March 25, 2020

The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross by visiting, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling (800) RED-CROSS, or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

According to the American Red Cross, as the coronavirus pandemic has grown here in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses, and schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80 percent of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at locations of this type.

Here in the region that includes Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, 156 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 5,533 fewer blood donations. The Red Cross is adding appointment slots at donation centers and expanding capacity at many community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to ensure ample opportunities for donors to give.

The Red Cross expects the number of cancellations to continue to increase, which is causing heightened concern for blood collection organizations and hospitals across the country. This blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents, and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.  more

By Donald Gilpin

“Shape your future. Start here,” reads the United States 2020 Census website, and Census Day is just one week away on April 1. The results from the 2020 census will be used to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, health clinics, and other public services; to help communities prepare to meet transportation and emergency readiness needs; and to determine the number of seats in Congress and the state legislature.

“It’s going to have lots of impact in our community for the next 10 years,” said Princeton Councilwoman and Complete Count Committee (CCC) Chair Leticia Fraga. “For all of our organizations that need funding, we will be able to provide more if we have an accurate count. We know there has been an undercount in the past.”

To ensure that Princeton counts all its residents this time and receives all the funding that is due, Princeton Council passed a resolution in October 2019 to create the CCC. The YMCA subsequently received a grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation to help ensure that hard-to-count populations — the undocumented, communities of color, and young children — are included in Princeton’s 2020 count. more

By Anne Levin

When Isabelle Lambotte founded Share My Meals to help Princeton’s food insecure last January, she never imagined the organization would be scrambling to provide meals due to a fast-spreading global pandemic. Since COVID-19 arrived in Princeton, that is exactly what volunteers at the small nonprofit are doing.

Share My Meals works with local restaurants, corporations, universities, and suppliers to provide excess inventory to those facing difficulties putting food on the table. Currently, restaurants The Meeting House and Mezzaluna, both on Witherspoon Street, and The Blue Bear, in Princeton Shopping Center, are partnering with the organization while the crisis continues.

Lambotte knows restaurants that have managed to continue paying some staff won’t be able to do so indefinitely. As a result, the organization is raising money to keep the program going. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Meanwhile, here we are, with America hanging from a cliff that looms larger every day” — so ended a “Cliffhangers and Character” column about escaping into films and series television thrillers like Stranger Things, Ozark, and Babylon Berlin.

That was in August 2018.

At the time, after binge-watching the first two seasons of Netflix’s sensational German import about Berlin in its racy late-twenties, pre-Third-Reich heyday, I called it one of the best shows of the year. Now, when the whole world seems to be hanging from a cliff, my wife and I have just survived the recently released third season of Babylon Berlin. “Released?” — imagine a maddened bull charging out of the gate of the Weimar past. Grab it by the horns and off you go. As with the first two seasons, your bond with the show, your ballast, is a charismatic couple: the damaged, unrelenting Bogart-in-a-Trilby-hat police inspector Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch) and the spunky, savvy, charmingly undaunted Charlotte Ritter (Liv Lisa Fries), plus stunning visuals, epic musical sequences in arena-sized cabarets, and cliffhangers to die for, but nothing equals riding the bull of season three in the pandemic present.

“It is a bit of a mess,” my shaken wife said as the season finale clawed, shrieked, howled, knifed, bled, drugged, and cross-dressed itself to a close. Only something this outrageously improbable and fascinatingly visual could hold its own in times like these. As New York Magazine’s “Vulture” Kathryn VanArendonk says, “it’s the kind of show you get to the end of, and then desperately need to talk about with every single person you see for the next week.” Not much chance of that these days, at least not in person. But here we are. more

POSTPONED: Crossroad Theatre Company’s production of “Freedom Rider” will now take place September 10-20 instead of the originally scheduled date in April. The play centers on the historic journey of the Freedom Riders 58 years ago. Pictured from left are playwrights Nikkole Salter, Murray Horwitz, Nathan Louis Jackson, Ricardo Khan, and Kathleen McGhee-Anderson.

