since my local handmade paper shop (luscious paper) went belly up, i've been buying cards online from buyolympia.com but i miss the browsing, tactile experience that a boutique offers.
a few months ago, i wandered, just caffeinated from joe's in the west village to christopher street to hop on the PATH... and i stumbled upon a lovely, inviting store: greenwich letterpress. i found many of my favorite artists-designers' work there but more importantly i discovered the greenwich letterpress line of contemporary graphics and "retro-modern images." my partner and i snapped up this folksy regional paris map (at left) for a refreshingly reasonable price!
recently, i visited letterpress and fell in love even more with this perfect store because of its owners and its history ... i spoke with co-owner beth salvini (visual artist) and store assistant/graphic design student nickola. beth and her sister amy (graphic and packaging designer) created greenwich letterpress to produce the finest handmade cards, stationary and invitations, using traditional letterpress as an art form. they are third generation printers from a family in north jersey who take their designing and printing to a supreme art form level-- two unique 75-year-old heidelberg letterpresses (located in belleville, nj!) use metal rather than more common polymer plates. and the difference is clear ... see cards at right.
walking in their store, i am giddy. the feel is personal and calming, as if you are entering an artist's studio and casual showroom. antique tables and cabinets adorn the space, holding the artwork and other treasures such as journals (i found several with recycled 80s album covers), address books, buttons, pins, and cards of every size and for every occasion. beth offered me some samples of their new line, arcade fever, a retro video game theme with a modern twist.
can't make it to their west village for the browsing experience? too bad. then shop online for lots of paper treats! your loved ones will appreciate the surprise of receiving art in their mailboxes...