March 6, 2019

FINE-TUNING THE VINAIGRETTE: Chef Coby Farrow visited John Witherspoon Middle School to talk with the food science students and help them improve their vinaigrette, which will be featured on the house salad at Jammin’ Crepes later this month.  (Photo courtesy of Princeton Public Schools)

By Donald Gilpin

That tasty vinaigrette on your spring salad at Jammin’ Crepes may have had its origin in the eighth-grade food science class of Nyrie Janho at John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS).

Garden State on Your Plate (GSOYP), an initiative by Princeton School Gardens (PSG), has been working closely with Janho’s classes, last term focusing on kohlrabi and this term working on pea shoots, all grown in the classroom garden. Next month will feature scallions.

“My food science students have been working on designing a vinaigrette for the March elementary tastings, and I have woven this experience into our unit study of emulsions, truly bringing science to life,” said Janho. more

By Anne Levin

Princeton’s Curbside Organics Program is currently on hiatus, and the town wants participants to help decide the most effective way to get it back on track.

Some 800 families were enrolled in the $65-a-year service, which began in 2011. The program was was halted January 30 after it became evident that the waste was not always being taken to a farm for composting, as was originally planned, but was sometimes going to a landfill.

The town has met twice with the New Jersey Composting Council to discuss the issue. It was concluded that changes to the program are necessary. The question is which changes, and how many, and Mayor Liz Lempert hopes customers will provide input to help determine the answers. more

PI PEOPLE: The annual Pi Day Princeton draws pint-sized and full-sized Albert Einstein impersonators. The Look-Alike Contest is just one of the many pi-related events taking place Saturday, March 9, and on the famous mathematician’s actual birthday, March 14.

By Anne Levin

Since starting Pi Day Princeton a decade ago, founder Mimi Omiecinski has uncovered more fascinating facts about Albert Einstein than she ever imagined. Among her most recent discoveries is the great theoretical physicist and mathematician’s fondness for building houses of cards in his Mercer Street backyard.

So it makes perfect sense that a House of Cards competition is on the roster of this year’s Pi Day activities, which begin Saturday, March 9 and continue on Thursday, March 14, which is Einstein’s birthday as well as the first three digits of the mathematical constant known as pi (3.14). more

“A TRUE FORCE OF NATURE”: Joseph Flummerfelt, former director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College and principal conductor of the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir, died March 1 in Indianapolis. He leaves a huge legacy at Westminster.

By Anne Levin

Joseph Flummerfelt retired from his position as director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College 15 years ago, but his association with the school continued. In fact, he was planning on returning to Westminster this summer to work with his successor, Joe Miller, on the annual Summer Choral Festival.

But Flummerfelt was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died on March 1, in Indianapolis, after suffering a stroke. He was 82.

“Joe was a true force of nature,” Miller said on Tuesday. “He was a huge presence. He cared deeply about people. He was a masterful  musician, but his music-making was never just about that. It was about what a great human he was, and how he connected it with people, and how he focused people on serving the music — using themselves to serve it rather than just create perfect music-making.”

“It is a big shock to all of us,” said Laura Brooks Rice, professor of voice at Westminster. “It happened so quickly. He has left such a legacy of choral conducting. The students he has taught lead major choral organizations in this country. And that’s not to mention any of the music educators and church musicians around the world who have been influenced by him.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Anthony Romero

Sharing the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) strategy of litigation and political advocacy, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero urged an audience of about 150 at Princeton University’s Friend Center on March 4 not to get discouraged, to stay engaged, and, in approaching the 2020 election, to hold candidates’ feet to the fire and hold them accountable.

In outlining the “most important issues confronting our country,” Romero stated, “There’s something enormously noble about being in this fight now, daring to push forward with optimism and energy.”

The ACLU has filed 207 legal actions against the Trump administration in the past two years and has helped to mobilize millions of Americans in opposition to President Trump’s policies, but Romero warned that the greatest danger goes beyond Trump. more

PDS Receives $5 Million Gift

Princeton Day School (PDS) has received a $5 million gift, the second largest in the School’s history, from donors who wish to remain anonymous. The gift comes in two parts: $3 million, which the School has already received and has been put to immediate use; and $2 million, offered as a 1:1 challenge for new gifts and pledges received between now and June 30, 2019.

