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45 West 21st Street
Envelopper 1 Stationery Flatiron

Imagine what a paper goods store can hold in 10,000 square feet of sprawling space. At Envelopper, absolutely everything. With a specialty in printed invitations and an online presence since 2005, the Heidarpoor family decided to “bite the bullet” and open a retail shop. “Our customers were asking to see the color of the paper. The computer did not do it justice," Paiam, the son who runs his family's store, explained. “This is one reason why paper shops are still in existence.” He went on to say, “We felt that the economy was improving and people were recommending that we open a retail business in Manhattan, so when this location became available, we grabbed it.” The area, representing the overlap between Flatiron and Chelsea, has since become the main center for stationary stores. Paiam knows that it will take time for the word to spread about his incredible selection, but he is hopeful that he and his parents made the right decision to “think big.”

On a subsequent visit, I met Paiam’s mother, Roya, who elaborated even more on their incredible store, beginning with the name. Whereas I thought Envelopper was just a reference to envelopes, Roya educated me on the fact that “envelopper” in French translates “to wrap,” meaning that the name reflects both their excellent presentational gift ideas as well as their paper goods. Roya told me that she is most proud of their custom invitations, saying “We can die cut any shape, do any color.” They also specialize in “box invitations” - beautiful ways to announce events in 3D detail. Roya said that she recently made boxes wrapped in red velvet for a Red Carpet-themed bat mitzvah, as well as a hockey box for a bar mitzvah, and that brides stop by frequently.

In addition to invitations, there are handmade papers for wrapping gifts, every item possible for scrapbooking, greeting cards, frames, journals, ribbons, stickers galore, a section devoted to party goods, rubber stamps, and an assortment of writing utensils including my new favorite, Le Pen. With over a dozen colors to choose from, at $1.95, I could not resist purchasing several.

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Envelopper 1 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 2 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 3 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 4 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 5 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 6 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 7 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 8 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 9 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 10 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 11 Stationery Flatiron
Envelopper 12 Stationery Flatiron

More places on 21st Street

Lost Gem
Merakia 1 Mediterranean Greek undefined


Merakia occupies the space that housed Kat & Theo from 2015-2017 - and while the restaurant maintains the same ownership as before, it also has a different mission. The modern Greek steakhouse prides itself on its meats and classic seafood items, while maintaining a classy, hip atmosphere in its cavernous space on 21st Street. “We built a new team… and a new vision, ” managing partner James Paloumbis shared with the Manhattan Sideways team when he spoke of the switch from Kat & Theo. He then went on to highlight Merakia’s differences from other Greek restaurants. “It’s not white and blue like every other place in New York City. Our menu is not the copy paste of any other place. ” The menu is heavy on steaks and seafood, boasting their signature lamb on the spit ("the only restaurant in the city to do so") while, surprisingly, offering some robust meat-free options as well. “Everything is farm to table, we use fresh ingredients, [and] we make everything from scratch on a daily basis. ” James told us that part of his mission is to bring back the adventure of going out to eat, a phenomenon he has noticed declining over the years. “People don’t like to go out anymore just to eat. You can eat at home, you can eat down the street, you can order your meal online. But to get an experience of nice service, some nice flavors, nice music, nice drinks - it’s worth your while to go out again. ” Husband and wife team behind Kat & Theo - Renee and Andreas Typaldos - seem to have orchestrated a smooth transition from their previous restaurant. As their past executive chef, Paras Shah, believed, "there should be a movie written about the couple's romantic backstory and that he “couldn’t have worked for better folks. ” Andy is originally from Greece, and the restaurant was named after his parents, Katerina and Theodosios. Andy came to New York on a scholarship from Columbia and met Renee, who is from the Bronx. He took her out on a first date “with holes in his shoes and with no winter jacket, ” according to Renee. She added, “The romantic, poetic way people get together. ” Today, they are paying homage to Andy's Greek heritage and according to James, “People have to trust their stomachs and their palates with a restaurant, so that’s what we’re trying to do here. Trust us - our food is fresh, our food is made with care, and we love what we do. ”