Of course, there are the two huge stores which I imagine are common to most mid-sized US cities and their shopping centers—Office Depot and Staples. And maybe there are some who can be pleased with what they find there. Unfortunately for me, both stores are a big yawn. I visited Staples yesterday and Office Depot today. Each store has aisles crammed with what we classify as office supplies and for which I have little interest. I asked one employee in Staples if they carried any fountain pens at all, and after scratching her chin for a moment she led me over to a display of $1.25 ballpoint pens, blue or black. Granted, I am probably the oddball in the room, but this situation depressed me. Office Depot was the same except for its different name and different location.
You fountain pen lovers in New York (and Tokyo), count yourselves lucky in the number of places you can find to indulge your passion. I fear that here in my new sunshiny Florida setting there will be many fewer opportunities to pass an occasional hour in a pen shop where more than blue and black ballpoints make up the inventory.
I will have to rely on what I can get from online shopping, but regret the condition created by distance that doesn’t allow for trying out a fountain pen or particular ink BEFORE purchase. In this case, The Japanese shopper might say something like, “Sho ga nai.” It can’t be helped.
Photos: The empty store, and completely unrelated, a very pretty fabric.