February 24, 2016


Princeton Day School boys’ basketball players, from left, Craig Wrenn (No. 12), Chase Lewis (No. 3), and David Coit (No. 11) celebrate with teammates last Wednesday after top-seeded PDS edged third-seeded Morristown-Beard 66-62 in overtime in the state Prep B final. It was the first state crown for the program since the Panthers won the Prep A title in 1999. See page 40 for more details on the championship game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)


Princeton Magazine is continuing the Oscar celebration with a selection of dazzling gold products.

The Oscar gold was spread around last night with Spotlight winning Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay; Leonardo DiCaprio taking home Best Actor for The Revenant; Mark Rylance and Alicia Vikander were named best supporting actor and actress, respectively, she for The Danish Girl; and Brie Larson took the best actress prize for Room.

Shop Gold! Simply click on each product image to purchase.


Witherspoon Jackson

A NEIGHBORHOOD IN PICTURES: Several photo collages created by Witherspoon-Jackson resident Romus Broadway were on display in the corridor at Witherspoon Monday night, where Princeton Council met to consider making the neighborhood a historic district. The photo essays, spanning several decades, illustrate the history and heritage of the area. Before the meeting, many people were observed pointing out familiar places and locations. 

At another standing-room-only meeting of Princeton Council in Witherspoon Hall Monday night, the proposed ordinance that would make the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood Princeton’s twentieth historic district drew spirited commentary from residents and other members of the public. Nearly all spoke strongly in favor of the concept. more

Battlefield Caption

About 50 members of the Princeton Battlefield Society, meeting Saturday afternoon on the Maxwell Field buffer zone between the main battlefield and the Institute for Advanced Study, vowed to press on with their law suit and other measures planned to halt the Institute’s construction of faculty housing units. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon, in contemporary dress at center) spoke on behalf of the Battlefield Society’s efforts, as did Society President Jerry Hurwitz (standing to Gusciora’s left). 

Fenwick Hospitality Group, owned by Jim Nawn, who also owns Agricola, the Great Road Farm, and the bar and bistro planned for the old Dinky train station, has purchased the Main Street Restaurant Group, including the Main Street Bistro in the Princeton Shopping Center, Main Street Eatery and Gourmet Bakery in Kingston and Main Street Fine Catering in Rocky Hill.

Mr. Nawn, former owner of 37 Panera Bread franchises in New Jersey, stated his respect for Main Street, which has been in the community since 1984. Mr. Nawn plans to move slowly with any future changes.  more

See below for the February 22, 2016 Princeton Council Meeting.

Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.

A fourth Democrat has announced her candidacy for a seat on Princeton Council. Anne Waldron Neumann, a former member of the Princeton Environmental Commission and Site Plan Review Advisory Board, has joined newcomers Tim Quinn and Leticia Fraga and incumbent Jenny Crumiller in the race for the two seats that are up for grabs. Ms. Crumiller issued a formal announcement this week that she is seeking re-election.

Incumbent Patrick Simon has said he will not seek re-election.

Affordability is the most pressing local issue to Ms. Neumann, who ran for Borough Council in 2010 but was defeated in the primary. “I grew up in Princeton,” she said in her release, “and I’m passionate about preserving our many diverse neighborhoods. How many Princetonians know that a third of all Princeton households, based on income alone, would be eligible for affordable housing?” more



BI-LINGUAL MORNING MEETING: In Damaris Rodriguez’s first grade class at Community Park School the dual language immersion program is in full swing, with half the classes conducted in English and half in Spanish and benefits for both native and non-native speakers.

For about 80 kindergarteners and first graders the school year so far at Community Park has provided a different sort of experience from that of past years or that of many of their peers. Those students and their four teachers have been plunged into a dual language immersion program (DLI), learning half the day in Spanish and half the day in English.  more

all in a days work

FROM BROOKLYN TO MT. LUCAS ROAD: Brooklyn-born Grisele Gamboa at her desk at the Pediatric Group on Mt. Lucas Road: “I can’t see myself working anywhere else.” (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

Grisele Gamboa is a medical assistant at The Pediatric Group on Mt. Lucas Road in Princeton. After a series of jobs first in her hometown of Brooklyn, then getting married and moving to New Jersey and working as a paraoptometric assistant for Dr. Charles Allen in Princeton and a brief stint in the corporate world, she decided that nursing would be her future. Starting at The Pediatric Group about four years ago was a big step in that direction. Grisele, age 29, lives in Bridgewater with her husband and two-year-old son and is expecting another child in early May. She hopes to stay with The Pediatric Group forever and plans to earn her RN and possibly nurse practitioner degrees as she juggles her family and career over the next few years. Here, in her own words, Grisele talks about her life in the pediatrician’s office.  more

The Princeton Family YMCA and YWCA, longtime neighbors on Paul Robeson Place, are reorganizing operations to help reduce confusion about which programs and services are held in which facility. Following the recommendations of a task group made up of representatives from both organizations, the YMCA Board of Directors voted unanimously at its January meeting to sign a Letter of Intent with the YWCA to put the changes into effect.

