November 9, 2018

ON THE MOVE: “I wanted to leave a legacy for Dad and my family, and this was the right time to make the move. We have the construction project going on at our Spring Street building, and we found this great Alexander Road location.” Robbie Nelson (center), owner of Nelson Glass & Aluminum and daughter of its founder, the late Bob Nelson, is shown with officer manager Joanne McGettigan (left) and longtime former office manager Alice Kent (right).

Your son just threw a baseball through the window; the wind blew the patio table over, and broke the glass top; the king-size mirror fell off the wall — who to call?

Nelson Glass, of course! Since 1949, this has been the place to go, whether for an emergency, a quick fix, or a long-range project.

Nelson Glass & Aluminum is unique in Princeton today. An independent, family-owned and operated business that continues to provide Princeton and the area with knowledgeable, friendly service and quality products. It has a proud history.

In 1949, Bob Nelson returned to his Princeton hometown with an engineering degree from Cornell and a goal of establishing his own business. It didn’t take long to discover that Princeton lacked a glass company, and he set out to fill that need.

Full-Service
After learning the ropes of the glass industry, he set up shop at a Nassau Street location. And, the rest, as they say, is history!

“In those days, the bulk of the business was cutting flat automobile glass,” explains Robbie Nelson, Bob Nelson’s daughter, and the firm’s current owner. “The store evolved into repair — especially broken windows. Dad saw a need, and he was always concerned with being a full-service glass company.”

After 10 years on Nassau Street, the firm moved to 45 Spring Street, where it has remained ever since. It continued to grow and evolve, beginning to provide aluminum storm doors and windows, then mirror work, shower doors, insulated glass, sliding patio doors, and table tops. Work began to be divided between commercial and residential projects.

Nelson Glass has always been known for its attention to detail and painstaking care for each project. As always, the company still does things by hand. The expert staff will custom-cut all mirrors, and make perfectly-fitting glass table tops. They also replace defective (foggy) double-paned insulated glass.

“The big thing now is doubled-paned insulated glass,” says Robbie Nelson. “It can get moisture between the panes though, and then needs to be replaced. Probably our most common job is replacing defective insulated glass.”

That is just one of the many services the company provides. Glass for picture frames, Plexiglas and safety glass, repair of leaded windows, application of solar film to windows to help prevent fading of interior items — the list goes on and on. Fixing rotted wood window frames is another service.

Showroom Display
“People often come in and bring a broken storm window,” points out Nelson, “and then they’ll see the showroom display and find something else they want. Maybe they need a new storm door, for example, or a new glass table top.

“When they come in, they can meet the staff. And we do the work here. We create the new storm door for you or make the repairs right here. Then, if there is ever a problem later, the customer can come back and see us. We will be here. We always stand by our work. Our reputation means everything. We always take pride in doing a good job.”

Now, Nelson Glass is embarking on a new adventure. After nearly 60 years on Spring Street, the firm has moved to a new location at 741 Alexander Road, Suite 7/8.

Changing times bring changing needs, and Nelson Glass has always adapted to new markets and directions.

“We started when Princeton was a village,” remarks Nelson, “Spring Street was a good location in the heart of town. But as times have changed, and Princeton has grown, we need more space and more parking.

“The Alexander Road location is just right. We needed a level loading dock, and it offers more space. We’ll go from 3,500 square to 5,000 square feet. It’s still a Princeton address, and there is lots of free parking.

Excellent Staff
“We’re looking forward to having more room in the shop and in the showroom. I’m also happy to have a bigger office. We will also be adding more staff. Finding the right staff has always been very important to us, and we have always been fortunate to have an excellent staff at Nelson.

“We have a new office manager, Joanne McGettigan, who has 15 years’ experience in the glass industry. She has the same talent for customer service that our longtime office manager Alice Kent has. Customers will be pleased to know that although Alice is semi-retired, she will be on hand at least three days a week in our new location.”

