Par Ys


The toponym “Paris”, like many place-names, is derived from the name of a region’s ancient inhabitants: in this case it was the Parisii. But there is another explanation I’ve always liked despite being apocryphal. It has to do with the imaginary city of Ys (of Sunken Cathedral fame), and that one would travel to the area we now call “Paris” par (by, through, via) Ys.

Par Ys.

This was going through my mind as I was riding the Metro to Rue de Rome, the street where one of my favorite sheet music stores can be found, La Flûte de Pan.


I first visited this store in 1997 and bought what has become some of my favorite manuscript paper. I would learn later that this store-branded product is made by a German manufacturer called “STAR-notenschreibpapiere”, who makes a dizzying array of manuscript paper, pads, and hand-sewn notebooks. Can’t get it here in the U.S. (so far as I know), and it’s not easily ordered online.




The store actually has three locations, the other two just a few doors down. But being short on time (as usual) and with another stop to make before having to get back, I bought a few spiral bound notebooks and was off.


Among pen, pencil, and stationery fans the name Skripta-Paris is well known. This is my first trip to Paris after becoming acquainted with S-P, which occurred some time around 2008 via For me it was the place to find items from the Graf von Faber-Castell collection, which were hard to find just about anywhere else. Their online inventory is expansive, making it all the more surprising to discover the store itself is quite small:


There are two aisles, small enough that were I to turn around wearing my back pack I’d likely wipeout an entire display. The shelves were tightly packed with items from, as you can see by the logos on the storefront, Graf von Faber-Castell, Lamy, Caran d’Ache, Lexon, and many more.

DSCF0038 DSCF0041 DSCF0048

Skripta-Paris is a must-see for stationery fans: I’m glad I got to see in person the store whose website I’ve spent countless hours poring over, despite having only scant minutes to do so.

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