January 11, 2012

To the Editor:

Let us think about the Princeton that might have been had the partisans of expansion of the Battlefield Park prevailed almost two hundred years ago.

In 1825 the Marquis de Lafayette returned to America on the fiftieth anniversary of the Revolution. There were giant celebrations everywhere the old warrior went, and a tremendous upwelling of pride in the battles which gave us our freedom. Most of Lafayette’s comrades in arms were gone or in fragile condition, but they, with he, were honored for their achievement.

Imagine if the good people of Princeton, swept up by these emotions, had raised a subscription to purchase the considerable open lands over which the battle had ranged, and had created a grand memorial park to honor those who had helped to make it possible for them, and us, to live in liberty. What we would now have would not be Princeton as we know it, but a Gettysburg, looking backwards to a great moment a quarter of a millennium ago, and thriving on tourist dollars.

What we would not have would be much of the Seminary and the residential neighborhoods of the westerly part of town, the Graduate College, McCarter, much of Princeton University’s undergraduate campus and parts of the Central Business District.

We would have no Institute expansion problem, because we’d have no Institute. And we wouldn’t have a dinky/Arts District problem, because we’d have no campus there and no dinky. (No railroad tracks over sacred ground!)

The emotional demand for greater and greater honoring of the dead and their legacy can of course divert resources from the living and the future of a community. Princeton could be Gettysburg now had things played out differently. Is that what we would wish?

We do the patriots of 1777 an injustice to believe that that is what they fought for. They fought for a better future for their families and their people. Let us honor them by continuing to build a community which is a light to the world, with great and thriving institutions such as the University, the Seminary and the Institute.

Peter Bienstock
Stockton Street

To the Editor:

I write concerning the tempest that has arisen over the modest and thoughtful plans of the Institute for Advanced Study to provide additional housing for its faculty on its own grounds.

Princeton’s worldwide fame and distinction, and the justifiable pride of its residents in the pleasures and advantages of its cultural and intellectual life, rest in no small measure on the presence and well-being of its greatest institutions: the University and the Institute for Advanced Study. All who care for the future of our town will wish to encourage their vitality and applaud their mission to advance knowledge and learning. The Institute’s plan to enhance opportunities for its scholars to work and live together will benefit the entire community, even while carefully preserving the traditional setting of our beloved battlefield.

Respect for our hallowed landmarks is a requirement of good citizenship. But to constantly expand their perimeter by declaring each blade of nearby grass to be an historic shrine undermines serious and balanced efforts to honor our heritage, and thus weakens the cause of preservation itself. I hope that the Institute’s housing plan will be approved.

Dr. Allen H. Kassof
Mercer Road

To the Editor:

Last week marked the 235th Anniversary of the Battle of Princeton, a seminal event in world history. With the Continental Congress running out of money, commissions of many soldiers also were running out on December 31, 1776. To try to keep his army together, General Washington gave an extra $10 pay to those who would stay a few more weeks beyond the end of their commissions. On January 2, 1777 General Cornwallis and his large professional army arrived in Trenton. That night, leaving bonfires and a small group to make noise, Washington managed to move his army out of Trenton, marching all night in freezing temperatures, reaching Princeton via a circuitous route. He marched his army of about 5,500 soldiers up the unguarded Saw Mill Road as dawn was breaking, hoping to initiate a surprise attack against the Princeton Garrison of about 1,500. In the first phase of the Battle, General Mercer and his brigade were defeated and General Mercer was repeatedly bayoneted and then carried to the Thomas Clarke House, where he died over a week later.

While much work remains to map the exact location of the now lost Saw Mill Road, all scholars who have carefully studied the Battle of Princeton have nonetheless concluded that Washington’s winning counterattack took place on the property just to the east of what is now Princeton Battlefield State Park. This has been established by mapping the original accounts of soldiers who fought in the battle, and has been confirmed overwhelmingly by archaeological evidence.

Today, without walking the sloping topography of the battlefield and understanding the dynamics of the counterattack, you cannot appreciate what happened on January 3, 1777. When, if the Continental Army had not prevailed, the American Revolution almost certainly would have been lost, and George Washington would have been hunted down and hanged. Just as the Battle of Normandy cannot be understood without seeing the topography of Normandy Beach, this pivotal moment in history can’t be memorialized by a sign or a monument, but must be experienced by walking the battlefield. Saving the property where the counterattack occurred is not a matter of whether an organization might be a good neighbor. It is a question of meeting the requirements of Princeton’s Master Plan to preserve the town’s vital historic resources for the best and highest use. If the Institute for Advance Study were to be a willing seller, funds almost certainly could be obtained to purchase the property and put it into the public domain.

What is the alternative for the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), whose faculty, we are told, just cannot afford to live in the neighborhood immediately around the IAS. There are several, but one that I find compelling is the establishment of a mortgage subsidy program, similar to that of Princeton University’s, which would allow faculty to choose the neighborhood and home of their choice, and enjoy the benefits of gaining equity in their homes. I invite faculty with or without a subsidy to check out my own wonderful neighborhood, only about six minutes from the IAS campus.

Dan Thompson
Member, Princeton Battlefield Society, 
Dempsey Avenue

To the Editor:

We have both lived in or been associated with the town of Princeton since the late 1950’s and have benefitted from the town’s many significant intellectual attractions, principally, of course, Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Our friends and acquaintances and those of our children have all been a part of this fabric, or been positively influenced by proximity to these two world class institutions. Our lives have been enriched.

We write to weigh in on the discussion surrounding the proposed IAS housing and the use of a portion of their land that was, coincidentally, a part of the Revolutionary War Battle of Princeton. We all know that this battle ranged from the famous Christmas crossing of the Delaware river, the engagement in Trenton, and the continuing march across the fields and streams to fight with a British force on the Thomas Clark farm in Princeton. Cannon balls were found lodged in the walls of Nassau Hall, a short distance from the battlefield.

We also remember and honor the IAS for giving up the development rights to the woodlands now known as the Institute Woods and to agree to sell that enormous parcel to a conservation group assembled in the 1970s under the leadership of Frank Taplin together with other town residents. Negotiations at that time specifically set aside land for the further use and expansion of the Institute. Any attempt to renegotiate that understanding seems to us inappropriate. The IAS has already done more than its share to preserve open space, including helping to preserve an important part of the battlefield. The town Planning Board should grant whatever permissions are required as soon as possible to allow the IAS to move forward with its planned limited development project.

Michael and Cecilia Mathews
Bedens Brook Road

To the Editor:

I attended two previous Planning Board meetings at which the Institute’s real estate development on the site of a critical point in the Battle of Princeton was challenged. As a Princeton Battlefield Society trustee I cannot question the good neighbor position held by residents near the Institute. Nor can I question the tree line defense, its required design for housing, or the road’s width on the site. What I must question is: What does this defense have to do with the historical significance and proposed desecration of the property in question?

