SUMMER DINING AT WINDROWS: The Nassau Patio, shown here, is just one of the dining options at Princeton Windrows, the independent, resident-owned active adult community. This popular patio is open for alfresco dinners in spring, summer, and fall. Patio heaters and a fire pit are available during cooler weather. Outdoor dining has become a big favorite for many who enjoy the pleasure of open-air eating opportunities.
By Jean Stratton
It’s all about choices.
At Princeton Windrows, the independent adult community for people 55 and older, residents have many options. Lifestyle, type of dwelling, eating choices, participation in activities, attending events, pets (Windrows is very pet-friendly) — it is all up to the residents. They have complete control of how they wish to live within a worry-free, easy-living setting.
No more snow shoveling, leaf raking, house painting, house cleaning, etc. Instead: more time to focus on what is important at this point in one’s life.
Located on 35 acres at 2000 Windrow Dive, adjacent to Princeton Forrestal Village, and four miles from downtown Princeton, Windrows offers 192 apartment-style condominiums, and 102 one-story villas and two-story townhouses. Approximately 300 people are currently in residence.
At Princeton Windrows, residents own real property, which they can choose to upgrade or sell at any time.
“Princeton Windrows is unique in that it is not owned by a company,” explains Jane Black, president of the board of trustees. “It is a nonprofit condominium association independent adult community. There are very few adult communities not run by a corporation. We are resident-owned and managed, and very different from other 55 and older adult communities and assisted living and continuing care centers.”
Black, who came to Windrows from Mount Kisco, N.Y., points out that there was nothing like Windrows in her area, and how special her new home is, especially its warm and welcoming atmosphere.
“You can walk out of your apartment and socialize with someone. There are always people to help you. We all know each other, and the staff is wonderful. They call us by name, and are so helpful.
“Also, the people who live here are very well-educated and involved. They have a wide range of interests and abilities. There is always something interesting to learn about or participate in.”
Board member Billie Emmerich, who had previously lived in Princeton for many years, agrees. “The people here, the sense of community, and the conveniences are all so special. I value the friendships, the stimulation of many available activities, the convenience of everyday living, and the caring staff.”
Interested and Active
The handsome mid-rise, five-story main building, known as Windrows Hall, features two large residential wings with apartments, and is the site of the wide variety of activities, meeting rooms, a wellness center, etc.
Indeed, Windrows has an extensive range of activities with opportunities to keep all the residents interested and active. One’s imagination and creativity can be stimulated with art classes and exhibits, dance and music events, sing-alongs, and more.
Thespians can try out their talent in Windrows’ own productions, featuring resident actors and directors.
Lifelong learners enjoy the variety of discussion groups, science programs, and book clubs (Windrows’ library is filled with books of all kinds, magazines, and newspapers — and another section features many books written by Windrows’ residents).
“Techies” have a chance to do their thing in the computer room, as well as hone their Zoom skills, and also seek help from the Windrows experts, if necessary.
“Wednesdays at Windrows” offer Zoom presentations, including speakers providing information and enlightenment on a variety of subjects.
The game room is the scene of weekly bridge and poker games, as well as Scrabble, mahjong, and more.
Exercise — from relaxed to intense — is available at the tennis and pickleball courts, and indoor swimming pool, with yoga, tai chi, chair exercise opportunities, table tennis, bocce, and croquet also on tap. Landscaped nature walking trails are another big favorite with residents.
In addition, the fitness center is filled with a range of exercise equipment and machines to keep the heart rate up.
If gardening is your specialty, you can indulge your passion at the communal Gray Gardens, where apartment residents can work on their own plot. Townhouse and villa residents may garden in their own yard.
Additional amenities, opportunities, and services are an on-site hair salon, 1st Constitution Bank branch, “corner store,” weekly house cleaning service, on-site security personnel, car ports, and charging stations for electric cars.
Transportation is available for shopping trips and errands, with front desk staff ready to help, and although Windrows is not an assisted living or continuing care community, it offers an on-site Wellness Center, with a nurse in attendance seven days a week.
As Jane Black reports, “The office and staff are there to do blood pressure checks, answer health questions, triage patients who don’t feel well, handle health-related phone calls, emergencies, and direct our fitness program.”
Everything changed over the past year, including life at Windrows, during the pandemic. Outings and events were canceled, and activities limited. Now that COVID cases are decreasing and vaccinations are increasing, a more normal situation is resuming.
Outings include visits to Terhune Orchards, area parks, and other nearby sites. As more events and locations open, trips to attend events at McCarter Theatre, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and other cultural opportunities may also resume.
In the past, outings to the Philadelphia Flower Show, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Longwood Gardens, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, and the Michener Museum were among the trips available to residents.
Enthusiasm for the dining opportunities at Windrows is very high. During the virus, all meals were delivered to each individual’s personal residence, and this is still available, if desired. Now, however, people can once again enjoy dining together (with suitable social distancing among tables).
In addition to the two main dining rooms, there is a cafe, a private dining room for parties and events, an outdoor dining patio, and a beverage station, with complimentary coffee and soft drinks.
Meal plans are part of the monthly service fee, and choices of four, 15, or 30 meals per month are available.
“It is really good food, with lots of options,” points out Billie Emmerich. “Dinner choices offer four entrees, soup, salad, and desserts. We have an excellent chef.”
A very popular dining experience was the weekly Sunday brunch, featuring an extensive number of mouth-watering choices. It has been discontinued during the virus, but everyone looks forward to its reopening in the future.
Windrows residents are very much involved in the management and operation of life in their community. In addition to their board of trustees, residents serve on a variety of committees, says Emmerich.
“There is a committee structure, with a number of committee opportunities, such as programs and activities, library, marketing, welcoming newcomers, landscaping, finance, and others.”
Currently, the committee meetings are held via Zoom.
There is much to interest residents at Windrows, and they can be as active and involved as they wish. Whenever and however they choose to participate, the atmosphere is always conducive to learning and enjoyable enlightenment. For example, an exhibit case features residents’ own special collections. They range from model trains and dolls to vintage keys and glassware to antique bottles and fine porcelain.
Artwork lines the walls of Windrows Hall, and many paintings are the work of area artists.
Movies are shown regularly, and celebrations are held for holidays and special events. There truly is something to stimulate everyone’s interest, proclivity, and curiosity.
That Windrows is a special place is the result of the hard work and willingness of so many involved in its operation. The board, the committee members, the staff, and all who work as a team to make Princeton Windrows the success it is — they are the essentials!
“It really is the people,” says Jane Black. “And the amenities and conveniences that we are so fortunate to have. We are small and friendly and very attentive to detail to make life as easy and pleasurable as possible for our residents. This is really like a boutique residential hotel.”
For further information, call (609) 520-3700. Website: princetonwindrows.com.