Monday, May 27, 2024

Seaside Papery, Confessions of a Stationery Junkie

The feel of a good pencil and the smell of cedar evoke creativity in me. The routine of sharpening and whittling away at a pencil feels like progress. Pencil nubs litter my workspace like cigarette butts, each representing a project completed.

Seaside Papery at 1162 Orange Avenue is a headshop for papyrophiliacs.

Putting words or images on paper, not just any paper, good paper, is magical and addictive. I am starting to fidget as if I want to smoke a cigarette; I need a fix!

Writing kit for my addiction. There is the Italian stapler I am ashamed of.

I am a papyrophiliac, a person obsessed with stationery. I love quality wood pencils. I use high-end sharpeners, special erasers, fancy pens, and foreign staplers. 

A small part of my pencil collection and some William S. Burroughs to drive my point home.

Where do people like me get their fix? A shadowy figure leaned in, close to my ear, and whispered, “Jori Jackman,” she has the goods. Unlike a drug den, her stationery shop Seaside Papery exists in plain sight at 1162 Orange Avenue right here in Coronado.

It always looks innocent and inviting, Your welcome any time you like but you can never leave.

My natural drug of choice is a quality wooden pencil. I like the Blackwing brand. No, that doesn’t make me a hipster. I am not following a trend outside the mainstream. The truth is I never stopped using wooden pencils. 

Blackwing pencils have a variety of graphite textures, from hard to soft. They have replaceable erasers that come in a rainbow of colors. This brand has numerous accessories from point guards to extenders that allow you to still hold a pencil long after it is too short for normal use. 

This is the Blackwing section, my name is Clyde and I have a pencil addiction. The boxes of the Volume Series are shown to the left of the line up.

Blackwing also promotes a “Volume Series,” themed pencils that come out several times a year, promoting artists, writers, and musicians. How is this fair? At $30 a dozen, this habit can get expensive. 

I am not satisfied with just pencils; they were a gateway drug. I now love good German pens, quality writing paper, and fancy stationery.  I recently hit rock bottom when purchasing a bright, fire-engine red, Italian stapler. No, it doesn’t take standard staples; Jori is too brilliant for that; you need to return to the head shop for refills. 

Germany Uber Alles, Joseph Hyden wasn’t talking about pens but lets pretend he was. Kaweco and Rotring pens and mechanical pencils are superior. Is it too soon to use that word?

Have you ever had a gift professionally wrapped and seen the reaction of the person receiving the present? I have. Damn you Seaside Papery! 

My sloppy folds, visible tape, and sophomoric bow-tying now tell my loved ones I didn’t care enough to go the extra mile. 

Its a wrap on my son Charlie’s 21st birthday. He loves all things Japanese so there you have it. They even had the right sized box.

Yes, Seaside Papery will wrap just about anything for a price; you don’t have to buy the item there. The wrapping paper and ribbon choices will give you pause. The reaction from the receiver is undoubtedly worth the effort. 

Some of the dealers at Seaside Papery. They are well versed on all of the writing paraphernalia and they are wrapping masters. Look at all the paper and ribbon choices.

Before Seaside Papery I had never seen someone try so hard not to rip wrapping paper or damage ribbon when opening a gift. Once you try this service you will soon be chasing the wrapping paper dragon, hooked on an aesthetic that is hard to duplicate on your own. 

I could go on and on about all the kitschy gifts and goodies Seaside Papery has to offer but I won’t. You need to explore this place on your own. Don’t blame me for introducing you to this rabbit hole, I will deny I got you hooked. 

Seaside Papery
1162 Orange Ave • Coronado

Clyde Van Arsdall
Clyde Van Arsdall
Clyde is a trained chef that has worked in hospitality for nearly 40 years. In addition to cooking, he is a freelance food writer and storyteller. Currently he works for CH Projects managing the pool and Beginner's Diner at the Lafayette Hotel. Clyde is a third-generation Coronado local, CHS graduate, and father of three. He also owns and operates Olive Avenue Supper Club, a boutique catering company specializing in culinary experiences. You can follow his culinary journey on Instagram @oliveavenuesuppper and read all his stories at www.oliveavenuesupper.comHave a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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