I have other questions, such as what happened to the due diligence of the Historic Commission in researching and studying the issues raised by the society? Did the commission read and consider the APBB study? With all property owned by the Institute, why must this real estate development take place on this historic site? What consideration was given by the IAS board and administration to the implications of this real estate development on land critically important to American history and heritage? This was one of the reasons for the APBB study, which confirmed the Society’s position and was subsequently confirmed by noted historian, Dr. James McPherson.

I am not against the Institute. I am against its real estate development of this property. When a faculty member has to acquire land rights from the IAS and to build a required house design at his or her own expense, it can only be considered real estate development. A vote must come down to real estate development versus heritage. Not surprisingly, I would vote for heritage.

Bill Marsch
Old Georgetown Road

TT Menna Amen Chelsea Newton Chelsea Pierre

Menna: “Family gathering together as a community for good causes.”
Chelsea Newton: “A place where families can go to come together.”
Chelsea Pierre: “Strengthening individuals, empowerment, being together trying to help each other reach the top.”
—Menna Amen (left to right), Chelsea Newton, and Chelsea Pierre, Princeton

TT Judy Hutton

“An awesome organization living the mission of eliminating racism and empowering woman.”
—Judy Hutton, Bordentown

TT Ida Belle Dixon

 “Communication for the community, bringing people together. It is a place to train our young people in a lot of different activities: camps, art, swimming, dance. It is a great help for the young and the older people of our community.”
—Ida Belle Dixon, Princeton

TT Kara Sophia Boone

“It is a great place for dance lessons and socialization.”
—Kara Boone with daughter Sophia, Lawrenceville

TT Dale Spruill-Redding

“Security and family environment. I have worked here for 26 years. I started here when my child was a few months old in the day care. She then took swimming, gymnastic, and dance classes.”
—Dale Spruill-Redding, Princeton

TT Todd Brady Andrea Darling

Todd: “We moved here seven years ago and the newcomers group was instrumental to our social network that exists today.”
Andrea: “The YWCA is a place where you get to meet people, learn new things, and experience what this community has to offer.”
—Todd Brady and Andrea Darling, Skillman

January 9, 2012

The Mercer Street Friends Food Bank received a year-end corporate gift of $75,000 from Princeton-based corporation Church & Dwight Co., as well as a $10,000 grant from the company’s Employee Giving Fund for its healthy eating programs.

“We are truly overwhelmed and so very grateful that Church & Dwight and its employees have chosen to support our work to end hunger with such largesse and generosity of heart,” said Food Bank Director Phyllis Stoolmacher, “These dollars will help to ensure that we have the food and the nutrition programs to help children, the elderly, the unemployed, the working poor, and families in crisis to weather these difficult economic times.”

The Mercer Street Friends Food Bank is the largest source of government and privately donated food for hunger relief programs in Mercer County. In 2011, Mercer Street Friends supplied three million pounds of food and groceries and nutrition-related resources to a network of 60 food panties, soup kitchens, shelters and meal programs, and helped to feed over 25,000 children and adults facing food hardships.

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. manufactures and markets a wide range of personal care, household and specialty products under the Arm & Hammer brand name and other well-known trademarks.

The Church & Dwight Employee Giving Fund is a workplace giving fund which was established in 2005 to meet the desires of Church & Dwight employees to financially assist those that are less fortunate and to actively support and participate in the good works of not-for-profit organizations dedicated to that end.

“Church & Dwight has a deep commitment to supporting charitable organizations where their employees live and work and we are most fortunate to be among the charities they support. We thank them and their employees for their extraordinary confidence in our work,” said Ms. Stoolmacher.

The fourth 16-week series of classes, Princeton Dance for Parkinson, will be held January 18-February 22 from 1-2:15 p.m. at the Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio in Forrestal Village. Classes are designed to empower those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, their partners, caregivers and friends, to enjoy movement, music and dance.

Classes for walk-ins are $10 per person. If a caregiver or spouse or partner participates it is an additional $5. Special discounts for six-class packages are given at $55, $25 for caregivers. No dance experience is necessary, and all levels can start at any time during the series.

Classes on the Dance for PD® started at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn in 2001, and have since been replicated in more than 40 other communities around the world. Only 100 dance teachers in the U.S. have been trained by the Dance for PD® program. All three Princeton instructors, Marie Alonzo Snyder, Linda Mannheim, and Debra Keller, are continuing their training with education workshops.

They will take turns co-leading the 75-minute class. Participants will explore elements of modern dance, ballet, social dancing, and repertory from each of the choreographers in an enjoyable, non-pressured environment that features live musical accompaniment.

For more information, visit mariesnyder@dancevisionnj.org or call (609) 520-1020. The studio is at 116 Rockingham Row in Forrestal Village.

January 4, 2012

“To be neater this year; keep a tidy house.”
—Claire, Benjamin (center), and David Kahn, Princeton

“To ride my bike more often and collect more Legos.”
—Liam Caswell-Klein, Princeton

“Try to be more green this year.”
“To maintain a healthier life style, exercise more, and eat more healthy foods.”
—Jessica Tan, Princeton and Jeff Cao, New York

“My New Year’s resolution is to learn French.”
—Grace Cameron, Skillman

“To live a happy life; it is important to live in a happy union for a happier life.”
—Alberto Bruzos and Tamar Shalamberidze, Princeton

“My New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking cigarettes.”
—Jack Wilson, Princeton

To the Editor:

Testimony at the recent Planning Board hearings leaves little doubt that a significant part of the Battle of Princeton was fought on and around the spot where the Institute for Advanced Study proposes to build its condominiums for faculty housing. Princeton is not Europe, where nearly every plot of land was fought over at one time or another. American battlefields are thankfully few, and most of them have already been built on. Those whose terrain remains as it was on the day when the fighting took place are exceedingly rare; in New Jersey, Monmouth Battlefield is the only other field left undeveloped.

The justification the Institute has offered for its proposed development is that the atmosphere of its campus would be further enhanced by having additional members live there. While some sympathy might be in order, there are no professional reasons for building these condominiums.

Physicists and mathematicians have been walking across town to their offices for years. Among the members of the Institute itself, Einstein lived on Mercer Street, Von Neumann on Library Place, and Kurt Gödel on Linden Lane; none of them lived on the Institute grounds. They somehow managed anyway, and I am sure that the present and future members of the Institute will continue to thrive, both professionally and socially, even if their walk to work is longer than it might have been had this subdivision been approved.

Ken Fields

Linden Lane

To the Editor:

My 11-year-old cousin in China has a cell phone with only four buttons: “Mom,” “Dad,” “Home,” and “Police.” Our school does not allow kids to use cell phones at school unless it’s an emergency. Even with this rule, I still think children should have their own cell phone in their backpacks.

Working parents worry about their children during after-school hours. If they have a cell phone, parents and children can call each other after school. They will feel safe. They can also contact police if they are in danger after school.

Secondly, a child with a cell phone can call parents when he needs help. Sometimes school has early emergency dismissals. If this happens, children can call their parents for them to make arrangements.

If parents don’t want their children to make trouble with cell phones, they can just get the version with only four buttons. If parents want to save money, then they can give children their old phones.

