|Iris and Rose by Arline Rubin|
While Texas sizzled under the sun (No idle metaphor. You can literally smell the baked earth when you walk outside), I had the luck to be strolling Selby Avenue in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota. At Number 366, you'll find Paper Patisserie, a treasure of a shop, owned by Eileen Shapiro. What follows is a selection of what you will find at Paper Patisserie.
Crane stationery. Always a good choice. Letterpress cards. Talk about touchable paper! The letterpress cards include selections from Saturn Press in Maine. While Paper Patisserie has a really good selection of cards for all occasions, its selection of sympathy cards really stands out. (I bought about 10 of these while I was there.) Sheets of wrapping paper lovely and unusual enough to frame. Claire Fontaine notebooks and journals! These journals contain some of the most velvety white paper for writing and drawing you can find anywhere ....actually they are hard to find just anywhere. Sold widely in Europe, this line of notebooks and journals is not easy to find stateside. Handmade cards with pressed flowers. I bet you are thinking "old-lady cards" (which I like, by the way), but no...these pressed-flower cards by Arline Rubin make great contemporary art. Art cards by Minnesota artist Barbara Evan. Origami Originals, cards by Linda Oette that feature 3-D handmade kimonos. Labels that look just like European ephemera, but don't cost anywhere near as much. Hand-milled soap wrapped in, what else?, beautiful papers. No, I'm not done yet. All this and chocolate! The exquisite, individually wrapped bon-bon kind, that is, well, so very bon!
|Across the street: A church for people "who|
want to make sense of things." See sign, lower left.
If I could provide a link to this store, it would feel like cheating: cheating paper lovers out of pushing open the old wooden door in this red brick, 19th-century building and walking into a space that quietly embraces and invites you to look, see, touch. It would cheat you out of ambiance---that indefinable yet nearly palpable feeling of being in a place like no other, in this case, a place where paper waits for you and whatever you have to say, write, draw, wrap. That eternal silent partner, cómplice to artists, writers, thinkers, lovers... still here, still waiting for you.
So, make a note, fellow travelers and amants du papier, if you are anywhere near the Twin Cities area, find your way to Paper Patisserie (parking is free). 366 Selby Avenue, Suite 100. (651) 227-1398