In announcing the gift, Head of School Paul J. Stellato noted that past fundraising initiatives have focused primarily on support for academic programs, facilities, professional development, and endowment for need-based financial aid. The new funds will be directed towards “a long-anticipated and critically needed facility”: a 30,000 square foot, LEED-certified athletic center adjoining the skating rink and containing a field house with two indoor courts for multi-sport use and four international squash courts. more

The annual the Bryn Mawr Wellesley Book Sale will be held March 15-19 at Princeton Day School, 650 Great Road, Princeton. Opening Day tickets are now available on the Opening Day page under the Annual Sale tab.

There will be 80,000 books arranged on tables filling the gym, lunch room, and other spaces.  Most hardback books cost $2 and children’s books start at 50 cents. Modestly priced rare and collectible books are also available. Admission is free except on Opening Day, when tickets are $25 per person. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Sometimes I think a novelist made this man up. If you were creating a fictional jazz genius, would you name him Parker or Davis or Rollins or Gillespie? Or would you name him Tristano?”

Lennie Tristano (1919-1978) is for real. He was born in Chicago 100 years ago this month, March 19, 1919, and is the subject of a long, in-depth, consummately readable chapter in Jazz Masters of the 40’s (Macmillan 1966) by jazz critic Ira Gitler, who died February 23.

The fictional possibilities jump out at you from Gitler’s opening paragraph, where Tristano is “mentor, teacher, nursemaid, and confidant of a small cell of young musicians.” Outsiders are “apt to name the hypnotist Svengali when describing Tristano, although he has been totally blind since the age of 10.” Picture a blind Svengali also known as “the witch doctor” and you begin to see the novelistic slant of the message on the cover of Gitler’s book: “the lean days and brave nights of Bebop and the Hipster; musical revolt and intellectual curiosity; the sardonic beauty and necessary self-pity which formed the basis of Modern Jazz.”

According to Gitler, Tristano’s first job, at 11, was in an Illinois whorehouse, “downstairs at the bar.” He’d begun listening to and “fooling around with” a player piano when he was two. Imitating it, he tells Gitler, “gave me the clue.” His eyesight was weak from birth and, depending on your source, either influenza or measles left him vulnerable to total blindness. At eight he was placed in a handicapped class at a public school, and a year later he was in a state institution for the blind, where he studied piano, saxophone, clarinet, and cello and formed a band that occasionally played gigs off the grounds. At Chicago’s Conservatory of Music he wrapped up a two-year harmony course in six weeks, got his bachelor’s degree in three years, and his master’s in a year. When the school insisted that he pay $500 for the time that a full course normally takes, he turned down the diploma and began teaching his own students, as he would do for the rest of his life.  more

By Nancy Plum

The Princeton Singers continued its long-standing collaboration with the Princeton University Art Museum this past weekend with a performance tied to the Museum’s current “Family Album” exhibit of 18th-century British painter Thomas Gainsborough. Princeton Singers Artistic Director Steven Sametz led the professional chamber vocal ensemble in a program of British a capella choral music spanning more than six centuries. Performing in varied configurations in the Museum’s medieval gallery, The Singers made full use of the unusual space and complementary acoustics in bringing music of “This Sceptered Isle” to life.

The Princeton Singers’ late Saturday afternoon performance (the concert was repeated later Saturday night) was centered on a five-part work by 16th-century English composer William Byrd. Byrd bridged the Protestant and Catholic music traditions while composing several settings of the Catholic liturgical mass at a time when it was politically dangerous to do so. Sametz built Saturday’s concert around Byrd’s late 16th-century Mass for Four Voices, interspersing secular works of British choral music among the mass movements.

With interesting trivia-laden and informative introductions to each selection, Sametz illustrated his programming concept for this eight-work concert. The chorus opened with a “Pastyme with Good Company,” with music and text likely by King Henry VIII, who apparently had time for composing amidst his many wives. The Singers generated a very bright sound in the space of the gallery, with a joyous and chipper choral tone aided by uniform vowel production among all singers. more

“COWBOY VERSUS SAMURAI”: Performances are underway for “Cowboy Versus Samurai.” Presented by Theatre Intime and the East West Theater Company at Princeton University, and directed by Jacy Duan ‘21, the play runs through March 9 at the Hamilton Murray Theater. Veronica (Megan Pan ’22, left) and Travis (Richard Peng ’20) have much in common. However, Veronica’s romantic preferences exacerbate Travis’ insecurities about his identity, presenting obstacles to the development of their relationship. (Photo by Naomi Park ’21)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Things in nature always hide. Lizards change the color of their skins. Moths live or die based on the color of their wings,” muses Del, a high school P.E. teacher who is Caucasian. “They do these things because when you stand out in the world you invite danger. You … will be eaten alive by something that was waiting for you to show yourself. And that’s how I felt, standing like a shadow on your outskirts, invisible.”