The timing of the move coincides with a building project at the Spring Street location. In the works for two years, the plan includes the addition of six stacked terraced apartments atop the original building. These rental units will include one single-bedroom, three two-bedroom, and two three-bedroom apartments. One affordable unit will be available.

Designed by Princeton architect Joshua Zinder of JZA+D, the project allows for 2,000 square feet of commercial space on the existing first level. The apartments will feature outdoor glass balcony railings, and after completion, the structure will be known as the Nelson Glass House.
“We need more housing in downtown Princeton,” says Nelson, who also owns the house next door at 47 Spring Street, currently divided into two apartments. “With the new addition and the house next door, we feel we are keeping the area as a neighborhood.

“I wanted to do something my dad would be proud of,” she continues. “I wanted to leave a legacy for him and the family. It’s all about family.”

Loyal Customers
Nelson Glass has had many loyal customers over the past decades, and continues to add new clients from all over the area.

“We want them all to come and see us at the new location, where we will continue to service all their glass needs,” says Nelson. “They can count on us for the cutting and installation. We are a true service operation. We do it all, and we will also help to guide those who want to do it themselves. But for the things that are too big, such as long mirrors or big pieces of glass, they can rely on us.

“Every day is different, with different challenges. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience. We can handle any project — from little jobs to big jobs, whatever the customer needs.”

While looking forward to this new adventure in the annals of Nelson Glass history, Robbie Nelson admits to mixed feelings about leaving Spring Street.

“The move is bittersweet. I will certainly miss coming here. It’s been a big part of my life. I love Princeton, and I’ll miss the downtown very much. But we will not be far away at all. It’s still a Princeton address, and we can’t wait to welcome all our customers to our new home.”
Nelson Glass & Aluminum hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (609) 924-2880. Website: www.nelsonglassprinceton.com.

November 7, 2018

DINNER IS SERVED: “I want people to come and experience classic/modern French cuisine; the French way of cooking.” Assi Li Ponte, chef/owner of Bonne Assiette in Pennington, is shown with a sampling of his culinary creations: Filet Mignon, served with potato dauphinois, sauteed asparagus, and béarnaise sauce; Salmon with orange glaze, baby carrots, Nicoise olives, heirloom tomatoes, saba wine reduction, and pistou oil; Diver Scallops, served on a faro and corn confit, topped with orange beurre blanc and micro greens; and Mustard Chicken served with new potato fondant, baby carrots, and haricot verts with brandy mustard sauce.

By Jean Stratton

Dining out at Bonne Assiette in Pennington is not only a pleasure for the palate, it is a splendid experience on many levels. The welcoming atmosphere, attractive decor with French motif, and attentive service all combine to create a lunch or dinner to remember.

As chef/owner Assi Li Ponte says, “I want the people who come here to have a really good time. A great gastronomic experience! This is the hospitality business. You have to be hospitable. And everyone who comes here is treated like a guest.” more

October 24, 2018

CREATIVE DESIGN: “I look forward to sharing my designs with the customers. I believe my designs are a way to connect with people.” Alka Mattoo, designer and founder of Orvana London, the new women’s boutique on Chambers Street, is shown wearing her own designs: a handwoven kimono-inspired caftan and handwoven shawl of yak and sheep-blended wool.

By Jean Stratton

Versatility. Wearability. Sustainability!

These images all describe the special selection at Orvana London, the new women’s boutique at 12 Chambers Street.

Just opened the end of September, it is already attracting scores of customers who appreciate the unique styles and quality handwoven fabrics that are Orvana London’s specialty. more

October 17, 2018

HELPING HANDS: “I am very excited about bringing affordable home ownership to families in Princeton and helping the town meet its affordable housing requirements,” says Annie Fox, development director of the Habitat for Humanity Burlington County & Greater Trenton-Princeton affiliate. Pictured here is the affiliate’s senior management team. From left are Ashley Griffins, director of Family and Volunteer Services; Annie Fox; Lori Leonard, CEO; Tristan Keyser, ReStore director; David Cummings, construction director; and John Garton, chief financial officer.

