A quiet street on a Sunday afternoon. Obviously it’s only us, tourists, who seemed overly excited about taking a leisurely stroll in the cold, wet afternoon, as if it’s a bright summer day.

After seeing and admiring most of the important buildings of Princeton University, we headed out to see downtown Princeton and its shops.

My very kind brother-in-law had probably planned a quick trip — drive to Princeton, quickly show us his old place (where he and my sister lived as newlyweds), spend a few minutes at the lake, swiftly walk through the Princeton University campus, take a cursory peek at the pretty shops, have a nice hot drink, swiftly drive past Einstein’s house, and then head home. With three ladies in tow, one of them a blogger, he was in for a surprise! Only his ‘swiftly drive past Einstein’s house’ plan came to fruition. We took forever touring the place.

But before the window shopping, please allow me to show you a few structures from the campus.

Albert Einstein’s Residence

Image by getawaymavens.com

Image by getawaymavens.com

Albert Einstein’s house is distinguished in being the only home in the world that has housed three Nobel Prize winners!

You see, my brother-in-law told us that taking pictures of this house is prohibited. While this house is designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, the fact remains that this is a private residence, therefore we had to respect the privacy of whoever is currently residing there. We said okay which, apparently, did not look convincing because he quickly drove the car past Einstein’s house in the dark, thereby rendering any attempt at photography totally futile.

The Arts Council of Princeton


The blue glazed tile is one of the signature Michael Graves touches.

This is also known as the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, after the singer and actor who grew up in the adjoining neighborhood. The building is a Michael Graves design. While Mr. Graves is said to be a legend—an internationally recognized force in the post-modern architectural movement—the Planning Board said no when he offered his services to design a new home for the Princeton Arts Council. The Planning Board expressed horror at the size of the building and lack of parking spaces, deeming the Michael Graves design wholly inappropriate. I’ve read that it took years and multiple revisions before the building that currently stands was approved!

Image source: michaelgraves.com

So it’s important to note that when it comes to getting something built in Princeton, one should never expect things to be easy. Even if you have Michael Graves on your team.

The Green Hall


This gorgeous building is currently being used as a swing space — a space that folks at Princeton need to accommodate programs that are located in buildings that require renovation.

Green Hall at Princeton has a varied history. It was first built as the Physics building in the early 1900’s. Physics moved further away on campus in the 1950’s and the Psychology Department moved in. Eventually, the Psychology Department also moved to their new home, making Green Hall a swing space.

Princeton Garden Theatre


The Princeton Garden Theatre opened its doors on September 20, 1920. The Garden’s name comes from the location, where a rose garden once bloomed next to the Bainbridge house.

Fountain of Freedom


The fountain in front of the Woodrow Wilson School was created by James Fitzgerald in 1966 and, at six tons and twenty-three feet high, is one of the largest bronze castings in the United States. Fitzgerald named his work the “Fountain of Freedom” to symbolize Woodrow Wilson’s vision of lasting world peace.

The spires and crevices of the Fountain of Freedom mimic natural patterns of wind and water erosion, metaphorically representing the aspirations and frustrations of Woodrow Wilson.

For some Princeton seniors, however, the fountain represents a different kind of freedom: the completion of their senior theses. Each spring, Woodrow Wilson School seniors continue the tradition of jumping into the fountain after handing in their papers. Also, whenever the Tigers win a home football game, the Princeton University Band plays a celebratory a concert from inside the fountain’s pool.

There was no fountain when we went. So we went up close to the structure and took endless silly photographs of ourselves.

The Shops!


Not that we had time to explore every shop, but whatever we saw was pretty charming and we enjoyed the window shopping experience.

That More Cafe on Witherspoon St.? People say they serve really good bubble teas, iced smoothies, and iced teas. They have teas called Red Bean Bubble Tea, Blueberry Bubble Tea, Passionfruit Iced Tea, Grapefruit Cherry Iced Tea, and Chrysanthemum Tea Slush among others.

That corner shop, called Village Silver, specializes in handcrafted sterling silver jewelry from artisans from America, Bali, Mexico, Italy, and a large selection of Native American handcrafted jewelry. They also repair and restring broken jewelry.


The New York Camera is a small family owned photo retail shop in the heart of downtown Princeton that has been in business since 1978. They carry a good selection of digital cameras in stock and one can special order in most any models within one or two days. They also buy, sell and trade used cameras.



This charming place called Olives is a family owned and operated catering and takeout food market located at 22 Witherspoon Street in Princeton. They offer delicious homemade foods and bakery items – all made from scratch, along with imported specialties from Greece.

