Stationary and Toy World 125 West 72nd Street New York, NY 10023

Stationary & Toy World

125 West 72nd Street

New York, NY  10023

(212) 580-3922

Open: Monday-Saturday 9:00am-7:00pm/Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm

I came across Stationary & Toy World when I was walking the Upper West Side for my walking project, ‘MywalkinManhattan’ and was taken in by their store window displays with vintage toys. I came to find out they were not very vintage with seeing them and other toys I grew up with in the 70’s and 80’s lining the shelves. It figured when I found out that the store was established in 1988.

What I loved about the store is the variety of items you can find on the shelves. Once section is dedicated to toys and the selection was extensive. The aisle was lined with board games, puzzles, craft toys, painting sets, dress up and coloring books. Another aisle has painting and art supplies for that budding artist within all of us.

The last aisle has all sorts of stationary and things for the office including paper supplies, envelopes, writing materials and office items such as paper clips, pens, ink markers and staplers. The last wall was full of party supplies for that last minute office or birthday party.

stationary and toy world

The store is by no means fancy with everything stacked on top of one another but that is the fun of the store is the hunt for something you need but can’t find elsewhere. Many of their online reviews is that instead of having to wait for an Amazon order that they dashed in and found what they were looking for with out much hassle. Everything is organized by group and the depth of the merchandise is wonderful. There is so much to choose from.

What I like about the store is the service. The owners have a pulse on the neighborhood and it is like stepping back into the 70’s when personal service was king. The ladies working the front counter were very helpful when I asked them questions about the merchandise. They actually knew the answers. The owners, Donna Schofield and her father, Larry Gomez keep a careful watch on the store. The staff know where everything is located and it makes it for easier shopping.

I have been greeted in the store many times with a friendly face and a watchful eye by the people at the counter in case I have any questions. The store looks like one of the last of a disappearing retailer who offers an excellent selection of items for the same prices as online and you actually get to meet the people who will package it up for you and say ‘thank you’ in return.

It is a pleasure to shop when owners appreciate their customers!


Lester’s 1534 Second Avenue New York City, NY 10021

1534 Second Avenue
New York City, NY 10021
(212) 734-9292

Open: Monday-Friday 10:00am-7:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm/Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm

Five Locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Greenvale, Rye Brook and Westport, CT

I came across Lester’s, a clothing store for children’s, teens and adults when I was walking around the Upper East Side on ‘Day One Hundred & Four’ on my blog “MywalkinManhattan” when I walked this section of the Upper East Side. I saw crowds of school kids coming in and out of the store with their parents and stopped in for look.

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Don’t miss the children’s section

What I discovered was a store that almost sets the tone for what most people would think the Upper East Side teen might want for school, summer camp and casual wear. The store was stocked with all sorts of jeans, tops and shoes for the toddler to teens alike. There are Layette sets for infants and all sorts of accessories around the counters.

Even though the store marks itself as being trendy, I saw most of the clothing look more classic and items that did not go out of style by the next season. The latest styles often revisit older looks in clothing.

What I thought was nice was that they have a complete section for kids going to summer camp along with a registry to fill the orders of each child. You can even order customized stationary and bedding with name-labeling services, including free taping or sewing that is offered on site (Lester’s promotional).


Lester’s is a true neighborhood clothing store for the Upper East Side child

On the side of the store, there are even trendy looks for the ladies with blouses, skirts, jackets, slacks and jeans all beautifully displayed.

The Fall Fashions have hit the store in November 2019 and there are some interesting items at Lester’s. There are logoed tops from vendor Hot Candy that are pretty interesting all done in mute colors. There are colorful bottoms in red, black and grey that caught my eye. The Layette sets for babies are very nicely set up and I watched as one sales associate was personalizing it for a customer.

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Lester’s has many looks and styles

The prices vary by items by season. The styles and label’s also change season by season. The customer service at the store I have noticed is very personal and a lot of the salespeople know their customers by name.


History of Lester’s:

The company started in 1948 by Lester and Lillian Kronfeld on Avenue U in Brooklyn in a tiny 300 foot shop. The current owner, Barry Cohen, who is a nephew of the Kronfeld’s, along with partners currently own the store.

