that I can take them outside," says Witt, Estate co-manager and writer. "I also really like the way the fonts look and having a single copy of something."
The Estate, a cozy, midcentury-style lounge, is the ideal location for Typewritten Tuesdays.
"It has an easy, vintage feel in here – the perfect setting for typewriting," says Witt. "And our patio is beautiful in the summer. We open at 5 p.m., just after the sun passes over our building, so it's shady and comfortable."
Witt says it's fun to type with a group on the patio because passersby often stop to inquire what's going on, share a typewriter story or try one for the first time.
Everyone is welcome at Typewritten Tuesdays whether they bring a typewriter or not. The sound of the clacking, the pleasing aesthetic of typewriters and the Estate's cocktail specials make it enjoyable and something different for anyone.
Witt buys most of his typewriters from thrift stores and currently owns three: a Sears model, a Royal and a Smith Corona. He's given away a few to friends. Witt is able to clean and maintain the typewriters himself and buys his ribbon on Amazon.
Witt often gives away his typed writings to strangers.
"I really like giving away typewritten pages or leaving them in public places, like bus stops," says Witt. "Being the change I wanna see."
One of his ongoing typewritten projects is called "Notes To Nobody," random, three-line, stream-of-consciousness snippets typed in red ink on yellow notecards. Local zine "The Qwerty Quarterly" – which, for the love of transparency, I co-edit – will feature Witt's "Notes To Nobody" in its September edition.
"I've written hundreds – maybe even a thousand of these," says Witt. "Some I save, some I give to friends and many I leave places for others to find in the wild."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.