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Typewriters out on Everett’s streets
EVERETT — This summer, passersby may hear a familiar clack-clack-clack-clack-ding! as they walk down the streets of downtown Everett.
Starting July 16, 12 vintage manual typewriters will be rolled out throughout downtown so that those walking down the streets can use them in an event the city calls “Word on the street is…”
Every summer, the city puts out pianos for a few weeks in August to let people bang out tunes. This year, the city’s giving people the chance to bang out their thoughts as well.
At least seven of the machines will be paired with vintage typewriter tables, with the outside portions of the table able to fold down. Local artists may also decorate some of the tables.
“I think it will be fun for people to deal with the complexities of these machines,” city cultural arts manager Carol Thomas said. “We’re so used to a keyboard that can type as fast as you can move your fingers, but with a manual typewriter, you really have to hit one key at a time.”
The typewriters range in size and style and come from a variety of decades.
Extra stationary will also be available for people to roll into the typewriter.
Passers by can answer prompts like a “Question of the Day” that will be posted near the typewriter, or they can just write whatever they wish. Writers can then take their work with them, or leave it in a nearby outbox for a chance to get their answers shared on the Experience Everett Facebook page.
There will not be any active censorship on what can be written on the typewriters, though anything inappropriate will not be spread online.
“I’m not really worried about it,” Thomas said about what people may write. “I feel like people will enjoy it and treat it with respect. There is nothing that I have seen that would lead me to think that I would need to worry about that.”
Though some locations are still being finalized, Thomas said there will definitely be one outside the downtown branch of the Everett Public Library on Hoyt. Others will be on Wetmore, Colby and Hoyt avenues.
Like the Street Tunes pianos program, the city will partner with local businesses to care for the typewriters during the three weeks that they are out on the streets.
Street Tunes, the city’s public piano program, will begin Aug. 6, one day after “Word on the street is…” ends.
“They’re beautiful machines,” Thomas said. “They’re just beautiful machines. I’m excited to see everyone play with them.”

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