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The write place

New York coffeehouse hosts ‘pop-up’ letter writing sessions

Letter writing cafe
Writers can buy stationary, cards and stamps at Sarah Bentley’s sessions. Photo:

Sarah Bentley is trying to bring back the art of handwritten letters — one writer at a time.

Bentley, a New York City resident, hosts “pop-up” writing sessions where patrons can sit down with a cup of coffee and pen notes to their loved ones.

“The point is to come in and combine the live-time nature of our communication now, texting, with sitting with a blank piece of paper and mailing it right in the moment,” Bentley told recently.

The sessions are held at a Brooklyn coffee house where participants can buy stationary, cards and stamps. Bentley then collects the letters and mails them.

Participants also are given the option to send a “selfie” — a card they write to themselves about they’re grateful for in life.

Bentley mailed 45 letters after a recent session.

“I think people are really longing to get back to forms of communication that are more meaningful and special,” she said.

“I look at it as the slow communication movement, akin to the slow food movement. Getting a piece of handwritten mail from someone else, it’s like finding an unexpected diamond.”

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