This poetic monologue turns out to be one of many letters written, on Del’s behalf, to Veronica Lee, an intelligent and charming Asian American woman who has recently moved to the small town of Breakneck, Wyoming, to teach biology. The author of the letters is Travis Park, an English teacher who is Del’s friend and colleague, and the only Korean American man in Breakneck. Travis loves Veronica, but she prefers to date white men.

Theatre Intime and the East West Theater Company of Princeton University are presenting a talented production of Cowboy Versus Samurai. Michael Golamco, a playwright of Filipino and Chinese American descent, crafts this witty but moving romantic comedy as a contemporary re-imagining of Cyrano de Bergerac. more

American Repertory Ballet (ARB) will host its annual gala, “An Enchanted Castle Soirée,” inspired by the company’s world premiere of Kirk Peterson’s Beauty and the Beast, on Saturday, March 9, at 6 p.m. at the Pines Manor in Edison. The fundraiser will honor Christine Zoffinger, Erika Mero, and Joshua Zinder.

Guests will enjoy a French-inspired dinner, silent auction, and dancing alongside artists of American Repertory Ballet. Radio broadcaster Bert Baron, host of “Jersey Central with Bert Baron,” on WCTC (1450AM) will be the master of ceremonies.

The primary goal of the fundraiser is to raise money for ARB’s merit and need-based scholarship program, which awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships last year. The fundraiser will also enable the organization to present professional ballet productions such as Beauty and the Beast and American Made: Paul Taylor and Other Works, which will be performed this spring in New York City. more

Three Princeton University seniors will present a devised work of original poetry, music, dance, and drama that explores the circumstances and issues of black female students at Princeton on March 8, 9, 13, and 14 at the Wallace Theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts on the campus.

The piece was developed through seven vignettes developed through workshops, such as innocence, exclusion, privilege, social climbing, colorism and sexism in dating, trauma and healing, and “black girl magic.” The three students are  Feyisola Soetan, who wrote the piece based on her anthropological research; Janelle Spence, who is directing; and Jessica Bailey, who is choreographing.

Performances are March 8, 9, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m.; and March 10 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visits for information.

ART MAKING DAYS: This year’s free Art Making Day events will take place at four locations: at Artworks Trenton on March 23 from 12 to 4 p.m.; and at Artworks Trenton, the Boys & Girls Club Centre Street Clubhouse, the Trenton Free Public Library, and the New Jersey State Museum on March 30 from 12 to 4 p.m.

On March 23 and 30, from 12 to 4 pm., artists of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds are welcome to fully immerse themselves in the delightful act of creating and revel in the sheer beauty of self-expression at Art Making Day. For toddlers, grandparents, and everyone in between, Art Making Day is a free event that promotes the idea that entire communities can be connected and uplifted through various forms of creative expression. more

“DICK’S BEACHER”: This work by Thom Montanari was named Best in Show — Painting at last year’s Ellarslie Open 35 juried exhibit at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park. Art submissions for this year’s the Ellarslie Open 36 will be accepted March 15 to 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The exhibit will be on view May 4 through July 7.

The Ellarslie Open 36 Juried Exhibit will accept submissions Friday, March 15 through Sunday, March 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Held annually at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park, the Ellarslie Open draws on the work of professional artists from the tristate region and beyond, while encouraging and recognizing emerging artists. Once again, 2018 broke all records for submissions. From these, the juror created a show with diverse styles, from abstract expressionism to Delaware Valley impressionist landscapes to boldly painted still lifes, Cubism, and more. There are awards and prizes in 10 categories. more

BLACK CANVAS GALA: More than 40 participating artists were given a 12” x 12” blank canvas on which to create a new work of art for this year’s Black Canvas Gala and Art Auction, to be held Saturday, March 23 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the West Windsor Art Center. Proceeds from the event will support the WWAC’s education programs and multidisciplinary arts programming.

