October 4, 2017

By Anne Levin

Princeton’s Planning Board last week voted unanimously in favor of an application to turn the former U.S. Post Office branch on Palmer Square into a restaurant. Triumph Brewing Company is expected to move from its current location on Nassau Street to the historic Palmer Square building. No official target date for the move has been mentioned.

“My client closed with the post office and is the owner of this building,” attorney Richard Goldman assured the planners, referring to California developer David Eichler, before the vote was taken. “He is committed to this project, and in a big financial way.” more

BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL: Littlebrook Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. It has also, along with John Witherspoon Middle School and Johnson Park Elementary, earned bronze certification from Sustainable Jersey’s Sustainable Schools program. (Photo courtesy of Princeton Public Schools)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) have several causes for celebration this fall, with Littlebrook Elementary winning a Blue Ribbon School designation from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and Littlebrook (LB), John Witherspoon Middle School (JW), and Johnson Park Elementary (JP) all earning bronze certification from Sustainable Jersey’s Sustainable Schools program. more

Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts presents F. Scott Fitzgerald: New in Bookstores & Now Playing, a discussion of recent work in print and on screen showcasing the legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton Class of 1917, with noted biographer and Princeton alumnus A. Scott Berg ‘71 and author and editor Anne Margaret Daniel *99, who received her PhD from Princeton. The talk is on October 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street and is free and open to the public. The event is presented as part of A Festival of the Arts at Princeton University to celebrate the opening of the new Lewis Center for the Arts complex on the Princeton campus, October 5 through 8.  more

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Municipal Council last week approved, by a 5-1 margin, a revised proposal from J. Robert Hillier, architect, developer, and a Town Topics shareholder, to continue to rent rather than sell eight housing units in the Waxwood Building on Quarry Street in the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) section of Princeton.

“My goal has been to make as many affordable units as I can available to the widest number of residents and descendants of residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson Community,” Hillier said, pointing out that current tenants and other W-J residents would prefer the less-expensive option of rentals over purchases.  more

The English-Speaking Union (E-SU), Princeton Branch, will meet on Sunday, October 8 at 3 p.m. at The Kirby Arts Center at The Lawrenceville School. Free to E-SU members, the cost to attend is $10 for non-members.

Guest speaker Peter Ham’s talk is based on Catherine Bailey’s book, Black Diamonds and is titled The End Of It All: Wentworth House, The Fitzwilliams and the 1940s Labour Government. The talk describes the coda to the political and social forces set in motion by the Glorious Revolution and the 1689 Bill of Rights that Peter described in his earlier talk on the the English Landscape Garden movement, Politics in the Garden. more

All are invited to dress in their best costumes to join the Arts Council of Princeton for the Annual Hometown Halloween Parade on Friday, October 27 at 5:15 p.m. Attendees should meet at 5:15 p.m. on Palmer Square Green to enjoy the music of the Princeton University Marching Band before the parade will make its way through Downtown Princeton and end at the Princeton YMCA.  more

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what happens when you attend an apple tasting?

Come find out when an apple and pear tasting, along with other family-friendly events, will be held as part of a celebration of local food at the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market on Sunday, October 8. The market is located at 111 Mine Street in Raritan Township and is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. more

PRINCETON MEMORIES: The Facebook Group “I Grew Up in Princeton” is nearly 3,000-strong, and is particularly popular with those who recall the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. The group was honored by Princeton Council last month.

By Anne Levin

At a meeting of Princeton Council last month, the Facebook group I Grew Up in Princeton was honored by the governing body with a special Certificate of Appreciation. Administrators of the group were on hand to accept the certificate, which praises them “for their outstanding contributions to the Princeton community.” more

NEW AND IMPROVED: The Hun School’s $5.5 million renovation of its Middle School facilities is now completed. Light flows into the Buck Building, designed by Clarke Caton Hintz architects.

The Hun School has unveiled its most recent capital improvement with the renovation of the Middle School. Clarke Caton Hintz architects of Trenton designed the $5.5 million project, the Alexander K. Buck ’49 Building. more

QUALITY AND CONVENIENCE: “People are often more interested in renting today. They prefer not to have the upkeep and maintenance of owning a home.” Lou Carnevale (right), co-owner of The Residences At Carnevale Plaza, and Linda Fahmie, project manager, are very proud of this new opportunity for quality living in an inviting in-town Princeton location.

By Jean Stratton

Tired of cutting the grass, raking the leaves, and shoveling the snow? All the home repairs, continued maintenance — and all the rest? All these responsibilities of home ownership can be a burden as time goes by, and many people are looking into rental opportunities.

