Sure, e-mail is quick and cheap, but hard to adorn with just the right illustration, and impossible to emboss. This small shop is packed with cards, notes and paper for any occasion, from barbecue to baby shower, and party accouterment from birthday candles to cocktail napkins. You can fill out your own invitations, or custom-order them from a huge selection. Every piece of merchandise seems hand-chosen, with wit and whimsy. Even a tiny enclosure card is a piece of art, edged with glitter and a drawing of a perfect bride.
Beware: We walked out with way more than we planned to. And with a lot of plans, suddenly. We'll be throwing a garden party sometime soon (couldn't resist the invites) and now have dozens of people to thank with just the right card.
Thanks to you, M & Co.!
But what makes us notice Chester's is the picture window facing Seventh Avenue that encases an amazing collection of 10 or so antique cars in a makeshift museum, some dating to the late 1910s. Chester's works on modern cars, too, and has been in business for 32 years. While your car is being fixed, you can replace the usual perusal of last month's Sports Illustrated with a waltz around some amazing pieces of automotive history.
Readers' Choice for Best Place to Get Your Oil Changed: Jiffy Lube
Whether your passion is clothes, knickknacks, furniture or kitsch, there is some of everything. You can walk in wanting a matching set of nine handkerchiefs and actually find what you're looking for. The merchandise is arranged in small nooks all over the store, so you can browse for hours without being in anyone's way.
From the turn of the century, to "vintage" from the last decade, it's all there. A few of our favorites are the collection of 1950s aprons, the clothing racks, and overflowing cases of every type of jewelry. The prices are very reasonable, and we doubt you can find a better selection anywhere in the Valley.
But our all-time favorite remainder table is the one at Borders' Biltmore store on East Camelback. Don't ask us to meet you for lunch anywhere near this particular bookshop if you mind that we'll arrive late, dragging along a bagful of cool finds. Just last week we scored a leather-bound Martin Chuzzlewit, a pop-up Book of Job, and a first-edition hardcover of John Irving's last novel, the version with the alternate cover art. Yeah, okay. So we're word nerds. And as long as Borders keeps plying us with gorgeous page-turners at rock-bottom prices, we'll stay that way.