By Jean Stratton

The first houses were built in Princeton during 1995 and 1996. There are now four houses in the community, with one on Lytle Street, one on Birch Avenue, and two on Leigh Avenue. Two more are scheduled for construction on Lytle after the first of the year.

What all of these residences have in common is that they are part of the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity program, which helps people of low and moderate income own their own home. more

October 10, 2018

Hands-On: “My practice is different because I work one-on-one with the patient for an hour. I am focused on the patient’s goal, and we work together to achieve it.” Gianna Bigliani, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, founder and owner of Fluid Physio, is shown in the patient area where she provides individual treatments for each person.

By Jean Stratton

“I  wanted to spend all my time with one patient at each therapy session.”

Explaining why she decided to open her own physical therapy practice, Dr. Gianna Bigliani, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, owner and founder of Fluid Physio, points out the difference in her practice.

“The first thing you need to know about Fluid Physio is that we can help you much more quickly than what you expect. We are different than any other physical therapy practice because of our approach: a full hour of one-on-one specialized manual therapy treatment that will return you to pain-free optimal performance and function much faster than others.” more

September 26, 2018


PLANT-BASED SPECIALTIES: “We felt so much better after we began our plant-based diet that we wanted to share what we had discovered and experienced. We wanted to provide healthier food for others.” Francesca Avitto (left) and Kate Wnek are chef-owners of Lady and the Shallot, the popular new lunch eatery in the Trenton Farmers Market.

By Jean Stratton

It is not named for the famous poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson!

As the owners are quick to explain, it is a fun name for a new lunch eatery focusing on a healthy plant-based cuisine.

“We have tried to make healthy food into fun food,” point out Francesca Avitto and Kate Wnek, chef-owners of Lady and the Shallot.

Located in the Trenton Farmers Market at 960 Spruce Street in Lawrence Township, it opened in May to rave reviews, which have continued as increasing numbers of customers enjoy the variety of tasty lunch-time dishes. more

August 29, 2018

HORSE HAVEN: “I learned to ride at Hasty Acres when I was a girl, and I rode Corky,” says Natalie Pontillo (right) owner of Hasty Acres Riding Club. “Corky, a chestnut quarter horse, is now 42 years old and retired. The kids can still groom him, however, and he will always have a home here.” Georgia Elek, Hasty Acres assistant manager, is also shown with Corky.

By Jean Stratton

Hasty Acres has been a special place for horseback riders of all levels for more than 50 years. Located at 121 Laurel Avenue in Kingston, it offers English-style riding instruction as well as the opportunity to learn about equine care.

Longtime rider and award-winning expert horsewoman Natalie Pontillo purchased Hasty Acres three years ago.

“I like being outside and active, and these horses are important to me,” she explains. “I not only learned to ride at Hasty Acres, but I also worked here. I love working with the kids and seeing them develop. It is so beneficial to them. They learn to ride and also to care for the horses, brushing and currying them.” more

August 1, 2018

FAMILY TRADITION: “I wanted to be part of the family’s legacy and the company’s legacy. It means everything. I am so proud to be here and to be able to learn from my grandfather and father, and the best people in the industry.” Andrew Siegel (right), shown with his grandfather Martin Siegel (center) and father Hank Siegel, represents the fourth generation of the Siegel family to be part of Hamilton Jewelers’ operation.

By Jean Stratton

Hamilton Jewelers is a Princeton treasure. A longtime Princeton establishment, it opened its doors here in 1986. Its history extends well beyond that date, however.

Founded in 1912 in Trenton, it was purchased by Irving Siegel in 1927. He laid the foundation on which his son Martin, and later his grandson Hank, built the thriving business that Hamilton has become today.

Irving Siegel’s commitment to excellence continued when Irving’s son Martin joined his father in 1955, bringing his own insight and business skill to broaden the merchandise assortment and open additional locations in the market. more

July 25, 2018

LOTS OF LAVENDER: “We are very encouraged, sales are four times what they were our first year. We love to sell the lavender, and see how much people enjoy it.” Brad and Beth Smith, owners of Princeton Lavender on 3741 Lawrenceville Road, are shown by an assortment of lavender plants.