As one tenant who is enjoying the benefits of renting put it: “Just pick up the phone, and someone comes to take care of the problem. How nice is that!” more

By Stuart Mitchner 

On one of last week’s unseasonably hot heavy days, deep in the late-afternoon do-nothing know-nothing blahs, I tried to pull out by reading the latest New Yorker and only felt worse. Next I tried King Lear, usually a reliable energy source, but this is the play that begins when Lear tells Cordelia “Nothing will come of nothing,” which dooms them both and is the word at the dead center of my ennui. more

Architect and Town Topics shareholder J. Robert Hillier was keynote speaker on September 29 at the YWCA Princeton’s Annual Friends Luncheon. Hillier’s focus was on Princeton’s segregated past, and the importance of a community space that is welcoming to all. From left: YWCA Chief Executive Officer Judy Hutton, Hillier, Studio Hillier Principal Barbara Hillier, and YWCA President Dr. Cheryl Rowe Rendleman.

“ART AT KINGS OAKS”: A pop-up exhibition featuring the works of 26 artists will be at Kings Oaks Farm in Newtown, Pa. from October 6 to 15. An opening reception is on October 6 from 6-9 p.m. Shown here are a painting by Susan Jane Walp, top left; a monotype by Stuart Shils, top right; an installation by Margaret Parish, bottom left; and a sculpture by Maxwell Mustardo.

“Art at Kings Oaks,” a pop-up art exhibition in a historic barn and chapel on Kings Oaks Farm in Newtown, Pa., returns for its fifth year this October 6-15 to present its largest group of artists to date. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, and installation works by 26 renowned and emerging artists from the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. and Italy. more

“A CITY SQUARE”: This oil on canvas by Bill Scott is part of Rider University’s exhibit featuring a 40-year survey of the artist’s work, which runs through October 29. An artist’s talk is October 5 at 7 p.m.

The Rider University Art Gallery presents “Bill Scott: The Landscape in a Still Life Paintings, Pastels, Prints, and Watercolors, 1977-2017” through October 29. An artist’s talk is Thursday, October 5 at 7 p.m.

The exhibit includes still life and figure compositions made before Scott’s painting veered toward abstraction. His recent abstractions include references to garden and landscape imagery: flowers, foliage, and tree branches. more

By Nancy Plum 

Princeton University Concerts has innovatively combined different forms of media in the past, most notably a concert a few years ago featuring actress Meryl Streep and the Takács String Quartet fusing literature and music in one performance. To open the 124th season of Princeton University Concerts, The Emerson String Quartet joined forces with seven well-established actors for a “multimedia theatrical realization” of Anton Chekhov’s story The Black Monk in a fantasy also exploring the lives of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and Russian leader Josef Stalin.  more

INTO THE LIONS’ DEN: Princeton University running back Collin Eaddy gets stymied in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman Eaddy rushed for 62 yards on seven carries in a losing cause as Princeton fell 28-24 to visiting Columbia in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The Tigers, now 2-1 overall and 0-1 Ivy, host Georgetown (1-3) on October 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall, the Princeton University football team dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Harvard in late October but bounced back to run the table with four straight wins and earn a share of the Ivy League title.

The 2017 Tigers will need to display that same brand of resilience in order to be an Ivy title contender this fall, suffering a stunning 28-24 loss to visiting Columbia last Saturday which saw the Lions score the winning touchdown on a 63-yard scoring strike from Anders Hill to Ronald Smith II with 1:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. more

PAYNE CONTROL: Princeton University men’s water polo player Matt Payne gets ready to unload the ball in recent action. Last weekend, junior star Payne came up big as the 11th-ranked Tigers opened Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) play with wins over Harvard (11-9 on Saturday), MIT (13-11 on Sunday), and Brown (9-8 on Sunday). The Tigers, now 12-3 overall and 3-0 NWPC, are next in action when they host Wagner on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over its recent four-game swing in California, the Princeton University men’s water polo team squandered some opportunities in going 2-2.

With an 11-8 defeat to No. 6 Long Beach State on September 22 sticking in his mind, Princeton head coach Luis Nicolao knows that his squad was on the verge of a great trip. more

VALUE ADDED: Princeton Day School field hockey player Val Radvany, left, controls the ball in recent action. Last Monday, junior star midfielder Radvany helped PDS defeat Pennington 4-0. The Panthers, now 6-3, host the Hill School (Pa.) on October 4 before playing at Hopewell Valley on October 7 and at Springside-Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on October 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Hosting Lawrenceville last Thursday in a rematch of the 2016 Mercer County tournament final, the Princeton Day School field hockey dug an early 2-0 hole.