So if you don’t want that worried feeling again, get your child a cell phone. Don’t forget to tell them to turn the phone off during classes if they bring it to school.

Andrew Zhong,

5th Grader (Mrs. Barbara Osburn’s class)

Millstone River School, Grover Mills Road, Plainsboro

To the Editor:

Now that the rush of the holidays is over, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the caring, kindness, and generosity of a multitude of congregations, corporations, organizations, and individuals over the past year. HomeFront can’t thank you enough for all you do to help us give hopeless, homeless, and very low-income families every opportunity for an independent and rewarding future. You provided them with food, donated clothing, furniture, and household supplies. You tutored children and mentored parents. You changed lives.

These things give our families the “necessities.” But the joy and wonder that should be in the eyes of every child at Christmas isn’t a necessity, and you made it happen for 2,284 children this year. Your generosity and thoughtfulness in providing presents made wishes (and dreams) come true. I’m sorry you all couldn’t have seen for yourselves how much it meant, not only to the children but to their parents as well, who knew they were powerless to make Christmas merry.

Our thanks to everyone who embodied the Christmas spirit. We are indeed blessed to have so many people who care enough to brighten the lives of impoverished children during such a busy time of year. And thank you, people of Mercer County, for remembering the homeless in so many ways all year long.

Connie Mercer

Founder and CEO, HomeFront

LOOK GREAT, FEEL GOOD! “It’s great to have everything under one roof. Facials, massage, waxing, manicures and pedicures, and of course, all the hair services, are here. There is a trend toward a day spa today, where the spa and salon come together in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere.” Shown is the team at Copper River Salon & Spa. From left: Pamela Bennett, Shannon LoBue, Agnieszka Ebid, owner Barbara Weigand, Andrea Arriola, and Rachel Medina.

Look and feel like a new you after a visit to Copper River Salon & Spa! It’s only been in town since September, but this new beauty emporium has already made its mark. Located at 6 Moore Street (former site of Merrick’s women’s boutique), the new salon and spa offers a wide variety of salon and spa services, and in addition, is uniquely conscious of the importance of environmentally-friendly practices.

“We are very eco-friendly,” reports owner and stylist Barbara Weigand. “We recycle everything and our products are all-natural, plant-based. We are also part of the ‘Beauty Brigade’ a division of TerraCycle, which emphasizes reducing waste and recycling as much as possible. All our cosmetic bottles, color tubes, and plastic shampoo bottles are recycled. This is a world-wide project. TerraCycle is committed to finding other uses for things that would be thrown away. We believe being eco-friendly is being a responsible business, and we strive to be in harmony with the environment.”

The name she chose for her salon/spa also reflects a harmonious balance with nature, emphasizing the stability and structure of the metal, copper and the natural flow of water: thus, Copper River. The salon/spa is also a member of the National Association of Eco-Friendly Salon & Spas Organization.

Clients are responding both to these environmentally-friendly practices and to the high quality services offered at Copper River.

Master Stylist

Ms. Weigand, a Lawrenceville native, who has specialized in hair styling in the Princeton area for 20 years, is proud to have her own salon and spa. She has gathered an impressive team of stylists, colorists, technicians, and beauty experts, all dedicated to helping clients look and feel their very best.

A master stylist, Ms. Weigand was trained in the cutting techniques of Vidal Sassoon, and continued to hone her skills with the top stylists in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris. From classic cuts to the avant-garde style of the moment, she creates a special look.

“I am strong in both cuts and color,” she explains. “My clients appreciate that they can go longer between services because I truly understand hair-cutting with style and shape. The color supports the shape, is used in the big city salons, and provides shiny lasting coverage.”

In addition, Ms. Weigand is skilled in straight razor cutting. As she points out, “People are looking for something different. They want movement to their hair. I use straight razor cutting, which breaks up the layers, and is appropriate for long or short hair.”

Another very popular service today is hair straightening. Many clients with very curly hair like to have a new sleek look, and a variety of options is available, including Japanese straightening. “This is an alternative to keratin treatments. It works very well, and is permanent until it grows out.” explains Ms. Weigand. “You can go swimming, and the hair will still be straight.”

Bridal updo’s and make-up services are also a specialty of Copper River — for the bride and the entire bridal party. In addition, the salon offers treatments for a variety of hair conditions, such as thinning hair and scalp issues, as well as corrective color for problem situations.

Complete Range

Color is an enormous part of the hair industry today, and Copper River offers a complete range of opportunities — from semi-permanent to single process color to surface or full highlights.

Ms. Weigand points out that many considerations determine the best color route for a client. “Skin tone, original hair color, hair texture, and even life-style are all important. We often like to use multi-colored high lights, which give a natural look to the hair.”

Everyone is in a hurry these days, and clients often like to come in for a shampoo, conditioner, and blow out, she adds. “We also like to educate our clients and we can teach them to blow dry like a pro!”

Providing care and beauty treatments to the body was also an important part of Ms. Weigand”s plan. “I thought it was important to have full body services,” she points out. That was a significant reason she liked the Moore Street location (so close to the corner of Nassau Street). “I liked the fact that it had a second floor. We have three rooms dedicated to the spa — manicure and pedicure, facial, and massage.”

The range of body treatments offers a variety of massages, such as combination of Swedish and deep tissue techniques; hot stone therapy; and aromatherapy — all guaranteed to soothe body and soul!

Facials are customized to the individual skin type, whether dry or oily, and from teen-aged to mature. Cleansing, exfoliation, suitable mask, and soothing neck, arm, and shoulder massage are all part of the package. There is also a “Gentleman’s Facial”, a great gift idea for a special guy you know.

Massage Chairs

Mini-facials and massages are also available, lasting 30 minutes instead of the typical 50 or 75 minutes.

Manicures and pedicures are very popular, and include special massage chairs to increase relaxation during the service. Waxing, from eyebrows to underarm to leg to bikini, is another important service at Copper River.

Gift cards and special customized gift packages are a wonderful way to introduce someone to the therapeutic benefits that await clients at this new salon/spa. In addition, a variety of products are for sale, including the all-natural hair line of Rene Furterer, the Cellex-C skin care products, and the Bubalina line of body scrubs and lotions. Hair brushes, blow dryers, and curling irons are also available.

“My biggest pleasure is helping people look and feel good,” says Ms. Weigand. “It’s wonderful to see the smile on someone’s face when they leave the salon and spa. When they look great, they feel better!’

Copper River is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday until 5, Saturday 9 to 5. Sunday appointments for wedding events are available. (609) 921-2176. Website: copperriversalonand spa.com.

AU NATUREL: “All our ingredients are natural. No preservatives or chemicals. Our dough is made of 10 whole grains, and they help digestion. You feel better with our pizza!” General manager Kevin Brommer of Naked Pizza, which just opened at 180 Nassau Street, has a pizza ready for you! He looks forward to welcoming customers to the popular new eatery.

“We’re naked because we have nothing to hide!”