By Jean Stratton

It’s not only in the gardens of Provence or the fields of the English countryside. Lavender flourishes right here in New Jersey. Its fragrant aroma, so appealing, is a favorite, not only in its natural, fresh form, but also in soaps, lotions, and in numerous dried products.

Princeton Lavender at 3741 Lawrenceville Road opened in 2016. Owners Brad and Beth Smith purchased the eight-and-a-half-acre property, previously a horse farm, three years ago. more

June 20, 2018

NATURAL WELL-BEING : “There is nothing like our wellness center in the area, with all the elements we include. Our clients like the whole range of services we offer.” Owner Silvia Fedorcikova (center) of 4 Elements Wellness in the Princeton Shopping Center is shown with staff members Kate Raynor (left) and Christine Flanagan.

By Jean Stratton

Earth, air, fire, and water! These elements are in full force at 4 Elements Wellness in the Princeton Shopping Center. This new wellness center offers an array of holistic therapeutic treatments.

“This is something I have a passion for,” explains owner Silvia Fedorcikova. “I love holistic and natural therapy. I had done research about innovative treatments, including cryotherapy, and I also learned about the upcoming industry in flotation. more

FASHION FORWARD: NIC+ZOE, the women’s boutique on Palmer Square, offers up-to-date, fun, and comfortable fashion, explains Cynthia Saffi, director of marketing. “Our clothing is made to flatter the female form. It moves with you, and it can take you from one activity to the next, from day to night.” Shown from left are store manager Sara Brosious, Cynthia Saffi, and assistant manager Jacque Keck.

By Jean Stratton

Fashion is fun at NIC+ZOE, the women’s shop at 73 Palmer Square West. Opened in November, it is one of eight stores owned by Dorian Lightbown, creative officer and designer.

Headquartered in Massachussetts, the first store was opened in 2015, after Lightbown saw a need to update and creatively coordinate women’s wardrobes. Previously, she had established a thriving online operation. Her idea was so successful that plans to launch more stores, which are named for Nicholas and Zoe, Lightbown’s children, quickly materialized. more

June 6, 2018

One-OF-A-Kind: “Village Silver has a long-standing reputation in the community. People know we have the finest one-of-a-kind merchandise that is truly unique. In addition, we offer the most attentive and helpful customer service.” Valerie White, manager of Village Silver on Witherspoon Street, is shown by a display of the store’s selection of sterling silver.

By Jean Stratton

“We have one of the largest selections of handcrafted sterling silver on the East Coast, and we have survived in the Princeton downtown for 42 years! This has been such a good location with lots of traffic and activity.”

Maria Laraia, owner of Village Silver at 39 Witherspoon Street, is justly proud of her store’s longevity. A mainstay on the Princeton shopping scene, it is known for its outstanding sterling silver and its array of jewelry created by the finest artisans. more

May 23, 2018

CREATIVE CRAFTS: “We focus on functional crafts. Almost all the items are handmade in the U.S. and are specially chosen.” Phyllis Castells, owner of Heart of the Home in New Hope, Pa., for the past 24 years, is shown beside a display of the renowned Campbell Pottery, especially admired for its beautiful shades of blue.

By Jean Stratton

Heart of the Home is filled to the brim with special touches that are a splendid treat for customers. House gifts, wedding gifts, or a special something for yourself are all on hand in a charming setting.

The shop is located at 28 East Main Street in a historic building, notes owner Phyllis Castells. “This is the oldest wood frame house in New Hope, and dates back to between 1760 to 1810. It is the New Hope Flood House, originally built by Dr. Flood. His descendants, many of whom were also physicians, lived in the house over many years.” more

TRIED AND TRUE: “You try to please your audience. We offer a little bit of everything: furniture, glassware, china, silver, jewelry, linens, and more.” Mahbubeh Stave, owner of Mahbubeh’s Antiques in Hopewell, is shown beside a table setting with vintage glassware and dishes in a springtime display.