Crossroads Theatre Company’s world premiere production of Freedom Rider has been rescheduled to run September 10–20 in the Arthur Laurents Theatre of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC). The play, which was originally set to run April 9-19, was rescheduled in response to federal, state, and local mandates to address the spread of COVID-19.

“We value every aspect of our theatre family and we want everyone to be assured that the health and welfare of our audiences, performers, creative team, and staff are our first priority,” said Anthony P. Carter, president of Crossroads Board of Trustees. more

In response to the continuing situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), McCarter Theatre Center has announced the cancellation of all performances and events through June 30, it was announced on Monday, March 23.

The full production run of Nathan Alan Davis’ The Refuge Plays, all scheduled Presented Series events for the rest of the season including the Jazz in June Festival, and 2020 Gala featuring Michael Feinstein are affected. McCarter administrative offices and production shops will remain closed for the time being and the remaining staff will continue to work remotely.

Regarding this expansion of cancellations, McCarter Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg said, “We do not take this decision lightly and think it is in the best interest of the many different communities and constituencies that we serve. We ask that you consider making a donation to McCarter to help ensure that we are ready to re-open our doors when the time comes and welcome everyone back for the magic and fellowship of live performance. In the coming days, we hope that you will join us online as we celebrate art and artists, keep an open dialogue with our community, and inspire you to embark on your own creative projects as we weather this storm together. What you can expect from us: important updates to keep you in the know, a deeper look at the artists we have for the fall, fun at-home activities, a look back on our favorite productions, and more. Our goal is to be a source of light and human connection during these times.”

The staff will be reaching out directly to ticket holders for these events to facilitate donation and other options. If a child is enrolled in an After School class, a member of the Education team will reach out to discuss options as well.

For a full list of programs that have been canceled, visit

“WHEN WOMEN VOTE”: A new online exhibit at the Old Barracks Museum focuses on the history of the anti-suffrage movement, the women of the Old Barracks Association, and Trenton. It can be viewed at

The Old Barracks Museum has announced the opening of a new online exhibit titled “When Women Vote: The Old Barracks and the Anti-Suffrage Movement.” It can be viewed at

This timely exhibit, which is being released during the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, explores a conflicted aspect of history. The Old Barracks’ origin is rooted in the military struggles of the 18th century, but the building also has a unique history tied to a group of affluent Trentonian women. more

ZIMMERLI GOES VIRTUAL: The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers–New Brunswick, currently closed to the public, is now offering virtual tours and online demonstrations, along with downloadable coloring pages from their permanent galleries to help keep children occupied at home.

Responding to coronavirus quarantines nationwide, many museums are turning to technology to fill the void. Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers–New Brunswick is taking it a step further with online demonstrations to help keep children and adults productive during this period of uncertainty.

Google Arts and Culture has partnered with more than 2,500 museums and galleries around the world to offer virtual tours of their spaces. Some of the options include New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum.

“We shared a virtual tour of the “Everyday Soviet” exhibit on Instagram and the response has been very positive,” said Amanda Potter, the Zimmerli’s art education curator. “We’re going to continue to share more exhibits this way, as well as permanent galleries, and we plan to post more frequently on all social media platforms to offer different ways that both adults and children can be productive and maybe even be introduced or dive deeper into art.”  more

CLEAR COMMUNICATION: “We are very encouraged with our ability to help people. We really try to be as personal as we can be to reach every individual. Each person is very important to us. We don’t believe that the ‘one size fits all’ approach works, so we tailor our therapies to maximize each individual’s strengths to overcome his or her challenges.” Carole Drury, left, director of business operations, and Marcie C. Fountaine, M.S., CCC-SLP, clinical director of Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center, look forward to helping more people improve their communication skills.

By Jean Stratton

Saying it plainly, expressing yourself clearly — in a word, communicating. The basis of our daily interaction with others, and the source of so many problems when it goes wrong.

Helping those with speech, language, and learning disorders is the specialty of Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center (PSLLC), newly located at 615 Executive Drive in Montgomery Commons.

Founded in 1985 by Terri Rossman, it is now owned by Clinical Director Marcie C. Fountaine, M.S., CCC-SLP and Director of Business Operations Carole Drury.

