February 24, 2016

“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

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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)

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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!

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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

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“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

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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

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Five years ago last month New Jersey enacted the nation’s toughest law against bullying in schools, but enforcement of the law’s requirements and traditional anti-bullying efforts have brought only mixed results in reducing conflict in the school environment, according to Princeton Professor Elizabeth Levy Paluck. The solution, she proposed in a recent article based on a four-year research project, calls for the students themselves, particularly a small group of the most influential students, to take the initiative for intervention.  more

Imagine this — Sophie recently graduated from college, and wants to continue studying in Granada. She took Spanish throughout high school and college, but to apply for a scholarship from a Spanish institution her level of competence must be accredited. Are her AP scores enough?

Anna Alsina Naudi, Lisi Barros-Sehringer and Carmen Santa-Cruz are certified examiners for DELE, the Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera, a test that validates competence in Spanish. Furthermore, DELE is recognized worldwide as an accurate indicator of Spanish language proficiency.  more

Damour_StuartPsychologist and author Lisa Damour will discuss her latest book, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood at Stuart Country Day School’s Cor Unum Center on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

“As experts in educating girls, the Stuart faculty and staff are thrilled to bring Dr. Damour to the Princeton community for the fourth time,” said Dr. Patty L. Fagin, head of school at Stuart. “Dr. Damour’s guidance for parents of adolescent girls integrates perfectly with Stuart’s mission to raise confident and committed young women.”

Dr. Michael Thompson, co-author of Raising Cain, praised Untangled as “the best description of the female adolescent journey that I have ever read.”

Damour serves as a faculty associate of the Schubert Center for Child Studies, consults for the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, and is a clinical instructor in the department of psychology at Case Western Reserve University. She also maintains her own private practice and writes the “Adolescence” column for the New York Times’ Motherlode blog. more

Jack and Jill of America, Inc. of Mercer County will hold a bookfair fundraiser at Barnes & Noble in MarketFair Mall, Princeton, on February 21 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. This event is in keeping with the Eastern Region Community Service Thrust: “Feeding the Body and Mind” and focuses specifically on promoting literacy in the community.

The all-day event will feature story time, an arts and crafts table, poetry readings, a scavenger hunt, and more. Snacks, beverages, and cheesecake will be sold in the Barnes & Noble cafe. Purchases in the store and cafe using the promotional code “11795606” will earn store credit for Jack and Jill Mercer County. 100 percent of the earned credit will be used to purchase books for the reading nook Jack and Jill aim to develop at the Every Child Valued Daycare and Afterschool program in Lawrenceville, N.J.  more

Books_EvangelineLawrenceville resident and author of the The Gates of Evangeline (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015), Hester Young will be joining the “Fiction Writing Workshop” at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, February 19. She will discuss writing and developing her craft as a published author. She will also give tips on how to develop a plot for aspiring mystery writers.

The workshop will be held at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System, located at 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville. Registration is suggested. For more information about the library’s programs call (609) 989-6920, e-mail lawprogs@mcl.org, or visit www.mcl.org.

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Pinot’s Palett located on 127 Village Blvd. in Forrestal Village will be painting “Poppies à la Van Gogh” on Sunday, February 21 from noon to 3 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for the Princeton Youth Ballet (PYB). In celebration of PYB’s 10th year as the region’s premier pre-professional company, they will be bringing a new ballet, “Cinderella,” to the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center on May 14 and 15. As a not-for-profit organization, they rely on donations and volunteers to help with performance preparation and ongoing annual operational costs. All net proceeds from the event will go to PYB. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time. Light refreshments will be served, the event is BYOB.

I fell in love with Shakespeare watching Richard Burton play Hamlet. If there was a specific moment when I “lost my heart” (you could as easily say “found my heart”), it came in the scene where Hamlet tells the players to “speak the speech” the way he pronounces it, and “to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature.”

In an essay about his youthful love of the plays, William Dean Howells recalls feeling that “in his great heart” Shakespeare “had room for a boy willing absolutely to lose himself in him, and be as one of his creations.” I was in my early 20s when Hamlet’s rousing speech to the players brought me into Shakespeare’s “great heart” and made me feel that the man who wrote the play was in the room speaking directly to his creations. more

The Princeton Public Schools Black History Month Celebration is proud to present a Spirituals and Gospel Festival on Friday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. The district has invited Dr. J. Donald Dumpson, a composer, conductor, and performer, to work with students during the week of February 15.

The week will culminate in a performance on February 19 in the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center, located at the corner of Walnut Lane and Franklin Avenue. The concert will feature Dr. Dumpson, all of the PHS choirs, singers from First Baptist Church and Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, Revelation Praise Dance Ministry of First Baptist Church, and the Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church Dance Ministry.  more

February 10, 2016

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The road is the one between the Mountain Lakes House and Mountain Avenue in the Bill Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve, part of the 400-acre Open Space area sometimes called Princeton’s Central Park. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

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This time of year calls for something different to change-up the routine. Why not dash off to a warm weather getaway to indulge in some yoga, fine dining, and relaxation? Below, Princeton Magazine offers up some suggestions. Simply click on each product image to purchase. Bon voyage!

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A Princeton University professor stopped by local police for speeding last Saturday and arrested due to an active warrant for three-year-old unpaid parking tickets took to social media this week to say she was treated “inappropriately and disproportionately. The fact of my blackness is not incidental to this matter,” she posted on Facebook.

Princeton Police Chief Nicholas Sutter said Monday that he has opened an investigation into the incident involving Imani Perry, theКUniversity’s Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, and has asked the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office to assist. The incident has attracted national attention. more

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HOME COOKING: Princeton University men’s basketball player Spencer Weisz brings the ball up the court against Harvard last Friday evening. Junior star Weisz helped the Tigers enjoy a big home weekend at Jadwin Gym as they defeated Harvard 83-62 and then topped Dartmouth 83-70 a night later. Weisz scored 13 points in the win over the Crimson and added 14 points and five assists against the Big Green. Princeton, now 14-5 overall and 4-1 Ivy League, plays at Cornell on February 12 and at Columbia on February 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Spencer Weisz produced a sizzling start as the Princeton University men’s basketball team jumped out to a 46-23 lead over visiting Dartmouth last Saturday evening. more

Princeton Council voted 4-2 Monday to adopt a bond ordinance that paves the way for the purchase of 20.4 acres of open land, located on the Princeton Ridge between Route 206 and Mt. Lucas Road.

The heavily wooded property, to be maintained as open space, was acquired for $4.4 million, a deal that included $2.2 million in funding from the Mercer County Open Space Fund, $153,000 from the Williams Transco pipeline project, $100,000 from Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS), and $1.7 million from the New Jersey Green Acres Program. more

Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials detained two men outside a Wiggins Street home last Thursday at about 5 a.m. Further details are not available at this point, but the Princeton Department of Human Services reports, ”We have been working alongside the Police Department and community partners to get more information about this ICE activity.”

Human Services and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) have been in touch with the other residents on Wiggins Street to offer assistance and support as needed. more

Stuart Triplets

Triplets Juliet, Natalie, and Pamela McGowen (L to R) of Skillman will graduate from Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in June and enter Princeton University in the fall. All three National Honor Society and AP scholars are on Stuart’s varsity track, volleyball, and tennis teams. After a campus college tour in August they all decided Princeton was their first choice.