Attention all paper lovers — in this huge space, there is a veritable sea of paper and paper products. Everything that one could want for scrapbooking, old fashioned letter writing, note keeping, and invitations is contained within these walls. In addition, there are greeting cards for every occasion, envelopes, binders, notebooks, sketch pads, pens, markers, portfolios, boxes, stencils, and sheets and sheets of beautiful wrapping paper.
I spoke to one of the owners, Shervin Naderipour, and learned that the store is a family business that he started with his brother and sister in 1990. He went on to tell me that some twenty-five years ago, the family began with a simple stationery store and have steadily grown, slowly amassing their paper empire in the center of what has now become a craft district. Initially, they had half the amount of space than what they occupy now, but over the years, they have added more and more paper products, gifts ideas, and craft materials. Shervin explained that not only are they known and loved by locals, but they are very well respected overseas, as well. They have a strong clientele throughout Europe and fill many online orders from foreigners.
Shervin and his siblings are a heart-warming example of a family-owned business that has “made it.” The store, which also has an entrance on 19th Street, is truly a paper lover’s paradise.
A city landmark and a slice of Old New York, Pete's Tavern has been serving food and draft beer uninterrupted since 1864. It does not take much to envision Pete's as it was a century and a half ago. The scarred, carved bar, the high-backed booths, tin ceiling and functional 1950's register are reminders that this was once the favorite haunt of writer O. Henry, a speakeasy, and a pre-Civil War "grocery & grog. " Walking through the rooms, one can also discover hundreds of photos of people from our past - James Cagney, Mickey Mantle, and celebrities of today, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Adam Sandler. To drink here is to drink half in the past and half in the present.
New York has more than its fair share of yakitori houses and sushi bars, but this Japanese transplant is concerned with presenting its American diners with Teishoku, or home-style cooking. This chain, which opened in Japan in 1958, features nourishing, traditional fare, where a "healthy body and mind" are top priority. Throughout Asia there are over three hundred restaurants, and as of 2012, New Yorkers can dine in the light, airy interior of their elegant US flagship restaurant.
Ken Giddon likes to say that he went “from riches to rags” by leaving a career as a bond trader to reopen his grandfather’s men’s clothing store. Harry Rothman used to peddle his wares from a pushcart on Delancey Street in the 1920s before moving into a retail space. “He kind of created the concept of a discount clothing store, ” Ken remarked. Rothman's closed for a time after Harry’s death in 1985, but Ken revived the business a year later in a stunning, 11, 000-square-foot storefront on the corner of 18th Street in Union Square. “I love being on a side street. It gives us the ability to afford a bigger space while watching the movable feast that is New York walk by every day. ” Five years after the shop’s reopening, Ken invited his brother, Jim, to join him. “This is one of the true family businesses in Manhattan. ” The store, which carries both casual and formal attire from top designers, aims to make the shopping experience for men “as efficient and rewarding as possible. ” To this end, Ken and Jim scour the market, travel abroad, and attend numerous trade shows to find the best brands. “We try to provide our customers with that personal, small-town feel in the middle of the city, ” Jim said. Despite Rothman's more modern look and merchandise, the brothers strive to keep some core elements of their grandfather’s business alive, particularly by preserving his humble approach to owning a men’s retail store. As Harry used to say, “It’s not so serious what we do. We just sell pants for a living. ”