Both owners had worked with Terri Rossman, and, as Carole Drury points out, “Marcie and I really wanted to keep Terri’s vision alive.” more

MARCH SADNESS: Princeton University men’s lacrosse head coach Matt Madalon, center, instructs his players during a game this spring. Madalon had guided Princeton to a 5-0 record and the No. 3 ranking in the Inside Lacrosse media poll before the rest of the 2020 season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Matt Madalon, making a deep postseason run as a senior goalie with the Roanoke College men’s lacrosse team in 2006 stands as a highlight of his life.

“I remember my senior spring; every day I think about it,” said Madalon.

“I have a such a wonderful memory of making a Final Four run with my Roanoke buddies. We lost to Salisbury but I remember everything.”

This spring, Princeton University men’s lacrosse head coach Madalon was hoping to see players enjoy a similar experience as the Tigers had started 5-0, beating perennial powers University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins on the way to getting ranked No. 3 nationally in the Inside Lacrosse media poll.

So when the rest of the 2020 season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak and his players were deprived of seeing how far they could have gone this spring, Madalon felt their pain. more

TOUGH ENDING: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kyla Sears, right, gets stymied by a defender in a game this spring. Junior star Sears led the 15th-ranked Tigers with 29 points on 20 goals and nine assists as the Tigers got off to a 3-2 start before the season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Featuring a number of freshmen and sophomores in its lineup, the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team experienced some ups and downs in the early stages of the 2020 campaign.

But with Princeton sitting at 3-2 and heading in the right direction, its progress came to a halt when the season was canceled earlier this month due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For Princeton head coach Chris Sailer, it was agonizing to see her young squad not get the chance to keep growing.

“You feel sick to your stomach, you feel so sorry, it is such an abrupt end for the team that is really just getting going,” said Sailer, whose team was ranked 15th nationally in the final Inside Lacrosse media poll. more

VICTOR VICTORIA: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Victoria Zammit brings the puck up the ice in a game this past winter. Senior star Zammit ended her PHS career on a high note, scoring three goals as the Tigers defeated Holton Arms (Md.) 3-1 in a consolation contest of the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA) Miran Division playoffs. Zammit tallied 45 points on 34 goals and 11 assists this winter as she earned First-Team All-Miran honors and was named team MVP. After going winless in 2018-19, PHS posted a final record of 4-14 this winter. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton High girls’ hockey team took its lumps this winter, it produced a game to remember in its finale.

Playing in the consolation contest of the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA) Miran Division playoffs, PHS defeated Holton Arms (Md.) 3-1 on February 16 as senior star Victoria Zammit scored three goals and senior goalie Ella Chauder made 11 saves.

“It was a good game; Victoria wanted to go out on a high note, she wanted to get those goals,” said Tiger head coach Christian Herzog, whose team posted a final record of 4-14. “The girls were very excited.”

With PHS having gone winless in the 2018-19 season, Herzog was excited by the fighting spirit he saw from his players this winter. more

March 23, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

With 935 new cases announced today, March 23, New Jersey now has 2,844 COVID-19 cases, the second highest total in the nation. Governor Phil Murphy also reported seven new deaths today for a total of 27 deaths in the state.  Health officials expect the numbers to continue to climb rapidly as testing expands and the spread accelerates. New York State has the most cases in the country with more than 20,000.

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) on Sunday night reported a total of nine confirmed cases, with 12 negative test results.  “We have documented several instances of community exposure,” the PHD stated. “We must presume there is some possibility for exposure in ANY community situation, and protect ourselves accordingly.”

