For the next few weeks I'll be featuring unique gifts you can find all around uptown. Today's theme? Harlem itself. The following items highlight just some of the storied neighborhood's designers, shops and markets worth a visit this holiday season (and beyond).
SCENTED CANDLES FROM Harlem Candle Company
Each candle from this three-year-old line celebrates Harlem in some way, like the woodsy, limited-edition Ellington ($50), which comes wrapped in a vintage Harlem nightclub map by African-American commercial artist E. Simms Campbell.
African Baskets from Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market
Packed with vendors from all across Sub-Saharan Africa, this lively market on 116th Street is a great place to drop by for gifts like shea butter and these colorful Senegalese baskets (about $35 for a medium size).
HATS FROM Flamekeepers Hat Club
Marc Williamson's three-year-old Harlem hat shop is stocked with gorgeous toppers–from felt fedoras to wool newsboys to straw boaters–that have the power to turn you from frump to style maven in a flash. (Red Rooster chef Marcus Samuelsson is a fan.)
T-SHIRTS from harlem Underground
Grab a graphic Harlem-themed tee or two designed by this friendly shop with two locations in the neighborhood. There are endless styles to choose from, and each comes in a range of colors and sizes for both men, women and children.
BOW TIES and MORE at SILVANA
Silvana's bohemian ground-floor cafe on 116th Street doubles as a shop and stocks gifts that the two owners (from Israel and Burkina Faso) have picked up on their travels, like bottle openers from Zanzibar. Naturally, items found closer to home are part of the mix, like these dapper bow ties from Harlem brand Bows Nouveau.
HARLEM TOILE UMBRELLAS AND MORE from Sheila Bridges
Harlem-based interior designer Sheila Bridges has put her very own spin on French toile, substituting 18th century pastoral life with tongue-in-cheek scenes from the African-American experience. Her Harlem Toile line not only includes bright umbrellas ($40) but glassware and plates, stocked in stores throughout Harlem like the Schomburg Shop and Nilu.