Good Life: The 411
Eat, Pray, Love, Shop
By Jessica Pressler
Italy, India, Indonesia … New Jersey? Readers of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling Eat, Pray, Love may be surprised to learn that the latest chapter of the author’s life is unfolding in Frenchtown, New Jersey, where this past May, Gilbert and her husband, jewelry maker Jose Nunes, opened Two Buttons. Hidden on a winding road behind a rusting Airstream trailer, their warehouse-y store is a trove of handpicked treasures from the couple’s travels in Southeast Asia: Silk-screened Vietnamese political posters from the 1970s bump up against chubby Buddhas and Javanese “tax evasion boxes” with secret compartments. “I was trying to describe the store, and I came up with, ‘If you want to come to a place that has absolutely nothing you need … ’” Gilbert says. “It’s like the opposite of Wal-Mart.” Also unlike Wal-Mart, the hours are whimsical: Check Twobuttons.com for the schedule.
Working It Out
By Ashley Primis
It didn’t take long for Center City’s new Urbanfront Pilates studio to become our favorite place to practice our Teaser and perfect our Seal. Mat classes are capped in size and led by teachers who are patient with beginners and push experts harder. There are also four Reformers that can be booked for private sessions or for more wallet-friendly duets (1700 Sansom Street, suite 200, 215-564-4410, urbanfrontpilates.com).
By Holly Luu
In many cities, finding collector-worthy sneakers requires knowing someone whose sister’s uncle’s brother knows someone. That’s not the case in Philly, where Ubiq beckons from its front-and-center location on Walnut Street. But it still has that secret-den vibe, thanks to a recent makeover: Now, mirror-backed cubbyholes showcase footwear as veritable pieces of art, walls are lacquered black, and upstairs is a bona fide sneaker gallery, with changing exhibits. Rare European brands, such as GoodEnoughUK and Pointer, have made their debut since the renovation, and the website’s all new, too. No password — or secret handshake — required (1509 Walnut Street, 215-988-0194, ubiqlife.com).
Just when you thought you’d heard/seen/worn it all when it comes to living green, this summer heralds the opening of two new eco-
chic spas. First there’s Verde, a full-service extravaganza in Collingswood where everything from the curtains to the shampoo is environmentally friendly (4 Powell Lane, Collingswood). And next month, Center City will welcome JuJu Spa, down the block from JuJu Salon and specializing in facials, Ayurvedic treatments, organic makeup and more (728 South 4th Street, jujusalon.com).
Save on gas to New York, and instead check out and pre-order the latest clothing, shoes and handbags at Neiman Marcus’s next wave of phenomenal trunk shows: Gucci comes to town on Friday, August 17th, and Chanel on the following Wednesday, August 22nd (the Plaza at King of Prussia, 610-354-0500, neimanmarcus.com).