The PHD noted that with expanded testing through many different testing facilities throughout the region, precise case counts for Princeton may not be available. “While our ability to keep a precise tally will be impossible, it will also be less important,” the PHD report stated. “Instead we will continue to investigate and highlight the most critical exposures and disease events that happen in our community, allowing us to offer specific information on where individuals may have been exposed, and what actions they can take to take care of themselves and protect others they may come in contact with.” more

March 22, 2020

Dear Princeton Community,

This has been another challenging and heartbreaking week. Your daily life has undoubtedly been upended by coronavirus, and you are likely making painful economic and personal sacrifices in the interest of public health. We know from the experience in other countries that staying at home and practicing social distancing will work. They are our best existing tools to slow the spread of this disease. “Flattening the curve” is necessary to give our first responders and medical care system the time they need to gear up to deal with the incoming volume of sick people, and to give our scientists the time, hopefully, to invent an effective treatment.

The next few weeks are going to put our patience to the test. Everyone should prepare themselves for what the experts tell us is going to happen: even though we are at home, washing our hands, keeping our distance, watching our favorite businesses close, losing our jobs, not going to school or work, and not visiting with friends, the number of cases in Princeton is going to go up. The number of cases is likely to go up exponentially during this time. This is for a number of reasons: 1) more testing kits and testing facilities are coming online. More tests will produce more confirmed cases; 2) coronavirus is extremely contagious and has been spreading in our community. Recent research from a team of scientists including those at Princeton University has shown that the virus can live in the air and on surfaces for hours; and 3) the virus can lay dormant for up to two weeks before making you sick. We should not expect to see any evidence of our collective sacrifice until after more than two weeks of staying at home and practicing social distancing. We must have faith that our efforts are working even when we will not immediately be seeing results.

While this pandemic is like nothing we’ve ever experienced as a country, like other challenges it has brought out the best in the Princeton community. I am especially thankful this week to our entire municipal team, our Health Department led by Jeff Grosser, our Board of Health led by George DiFerdinando, our first responder team led by Chief Sutter, the Princeton Public Library, especially the new Executive Director Jennifer Podolsky, Tim Quinn, and the entire team putting together the site, the front-line workers at our grocery and drug stores, and everyone who has stepped forward to help deliver food, run errands, and donate money and supplies. We are all in this together, and we will all pull through together.


March 20, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

With officials expecting numbers to surge as testing expands and the coronavirus spreads, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today, March 20, that there were 155 new positive tests for COVID-19, bringing the total to 890 in the state, with 11 deaths. Murphy urged residents not to be alarmed by rising numbers of cases, and to continue practicing social distancing measures.

In his daily coronavirus press briefing, Murphy said that further restrictions would be implemented in the next 24 hours, including shutting down nonessential businesses in order to “‘further tighten screws in terms of social distancing,” according to

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) announced late this afternoon the sixth and seventh cases of coronavirus identified in Princeton. more

March 19, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

With increased testing and the accelerating spread of the coronavirus, New Jersey officials announced 318 new positive tests for COVID-19 today, March 19, bringing the state total to 742. Four new deaths were announced for a total of nine deaths in New Jersey.

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) today announced a fifth confirmed COVID-19 case in Princeton, with the individual identified as “a close contact of an attendee of the February 29th house party. The infected individual has been advised of the exposure and was self-isolating in advance of developing symptoms.”

In addition, the PHD and the Princeton Public Schools announced today that a Riverside Elementary School teacher has tested positive for COVID-19.  PPS reported that the teacher is currently in the hospital and beginning to feel better. PPS Superintendent Steve Cochrane wrote in an email to staff and families, “The Department of Health will be reaching out to students, parents, and staff who may have had more prolonged contact with this particular staff member.”  A separate letter was sent to the Riverside community providing guidance. more

March 18, 2020

Princeton Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser released the following information in an update on March 18:

Princeton has four positive laboratory confirmed coronavirus cases, and seven negative laboratory confirmed coronavirus cases. Four tests are awaiting results. Six persons are currently under investigation due to travel or close contact to a confirmed case (not symptomatic), all are quarantined. Three persons are isolated due to being symptomatic and did not receive testing. Twenty persons under investigation have been cleared from quarantine or monitoring (this number includes seven that were not tested from the party and were asymptomatic).

Grosser notes that the number of confirmed cases will continue to rise exponentially as more people get tested and gain access to testing throughout our region. He said that is expected and is not an indicator that social distancing does not work. Social distancing works, but it has only been in effect for three days.

