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The most notable openings in Harlem and beyond in 2018

​As the year draws to a close, certain trends in uptown's dining, drinking and shopping scenes are coming into focus. Here's a brief rundown of the most notable:​ Coffee shops High-end coffee shops continue to expand into every corner of upper Manhattan, including modern brew spot Shuteye Coffee at 137 W 116th St, the second location of The Monkey Cup at 1965 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, coffee-and-cocktails locale Bean & Barley at 2118 Frederick Douglass Blvd, cozy hangout Common Good Harlem at 2801 Frederick Douglass Blvd, and the super casual Forever Coffee Bar at 714 W 181st St in Washington Heights. A cart-only location of Dear Mama that opened earlier this year in Columbia's Jerome L.

5 fun-and-festive things to do in Harlem this week

Whether you prefer to burrow deep into your couch or be out and about during the holidays, The Curious Uptowner has got you covered for the entire week: 1. Make a festive rum punch: Family-run clothing boutique Harlem Haberdashery introduced its new line of spirits earlier this month, marking the occasion with a holiday punch that's both sophisticated and crowd-pleasing. Here's how to make it at home (find even more cocktail recipes online): Ingredients: 1½ oz HH Bespoke Rum, 1 oz grapefruit juice, ½ oz Luxardo cherry liqueur, ½ oz lime juice Preparation: Shake rum, Luxardo, grapefruit juice and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a glass and garnish with brandied cherry. 2

Three uptown Christmas trees with fun twists

You can't walk far this weekend without bumping into a festively decorated Christmas tree. But to see some truly spectacular holiday-evergreens-with-a-twist, check out these three uptown displays (listed from south to north): Flotilla of Christmas trees on the Harlem Meer 110th St between Fifth and Lenox Aves​ The nights are at their longest right now, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the flotilla of sparkling Christmas trees floating in the middle of the Harlem Meer. Like a holiday magic trick! (Photos, top and above, courtesy of Central Park Conservancy.) The Peace Tree at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th St Every year the cathedral's Christmas tree is cov

Uptown links: North End Food Hall is opening soon, two Washington Heights subway stations will be cl

• North End Food Hall–Washington Heights' very first food hall–finally has an opening date: March 2019. Vendors coming to the 6,000-square-foot space include tried-and-true uptown favorites such as Jin Ramen, Harlem Public and La Chula. One of the most "promising stalls," according to the report, is barbecue joint Salt and Bone Smokehouse. [Eater NY] • Starting in January, five subway stations in Washington Heights will undergo accessibility repairs. Two of them–the 1 platform in the 168th St station and the 181st St 1 station–will be closed at different times for up to an entire year. [Curbed NY] • Mary Poppins Returns, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, had its pre-release premiere at the United

Where to find angel wings uptown

'Tis the season of angels. Get in the spirit and head to these three uptown spots where you–and your furry best friend–can pose as a winged creature sent from above. 1. Angel Wings by Colette Miller, Park Ave and E. 111th St Part of a global network of angel wings painted by artist Colette Miller "to remind humanity that we are the angels of this earth," these sit underneath the Metro-North Railroad tracks. Pictured: Bike advocacy group Uptown Boogie's Judi Desire, whose "social rides" occasionally include public art tours around East Harlem and beyond (photo via @uptownbronxbicycle). 2. "Harlem Flies from Within" by Anjlnyc, 17 E. 125th St Artist @anjlnyc painted these wings on Harlem Fine

The second annual Harlem Art Book Gift Guide

Still have a few gaps on your holiday shopping list? You can't go wrong with a luscious art book–so easy for you to buy (especially if you do it online) and others to enjoy and display. This year there are more than a few new tomes about beautiful Harlem, and if that's not enough choice for you, see last year's guide for even more. I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 ​Can't make it to the Columbus Museum of Art to see its current show chronicling the Harlem Renaissance through art, photography, sculpture, documents and more? Published in conjunction with the exhibit, this book is the next best thing. Art Kane: Harlem 1958 Marking the 60th anniversary of the famous jazz photogra

Step inside Hilltop Park Alehouse: an old-is-new tavern in Washington Heights where fans of Yankees

When Tara Wholley, the owner of the recently-opened Hilltop Park Alehouse on 159th Street and Broadway, was looking to name her new pub, she couldn't believe Hilltop Park hadn't been taken. The famous uptown ballpark, once located just six blocks north from where she was planning to open her tavern, had served as the home of the New York Yankees from 1903 to 1912, when they were still known as the Highlanders. (It was demolished in 1914 and is today the site of the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.) "How has no one capitalized on this concept?" she remembers asking herself. It was then that she decided: "That's the name, no matter the style." Wholley promptly s

Uptown links: Harlem's first Shake Shack has an opening date, Insomnia Cookies is coming to 125t

