Birkenstock

Forsgate Country Club

E.Y. Staats

Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the November 17, 2004

issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. Best Bets’ Holiday Gift Guide is sponsored

by the companies mentioned below. All rights reserved.

Best Bets for the Holiday’s: Luttmann’s

It takes its name from a Peruvian god known to its founder during time

spent in the American Peace Corps in South America. But to discerning,

demanding, globe-trotting businesspeople and frequent travelers, Tumi

means the world’s leading brand of prestige travel, business, and

personal accessories. From the company’s exclusive, virtually

abrasion-proof Fusion Z ballistic nylon material used for its

carry-ons, garment bags, totes, and briefcases, to its Tracer product

identification and recovery program (providing peace of mind in a

world that loses over three million bags a year), Tumi offers style,

design, and engineering founded on more than 25 U.S. and

international patents.

Luttmann’s Luggage in Princeton carries a full line of Tumi products

from computer backpacks to men’s briefcases to women’s handbags with a

truly metropolitan edge – sleek lines and leather detailing combine

with smart features that will impress even the savviest person on your

list. The men’s briefcases, for example, which range in cost from $150

to $875, are James Bond perfect – renowned for their zillions of

compartments for everything from CD players and headphone wires to pen

holders and computer pockets. For all we know, you can fit a martini

shaker in there.

The carry-ons, in 20-inch and 22-inch models, $525 and $575, are

expandable and feature in-line roller blade wheels, telescoping

"one-hand" push-button release handles constructed of aircraft-grade

aluminum tubing, and an add-a-bag hook patented with a secure fastened

tab closure to hold in excess of 200 pounds. The wheels incorporate

sealed steel ball bearings and are mounted on solid steel axles in

custom designed shock-absorbing bushings.

Luttmann’s Luggage is a venerable Princeton shop that opened 101 years

ago as a saddlery shop. Over the years it began to carry leather goods

and continued to be run by the Luttman family until its current owner,

Frank Ricatto, took over ownership of the store. Luttmann’s offers a

full range of traditional and contemporary briefcases, women’s

handbags, allets, portfolios, gift items including leather picture

frames, accessories, and day planners including Filofax and Scully.

Luttmann’s Luggage, 20 Witherspoon Street. 609-924-0004.

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Birkenstock

I went through a phase a number of years ago where I bought everyone

shoes for presents. Now that, pardon the pun, was thinking outside the

box. I was the smash hit of Christmas morning.

Buy really comfortable shoes, and you’ve hit pay dirt. Ask anyone who

wears Birkenstock shoes and they are likely to tell you they are the

most comfortable shoes they own. The 200-year-old company has reshaped

its image with the addition of enclosed shoes and boots. "A lot of

people are curious about Birkenstock," says Steppin’ Birkenstock owner

Jimmy Jimenez. "People have a perception of Birkenstock as a clunky

clog or the Arizona sandal but they’re that and a whole lot more.

We’ve had lots of three-generation families as customers, even four

generations."

Jiminez also attributes the Birkenstock allure to the popularity of

other comfortable shoes that have reached fashionista status, like the

ultra-trendy Ugg boot.

One of the most popular Birkenstock styles this season is the Boston

clog, which features a footbed made of natural cork and latex, with a

suede liner. Four arch supports and a heel cup insure that your feet

are supported and your spine perfectly aligned at all times. A toe

bar in the front of the clog gives your toes an anchor to prevent

slippage and strain on your feet. The sole is an EVA foam similar to

what is used in athletic shoes. The Boston clog comes in suede,

leather, and nubuck, in taupe, mocha, black, brown, white, and other

colors. Birkenstock has even come out with a "Softbed" Boston clog,

similar to the classic clog but with an extra layer of natural latex

and a microfiber upper for those feet that need a little extra loving

care.

Jiminez recommends a pair of Boston clogs or another Birkenstock style

for a gift – or a gift certificate. In addition to shoes, sandals, and

boots, the store also carries insoles, arch supports, cashmere socks,

and kids clogs.

Steppin’ Birkenstock, 12 Chambers Street, Princeton, 609-921-8411;

530 Union Square Drive, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 215-862-9800.

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Forsgate Country Club

Exclusive parties. Casino night. Fashion shows. Chef’s cooking

classes. Champagne and wine tastings. Dancing. No it’s not a cruise.

You’re warm. Just think a lot closer to home. Imagine if you could

give all of these gifts – fabulous nights out as well as enjoyable

activities for the whole family – wrapped up in one package: a

first-class ticket to a sumptuous social life. A social membership to

Forsgate Country Club offers access to a world of entertaining and

life-enriching choices, from jazz nights and gardening clubs to Sunday

brunch, prime rib buffets, and health seminars .

Forsgate Country Club, situated in an elegant country setting in

Monroe Township, was established in 1931. It was recently named by New

Jersey Monthly as the #2 private golf club in New Jersey. But for

those just interested in the cachet of a social membership, Forsgate

provides a superlative experience for its members.

From black tie to casual Friday, a social membership offers something

for everyone, including club dining, either in the Grille Room,

offering a scrumptious menu in a casual dining atmosphere, or the

Dining Room, offering fine dining selections in an elegant ambiance.

Social members may also attend all club special parties and events.

Think such privileges come only at an exorbitant cost? Think again.

You can give the gift of a social membership with a onetime,

refundable membership deposit of $200 for a Senior Social (62 years of

age or older) or $300 for a Social (under 62).

Forsgate Country Club, Forsgate Drive at Exit 8A, New Jersey Turnpike,

Monroe Township. A private membership country club.Call Carol

Rutherford at 732-656-8914.

Top Of Page
E.Y. Staats

Thanks to Carson (if you don’t watch "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"

you won’t get this) the word "product" has gone mainstream Still don’t

get it? Product means great stuff for styling your hair. Product will

make anyone over the age of 14 on your list happy. It’s even good for

people who think they don’t want it. Trust me. They want it.

Look for European packaging with at least four languages. Women go

weak for anything European. We recommend Phyto products, also known as

Phytologie, made in France. Phyto products, made with all natural

botanical ingredients, have received the Hollywood Good Housekeeping

Seal of Approval – InStyle magazine named Phyto the #1 haircare

product line.

Phytodefrisant ($22) a botanical hair relaxing balm, is made with

ferula and sage and received Allure magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award

in 2004. Phytolisse is an ultra shine smoothing serum ($24), and

Phytovolume Actif ($ 22) is a volumizer spray root lift.

Phyto products are available at E.Y. Staats in Princeton, a charming

salon that offers modern styling in an 18th century home – there’s

even a fireplace in the reception area. "Everyone who works here has

been with me since the beginning," says owner Elaine Staats, adding

that the stylists have extensive experience in cutting, coloring

(including dimensional coloring), styling, and bridal services. The

staff stays on the cutting edge by attending seminars such as a recent

one on styling and presentation given by the uber-chic Minardi +

Minardi team from New York at the Canyon Ranch spa in Lenox,

Massachusetts.

E.Y. Staats, 10 Moore Street, Princeton. 609-924-6696.


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