April 6, 2016

The Richardson Chamber Players closed its 2015-16 season with a concert of French musical bonbons at Richardson Auditorium, featuring a number of Princeton University music department faculty and students. Continuing a mission of presenting music one rarely hears live, Director Michael Pratt programmed a performance of chamber music from the early part of the 20th century which might have been heard in Parisian salons and concert halls. more

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FRIENDLY FITNESS: “We are set apart by our size, standards, and personal service. We have a very friendly atmosphere and accessible space. The members enjoy knowing the owner and the trainers and our interaction. We know your name when you come in!” Alex Obe, owner of P.T.S. (Personal Training Studio) Health & Fitness, is shown in the center’s new Wall Street location.

Fitness is for you … and you … and you!

Alex Obe, owner of P.T.S. (Personal Training Studio) Health & Fitness Center at 390 Wall Street, just off State Road, is determined to bring fitness to everyone. Size, shape, age, previous experience are all part of one’s individual package, but none of these should be an obstacle to a positive session at the gym. more

April 1, 2016

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IN THE BEGINNING: Town Topics’ founders Dan Coyle (left) and Don Stuart wrote all the copy and sold all the ads for their timetable sized publication. 

Seventy years ago, on Friday, March 15, 1946, the Princeton Post Office delivered approximately 3,400 copies of the first issue of Town Topics to homes and businesses in town. Printed on both sides of a piece of paper 10” by 3.2,” the small paper was folded together like an oversized train timetable.

As Jeb (Donald C. III) Stuart (1941-2008), editor from 1981 until 2001, wrote in 1996 in a 50-year history of the paper, “Town Topics began in a couple of briefcases carried around Princeton early in 1946 by brothers-in-law Dan Coyle and Don Stuart [Jeb’s father]”. The plan was to cover the entire Borough and Township with a single free circulation newspaper, an idea which the editors felt would appeal to potential advertisers and set Town Topics apart from the competition, the Princeton Packet and the Princeton Herald. more

March 30, 2016

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According to a Princeton University senior at this year’s Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale, “The act of finding a book is an experience.” See this week’s Town Talk for comments from other players in the great game of book-quest. Today, Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is Box Day. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Howell Farm

On Saturday, April 2, visitors to the 130-acre working Howell Farm (located just off Route 29 in Hopewell) will be able to see newborn lambs, chicks, and baby pigs up close. Visitors to the main barn will also be able to meet the farm’s workhorses and oxen. Animal visiting hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call the farm office at (609) 737-3299 or visit www.howellfarm.org. (Photo Credit: Jeff Kelley)

At Princeton Council’s meeting on Monday, March 28, members got a first look at the proposed budget for 2016. For the average household assessed at around $810,191, taxes will go up about $110, according to the town’s administrator Marc Dashield.  more

Local businessman Peter Marks has announced he will run for mayor in the Republican primary this June. Mr. Marks is the only candidate so far to challenge the incumbent, Democratic Mayor Liz Lempert, who will run for a second term in the November general election. more

Tess Kowalski was only six years old when she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS), a neurological condition that causes involuntary movements or sounds known as tics. Just entering kindergarten, she was understandably shy about revealing her disorder to her classmates. more

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) will administer the 2016 PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Tests April 11-29 for all students in grades 3 through 11 — but how many students will show up?

In its first year last year nearly 800 of 1164 students in grades nine through 11 declined to take the PARCC, with only 30 of 370 juniors taking the test, though participation numbers were higher in the elementary and middle school grades. more

Princeton University’s bike-share program is growing. Zagster, Inc. has deployed 70 new cruiser bikes at eight new locations in and around the campus for on-demand, local trips. The system now features 60 bikes at nine stations. Riders can join the program for a one-time $20 membership fee. Rides for members are free for the first two hours, and then two dollars for each additional hour after that. more

A second rally to protest the Princeton 7-Eleven store’s alleged failure to treat employees fairly in terms of wages will be held Thursday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in front of the store on East Nassau Street. Turnout at the first rally, which was held the morning of March 24, was lower than expected because of the early hour. more

In the wake of anti-Semitic messages sent to several network printers on the Princeton campus and at other universities throughout the country last week, the University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) have teamed up to prevent any further hate messages, sent from external sources, from infiltrating the University’s internet-accessible printers. more

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“KU BI”: This artwork by John Witherspoon Middle School student Yihong (Nina) Li is part of The Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s “PSO BRAVO! Listen Up! Exhibit.” The exhibition is made up of students’ response in visual art and writing to composer Jing Jing Luo’s “Tsao Shu.” The exhibit is on display until April 17 at the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center, 102 Witherspoon Street.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s PSO BRAVO! Listen Up! Exhibition featuring student artwork and writing created in response to Tsao Shu, an orchestral work by Music Alive: New Partnerships Composer-in-Residence Jing Jing Luo, is on display at the Arts Council of Princeton’s (ACP) Paul Robeson Center. The students’ visual and literary works will be on display until Sunday, April 17 at the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center, 102 Witherspoon Street, during regular gallery hours. The exhibit is free and open to the public.  more

The annual Princeton Theological Seminary community book sale will take place Thursday, April 14 through Saturday, April 16 in the Seminary’s Whiteley Gymnasium, 36 Hibben Road (corner of Hibben and Stockton Street/Route 206), in Princeton. The schedule is as follows: more

Amos Music

Amos Lee will perform at McCarter Theatre with special guest Mutlu Onaral on Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m. For more than a decade, Lee has been at the forefront of a new generation of singer-songwriters, drawing inspiration from James Taylor and John Prine. His hit single “Arms of a Woman,” put him on the map. His 2010 album “Mission Bell,” also reached the top of the charts. Ticket prices start at $25. To order, call (609) 258-2787 or visit www.mccarter.org. 

