The holidays are upon us and it’s that time of year where people are scratching their heads on what to buy their loved ones.  Welcome2TheBronx would like to suggest the following list to consider as gifts for someone you love.

What better way to give someone something than an item from The Bronx or a Bronx based artist?!  Please do know that this isn’t a complete list and should you want to be considered for inclusion in this list, feel free to reach out at info@welcome2thebronx.com

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Art

Here’s some fun, WEARABLE art by Wonder Lee!

Upcycled Custom Word Bow Tie Maroon
Upcycled Custom Word Bow Tie Maroon

Don’t get caught neck-ed! Check out these awesome one-of-a-kind bowties made from recycled materials by Bronxite, Wonder Lee!

According to her website she writes:

“Thank you for helping us to spread awareness about Upcycling, which we see as the art of reusing discarded objects in such a way as to create a product of  a higher quality or value than the original.  Each product we offer is made with love and the intention of spreading the awareness of this movement.  Your bow tie is like a mini billboard, a vehicle to express yourself any way you like.   They are just as unique as you are. 

Our Process
We frequent online and local thrift shops for board games, vinyl, books and anything else we think would be a fit for a bow tie.  Each one is handmade in our Bronx, NY office.  We reuse 90% of all the material we collect and each bow tie is 97% upcycled.  We try our best to utilize and reuse as much as we can.  All bow ties are mailed out in 100% recycled envelopes and we do not include any invoices as to not waste any paper.  We also hand write your name and address while sending you thoughts of gratitude for helping us to get one step closer to our future goals.   <3″

Morris Perk Coffee Coloring Book

Morris Perk's Coffee Coloring Book!
Morris Perk’s Coffee Coloring Book!

Yup, Morris Perk not only is serving up coffee but they also serve up fun art you can let your inner child enjoy in the form of a coloring book (although I’m sure there are plenty of children as well who’d enjoy this book too).

What’s wonderful about this coloring book is that it features BRONX ARTISTS! (ok, so one artist isn’t from The Bronx but it’s the love of coffee and our borough which counts!)

You can customize your package to include color markers, pencils, coffee (yes, coffee!!) and more!

Head on over to their website to customize and place your order!

 

Wave Hill Gift Shop

What happens when a tree falls at Wave Hill? Well it’s turned into beautiful art of course! A local artist takes the fallen trees and turns them into beautiful, sculptured bowls that are truly breathtaking and a wonderful tribute which speaks of the cycle of life. Check out the many gifts they have available by heading over there or just clicking on their website above!

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The Bronx Visual Artist Directory

The Bronx 200 site is a dynamic, online platform that showcases a curated selection of artwork by two hundred artists identified with The Bronx. Artists were invited to participate by curators and art professionals working in the borough. The curators were asked to recommend artists whose work represents the rich and diverse range of creative production here. The primary goal of The BX200 website is to connect the borough’s artists and art organizations to curators, collectors, art enthusiasts, businesses and other artists worldwide.

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Books

Bronx Memoir Project Volume 1

The book is “an unprecedented collection of over fifty Bronx memoir fragments, as penned by our very own residents, spanning various generations, continents, languages, cultures and themes.”

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Kissing Atticus Primble

Bronx born and raised author, Stephanie Hoina published her first book, Kissing Atticus Primble earlier this year for young adults. “Like any other girl her age, Kathleen was ready for the excitement of a first love. What she wasn’t ready for was Atticus. He had been her best friend for as long as she could remember, and the subtle change in their relationship as they started high school caught her off guard.”

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Home Front: The Collection

Author Martin Kleinman, born and raised in The Bronx, left our borough and returned after over 25 years abroad (I mean in Brooklyn) put together this collection of short stories, some based in The Bronx, others not.  Either way it’s a great read and an excellent gift idea to support one of our own at the same time!  Home Front, the New York-centric assemblage of fictional tales is an account influenced by our own great metropolis and its denizens. From the Bronx, to Brooklyn, to Manhattan, and bungalow communities of the Catskills, each short story is bright and alive with that real New York flavor that, well, a true New Yorker would instantly recognize and relate to.

