Classic Impressions, a card oasis, on Court Street near Sackett.
Photo by Joshua Kristal
Perhaps you’ll find this a strange, random recommendation. But we have a great little card shop in our midst that I’m sure you’ve passed on Court Street many a time. It’s unassuming, old school, not fancy, and a bit cluttered—but features a surprisingly great and affordable line of greeting cards. And I’m picky. The shop has been there 15 years, right next to Court Pastry.
It’s Classic Impressions, and in the back, past the gifts, the store features an edited-down selection of cards for every occasion, so you won’t swim in choices, a plus in my book. The cards range from traditional to artistically lovely and edgy.
When it comes to cards, I have a love-hate relationship. I hate sending them, but have to. My mom would like to receive cards on anniversaries, Halloween, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day and would delight in a Chanukah card though she’s not Jewish.
I’ve been known to spend $8 on a card because I loved it, and more because it sang a funny song, and then fret over the silly expense for weeks.
Despite that, I’m sitting here willing to bet you $12, if you need a card for a special occasion, you’ll find the perfect one, pretty quick and at a fraction of the cost of some fancy paper shop.
Classic Impressions features a nice line of blank cards featuring lush paintings on the fronts.
Eddie Russo, store manager, will help you find what you need at Classic Impressions
No, this isn’t an advertisement. It’s just—if you have a family like mine that expects cards for every occasion, Classic Impressions is your place.
The shop has some really cool gifts and knick-knacks, as well. They’ve got a great selection of waterproof artsy totes at considerable discounts from what you’d find at trendy gift shops, as well as random odds typical to such stores, like Mets mugs and games, lotions, soaps, wrapping paper, candles, funny this-and-that.
Eddie Russo, 38, is the manager. Russo is quick with a laugh and he’s very helpful. He selects the inventory, including the cards, along with Harriet Compas, 61, of Staten Island, who owns the shop.
“We don’t do country,” Russo says. “Everything else goes.”
Compas owns a card and gift shop in Bay Ridge that she’s operated for 24 years. When she was looking for a second location, someone told her about the Court Street shop, right next to Court Pastry. When she took it over, it had previously been a card shop.
Compas says business is tough on Court Street.
“Smith Street seems to be the place to shop,” she says. “We’re struggling.”
So if you are in the market for cards, look no further.
And ahem: A little bird told me that the owner of the building is looking to increase the rent and move a restaurant or café into the space.
So check it out, while it lasts. In fact, stock up on cards for the year. Why not?
UPDATE—The owner of the shop says Classic Impressions is going nowhere—they aren’t moving, and all is well.