Posts Tagged ‘NJ


Isabelle Von Boch of Villeroy & Boch shares inspirational tips for Mother’s Day


Villeroy & Boch Mother’s Day gifts bring elegance and grace together!

My mother has for the past several years, always asked for one thing (other than a silk sari which she gets anyway) for Mother’s Day- an additional piece to her amazing collection of Villeroy and Boch products.

For years my mom has entertained hundreds of family and friends with the stylish, alluring and durable dinnerware that she often refers to as “a work of art”.

I remember as a kid growing up how decorative tabletops were common in our household and how mom always took pride in creating them for whenever she would invite family or friends over during the holidays or for special dinner parties. Since my mom loves to cook (and is damn good at!) she entertained a great deal always using the luxurious and colorful brand.
Villeroy and Boch have been around for over 260 years and the German company, known for their bold and vibrant colors, stunning stylish designs and devoted followers (like my mom), have geared up  to help celebrate Mother’s Day 2014 by offering moms all over the world more designs, ideas and choices for creating beautiful tableware for family and friends.
Isabelle Von Boch holding the popular Salad Plate Camel from the Samarkand Mandarin collection

Isabelle Von Boch holding the popular Salad Plate Camel from the Samarkand Mandarin collection

So you can just image how excited I was when I found that  Isabelle von Boch, an 8th generation descendant of the internationally renowned Villeroy and Boch family was coming to Princeton, NJ to share her personal creativity and inspiration  for creating the family friendly dinning table.

The Ravi Report caught up with Ms. Boch to get the story behind the fascination of Villeroy and Boch.
RR: A true honor to meet you Isabelle. You are known as the guru in the tabletop industry and you share with people all over the world such creative ideas when it comes to tableware.  Please tell me a bit about your mission in the ever-changing tabletop generation.

Isabelle Von Boch posing next to the ever so popular & vibrant Mariefluer Dinner collection

IVB: I feel like a missionary that inspires people. My biggest wish or rather desire is to inspire people.

It’s not about selling, it’s about inspiration. People can make it (Villeroy and Boch) part of their lives in so many easy ways. People are sometimes not aware of the personal and immense impact of using a beautiful cup or stylish place setting for their family dinning.
RR: Your travels have taken you around the world where you offer tips, ideas and creative suggestions for the tabletop. In India for example, you are revered for your inspirational ideas when it comes to designing the colorful dinner tabletop. Why do you think there is such a strong brand connection with Villeroy & Boch in the international scene?
IVB: People receive us in the way that they do because they have an emotional impact with us. We speak to the emotions
of our customers and everything we do has an emotional quality. When people connect with our colors or design, they also connect with the European part of the culture. People in India buy Villeroy and Boch because they want to be part of the rich European culture.VilleroyBochMothersDaydisplay
RR: I also think it may have something to do with the strong bond that Indians have with Germans.
IVB:  Exactly. Indians connect with Germans on many levels. They love Germany, they love the people, there is a very strong connection between the two cultures. Our artwork being perfect, the shape being perfect and the technology being perfect is why we do very well in India. Also, when I was in India recently, I saw that color schemes and the strength of colors is what people really relate to in what we offer them. What we make is relevant to people’s lives and we try to make people understand that.
RR: Please if you will, give me an example of your own personal creativity that people have followed and how you think it impacts in the world of tabletop design?
IVB: I think examples like collecting different placements which lead to creating a different atmosphere for each meal is important. Have a different one for lunch, dinner, etc. Just like you change your clothes, placements are the clothes of the table and dinnerware should not be boring. Add some crystal glassware or flowers as well. It’s not about spending money, it’s about the table coming alive during dinner and holidays. Also, I have said that bone china can be used on any occasion, not just for holidays.
The Villeroy & Boch store brings hints of European flair to Princeton, NJ.

The Villeroy & Boch store brings hints of European flair to Princeton, NJ.

RR:  Tell me a little about the stunning color schemes in the products and why they do so well.

IVB: Our colors schemes are bold and strong and we are not afraid to make a statement.
Each one of our patterns has a personality so to speak. People who are afraid to make a statement about themselves, are not our customers.  People want refinement! We are in the business of creating ambiance and creating a way of life for people to communicate, socialize and bring the family together. Dinner is about socialization, connecting the family and not just about beautiful plates.
RR: My mom who has been a life long devoted fan, says your products “keep the family together”. Your thoughts?
IVB: Correct! I am about the family that eats together and stays together. I stress that all over the world when I visit people.
RR: Thank you Isabelle. Such a pleasure and an honor to meet the woman behind such an amazing brand.
IVB: Thank you so much.
The Villeroy & Boch store is located in the Princeton Market Fair Shopping Center. For more information, please visit
The journey continues and for Mother’s Day, it’s going to be a stylish one for sure!

