December 9, 2020

“Community” Has Taken on Much More Meaning in This Time of COVID

To the Editor:

Growing up in Princeton, it was obvious to me that we cared deeply about our town. But it was not until I became owner of Princeton Record Exchange that I began to understand just how entwined the government, residents, merchants, and other organizations are. For 40 years, PREX has been embraced by this Princeton community. The residents and local government have shown us love and support, and their enthusiasm and concern for our well-being has increased exponentially during these challenging times. The daily encouragement we get is heartwarming and has made our load much easier to bear. 

As a nationally recognized record store, we are also firmly entrenched in the global music community. Each year we host tens of thousands of visitors from all over the state, country, and world. They come to PREX to experience the joys of immersing themselves in a real brick-and-mortar store. We are happy to satisfy and hope to do so for many years to come.

Some of you may know that 2020 is our 40th Anniversary year. We were intending to celebrate big. Another community we belong to — the downtown retail/restaurant community — really rallied round to help us. Small World Coffee, Triumph Brewery, and Bent Spoon offered to create special PREX40 items. We were planning music events with the Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton Public Library, McCarter Theatre, and several local musicians, and had other projects in the works. Obviously, it did not turn out that way. On March 20, the staff celebrated our opening day anniversary. On March 21, New Jersey shut down. 

While we are of course disappointed, the love we have felt remains. There is a palpable camaraderie that permeates this town. The residents, government, and the independent business owners are kind, caring, and supportive. It is my pleasure to have made friends with many members of each of these communities that come together and form my Princeton. 

As we strive to cope with this pandemic, community support is more important than ever. This holiday season, please keep your focus local. Come visit downtown to shop the shops, eat at the fine restaurants, and enjoy the decorations, promotions, and events that are happening all around us. If we continue to work together, we will make it through. Thank you for caring so much about our town and making PREX a part of your community.

Jon Lambert
Princeton Record Exchange
South Tulane Street