By Jean Stratton

For those who appreciate something different, an item with a story to tell, a history, and something with quality craftsmanship and taste, Mahbubeh’s Antiques in Hopewell offers an intriguing selection. Antiques, collectibles, and vintage pieces are all on display in a welcoming, uncrowded setting.

“I enjoy the presentation,” explains owner Mahbubeh Stave. “I do all the displays myself. I don’t want the store to be too crowded, and I want customers to have a nice space to walk around and be able to look at everything.” more

May 16, 2018

NONNA AND HER “LEMMINGS”: “The Nassau Swim Club has a very attractive environment in the woods. It is very family-oriented, and there are activities all the time.” Chiara Nappi (“Nonna”), treasurer of the Nassau Swim Club, is shown with her granddaughters Nava Brenner-Witten (left) and Liliana Brenner-Witten. Both are swimmers (“lemmings”) at the club.

By Jean Stratton

Nassau Swim Club has been welcoming swimmers of all ages for 50 years. Nestled in the woods near the Institute for Advanced Study, at the tip end of Springdale Road, it is a hidden gem!

“We offer a safe and bucolic environment and constant contact with nature,” says Dr. Chiara Nappi, treasurer of the club. “In addition to the swimming, we have nature walks to the Institute and the Princeton Battlefield. We take advantage of our proximity to these places.” more

May 9, 2018

GARDENING GUIDELINES: “I’ve enjoyed meeting all the people in the Master Gardeners Program, and I have made many friends. They are wonderful people, and It has been a pleasure to help people who have questions about their gardens.” Barbara J. Bromley, Mercer County horticulturist and Rutgers Master Gardener advisor, is shown admiring an oak leaf hydrangea bush.

By Jean Stratton

How does your garden grow?

Now that we have finally stopped shoveling the snow, many of us are looking ahead to getting the garden ready and dipping into spring planting.

For best results, proper soil preparation is crucial, and for those making their gardening debut, a bit of horticultural research will be very beneficial. more

FINANCIAL SERVICES: “Our goal is to help people improve their financial situation. We focus on financial inclusion and help people at all financial levels and means.” Sam Paulicelli, CE0 (left) and Kyle Jaremko, marketing manager of Princeton Federal Credit Union, are shown outside of the new branch office at 774 Alexander Road.

By Jean Stratton

Not everyone may know the benefits and services a credit union can provide. It is like — yet different from — a bank. Indeed, not every financial institution is the same.

For example, take a look at Princeton Federal Credit Union. It has a long history of financial excellence, and it is unique in several areas, notes CEO Sam Paulicelli. more

May 2, 2018

FLOORS AND MORE: “White and gray are favored in cabinet colors today, and also blueberry has become very popular. It has a warm, traditional look.” Christina Hughes (left), operations manager of Regent Flooring Kitchen & Bath and Kelli Long, kitchen and bath designer are shown in front of a handsome blueberry cabinet and with polished granite countertops in Regent’s spacious new showroom.

By Jean Stratton

Once upon a time, independently-owned family businesses were prominently present on the retail landscape. Unfortunately, that is no longer the norm, and it makes Regent Flooring Kitchen & Bath all the more special. It is a tribute to the outstanding reputation, knowledge, and skill of this company that it is one of a selected number of such businesses still going strong, and in addition, is now celebrating its 55th anniversary. more

April 25, 2018

ECLECTIC ENTERTAINMENT: “It’s not enough to give people a cultural experience, you need to give them a place where they want to be. People are eager to have that experience, to come together, and meet others.” Sara Scully, executive director of Hopewell Theater, is shown in the first floor of the newly renovated theater.

By Jean Stratton

The curtain has gone up once again at the Hopewell Theater. Newly renovated, it reopened last September, and offers a revised eclectic entertainment format, including live music, first-run independent films, multi-media events, talks with performers, and dine-in opportunities.