PRINCETON, NJ – Summer Beauty In Full Swing!!

Summer roses in Princeton, NJ are vibrant and alluring!

Summer is in full swing folks and boy, has it  been a hot one for sure!

Crowded beaches, fully blossomed  gardens,  weekly sexy pool parties  and long lines at the ice cream parlors filled with beautiful people showing off their gym toned bodies makes summer all the more complete!

In my hometown of Princeton, NJ  ( a town known to the world for its highly intellectual individuals, famous university( with brilliant professors, renowned Olympic rowing team, ( and small town charm,

Read your favorite book by the fountain in the Princeton Shopping Center

always manages to capture my attention every summer with the tremendous amount of seasonal beauty that comes in many different shapes and forms in the summer months in the town where Albert Einstein once worked and lived.

From  blue  picturesque skies to neighborhood colorful gardens, visitors and residents of the artistic  township get to see stunning flowers, vintage churches, curated gardens and beautiful people enjoying the season as they walk the famous Nassau and Witherspoon Streets in town. Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, Paul Muldoon and the gifted  artistic director Emily Mann are just some of the distinguished celebrities who make

The world-famous Princeton University campus is an architectural delight!

Princeton their home.

“I like Princeton because it’s a scenic town with an artistic appeal to it mixed in with intelligence,” said a stunning blond graduate student with piercing blue eyes. “Princeton is full of diversity and has branched out in providing more of a multi-cultural platform for residents and students.” pointed out a beautiful Indian PhD student with a pierced nose ring and long silky hair.

Enjoy a trip around town to see the many historical and architectural award-winning homes or just walk the neighborhood admiring the mcmansions, captivating gardens and professionally designed lawns, you will clearly see summer beauty (and $$$) in many forms.

Captivating flowers everywhere you go!


1. Visit the world-famous Princeton University, and the alluring campus filled with architectural treasures and impressive buildings on  one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. Daily and weekend tours available.

2. Grab java or organic lunch at the iconic coffee-house, Small World Coffee,  the most popular place in Princeton filled with authors, students, screenwriters and models.

3. Bring a little bit of Indian culture back with you by visiting Salty Dog,, the most incredible place for handmade Indian jewelry, silk and cotton shirts, chanting beads, tablecloths and  every kind of Lord  Ganesh idol you will ever see among many other Hindu idols mixed in with colorful Indian handmade artifacts.

Beautiful, vintage churches where praying is done in style!

4. Greene Street Consignment Shop- Shop for famous name brands at a fraction of the cost in the super friendly,ultra-modern and popular Princeton store on  Nassau Street. Hunt for  designer clothing for both men and women, colorful accessories and name brand shoes and leave Princeton looking like a million bucks!

5. Infini-T and Cafe Spice Souk-one of the best and most interesting places to have any kind of tea you want. Friendly, comfortable, stylish and filled with artists, students, professors, actors and models, this tea house provides a relaxing and soothing place to sit and savor a cup of delicious tea. Located in the trendy Palmer Square and not to be missed!

5. Thomas Sweets Cool off with the best ice cream you will get in NJ! Come early and  avoid the lines of people waiting to taste some serious delightful flavors!

Princeton Library’s scenic court-yard brings visitors from all over the world!

6. Palmer Square– A relaxing, scenic area filled with vintage shops, brand name clothing stores and visitors shopping for everything from designer shoes to vintage silver, all in one area. A must see for out-of-town folks and for those that just want to have a relaxing time drinking coffee while sitting on a bench under exquisite trees and people watching.

7. Princeton Library Courtyard– Tired after a day of shopping? Need to rest and refuel your energy? Grab some coffee from the nearby coffee houses and sit in the most resplendent courtyard you will ever be in. Filled with summer trees, flowers and town residents, the courtyard serves many purposes including a place to experience peaceful evenings filled with white lights surrounding the yard.

8. PJ’s Pancake House  If you are lucky enough to come in EARLY on a Sunday morning, you can avoid the line (and I do mean LONG line) to get into one of the most respected and popular restaurants in Princeton.

Enjoy a morning breakfast at the famous PJ’s Pancake House on Nassau St.

This historical place is filled with interesting anecdotes about the famous celebrities and historians that have eaten at the authentic place. The food is enticing and so is the service!

9. Mehek Indian Restaurant If you want some  good Indian food while you visit Princeton, you must try this north Indian restaurant which serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. From delicious naan to mouth-watering spicy chaana saag, the flavorful and exotic food will add to your memories of fine Indian dining. Their lunch buffet rocks!