Mr Cohen said, “It was a neighborhood business stocked from floor to ceiling with brand name clothing at discount prices. The owners knew everyone by name. They used to hand deliver items to people’s homes. It was all about customer service.” (New York Family Magazine 2010)

The store’s Manhattan outpost opened in 1992, after the Kronfeld’s noticed that many of their customers grown children were moving from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side with their own families. (New York Family Magazine 2010)

Amado on 3rd 1322a Third Avenue Between East 76th & 77th Street New York, NY 10021

Amado on 3rd

1322a Third Avenue between East 76th & 77th Street

New York, NY  10021

(917) 965-2852

I love this quirky clothing store run by two women who are best described as ‘engaging’, Merri and Roberta. They will keep you laughing and welcomed in your visit to their store. I walked past the store when visiting the Upper East Side for my walking project, “” and thought there window display was interesting (Please check the blogs on ‘Walking the Upper East Side’ more information on the store).

Amado on 3rd is a very unique clothing store, carrying brands both domestic and abroad that I have never seen before like Oui, a French company for cashmere sweaters. The clothes are fashion forward for both casual and professional  and are items the everyday woman could wear to the office or for an evening out on the town. It is trendy without being over the top. Items like nicely printed tops,  colorful geometric sweaters, multi-colored and dyed fur jackets and knit and cashmere hats. These designs you will never see in the department stores.

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Winter Knits and outfits at Amado on Third (plus refreshments)

The prices here aren’t cheap as a cashmere sweater will cost you between $200-$275, a dyed fox jacket around $600 and knit hats around $40 but the quality and materials match the price points. The clothes work almost as wearable art.

I have visited the store in the Spring, Summer and Fall and the clothes are unique in design and color as well as functionality. The clothes for all seasons at that Amado on 3rd carries can be worn both to the office and out for the evening, never losing their feminine appeal. Their clothes are dressy casual but still with that professional look. They are currently carrying a line by designer Joseph Ribkoff that was very impressive. Simple yet elegant.

During a recent visit to look over their Spring clothing lines, they have beautiful floral prints by Tizzie, that are bright, elegant and have beautiful floral motifs on them that would match with jeans and slacks alike. These come in both floral, geometric and solid colors and offer the most vibrant colors. A line of elegant tops by Petit Pois were also very wearable and had nice geometric patterns to them.

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One of Tizzie’s colorful blouses (may not be available now)

On recent visit to the store to look at their Summer clothing, they have an interesting and colorful line of blouses from Gretchen Scott that I have never seen in the department stores. Again the lines are colorful without begin gaudy and go great with a pair of slacks, a skirt or jeans.

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Gretchen Scott Blouse (may not be available now)

There is new transitional Fall clothing coming in that came in from a vendor called Kukon that were cotton tops with a gray colored motif on each of them. Very wearable with anything. The Fall clothing are now entering the store and there are many interesting sweaters and blouses coming into the store. Vendors being features are from Kokun, Cyrus, Tizzie ad Yah (not all lines are available at the same time.

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One of the new blouses by Tizzie

The store also has an interesting line of jewelry and accessories that you should check out. Every season there is something new to see. There is a very nice line of young girl’s dresses that are Torie Birch inspired and an interesting line of Japanese jeans stuffed with sequins on them in the shape of Bugs Bunny and other cartoon characters.

The best part of the store is the level of customer service you get from the ladies. It is excellent. They know their merchandise and who their customer is walking through the door. They can tell you how to put outfits together, what item might look nice on a certain woman and how to mix and match. They have extensive knowledge of the clothes they carry and will pull each piece off the rack and explain it to you. As one of the owners explained to me, “We buy for women like us who like youthful, elegant clothing that matches our lifestyle. There really is something for everyone here.”

Another aspect is the free food items to munch on when you are shopping. They might open a bottle of wine, have an assortment of cookies and fruit or cheese and crackers out for the customers to nibble on while they are looking around. On a recent trip I nibbled on a few jellied candies that the ladies put out. I thought that was a nice detail when shopping and a way of keeping the customer engaged.

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Keeping with the spirit of Halloween the fun and original displays at Amado on Third

They also don’t forget the furry four-legged customers who come into the store with treats for dogs and a water dish outside the store. They also had a small mirror outside during the warm months for the dogs to admire themselves. These are those interesting touches that most stores don’t offer.