No, Kevin Brommer is not referring to the inhabitants of a nudist colony. General manager of Naked Pizza at 180 Nassau Street, he is describing the pizza at the popular new eatery. Open November 9, it is rapidly building an enthusiastic client base, all fans of the great-tasting, all-natural pizza, with no preservatives or additives.

“Naked means natural. Our pizza is simply an honest diversity of all-natural whole food ingredients that taste better and are better for you,” explains the Naked Pizza mission statement.

Headquartered in New Orleans, the company was started several years ago, and has recently begun to offer franchises. There are now two in New Jersey, in Princeton and Ewing, both owned by Kathy Vik. She looks forward to this new adventure.

Healthier Options

“Now that my kids are grown, I was looking for something to do. I had read about Naked Pizza in the New York Times Magazine. The founders wanted to be involved in healthier options in fast food. I thought that was a great idea.”

She is delighted with the success both of the Nassau Street Naked Pizza and her other franchise in Ewing. The response in both locations has been all she hoped for. Customers are all across the board — high school and college students, families, parents and grandparents.

“We already have regulars,” says Ms. Vik. “In fact, 40 to 50 percent of customers have been here at least once before.”

So what is it that makes this pizza so special?

First, it’s a testament that food can be both healthy and taste great. The emphasis on healthy, chemical-free and preservative-free ingredients is equaled by the company’s ability to create tastes that customers love.

The pizza crust is available in three versions: skinny, traditional, and gluten-free. The first two are made from the “Ancestral Blend” of 10 grains plus prebiotic agave fiber and probiotic (healthful bacteria similar to the ones in yogurt for digestive balance and health).

“Probiotics are beneficial bacteria cultures that enrich your digestive system, help optimize nutrition, promote balance and digestive health,” reports the Naked Pizza company. “A prebiotic is essentially fiber, food for the health-giving bacteria in your gut. Ours is one of the highest quality fibers available, extracted from the ancient blue agave plant, adding a slight trace of sweet without any sugar crash.”

All Natural

All the ingredients in the pizzas — the tomato sauce, cheese, the vegetables, the meats, etc. are also all natural. “Our cheese has no hormones or antibiotics, and the pepperoni, free of hormones and additives, is USDA-certified,” says Ms. Vik.

Mozzarella, cheddar, and feta cheese are available, and the tomato sauce is also natural — nicely spiced and herbed, with no added sugar or citric acid.

Customers can choose from a variety of flavors and 10-, 12-, and 14-inch sizes. Everything from a traditional tomato and cheese pie to a “Superbiotic” with artichoke, spinach, bell pepper, mushroom, garlic, onion, and cilantro are available.

The “Mediterranean”, second best-seller after the Superbiotic, is filled with artichoke, sun-dried tomato, onion, black olive, and feta cheese.

Skinny Crust

Other favorites include “Pima,” featuring black beans, jalapeño, cheddar, and chicken; “Omnivore”, with pepperoni, hamburger, bell pepper, mushroom, and black olive; “Farmvil,” with pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, and ham; “Greenhouse,” offering onion, tomato, bell pepper, black olive, and mushroom; and “Ragin’ Cajun,” with sausage, chicken, garlic, bell pepper, and onion.

“You can also customize your own pizza with a variety of our toppings,” adds Mr. Brommer. “The skinny crust is very popular, and we offer the traditional thicker crust, too.”

Also available are spinach salad, “Cheesy Breadstixx” (mozzarella and cheddar, chewy Ancestral Blend snacks with prebiotics and probiotics), and a variety of beverages from the New Jersey-based Boyland Company, including root beer, birch beer, cream soda, Cane cola, and diet cherry, as well as iced tea and bottled water.

Keeping Naked Pizza affordable is important to Ms. Vik. “We paid careful attention to our price range. We wanted our healthy pizza to be affordable to people. A 10-inch tomato and cheese is $6.99 and a 10-inch Superbiotic is $12.99. There are also special offers on Facebook and Twitter.”

Fun and Friendly

Naked Pizza focuses on take-out and delivery (nine minute delivery zone: “We don’t want the pizza to get cold!”). It is also in demand for its catering services. In addition, some customers like to linger by the counter to enjoy their pizza in the colorful pizzeria, with its fun and friendly atmosphere.

She is very proud of the Naked Pizza staff, including Mr. Brommer and assistant manager Martin Hancock. “Also, some of our staff is from Westminster Choir College. They have so much energy, and sometimes they sing!

“Our staff is all cross-trained in customer service and pizza-assembly.”

Ms. Vik is having so much fun, she even hopes there could be more Naked Pizzas in her future. “I strongly believe it is important to give people healthier options in fast food.”

“We’re definitely trying to get the conversation moving in that direction,” adds Mr. Brommer.

Naked Pizza is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m; Friday and Saturday 11 to 2 a.m.

(609) 924-4700. Website: www.nakedpizza.biz.

December 28, 2011

“Consolidation of the Princeton Borough and Township.”

—John Beeson, Princeton

“There have been many important issues that have raised the energy of Princeton citizens. The moving of the Dinky, the plans for the Arts and Transit district, a new mayor, consolidation, the hospital moving.”

—Gisela Moore, Princeton

“The Institute for Advanced Study plan for faculty housing is important not only for our community but for American history. Do we preserve this historical battleground as we have for years or do we build housing that is needed at this time?” —Maria F. Morse, Princeton

“The hospital moving, real estate, and consolidation.”

—Kim Dorman, Princeton

“Consolidation was the biggest issue for the Princeton community.” —Gregory Burnham, Princeton

December 27, 2011

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Historical Society of Princeton, I would like to thank everyone in the Princeton community who supported our two major 2011 fundraisers: the Princeton Antiques and Fine Art Show and the House Tour. Our mission is to preserve, collect, and interpret Princeton’s rich history through innovative exhibitions and programs — and we could not have succeeded without your help.

We would like to recognize the hard work of our Steering Committee, which planned and executed this year’s Antiques Show, led by Meghan Donaldson, Jody Erdman, Midge Fleming, Milly King, Chris Mario, Jennifer McGuirk, Dee Patberg, Dorothy Plohn, and Anita Trullinger. For the seventh year running, the Nierenberg Family and Princeton Airport graciously hosted the show. We are grateful to our show sponsors including: Baxter Construction, Honda of Princeton, Leapfrog Advancement, Shepherd Foundation/Bovenizer Family, Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, Knight Architects LLC, PNC Bank & PNC Wealth Management, Rago Arts and Auction Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Wilmington Trust, Dumont & Watson Attorneys, The Mercadien Group, Mills + Schnoering Architects LLC, Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, Saul Ewing LLP, Viburnum, Antiques and Fine Art Magazine, BUCKS Life Magazine, Design NJ Magazine, Packet Publications, Princeton Magazine, and The Magazine Antiques.