But PDS, which fell 3-0 to Lawrenceville in that MCT showdown last fall, didn’t fold.

“We had a lot of energy,” said PDS star junior midfielder Val Radvany. more

October 2, 2017

Girls in the fourth grade at Stuart Country Day School learn about coding as well as electricity in their STEM class. They combined the two by using the application Scratch to program electronics, and used a toolkit called Makey Makey to test circuit connections with different materials. In this photo, the girls are sharing the activities and games they develop with girls in other grades in the Lower School.

By Jean Stratton

As a young girl, Katherine Johnson loved to count. “I counted everything,” recalls the 99-year-old former NASA mathematician, whose remarkable story was prominently featured in the 2016 movie Hidden Figures. “I counted steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed — anything that could be counted, I did.” more

September 27, 2017

Ame Dyckman, author of “Wolfie the Bunny” and “Horrible Bear!,” among others, was one of more than 80 authors and illustrators featured at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival at Hinds Plaza on Saturday. Presented by Princeton Public Library, the annual event gives young fans the opportunity to meet their favorite authors and illustrators, listen to them discuss their work, and have books autographed. Readers share the interesting books they found at the festival in this week’s Town Talk, and more photos are on page 14. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

After a decade of planning and four years of construction, the studios, rehearsal rooms, and theaters at Princeton University’s ambitious Lewis Center for the Arts have opened on schedule. Music, dance, and drama classes are underway in the three buildings along Alexander Street and University Place, part of the University’s $330 million Arts and Transit development.

“It’s rare to have a project to work on that is transformative on a performance level and on the programs housed within,” said Noah Yaffe of Steven Holl Architects, during a press tour of the complex on Monday. “What is so fascinating is that we’re maximizing the visibility of the arts while maximizing the porosity of the place.” more

By Donald Gilpin

About 50 people, many carrying signs, gathered in Palmer Square at noon on Saturday to rally for diplomacy, not war with North Korea.

In a demonstration organized by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) in response to heated rhetoric and threats, including President Trump’s threat at the United Nations last week to “totally destroy” North Korea, eight different speakers called for de-escalation and diplomacy rather than the saber-rattling that has been characteristic of the dialogue on both sides. more

By Anne Levin

The project to replace the bridges that span the historic Stony Brook will be completed on schedule by November 3. Deanna Stockton, Princeton’s municipal engineer, reported the news to Princeton Council at the governing body’s meeting Monday, September 25.

The completion of the project, which began on July 5, is “perfect timing for the half marathon on the fifth,” said Stockton, referring to the annual Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon, which draws crowds to the area. more

NEW MUSIC: Sandbox Percussion (pictured) will be among the twelve acts performing at this Sunday’s Unruly Sounds festival. Now in its third year, the event features composers and performances by local artists and Princeton University affiliates.

By Doug Wallack

On Sunday, October 1, Hinds Plaza, adjacent to the Princeton Public Library, will play host to the third annual Unruly Sounds festival — a showcase of composers and new music from local artists and from the Princeton University Department of Music.

Mika Godbole, the festival’s organizer, says that this year’s lineup has more of a singer-songwriter focus than in past years — more of an emphasis on groove-based music than on the highly experimental music that has been Unruly Sound’s signature in past years. But it will hardly be a pop lineup. Acts will include smpl (an electronics and percussion duo, joined by dancer Ursula Eagly), the electro-country group Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves (equal parts synthesizer and slide guitar), and compositions by PU Professor Dan Trueman for prepared digital piano — full of otherworldly pitch-bending, delay, and waveforms played backward.  more

OBAMA AND TRUMP: New York Times White House Correspondent Peter Baker, author of the recent book “Obama: The Call of History,” spoke to a full house Monday night at Princeton University’s Arthur Lewis Auditorium, Robertson Hall, on the subject of President Obama’s legacy in the current Trump era. 

By Donald Gilpin

Peter Baker is still trying to figure out who is Barack Obama, and what exactly will be the substance of his legacy?

Chief White House correspondent for the New York Times since 2008, Baker told a full-house gathering of about 200 at Princeton University’s Arthur Lewis Auditorium, Robertson Hall on Monday that he wrote his new book, Obama: the Call of History (June 2017), to try and tackle those questions.  more