For Men, they have an interesting line of colorful socks which are now all the trend for $15.00 in all patterns and styles.

The Winter merchandise is just coming in and there are many printed scarfs and fringed printed gloves that will go with any look.

So if you are looking for the unique piece of clothing, jewelry or accessory that you might not find in boutiques and department stores around New York City, start at Amado on 3rd and let the ladies help you make a selection. If anything, you can still indulge in a cookie while you are walking around the store.

This is shopping made interesting.

*The author wants to thank Roberta for supplying extra pictures of the shop for the blog. It shows the true spirit of the store.




Mahir Floral & Event Designs 156 West 28th Street New York, NY 10001

Mahir Floral & Event Designs

156 West 28th Street

New York, NY  10001

Phone: (212) 686-1999

Open: Monday-Saturday-7:00am-6:00pm/Sunday: 8:00am-4:00pm


I was passing this unique little flower shop in the middle of the ‘Flower District’ in New York City right near the Fashion Institute of Technology campus. What attracted me to the shop was the beautiful and colorful displays of plants and potted bushes on the store’s sidewalk  and stylish bouquets of flowers they had for sale outside the front door. That lead me to want to walk in and see what the store was all about.

Mahir Floral & Event Design is more than just commercial and event planning although they do both. Their retail aspect of the store is quite unique in the display merchandise they carry, all the stones, shells, glassware and pottery that they use for display and for holding the flowers. It is not the run of the mill vase they use. It could be a stone sculpture to hold one flower, a multi-color hand blown vase to arrange a centerpiece or a large floral display to cascade down a table with shells and glassware.

Their services include corporate displays, weddings, office displays on a rotating basis and will even do store window displays. Check out their catalog on the front desk to see some of the designs that they have created in the past for company events and their online pictures.

What really attracted me when I got into the store is all the elegant and contemporary merchandise that lines the shelves and walls of the store. From an juxtaposed vase with many colors to crystal rocks of all shapes, sizes and colors to hold flowers or decorate a place setting to special candies and candles for host presents each gift had a certain special touch to it. The way they display items makes you want to buy.

Some of the picturesque touches around the store are the cherry blossom displays from floor to ceiling in the front and back of the store, the way they mix and max their smaller and larger gifts so that you see where you can give add on or multiple gifts in the future. Their display case of fresh flowers is just as nicely set up with colors, sizes and types of freshly cut flowers ready for them to add their magic to a bouquet to take home.

Take time to look at all the items in the store as there are many gift ideas for everyday and for the holidays. From potted plants to cactus in its own display case you will find the unique gift here.

This is not a store of the old “Flower District”. Mahir Floral & Event Design showcases flowers and plants like jewels  at Cartier. It shows them at their colorful best.

The flowers do change with the season so ask for assistance in the store. The people who work here are very nice.

Folly 157 East 71st Street New York, NY 10021


157 East 71st Street

New York, NY  10021

(917) 751-7293


Hours: Monday-Friday-11:00am-7:00pm/Saturday & Sunday-11:00am-5:00pm

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Folly is a cute little gift shop on the Upper East Side

I came across the gift shop, Folly, when I was walking the lower part of the Upper East Side for my blog, “” and visited it a couple of times when I was in the neighborhood. It is a elegant and beautifully designed shop by owner, Emily Hottensen. Ms. Hottensen runs  this delightful shop at the lower lever of an Upper East Side brownstone, which adds to the uniqueness of the design and makes it very welcoming to the customer.

When you walk through the door, you are greeted by her partner, her little dog whose charm adds to the customer service experience. Her dog knows how to charm a potential customer by licking your leg and expecting a belly rub. I could not resist and fell in love with the dog! The owner says that every customer who walks in becomes the dogs new best friend.

The design of the store is done in cool clean lines and displays the merchandise on shelves in a juxtaposed way. Candy is mixed in with books and lamps are by pillows all displayed in a way to show off the individual merchandise by color and design. Beautifully boxed chocolates ($40.00 for large/$10.00 for small) with motives of buildings and of horses make the perfect house-warming or host present along with items as decorative bottle openers (various prices) to add to a bottle of wine or for gourmet sodas that one might bring as a gift for dinner. Sets of colorful napkins both cloth and paper are the perfect party gift.

