May 23, 2018

In celebration of the Arts Council of Princeton’s 50th year, the theme of their signature spring benefit, Pinot to Picasso, was a throwback to the eclectic urban art and music scene of the late 1960s. Held Friday at the Technology Center of Princeton, the “art party” featured a salon-style exhibition, gourmet tastings from local restaurants, wines and craft beers from around the world, entertainers, and dancing. Participants share what the 1960s mean to them in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

“CURIOSITY-DRIVEN EXPLORER”: Clifford Brangwynne, Princeton University professor of chemical and biological engineering, has been selected as one of 19 new Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators. He will receive roughly $8 million over the next seven years to pursue his ongoing explorations into uncharted realms of biomedical research. (Photo Courtesy of Clifford Brangwynne)

By Donald Gilpin

Clifford Brangwynne, associate professor in chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University, has been awarded roughly $8 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) over the next seven years to explore uncharted territory in biomedical research, the HHMI announced this week. more

By Donald Gilpin

An institution steeped in tradition and still often viewed as a bastion of privilege, wealth, and exclusivity, Princeton University is working hard to transform itself to create an environment on campus that is more diverse and inclusive.

Undergraduate admissions and financial aid policies have been one facet of the push towards greater socioeconomic diversity at Princeton, and 28 percent of first year students this year are first generation or low-income (FLI) students.  About 60 percent of all students at Princeton receive financial aid.  more

By Anne Levin

At a joint meeting May 17 of Princeton Council and the Planning Board, members of the public learned how the town proposes to meet its court-ordered affordable housing obligation of 753 units by 2025. The meeting was held following repeated requests from residents, in recent months, that the process be more transparent and inclusive.

The plan names 10 sites where affordable units could be constructed. Locations named for future units include the Butler Tract, where 90 of 450 units would be affordable; and a mixed use site on Lower Alexander Road, where 60 of 300 units would be affordable. Both of those properties are owned by Princeton University. more

WILL SHE MAKE THE CUT? Jessica Tom, shown second from left with fellow contestants on “Food Network Star,” says succeeding on the show is as much about composure as culinary skills. Tom lives with her husband in West Windsor and is the author of the book “Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit.”

By Anne Levin

Jessica Tom isn’t allowed to disclose the results of the upcoming season of Food Network Star, in which she was a finalist. But the West Windsor resident, who has been watching food TV since she was a child, is happy to talk about her experience competing in front of celebrity chefs Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay. The new season debuts Sunday, June 10, at 9 p.m. on Food Network. more

By Anne Levin

Following a community effort that was just slightly hampered by bad weather, Princeton’s Beta Bike Lanes have been installed along Wiggins Street and Hamilton Avenue between the Princeton Public Library and Walnut Lane. The experiment will remain in place at least through May 29, and possibly a day later to make up for a day lost to rain.

Mayor Liz Lempert was among those working to install the lanes on Sunday, May 20. Response to the 10-day experiment has been “almost 100 percent positive,” she said. But at least one resident was unhappy with the effort.  more

By Donald Gilpin

With the #MeToo movement dominating the national conversation, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sexual Harassment But Were Afraid to Ask” was a timely topic for last Sunday evening’s meeting of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) at the Suzanne Patterson Center.

Featured speakers were New York lawyers Allegra Fishel, founder and executive director of the Gender Equality Center, and Susan Crumiller, founder and principal attorney of Crumiller P.C., a Manhattan law firm dedicated to fighting gender and pregnancy discrimination, both well versed on the pervasiveness and seriousness of sexual harassment in the workplace and what to do about it.  more

Mercer County’s annual Memorial Day observance will take place Sunday, May 27, at 11 a.m. in the Veteran Section at Greenwood Cemetery, 1800 Hamilton Avenue in Hamilton. “I encourage everyone to pause this holiday weekend to honor the men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives protecting our freedom,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “All are invited to attend the county’s annual remembrance service at Greenwood Cemetery.” Col. Walter F. Conner, USMC (Ret.), will deliver the keynote address at the event, which is organized each year by the Mercer County Veterans Council and the Division of Veteran Services. The ceremony will conclude with a wreath-laying, 21-gun salute, playing of taps, and benediction.

40th Annual Science Day at Riverside Elementary

Riverside Elementary School is celebrating its 40th annual Science Day with a whole week of science-related activities, bringing in top scientists from a variety of fields to share their knowledge with students and help inspire them in their scientific studies.

“Fun with Physics” with  Princeton University Physics Professor Christopher G. Tully kicked off the week on Monday with a presentation of feats of physics, a demonstration of the phenomenon of quantum levitation, and an examination of the world of electromagnetic forces.  The students experienced an unusual glimpse of the unseen world of quantum mechanics and a look at how different the world can be when the laws of physics are unleashed.  more

In its original location outside Small World Coffee on Witherspoon Street, the Princeton parklet is returning for the summer. The same structure that was such a hit with the public in 2015 is being re-installed with new features including a green roof. The Arts Council of Princeton is curating the project, which has been designed by architect Joseph Hobart Weiss. Opening day is Saturday, June 9 at 1 p.m. and the public is invited.