It was getting late and the temperature dipped further. We sought refuge in Panera Bread for some pastry and a hot cup of chocolate.




Carter & Cavero was established at the end of 2007. They specialize in premium quality olive oil and even offer a special olive oil tasting experience. The company was by created by a group of friends—one born into a long line of olive growers in Spain, one from the world of advertising in New York City, one a renowned olive oil taster from Madrid, a CPA from New Jersey and an attorney from New Jersey!




Located on Palmer Square, Lindt Chocolate needs no introduction. The reviews on Yelp are funny though.

Lindt chocolates are worth killing someone for. Trust me, I almost had to strangle my pal to get him to lend me five bucks for truffles. They’re delicious, but beware, they’re extremely fattening and will induce a coma. ~ Shizzle Q.

Although, for halal food consumers such as myself, it may help to do some research before stepping into the store.







I hope you enjoyed window shopping with me!


Posted in Princeton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


It was a sunny weekend. Only a week before spring officially started, there was a chill in the air, but luckily for us, it wasn’t snowing and the sun was up. It had been snowing for the last three days and I was afraid our weekend plans were ruined. Neither Masood nor I have any experience driving in snowy conditions.

So it was a day off work and we were driving around downtown Boston. The immense joy of finding a spot to park the car can only be understood by someone who lives/works in a busy city. And we found one right across this beautiful building called The Massachusetts State House.

Completed in 1798, the Massachusetts State House is now 218 years old and is designated a National Historic Landmark for its architectural significance.

This is the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, located in Beacon Hill, Boston. It houses the Massachusetts General Court (state legislature) and the offices of the Governor of Massachusetts.

Oliver Wendell Holmes—American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author—called the State House “the hub of the solar system“. But before this building was erected, the land for the State House was originally used as John Hancock’s cow pasture!

The Golden Dome

DSC02805 (1)

This golden dome dominated the Boston skyline until the advent of the skyscraper.

Charles Bulfinch designed the dome which crowns the State House, but when it was built, the dome was not gold – it was made of wood! Within a few years, the dome began to leak in rain and snow, so folks were hired to cover the dome with copper to make it watertight. Later, in 1872, the dome was gilded with 23-karat (real!) gold leaf, which still glows with gold today.

DSC02805 (1)

At the very top of the dome is a sculpture, which many people think is a pineapple. It is actually a pine cone, put there to remind everyone of the importance of the pine trees which provided wood to build houses, churches and commercial buildings—Boston’s lumber industry during early colonial times. Wood for the State House came from the northern part of Massachusetts, which, in 1820, became the state of Maine.


The Massachusetts State House is open to the public and tours are given Monday to Friday throughout the year from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. The building is open from 8:45 am to 5 pm. The Massachusetts State House is closed on weekends and holidays.

Tours last approximately 30-45 minutes and include an overview of the history and architecture of the State Capitol. Best of all? They are free! But while there is no cost to the tours, reservations are required. The only way to make one is by calling the Massachusetts State House at 617 727 3676.


Posted in Boston | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



It’s finally cooling down in this part of the world! Hello, beaches, BBQ, picnics and garden brunches! We got invited to Kempinski Hotel’s Friday Garden Brunch in Ajman earlier today, and it was fun!

An event held every Friday at the Cafe Kranzler in Kempinski Hotel, Ajman, Friday Garden Brunch turned one this year. There were colorful balloons and ‘Happy Birthday’ banners at the entrance so we initially assumed a children’s party was also underway. Then we saw a clown in her colorful costume.


It took us a while to locate the person who invited us because people started pouring in at exactly 1 pm. When we did finally locate her, Terje welcomed us warmly and gave us a brief description of the concept behind the brunch as well as telling us about the various live cooking stations.

The buffet station for starters, salads and desserts are located inside in the Cafe. Rest of the live cooking stations are outside in the garden.


The weather was pleasant when we arrived – not exactly cool, but comfortable warm. There were ample chairs, tables and benches scattered across the garden. Palm trees and umbrellas provided shade from the sun. The staff were efficient and quick. The chefs were very friendly and helpful!


























As you can see from the pictures, the buffet spread is impressive! Food tastes fresh and delicious. There’s also a good variety of options for vegetarians.


Kempinski Hotel, Ajman
Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Street,
Ajman, UAE

For reservations, contact +971 6 714 5555
Timings: Fridays from 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Brunch only (excl. beverages): AED 185
Beach and brunch (excl. beverages): AED 250





Posted in Ajman | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments