Hudson Heights Weather

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shopping Locally for the Holidays, Volume 2.0

(181st Street, Photo by Susan Adler)

UPDATE:  Our Savior Atonement Lutheran Church is having its annual holiday sale at the Cornerstone Center on Bennett Avenue on December 10.  Look for the Center's pottery sale around the back too.  And Inwood's "Off the Map" second annual holiday market is occurring on December 3, 10 and 17  at Bread and Yoga, 4951 Broadway (at 207th Street).

I'd like to make a suggestion to our neighbors in Hudson Heights--buy (i.e., spend) locally during the holidays.

Everyone  wants to see more vibrant retail and restaurants in Hudson Heights and Washington Heights.  And supporting local stores is the perfect individual response to "Occupy Wall Street."  So spend your time and money uptown this month!  Here are some suggestions for holiday giving and spending:

Restaurants and Bars.  If your friends and family live uptown, this gift is easy.  Take them out to eat in the neighborhood as your "gift" or give them a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Locally Sourced Dinner.  I plan to visit the farmer's market in Inwood, pick up dinner supplies and treat my best friends to a locally sourced meal at home.  The Inwood market on Saturdays has virtually everything you need for a meal:  wine, meats, eggs, wine, cheese, vegetables, more wine, etc.  (All I need is someone who can cook.)

Clothing/Jewelry.  Nostylgia at 251 Dyckman has a (limited) array of hip clothing and shoes.  Visit the blog at  Odalis Salon on Cabrini Boulevard, just north of 181st Street, has cool jewelry on display.  The craft fair at Hudson View Gardens usually includes a local jewelry artisan too (too late for 2011, but look for 2012).  Local clothiers "Brazen Lingerie" make baby carriers and some more discrete ladies' items,

Donations.  Another option for local giving is a donation to a local organization that you think might be special for the recipient.  Consider Fort Tryon Park Trust or Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.  

Wine.  The easiest gift is a bottle of wine from Cabrini Wines on 181st Street or Vines on Pine on Pinehurst.  (If wine doesn't feel personal enough, how about giving the bottle with a card attached explaining that it was purchased locally or pairing it with one of the gifts below?)

Pets.  Friends with pets?  Critter on Pinehurst sells all sorts of pet toys.  Or there's our particular favorite, the dog leash with the bag holder for cleaning up after the dog!

Bikers.  "Treads" on Dyckman Street is a GREAT bike shop and full of smaller items for gift giving like flashing lights for evening bikers.

Museums.  Try the gift shops at the Cloisters (in Fort Tryon Park), the Morris Jumel Mansion (George Washington's summer home) or the Hispanic Society of America (on 155th and Broadway).  You can also purchase memberships to these institutions.

Art.  You might also try scouting out some local artists.  You can visit the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance gallery on Bennett Avenue from 11 to 5 p.m. on weekdays.  You can visit the restaurant "181 Cabrini" and check out its rotating exhibits.  Or you can check out some of our favorite local artists:;;  If the prices for originals are too high, consider asking the artists about prints.

Religion.  The gift shop at Mother Cabrini Shrine on Fort Washington Avenue is full of worthwhile religious gifts especially for your devout Irish, Italian or Latin grandmother.

Food.  Franks Market on 187th Street and La Rosa on Broadway and 178th sell various specialty food products.  What's more useful than food!  Ask them about making gift baskets for you or make your own.  Indian Road Cafe at 218th and Indian Road is a trek from Hudson Heights, but the coffee is excellent.  They sell Counter Culture Coffee by the cup or by the bag.  Add one of these to your gift basket!

Children's Toys and Other Gifts.  Hilltop Pharmacy at 187th Street and Fort Washington Avenue has an oddball collection of toys, sports balls, picture frames, vases and other giftable items.  Wiggles and Giggles (yes, that's the name) at the western end of 181st Street sells higher-end children's toys.  (I still haven't figured out exactly what W&G does.  But it seems to host children's birthday parties, play dates for kids and other kid-focused events).

K&R Florist.  Hudson Heights lost its only florist several years ago to the new Stein Perry real estate shop on 187th Street.  I like the selection of holiday items at K&R Florist in Inwood, located at Broadway and 207th.

We'll continue to update this during the holiday season.  Please forward any suggestions too!

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