April 12, 2017

Peter Brooks and Philip Nord will be at Labyrinth Books on Tuesday, April 18 at 6 p.m. conversing about Mr. Brook’s Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris: The Story of a Friendship, a Novel, and a Terrible Year (Basic Books $32).

According to Victor Brombert, Henry Putnam University Professor at Princeton University and author of Trains of Thought, the book is “Challenging and judicious, wide-ranging yet consistently focused,” and “a delight to read. In full control of literary and political history, Peter Brooks makes an unimpeachable case for the importance of Flaubert’s Sentimental Education as a prophetic historical novel, and in the process corrects and redeems the conventional image of Flaubert as a political reactionary and aloof resident in an ivory tower.” more

Poet John Ashbery and screenwriter and director Jim Jarmusch will read from their work on Wednesday, April 19, as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University. The reading will begin at 4:30 p.m. in McCosh Hall, Room 50, on the Princeton campus, and is free and open to the public. Mr. Ashbery will be appearing via Skype. Both writers will be introduced by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and member of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty Paul Muldoon.

John Ashbery’s work has been translated into 25 languages. His Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975) won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and an early book, Some Trees (1956), was selected by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Mr. Ashbery was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1988 to 1999. In addition, the Library of America published the first volume of his collected poems in 2008, and a two-volume set of his collected translations from the French (poetry and prose) was published in 2014. more

On April 1 at the Princeton YWCA, families from different neighborhoods in Princeton gathered for “Loteria” Mexican Bingo and other games as a way to get to know each other and make new friends. Princeton Human Services, the Princeton YWCA, and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) collaborated with the help of donors and volunteers to host this community-building event, which also included other games and treats from local eateries. The next event is Sunday, May 7. Call the Princeton Human Services office at (609) 688-2055 or email ENeira@princetonnj.gov for more information or to volunteer. 

Experience the old-fashioned delight of flying a kite during Kite Day on May 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Terhune Orchards. It is the farm’s unique way to welcome spring by taking over the skies with high-flying fun.

Children can make and decorate their own kites. The farm store will be stocked with a large assortment of pre-made kites in the fanciful forms of dragons, birds, and many more colorful designs. Feel free to bring your own kites from home, too. more

Showcasing a significant era of New Jersey and United States history, First Lady Mary Pat Christie unveiled a new display at Drumthwacket entitled “Lincoln and Olden: The President and the Governor.” The presentation focuses on the two acclaimed statesmen, Governor Charles Olden who built Drumthwacket in 1835, and President Abraham Lincoln — both elected to office at a time when the country was on the precipice of Civil War. Part of the Drumthwacket Foundation’s fine arts initiative to highlight exhibits meaningful to the Garden State’s past and present, this exhibit will run through May 31, 2017. more

AT HOME ABROAD: London-based sitar player, Anoushka Shankar, captivated a full house at McCarter Theatre last Thursday as she played material from her 2015 album, “Home.” (Photo courtesy of Harald Krichel; CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

On Thursday, Grammy-nominated sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar presented a concert of hindustani music to a rapt full house at the McCarter Theatre’s Matthews auditorium.

Ms. Shankar’s current tour centers on material from her 2015 album Home. The strictly Indian classical nature of the compositions marks a return of sorts for Ms. Shankar, whose preceding four studio albums had integrated elements of many disparate genres and musical traditions. Like her father, the world-renowned late Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar is a champion of both her instrument and its versatility. more

Derek Hughes is a unique voice in the art of modern magic. He has performed his magic on MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us” on CW, and is a creative producer on TRUtv’s hit magic series, “The Carbonaro Effect.” Most recently, he was a finalist on season 10 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Hughes will perform on McCarter Theatre’s Berlind stage on Monday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at www.mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter ticket office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton. 

Princeton Record Exchange (PREX) will be celebrating the 10th annual National Record Store Day on Saturday, April 22.