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Everything I Know About Zombies, I Learned in Kindergarten

Ok so this particular author isn’t FROM The Bronx but he gets points for setting a fun and exciting book in our borough featuring local Mott Haven and Port Morris landmarks as well as heroes which could very well come straight from the neighborhoods!  “Even before the apocalypse, nine-year-old Letitia Johnson’s life had never been simple. Shuttled from foster home to foster home in the impoverished neighborhood of Mott Haven, it was all she could do to keep track of her little sister. When the apocalypse came, she tried to keep her sister’s kindergarten safe by locking them all in a tiny school bathroom, hiding while they waited for a rescue that never came. For five days, they hid. They hid while their teachers were being eaten, while their classmates were being killed. They hid while the Bronx was being evacuated. Now, there’s no one left to help them. There’s no place left to hide. It’s just her, one ax, twelve kindergarteners, twelve garden stakes, and a will to live. While the cast of this novel is primarily children, the book is intended for adults and contains material unsuitable for younger readers.”

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A Bronx Boy’s Tale

Writer Jimmy Newell was born and  bred in the Bronx during a time of tremendous change and social upheaval but, because of a loving family, life-long friends, and a great  community, growing up in the Bronx was grand.  His book, ‘A Bronx Boy’s Tale’ ” is the story of a boy growing up in a special place at a very special time. Providing a neighborhood context to historical events, A Bronx Boy’s Tale helps you see America through the eyes of one boy who grew up in a time of tremendous change and strife, but who still had time to live a grand life in the greatest place on Earth. If you grew up in the Bronx, or only wish you had, you should read this book.”

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A Secret Long Life

A collection of poetry by Bronxite LIz Dolan and Nominated for The Robert McGovern Prize and a Pushcart Prize Cave Moon Press has just published Liz Dolan’s,[ Dougherty] second poetry collection, A Secret of Long Life. According to Julianna Baggott, author of eighteen books Dolan’s poems are “Haunted and haunting. They thrum and trill with memory, keen with sorrow, and are always brimming with life.” And Fleda Brown, former Delaware poet laureate, says “Dolan is a skilled and deeply thoughtful poet. She knows how to let a family’s history-of Ireland and The Bronx and the Delaware beaches-tell its profound and nuanced truths. Dolan was contacted by publisher Doug Johnson from Cave Moon Press who after he published her work in a Cave Moon Anthology, a literary magazine, asked if she would be able to provide the press with an entire collection of poetry for publication.

Profits from sales will go to The Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome.

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Eyewear

Metro Optics Eyewear

Yes, eyewear!  We are more than happy to recommend the gift of healthy eyes and great eyewear fashion by our own homegrown Metro Optics!  From gift coupons to gift baskets, this is the place to go and celebrate a succesfully home grown business!  A true Bronx success story!

We really do up our Gift Baskets... not only will the lucky recipient of this one get a hot pair of Carrera sunglasses, but also an ornament and sweets to boot! Come in to any of our locations and we'll build you a custom basket sure to please anyone on your list! (P.S. we do contacts and gift certificates too!)
We really do up our Gift Baskets… not only will the lucky recipient of this one get a hot pair of Carrera sunglasses, but also an ornament and sweets to boot! Come in to any of our locations and we’ll build you a custom basket sure to please anyone on your list! (P.S. we do contacts and gift certificates too!)

 

 

Food & Coffee!!!

 

The-Bronx-Hot-Sauce

The Bronx Hot Sauce

Yes, The Bronx has its own home grown hot sauce (literally)! The Bronx Hot Sauce is made from Serrano peppers grown across our borough in various community gardens. According to their website:

“The Bronx Hot Sauce is a partnership among GrowNYC, Chef King Phojanakong and Small Axe Peppers. This collaboration was forged from the shared belief that the Bronx is a wonderful place capable of producing wonderful things. The sauce embodies the greatness of the borough.

Serrano peppers were chosen because of their suitability to New York City’s climate and soil type. Each of the past two springs, Small Axe donated all of the serrano peppers distributed to the community gardens in the Bronx that GrowNYC supports. In the spring as part of a direct investment in gardens, Small Axe extended to each garden an offer to buy their ripened peppers for a premium price at harvest time in the fall.