There are various pillows, lamps, candy dishes and bowls (various prices) that would add that extra touch of color or personality to a room as well as books of many subjects that would accent any coffee table for a reader of design and county living. The pillows come in various sizes and colors and the designs would cheer up the gloomiest couch.

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Smaller gifts such as napkins, place settings and napkin holders are placed on the table in the middle of the store to show off how they can be used in a setting. There are also beaded purses and clutches and a variety of modern jewelry for sale.

Here and there there are many items, large and small, to admire and the best part of the shop is that is small and intimate so that you can see the whole store from one location and zero in on the merchandise that you most admire.


Folly is a great store when you need to pick up a last minute gift for a party or just want to add a little splash to your living space. Just to see her dog again is a pleasure and a reason to enter this wonderful little shop housed in a small brownstone with unique merchandise at very fair prices for the Upper East Side.

The owner informed me that more merchandise for the holidays will be coming in soon.

Cotelac 983 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10021


983 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY  10021

(212) 288-0400


Monday-Saturday: 10:30am-6:30pm/Sunday: 12:00pm-5:00pm

I came across this unique clothing and accessories store when walking the lower part of the Upper East Side for my project “”. I was attracted by the beautiful clothing designs in the windows. It just lured me in with classic tailored look and vibrant colors and patterns to the clothes.


Clean elegant store with vibrant colored clothing

When I walked into Cotelac, I was taken by the clean lines and elegant displays that I thought was unusual for this part of Lexington Avenue. I thought this shop would be located on Madison Avenue or maybe in SoHo. The clothing had a sporty, casual elegance to it and the motives of the clothes were different from the other stores in the area. The prices were also not outrageous as they might be on Madison Avenue. Blouses and skirts start between $85.00 to $245.00 US dollars. By wearable and very affordable. The store is for the woman who likes an elegance classic look without being too dressy.

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Cotelac Fall 2019

When I talked to the saleswoman there, she said that the designer was from France and the store was part of a French chain that is located all over the world, it made more sense to me. I was attracted to a sporty blue and white nautical looking lightweight jacket and top combo that would not look out of place on a teenager or an adult. After two years in working at Macy’s Juniors Department, this look belonged on a active individual who dressed for the office and for going out for the afternoon or evening.

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Cotelac Fall 2019

They have a very striking Fall 2019 collection in the stores.

History of Cotelac:


The Cotelac brand includes two lines: woman and man, designed by Raphaelle Cavalli and her internal style office. Her clothes are characterized by a sustained attention to the textile material as well as a meticulous work, close to the crafts, on the treatments of tissues. Cotelac often uses several types of fabrics for the same garment.

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Cotelac Dress Fall 2019

In the ready-to-wear sector, the brand is positioned on the high-end, all generations. For her designer, Cotelac, “Dresses an active woman, a little bohemian, who likes beautiful clothes, not complicated, easy to live and wear.”

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Cotelac Fall 2019


Cotelac was founded by Raphaelle Cavalli, a stylist and Pierre Pernod, previously creator of the brand ‘tehen’.

Raphaelle Cavalli studied in the textile section of the Beaux-Arts in Lyon, where she already worked on fabric. She completed her research with a training at the School of Textile Engineers of Lyon. In the late Eighties, she joined ‘tehen’, directed by Pierre Pernod. She deepened her work on the subject, especially mesh. This fabric is the centerpiece of the first collection, launched in 1993.

The name, ‘Cotelac’, comes from its creation, near Lake Nantau. In 2010, the brand built a new site in Amberieu-en-Bugey, bringing together production and the company’s headquarters. In 2004, Cotelac launched a new line, ‘Acote’, intended for a younger audience. His style is entrusted to Baptiste Viry, in tandem with Raphaelle Cavalli.


The Amberieu plant remains at the heart of the production process and the Cotelac ‘trademark’, including the famous pleating machines. Its creators also consider their activity and the know-how oft he brand on the mode of ‘industrial crafts’.


In 1993, the year of its creation, Cotelac opened 8 stores in France, Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Annecy, Aix-en-Provence and Bordeaux. It now has 56, including 11 Acote stores, in 47 cities. Since 2004, the brand has been setting up abroad and already has some 30 points of sale in Europe (Spain, Germany, and Switzerland), the United States and Asia (Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea).