Record Store Day’s purpose is to celebrate the culture of the independently-owned record store, and it has been growing in popularity every year. On this day, hundreds of limited-edition titles are sold exclusively at record stores like Princeton Record Exchange, and special music events are held all over the country.  more

Every week I spin the online roulette wheel. Round and round it goes and where it stops I always know because what I’m metaphorically spinning is the date of next week’s column. The real game of chance begins with the names that show up on that date, actors, writers, artists, major celebrities, world, or national events. While the second spin sometimes leads nowhere, this week’s number brought up two actors: France’s Harry Baur, who was born on April 12, 1880 and died mysteriously in 1943; and Homeland star Claire Danes, who was born in Manhattan on April 12, 1979, almost exactly 100 years after the man who played the most memorable Jean Valjean came into the world. I might have passed Baur by had I not recently viewed five of his films, all from the 1930s. more

The final program of the 2016-17 season at Dorothea’s House will explore the operatic style known as “bel canto” on Sunday, April 30 at 5 p.m.

Conductor Joseph Colaneri, musical director for The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y., will present The Art of “Bel Canto” and the Italian Romantic Tradition. Colaneri will discuss the style’s historical roots and works by Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini.  more

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Programs in Theater and Music Theater at Princeton University will present Into the Woods on April 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. The production celebrates the launch of Princeton’s Program in Music Theater and is directed by faculty member Ethan Heard with music direction by Music Department alumna Emily Whitaker and a featured performance by senior Emily Libresco.  more

At the time Gaetano Donizetti composed Lucia di Lammermoor, opera was a major form of entertainment in Italy. Composers were masters of melodies, and people expected to hear heroic tenors, virtuosic sopranos, and great Romantic love stories. Lucia di Lammermoor did not disappoint in its original Naples premiere, and this past weekend’s production by Boheme Opera NJ captured the opera’s musical flavor, combined with a hi-tech set design that Donizetti could never have imagined.  more

DANCE DEFINITIONS: “We are offering high level, quality dance training which also provides creativity, choreography, and improvisation as part of the training.” Former professional dancer Dawn Cargiulo Berman (right), owner of The Pennington Studio, enjoys teaching Limon style dance techniques to student Madison Parker during Modern dance class.

Dawn Cargiulo, former professional dancer and owner of The Pennington Studio for Dance and the Creative Arts, has introduced an exciting new concept for dance and the arts. Combining both, she brings unique opportunities for exploration in creativity for all ages.

Opened in the Straube Center, 114 Straube Center Boulevard in Pennington, the studio offers a new direction, and emphasizes the interwoven aspect of all the arts. more

ASIAN SPECIALTIES: “We are set apart by our presentation, special recipes, fresh ingredients, consistency, and friendly service. We look forward to serving you. Aja means ‘welcome’ in Hindi,” says Cindy Lim, manager of AJA Asian Cuisine & Lounge. Shown in the entry way of the restaurant is a striking image of a dragon, significant in Chinese culture, as it symbolizes “good luck, power, and nobility,” says Ms. Lim.

AJA Asian Cuisine & Lounge, the new restaurant at 1736 Route 206 in Skillman, is looking forward to a long stay. The location has previously been home to several restaurants, which for various reasons, closed their doors after relatively brief duration. more

CHILDS’ PLAY: The Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 8 churns through the water in recent action. Last Saturday, Princeton’s top boat defeated Penn and Columbia to earn the Childs Cup. The Tigers now have 50 wins in the competition for the oldest active trophy in collegiate rowing, while Penn has 44 and Columbia has 12.  Princeton, now 4-0, hosts Harvard and MIT on April 15 in the race for the Compton Cup. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Although the Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 8 lost four rowers to graduation from a boat that took third at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta last spring, Greg Hughes was confident he had a foundation in place that would lead to continued success. more

ON FIRE: Hun School girls’ lacrosse player Shannon Dudeck heads to goal last Friday against Stuart Country Day School. Senior star Dudeck scored five goals to help Hun defeat Stuart 17-4. The Raiders, who improved to 3-2 with the win, are next in action when they play at Peddie School April 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Things didn’t go well for the Hun School girls’ lacrosse team in its first two games last week. more

April 5, 2017

Sponsored by the Princeton Battlefield Society, with assistance from Sierra Club (New Jersey chapter/Central Group), the day was a success, in conjunction with the Civil War Trust’s Park Day, a nationwide clean-up day. Senator Kip Bateman and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora joined the volunteers. (Photo by John Lien)

At its meeting on Monday, April 3, Princeton Council voted to adopt the 2017 amended municipal budget and engaged in a work session on requests for the 2017 capital budget. In addition, Mayor Liz Lempert gave an update on the ongoing litigation regarding Princeton’s affordable housing obligation.

