Retailers vs Racism

The Princeton Merchants Association is a happening group. I went to its meeting at the Nassau Inn on Tuesday (3-15) and learned the following:

PMa is embarking on a formal customer service improvement program, with training and followup – even evaluations, like secret shoppers. Fran McManus of the Whole Earth Center is leading this. Some downtown retailers need this more than others.

Corner House, a member of PMA, gave an eye opening presentation about all the ways they help youth and adults in the community. Their fundraiser, Motown Magic, is April 29 at Bedens Brook.

Danielle D’Angelo, one of the owners of the new specialty deli downtown, told of the joys and trials of expanding the family business from Jackson to Spring Street.

Kathleen Morolda of Cranbury Station Gallery is signing up merchants to participate in Stand Against Racism Day on Friday, April 29. That’s why I was there – to say that Not in Our Town supports the participating merchants by including them in a newspaper ad. Any retailer who wants to join this effort, email or contact Morolda.

Kristin Appelget of Princeton University announced that the construction project to straighten the lethal curve in Alexander Road will close that road down, completely, for two weeks in April or May, and that traffic will be slow for 10 weeks. The affected stretch is between Canal Pointe Boulevard and Glen View Drive, but Obal’s Market gets to remain open.

The mayors of Princeton Township spoke. The borough’s Mildred Trotman admitted she hadn’t supported consolidation before but now, she says, “the jury’s still out.” The township’s Chad Goemer dangled the thought-carrot that revenues from parking might not be so vital to the combined municipalities. The consolidation committee needs to figure things out by June because late August is the drop-dead deadline for putting the question on the November ballot.

I exchanged oyster stories with Jack Morrison of Blue Point Grill, Nassau Street Seafood, and Witherspoon Grill. (We just got back from Key West where oysters at Turtle Kraals are 50 cents apiece; we gorged three days in a row. We’re such oyster buffs that my husband has his own oyster opening kit with glove and knife.) I met Josh Zinder, an architect that I’d known only by telephone interview. (Above, Morrison on the left, Zinder on the right).

Also during the networking time PNC Bank’s Lucia Stegaru mentined a job opportunity: a scholarship fund, Princeton Education Foundation, is looking for a paid 30-hour a week director. Anyone interested? E-mail to and note that PEF’s gala is April 9.

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