Cotelac has entrusted its image to several renowned artists, such as Ellen Kooi and Sarah Moon.

For several years now, the brand has also been involved in promoting young, unsigned, independent artists as part of a partnership with the Roy Music label. Each year, its creators select a ‘coup de coeur’, which they publish a CD with four titles, distributed free in the store. The brand has produced four artists (Jil Is Lucky, Onili and Hangar and Olivier Marois), many of which have since been successful.

In addition, in partnership with Kiblind magazine, Cotelac offers young graphic designers and illustrators the opportunity to interpret the brand artistically. An original creation is thus diffused in each number. Since 2009, several artists have participated in the operation, including Bettina Henni, Domitille Leca, Brecht Evens or the Montreal collective Chateau-Vacant. Cotelac regularly organizes exhibitions in its stores.


Check out their website for all locations.

Disclaimer: This information comes from both the Cotelac website and Wiki. Please check their website at for the full line and prices.


Creel & Gow 131 East 70th Street (at the corner of Lexington Avenue) New York, NY 10021

Creel & Gow

131 East 70th Street (at the corner of Lexington Avenue)

New York, NY  10021

(212) 327-4281


10:00am-6:00pm-Monday-Saturday/Closed on Sunday

I had passed this wonderful ‘little emporium of natural wonders’ when walked the Upper East Side for my project, “” and was lured in by the beauty of the building and by the window displays of unique and fascinating merchandise. It reminded me of my days of working on the 7th Floor of Bergdorf-Goodman in 2004. My several trips to the store, I came across the most unique merchandise that has been sourced from around the world.

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Creel & Gow is such elegant and welcoming store

What struck me when I have walked into the store is both the museum quality of the merchandise and especially how welcoming the staff is there. For a store like this I would have expected pretentious individuals working there but the staff here is wonderful and so friendly and welcoming. I can tell that they really love working here. There is such a pride in working here and of knowledge of the merchandise. You would think you were in a gift shop at the American Museum of Natural History and not a home design and gift shop on East 70th Street.


The boutique is located in the former stables of a historic, Grovernor Atterbury’s townhouse on the Northwest corner of Lexington Avenue and East 70th Street in Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City.

Founded in 2012, Creel and Gow is incorporating and adding to the collection of Ruzzetti and Gow and has an extensive range of fascinating and exquisite objects sourced from all over the world by Paris-based Jamie Creel and former Sotheby’s expert, Christopher Gow. Both are avid collectors. It is the perfect source to embellish one’s life with originality or find that unique gift for discerning individuals. Rare minerals, taxidermy, coral, silver shells, unusual decorative objects and exotic accessories fill this veritable cabinet of curiosities.

(Creel and Gow website)

When you walk in, you are greeted by gentle music playing in the background and a welcoming staff who are available to answer any questions. To the left in the back room in case lines are silver objects in the shape of seashells and animals whose one of a kind look can accent any table. I thought the part silver/part cowrie sea shell napkin holders ($100.00 each) would look beautiful on any table as well as a group of hand made/hand painted ceramic bowls from India ($150.00 each) would be nice for display only. The brass animal bottle openers ($75.00 each) are a whimsical gift for any dinner party.

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Check out the treasures from the sea in their cases

Here and there I  saw throw rugs and domestic items for the bedroom, natural sea life objects including a lobster sculpture that stood guard on the back wall to all the stately animal taxidermy behind glass cases (I read on line that these have been passed by country of origin and have been ethically made) . There is a nice assortment of birds under glass that are so beautifully and gracefully mounted. I liked the Victoria Crowned Pigeon ($2,500) for its beauty and gracefulness that I saw online and the various other birds that I admired in the cases.

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Check out all the interesting animals in the cases

Many objects caught my eye and their website at does not do the store justice. This is a store that must be visited and admired up close. For an Upper East Side store, I give them a lot of praise on service, merchandising and the merchandise itself. It is part museum and part home design but overall a gift shop extraordinaire.  The level of taste of the items sold here show the respect for the artists that the two owners, Mr. Creel and Mr. Gow, have in their way of merchandising and display. Even if you don’t buy anything, it is a wonderful place for decorating ideas and for that extra special gift, there is something for someone at all price points.

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All the beautiful objects in the store

It’s just fun to look around the store and be amazed at the one of a kind merchandise in such a beautiful setting.