“Whatever Princeton’s ultimate obligation is determined to be, the number will be significant,” Ms. Lempert warned. The town has been in contact with the Princeton school district to let them know they should anticipate additional housing units, she added. more

Since Rider University announced plans last week to sell Westminster Choir College, ideally to an institution that would keep the music school in Princeton; faculty, students, parents, and alumni of Westminster have been hard at work toward that outcome. Westminster’s faculty issued a statement this week insisting that their two deans be a part of the process.

A second option, in which Rider would sell to a buyer that would relocate the music school and leave Rider to sell the Princeton campus, is something The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College and others devoted to the school want to avoid. Westminster, which was purchased by Rider in 1992, has been in Princeton since 1932. Rider is selling the school to help fill a projected deficit of more than $13 million. more

COMING THROUGH: Princeton University baseball player Nick Hernandez follows through on a swing as the Tigers hosted Brown in a doubleheader last Sunday to start their Ivy League campaign. Senior outfielder Hernandez starred as Princeton swept the Bears 4-3 and 11-5. He went 2-for-4 with a run in the opener and then exploded for a 3-for-4 effort in the nightcap with five RBIs, slamming a two-run homer and a three-run homer. A day later, the Tigers were on the short end of a sweep as they fell 8-0 and 3-1 to Yale. Princeton, now 6-16 overall and 2-2 Ivy, plays at Monmouth on April 5 and then resumes Ivy play with doubleheaders at Dartmouth on April 8 and at Harvard on April 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Last spring, the Princeton University baseball team displayed a flair for drama as it won the Ivy League title. more

GROUNDWORK: Volunteers work together to prepare the Battlefield Park for the upcoming season.  A rich diversity of historical, cultural, entertainment, and dining options makes Princeton a prime tourist destination. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

If Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) and Princeton Tour Group (PTG) have anything to say about it, the town of Princeton and the nearby Battlefield Park are poised to become major East Coast tourist destinations.

“It really is criminal what we have to leave out!” said PTG founder Mimi Omiecinski, describing her Shameless Name-Dropping Tour, which “touches on almost everything” in Princeton. more

The Board of Directors of Neighbors Fundraising for Neighbors (NF4N) announces the formation of a new non-sectarian 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Based in Monroe, NF4N is dedicated to facilitating community fundraising efforts for individuals in need who are facing medical challenges and require medical services and equipment to improve their quality of life. NF4N is available to help families who are unable to organize an IRS-approved charitable fundraiser yet still face the staggering uninsured costs of a medical crisis.  more

Hopewell Borough shop owners, Beth Judge of Beth Ann Designs and Jennifer Ghannam of Sticks And Stones Toy Shop are pleased to announce the second Handmade Hopewell Makers Street Fair taking place on Seminary Avenue in Hopewell Borough on Sunday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. more

Jane Fremon, founder of the Princeton Friends School (PFS) and its head for the past 30 years, described the school’s central study theme for 2016-17: “All of us are tremendously excited about the ways in which the Roots and Routes theme will bring to everyone — students as well as adults — a heightened appreciation of the fact that people everywhere, throughout history, are deeply connected to the places they inhabit, are part of a long story that stretches back many centuries, and are active agents in the story of the future that is currently being written.” more

Excitement is building for Stuart Country Day School’s #LEADLIKEAGIRL Conference for Risk-Takers and Changemakers on Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is designed to showcase and inspire girls’ confidence, creativity, and leadership in STEM and entrepreneurship. Young women of all ages and their parents are invited to connect with experts, mentors, and each other. Stuart Country Day School is located at 1200 Stuart Road in Princeton. #LEADLIKEAGIRL is presented by The Stuart Center for Girls’ Leadership.

To learn more, visit www.stuartschool.org/academics/leadlikeagirl-conference or call (609) 921-2330.