Since I find this time of year only as inspiring as the couch and the television tuned to Project Runway, I thought I would help motivate others with the same malaise with this week’s list. The theme? Action. Doing. Getting-up-and-going. Herewith, I’ve collected a couple of ideas for things you can do that not only will give you a boost, but will make someone else’s day a little bit brighter in the process.
The Blue Ribbon Sale at Jane: As we all know, Haiti endured an unimaginable tragedy this week with the devastating earthquake, and the people of this brave country need our help to rebuild and renew. You can do your part to support Haiti by shopping at Jane—yes, you heard me right. This week at Jane, all fall and winter merchandise is 50% off and a portion of all proceeds will go to Hands Together, an organization I blogged about last week and whose mission it is to build a more compassionate and human world through helping the poor and disadvantaged. Has there ever been a better reason to go shopping? I don’t think so. Jane, 7 Spring Street, Princeton; 609.683.5263 or janeconsignment.com.
Annual Business Attire Clothing Drive: Now that my career as freelance writer only requires that I wear (on a good day) a pair of clean jeans and a T-shirt, the snazzy business suits I’ve collected over the years are ready to move on to a new, happier home. Luckily, from January 20–27, Princeton University is conducting its annual clothing drive to benefit HomeFront’s Suitably Dressed and the Mercer County Community College Career Training Institute, two Mercer County organizations that collect “gently used” business attire for men and women. The clothing goes to individuals who are entering or re-entering the workforce. Items can be brought to 126 Alexander Street (side entrance), between 8 and 9 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. (weekdays only). For more information or to volunteer to assist with the clothing drive, contact the Office of Community and Regional Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-258-5144.
Exotic Bomba at Avanti Ristorante Italiano: As you know by now, I take my food seriously—and I never, ever pass on dessert. Which is why, when I went to Avanti Ristorante Italiano in Pennington last week and was aggressively seeking out a cannoli to round out my delectable meal, I was horrified to learn that they were out. It very nearly ruined my night, until chef Vincenzo Severino brought out another of his confections: the Exotic Bomba. Covered in a white chocolate shell, the inside is a veritable sanctuary of mango, passion fruit, and raspberry sorbetto. It’s enough to make a person cry. Oh, and the menu—which includes such scrumptious dishes as Tilapia Francaise, Rigatoni alla Vodka, and the classic Avanti bread smothered with sautéed vegetables, garlic, and butter, as well as ever-changing nightly specials—is nothing to sneeze at, either. Just remember to bring your own alcoholic accompaniment, and you’ll be in for a dinner that is second to none. Avanti Ristorante, 23 West Delaware Avenue, Pennington; 609.737.7174 or avantipennington.com.
Sharpie Pens: Like a dog hot on the trail of a meaty bone, I have searched high and low for the perfect pen with which to take notes, scribble ideas, and draft grocery lists. And, while I will never entirely forgo the classic styling of the Paper Mate ballpoint pen, I wanted something with a bit more pizzazz for everyday use. And I found it: the new Sharpie Pen. The first Sharpie that won’t bleed through paper or smear (as its fatter, stinkier cousins are wont to do), the Sharpie Pen makes writing on paper a total joy with its just-the-right-thickness tip and sleek, new design. A little thing that you can do for yourself to make your desk a happier place to be. Available at Hinkson’s, the Office Store, 28 Spring Street, Princeton; 609.924.0112 or hinksons.com.
“Glee” Gets Happy at The Globes: Now, I know what you’re going to say: What does Fox’s television show Glee have to do with Princeton and the surrounding boroughs? Well, nothing. However, I feel it is my duty as your cultural steward to turn your attention to the little-show-that-could—and did—at last night’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony. Out of four nominations, it snagged one for Best Comedy Series, beating out old reliables 30 Rock and The Office. It warms my heart that a show about angst-ridden high school students and their teachers who break out into song can make it in primetime (even my brother likes it), and so I recommend it to you. It will brighten even the drabbest winter day. Although the show doesn’t return until April 13, you can watch last season’s episodes on fox.com/glee. You also can listen to some of the show’s awesome music on itunes.com, including my favorite: a new take on Billy Idol’s classic “Dancing With Myself.”
Jennifer Henderson is the editor of Princeton Scoop online and a freelance writer who has worked for several magazines, including Vanity Fair, Talk, W, and New Jersey Life. She lives in Princeton with her husband, daughter, and chocolate Labrador. She welcomes any inside scoop on what to do and see in the area. E-mail her at email@example.com.