This buy-back model not only helps keep production local, it also provides direct support to the community gardens and gardeners. Bronx Green-Up, the community gardening outreach program of The New York Botanical Garden provides horticultural assistance to Bronx gardeners growing serrano peppers for the project as well as helps with collection of the perfectly ripened peppers.

Small Axe will contribute a majority of the profits from hot sauce sales to programs that assist low-income communities in the Bronx and throughout New York City.

Now,

“The Bronx is Burning” has turned from negative to decidedly positive.

Of course, the sauce tastes delicious, as you’d expect from its Bronx roots. We hope you share our belief in the resurgence of the Bronx.

Enjoy!”

Borgatti’s

Who doesn’t like homemade fresh pasta for the holidays or in general?  Borgatti’s has been a Bronx staple since 1935 offering some of the best and freshest pasta in the region.  Don’t believe me? Go there an any given day and you will see people traveling from all over the region just to get some of this good stuff.  Borgatti’s even makes gift baskets!

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Memberships

Who wouldn’t love a membership to one of our great institutions?

The Bronx Zoo aka the Wildlife Conservation Society

From premium family memberships valued at $189 (which gives 2 adults, their children up to the ages of 18 and a guest) unlimited access to all Bronx Zoo attractions and FREE parking for your visits to the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium.  Not to mention you get free access to all 5 WCS parks!  This is an excellent value for the family that loves nature and a gift that not only puts a smile on the receiver’s face but also helps save wildlife across the world!  Other membership levels are available so make sure to check them out!

Image Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
Image Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

The New York Botanical Garden

One of the most important botanical gardens in the world is located right within our borough and membership is just a click away and offers you unlimited visits during a year.  Various levels of memberships are available for purchase so make sure to check out the list.

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Wave Hill

And we’re back to Wave Hill (we just can’t get enough of this place).  You too can give the gift of a Wave Hill membership so that special someone (or you) can enjoy the splendor that is Wave Hill.

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Pregones Theater Puerto Rican Traveling Theater

Get great membership perks for just $45 at this fine institution which now boasts two locations: One in The South Bronx and one off-broadway!  “Following years of enterprising activity on stage and in the community, Pregones Theater and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater recently merged into a single Latino arts organization with performance venues in The Bronx and Manhattan. The transformation builds upon congruence of mission, values, and programs, and sustained engagement of a growing network of diverse artists and audiences throughout and beyond New York City. Moving forward, Pregones/PRTT champions a cultural legacy of broad impact through (1) creation and performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures, and (2) presentation of other artists who share our twin commitment to the arts and civic enrichment.”

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Spirits

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Port Morris Distillery

Ok, so for those who like to imbibe a little, Port Morris Distillery is the perfect gift for the holiday season (drink responsibly folks!) whether it’s the pitorro (Puerto Rican moonshine) añejo or the coquito which is perfect for the holiday season, the lucky recipient will cherish this gift made right here in our beautiful borough.

According to PMD, pitorro is:

“Pitorro, the moonshine of Puerto Rico, has been produced since the 1600’s as its primary ingredient was sugar cane, a main product grown in Puerto Rico at the time. Although considered a rum, it is much stronger than a commercial rum surpassing the common alcohol of 80 or 90 proof. Since the major decline in sugar cane agriculture, Brown sugar & adding fruits to ferment has taken the place of molasses. With many family recipes throughout the Island, fermenting recipes change from family to family, the common practice in the production is ‘curing’ the distilled product by burying jugs of Pitorro in the ground. To give Pitorro distinct caribbean flavor, fruits such as coconut, pineapple, raisins, tamarind among other fruits are placed in the jugs in this process. 

Puerto Rican Moonshine is also known by names such as lagrimas del monte (mountain tears), lagrimas de mangle (mangroves tears) and Canita (sugar cane).”

Spas

My Wellness Solutions

Who would have ever thought that a Spa and wellness center would open up in the Melrose neighborhood of the South Bronx?  Not only is the business is by Bronxites but it is now a 5 year success story!  Located on 3rd Avenue and 156th Street, the center offers many services such as facials, massages, health coaching, skin care, and even acupuncture!  Check out their website and see all that they offer.

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That’s it for now…keep this list book marked as we will continue to add to it and keep it up to date!

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