HSP also thanks all those who made the 2011 House Tour a success. First, the owners of the five homes that offered such a delightful exploration of Princeton’s dynamic domestic architecture. Thank you! The tour would never happen without the hard work of our House Tour Committee, our House Tour Chair David Schure, House Captains Colleen Hall, Nancy Henkel, Pete Peters, Shirley Satterfield, and Merlene Tucker and over 80 dedicated Docents. We also owe a very special thank-you to Wanda Gunning. Our lead sponsors, N. T. Callaway Real Estate and Glenmede, have our sincere thanks, as do our other House Tour funders including: Viburnum, T. Jeffery Clarke Architect, Garden Makers Landscaping, HMR Architects, Infini-T Café & Spice Souk, Knight Architects, Lasley Brahaney, Van Note-Harvey Associates, Candice Walsh of N. T. Callaway, Woodwinds Associates, Julius H. Gross Painting, and — last but not least — our special sponsor for 2011, The Princeton Area Community Foundation, which honored us with a generous grant for the House Tour. Even the weather cooperated this year — it was a perfect autumn day, crisp and sunny!

Finally, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone in the community who participated in our fundraisers by volunteering time, purchasing tickets, buying antiques, or supporting us in any way. We are blessed to be stewards of the history of such a vibrant, caring community!

Erin Dougherty
Executive Director, Historical Society of Princeton

To the Editor,

The winter holiday shopping season offers Princetonians an easy challenge: let’s bring our own reusable cloth bags to shop with when we buy for people we love. Let’s refuse a new bag if it’s offered; let’s bring our own bags. Let’s help save Planet Earth.

A reusable cloth bag is the only environmentally sane bag to use. It comes from a renewable resource (unlike reusable plastic bags, which are oil, or recyclable paper bags, which destroy our rainforests, their carbon-storage systems, their erosion-prevention through root-systems, and their habitat for countless species of creatures). A reusable cloth bag will last for decades; free of toxins in production, it is entirely washable.

Here are some scary figures on plastic bags:

Each American uses 500 single-use plastic bags a year, the equivalent of 12,000,000 barrels of oil, from extraction to landfill (Americans use 1 billion single-use grocery bags per year). These numbers translate as follows: each person is responsible for 125 lbs. of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) that contribute to climate change. In Princeton, 10,000 households (3-plus persons per household) are responsible for 1,250,000 lbs of carbon dioxide. Single-use plastic bags cost far more than money: they clog sewage systems, cause danger to workers at landfills; they kill wildlife and aquatic life; because they do not biodegrade, they come back through the food chain to poison humans and contribute to endocrine disruption.

Princeton Borough and Princeton Township passed a Joint Resolution last winter urging everyone to replace single-use plastic bags with reusable cloth or plastic bags, or recyclable paper. Let’s do it! Let’s all contribute momentum to the burgeoning BYOBag Campaign (Bring Your Own Bag) in Princeton.

Let’s be responsible shoppers. Let’s know that recyclable paper bags cost more to produce than plastic bags, cost 71 percent more energy to produce than plastic bags and use 69 percent more energy to compost than plastic bags, which are oil. So let’s refuse both paper and plastic. Let’s go for cloth: cotton, hemp, jute, and other materials.

Sustainable Princeton just received accreditation by Sustainable Jersey as a community in the vanguard of environmental activism for sustainable living.

Let’s validate that accreditation once again. Let’s all help make Princeton a Sustainable Princeton by using reusable cloth bags. Remember to bring them when you shop. Let’s be a truly responsible community by respecting the limited resources of our planet — all the time, not just during a holiday shopping season.

Daniel A. Harris
Dodds Lane

December 21, 2011

 TT Zoe Jackson Cook

Zoe: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Jackson: “The Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
—Zoe and Jackson Cook, Princeton

 TT CeCe Jeff Gibb

CeCe: “Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Jeff: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
—CeCe (left) and Jeff Gibb, Princeton

 TT Ben Barrell Jackie Calderon

Ben: “Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s a classic.”
Jackie: “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
—Ben Barrell, Morristown, Pa. (left)
and Jackie Calderon, New York City

TT Corrie Gray Julia Barbuscio

Corrie: “The Snowman.”
Julia: “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz. It’s hilarious and adorable.”
—Corrie Gray (left) and Julia Barbuscio, Princeton

 TT Abby Blaney Jenny Keves

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
—Abby Blaney, Point Pleasant (left)
and Jenny Keves, Princeton

TT Edward Maiolo Shannon Kurtz

Edward: “I don’t like any holiday movies.”
Shannon: “Meet Me in St. Louis and Love Actually.”
—Edward Maiolo, Lock Haven, Pa. (left)
and Shannon Kurtz, Toms River

To the Editor:

Monday, December 12,marked the 10th year of the lighting of the Womanspace Communities of Light luminaries. Over 3,000 candles were lit throughout our community from Township Hall, through Witherspoon Street, Borough Hall through Nassau Street, and Prospect Avenue and the Princeton Shopping Center.

The purpose of Communities of Light is to bring attention to the services offered by Womanspace and to help focus attention on the plight of victims and the good work of the community to provide aid to victims in recovering from the trauma of domestic and sexual violence. The problems of domestic violence are not confined to any group of people, but cut across all economic, racial, and societal barriers, and are supported by societal indifference. The lighting of candles, especially at this time of year, allows us to pay homage to the bravery of the women who seek the help of Womanspace and serve to remind women who are living with violence that there is help available.

On behalf of the clients, staff, and volunteers we thank the many volunteers including Cynthia Mendez, Department of Human Services, former mayor Bernie Miller and mayor Mildred Trotman for their support of the work of Womanspace all year. A special thanks also to the Princeton University SHARE Group whose volunteers from the athletic departments extended the lighting to Washington Road and Prospect Street. Thanks to McCaffrey’s for hosting our reception and also for being a steady supporter of Womanspace.

Last year Womanspace served over 10,000 adults and children. For over 33 years, Womanspace has provided quality services to women and their children who have had to flee their homes to avoid the horrors of domestic abuse. Through a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing programs, domestic violence and sexual assault response teams, counseling services, chaplaincy, legal clinic and advocacy, and professional training and community education, coupled with the help of over 300 community volunteers, Womanspace has provided services and support to over 298,700 people since we first opened our doors.

Thank you to our corporate sponsors, the retail sponsor stores and the 70 neighborhood volunteer coordinators who sold luminary kits and to everyone who light their candles during this wonderful holiday season. Many Happy Returns to All, Remember Peace Begins at Home.

Joan Bartl and Ingrid Reed
Womanspace Board Members 
and Co-coordinators for Princeton

To the Editor:

As a long time supporter of Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, I want people to know that there is an easy way to help our local Food Bank. Shoppers at McCaffrey’s and Wegmans can participate in the “Check-out Hunger” campaign by removing one (or several) of the red, green or yellow tickets posted near each checkout register and giving it to the cashier to scan the dollar amount with their grocery order. That’s it. Couldn’t be much easier. Every dollar goes to the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

This program, run as a joint effort by food retailers and sponsored statewide by NRG Energy, raises funds to support the hunger relief work of the state’s food banks. In Mercer County, 100 percent of the funds raised goes to the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

While food donations are important, cash is the best and most efficient way to support the food bank. Every dollar donated enables the organization to distribute $8 worth of food. Last year, the food bank channeled three million pounds of food and grocery purchases into our community, supplying 60 local charities that operate food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and meal programs with resources they need to serve the needy who come to their doors. The demand is so much greater this year.