• The Shake Shack at 1 W 125th Street finally has an opening date: Tuesday, December 18. The first 100 customers in line when doors open at 11 a.m. will receive free hot chocolate and Shake Shack merch. [Patch] • Insomnia Cookies is the latest food chain coming to 125th Street. [Real Estate Weekly] • Now Inwood has a new historic district, too. Officially called the Park Terrace West – West 217th Street Historic District, the area is comprised of 15 two-story homes with Craftsman-style details. [6sqft] • Tuskegee Airman Wilfred DeFour–a man who Representative Adriano Espaillat called a "Harlem legend"–died earlier this week at age 100. Just last month DeFour was honored during a ceremony to

From square pizza to poke, it's easier than ever to grab a quick, tasty bite near City College.

The area around City College in Hamilton Heights hasn't always been a hotbed of good food, but that's starting to change. Now you can choose from a handful of terrific restaurants for a sit-down meal–Oso, Fumo and The Grange quickly come to mind–as well as a number of spots offering tasty grab-and-go bites. From Hawaiian BBQ to açaí bowls, the good stuff starts here: Whaddapita 1625 Amsterdam Ave between 140th and 141st Sts The Mediterranean-blue facade of this new fast-casual spot hints at what's inside: an eatery serving Greek street food. Your main choices are pork and chicken gyros–layers of marinated meat roasted on a vertical spit–served in a pita sandwich or on a platter. There's also

A new and improved dog run is coming to St. Nicholas Park

Changes are coming to the St. Nicholas Park Dog Run, the pup playground on the sloping hills of St. Nicholas Park–and now the community group The Dog Run at St. Nicholas Park wants to make sure its users are informed and involved. The large, wooded spot–it's spacious enough to have a separate section for small dogs–is currently undergoing a series of renovations courtesy of the NYC Parks Department, including a new front path and entrance, plus steps leading there; sturdier fences and greenery are coming soon, too. To announce all that's new–and to get feedback, too–the organizers behind The Dog Run at St. Nicholas Park are hosting the group's first-ever town hall this Wednesday, December 12

'Twas the Night Before Christmas reading & Trinity Church Cemetery tour to Clement Clarke Mo

The city's oldest holiday tradition–and a newer one that's fast becoming a classic–are almost here. The 108th annual reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" at the Church of the Intercession in northern Harlem–free and open to the public–is set for next Sunday, December 16 at 3pm. Assembly Member Al Taylor will be doing the honors this year. Afterward, attendees can join a candlelight procession to author Clement Clarke Moore's grave across Broadway. Yes, Santa Claus as we know him today–jolly, bearded and dressed in fur–is a New York invention. The visit will include festive caroling and a ceremonial wreath-laying. Right before the recitation, author, scholar and living encyclopedia o

Uptown links: the Apollo is expanding down the street, two Harlem art shows make big year-end lists,

• The Apollo Theater is opening two new venues in the Victoria Theater redevelopment project that's rising a few doors east "to incubate works by up-and-coming artists, particularly performers of color, who might not be ready for the main theater’s 1,500-seat auditorium," according to Apollo executives. [NY Times] • Speaking of the Apollo, it's New Jack Swing time at the legendary theater this Sunday when Teddy Riley and Keith Sweat headline two shows. "I'm performing around the corner from where I was raised. And all the guys can say that—Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh and Keith Sweat," said Riley. [AP News] • Two Harlem art shows just made big year-end lists: Times co-chief art critic Roberta

Harlem Fire Watchtower scaffolding is up and ready for the landmark's return

After three and a half years of being restored off-site, the landmarked Harlem Fire Watchtower is finally set to return to Marcus Garvey Park. Disassembled piece by piece in 2015, the cast-iron structure that stood atop the park since the mid-19th Century will be reinstalled by January 2019, according to the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. Although an official construction sign near the site had shown an anticipated completion date of Summer 2018, the scaffolding that will help workers reassemble the historic watchtower has only recently finished going up. Totaling $6 million, the renovation will bring back the only surviving example of post-and-lintel cast-iron architecture. The tower was desi

Don't miss the dazzling "Parade" at this newly-renovated subway station in Harlem

Practically in continuous use since it was first built in 1904, the 145th Street station on the 3 line just reopened after a five-month-long renovation. Accompanying the MTA's dramatic improvements to the walls, ceilings and platforms are dazzling new mosaics from local artist Derek Fordjour. Entitled "Parade," the multi-panel art celebrates Harlem's legacy of pomp via rows of impossibly limber line majors, hip-swaying dancers, and feathered-hat wearing drummers. The colorful designs, made with shiny glass from Miotto Mosaics, stretch across the walls of both platforms. Although this particular stop in Harlem is not a central one, the mosaics are so striking, they're definitely worth a detou

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