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The Uptown All-Stars Gift Guide

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

For presents with uptown flair, look no further than The Curious Uptowner's four holiday gift guides rolling out over the next month. This Monday's theme? Gifts designed, conceived and written by some of uptown's most famous denizens. These folks sure have been busy!​​​​​

Although you have to make an appointment to visit the Dapper Dan Harlem atelier that opened earlier this year on Lenox Avenue, you only need a laptop and a credit card to shop the many cool Dapper Dan pieces–from oversize T-shirts to belt bags–on the Gucci website.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Washington Heights: "Gmorning, Gnight! Little Pep Talks for Me & You"

What began as uplifting Twitter messages from Lin-Manuel Miranda–creator and star of "Hamilton" and "In the Heights"–has turned into a New York Times bestseller illustrated by Jonny Sun. Die-hard fans can also pick up Miranda's affirmation-embellished tees and sleepwear on his online shop, TeeRico.

Neil Patrick Harris, Harlem: Amazed: The Game

​This new, maze-like board game created by Neil Patrick Harris–who has played everyone from Doogie Howser, M.D. to Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events–requires players to solve puzzles, riddles, and secret codes to get ahead.

Sheila Bridges, Harlem: Harlem Toile Umbrellas

​Harlem-based interior designer Sheila Bridges–star projects have included President Bill Clinton's offices on 125th Street–has put her very own spin on French toile, substituting 18th century pastoral life with tongue-in-cheek scenes from the African-American experience. New to her Harlem Toile line are city-friendly collapsible umbrellas ($30) in four eye-catching colors.

Co-owner of The Cecil Steakhouse and its jazz joint, Minton's Playhouse, chef Alexander Smalls co-wrote this book dedicated to African-American food with rising culinary star JJ Johnson (who himself is opening a Harlem spot called FieldTrip soon). Follow Smalls on Instagram and live vicariously through the celebrity-filled dinner parties he throws in his colorful Hamilton Heights pad–a recent dish was chicken meatballs smothered in "Mother Africa" sauce–then try it yourself with the help of this recipe-filled book.

Marcus Samuelsson, Harlem: "Live at Red Rooster Harlem" album

​As chef Marcus Samuelsson continues to grow his empire–next up is the restaurant Marcus in Montreal–the original Red Rooster in Harlem continues to attract crowds not just for its food, but its music and art. Now you can bring some of the jazzy ambiance home with this album featuring artists that have played there over the years.

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