Brookline Landmark: Irving's Toys and Card Shop
Stores like Irving's are what make Brookline so unique.
Some stores stand the test of time and become iconic landmarks, like Irving’s Toys and Card Shop just outside of Coolidge Corner.
Ethel Weiss, 99, has worked there since January 13, 1939. Having lived in Brookline since 1942, Weiss said it was hard to decide what her fondest memory could be from owning Irvin’s Toys and Card Shop. She sits by the front door with a homemade pin, which says, “I Love My Customers” and offers a warm smile to anyone who walks in the front door.
“I love this job,” Weiss said. “I love being useful and caring about the children.”
The store sells candy, playing cards, greeting cards, Mad Libs, board games, rubber duckies, toy cars, balloons, sewing goods, all kinds of toy and plenty more vintage goodies.
“It was a small store,” Weiss said. “It was a small grocery and candy store that catered to the children at the Devotion School. They learn their arithmetic here.”
Ethel Weiss and her first husband, Irving Kravetz opened the shop at 371 Harvard Street. Kravetz died in 1960 and two years later, Ethel married Abe Weiss. The two maintained the shop in honor of Irving Kravetz.
Two of the most unique items in a vintage five and dime-style boutique are two of Weiss’s own works. She sells posters with her words of wisdom, “How to be Old and Still Be Happy” and “Thoughts for a Happier Life.”
She signs each copy with the date and warm wishes. “Somebody asked me ‘how do you look so young for your age?’”, Weiss said. “So I wrote these lists up for them.”
Do you have any fond memories of Irving’s? Share them in the comments section below.