UPPER MANHATTAN — The holiday season is upon us, and Uptown is ready to celebrate. Whether you want to find the perfect present, light the Christmas tree or Menorah, or experience a holiday classic, there are plenty of festivities to keep you busy this weekend:
Saturday, December 6
► Get a jump on your holiday shopping at Bread and Yoga’s annual Om Grown Holiday Market. The two-weekend event, which features handmade gifts and treats from local vendors and artists, kicks off on Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. at the studio’s 212th Street location. This year will feature Uptown-inspired T-shirts by 83 Mark Collective, gift baskets from Inwood Gourmet and jewelry by Bonnie B. This Saturday, photographer Emmanuel Abreu will also be on hand to take holiday portraits. He will donate all proceeds from the sales of the pictures to Word Up Community Bookshop.
► Celebrate the history of Manhattan and the Dominican Republic with a performance of “I Am New York: Juan Rodriguez.” This teen-friendly play incorporates music, dance and interactive theater to tell the story of Juan Rodriguez, New York City’s first immigrant. Rodriguez arrived in Manhattan in 1613 from Hispaniola, the island that is now divided into the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The performance begins at 6 p.m. and the Inwood Library at 4790 Broadway. While the show is geared toward teens, it is appropriate for younger children as well.
► Uptown’s burgeoning jazz community will be showcased at a new monthly event at Word Up Book Store. Saturday Night Jazz sessions will be led by house band The Ruben Steijn Trio. After their first set, other musicians are welcome to join them on stage. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the store’s 2113 Amsterdam Ave. location.
Sunday, December 7
► Check out some of Uptown’s youngest artists at a show celebrating the Scribble Art Workshop. The exhibit will include paintings, drawing and sculptures by artists ages three months and up. The show, “About Time: Moments and Milestones,” presents pieces that explore how people of different ages relate to time. Admission to the show is free, and the sale of all pieces will go toward scholarships that allow Uptown children to participate in Scribble Art’s programs for free. The event takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. at the American Academy of Arts and Letters at 155th Street and Broadway.
► Get into the holiday spirit at the RING’s holiday party. Cocoa and pastries will be served at the community garden while the Christmas tree is lit and a new Menorah is presented. Visitors should bring a flashlight so they can sing along with the song sheets that will be provided. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. at the RING garden at Riverside Drive and Broadway.
► The Hip Hop Nutcracker, the much-anticipated show produced by the United Palace of the Cultural Arts, will make its Uptown debut on Sunday at 6 p.m. The show, which will feature guest Kurtis Blow, is an update on the classic tale that mixes Tchaikovsky’s score with hip-hop choreography. Tickets range from $10 to $100. The show will be held at the United Palace Theatre at 4140 Broadway.