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Where this Writer Finds Oddities in the West Village

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New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.

Image via Yelp

Twenty-four-year-old Chelsea Zalopany works for the New York Times style magazine T, where she writes about women's fashion items for their online, magazine, and newspaper components. She loves sending a handwritten card, and finds her prey at this West Village oddity emporium.

I've been living in the West Village for about a year now and I am still enchanted by the neighborhood shop House of Cards and Curiosities. Every day on my walk to and from the subway I pass the store's tchotchke-filled window of Day of the Dead dioramas and taxidermy raccoons. (It's really a hoarders paradise.)
While en route to work one day, and in desperate need of a clever card and gift, I found a colorful Mexican skull-printed card and a perfectly sentimental, vintage-looking pinball board game. The thing is, I love sending handwritten notes and I love beautifully wrapped and decorated packages. I cringe to think that tons of people received the same card I once purchased from an obvious greeting card chain store, because there's nothing intimate and special about that.
At House of Cards and Curiosities, expect fun, oddball collector items such as Frida Kahlo paperdoll cards, tea-stained Tarot card wrapping paper, stationary sets stamped with cranky crabs and hand-holding skeletons, bacon soap gag gifts, and kits packed for party magic and animal track casting. I leave wanting everything, though I'm not quite sure why. Except perhaps that it's all super affordable, which helps rationalize nonessential purchases such as a shiny Michael Jackson Christmas tree ornament. But then again, I really do need a shiny Michael Jackson ornament around.

· House Of Cards & Curiosities [Official Site]
· T Magazine [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked NY]

House Of Cards & Curiosities

23 Eighth Avenue New York NY 10014