Located at 5 South Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell, the theater has a long and varied history, dating to 1880. Originally known as Columbia Hall, it served as a community center with a lyceum-style theater, and hosted lectures, performers, and films on its second floor until 1939. The first floor was used for community groups, the fire department, and Borough Council meetings. more

April 4, 2018

NIGHT LIGHTS: “Photography has a universal way of connecting people. Photography opens up your world,” believe Alan Kesselhaut and Barbara Cuneo, owners of Princeton Photo Workshop. They are shown in a night shot at Sydney Harbor in Australia. (Photo by Alex Kesselaar)

By Jean Stratton

“Everyone may have a camera, but not everyone knows how to see,” explains Alan Kesselhaut. “A famous photographer once said, ‘The pictures are out there. We have to learn how to see them.’”

Adds Barbara Cuneo, “A good photographer has to notice.”

They should know!

Owners of Princeton Photo Workshop, Kesselhaut and Cuneo opened their firm in 2013, after a successful career in the construction business. more

PLEASING THE PALATE: “We wanted to offer the best food at affordable prices. We specialize in unique grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade soups, all with our original recipes, developed over the years.” Nadir Gillani (left) and Karim “Mike” Sopariwalla, owners of the Eatery@Princeton, look forward to welcoming customers to their new restaurant.

By Jean Stratton

Nothing tastes better on a cold day than homemade soup and a tasty grilled cheese sandwich.

Now, a new restaurant in town provides both, and a lot more too!

Eatery@Princeton opened in January at 180 Nassau Street, the former location of Cox’s Market, that long-time Princeton mainstay. more

March 28, 2018

SMALL BITES, BIG SMILES: “I thought Princeton would be a great opportunity for a Greek restaurant. There’s nothing like us here, and I’m so encouraged. Business is great, and people love what we’re doing.” Tony Kanterakis, owner of Local Greek, is shown in his new restaurant on Leigh Avenue.

By Jean Stratton

Local Greek, the new restaurant at 44 Leigh Avenue, is off to a great start. Customers are lining up to try the special Greek dishes, and they are coming in all day and into the evening.

“Breakfast is very popular. In fact, it’s actually even busier than dinner right now,” says owner Tony Kanterakis. “People love the Greek-style breakfast, especially the free range eggs in the pan, we serve every day.” more

COMPASSIONATE CARE: “I feel I am able to be there when people need you the most. It is important for someone to be there for them at this difficult time. A compassionate nature is a must for a funeral director.” Christopher Merlino, funeral director of Hopewell Memorial Home, is shown in the chapel of the newly renovated facility.

By Jean Stratton 

It is no doubt the most difficult time for most people. Making the arrangements for a loved one’s burial or cremation and all the accompanying details is an emotionally stressful experience.

Being able to rely on compassionate support and knowledgeable assistance can help to ease what is often an unbearable situation. more

February 28, 2018

BEST BARBECUE: “Barbecue is so popular because it tastes good — it’s true American cooking. When it’s done the right way, slow-cooked with hard wood logs, it tenderizes, flavors, and adds a unique property you can’t get anywhere else.” “Smoke Chef Jeff” McKay (center), owner of Hambone Opera in the Trenton Farmers Market, is shown with staff members Amber Tomlinson (left) and Christine Brennan.

By Jean Stratton

“It tastes great, it smells great, and it’s fun to eat!”

This observation was recently made by a young visitor to Hambone Opera at 960 Spruce Street in the Trenton Farmers Market.

Opened in 2013, it has become a favorite of barbecue fans all over the area.

“People come in and tell me there’s no barbecue like mine,” reports owner “Smoke Chef Jeff” McKay. “It’s my ingredients. I use nothing but cherry wood logs in an offset fire box. Slow cooking is the key. more

February 7, 2018

By Jean Stratton

The opportunity to look one’s best at any age is becoming increasingly available. Today, there is no need to go “undercover” or “retire into the shadows” at a “certain age” when so many facial treatments offer very positive rejuvenating results. Whether one opts for a minimum “nip and tuck,” a full makeover lift, or one of the non-invasive treatments, a new look is waiting for you! more