To the editor:
In an increasingly virally virtual world of seductive enjoyable distraction/ direction/exploration that sometimes diminishes essential human connecting and growth, the real oils, brushes and canvas of personal development (observing, oral sharing, and learning) from the real world around as well as the brand new electronic ones, I would like to share a retro treasure I finally explored in Tribeca, the Fountain Pen Hospital.
Last night I was reminded of a local fascinating lost cultural niche by being invited to attend a roaming monthly neighborhood networking, gathering at The Fountain Pen Hospital on Warren Street I have noticed, passed, read about for the past twenty years.
Essentially, for almost a century, they have repaired and sold fountain pens of every kind, price, and design with a huge collection, selection reminding me of the Antique Road Show. It retro’d me back in time about a niche technological revolution I remember from inkwells, to bladders, cartridges which has almost became extinct with the emergence of the generic ball-point pen.
There is no pen as efficient and available as a ball point, but there is also no replacing the silky smooth ink flowing from a fountain pen nib on paper with the pleasing solid legible look of its lines that were a visceral part of the vanishing personal and professional act of long hand writing anything, culminating in the unique art of calligraphy no keyboard can duplicate.
I was personally invited to a private art school in Beijing where calligraphy was seriously studied, created and was generously given a sample of my name in that form, I wished the kind and generous owners of the Pen Hospital practice and business thanks and well in preserving a walk-in visible reminder of how crucial communicating technology has evolved with surprising mixed human results.