March 13, 2019

TRANSFORMED SPACES: More light, more windows, and open flexible work spaces are key facets of a recently completed 10-year renovation project at Princeton University’s Firestone Library. The third floor William Elfers ’41 Reading Room is just one of many transformed spaces in the 70-year-old building. (Photo by Shelley Szwast, Princeton University)

By Donald Gilpin

After 10 years, Princeton University has completed the renovation of its main campus library, the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library, and the result is “a building to support modern library services and contemporary approaches to scholarship,” the University reports, with lots more light, open spaces, and flexible study and work areas.

“In short,” a University press release states, “the goal was to transform Firestone Library into an innovative 21st-century library,” and the transformations are dramatically visible on each of the six main floors.

The classic Gothic exterior of the 70-year-old library, one of the largest open-stack libraries in existence, has been maintained, but the decade of renovations has changed virtually every space in the 430,000-square-foot interior. more

HOMEFRONT ARTISTS: From left, Terri F., Aileen O’Neill, and Creassya Y. display their artistic creations. HomeFront’s ArtJam, featuring the work of more than 125 artists, will take place from March 29 to April 16 in a vacant Palmer Square storefront. (Photo courtesy of HomeFront)

By Donald Gilpin

Featuring the works of more than 125 artists, HomeFront’s ArtJam will transform a vacant Palmer Square storefront into a colorful, art-filled pop-up gallery from March 29 to April 16.

The ArtJam gallery at 19 Hulfish Street will include a rotating display of art for sale, including paintings, pottery, glassworks, and hand-sewn items, created by professional international, national, and local artists, including previously undiscovered artists who have experienced homelessness.

“ArtJam invites art lovers to experience a double win, buying artworks they love and supporting a good cause,” stated HomeFront in the announcement of its 10th annual ArtJam event  more

101: Fund Benefit to Support PHS Graduates

The Ides O’ March Madness, the annual 101: Fund benefit and silent auction in support of scholarships for Princeton High School (PHS) graduates with financial need, will be held at Princeton University’s Cloister Inn eating club on Saturday March 16 at 7 p.m.

Guests are encouraged to come dressed casually in Irish green, togas, or their favorite March Madness team jersey.

“Our annual benefit event, Ides O’ March Madness, follows our tradition of hosting a fun, informal theme party that connects the Princeton and Cranbury communities,” said 101: Fund Benefit Co-Chair Roxanne List. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and neighbors, while supporting a local cause that’s meaningful to the PHS community.”

Tickets start at $125 per person, and can be purchased at the door or online at Founded in 1970 and operating as the Princeton Regional Scholarship Foundation until 2008, the 101: Fund has provided more than $1 million in aid to PHS seniors over the past 12 years.  more

By Anne Levin

Joseph P. Riley, Jr., whose four decades as mayor of Charleston, North Carolina, transformed the city from an urban wasteland to a highly desirable place to live, visit, and do business, came to Princeton last week to share his success story.

Riley was invited by The Princeton Festival, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary and looking to the popular, annual Spoleto Festival USA, which Riley is credited with establishing in Charleston, for inspiration. On Thursday evening at Monument Hall, he spoke to some 30 local merchants, business, and municipal leaders about the key role the summer arts festival, and historic preservation, played in Charleston’s revival.

“Our vision is to become a destination festival,” said Benedikt Von Schroeder, a board member of The Princeton Festival, upon introducing Riley. “We want to enhance Princeton’s role as a cultural destination over the next 15 years.” more

By Anne Levin

Princeton Council voted on Monday, March 11 to introduce a 2019 budget of $64 million, which translates into an average rise of $83 for taxpayers, or a two percent increase. Other actions at the meeting included introduction of an ordinance to allow an affordable housing development at the former site of the SAVE animal shelter bordered by Herrontown Road, Mt. Lucas Road, and Old Orchard Lane.


The budget introduction is just the initial part of the annual process, and changes will likely be made before it is adopted. A public hearing on the budget will be held at the Council meeting on April 8.

Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield thanked the staff and members of the Citizens Finance Advisory Committee (CFAC) for their work on the budget. He explained that though there is a decrease of $1.1 million from last year, the budget is actually higher. Last year, the town had a one-time expense of $2,126,000. As a result, the 2019 net increase in the expenditures is approximately $972,000.

