These days when reaching out and touching someone can be problematic, not everyone is relying on Zoom, email, text or social media to connect with others. Handwritten cards and letters are making a comeback as some people choose to look beyond their computer screens and phones to correspond with others.
And for those who want to go really ol’ school, there’s even a website that sells original vintage postcards of Long Island scenes at prices starting at around $5.
“When I was growing up, my mom worked in an invitation store in my hometown — Huntington — so you could say that I was raised on handwritten notes and fine stationery,” says Jean Marie Miller, 21, of Huntington Village. “The recent quarantine also made me realize that a more personal way of communicating with loved ones was to send out letters.” Miller is now a graphic designer at Medici Fine Stationery & Gifts in Huntington, where she says a particular pen (a compact, smooth writer by Travelers) the store carries is even popular with others in her age group who have taken up writing cards and letters.
Over in Long Beach at The Codfish Cowboy shop known for its large selection of fun and colorful blank-inside cards, owner Angela Skudin says she’s seen an “uptick” in card writing.
“With quarantine, people have been craving the human touch,” Skudin says. “Sending a card or handwritten note allows the sender to feel a connection with their words and feelings that in turn directly impacts the receiver.” She says it shows that someone really cares to make the extra effort to actually write something down the old-fashioned way. “It leaves an impact that will never be matched via email or text. There’s simply no comparison.”
Melinda Morris, owner of arni paperie of Southold agrees.
“Sending handwritten letters and notes when we can’t see a person is the closest thing to sending a hug to your loved ones. It feels more personal than a text message or Zoom.”
Here’s a sampling of Long Island stationery stores that sell blank-inside cards and stationery that might inspire you to put pen to paper.
The Codfish Cowboy
You’ll likely find this store’s selection of cards fun, entertaining and a very different experience from what you might see elsewhere as it specializes in blank cards, including selections reflecting ethnic diversity and the LBGTQ community. It’s also a go-to place for jewelry, artwork, clothing, bags and other items made by Long Islanders.
INFO: 891 Beech St., Long Beach; weekdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; 516-442-5500, codfishcowboy.com
In addition to cards and stationery and custom printing, this store carries a lot more including notebooks, pads, pens, planners, art prints and many gift items such as books, pins, puzzles, tea towels and tote bags. Products from Long Islanders here range from art to flowers and there’s a focus on sustainable products and items from women-owned companies.
INFO: 54127 Main Rd., Southold; Sunday and Monday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 718-483-6054, arnipaperie.square.site
Medici Fine Stationery & Gifts
Owner Mary Iadanza calls this a “two shops in one shop type of store” that includes a gift section and a custom printing shop for special occasion invitations and personal and corporate stationery. Items sold include handmade cotton and fine boxed cards, fountain pens, wax sealing sets, art supplies for lettering and calligraphy, leather journals, tabletop games, cookbooks and toys.
INFO: 4 Green St., Huntington; Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 631-421-6334, mediciinvites.com
Shop online: Cardcow.com
This Mountain View, California-based website offers a large variety of original vintage postcards depicting life on Long Island including a Shelter Island ferry terminal scene, winter, beaches, the U.S. Army’s Camp Upton in Yaphank, Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, Main Street in Southampton, Seafood Barge in Southold, La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale and the Patchogue River.
INFO: 781-269-2273; cardcow.com