By Stuart Mitchner

Stretching across two pages of the November 1963 issue of Esquire Magazine is a title flamboyantly geared to catch the reader’s eye: “There goes (VAROOM! VAROOM!) that Kandy-Kolored (THPHHHHHH!) Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (RAHGHHHH!) around the bend (BRUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM …)”

Left in the dust in the far right corner in relatively tiny letters is the author’s name, Thomas K. Wolfe, soon to become Tom Wolfe. When he died last week at 88, the words most often used by obituary writers scrambling to describe Wolfe’s pop-flavored prose style were “pyrotechnical” or “pyrotechnics.” Variations included “technicolor, wildly punctuated” in the New York Times, where Dwight Garner’s tribute highlighted the “bursts of asterisks, the scattering of exclamation points and ellipses, the syncopated distribution of repeated phrases and capitalized words.” The Washington Post weighed in by rightly drawing attention to “all that onomatopoeia.” more

By Nancy Plum

Like a successful garden, it takes a long time to develop and nourish a performing ensemble. Princeton Singers began 35 years ago as a volunteer chorus singing English cathedral music, madrigals, and folksongs, and has grown like a weed under the direction of only two conductors: Founding Director John Bertalot and current Artistic Director Steven Sametz. The ensemble is celebrating its 35th anniversary this season, paying credit to its past and present, while looking ahead to the future. The Singers is especially proud of its emergence as a leading professional vocal ensemble performing a wide range of repertoire with a commitment to contemporary music, and its closing concert of this season demonstrated why the chorus is justifiably proud of its musical heritage. more

“TOTEM WINTER WREN”: This watercolor by Beatrice Bork is featured in “Joy of Nature,” a joint exhibit with artist Carol Sanzalone, running June 7 through July 1 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. An opening reception with the artists will be held on Saturday, June 9 from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Fine artists Beatrice Bork and Carol Sanzalone will exhibit paintings expressing their personal visions of the splendor of nature in the featured artists exhibit at the Artists’ Gallery, 18 Bridge Street, in Lambertville. Their paintings, celebrating the “Joy of Nature,” combine images of Bork’s admiration of animals and Sanzalone’s sense of place through color and texture. They will be on exhibit from June 7 to July 1. more

“LADY WITH BLUE BIRD”: This mixed media collage by Susan Winter of Hightstown is featured in “Mercer County Artists 2018,” at the MCCC Gallery through July 9.  The show includes 28 pieces by 21 county artists. An awards reception takes place Wednesday, May 23 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The talents of 21 Mercer County artists are on display at the Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in “Mercer County Artists 2018,” which runs through July 9. The Gallery at Mercer is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on Mercer’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. more

“SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA, ICELAND”: This photo by Michael A. Smith is featured in “View Finders: Four Photographic Voices,” an exhibition showcasing the work of four photographers from the Delaware Valley. “View Finders” is at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., from May 26 to August 26.

Beginning May 26, the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., will present “View Finders: Four Photographic Voices,” an exhibition showcasing the contemporary work of four photographers in the Delaware Valley: Paula Chamlee, Catherine Jansen, Brian H. Peterson, and Michael A. Smith. “View Finders” will be open through August 26. more

CREATIVE CRAFTS: “We focus on functional crafts. Almost all the items are handmade in the U.S. and are specially chosen.” Phyllis Castells, owner of Heart of the Home in New Hope, Pa., for the past 24 years, is shown beside a display of the renowned Campbell Pottery, especially admired for its beautiful shades of blue.

By Jean Stratton

Heart of the Home is filled to the brim with special touches that are a splendid treat for customers. House gifts, wedding gifts, or a special something for yourself are all on hand in a charming setting.

The shop is located at 28 East Main Street in a historic building, notes owner Phyllis Castells. “This is the oldest wood frame house in New Hope, and dates back to between 1760 to 1810. It is the New Hope Flood House, originally built by Dr. Flood. His descendants, many of whom were also physicians, lived in the house over many years.” more

TRIED AND TRUE: “You try to please your audience. We offer a little bit of everything: furniture, glassware, china, silver, jewelry, linens, and more.” Mahbubeh Stave, owner of Mahbubeh’s Antiques in Hopewell, is shown beside a table setting with vintage glassware and dishes in a springtime display.

By Jean Stratton

For those who appreciate something different, an item with a story to tell, a history, and something with quality craftsmanship and taste, Mahbubeh’s Antiques in Hopewell offers an intriguing selection. Antiques, collectibles, and vintage pieces are all on display in a welcoming, uncrowded setting.

“I enjoy the presentation,” explains owner Mahbubeh Stave. “I do all the displays myself. I don’t want the store to be too crowded, and I want customers to have a nice space to walk around and be able to look at everything.” more

By Kam Williams

Who is Pope Francis? Baptized Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he was born in Argentina on December 17, 1936. He would follow his calling at an early age by entering the seminary while still in his teens.

After being ordained, he began his career teaching theology. He was appointed archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and subsequently named a cardinal three years later by John Paul II.