The biggest component of the increase is related to Princeton’s Fire Department, which is looking to transition from all-volunteer to a combination of volunteer and paid firefighters because of dwindling volunteerism. The approximate figure of $810,000 for fire department expenditures is a worst-case scenario, Dashield said. Other top budget drivers for 2019 are police staffing, the contract for recycling, and a higher sewer authority payment.

David Goldfarb, a member of the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority, gave a report explaining why fees for that service are rising by two percent in individual participant charges, and seven percent for the town. The culprit is an increase in rainfall last year, the amount of which was factored into a five-year average of the projected flow. “Princeton’s sewage system is older and leakier than others in the Authority,” Goldfarb said. “We are trying very hard to identify and fix the leaky areas.” more

Some of New Jersey’s most important raptors are the subject of a presentation at Howell Living History Farm on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. Mercer County Wildlife Center Director Diane Nickerson presents the talk, “An Evening of Owls,” as part of the “Naturally Friends” series in the farm’s 19th century barn. Admission is free. The farm is at 70 Woodens Lane in Hopewell Township. Visit for information.

But if, for instance, I read a good book … it rouses me, satisfies me, suffices me.
–Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

Beginning Friday morning Princeton Day School will become a vast encampment of the homeless, with some 80,000 supplicants looking to be adopted and appreciated, and perhaps passed on to a comfortable, fulfilled life in distinguished surroundings. The southern border is a trumpian tempest in a teapot compared to the numbers of refugees seeking asylum at the Bryn Mawr Wellesley Book Sale.

Of course it’s nonsense, the idea that hard-nosed dealers, bibliophiles, and obsessive collectors will be paying $25 for the heartwarming satisfaction of giving homes to lifeless entities they actually intend to resell at a profit, or may never read, or may keep only to show off as collector’s ornaments. Still and all, “homeless” is the message spelled out when the doors close on the last day of the sale with multitudes ignored, abandoned, unwanted, scattered naked and alone on the tables, unclaimed after five hours at ten bucks a box.

Kafka’s Here

One author whose books usually find a home with patrons at the BMW sale is Franz Kafka. Most writers want to be read. For them there’s an element of truth in the homeless trope. Kafka, on the other hand, asked Max Brod to burn all his writings after his death, which would have consigned The Castle and The Trial to Borges’s “Library of Babel,” where “it is enough that a book be possible for it to exist.”    more

By Nancy Plum

One musical bright spot after every winter in Princeton is the spring concert of the Princeton University Orchestra, when the ensemble presents winners of its annual Concerto Competition for undergraduate students. As evidenced by the audience reaction in this past weekend’s concert at Richardson Auditorium, this year’s winners have not been squirreled away practicing to the expense of everything else, but are fully participating in the Princeton University experience, with armies of friends who came to support them in their solo performances. Four of this year’s winners performed with the University Orchestra Friday night (the concert was repeated Saturday night), demonstrating musical poise, technical dexterity, and the culmination of their enormous capacity for hard work.  more

Princeton Ballet School, the official school of American Repertory Ballet, has announced the naming of the Princeton Spine and Joint Center Studio at its Princeton headquarters, located at Princeton Shopping Center.

“We are grateful to Dr. Ana Bracilovic and her husband, Dr. Grant Cooper, co-directors of the Princeton Spine and Joint Center, for their generosity, passion, and belief in our mission,” said Julie Diana Hench, executive director of American Repertory Ballet. “This partnership furthers our commitment to ensuring that our dancers receive a holistic dance education, including a broader understanding of health, wellness, and injury prevention.”

Princeton Spine and Joint Center has been caring for Princeton Ballet School dancers for years, and will now be recognized as an official health care provider for the School. In addition, Dr. Bracilovic will participate in upcoming “On Pointe” events that are free and open to the public: “Dancing Your Way into College,” a panel discussion on March 15, and “Physical Therapy: Taking Care of the Young Dancer’s Body” on May 3.  more

Continuing McCarter Theatre’s tradition of producing socially relevant work that engages with the central questions of our culture, McCarter has partnered with Princeton University’s Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) on The Migration Plays, a new initiative focusing on the nature of migration, how it is represented culturally, and the ways in which it shapes the world around us. 

