Valentine’s Day is upon us, and for those who care to celebrate this mildly arbitrary holiday, it’s also time to start panicking about what meaningful gift you’re going to get that special someone. For those who are sentimental and on a budget, nothing beats a beautiful and well–written card. No, no—put down that cheesy Hallmark card you got from CVS supplemented with some candy hearts you've convinced yourself is going the extra mile. Instead, check out these stationery shops for a next–level card that won’t make you throw up from corniness. 

Paper Moon

Located in Queen Village, Paper Moon is a revival of South Street history that stocks quirky and raunchy greeting cards. It was reopened in 2011 after originally being a South Street mainstay during its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s and has served the community with stationery, magazines, books, and laughs since then. While it is a trek from campus, if you have a loved one with the humor of a thirteen–year old, it’s sure to be worth the effort and could make for a nice day exploring the opposite side of the city from campus. 

Address: 520 S. 4th. Street

Philadelphia Independents  

For that jawn you can’t imagine your life wit out, head over to Philadelphia Independents for a Philly–themed Valentine’s Day card. This Old City shop showcases locally–sourced, artisan goods made in Philadelphia and has everything from Gritty gear to mugs to greeting cards. For your favorite Philly sports fan or someone who just has intense Philly pride, the trek to Old City is worth it to indulge their love of our beautiful city. 

Address: 35 N. 3rd Street


Photo: Alice Deng


Omoi Zakka

Also located in Rittenhouse Square, Omoi Zakka sells Japanese and other foreign stationery and goods. Its name is derived from Japanese as well, with "omoi" meaning “thoughts and ideas” and "zakka" referring to a regular object that has a huge personal value. This aesthetically–pleasing shop sells everything from bobby pins to wind chimes to, of course, Valentine’s Day cards, making your shopping for the holiday simpler and more beautiful at the same time. With chill vibes and the smell of incense surrounding you, your shopping experience is sure to be just as great as the gift you’re going to get. 

Address: 1608 Pine Street



Paper Source

Not too far from campus in Rittenhouse Square, Paper Source is an emporium for all things stationery. While you’re not going to find anything remotely weird or raunchy, it is a place for the classic Valentine’s Day card that won’t make you cringe from the combination of bad design and clichés. Additionally, their Valentine’s Day products don’t just cover cards, they have a quirkier selection, including entire card kits, Valentine’s–themed slime, and even jewelry if you’re falling behind on a gift. 

Address: 1628 Walnut Street

Papyrus

Just a block away from Paper Source, Papyrus is another stationery chain located in Rittenhouse Square. Just like Paper Source, you won’t find any dirty stationery at Papyrus, but it’s slightly more polished and less quirky than its neighbor. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t find a variety of cards that can reflect the tastes of both yourself and the person you’re writing to. From cards about vodka to ones that echo the basic yet classic message of "I love you to the moon and back," you’re sure to find something to please anyone and everyone. 

Address: 211 S. 17th Street

Honorable Mention 

So maybe you’re reading this an hour before your date on Valentine’s Day or you just don’t want to get out of bed and buy a nice card. Don’t fret! Put that liberal arts education to use and show your love by putting the effort into making your own card. Then after failing at drawing basic stick figures, maybe call up your Fine Arts major friend and ask for their help. 


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