NYC Stationery Attractions

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

 

I was recently in New York City on vacation! Having only seen the city via movies and tv shows, I was really excited for my first trip to the Big Apple.

Alongside the usual tourist destinations like Times Square and Central Park, I knew I wanted to visit some highly regarded stationery shops. I wasn’t able to visit every location on my bucket list, but I’d say this was a good start.

I hope you enjoy this mini tour of NYC stationery attractions!


CW Pencil Enterprise

This adorable little pencil shop has been featured on so many podcasts and blogs that I follow. It was exactly what I had hoped, and more! Though smaller than I imagined, the coziness of the space just adds to the whimsy of having a shop in busy Manhattan that is entirely dedicated to humble woodcased instruments.

I was able to meet Caitlin (who I had met informally via a postcard exchange) and Caroline Weaver herself — luckily both were in the shop that day. We chatted about our favorite pencils, small business, museums, and life in New York City.

The way that Caroline styled the shop is so charming — from the bright yellow accents to the black-and-white tiled floor, the entire space just draws you in and wraps you up in nostalgia. It was a delightful first stop on my NYC stationery tour, and I hope to be back! 

CW Pencil Enterprise100B Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

No lettered signage — just look for the giant yellow pencil!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

The testing station, where you can scribble to your heart’s content

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Colorful cases and notebooks on display in the front window

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

View to the left when you first walk in

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

A case of valuable antique pencils, including vintage Blackwings!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Pencil poster and some matching notebooks

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

The famous wall of pencils!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Closer up, checking out these colorful picks

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Got a kick out of these funny pencils that leave rainbow pencil shavings

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Unintentionally color-coordinating with the lovely ladies of CW Pencils!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Even the floor of CWP is stylish and photo-worthy

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Excited about my pencil purchase!

My pencil haul consisted of a Blackwing Pearl, the much-praised Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood (which really does smell like a chocolate forest!), and some natural finish pencils. I also custom ordered two souvenir pencils to commemorate my trip to NYC, as well as some Owl Ink pencils!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

The Strand Bookstore

The Strand is an absolute must-visit for any book nerd. This legendary NYC bookstore boasts having “18 miles of books” within its walls, which seems like a hefty claim until you actually set foot inside.

There are literally books as far as the eye can see- row after row, stacks on stacks… shelves up to the ceiling… turn a corner, and there are even more books to be found!

I enjoyed the thoughtfully curated center displays (with various themes like Short Stories, Vegetarian Cookbooks, and Adult Coloring Books), and the shelf of beautiful vintage hardcovers.

Strand Bookstore828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

A selection of books on graphic design

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Vintage books! Look at those spines…

I was tempted by a few short story anthologies, but had to dial back as I was restricted by a small suitcase. My mini haul consisted of an Ursula K. Le Guin book that I’ve had on my wish list for a while — I hadn’t seen it at any bookstore until now! Le Guin is one of my favorite authors, and I am on a quest to collect all of her works.

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Kinokuniya

Kinokuniya is the New Yorker’s destination for all things Japan! We have Kinokuniya here in San Francisco, but I still wanted to check out the Manhattan location. It’s very conveniently located — just a short walk from Grand Central Station, right across from the NY Public Library. I think the best way to sum it up is by floor, and this is the order that I explored in:

Ground floor: English books — fiction, nonfiction, and bestsellers that you’d find in an American bookstore. There was an entire wall dedicated to New York — recipe books from famous NY restaurants, NY photographers, etc.

Second floor: A mix of Japanese and English books and manga, anime-related novelties, and a small cafe that was pretty crowded for a Monday afternoon

Basement floor: Japanese magazines and reference books, greeting cards, and — the most exciting part to me — a wonderful stationery section of pens, notebooks, folders, and art supplies!

I spent quite a lot of time in the basement floor, perusing the aisles and trying to spot brush pens or calligraphy supplies that I don’t already own.

Kinokuniya1073 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10018

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

The second floor had lots of anime-related toys and figurines

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

The basement housed an impressive selection of Japanese gel pens and ballpoints

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Nice pencil section, including singles of the popular Blackwings!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

A glorious wall of washi tape!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Found a book relevant to my interests :D

My Kinokuniya haul consisted of a gold ink brush pen, a super cute pencil stamp, and some New York-related souvenir items that I’ll use in my scrapbook.

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A fine art museum of staggering size, the Met has something for everyone’s interest — including stationery nerds. While wandering around the museum, I happened upon a exhibit of drawings and prints, which included some pieces on handwriting and calligraphy!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

A primer on penmanship and a book of calligraphic works!

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Absolutely stunning to see it lit up at night

Additional stationery-related highlights:

Posman Books: A small yet cozy bookstore nestled inside the super-hip Chelsea Market

USPS James Farley Post Office: For those into snail mail, you must walk by this gargantuan post office. It has the famous postal carrier’s creed chiseled across the entire building — “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. It’s pretty mind-blowing if you just stop and think about how many pieces of mail have come through this historic place.

Moleskine Store inside Grand Central Terminal: I didn’t know this was here, I just happened across it while exploring Grand Central– it’s located in a hallway of stores leading out toward the main concourse. Inside, you’ll find various Moleskine notebooks of all sizes, including some of the newest limited editions.

Ed Jelley: I would definitely count Ed himself as a NYC stationery  highlight. I’ve followed his fantastic blog and photography for quite some time now, so it was great to finally meet him in person! We chatted over coffee (of course) about pens, notebooks, calligraphy, mechanical keyboards, raw denim, and various other tactile fascinations/expensive hobbies/niche interests.

 

NYC Stationery Attractions | Owl Ink

Thanks for taking the time to hang out and chat!


For even more NYC stationery tour stops, be sure to check out these resources:

The Pen Addict Episode 189: Guest host June Thomas takes Brad and Myke on an NYC Stationery Tour, which covers the above destinations and many more

Top Five Stationery Stores in New York City: A great roundup that includes art stores, by The Gentleman Stationer

8 thoughts on “NYC Stationery Attractions

  1. I was hoping you’d mention my favorite NYC store McNally Jackson – Goods for the study. It’s a must visit next time you go. Beautiful store, beautiful goods.

    Looks like a great time nevertheless. I’ll have to make my way to CW pencil enterprise next time!

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