Childcare and daycare centers  are still in operation.

Senior living sites have been requested to reduce or end non-essential visitation and increase health screening of worker and essential visitors.

Food trucks have been cleared for operation, but they must be from an existing Princeton business and have been provided instruction from the Princeton Health Department on what they should be doing to keep residents safe, but fed.

The Princeton Health Department has also released local guidance on how retail food establishments should be operating.

Police Chief Nicholas Sutter notes that gatherings of 50 or more persons, and other such COVID-19 curfew and social distancing infractions, do not require use of the 911 emergency system. Please call the police department phone line at (609) 921-2100 for rules violations. The non-emergency lines are answered by trained communications officers who will answer and assist you.

In addition, a new website,, provides the latest information from the municipality, Princeton Public Library, and Princeton Public Schools.

Usually bustling with activity, the area surrounding Nassau Hall at Princeton University was almost empty on Saturday. Students have been told to stay at home after spring break and finish the semester online. The Princeton Public Schools are also teaching classes via remote learning through at least March 27.  (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Donald Gilpin

As the number of coronavirus cases grows rapidly throughout the state and the nation, officials are taking unprecedented measures — restrictions, cancellations, closures—to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

There were 267 confirmed cases in New Jersey as of Tuesday afternoon, and Governor Phil Murphy announced late Monday that a third New Jersey resident, a man in his 90s at Hackensack University Medical Center, had died from the disease.

Murphy has also announced the closure of all schools, movie theaters, indoor malls, amusement parks, casinos, gyms, nightclubs, and racetracks. He has also banned dining in at restaurants and gatherings of more than 50 people, and he has recommended a statewide curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for emergencies and essential travel.

Locally, the Princeton Health Department announced on Sunday the second, third, and fourth confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Princeton.  The first Princeton case, announced Friday, March 13, was a Princeton University staff member.  The other three cases were members of one family. All four attended a February 29 social gathering.  more

By Donald Gilpin

It was virtual democracy in action Sunday evening as the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) went online with its forum for mayoral and Princeton Council candidates and its presidential straw poll.

Commentary was live streamed and more than 200 participated in the forum, endorsing Council incumbents David Cohen with 174 votes (82 percent) and Leticia Fraga with 169 votes (80 percent), while challenger Dina Shaw finished third with 63 votes (30 percent).

In the race for the mayoral nomination Mark Freda, running unopposed, won the PCDO endorsement with 174 votes (82 percent), with 37 PCDO members (18 percent) voting for no endorsement.

In a straw poll on the race for Democratic presidential nominee, PCDO members supported Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders by a 183-21 margin.

“These are extraordinary times,” said PCDO President Jean Durbin in introducing the event and explaining the process of canceling the traditional gathering and moving the PCDO’s first virtual endorsement vote online.  “It’s exciting tonight for us to test this technology.”

The PCDO Executive Board brainstormed many different ways to hold the event, initially planning to livestream the forum with a small audience followed by the option of an in-person or a virtual vote. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, the PCDO decided to use Zoom for the forum participants and then livestream it through YouTube to the public. The PCDO membership needed only an email address and an internet connection or a smartphone. more

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: Dorothy Mullen, a founder of The Suppers Programs, an advocate of school gardens, and a producer of her own end-of-life educational program, died March 15. (Photo by David Kelly Crow)

By Anne Levin

Dorothy Smith Mullen, a well known local environmental, food, and health care activist, died of metastasized lung cancer in hospice care at her Princeton home on March 15. She was 64.

An innovator in the field of healing through healthy eating and home-grown produce, Mullen was a founder of the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative and the nonprofit Suppers Program, geared toward building a community of people whose health problems related to the dangers of processed food.

“There is only one Dorothy Mullen. She was a major leader in the community, advocating for people’s health and well-being,” said Adrian Hyde, the former executive director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). “She was very sincere and selfless in her efforts. She was a very close friend of ours, and a lot of plantings from her garden are now at our farm.” more

STAYING IN TUNE: Seven-year-old Albert Zhou keeps up with his cello lessons by Skype with Laurie Cascante, his teacher at Westminster Conservatory of Music. (Photo courtesy of Qiwei He)

By Anne Levin

The coronavirus has resulted in the temporary shuttering of schools, music studios, and dance schools. But many area teachers are not about to let their students fall behind. Using Skype, Zoom, and other technology, they are continuing lessons and keeping their students engaged.

