Tag Archives: Princeton

How Froyo Saved Plainsboro: A Redberry Story

By Siddhi: 

When the often unpopulated downtown area of the place I grew up in was suddenly brimming with life on weeknights when before, noticeable crowds near the local coffee and cupcake joints would be a rarity even on weekends, I knew that the “next big thing” meant a lot more to my suburban New Jersey community than a dessert fad. When the froyo store Redberry opened in Plainsboro, the solution to the puzzling question of suburban spirit revealed itself in the vibrant swirls of frozen yogurt.

When people hangout in my district, they take their cars or hop on the local Dinky train service to Princeton. It’s only logical. A cozy movie theater that acts as the only pseudo “indie” screening center for miles, the most eclectic collection of restaurants that span across the full cultural spectrum, consignment shops, quirky arts and crafts stores, and of course, the sprawling lawns of Princeton University provide every hangout outlet a suburban teen could want. And when that wasn’t enough, we’d just use the good old NJ Transit and be in New York City within an hour.

I can’t even remember how many times I asked my mom when we’d move out of Plainsboro to a place where “more happened”. All I’d see on my bike rides were farms, fields, houses, and a few months later, farms and fields being replaced by more houses. It was an existence that I taught myself to loathe the older I grew.

Enter Redberry. Of course, right when I left Plainsboro for the city life I’d always dreamt of in New York.

It seems like an odd and gross exaggeration that a frozen yogurt store calmed my anxious suburban nerves. But on my weekends home, as I’d pass the place that’d been coined “Downtown Plainsboro” to create community that was foreign to my town, I was completely shocked to see throngs and throngs of people standing outside of Redberry. People from nearby, and people from all the way at the other end of the district. People from around the world who’d come to visit friends and family. Kids, teens, parents, grandparents, everyone.

I gave it a few months. Fads are fads, it would die down. But even a year later, whenever I go home and pass Redberry, I’m still amazed. People are communing, discussing, laughing, enjoying. Together. Even from a distance, it makes me smile that the place I grew up in has a meaning I always wish it did and has embraced community in what was perhaps an unintentional but nevertheless crucial move.

And even though I can only take my froyo in moderation, I can’t help but come to Redberry’s defense when people roll their eyes and say “oh not that again.” It gave a place that was on its knees begging for some life a critical infusion of spirit, and united a suburb that always prided itself on community yet escaped its own borders to find it.

To learn more about Redberry, you can visit their site here:

http://redberryfroyo.com

Princeton Ghost Tour- Intriguing Paranormal History

By Siddhi:  (Updated September 22, 2014)

Who?  Anyone in or near Princeton, New Jersey who is up for for a ghost tour in a town rich with centuries of paranormal activity.

What? The Princeton Cemetery and Ghost Tour offered by the Princeton Tour Company (PTC) that takes you through hundreds of years of supernatural and occult occurrences at both the University and beyond. The experience simply cannot be characterized as a mere tour. It is an interactive exploration that throws you into the heart of an eerily fascinating series of ghost stories that have defined Princeton’s past and continue to shape its present.

How? The Princeton Tour Company offers this specific tour on most saturdays at 8:30 at night. You can either register online at the PTC website or go to the Princeton U-Store (located at 114-116 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08540) and purchase your tour passes at the check-out desk. Make sure you arrive at the store at least 15 minutes before the tour begins, as the groups sometimes tend to be crowded depending on the time of the year. The ghost tour costs $20 a person, and is most definitely worth the investment for the enlightening and hair-raising adventure that awaits you.

Why? We live five minutes outside of Princeton, and I have been in the area for almost my entire life. I find myself in Princeton at least once a week to grab coffee or lunch and just roam around one of my favorite and most beautiful places of all time. So whenever I looked at the Princeton Tour Company brochure, I shrugged it off, convinced that paying someone to show me a town I already knew inside out would be a waste of both time and money. And the entire concept of a ghost tour seemed a bit contrived and hokey. But when we found ourselves bored on a summer evening, we decided to head into Princeton and give the experience a shot. After all, there’s nothing we could lose from at least a nice walk through the town on a beautiful day. My expectations going into the tour were low. And those instincts were proven wrong at every level an hour and a half later. From gruesome stories of historic villains like Antoine Le Blanc who sailed into the new world and bludgeoned to death an entire family of farmers before he was skinned and turned into leather wallets to maneuvering around a maze of graves in the Princeton Cemetery, the tour never lost momentum. And what was even more appealing about it was the interactivity. We were taken to a lawn in the center of the University campus and given EMF meters that detect electromagnetic activity and Dowsing Rods that also sense unusual energies to try “communicating” with the paranormal ourselves. It was a tremendously entertaining and simultaneously unnerving exploration. Few tours in today’s commercially dominated scene provide an experience that actually has the potential to reframe the way we think about what we see. But the Princeton Ghost Tour was one that did, providing for a fabulous night in a town we thought we knew inside out but discovered after the tour we had only scraped the surface of.

If you find yourself in Princeton, this tour truly is a must-do.

Find out more about the ghost tour and other Princeton Tour Company offerings here:

http://www.princetontourcompany.com/polCalendarEvent.cfm?Program_Code=94

Naked Pizza- A Guiltless Venture for the Taste Buds

Naked Pizza Crust Menu
(http://nakedpizza.biz/)

By Siddhi: 

Since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in the beginning of the year, the search for gluten-free pizza that tastes and feels like the real deal as opposed to just a bland attempt at reproducing its wheat based counterparts has been a tough quest. Throughout spring semester of college in New York, I searched for a pizza experience that would make me forget that I had a gluten allergy because the food so authentic. I ended up eating at a handful of Italian restaurants that had a Celiac-friendly menu. But it was only when I got back home to Princeton to that I discovered that a franchise that had recently exploded on the health food scene made my gluten-free pizza experience worth every penny.

Founded in New Orleans, Naked Pizza now has 450 locations and markets itself on four key health benefits: digestive health, bone health, weight management, and glycemic response. There are no preservatives or additives in any of the food and the doughs made of over ten different grains capitalize on the nutrient value of the multigrain approach. Every pizza has prebiotics and heat-immune probiotics and promise a high-protein and low-fat alternative to the other pizzas on the commercial food market. Basically, all the scientific terminology aside, it’s the healthiest your pizza can get when you’re not making it at home.

You can choose your pie in one of three sizes (10 inch, 12 inch, or 14 inch) and one of three crust types (the original Ancestral blend made of ten grains with tomato and mozzarella, the skinny version of the Ancestral blend, and the gluten-free crust). Once you’ve chosen your base, you can choose your toppings, including a delicious set of farmers market fresh tasting vegetables. There are also several menu choices pre-customized with toppings that you can decide from. The “cheesy breadsixx” side isn’t gluten-free, but the spinach salad is of course a safe option and rings with the flavor of blush wine vinaigrette and incredible bell peppers.

I am fairly health conscious, and Naked has been one of the only pizza manufacturers to date that doesn’t give me the post-meal feeling of carrying a ton of lead around in my stomach. In fact, even after scarfing down half a pie of Naked, I feel totally refreshed and can go for a long bike ride without feeling any the unpleasant after effects of oil or cheese weighing me down.

Eating pizza tends to be a universally glorious experience when you’re really, really craving it. In a society with an ever-escalating emphasis on eating right, it’s truly a gift to be able to take the guilt out of eating pizza and enjoy it as a healthy meal rather than an indulgence.

To learn more about Naked Pizza and find a franchise near you, visit their site here:

www.nakedpizza.biz