I encourage residents shopping for holiday dinners to remember to “Check-out Hunger.”

Ann Vaurio
Valley Road

To the Editor:

On behalf of everyone at Morven, we would like to express our sincere thanks to all who helped to make this year’s Festival of Trees an unprecedented success. All funds raised will benefit Morven’s exhibitions, public programs, and historic property.

The stately mansion, once home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Stockton and his wife Annis Boudinot, never looked more lovely and cheerful. Each room has one or several Christmas trees decorated by our local garden clubs, non-profit organizations, and local businesses, including Princeton Doll & Toy Museum; Viburnum; SAVE; McCarter Theatre Center; Gasior’s Furniture; LMG Design; Westminster Choir College; Green Acres; NJDEP; D & R Greenway; Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop; Dogwood Garden Club of Princeton; Garden Club of Princeton; Stony Brook Garden Club; and Stony Brook Watershed Association.

The preview party, which kicks-off the holiday season for many of us, was attended by 175 this year. Emily’s Café and her team did a marvelous job serving delicious hors d’oeuvres and festive holiday drinks. We are particularly grateful to the many local businesses that were this year’s Festival of Trees sponsors, including Baxter Construction; Glenmede Trust; Henderson Sotheby’s Realty; Howard Design Group; Leapfrog Advancement; PNC Wealth Management; Ronica A. Bregenzer Architect; and Wilmington Trust/M&T Bank.

The trees and holiday decorations will be in place at Morven until January 8. If you have not yet had a chance to visit, we hope you will soon.

Sally Buck, Betsy Griffith, Milly King, Daphne Townsend, Vicki Trainer
Festival of Trees Committee

To the Editor:

I write to suggest that the Borough and U.S.P.S. reconsider the pending sale of the Palmer Square post office building.

The location and placement of this post office provide an occasion to use Palmer Square for non-commercial purposes for probably a few thousand local residents on a regular basis, making it a prime example of the pedestrian lifestyle so sought after today. While a new facility may be in the same general area, it is unlikely to provide the park-like ambience of the present one with its exterior landscaping, magnificent trees, and pleasant walkways, not to mention the concerts and other community functions on the lawn.

Newly constructed post offices tend to be sterile in terms of interior design and lighting. A new facility may be unable to provide large boxes or 24-hour lobby access. Repurposing of the current building will offer additional sad evidence of what used to be but is no more. A commercial owner will be primarily concerned with conveniences for its own employees and customers, not the general public.

Palmer Square, with the current post office and Nassau Inn at its center, is a venue of unsurpassed charm. It and the splendidly successful Hinds Plaza make the Borough a special place. This post office is emblematic of our heritage — historically, architecturally, and as an expression of public service. The financial challenges the U.S.P.S. faces are not the responsibility of the employees or patrons of this particular post office. Princeton should think twice before losing this urban jewel.

James P. Murphy
Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

In June the New York Times published a review of Stephen Holl’s design for a building in China, which is said to be “the place where architects are free to explore their most outlandish fantasies.” Of all places! It mentions only a tunneled highway as a mode of transportation to get to this “carefully engineered social machine.” What is missing is a mention of any public environmental impact review that might have occurred.

Princeton University has brought a Stephen Holl-designed Arts and Transit Hub proposal to the two town councils [Borough Council and Township Committee] that will be impacted by its implementation. After five years of public debate the councils passed zoning ordinances that allow the University to build as it pleases.

Some may charge that this is an example of the bureaucratic tyranny of democracy shackling “private” enterprise. I applaud the hard work of the public servants who claimed the plan did not answer essential questions concerning the growing “village” off campus — questions that need to be answered by a higher authority. That authority was once NJ Transit. Apparently the University has purchased this authority to answer all transit questions by and for themselves.

The present rail transportation function of this “hub” project should be promoted not diminished. I hope the council’s opinion inspires all those who are on private and public payrolls to listen up to those leaders on the other side of Nassau Street and think globally, then act locally. Out of the dissonance there now should come a harmony of purpose not just for Princeton but in relation to the private mobility networks that now threaten the health of the world.

A Special Improvement District much greater than all of the Princetons should be created to engineer the increasing of rail ridership and the building of a separate transportation network for the pedestrian-based communities that are beginning to reappear everywhere. This is the missing link in the development of the plan. May the councils’ voice be heard in the final day of review of what is to become the Princeton Arts and Transit Hub and let’s hope the construction will have a return on investment for the next 150 years for the station that has just been reopened after 25 years of irresponsible neglect.

James Harford Jr.
Lake Drive

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of the Institute for Advanced Study’s faculty housing proposal under review by the Planning Board. As a direct neighbor of the Institute, I can vouch for their integrity and sensitivity to land use issues. In the five years that I have resided on Battle Road, they have never embarked on a change that might affect me without notifying me in advance. They have been responsive to any concerns I have had and have responded promptly to my requests for amelioration. The Institute is exceedingly respectful of the community. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Institute, and a former environmental regulator, I have been impressed with the thoughtfulness with which they have developed this project and I am certain that they will honor their commitments. Few people reside as close to this project as do my wife and I and, after careful consideration, I believe this project meets the objectives of respecting the neighborhood, the Battlefield, and the essential needs of my good neighbor, the Institute of Advanced Study.

Michael E. Morandi
Battle Road

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, I am writing this letter in support of the Princeton Battlefield Society and its efforts to protect and preserve the lands surrounding the Princeton Battlefield State Park. As guardians of George Washington’s home and legacy, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association shares the Princeton Battlefield Society’s desire to educate the public about the American Revolution. Our organizations also share a commitment to fostering awareness about the character and leadership of General Washington, who celebrated one of his greatest military victories on that very battlefield.

During the American Revolution, Washington’s triumph at Princeton in January 1777 energized the floundering American cause and forced the British to rethink their quick dismissal of the Continental Army. Following on the heels of his surprise Christmas Day attack on Trenton, the Battle of Princeton was Washington’s first victory in open combat against British regulars. Washington’s leadership on the battlefield inspired his fellow patriots, bringing about an impressive turnaround that ultimately led to American independence.

Like the Princeton Battlefield, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens is located in a densely populated region. In northern Virginia, just as in New Jersey, land comes at a premium and preservationists often find themselves at odds with developers. Although Mount Vernon’s record of passionate commitment to historic preservation stretches back more than 150 years, predating some of the development pressures faced in today’s time, it serves as a prime example of how historic sites play an important role in their communities. They create a sense of place and character. They fuel civic pride, and they drive economic development and job creation through travel and tourism.

Although we applaud your past success in preserving some portions of this battlefield, we recognize that only a small percentage of the grounds on which Washington and his troops outmaneuvered the British forces are currently protected from development. Keys to understanding the events of that pivotal battle and additional evidence of Washington’s heroics still likely lie buried under the soil. If the proposed development is allowed to continue, these secrets of the past will be lost.