10. Peaceful & Refreshing Evening Walk– After a long day of sight-seeing, shopping, eating and picture-taking, complete your visit with a long, peaceful walk by the Princeton University  Woodrow Wilson School Fountain on Washington Rd. Relax on the benches surrounding the fountain while drinking your favorite beverage or just collecting your thoughts, it’s an indefectible place to end your eventful day   leaving  you with fond memories of the historical town.

A summer storm lingering over Princeton brings out the photographer in everyone!

If you worried about  a place to park in Princeton, don’t be. There is a new garage located on Spring Street where you can  park your car and there are also plenty of meters on the main and side roads where you can also park.  If you come during the day, bring plenty (and I do mean plenty) of change for the parking meters as you will need to stay as long as you can to enjoy the fun town. Make sure you bring your camera and wear a good pair of walking shoes..’cause you’ll need them!

The journey continues….in Princeton, NJ!




The Ravi Report in line with the best!

The prestigious and world-famous NY Waldorf Astoria  was recently home to one of the most prestigious honors for television and radio programming.  The George F. Peabody Awards given to  the most distinguished and talented individuals in electronic media from around the world celebrated its 69th awards presentation in elegance and style. 

Recipients included producers, actors, writers, directors and talent that were associated with some of the most innovating and thought-provoking films, radio broadcasts, documentaries and television shows.  The Ravi Report was invited to cover the special awards ceremony which included meeting some of the dignified winners. 

"Modern Family" star Sophia Vergara graces the Peabody Awards with her beauty!

36 recipients picked up the eminent award for their outstanding work reflecting diversity, creativity and original content in electronic media.  

Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker poses with executive producer Forest Whitaker.

The charismatic, humble  and well liked mayor (over a million followers on Twitter!)  of Newark, NJ , Cory Booker  was featured in the film  “Brick City” which won  for its portrayal of a selected group of Newark residents trying to make their lives better against all odds. The film follows Booker along with the city’s Police Chef  as well as the individuals facing daily struggles of survival. 

But fame was never important to the mayor.   Booker is a well grounded and goal oriented individual and has been since he got elected into office.  He has deep passion for the city of Newark and its residents. That is very clear in his actions and in the film.  

Booker spoke to The Ravi Report about the film’s honor.  

“I think the film being on the Sundance Channel and having such a great team behind it, I’m happy that the film is getting the kind of recognition it deserves,” stated the mayor.  

But the rising political star  likes to give credit where credit is due regarding his success.  

"Brick City" executive producers Mark Benjamin, Mark Levin and Forest Whitaker

“It’s really everyone not just me. It’s a group effort and that’s very important” smiled the mayor who recently attended President Obama’s state dinner for the Mexican President. 

Booker who has been credited for turning Newark into a platform for positive change and is very grateful for the amount of support that he has received from everyone including celebrities and politicians. 

The multi-talented actor Forest Whitaker served as one of the executive producers of  “Brick City” and he spoke to The Ravi Report about what the film meant to him.   

Cory Booker poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

“This film shows how people can change with positive influence and how there is hope with people like Cory”  commented the award-winning actor.  

The ceremony was hosted by the legendary news anchor  and ever glamorous and beautiful Diane Sawyer  who also won a Peabody for her  news special ” A Hidden America: Children of The Mountains” an expose of poverty-stricken Central Appalachia families.  Sawyer and her team spent two years documenting  four youths trying to escape the despair of poverty.  

"Modern Family" executive producer Steven Levitan speaks to The Ravi Report about his show's success.

The prevailing ABC show “Modern Family” won for its creative content and original format.  Steve Levitan, the creator of the hit series said that he was excited that his show has gotten such a loyal following and was grateful for the honor. HBO’s innovative drama series “In Treatment” a psychoanalysis therapy-session drama with award-winning actors Gabriel Bryne and Dianne Wiest also won.  

Another popular series that won was “Glee” (Fox) the television drama that focuses on realistic issues teenagers continue to deal with such as  pregnancy, disability and sexual orientation.  

"60 Minutes" acclaimed journalist Steve Kroft and his team of producers exclusively pose for The Ravi Report

60 Minutes” the  most innovating news programs, on the air today, added two more Peabodys to their collection of awards.  Esteemed and audacious journalist  Steve Kroft’s  special report on  cyber terrorism entitled “60 Minutes: Sabotaging the System” focused on potential attacks on computer systems around the world won the award as did  w his report “60 Minutes: The Cost of Dying”.   