SPOOKS

Head of MI-5 Sir Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) with his most trusted asset Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker) 

“Hold the right thought,” my father used to tell me. That dated variation of “Look on the bright side” didn’t count for much on the morning of September 11, 2001. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, we’re better off turning to Shakespeare.  more

Westminster Conservatory will observe the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare by presenting three faculty recitals in April.

On Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m. “Shakespeare Revisited” will offer new compositions based on texts and themes of Shakespeare by Westminster composers. On Sunday, April 17 at 3 p.m. “Shakespeare in Song” will feature members of the Westminster Conservatory voice faculty performing settings of Shakespearian texts from the 18th to 21st centuries. These two recitals are part of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Series and will take place in Gill Chapel on the Rider University campus in Lawrenceville. Admission is free. more

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Programs in Dance and Theater present there.remaining… a dance-theater fusion of text, movement, music, and projections, created and directed by senior Ogemdi Ude and featuring original music by Lewis Center Resident Musical Director and Composer Vince di Mura. Performances will take place on April 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. in the Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio at 185 Nassau Street. The production is free and open to the public, however, advance tickets are recommended and are available through arts.princeton.edu.  more

March 29, 2016

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RACE AND DEMOCRACY: Eddie Glaude Jr. signed copies of his new book “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul” and responded to students’ questions after his forum at Labyrinth Books with fellow professor Keeanga-Yamhatta Taylor on the need for radical change in race relations in the United States.

In 2008 America elected its first black president. A Forbes Magazine headline that year proclaimed “The End of Racism.” And seven years later the nation is trying to understand the recent tragedies of Ferguson, Flint, Baltimore, the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others.  more

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Now that spring has arrived, there is no excuse not to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Whether you’re running, walking, biking or surfing, exercising outdoors is a great stress reliever. These products will help to track your workouts and progress, allowing you to keep a helpful record and to stay accountable of your daily fitness. Simply click on each product image to purchase.  more

March 27, 2016

Battlefield Cleanup

Meredith Kane Sokol, left, and her sister Lisa Sabo participated in the Princeton Battlefield Society’s Spring Clean-up Day March 19. Besides leaf raking, stick and trash pick up, rut fixing and land clearing, a major focus of the clean-up was nipping off new bamboo growth.  Bamboo is an invasive species that has invaded the Park and the Battlefield Society has been making progress in pushing it back and letting native species return. (Photo by John Lien)

March 23, 2016

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The chocolate bunny at Thomas Sweet is the star of this week’s Town Talk about favorite Easter basket items. Shown here are Thomas Sweet’s Kate Snyderman (L) and general manager Lily Canaday. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

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This painting will be among the artwork utilized in the illustrated lecture on March 26th. It is by Gio Botta Colomba and is entitled “Landscape Mountain Scenery.”

At his Bordentown estate Point Breeze, king-in-exile Joseph Bonaparte maintained the largest and finest collection of European fine art in America during the 1820’s and 1830’s, including works by Titian, Canova, and Murillo. His estate was dispersed by auction in 1847, and his paintings by Old Masters made their way to museums and private collections throughout the United States. Six of the paintings in Bonaparte’s famed collection were acquired and displayed by the Stokes family, who occupied the Trent House from 1861 until 1929.  more

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The 2016 Bryn Mawr Wellesley Book Sale opens at Princeton Day School, 650 Great Road, Princeton, on March 25, Preview Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., when tickets are $25.

The first full free-admission day of the regular sale is March 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The sale will be closed for Easter on March 27, and open again on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Half-price Day is March 29, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. $10 a Box Day is Wednesday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. more

book revUltimately we read in order to ­strengthen the self. — Harold Bloom

Like it or not, there will always be a market for self-help books. While readers whose lives have been enhanced by poetry and literature tend to patronize that seemingly inexhaustible genre, anything worth reading could be studied and enjoyed under the same heading. Taking the idea to the most enlightened extreme, it’s fair to say that that a wealth of “self-help” books will be on the tables at Princeton Day School between Friday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 29 at the Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale.

In an interview on bookbrowse.com about his book How to Read and Why (Scribner Touchstone 2001), Harold Bloom mentions being deluged with mail from people saying how pleased they are that he’s “writing about literature for the common reader.” As a result, he became aware of a need that he felt “highly qualified and highly driven to meet” for “a self-help book, indeed, an inspiration book, which would not only encourage solitary readers of all kinds all over the world to go on reading for themselves, but also support them in their voyages of self-discovery through reading.”

When asked how reading great literature can provide an alternative to the sort of self-help books that top the best-seller lists, Bloom singles out the stories of Chekhov because they have “the uncanny faculty, rather like Shakespeare in that regard, to persuade the reader that certain truths about himself or herself, which are totally authentic, totally real are being demonstrated for the very first time.” It’s not that either author “created those truths,” but that “without the assistance of Shakespeare and Chekhov, we might never be able to see what is really there.” more