This weekend’s list is all about transition: It’s that time of year when we emerge, blinking and slightly wrinkled, from our caves, into the warmish sunlight of pre-spring and set out on the hopeful gallivant towards summer. These nearly spring days can be so disconcerting, as everything you’ve grown so accustomed to (e.g. thick wool scarves, fur-lined boots, the thermostat set to 70 degrees) is now, well, passé, and you need to adjust your frame of mind—and your wardrobe.
Corson Braided Scarf at Rouge: I am not one of those people who fling themselves headlong into spring at the first sign of a warm sun, prematurely breaking out the flip-flops, tank tops, and mini skirts. I do like to reflect the change of weather in what I wear, however I find it challenging at best to say “so long” to the coziness of my favorite gray turtleneck. Thus, when I stumbled upon this fabulous scarf by Corson at Rouge ($80), I instantly knew that it was the thing to get me from these early, brisk days of spring to the warmer days of near-summer (and it will be ideal for fall, to boot). Made of a substantial combed cotton with braided fringe—which is, I’ll agree with the oh-so fashionable person who sold it to me, a little Mad Max, but I like it—the scarf comes in gray and white. The perfect accessory for this imperfect time of year. Rouge, 51 Witherspoon Street, Princeton; 609.921.0280 or princetonrouge.com.
Brunch at Teresa Caffe: Let’s be honest: The brunch options in town are sort of limited to get-your-grub-on pancake houses (which are a fave of mine, natch) and take-away bagel shops. Thus, when you realize you want—nay, need—to get up and go on a sunny Sunday morning (as opposed to hibernating until your significant other returns with your bacon, egg, and cheese bagel from The Bagel Loft), you might want to indulge in something more refined than a breakfast burrito. And weekend brunch at Teresa Caffe satisfies that yearning: With a selection of egg dishes (the organic brown egg frittata with organic sausage, peppers, caramelized onions, and asiago is delish) and breakfast pizzette (who knew morning was the right time for black truffle with scrambled organic brown eggs, pancetta, and fontina?), along with flaky pastries (pain au chocolat, anyone?), and cappuccinos served in oversized bone-china teacups, you’ve got one elegantly understated meal to start your day. (Brunch served Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Teresa Caffe, 23 Palmer Square East, Princeton; 609.921.6706 or terramomo.com.
Orla Kiely at Niko Niko: I take my accessories seriously and so when the weather warms up, my heavy, black leather handbag is placed in its drawstring pouch and goes into hibernation until fall. And because it is a staple in my wardrobe, its absence leaves what is akin to a chalk-outlined shadow on an otherwise straightforward daily ensemble. London-based designer Orla Kiely is the antidote to this pitfall a la mode, offering an inspired color palette and unique patterns that might not stop traffic, but definitely inspire commentary from the sidewalks to the grocery store to play group. And now I don’t have to cross the pond to procure a bag from Orla’s latest line because Niko Niko at Nassau Place—run by the very gracious and spirited Kelly Jung—has Orla Kiely bags from the new Multi Scribble Stem Print collection, as well as a few from last season’s line that are now 30% off. Rumor also has it that Ms. Jung is considering featuring a few items from the Orla Kiely clothing collection, too. A girl after my own heart, to be sure. Niko Niko, 20 Nassau Street, Princeton; 609.356.0181 or nassauplace.com/NikoNiko.
Generation A by Douglas Coupland: Nothing like a relatively short but intense read to help shake the cobwebs from your brain (and to rescue you from those longer, more elaborate books that you might have chosen to snuggle up with during the winter months). Generation A is like nothing I’ve read before—it’s über-contemporary, fantastical, hilarious, entertaining and, well, a wee bit apocalyptic. With spring nigh, it seems appropriate that I was recommended this book to read, especially when you consider that the story is set in the near future in a world where bees are extinct, and five seemingly unconnected people from around the world all have been stung. Coupland’s savvy for creating a world that feels familiar (with all of the cultural allusions and references to prove it) yet utterly unfamiliar is astounding; and his ability to explore the idea of storytelling in a highly digital age makes you want to run out and buy as many real, live books as possible. Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street, Princeton; 609.497.1600 or labyrinthbooks.com.
Stroller Strides with the Historical Society of Princeton: Since my daughter was born in late June, her memory of warmth and sun is pretty much nonexistent, so now, the idea of being outdoors is all new to her—and vastly entertaining, especially in her spiffy, new front-facing stroller. However, you can only go to the park so many times before you want to throw yourself from the balance beam out of boredom. The answer: Stroller Strides. A stroller-inspired tour of Princeton, Stroller Strides is designed for moms, dads, caregivers, and grandparents, and led by the area experts at the Historical Society of Princeton. At a breezy 60 minutes, the tour gives your Scooplet a nice dose of sunshine (and maybe time for a good nap) and provides you with the opportunity to exercise your brain beyond Yo Gabba Gabba. Stroller Strides are held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the first Wednesday of every month: April 7, May 5, June 2, July 14 (this technically is the second Wednesday due to the holiday) and August 4. Tickets are $7 for adults; children are free. For reservations, call 609.921.6748, ext. 100, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The Historical Society of Princeton, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton; princetonhistory.org.
AND JUST BECAUSE … A NUMBER SIX:
The First Signs of Spring: Imagine my utter delight when, after the massive drifts of snow finally, mercifully melted away, I discovered thick, green shoots popping up through the soil all over my backyard. Truly the first sign of the beauty of the season to come (in my book anyway), these shoots are the indicator of that charming classic, the daffodil—lovely, happy, yellow. The previous owner of our house was a marvelous woman who—in addition to having three husbands; a sound-proofed room where she hosted piano recitals; and a penchant for making little signs that she tacked up throughout the house (i.e. “Clean lint trap after every wash!”)—also had quite the green thumb. Thus, we can thank Mariana each year for this unintentional inspiration, this “…host of golden daffodils/fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” (And thank you, William Wordsworth.) —JH