McCarter has commissioned five playwrights — Adam Gwon, Martyna Majok, Heather Raffo, Mfoniso Udofia, and Karen Zacarías — to write a series of short plays inspired by the research and programming of the PIIRS Migration Lab and its Mellon funded Sawyer Seminar, “Global Migration: The Humanities and Social Sciences in Dialogue.”  Since the spring of 2018, these five playwrights have engaged with the Migrations Lab by attending seminars and symposia, meeting with scholars, and exploring the Princeton campus to create pieces with unique and personal perspectives on migration.  more

On Tuesday, May 7, David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, will sit down with the author and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro for a live taping of “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” the radio program and podcast from The New Yorker and WNYC Studios. The conversation will take place before a live audience at McCarter Theatre.

Caro will discuss his forthcoming book, Working, plus his epic biography of President Lyndon Johnson, the state of the presidency today, and more.

“The New Yorker Radio Hour” is a weekly program presented by Remnick and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. more

“POLAR VORTEX BEAUTY”: This photograph by Bridget Davis was chosen as the winner of the Delaware River Basin Commission’s Winter 2018-2019 Photo Contest. The Spring Photo Contest will begin on March 20, and has a deadline of May 15. For more information, visit

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) announced that Bridget Davis’ photograph, titled Polar Vortex Beauty, was chosen as the winner of the commission’s Winter 2018-2019 Photo Contest. Forty photographs were submitted by 14 individuals for the contest.

“I always have my camera with me and enjoy photographing the amazing wildlife and beautiful scenery of this area along the West Branch Delaware River,” said Bridget Davis of Deposit, N.Y. “The recent polar vortex made for some fantastic photographs; I felt sorry for the geese, but they didn’t appear to mind the cold.” more

“RIVERSIDE SILOS/SHAPING SPACES”: Photographs by Ricardo Barros and sculpture by Autin Wright will be featured in a dual exhibition on view March 23 through May 4 at the Arts Council of Princeton’s Taplin Gallery. An artist talk is Saturday, March 23 from 2-3 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 3-5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton presents “Riverside Silos/Shaping Spaces,” a dual exhibition by photographer Ricardo Barros and sculptor Autin Wright. This installation addresses volume — the space a substance occupies — in various ways through light, shadow, and form.

“You could say we’re focusing on the same subject, but seeing it through different lenses,” says Princeton resident Barros.

“Or,” Wright adds, “We’re both pursuing a sculptural vision. Mine results in a three-dimensional sculpture. Ricardo works with similar forms to produce a two-dimensional photograph.” more

“ANIMAL EXPO”: Animal art and accompanying essays by students of Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart are on display through April 12 at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery, One Preservation Place, Princeton.

D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery presents “Animal Expo,” art by students of Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, through April 12. In this imaginative, interdisciplinary project, teachers from different subject areas collaborated to create multi-faceted learning experiences for junior kindergarten, first-, and third-grade pupils. Each class approached the project through social studies, STEAM, and technology. Jill Work was technology teacher for “Animal Expo,” and Elene Nickerson was the STEAM teacher. The project also emphasized language and information skills, in addition to the creative multimedia art.

Lively interpretations of animals fill the Olivia Rainbow Gallery, including creatures native to New Jersey in general and Central Jersey in particular. The young artists also crafted essays on habitat, food, interactions of their species with Lenapes of long ago, and with 21st-century humans. All addressed habitat requirements and environmental effects upon their chosen species. more

IMAGE EXPERTISE: “We have a niche. No one else in the area is just like us. We’re full service, offering new and used cameras, rentals, trade-in, restoration, repair, film processing, and knowledgeable advice.” The staff at New Jersey Camera & One Hour Photo in the Lawrence Shopping Center is proud of their long history of service and quality products. Shown, from left, are manager Eric Kramer and owners Bennie Williams, Doug Masin, and Leon Treskunov.

By Jean Stratton

The changes in photography have been almost unimaginable. Film transitioning to digital; Kodak — an icon of the industry — almost gone.

Who could believe 20 years ago that the general public would regularly snap pictures with their phones? Who heard of a smartphone? The sheer speed of the changes is both amazing and unsettling.


