Cardeology, the card and gift store at 526 Amsterdam Avenue (85th-86th street), will close after 29 years in business on the Upper West Side, owner Richard Barbosa told us today.

The store will be closing on Sunday and is having a sale until they shut the doors.

“I’m heartbroken, not just for me but for the whole community,” Barbosa said. “People have told me how upset they are.”

He said that he regrets moving to his current space, because there’s been scaffolding over the store for years as well as construction equipment including a dumpster. Not exactly a traffic-driver for a small store. In the fourth quarter, the store lost $40,000, he said.

Ocean Grill also blamed the persistent scaffolding when it closed last year.

Barbosa says he was 27 years old when he opened the first store. He moved to the current space from Amsterdam and 81st in 2013. Cardeology had also had a store on Columbus Avenue between 74th and 75th, but also closed that one a few years ago.

“It is so sad because it seems the same thing happened to Mike’s Furniture next door,” wrote Amanda Gurtis Davis. “Another local small UWS business GONE! He isn’t planning to open a new location. The store had a great selection at the best price in town, and everyone he told in the store was very upset and in shock. Hopefully the locals can go in before Sunday and say goodbye.”

Photo by John Wells.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 31 comments | permalink
    1. Nelson says:

      Charming place and I’m sorry to see it go. Every time I walked by I would think, “No one can see this place under the scaffolding.” It finally did it in… Obviously, scaffolding is a necessary evil, but maybe when it’s covering businesses, there could be appropriate signage provided?

    2. Jeff Berger says:

      I will really miss Cardiology. It is terrible that so many business are being harmed by the perpetual scaffolding. On the corner of 86th Street and Amsterdam there is a church that has had scaffolding up since I moved in down the block in 2000. Who is in charge of this? Where is our counsel person Helen Rosenthal?

    3. DP says:

      This sucks. Love that store.

    4. Anna says:

      Very upset to hear this shop is closing. It was my go-to for cards and festive decor.

    5. Lora says:

      Cardeology was my favorite card store.

    6. CB says:

      1) I agree with you about how awful it is to lose Cardeology and how stupid it is that that building has been wrapped in scaffolding for so long. I am going to miss that shop so much!!

      2) The church building on the NE corner of 86th and Amsterdam has a sidewalk shed because the structure is crumbling and was dropping bits of rock and terra cotta onto passerby, creating real danger, but they don’t have the money to fix it. Gale Brewer tried to help, and I would assume Councilmember Rosenthal is as well, but if you don’t have a large and/or wealthy congregation, you don’t have serious income. Big problem for churches, synagogues, etc., all over the city.

    7. CB says:

      My comment downthread was meant as a response to you. No idea what happened that made it post in the main thread!

    8. UWSmaven says:

      To me, this isn’t a case of “another UWS place closing,” it is a miserable landlord who left the scaffolding up and essentially forced three decent businesses — Mike’s, Cardeology, and Orange Leaf yogurt — to close because of a lack of traffic and signage. Is there no recourse to go after these buildings that clearly don’t finish the work they are doing in a reasonable time?

    9. Ted says:

      You could map the course of my marriage through my purchases at Cardeology. I am genuinely upset at the loss of this UWS institution.

      No we’re stuck buying over produced cards for $97.50 each at Papyrus or picking through the dreck at CVS.

      Why move to the suburbs when your neighborhood is becoming one. Looking forward to an Applebees and a Walmart opening soon on the UWS.

    10. Yugo says:

      Ted asked,

      Why move to the suburbs when your neighborhood is becoming one.

      Oh, I don’t know. I can think of a few reasons, including the following.

      – Much lower crime rates

      -For what a few years RENTING a small APARTMENT costs here, you could BUY a HOUSE in the suburbs.

      – Stores where the prices are half of what they are here, you don’t have to battle crowds and be in someone’s way every step you take, and you can find many items that are not even available here.

      – Considerably cleaner (including the air) and greener

      – Noise and night-light levels far more conducive to tranquility and restful sleep

      – Vastly more space for children to (relatively) safely roam and frolic freely

      So, why stay here, then?

      Any number of reasons, most of which should be rather obvious to almost anyone who does choose to live here. Not the least of which is not having to be completely automobile-dependent.

      I, too, lament the loss of local businesses, with their characteristic neighborhood character. But that alone has not and could not make this or any other Manhattan neighborhood indistinguishable– even remotely so– from any suburb.

    11. Yugo says:

      I would also like to see the matter of the “persistent scaffolding” pursued. Perhaps WSR could work on it.

    12. Christine E says:

      Very sorry to lose Cardeology. I have loved each of its locations/incarnations around the neighborhood and have many happy memories of shopping and discovery there.

      It now seems like every or every other week, I am going to favorite stores one last time.

    13. Steven says:

      I’m sure the scaffolding played some role, but I don’t think it is the main factor. I just think that the demand for cards has been dropping steadily in recent years. I don’t think too many young people send them; they just send messages on whatever the latest trendy social media site is. As for Orange Leaf yogurt, there too is an example of a category where demand seems to be waning. Yogurtland didn’t survive either a few blocks south, even without any scaffolding.

    14. VLM says:

      “Much lower crime rates.”

      The crime rates are higher in the suburbs than they are in NYC these days, but hey, narrative.