Peabody Winner Anika Noni Rose speaks about her win to the press

The beautiful and talented Tony Award winning actress Anika Noni Rose won for her role in  the HBO series “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency”. The show based in Botswana displays the talents and personalities of several ladies with  probing kind of  nature and is produced by The Weinstein Company, BBC and HBO Entertainment. Rose comes from a strong stage background where she won her Tony Award for her role in “Caroline or Change” and for her role in “Dreamgirls”.  This is the first Peabody for the actress.  

For a complete list of winners please go to  

The journey continues..and for these Peabody winners…it just became sweeter!!!  




When news broke of actor Kal Penn 31, deciding to give up the glitz, glamour, $$$ in  Hollywood to join the White House Office of Public Liaison in the Obama Administration in Washington,  I thought: Who could do a better job than the well known and  likable Penn? Quite frankly, no one. The award winning American born Indian actor will soon be given the job title of Associate Director and serve as a strong link to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In other words, it’s a great job folks!

Kal Penn being interviewed on the red carpet in NY with Indian actor Irrfan Khan

Kal Penn being interviewed on the red carpet in NY with Indian actor Irrfan Khan

Penn, whose was born Kalpen Suresh Modi 31 years ago in Montclair, NJ  to immigrant parents from India,  is one of the most visible and talented Asian Indian actors today in Hollywood. Some of his   popular movies like “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle,”“The Namesake,”Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” have created massive cult like followings around the globe. The television and film actor  for the past few seasons  has been portraying  the popular role of Dr. Lawrence Kutner in the mega hit  Emmy Award winning television series “House”on Fox directed by Bryan Singer.  Penn’s role ended recently when his character committed suicide on the show. Not a very graceful farewell exit but nonetheless,  it allows the  award winning actor to take the  job at The White House.

Kal Penn talking at "The Namesake" party in NY

Kal Penn at "The Namesake" party in NY

But let’s be clear here. Penn is not leaving acting.  It is just being put “on hold for now” as he has been quoted saying to the press.  The actor said that during the Obama campaigning he was very passionate about public service and acting so he is now embarking on another journey and will do very well in.

Over the years, I have met Penn several times at movie premiers, parties and red carpets events and let me just say one thing about the well liked actor. He is PERFECT for the job and let me tell you why.  In my opinion, Penn is not  an actor trying to gain additional popularity nor is he seeking fame and fortune-he already has that. The young and smart celebrity is ideal for the position because he is passionate about serving the public and the White House saw it and that is why they asked him to join their team.   Choosing to give up a very lucrative acting career (that Penn has worked so hard to achieve along with landing a role on popular television series that many actors only dream of getting) shows the true passion that this  young democrat has about helping to serve the public.

The Indian actor  has always been very nice and gracious to me and other reporters as well.  During the premiere of his hit movie “The Namesake” in NY, the actor made time for all the reporters and was very professional and very receptive to the audience during an Q&A session after the screening.  Even when Penn is an invited as a guest to a movie premiere or party, he is flocked  by the media and is often in high demand by the press to get an interview at premieres and parties.

Penn talking to a guest with Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri of "The Namesake" in the background.

Penn talking to a guest at the NY Public Library with Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri of "The Namesake" in the background during a surprise visit to the party.

“I have always loved acting but life is full of other opportunities” he once told me at a red carpet party in NY when I asked the actor about his choice as an entertainer when most South Asians traditionally  choose medicine or other sciences as a career.

“I am so grateful that the South Asian community has been encouraging and supportive of my work. That’s very cool” he told The Ravi Report on the red carpet recently.

The Indian actor campaigned for Obama during 2008 mostly on college campuses around the country invoking the voice of the younger generation.  He also expressed during that time to the Obama team how much he had enjoyed the opportunity and that serving the public  is something that he has always been passionae about  besides acting. They saw, they listened and they agreed.

Some of the feedback that I have been receiving from the South Asian community  has been nothing but positive.

“Finally, The White House has some solid South Asian representation” said one stunning Indian girl with porcelain like skin at a Manhattan Starbucks studying for what else, the medical school entrance exam. She further said that South Asians contribute to the economy in so many ways, it’s about time that there is strong representation in Washington.

Up close & personal!

Washington, here I come!

“I feel that Kal will in fact do a great job and open doors to communication not just with South Asians but with many other immigrants and communities” said one very cute and very petite Korean girl.  She also said the Obama Administration is filled with diversity and this appointment will only strengthen the President’s close connection to the international communities around the country.

 I  personally believe that since Penn is well liked by many people both inside and outside of Hollywood and has demonstrated his devotion to public service, he will indeed bring a great deal of honor to both Hollywood and the South Asian communities around the globe with his new and exciting role in The White House.

Way to go “Kumar”!

The journey continues…


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