The West Windsor Arts Council (WWAC) invites the community to participate in a unique and interactive fundraiser. The Blank Canvas Gala and Art Auction, to be held at the arts center on Saturday, March 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. It will feature original works of art created by artists in the region, and will also give guests the chance to be part of the creation of a collaborative piece of art to commemorate the evening.

As part of this invitational show, each of the more than 40 participating artists were given a 12” x 12” blank canvas on which to create a new work of art. Each will be offered for sale in support of the many activities and projects at West Windsor Arts Center. The works will range from realism to postmodernism, using all manner of mediums, including fabric, photography, acrylic paint, and found materials. more

BEST ACTRESS: Olivia Colman won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the revisionist saga “The Favourite.” The film was nominated for a total of 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. (Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures)

By Kam Williams

Queen Anne (1665-1714) was a sickly monarch whose dozen-year reign ran from 1702 to 1714. She was also married to Prince George of Denmark from 1683 until he passed away at Kensington Palace in 1708. 

Although Anne was unable to produce an heir, it wasn’t from a lack of trying. She was pregnant 17 times, but most of her babies either miscarried or were stillborn, and the handful carried to term died during infancy. The queen coped with the loss by raising 17 pet rabbits, one for each offspring. 

Until now, Anne and George have been generally remembered as having been faithful and devoted partners. But you can add The Favourite to the long list of revisionist sagas which deign to impose present-day values while ignoring long-standing conventional wisdom. more

FRESH APPROACH: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sarah Fillier chases down the puck last Friday evening as Princeton hosted St. Lawrence in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. Freshman forward Fillier tallied four goals and two assists on the weekend as fourth-seeded Princeton swept the fifth-seeded Saints in the  best-of-three series, winning 4-1 on Friday and 6-2 on Saturday. The Tigers, now 20-6-5 overall, play at top-seeded Cornell (22-4-6) in the ECACH semis on March 9 with the victor advancing to the title game a day later. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University women’s hockey team mired in a three-game losing streak and locked in a scoreless game with St. Lawrence last Friday at Hobey Baker Rink heading into the second period of their ECAC Hockey quarterfinal opener, the Tigers needed a jolt.

Princeton freshman forward Sarah Fillier provided that spark, tallying three straight goals in the second period as the Tigers built a 3-0 lead on the way to a 4-1 triumph.

“One of the main things we said in the room going into the second was just bear down in front of the net and just keep going with the good habits that we had,” recalled Fillier. more

NO STOPPING THEM: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Nonie Andersen races up the field in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior defender Andersen chipped in an assist as Princeton routed Columbia 19-1 in its Ivy League opener. The Tigers, now 3-1 overall and ranked eighth nationally, host No. 18 Stony Brook on March 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Nonie Andersen always has done whatever the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team has asked of her.

“That should be the mind-set freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year,” said Tiger senior defender Andersen.

When she was a freshmen, Andersen’s speed and tenacity earned her some time on the field to face-guard. It was more of the same her sophomore year when she moved into the starting lineup. Last year, she had more of a leadership role on a defense that started three freshmen – Olivia Pugh, Mary Murphy and Marge Donovan – along with Alex Argo.  more

ON THE MARK: Princeton University men’s hockey player Mark Paolini sends the puck up the ice in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, sophomore defenseman Paolini contributed a goal and two assists as Princeton won 5-1 at Brown to improve to 10-16-3 overall and 8-12-2 ECAC Hockey. This weekend, the Tigers will head back to Brown where they will face the Bears in a best-of-three ECACH first round playoff series starting on March 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University men’s hockey team heads into its first round ECAC Hockey best-of-three playoff series at Brown next weekend, it is looking to make history repeat itself.

Last winter, the Tigers caught fire late, going 2-1-1 in the final two regular season weekends and riding that surge to a stunning run in the ECACH playoffs. The seventh-seeded Tigers swept visiting Brown in the opening round and then headed north and swept Union in the quarterfinals. Princeton proceeded to top Cornell and Clarkson in the ECACH final four to win the title and make the NCAA tournament. more

AHEAD OF THE FIELD: Princeton University women’s basketball player Carlie Littlefield heads to the hoop in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore point guard Littlefield tallied a game-high 18 points to help the Tigers pull away to a 64-47 win over visiting Dartmouth and clinch a spot in the upcoming Ivy League postseason tourney. A day later, Littlefield chipped in 17 points to help the Tigers edge Harvard 61-58 and improve to 18-9 overall and 10-2 Ivy. The Tigers will wrap up regular season play with games at Brown on March 8 and at Yale on March 9. Princeton will start play in the Ivy tourney on March 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having played three games in a five-day stretch from February 22-26, the Princeton University women’s basketball team came out a little sluggish as it hosted Dartmouth last Friday evening.