    15. No-Bargain Bernie says:

      Check out Paper Source at 309 Columbus (75 St.). Classy cards, not cheap, but better priced than Papyrus.

    16. George says:

      Richard was a true “Pioneer” small business owner during the first renaissance of the UWS when small and unique stores started opening on Amsterdam and Columbus when no one else would take the gamble. They drew tourists and locals to shop in unique shops. Thanks Richard for the memories.
      George, CB7

    17. Cardattack says:

      Glad to see Cardeology hit the dust! I used to shop there all the time, until one night I desperately needed a birthday card at 7:55pm and their door was locked with a man inside at the counter. I knocked repeatedly and showed him it was five minutes before closing could I please please come in. He totally ignored me. I vowed never to shop there again and I didn’t. Maybe it wasn’t so much the scaffolding that shuttered Cardeology, as it was a lack of heart.

    18. Betsy says:

      Damn! I’ve missed the Columbus store since they had to close, and now will miss the Amsterdam. Loved buying from there. Sad to see our neighborhood lose so much of its character. Thanks for all your years of serving your community!!!

    19. Marci says:

      That’s really a shame about Cardeology. Europe manages to safely maintain buildings without scaffolding, yet we’ve got them everywhere you look. And once they go up, you know they’re going to be there for years. Why is that?They’re ugly and mar the city, and visitors from abroad countries are completely mystified by it’s prevalence.

    20. Jack Davis says:

      So sad to t=see them go. A charming store and a real part of the neighborhood.

    21. MJ says:

      Scaffolding is not intended to be up long term. It is a temporary structure designed to allow workers to go in and work, and then be taken down. It’s not safe to leave it there. On the other hand, if these landlords are so absentee, I say leave it up so a brick or something shotty work doesn’t fall down and kill someone.

    22. Emerald Inn says:

      Wow . So sad . We were lucky enough to find a new location after our landlords tried DOUBLING ,our already high rent, over on Colombus . Something has to be done to protect small family owned business in this city !!!

    23. John Charles says:

      Correct, regarding this matter I inquired to Council member Rosenthal, and Borough President Brewer, as well as DOB on this issue and received no reply. This was to me a clear case of neglect by elected officials, this scaffolding was up for at least a year before any work was done at all. The landlord and govt officials are in part to blame for the loss of these business.

    24. Liz says:

      Count me out when it comes to life in the Burbs. Could never, ever imagine going back to New Jersey. One reason, among many, Chris Christie. Need I say more.

      No Major League baseball team. Even the Nets saw the light and moved to Brooklyn.

      Wrote a poem entitled: New Jersey. No thanks. I’d rather go to Mars.

      Boring. There is no place like New York. Always say if you can’t find it in New York than it just doesn’t exist.

      Have to say though quality of life in New York is going down hill fast. Came here in the bad old 80’s. The street people in Time Square are down right scary.

      Some of the homeless people riding the trains are threatening and dangerous. Was on the #1 train head to Canal Street at 8:00 p.m. last Tuesday. Door came flying open. Real scary looking dude started cursing and
      menacing people in that car. Hit a woman so hard she went flying.

      Everyone ran to the next car while the train was moving. I got out at Christopher Street to wait for the next train.

      Called 911. Doubt that did any good. Operator kept making me repeat the same info over and over again.

      Time to restart practice from the 80’s — carrying “mugger money”, just in case someone accosts me and says: “ok, —–, just give it up.”

      Was on the #2 train Tues. at 2:00 p.m. saw a pile of plastic bags about 6 feet high that took up the first two seats by the door. No person with this stuff. Homelessness is a serious problem. City needs to do something; other than just ignore it.

      It is really getting harder and harder to survive in NYC. Everything is so expensive.

    25. ColleenNYC says:

      Soooooo very sad 🙁 was going to all of his locations for the last 15 years. Such a nice guy. And his assortment of cards and other little goodies were so unique * definitely could not be found elsewhere. Breaks my heart to see another Mom & Pop shop go 🙁 So sorry Richard. Take care.

    26. Harold Goldenberg says:

      Building manager and landlord run a sh it show – all tenants in the building get screwed- commercial and residential – sorry to see them go-

    27. Yvonne says:

      Very sad such beautiful store with unique and fun merchandise. Very very big lost for the city.

    28. Mark says:

      I was very sorry to hear about the closing of Cardeology. Was a wonderful store and Richard was a warm, welcoming businessman. How the city allowed scaffolding to be up such a long time, with no work being done is horrific. How a landlord can leave scaffolding in front of retail businesses, a dumpster parked in front and black netting that completely covered the stores, making them invisible to the walking public is disgraceful. Shame on the landlord for their obnoxious behavior and shame on the local politicians for not helping businesses under such a circumstance. Who in their right mind would be up black netting in front of business? Doesn’t anybody have a brain? How the landlord or the scaffolding company get their permits?

    29. Mark says:

      Cardattack, you’re an ass. We’re discussing a store in our neighborhood closing due to circumstances beyond their control and someone’s livelihood. If the door was locked at the store, it was because it was CLOSED. And because you’re a drama queen, to say that you were a regular and bagging on the door, yet you were ignored by the guy behind the counter is such nonsense.

    30. M. says:

      When you are in need of a card you don’t wait until five minutes before the store closes.The store owner was right not to let you in. You are just a bitter nasty human being.