The transition will get underway in June. By September, the YWCA will run services from the Program Building and the Bramwell House, providing the childcare and bilingual nursery school, the Newcomers and Friends Club, robotics, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, dance, English as a Second Language, and the High School Equivalency Training Center. more

Best-selling author Lynn Olson will deliver a lecture on Morven Museum & Garden’s behalf on Sunday, March 6 at 4 p.m. at McCosh 50. “Those Angry Days: The Lindberghs and World War II” is presented in conjunction with Morven’s exhibition “Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age.”

The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required but seating is limited to a first come, first serve basis. Doors to McCosh 50 will open at 3 p.m. more

Art Nassau

The Nassau Club will host an exhibition, “Landscapes,” from March 6 to May 1 by Hopewell artist Ken McIndoe. There will be a reception on Sunday, April 3, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Nassau Club, located at 6 Mercer Street, Princeton. Call (609) 924-0580 for exhibition hours. The show and reception are free and open to the public. The artist has been painting in New Jersey since 1960 and has been teaching a studio class at the Art Students League in New York City since 1981. He was a recipient of two New Jersey State fellowships, has exhibited frequently, and is represented in several private collections. Pictured above is McIndoe’s 22 x 30” oil on canvas titled, “Summer Clouds.”

Art Navajo

The Silva Gallery of Art at the Pennington School is hosting “Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America,” by portrait photographer and social documentarian Matika Wilbur, until March 9. This photograph features Bahazhoni Tso of the Navajo Nation.

Princeton Theological Seminary’s (PTS) annual Joe R. Engle Organ Concert will be held on Saturday, February 27 at 7 p.m. in Miller Chapel, located on PTS’s Princeton campus. The concert is open to the public and free of charge.

Featuring Jonathan Dimmock, the organist for the San Francisco Symphony, and organist and choir director at St. Ignatius Church and Congregation Sherith Israel (both in San Francisco), as well as the Princeton Seminary Singers and the Nassau Presbyterian Church Adult Choir, the concert will include psalm-based works by J.P. Sweelinck, Felix Mendelssohn, Herbert Howells, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Albert de Kierk, Bert Batter, Cary Ratcliff, and Robert Nicholls.  more

Choral music can be a tough sell, and sometimes it takes a star to bring new audiences into the fold. The Princeton University Glee Club has been a “star” in its own right, and the “Glee Club Presents” series, begun in 2013, has packed venues on and around campus with audiences eager to hear the chorus collaborate with international performers. The University Glee Club presented the fifth concert in this series this past weekend, filling Richardson Auditorium for a joint performance with the renowned vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Fresh on the heels of the Glee Club’s tour to South Africa, Saturday night’s concert showed the chorus reaching well into its own diversity, as well as the international performing arena.  more

“She’s a gutsy girl,” says Jennifer Jason Leigh. “A little bit of an animal.” Leigh’s talking about Daisy Domergue, the character she plays in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, a supporting role that has brought her an Oscar nomination, the first of her long career. Even if she wins, it won’t excuse the Academy’s failure 20 years ago to recognize her once-in-a-lifetime performance as Sadie Flood in Georgia (1995), a film written by Leigh’s mother Barbara Turner and directed by Ulu Grosbard.

In a featurette about The Hateful Eight, producer Stacy Sher says of Daisy, “She’ll try anything, she’ll push it all the way, she’s crazy like a fox: you don’t know if you should feel sorry for her, you don’t know if you should despise her.” According to co-star Walton Goggins, “Jennifer just takes it to a place where we’re all looking at each other, did you see that? did you see what she did with that?” more

Theater revWhen Dawn Breaks, an original play created and directed by Princeton University sophomore Nico Krell, is based on 1,001 Nights, but this is an “immersive” theater experience, so you will surely get less, and more, than you expect, as the actors lead you out of your seat, onto the stage, under the stage, into dressing rooms, workroom, hallways, greenroom, lobby, and every corner of the Hamilton Murray Theater.