Nevertheless, even in the age of instant turnaround and non-stop action, some things remain. Knowledgeable, reliable service, high quality products, and helpful face-to-face interaction are still welcome in our world, and in business transactions.

New Jersey Camera & One Hour Photo offers such an experience for its customers. Located in the Lawrence Shopping Center at 2495 Brunswick Pike for the past year, it has served the area in various other locations for many years. more

I WISH I COULD BE NEXT TO YOU: Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) and Will (Cole Sprouse), who both have cystic fibrosis, must stay a certain distance away from each other despite their growing attraction in “Five Feet Apart.” (Photo courtesy of CBS Films/Lionsgate)

By Kam William

Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) is a typical 17-year-old in most regards. However, she is also suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease which makes her very susceptible to a variety of breathing disorders.

Consequently, she spends much of her time in the hospital. She’s currently receiving treatment for bronchitis on a ward with several fellow CF patients, including her friend Poe (Moises Arias), although there is a strictly-enforced rule that they stay at least six feet apart at all times because they could easily infect each other.  more

GOING FOR IT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Karlie Lund goes after a puck in recent action. Last Saturday, senior forward and co-captain Lund contributed an assist as Princeton fell 3-2 in double overtime to Cornell in the ECAC Hockey semifinals. The disappointment over that loss turned to joy a day later as the Tigers were awarded an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA tournament. Princeton, now 20-7-5 overall, will play at second-seeded Minnesota (30-5-1) in a national quarterfinal contest on March 16. The selection marks the program’s third NCAA appearance overall and first trip to the national tourney since it fell 6-2 to the Gophers in the 2016 quarterfinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last weekend turned out to be nerve-wracking for the Princeton University women’s hockey team.

On Saturday, Princeton headed north to play at Cornell in the ECAC Hockey semis, knowing that a loss could doom its chances of getting invited to the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period on goals by Claire Thompson and Carly Bullock but couldn’t hold off the Big Red, losing 3-2 in double overtime.

“I thought it was a really tight, even game obviously, it was back and forth,” said Princeton head coach Cara Morey. more

SIX SHOOTER: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kyla Sears handles the ball last Saturday against Stony Brook. Sophomore attacker Sears tallied six goals and two assists to help the Tigers rally to a 15-14 win. Sears was lated named the Ivy League Player of the Week for her performance. Princeton, now 4-1 and ranked eighth nationally, is next in action when it plays at Florida on March 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After piling up 64 goals in 19 games last spring during her freshman year for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team, Kyla Sears wasn’t as prolific in the early going this season.

Entering Princeton’s game against visiting Stony Brook last Saturday, star attacker Sears had seven goals in the first four games in the 2019 campaign.

But finding her finishing touch, Sears erupted for five goals in the first half as the Tigers took a 9-8 lead over the Seawolves.

“Our offense really clicked; we were finding each other, we were giving each other good looks,” said Sears a 5’4 native of Skaneateles, N.Y. “Any player is as successful as their teammates around them; we found each other’s strengths today. more

FINAL MILE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens dribbles up the floor in recent action. Senior star and captain Stephens played well in his final weekend at Jadwin Gym but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 67-63 to Brown on Friday and 81-59 to Yale a day later. Stephens had 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss to the Bears and then chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds against the Bulldogs. Princeton, now 16-11 overall and 8-6 Ivy League, is next in action when it competes in the Ivy postseason tournament. The third-seeded Tigers will face second-seeded and host Yale in the semis on March 16 in New Haven, Conn. with the victor advancing to the title game the next day. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Myles Stephens left the floor at Jadwin Gym last Saturday for the last time in his career with the Princeton University men’s basketball team, he hugged his coaches and teammates one by one as he went to the end of the bench.

Moments after Princeton’s 81-59 loss to Yale in the home finale, he embraced some of his former teammates gathered courtside as he made his away to the locker room.

Stephens acknowledged that he had a lot on his mind as the evening unfolded.

“Four years is a long time and as a student athlete, you spend so much time coming down here every day, lifting, conditioning and practicing,” said Stephens. “I was definitely a little emotional.” more

FLYING HIGH: Princeton High boys’ track star Nils Wildberg flies through the air in the long jump at a meet last spring. Last month, senior star Wildberg won the inaugural NJSIAA Indoor Meet of Champions Long Jump Showcase. Fighting through injury, the Dartmouth College-bound Wildberg produced a best mark of 23’4 to win the competition. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

For Nils Wildberg, winning the inaugural boys’ long jump at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions indoor track and field meet wasn’t the surprise.