Princeton Dance and Theater has been filming classes this week to share with students on the studio’s YouTube channel. On Wednesday, the school plans to present a live class from its studio in Forrestal Village, with four siblings from the Jorgensen family, aged 11-22, all of whom are students at the school.

“This will be something students can do in their living rooms or kitchens, holding onto a chair as a barre,” Risa Kaplowitz, director of the school, said on Monday. “I scheduled the first class within 12 hours of deciding we’d have to close. We need to keep our students dancing. And I am committed to paying my teachers. So we’re just keeping it going, virtually.”

At the Martin Center for Dance in Lawrence Township, Douglas Martin held an advanced ballet class Monday via Skype. It went well, and he plans to continue. “I have a number of totally dedicated dancers who were upset about not taking class, so we put this together,” he said on Tuesday. “I’ll keep expanding it to whatever point we get to.” more

By Anne Levin

As the COVID-19 virus situation continues to evolve, Princeton’s streets and gathering places grow quieter. Some key community services which have curtailed or temporarily closed during the crisis are included here. Restaurants are closed for indoor dining until further notice from the state of New Jersey, but many are offering takeout and delivery.

Princeton Public Library issued a statement this week announcing closure through March 29, when the situation will be reassessed. “This decision was made in consultation with municipal officials and in consideration of the well-being of our staff and community,” the statement reads. “Materials will not be accepted for return while the library is closed, and fees and fines will be waived. The library’s book drops will be unavailable during the closure, and customers are asked not to leave books or other materials on library premises. While the building is closed, library card holders can still access a broad range of digital resources including e-books, audiobooks, movies, music, tutorials, and research tools through the library’s website. For updates, see the library website at”

The Arts Council of Princeton is closed through March 29, when it will reassess the situation.

SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, is open but operating with staff only, no volunteers. Approved adoptions are by appointment only, and the application can be completed online. The organization will not be accepting household items such as sheets, towels, used pet beds, and newspaper at this time, though canned food, litter, toys, treats, and kitten supplies can be left outside the front doors (1010 Route 601, Montgomery) during business hours. more

“A MAGICAL ORGANIZATION”: Founders, board members past and present, and staff members of the Latin American Legal and Defense Education Fund (LALDEF) were all in attendance at last week’s Princeton Council meeting when LALDEF received an Award of Recognition for its support of immigrant neighbors since 2004. (Photo courtesy of LALDEF)
By Donald Gilpin
Described as “a magical organization” by its Board Chair Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, the Latin American Legal Defense Education Fund (LALDEF) has been supporting community members in central New Jersey since 2004 and currently serves more than 3,000 clients a year.


By Stuart Mitchner

It makes surreal, unhappy, pandemic sense, that after last week’s preview of the long-awaited five-day Bryn Mawr Wellesley book event at the Princeton Day School gym that ended after less than two days, I find myself writing a book review about a once-in-a lifetime art event that closed a week after it opened. The e-mail invitation from the Princeton University Art Museum (PUAM) offering “great art” as “a source of solace” came with an implicit now or never alert. The fact that a “number of steps” had been taken to assure the public’s safety left little doubt about the endgame possibility. The promise of “a touch-free museum experience,” and the proviso to keep our social distance, no handshakes, no hugging, along with the assurance that “new disinfection protocols are in place” seemed clinically antithetical to the spirit of the show.

At the same time, there was an irresistible attraction in the element of risk, the idea of an embattled and unprecedented showing of Cézannes, two galleries of “infinite riches” by the “wonder, wonder painter,” as Ernest Hemingway once called him. And there was the paradoxical upside, that because of the threat of the virus, there were no crowds bustling between you and the work of a painter who once told a friend, “One minute in the life of the world is going by! Paint it as it is!”  more