When he became pope in March of 2013, he made history by being the first Jesuit, the first from the Americas, and the first Francis. He took that name in honor of Francis of Assisi, the saint generally regarded as the one most closely mirroring Christ’s compassion for the poor. more

PULLING THROUGH: Princeton University women’s rowing star Claire Collins displays her form in a race this spring. Junior standout Collins rowed in the fourth seat to help the open varsity 8 win the Ivy championship regatta earlier this month, earning first-team All-Ivy honors in the process. Collins and the Tigers will be going after another title as the compete in the NCAA Championships from May 25-27 at Sarasota, Fla. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

It didn’t take long for Claire Collins to make an impact in the sport of rowing.

Taking up the sport in the spring of her freshman year at Deerfield Academy (Mass.), Collins was competing for the U.S. National Junior team by that summer.

“It accelerated pretty quickly,” said Collins, a native of McLean, Va. who also starred at volleyball and swimming at Deerfield.  more

SERIOUSLY GOOD: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kyla Sears heads to goal in a game this season. Freshman attacker Sears produced a sensational debut campaign for the Tigers, scoring 78 points on 60 goals and 18 assists to set the Princeton and Ivy League record for most goals and points by a freshman. The play of Sears helped Princeton go 9-2 in its last 11 games on the way to going 13-6, winning the Ivy tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tourney. With Sears returning along with four of the team’s other five top scorers this spring and the whole defense, the future looks bright for the Tigers. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In late March, the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team dug an early hole against visiting Syracuse and ended up losing 17-16 to the Orange as a late rally fell short.

Just over six weeks later, the foes met for a rematch in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and this time, Princeton jumped out to an early lead and then produced a late comeback to pull out a 12-11 double overtime triumph over the Orange. more

THIRD PARTY: Princeton High boys’ tennis player Kevin Yang fires a serve in a match this spring. Last Monday, senior star Yang won at third singles to help second-seed PHS defeat fourth-seed Summit 3-2 in the North Jersey 2, Group 3 sectional finals. The Little Tigers, now 18-2, will face South Group 3 champions Moorestown in the Group 3 state semis on the morning May 23 at Mercer County Park with the victor advancing to play the winner of the Montville-WW/P-South semi in the afternoon. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kevin Yang was thrust into the first singles position for the Princeton High boys’ tennis in 2017 during his junior season and benefitted from the challenge.

“Being first singles, I got a lot more good matches and a lot of experience,” said Yang, who played third singles as a sophomore but moved up the pecking order in 2017 when first singles star Noah Lilienthal and second singles standout Jerry Gu decided not to play for PHS due to other commitment. more

SAFE AND SOUND: Hun School baseball Chris Pontrella slides home to score a run in recent action. Last Sunday, senior outfielder Pontrella chipped in three RBIs to help top-seeded Hun edge second-seeded Blair 5-4 in the state Prep A championship game. It was the third straight Prep A crown for the Raiders, who ended the spring with a 15-6 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Chris Pontrella didn’t have a hit as the Hun School baseball team played the Blair Academy in the state Prep A championship game last Sunday.

But senior right fielder Pontrella turned out to be Hun’s key batter in the contest, knocking in three runs with two sacrifice flies and a squeeze play as the top-seeded Raiders pulled out a 5-4 win over second-seeded Blair, earning its third straight Prep A title in the process and ending the spring at 15-6. more

REACHING NEW HEIGHTS: Stuart Country Day School star high jumper Allison Walsh clears the bar in an an indoor meet. Earlier this month, senior standout Walsh placed first in the high jump at the the state Prep B outdoor championship meet. While Stuart had initially finished second to Villa Walsh by one point at the May 7 competition, it was declared as co-champions of the meet last week after an appeal. With the Tartans having won the Prep B indoor title this past winter, it marks the first time the program has both track titles in the same school year.

By Bill Alden

Competing in the state Prep B outdoor championships, the Stuart Country Day School track team believed it had done enough to win the meet.

Stuart piled up 115.50 points at the competition held on May 7 at Newark Academy, highlighted by senior star Michelle Kwafo winning the 100 meter dash, the 200, and the 100 hurdles with classmate Allison Walsh taking first in the high jump and the 4×400 relay ending the meet with a win and a school record. more

May 16, 2018

PILLAR OF THE COMMUNITY: James Floyd’s influence on Princeton, especially the Witherspoon-Jackson district, touched many over several decades.

By Anne Levin

James Floyd, Princeton’s first African American mayor and longtime civil servant, died Monday morning. A community activist who worked tirelessly to promote civil rights, he was a mentor to many and a familiar figure to anyone involved in local politics. He was instrumental in getting the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood designated a historic district.

“Jim Floyd was a change agent,” said Princeton Councilman Lance Liverman, who grew up in Princeton and knew Floyd nearly his whole life. “This is my definition of someone who truly has changed the direction or path others may have gone. Jim was a mover and shaker in the area of affordable housing in Princeton. This was his passion.” more

This year, The Princeton Police and Princeton Human Services will host the 8th annual Wheels Rodeo on Sunday, May 20 due to the weather. The event was originally to be held on Saturday, May 19. The event will be held from 10 am – 1 pm on Sunday, May 20, at the Community Park Pool Parking lot located at 400 Witherspoon Street. more