You will encounter, at least in part, the familiar story of Scheherazade and the brutal King Shahryar, who, in anger at his first wife’s infidelity is determined to marry a new bride each day and execute her at dawn. But after three years, Scheherazade offers herself to the king and tells him a bedtime story so captivating that he decides to postpone the execution so that he can hear the end the next day, and the stories continue for 1,001 nights.

There’s little evidence here of the stories Scheherazade tells — “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” “The Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor” — that make up the original 1,001 Nights (sometimes called The Arabian Nights), but the story of Scheherazade (Anna Zabel); King Shahryar (Tom Dowling); her sister Dunyazade (Anastasia Repouliou); her father Jafar, who is the king’s vizier (Daniel Krane); the king’s brother Shah Zaman (Jake Hamel); Delilah, the ghost of the king’s former wife (Julia Mosby); and Azraq, a genie (Glenna Yu), is richly developed during the 70-minute production.  more

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 8.51.44 AMBella Boutique is here to stay! Opened in April of 2015 in the Princeton Shopping Center, it was an immediate success.

“We have been so busy,” says owner Christina DiDonato. “The customer response has been incredible, and it has definitely exceeded our expectations.”

Co-owner with her husband Adriano DiDonato, who is general manager and buyer at the popular Bon Appetit, also in the Princeton Shopping Center, Ms. DiDonato is very pleased to be in this location. “A big plus at the shopping center is the easy accessibility and very convenient parking for customers.”

It was also very important for Ms. DiDonato to offer a uniquely pleasing environment for her shoppers. The boutique’s setting with stone-paneled walls and mediterranean-style motif, provides a very comfortable sense of space in a relatively small area. The fitting rooms with wrought iron appointments add to the overall charm of the boutique’s inviting atmosphere. more

February 17, 2016


The Saturday before Valentine’s Day they’re off and running in the 5K Cupid’s Chase sponsored by Community Options. Inc. In this week’s Town Talk, some participants talk about their favorite places to run. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

Feature Image

Celebrate man’s best friend. 

Princeton Magazine has hand-selected our favorite gifts for dog lovers. Check out the many Scottish terrier, French bulldog, and Labrador Retriever motifs in the form of clothing, accessories, and home decor. Simply click on each product image to purchase!


The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has determined that Princeton police acted properly in the arrest of Princeton University professor Imani Perry, who was stopped last week for speeding on Mercer Street and subsequently arrested on an outstanding warrant for unpaid parking tickets and a suspended driver’s license.

Ms. Perry, who is the University’s Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, wrote on social media following the arrest that she was treated “inappropriately and disproportionately” by the officers involved in the arrest. The police department has since released a video from the officers’ dashboard camera showing much of the incident. more


“LARGER THAN LIFE:” Bill Cirullo, who died Monday, was principal of Riverside Elementary School for thirty years. “He always brought out the best in the kids and the parents.” (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Public Schools)

Bill Cirullo, principal of Riverside Elementary School for 30 years, died Monday after complications from a stroke. A graduate of the Princeton school system and an elementary and middle school teacher for 19 years before being appointed principal, Mr. Cirullo was “at once both deeply humble and larger than life,” stated Princeton Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane. more

Paid sick days, a concern that had been brought to Council in the past, arose again last week as a group of mothers who work in Princeton urged the Council to pass an ordinance that would guarantee the right of all private sector workers to earn paid sick time. “The Princeton Mothers for Earned Sick Days” said that allowing workers to earn paid sick time would keep local families and communities healthy, and make Princeton a fairer place to live and work.

“The issue of earned sick days is one of equity,” stated Council member Jenny Crumiller. “Everyone gets sick. The cost of employee sick days is a cost of doing business.” more


PASSING ON A LEGACY: Elaine Buck, left, and Beverly Mills, during a Memorial Day service at the Stoutsburg Cemetery, where their ancestors are buried. The women are co-authors of a book detailing the 300-year history of African Americans in the Hopewell Valley, with the cemetery as a focal point. (Photo by John B. Buck)

It happens again and again. When Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck give talks that include information about slavery in New Jersey, people are shocked. The two Mercer County residents, who are collaborating on a book about a historic Hopewell Township cemetery where at least 10 African American Civil War veterans are buried, have given numerous presentations throughout the area on the subject.  more