Rose: Calling a Place Home

As you might have picked up from previous posts, I struggle with transitions. In recent years, my life has been fraught with them. I’ve moved. I’ve switched jobs. I’ve changed homes and relationships. The decade of my 20s was a powerful time of change and growth.

Along the way, I’ve learned tricks about making a place home. And, when I’m questioning my decisions, I reflect on what I have here – and I feel incredibly grateful.

I have a favorite yoga studio. I found the perfect place in town called Gratitude Yoga. It’s a donation-based studio and includes several types of yoga classes including vinyasa, kundalini, among others. Through this studio, I’ve also found a book club. We meet monthly at the studio to discuss spirituality and meditation. I’ve met some pretty incredible people through this group, and each book has shed light on many of my current feelings. I just feel all around better (and more grateful) when I’m in this space.

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I have  favorite coffee shop. There aren’t many coffee shops in Princeton, but among the best is Small World Coffee. The main store on Witherspoon Street gets really packed and crowded. Thankfully, I discovered their second location on Nassau Street. It’s tucked away near a fish market and doesn’t get nearly as much foot traffic. While the space is small, I love visiting the cafe on Saturday mornings and grabbing an iced coffee to go. I’ve even taken to calling it “Smaller World” due to its smaller and compact size.

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I have a favorite craft store. I often take for granted how close the Paper Source is to my office. I can walk there in five minutes. This is both a blessing and a problem. I spend way more money on crafts, but I also get to create beautiful books. I’ve taken a few classes at the store, and they helped inspire other projects (like hand stamped Christmas cards). While it can be pricey, I get what I need in a pinch – which saves me a lot on shipping costs. I love this store!

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I have a favorite bar. My hairdresser told me about Trenton Social, and I’ve been hooked since. Bars in Princeton are all sort of the same, but Trenton Social spices things up a bit. Every first Friday of the month, they reveal a new exhibit. They have weekly open mic nights and acoustic sets. They even have a sushi night, where you can make your own sushi rolls. The vibe is cool and not at all pretentious or stuffy. The people I’ve met there have all been incredibly kind, down-to-earth and artistic. It’s definitely the place for a writer like me to hang on a Friday night.

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I live near a lake. I consider myself very lucky that I live by such a beautiful lake. Going home at night is almost a retreat. Because of the lake, I’ve been able to embark upon new hobbies like kayaking. Near the lake is the canal tow path, which provides the perfect running trail. And somehow I never tire of the geese squawking at night because I feel so lucky to be connected to nature. (Photo courtesy of M.)

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Beyond my favorite places, I’m also incredibly thankful for the group of friends I’ve made at Princeton. They truly make this place feel like home. Having someone to call upon when you just want to talk is a treasured gift. And I’m happy that for this and all the reasons listed above, I’m able to finally call this place home.

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