New Jersey is replete with day spas, salons, health and beauty shops, exercise studios, fitness clubs, and biking trails. But which ones do our readers favor? You'll find the answers here.
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At the Urban Muse in Denville, sisters Kristin and Tracy Pamperin provide personalized service and value. “The Urban Muse is warm and inviting, the staff is wonderful,” writes reader Rosemarie Lynch of Boonton. “They offer specials all the time, the gift shop is unique and the massages are fantastic!” (82 Broadway; 973-627-3455; theurbanmuse.com)
Runners-Up: DePasquale Spa, Morris Plains; the Fountain Spa, Hackensack, Ramsey; Milagro Spa, Manasquan, Red Bank; Cape May Day Spa
“It’s not so much what we do, but how we do it,” says owner Frank Pucher of the popularity of Fitness 121 in Roseland. Specifically, he and his team, including wife Francesca, know how to make fitness fun. In addition to personal training, they offer Pilates and will introduce a yoga program in the spring. “Movement makes you live a better life,” says Pucher. (5 Becker Farm Rd; 973-535-1177; fitness121online.com)
RUNNERS-UP: Atlantic Club, Manasquan, Red Bank; Workout World, 10 NJ locations; Future Fitness, 4 NJ locations; Lifetime Fitness, Berkeley Heights, Florham Park
“I have never seen a salon so educated in the new and in-style, with cuts as well as products,” writes reader Kristen Headley of Jackson. Mission accomplished, then, for Salon Pure in Princeton, which co-owner Amy Kaczowski opened four years ago to be cutting edge, no pun intended. In addition to standard hair treatments, Salon Pure offers nail, make-up and epilation services and bridal packages. (31 A Hulfish St; 609-683-8384, salonpureprinceton.com)
RUNNERS-UP: Greg David Salon, Orange; David Michael Hair Studio, Paramus; La Luz, Bay Head; Red Sails Salon, Surf City
Anara Medspa & Cosmetic Laser Center in Piscataway combines the services of a medical spa, a day spa and a laser center. Emphasizing comfort, attention to detail, personalized service and state-of-the-art equipment, Anara performs comprehensive skin analysis, face and whole-body waxing, chemical peels, laser hair reduction, medical microdermabrasion and Slimdome, a body-slimming treatment. (1140 Stelton Rd, Suite 102; 732-777-9577; anaramedspa.com)
RUNNERS-UP: Cosmetic Laser MD, Livingston; Reflections Center for Skin and Body, Livingston, Bridgewater/Martinsville; Garden State Spine & Pain Institute, Oakhurst; Mecca Integrated Medical Center, Fairfield
PRO Physical Therapy in Randolph is half physical-therapy and orthopedic facility and half Pilates center. Amy Hendricks, the Pilates instructor, limits classes to eight people for a more personal experience. Also offered: Chair Pilates, Rockin’ Pilates for teens, and special classes tailored to the needs of skiers and golfers. (2 Emery Ave; 973-895-9925; proptnj.com)
RUNNERS-UP: Core Mind & Body, Maplewood; Six Degrees of Wellness, Denville; Pilates By The Bay, Toms River
Liza Bertini wanted to share with others the positive effects yoga had on her life, so in 2003 she opened Devotion Yoga in downtown Hoboken. “I wanted to create a community that would support and inspire others to live conscious, healthy, full and authentic lives,” Bertini says. Four years later she opened a studio in Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island, and in 2009 an uptown Hoboken location. “Devotion Yoga,” writes Hoboken reader Rachel Chibnik, “encourages community and provides endless programs, workshops and events.” (72 Hudson St, Suite LL 103; 201-610-9642; devotionyoga.com)
RUNNERS-UP: Baker Street Yoga, Maplewood; Mia Yoga, Montclair; Satsang, Westfield; Yoga Basin, Asbury Park
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A Meal for Amiel
As mentioned earlier in the week, on February 8, chef Florian Wehrli, along with top chefs from New York and Northern New Jersey will collaborate on a benefit dinner at Perona Farms to raise money to build a greenhouse/interactive classroom for Frankford Township School. The five-course tasting meal will feature regionally grown meats, cheeses and produce.
Early in Saturday night's American premiere of a work by the South African choreographer Robyn Orlin, the dancers of the all-male Senegalese troupe Jant-Bi begin to advance steadfastly toward and then literally into the audience--standing on the backs and armrests of occupied seats and striking a pose of invincible, unyielding bravado.
At that point, who could guess that this pinwheeling, sometimes perplexing, affair at Montclair State's Kasser Theater would culminate in a flood of joy uniting audience and performers?
For some reason, that is my favorite line in what I like to think of as my favorite play, Waiting For Godot. I certainly will not forget this particular carrot. That I can't explain the contents of this picture is part of what I like about it. In other words, you can't make this stuff up.
Snow everywhere in Jersey. Nonetheless, you can celebrate the Super Bowl on the beach in Sea Bright. In Driftwood Cabana Club's rebuilt, enclosed, all-weather tiki bar, "You kind of feel like you are on a cruise ship," says beverage director Beau Keegan, "because all you see is water.”