The digital world seems far way on West 18th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues: three shops here specialize in paper for invitations, projects, presentations, wrapping, and letters, and tucked in the middle of the block is the city’s best children’s bookstore.
Paper Presentation (23 W 18th St) and Print Icon (125 W 21st St) are both paradise for graphic designers and creative types, selling paper and envelopes in all colors, sizes, and textures, along with services for printing stationery, invitations, or business cards. Print Icon is the printer of choice for ad agencies and graphic designers working in the area, and you can watch the presses roll at the back of the shop. Paper Presentation has everything for the scrap-booker and card-designer: watch you don’t get lost in a creative fog going through the huge choice of stickers, glitter, ribbons, pens, markers, and rubber stamp pads. A. I. Friedman (no. 44) runs the width of a city block, and sells paper, agendas, picture frames and albums, art portfolios, interesting messenger bags, and office furniture.
For a great selection of classic and new children’s books, pop into Books of Wonder (no. 19), the oldest and largest independent children’s bookstore in the city, specializing in children’s literature, with its own cute cafe serving brightly decorated cakes and cookies. Classical music fans will love Academy Records and CDs a couple of doors down (no. 12), the city’s best source for used classical, jazz, and showtune LPs and CDs.