May 26, 2017

PEACE CORPS MEMORIES: Pam and Gary Mount of Terhune Orchards volunteered in Micronesia for the Peace Corps back in the late 1960s. Gary, above and below, helped build an outrigger canoe in the time-honored tradition of the islands. (Photos Courtesy of Pam and Gary Mount)

Pam and Gary Mount spent the first three years of their marriage in the Peace Corps. Married only a month, the couple, who dated all through Princeton High School, set off in 1967 for a remote island in Micronesia. There, and on smaller islands in the western Pacific Ocean chain, they did agricultural work, taught, and helped build a water tank, among other tasks. more

May 25, 2017

ONWARD TROOPS!: “The General” (John Godzieba) and his “troops” depart Trenton’s Mill Hill Park at the start of the Historical Society of Princeton’s “Chasing George” bike ride. (Photo by Michel Serieyssol)

Princeton’s 4th annual Ciclovia was held on Sunday, May 21. This free annual event promotes healthy, active living by closing Quaker Road to vehicles and opening it for people to exercise, play, and learn. Families can run, walk, skate, and ride bikes along the route. more

May 24, 2017

TAKING SHAPE: Construction continues at Princeton University’s Arts and Transit Project as the Lewis Center for the Arts nears completion. The building that will be used as rehearsal and performance space for the Music Department is in the foreground. (Image Courtesy of Princeton University)

Under construction since 2013, Princeton University’s Arts and Transit Project is starting to look more like a complex of modernist buildings and pedestrian plazas than a construction site. The $330 million project is nearing completion right on schedule, with buildings targeted to open for the coming academic year. A weekend of events celebrating the new facilities is planned for October 6-8. more

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS: Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, recently appointed as special counsel to investigate President Trump’s campaign ties with Russia, was presented with the 2017 Princeton Day School Alumni Achievement Award in April in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mueller is an alumnus of Princeton Country Day School, one of the founding schools of PDS. (Photo Courtesy of PDS)

Last week was an eventful one for former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. On Wednesday, Mr. Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department as special counsel to investigate ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, and on Saturday he was honored (in absentia) with Princeton Day School’s (PDS) Alumni Achievement Award as a member of the class of 1959 at Princeton Country Day School (PCDS), one of the founding schools of PDS. more

The Veblen house and cottage in the Herrontown Woods nature preserve remain on the Mercer County agenda for demolition despite a positive meeting last week between Princeton officials and the Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW) preservation group, which is seeking to take over the property and make needed repairs.

“Everybody on Council is looking for some sort of way forward that makes sense and that helps enhance the park,” said Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert. “I think we’re getting closer. I’m optimistic we can find a way forward.” more

QUAKER-MUSLIM BOND: Eighth-graders from Princeton Friends and Noor-Ul-Iman Schools visited the United Nations in New York together last week, continuing a long-term relationship between the two schools. (Photo by Jane Fremon)

The teachers were having difficulty getting their eighth-graders to quiet down and listen to instructions as they worked on an art project. The conversations were animated among the approximately 50 excited children sitting together at round tables. more

NJIT HONOR: Princeton Architect J. Robert Hillier, FAIA, right, was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters, “Honoris Causa,” at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s commencement exercises in Newark’s Prudential Center on May 16. The Board of Trustees of NJIT honored Mr. Hillier in recognition of his distinguished career as an architect and a developer. He is pictured with Dr. Joel Bloom, president of NJIT. (Photograph by GradImages)

Princeton Architect J. Robert Hillier, FAIA, was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s commencement exercises in Newark’s Prudential Center on Tuesday, May 16. Rochelle R. Hendricks, New Jersey‘s first secretary of higher education, and Philip L Rinaldi, founder of Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, were also honored before the capacity audience of graduates and their families. more

Shopping, Food, and Fun Were Had by All at The 11th Annual Girls Night Out in Princeton. (Photographs by Charles R. Plohn)

A record crowd turned out for this year’s Princeton TruckFest, which hosted 16 food trucks on Prospect Street and raised $25,000 to be distributed to Send Hunger Packing Princeton and Meals on Wheels of Mercer County.