With junior star Bella Alarie banged up and senior Qalea Ismail leaving the game with a knee injury, Princeton struggled to find a rhythm, missing all eight of its three-point attempts in the half.

Sensing that the Tigers needed someone to step up, sophomore point guard Carlie Littlefield took charge, scoring 10 points to serve as a catalyst with the Tigers trailing 28-27 at halftime. more

FEELING BLUE: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Connor McCarthy prepares to unload the ball in recent action. Last Saturday against visiting Johns Hopkins, junior midfielder McCarthy scored a goal, but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 14-12. The Tigers led 9-7 late in the third quarter before the 18th-ranked Blue Jay reeled off five unanswered goals to take control of the contest. Princeton, which dropped to 1-2 with the loss, was slated to play at Navy on March 5 and at Rutgers on March 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In its final game of February, the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team took 9-7 lead over Virginia midway through the third quarter.

Unable to hold off high-powered Virginia, Princeton fell 12-11 to the Cavaliers in overtime in the February 23 contest.

Last Saturday in their first outing of March as they hosted another perennial power, Johns Hopkins, the Tigers experienced an unfortunate case of deja vu. more

HISTORIC FINISH: Princeton High wrestler Alec Bobchin, top, dominates a foe on his way to winning the Region 5 title at 138 pounds on February 23. Last weekend, senior star Bobchin placed fourth at 138 in the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships at Atlantic City. PHS sophomore Chloe Ayres joined Bobchin in Atlantic City and made history, winning the title at 105 pounds in the first-ever girls’ N.J. state wrestling tourney. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Alec Bobchin made a strong argument for being Princeton High School’s best wrestler ever.

Chloe Ayres made history.

The two representatives that PHS sent to the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships in Atlantic City made their program proud Saturday.

Bobchin continued his annual climb up the ladder when he finished fourth at 138 pounds at the boys’ state championships in Atlantic City. The senior had gone 2-2 as a sophomore in states and took home a medal in eighth last year. It’s the highest finish for a PHS wrestler since Ian Reddy also took fourth in 1993. more

SENIOR SUCCESS: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Catherine Dyevich puts up a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior star Dyevich posted career highs in points (25) and rebounds (17) to help fourth-seeded PHS defeat fifth-seeded Trenton 66-51 in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals in her home finale. Two days later, the Tigers fell 53-31 at top-seeded Middletown South in the sectional semis to end the winter with a 18-8 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline blared in the gym last Wednesday evening, members of the Princeton High girls’ basketball team belted out the lyrics, dancing and hopping in unison.

The song’s refrain “good times never seemed so good” perfectly described the emotions the PHS players were feeling as they celebrated after defeating visiting Trenton High 66-51 in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals.

The fourth-seeded Tigers trailed fifth-seeded Trenton 34-31 at halftime but came out roaring in the third quarter, outscoring the Tornadoes 23-10 in the period and never looked back on the way to the sweet win. more

February 27, 2019

A fairy prance was just one of the activities enjoyed at Saturday’s Winter Fairy Land event at The Watershed Center in Pennington. The youngsters also danced, played magical games, listened to winter tales, and created fairy art. Participants share what they like about fairies in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

Commuters awaiting the resumption of service on the Dinky train line will have an actual date by the end of this week.

“As per the governor’s direction, by the end of the week we will be providing customers with a date certain for the restoration of service on the Atlantic City Rail Line and the Princeton Dinky,” said Nathan A. Rudy, senior public information officer for NJ Transit.

According to New Jersey Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson, who chairs the Assembly’s transportation committee, Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement at an appearance in Hamilton, related to another matter, on Tuesday morning.

Service on the Dinky and two other NJ Transit lines, suspended since October for the federally mandated, system-wide installation of Positive Train Control (PTC), was originally supposed to resume in January. Much to the frustration of commuters, NJ Transit moved the date to the end of the second quarter, meaning by the end of June. Last week, it was announced that the date for resuming service would be announced within three weeks. more