Boro Park Snapshot: Lane Card and Gift Shop
The most popular store in Boro Park at this time of year stands in the heart of 13th Ave., sandwiched between an electronics store and a pharmacy.
Lane Card and Gift Shop, on 13th Ave between 52nd and 53rd streets, is the source for cards, balloons and tchotchkes caressed by countless graduates in the neighborhood’s dozens of schools, delivered by a gentle man who purchased the store from a newspaper ad two decades ago.
Chesky Goldstein offers a smile along with the birthday card. He says that he gets customers from Boro Park, of course, but also from Flatbush and Williamsburg, and as far away as Monsey and Kiryas Joel.
“The most common purchases here are for birthdays,” Goldstein said. “Grandmothers come in here — they have many grandchildren and there are always birthdays — and they could buy an entire stack of cards. I sell also balloons for new babies or for engagements, but that’s not as frequent as birthday cards. Everyone has a birthday every year.”
The store began as a dual pharmacy and novelty shop about 35 years ago. Sometime after 2000, the owner decided to sell it and published an advertisement in the Jewish Press. Two people responded, and the pharmacy was sold to one of them and the novelty shop to Goldstein.
Goldstein started off in a nearby building, where the Bank of America is now located.
Goldstein heard about a building on 13th Avenue that was about to go on the market and he snapped it up. The added clientele gained by his prime location led to an increase in sales — until the Covid-19 virus put an abrupt end to much of it.
“We had no choice. We had to be closed,” Goldstein said. “It was indeed very difficult, but my mazel is that I have a good landlord who is very understanding and worked with me.
Businesses were allowed to reopen on Monday, though not for in-store purchases. Goldstein has one message for Boro Park residents: Shop local.
“Everyone should buy local. We need to support each other,” he pleaded. “When you buy from a local business you’re basically supporting yourself.”