This year’s truck lineup included the Feed Truck, Fork in the Road, Kona Ice, Maddalena’s Cheesecake, Suzie’s Rolling Wrappers, Dump N’ Roll, Mama Dude’s, and Omninon, as well as many other trucks. In addition to the food trucks, there were also lawn games, a face painting station run by student volunteers, and a silent auction where participants could bid on prizes donated by local stores and restaurants. more

According to his wife Jeanine, “a large chunk” of her late husband William Rosen’s Miracle Cure (Viking $28) was written “on the old second floor” of the Princeton Public Library. Subtitled The Creation of Antibiotics and the Birth of Modern Medicine, the book’s heroic backstory is touched on in the acknowledgments, where the author writes, “Shortly after I began researching what would become Miracle Cure, I was diagnosed with a rare and highly aggressive form of cancer. After thanking the doctors and nurses who ‘literally kept me alive long enough to complete Miracle Cure,’ Mr. Rosen, who died in April 2016, notes that it’s “perhaps, a little ironic that a book that documents the birth of the modern pharmaceutical firm should have been so dependent on the products of its maturity.” more

Award-winning writer Yiyun Li will join the Lewis Center for the Art’s Program in Creative Writing faculty at Princeton University in September 2017. She has been appointed as a full professor of creative writing and will be teaching undergraduate creative writing workshops. more

A song is like a dream, and you try to make it come true. They’re like strange countries you have to enter. —Bob Dylan, from Chronicles: Volume One

Is it any wonder that songs, dreams, strange countries, and parallel universes are on my mind the morning after watching the return of David Lynch’s 27-year-long interrupted dream, Twin Peaks, on Showtime Sunday night? On top of that, today, May 24, is Bob Dylan’s 76th birthday. In fact, the original motive for this column was the 100th birthday of John F. Kennedy next Monday, May 29, and while it’s too soon to say anything about the reincarnation of the show frequently credited with inspiring the Golden Age of the Television Series, it’s worth nothing that Eagle Scout David Lynch was present for the inauguration of JFK, which coincided with his 15th birthday, January 20, 1961. more

“SHEEP GATHERING”: This painting by Diane Pastore will be among those featured in “Small Works by Watercolorists Unlimited,” running June 4 through June 30 at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury.

This June the Gourgaud Gallery at 23-A North Main Street in Cranbury will host an exhibit, “Small Works by Watercolorists Unlimited,” featuring small watercolor paintings (under 11”x 17” framed) by Watercolorists Unlimited, a group of 13 New Jersey artists who meet monthly to critique work together. Each month the group chooses a new subject to paint, and then meets at the end of the month for lunch and a formal critique. Many of the artists have been active in the group for more than 20 years. There will be several paintings from each artist on exhibit, and most works will be for sale. more

Kyra Nichols and David Gray, shown here in the ballet studio of the Princeton home they are about to leave, are moving to Bloomington, Ind., where Ms. Nichols has joined the faculty of the prestigious Jacobs School of Music. (Photo by Andrew Wilkinson)

Princeton resident Kyra Nichols, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, has been named to the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Ind. Ms. Nichols and her husband David Gray, who is the executive director of Pennsylvania Ballet, have lived in Princeton with their two sons for 18 years. Ms. Nichols was most recently a ballet mistress at Pennsylvania Ballet. more

McCarter Theatre Center is proud to announce its participation in a new partnership with Princeton University, commissioning seven professional playwrights to write short plays to be presented with the 2017 launch of the Princeton and Slavery Project.

An impressive collection of award-winning playwrights will take part in this project, including Nathan Alan Davis, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Dipika Guha, recently announced MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Emily Mann, and Regina Taylor. The public readings will be directed by Patricia McGregor. These commissions are made possible by generous support from Mathematica Policy Research, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and the Princeton University Histories Fund. more

Jane Cox, director of the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University, has been nominated for a Tony Award for her lighting design of the Broadway production of August Wilson’s play Jitney. In addition to her work as a professional lighting designer, Ms. Cox has served as a lecturer in the Program in Theater since 2007 and was appointed as director in July 2016.