After surrendering at Yorktown in 1781, Lord Cornwallis is reported to have told Washington, “Your Excellency’s achievements in New Jersey were such that nothing could surpass them.” As decision-makers, influencers, and leaders, I hope that the same can be said of your achievements in New Jersey as you recognize that preservation, too, is a form of progress.


James C. Rees
President Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association,
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate,
Museum & Gardens

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Mark Scheibner (“Opponents of IAS Housing Plan Downplay Finding of Over 700 Agricultural Artifacts,” Town Topics, December 14, 2011). There are several issues in this letter which should not remain unopposed.

The Princeton Battlefield was not preserved for agricultural history; there are thousands of farms in New Jersey alone which would better suit such interests. What sets the Princeton Battlefield apart from other land in the state is the significance of George Washington’s victory over the British and the incomprehensible sacrifices which occasioned that campaign. The American Republic, as well as George Washington, was either going to live or die on that battlefield on the morning of January 3, 1777.

There is a glaring historical error in Mr. Sheibner’s letter concerning the common burial site of the battle’s dead. It is commemorated by a plaque in the park, but the grave itself is located on the southern side of the northernmost of three ponds near Drumthwacket. Its location might have been lost, as would the battlefield itself, if not for the foresight of Moses Taylor Pyne. Besides his interest in creating Princeton University from the foundering College of New Jersey, Pyne had an abiding interest in preserving the Princeton Battlefield. He saved it from developers in 1913. His granddaughter Agnes Pyne Hudson donated the land which became the Battlefield Park in 1946.

As a FitzRandolph descendant, the fact that my ancestor’s bones were excavated during the construction of Holder Hall and placed into its walls I find to be less offensive than the IAS plans. Woodrow Wilson displayed affection for the memory and the legacy of the FitzRandolphs. The IAS plans amount to desecration, as well as the destruction of an incalculably significant relic of American history — one that was carefully and almost miraculously preserved by generations of Princetonians. The IAS plan is at best self-interested and insensitive, if not a deliberate act of desecration. If the Battlefield’s use as farmland somehow diminished its sanctity, as Scheibner contends, a similar argument might be made that Arlington has lost its claim as sacred ground because its grass is mown. As for commemorating the sacrifices that bought America its liberty, the Battlefield at Princeton serves as no better example. The IAS ought to respect American history, preserve its dignity, and employ its intellectual resources to discover an alternative.

William Myers
Highland Park

December 20, 2011
Dr Cortese

“A CERTAIN SMILE”: “I enjoy the flexibility and the opportunity to be innovative in how I can take care of the patient. My practice is full reconstructive comprehensive dentistry — a mix of everything, including implants, crowns, dentures, facial prosthetics, and more.” Dr. Michael Cortese of Princeton Prosthodontics, specializes in complete oral rehabilitation.

What is a prosthodontist? First, it is one of nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Second, it is the only specialty that deals with the entire mouth.

“Think of it this way,” explains Angela Cortese, office manager of Princeton Prosthodontics at 311 Witherspoon Street. “The prosthodontist is the captain of the ship. He diagnoses and develops a treatment plan, which can include other specialists, such as orthodontists, periodontists, etc., and he directs it.”

Dr. Michael Cortese, D.M.D., P.A., who established Princeton Prosthodontics in 1987, has recently been listed in the first edition of “The Best Dentists in America”. Out of approximately 10,000 licensed dentists in New Jersey, 256 were selected. Nationwide, 7500 dentists are listed out of approximately 250,000 licensed dentists in America.

“I was truly excited to be nominated because the nomination committee is a group of faculty and dental practitioners that I have a great deal of respect for. To be voted in by such an esteemed group and your own peers is an honor I will strive to uphold.”

Post-Graduate Training

A native of Plainfield, Dr. Cortese received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Notre Dame and his dental degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University Dental School. He received post-graduate training in maxillofacial prosthetics and dental oncology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute. Recently, Dr. Cortese was invited to teach at the New York University Dental School in the Graduate Implant Program.

A member of the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, a member or associate member of the American College of Prosthodontics, the American Dental Association, and the Society of Clinical Oncology, among many other organizations, Dr. Cortese has received numerous awards and honors, including being named as one of New Jersey’s top dentists by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. He also consults for the New Jersey State Board of Dentists.

Initially, dentistry was not part of Dr. Cortese’s plan. He aimed to be a surgeon, and was on his way to medical school. Plans have a way of changing, however, as he explains.

“In college, I lived with guys who wanted to go to dental school, and they urged me to consider it. I was a bio major, and it was rigorous. Finally, in junior year, I could take an elective, and I chose fine arts. I enjoyed painting and creating things, and found I had an aptitude for it.”

Artistic Skills

This led him to reconsider dental school, although his goal now was to focus on oral surgery. His advisors had other ideas, however, and directed him into maxillofacial prosthodontics, where all of his skills could be put to best use.

A maxillofacial prosthodontist constructs prosthetics to replace portions of the palate, jaw, and face, including eyes, nose, and ears, that are missing due to cancer, congenital defect, trauma, or surgical removal. The prosthodontist performs these supportive services for oral surgeons, dermatologists, opthalmologists, plastic surgeons, oncologists, and otolaryngologists. The work requires the skills of an artist and the techniques of a dentist.

After four years of dental school, Dr. Cortese received three more years of intense post-graduate training in maxillofacial prosthodontics and dental oncology. There are only three accredited maxillofacial prosthodontists in New Jersey and only 400 worldwide.

“After my training at M.D. Anderson, which is the premier cancer treatment center, I wanted to be in private practice,” says Dr. Cortese. “Princeton was right between New York and Philadelphia, and it was a great location.”

Dr. Cortese’s practice includes implants, bridges, dentures, inlays, crowns, bonding, and veneers, as well as teeth whitening (bleaching), treatment of TMJ and TMD, and snoring and sleep disorders (sleep apnea).

“I like being able to help people.” he explains. “If necessary, I can rebuild the whole mouth. Or someone may have lost a tooth and need to have a replacement. Whether to put in an implant or a bridge depends on the state of the teeth surrounding the gap from the missing tooth.”

Overall Health

“Dr. Cortese is looking at the patient’s overall health,” points out Angela Cortese. “Patients will get the best care and get it done right. During every visit, he checks for oral cancer. We are also seeing more TMJ cases now, which can come from over-use of the jaw, and it can be painful. He has also been working with sleep apnea conditions for 20 years. And he treats cleft palate cases, as well as medically-compromised patients, including those with ALS, MLS, and Parkinson’s Disease.”

Treating such a wide range of patients, typically within the ages of 35 to 75, Dr. Cortese spends a great deal of time with each individual case, including those patients who are afraid of dentists!

