Comfort and Joy: Rx for Free

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.”

Jimenez 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.

Jimenez 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. See display ad, page 29.

Treat Your Feet

Superior comfort meets classic style with this durable high-mileage trainer. As the newest edition to the legendary 990 series, the 993 features ABZORB® SBS advanced cushioning in the forefoot for responsiveness you can feel for miles. The addition of ABZORB® DTS in the heel plus a full length ABZORB® insert will cushion each step to help you love running even more! Come in and let our trained staff find the right fit for you.

New Balance of Princeton, 439 Nassau Park Boulevard, Princeton, 609-720-0103. See display ad, page 30.


Stunning Studs From Princeton North Diamond

Check out just one pair of solitare diamond stud earrings set in 14K white gold, above. These solitare diamond studs are EGL certified and are 1.58 carats each for a total carat weight of 3.16 carats. We have many other EGL and GIA certified diamond studs in various sizes in stock. We are offering this set of beautiful diamond stud earrings for the low price of $13,500.

Princeton North Diamond, 1225 Route 206, Princeton, 609-924-9400.


Ice Cream From the Edible Garden

Palmer Square’s Bent Spoon ice cream shop has delivered the latest batch of Princeton School Garden Ice Cream — Terhune Orchards Caramel Apple — to the Whole Earth Center, just in time for Thanksgiving.

All ingredients and labor for this month’s ice cream were donated by Terhune Orchards, the Bent Spoon, and Whole Earth Center. Stop by the Whole Earth to get a pint for a $7 donation to the garden at Riverside Elementary School (plus 75 cents for the reusable plastic container).

Riverside Elementary will use the money for a new community-wide project — Lawn to Food, which will encourage residents to turn a 4-by-8-foot piece of their lawn into an edible garden. The Garden Ice Cream fund will support the creation of 4-by-8-foot demonstration gardens at Riverside School. The Lawn to Food project will launch on Saturday, January 3, at 11 a.m. at the Princeton Environmental Film Festival.

Whole Earth Natural Grocery, 360 Nassau Street, Princeton. 609-924-7429. www.wholeearthcenter.com.

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Custom Frames at Image Arts

You just found the first “portrait” your son painted of his father in kindergarten — what a great gift for your husband. Or you have stumbled across the perfect vintage print at an antique shop for great aunt Ethel. But, you remind yourself, presentation is everything. Neither your great aunt nor your husband will ever bother to have their gifts framed. Instead they will gather dust in the closet.

You can give a complete gift or artwork by having your art, photos, and memorabilia framed — with full service custom framing from Image Arts. Conveniently located in Princeton Shopping Center, Image Arts has expanded its selection to include more than 5,000 choices, including a full line of 24k gold finished corner frames. Customers can peruse from a wide range of manufacturers, including Larson-Juhl and Roma. Image Arts offers custom and ready-made frames and matting.

If you have trouble making a decision, The professional designers and framers will help you select the best frames to complement your photograph or artwork.

Frames and shadow boxes are available in classic wood, gold leaf, and metal, and mats can be specially-cut. They also offer conservation mats, French mats, and painted bevels and fillets. Protective glass, or glazing, comes in clear, reflection control, anti-reflection, and UV protection.

Seasonal art can also be a key component of your holiday decorating plan. From custom framing to accessories for displaying art, such as pedestals and easels, Image Arts can help you with the finishing touches on an artful holiday decor.

Image Arts Etc., Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton. 609-924-8544. Visit www.imageartsweb.com.


Nassau Helicopters Soars Into 15th Year of Helicopter Service

Headquartered at Princeton Airport, Nassau Helicopters soars into its 13th year with a fleet of five helicopters, a perfect safety record, and substantial plans to meet growing customer demand for a variety of helicopter services. Among Nassau Helicopter’s services are passenger shuttle, pilot training, sightseeing, aerial photography, search and rescue, aiding law enforcement efforts, and the ever-popular Santa arrivals at holiday events.

Training is a key mission at Nassau Helicopters. John Nevers, owner/operator, and his flight instructors bring more than 25,000 hours of flight experience to the school. Together at Nassau Helicopters, they have helped hundreds of students achieve certification in four key helicopter-training areas: Private Pilot, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor and Instruments.

As John Nevers described it: “Students come to us for two major reasons — for the sheer thrill and freedom of movement that helicopters provide to well-trained pilots. Others come to us to begin a career in helicopter flying, which can lead to assignments in law enforcement, healthcare, corporate transportation, tourism; the whole range of uses in which the incredibly versatile helicopter is engaged.”

With 455 helipads and 51 airports in New Jersey, there is ample opportunity for both passengers and pilots to enjoy the unique experience of helicopters. Views from helicopters are unobstructed for 180 degrees, giving the passenger a far greater sensation of flight than in an airplane.

Nassau Helicopters recently took delivery of a brand new Robinson 44 helicopter. The R44 comfortably seats four people and will be used for passenger transport to all major metropolitan areas. Gift certificates, as well as unique corporate incentives, are available. Rates begin at $97 for demonstration rides.

Nassau Helicopters, Princeton Airport, Route 206, Princeton, 609-924-7164. www.nassauhelicopters.com. Open seven days a week. Reservations required one week ahead for weekend flights; one day ahead for weekday. See ad page 22.

Princeton Airport’s Gift of Adventure

When you are looking for a gift that will always be remembered, try giving an Introductory Flying Lesson from Princeton Airport. Whether the person has expressed an interest in learning to fly or you just wish to give a gift of adventure, an Introductory Lesson is fun for people of all ages and gender.

The airport is open every day from 8 until dark year round when the certificate can be redeemed by appointment. An FAA-certified flight instructor will demonstrate the pre-flight inspection of the airplane to insure air worthiness. Then the person will be seated in the left seat of the airplane with the instructor in the right seat. Both will have their hands and feet on the controls. The instructor will talk the student through the take-off.

For $69 the person will be in the air about 20 minutes and for $159 the person will be in the air for one hour. The time in the airplane will count toward a license if the person decides they wish to pursue a pilot’s license. Either way, your gift will always be remembered. There are many other suggestions for those who are licensed pilots or for those who wish to become one. Check the website.

To order a gift certificate, call Princeton Airport at 609-921-3100; visit the airport between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.; or order from the website: www.princetonairport.com under “SCHOOL.”

[U.S. 1 Note: The Best Bets Holiday Gift Guide is supported by U.S.1 advertisers who understand the needs of working men and women during the holiday season. To participate call Diana Joseph-Riley or Martha Moore at 609-452-7000.]

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