The Tony Awards are given for Broadway productions and performances and are selected by a committee made up of select members of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, the Dramatists Guild, Actors’ Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.  more

Mill Ballet announces Christine McDowell will join as a guest instructor for the Choreographic Workshop during Summer Dance 2017. While the main focus is on ballet, summer students will be exposed to other forms of dance such as flamenco, modern, contemporary, ballroom, and jazz. Classes in dance conditioning, as well as lectures in injury prevention and nutrition, auditioning, and careers in dance will all be a part of the student’s day.

On May 13, 2017, Sruti Bapatla of Plainsboro and Madeline Epstein of West Windsor performed with the All-State Intermediate Orchestra performing Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Vaughn Williams, and Dvorak. Students who were invited to perform with the All-State orchestra underwent two rounds of rigorous auditions – first for the regional orchestras, then for the All-State Orchestra. 

NEW BEGINNINGS: Every season is delightful at Blue Raccoon, but spring, with its focus on hope, new beginnings, and transformation, is especially welcome at this iconic home, gifts, and design store in Lambertville. Owner and creative designer Nelson Zayas (left) and manager Cindy Philo are shown in front of a series of handcrafted items, made in the U.S.A., from the store’s wonderfully eclectic selection.

Approaching 25 years in business, Blue Raccoon Home Furnishings remains a delightful emporium to visit. Whether one is in a mood to browse or to buy, the shopping experience at this charming store is always a pleasure. And few customers leave empty-handed! more

TAKING HIS SHOT: Princeton High boys’ track star thrower Paul Brennan competes at the shot put in a meet earlier this spring. Last Saturday at the Mercer County Championships, sophomore star Brennan won the discus and took second in the shot put to help PHS take second in the team standings. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Ben Samara knew that the Princeton High boys’ track team was in for a dogfight as it went after the title at the Mercer County Championships last Saturday. more

May 22, 2017

SPOILS OF VICTORY: Members of the Princeton University women’s open varsity 8 show off the medals and trophies they earned after winning the grand final at the Ivy League championship regatta on Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. last Sunday. It was the second straight Ivy crown for the top open boat and the third in the last four years. Princeton is next in action when it competes at the NCAA championship regatta from May 26-28 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Even though the Princeton University women’s open varsity 8 went 11-0 in regular season competition, Lori Dauphiny knew nothing was guaranteed as her top boat competed in the Ivy League championship regatta last weekend. more

May 18, 2017

At a community meeting Monday evening, Princeton University officials expanded upon details released last month about its 2026 Campus Plan. Potential sites on the existing campus for a new undergraduate residential college, the University’s engineering school, and its environmental studies program were among the topics discussed. more

May 17, 2017

Members of the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team celebrate after they defeated Princeton High 9-5 in the Mercer County Tournament title game last Thursday. It was the second straight MCT crown for PDS. The Panthers will go for one more championship this spring when they host Rutgers Prep in the state Prep B final on May 17. See page 30 for more details on the county title game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Where will Princeton be in 20 years? What sorts of personal transportation will be used? How should Princeton balance future change and plan its redevelopment?

These and many more questions will be the focus of a forum on the future of Princeton to be held in the Community Room of the Princeton Public Library on Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. more

ARTJAM: The annual pop-up art gallery by HomeFront will run from May 19 to June 6 at 19 Hulfish St. in Princeton’s Palmer Square.

HomeFront’s seventh annual ArtJam pop-up gallery will open Friday, May 19 at 19 Hulfish St on Princeton’s Palmer Square. HomeFront is a Mercer County-based nonprofit that works to fight homelessness in the area, and ArtJam serves in part as a major fundraiser for the organization’s ArtSpace programming. ArtSpace is an open studio for clients at HomeFront’s new Family Preservation Center in Ewing. Ruthann Traylor, the ArtSpace director, explains that it is meant as both a therapeutic creative outlet for HomeFront clients, as well as a means for them to pick up entrepreneurial skills through the sale of their artwork. The ArtJam pop-up gallery will feature artwork from ArtSpace participants as well as the work of over 100 locally and nationally celebrated artists.  more