He’d been dreaming of a state title for two years.

It’s how the Princeton High senior came through despite his training being thrown off completely by a knee injury.

“You have to be in that right mindset for success,” said Wildberg. “I jumped surprisingly well for training that little. That day I guess I was just mentally strong.” more

INSIDE STUFF: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jaylen Johnson puts up a shot in a game this season. Senior forward Johnson enjoyed a solid final campaign for PHS, providing inside punch for the Tigers as the went 12-13 and made the state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton High boys’ basketball team, its valiant battle against powerhouse Freehold in the opening round of the Group 4 Central Jersey sectional proved to be a microcosm of a positive season.

The underdog 14th-seeded PHS jumped out to a 20-15 first quarter lead over third-seeded and eventual sectional champion Freehold, hit a drought in the second quarter to fall behind, and then battled tooth and nail before succumbing 60-50.

“We had a pretty good game plan; the guys played their tails off and we did a lot of good things,” said PHS head coach Patrick Noone.

“We just got to a point where we couldn’t score in a stretch during the second quarter and at beginning of third. We kept it within striking distance; I think we were down eight with about three minutes left.” more

STICKING TOGETHER: Members of the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team celebrate after scoring in goal in a 5-4 loss to Lawrenceville at Hobey Baker Rink in late January. PDS ended the season at 14-12-1, advancing to the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) semis where it fell 4-1 to eventual champion Hill (Pa.). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the course of the 2018-19 campaign, the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team fought an uphill battle nearly every night.

Dealing with a daunting schedule that included a gauntlet of formidable foes, PHS didn’t possess the reservoir of talent that is has featured in the past.

“Our schedule was just brutal this year,” said PDS head coach Scott Bertoli, whose squad took on such tough non-conference opponents as Don Bosco, Delbarton, Albany Academy (N.Y.), the Groton School (Mass.), La Salle (Pa.), and Seton Hall Prep in addition to playing Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) rivals like the Hill School (Pa.), Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), and Lawrenceville.

“Without question, this was the hardest schedule we have ever faced, and this year’s team wasn’t the best team we have ever had. It was hard with the lack of depth.” more

ON THE BALL: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Tyler Robinson handles the ball in a game this winter. Freshman guard Robinson made steady progress in her debut campaign as PDS went 2-19 under new head coach Liz Sharlow. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

On paper, it would appear that it was a rough winter for Liz Sharlow as she took the helm of the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball program.

Although PDS took its lumps in posting a 2-19 record, former Lehigh University women’ hoops star Sharlow enjoyed her debut campaign.

“It was a learning experience; it was great to see how much the girls grew,” said Sharlow. “I learned a lot from the girls; they were great teammates and worked so hard. They made it so much fun.”

The Panthers had a lot of fun coming through with a 35-33 overtime win against Lawrence High in the final week of the season. more

March 6, 2019

Evita Giron, author of “The Girl with the Magical Curls,” seated, speaks with a fan at Saturday’s Local Author Day book fair at Princeton Public Library. The annual event, which also includes workshops for the writers, promotes established and emerging literary talents from the area. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

By Donald Gilpin

To help create a town that is more inclusive towards the LGBTQ community, the Princeton Civil Rights Commission (CRC) has issued a report and five recommendations to Princeton Council.

The recommendations include proposals for conversion to all-gender restrooms for all single stall facilities in municipal offices and businesses in town; municipal programming to attract LGBTQ community members and LGBTQ inclusive diversity training for all municipal employees; the appointment of an LGBTQ liaison in the municipal executive’s office; the adoption of a policy in Princeton that prohibits bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all youth-facing municipal facilities and services; and the appointment of an LGBTQ police liaison or task force.

Applauding the CRC’s work, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert expressed her intention to work with Council and local organizations to put the recommendations into action in the near future. “The municipality has a goal of being more welcoming and inclusive and fostering a feeling of community belonging,” she said. “The CRC delivered an excellent report to Council recommending several actions we could take this year. I’m looking forward to taking these recommendations and working to implement them.” more