“We have ‘dentophobics’ who come, and they are really afraid to come in the door,” says Ms. Cortese. “You have to have patience to deal with the patients! Dr. Cortese is very good at establishing a relaxed, calm atmosphere and positive relationship with each patient. This is very important to him. We have patients from all over the state as well as Delaware, Philadelphia, New York, and even abroad. People find him on the internet”

“We enjoy getting to know our patients and their individual needs,” adds Dr. Cortese. “Our first goal is that our patients are comfortable and understand all of their treatment options. Additionally, we assist with convenient financing arrangements so that every patient can have the care they deserve.

“I really enjoy the challenge of my work,” he continues. “And it means a lot when people say ‘I don’t know what I would have done without you.’ Dentistry today is the best it has ever been. There is more flexibility now, and especially with the Branemark implant. It was a paradigm, a real shift with those devices. It opened doors to what we can do and be able to preserve what the patient has and restore it in a more natural and permanent way.”

Princeton Prosthodontics is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (609) 683-8282. Website: drcortese.com


DECORATING AND DESIGN: “People are staying home more, traveling less because of the economy. They are looking for someone to help them decorate and make their home look nice and reflect their own style.” Iris Houlihan of Iris Interiors LLC enjoys helping clients realize their vision to make their home a haven.

What is your style? Traditional? Modern? Sleek and sophisticated, warm and cozy, something in between? Perhaps you are not even sure.

When it comes to interior decorating, the choices can be daunting. Fabric, furniture, colors, carpet, window treatments, accessories — how to select the best choices for your life-style, taste, and of course, budget.

Increasing numbers of homeowners are opting for professional help. More women work out of the house today and often have little time, inclination, or expertise to expend energy and effort into coming up with a design scheme for their home.

“People don’t want to make a major and expensive mistake, or perhaps they want a different look in their home, but don’t know how to do it,” notes Iris Houlihan of Iris Interiors LLC. A certified interior decorator, accredited home stager, and professional organizer, Ms. Houlihan enjoys helping clients achieve everything from a complete design change in their living space, to a color consultation about paint, to a re-design or rearrangement of existing furniture and accessories to add new interest. The results can bring new life and energy to a room or rooms, creating even more enjoyment in one’s home.

Unusual Turns

Vocations can take unusual turns, and Ms. Houlihan’s ultimate career in design is just such an example. Born in Germany, she came to the United States and attended Virginia Tech University, earning a degree in biochemistry. She later worked in the pharmaceutical industry in marketing and project management.

“I was always very visual and very interested in decorating,” she says. “As a girl, I moved the furniture around in my room, and reorganized everything. Later, I also enjoyed helping my friends decorate their homes.”

When she married, she and her husband moved to Hillsborough, and she took great pleasure in decorating their house. “I loved to work in design. I could always see beyond the existing contents of the house. Our first house definitely needed work, which was good for me. I wanted to add my own touch, and I liked having a challenge.”

A self-described “Type A” personality and multi-tasker, Ms. Houlihan was able to balance the many components of her life. These involved working in the pharmaceutical industry, running the household (which included three children and numerous dogs and cats), as well as continuing her decorating work as a hobby, and taking design classes.

“I believe if you really want to do something, it’s not work,” she explains.

She was pleased when the family moved to their next home, which was new construction, providing an empty canvas for her decorating talents. She welcomed the opportunity to decorate the new home in her own style and design.

Design Work

It became clear that decorating was her true calling, and she started part-time, then opened her own decorating business full-time a year ago. It has been a resounding success.

Her experience in the corporate world has helped her new undertaking, she adds. “My marketing experience proved very useful in running my new business, as was my general business background. Also, my husband encouraged me. I think he was glad that I could concentrate on other design work beside repainting our guest room every year!”

Ms. Houlihan decided to enter the decorating field gradually, first by becoming a professional stager. “I started staging houses that were for sale. With staging, you do what the house needs to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. It goes beyond cleaning and de-cluttering; it helps potential buyers imagine themselves living in the house.”

Therefore, she points out, it is important to de-personalize the setting; neutralize and balance paint, carpet, furniture, etc. “We will rearrange, remove, and reduce the furnishings and decor in your home so that it will appeal to the most buyers and show the house at its best.

“90 percent of people search on line for a house,” she adds. “So, it’s important to have pictures that will appeal to these potential buyers. I like the staging. It’s about transforming the space, and it doesn’t take as long as the interior decorating projects.”

Interior decorating and re-design (or mini make-overs) are a big part of her business, however, and she helps clients throughout central New Jersey and beyond.

Client’s Personality

As a certified interior decorator, Ms. Houlihan does everything from one room to an entire house. “It is very important that the house reflect the client’s personality and taste,” she points out. “The budget is the beginning, and if someone is flexible, we can do more with less money. It doesn’t have to be about spending a lot of money. Amazing looks are created by layering, mixing, and adding texture and color.”

First, Ms. Houlihan helps to define the client’s taste and life-style. Do they entertain, cook? Are they formal, informal? Are there children, pets?

“Some clients have very specific ideas, but don’t know how to execute them,” she explains. “Others don’t always know what they want, just that they want something different. I definitely need to come and ‘meet’ the house. I’ll ask clients to tell me what they like or don’t like. Is there anything that they want to keep?

“It’s important to know how they use the room. The goal is always to make it beautiful, but functional. I also like to include some little unexpected designs that create interest.””

Ms. Houlihan notes a number of interesting trends in design today, including darker, richer colors. “We see dark brown, even black walls in rooms. Dark, dramatically-lit interiors with paint colors of navy, black, brown, and red are trends. You can also choose to have neutral colors but more vibrant accents. Keep the walls neutral, then decorate and accessorize with color. Tone-on-tone is also popular, especially with lighter colors — pale blue, yellow, etc.”

In addition, she continues, “There is more and more of a trend to modern. Transitional was the favorite for a while but now there is more interest in modern, and also, an eclectic look. This allows you to keep what you have but then add something new. You don’t have to have matched sets. You can break up a set and put one piece in a different room.”

Creative New Ways

This type of rearranging of furniture and accessories is often the focus of a re-design project, another favorite part of Ms. Houlihan’s work.

“It’s a bit like staging. You take whatever the homeowner has and use it in creative new ways. Bringing things from one room into another, for example. Sometimes, it can be hard for people to see outside of existing rooms; then I can help.”

Ms. Houlihan enjoys working on all sizes and types of projects, and all budgets. Costs are based on the scope and complexity of the job, and can be hourly or flat fees. The time frame can range from one day to months.

She also points out that some clients like to plan a project over time. “We have to know how much money they are comfortable spending. I can start a job and continue it over time. Someone might say, “I can spend $10,000 over three years, but let’s start with a certain amount now.

“I love what I do,” she says, with a smile. “I am getting more and more calls and many referrals. There has been great word-of-mouth, and I am very grateful to my clients. I am so happy to be able to help them realize their dream of what their house can be. I look forward to the opportunity to help them do something different and make their house even more comfortable and beautiful for them.”

Ms. Houlihan’s hours are by appointment, including evenings and weekends. (908) 265-7688. Website: www.iris-interiors.com.