September 30, 2020

THE PLACE TO DANCE: “In the classes, everyone wants to do well, so when they see they are making progress, they work harder. The greater portion of our students are serious about it,” says Douglas Martin, who, with his wife Mary Barton, owns and directs Martin Center For Dance. Shown are advanced students in the Modern Technique class.

By Jean Stratton

“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most
beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation
or abstraction from life; it is life itself.”

“The Dance of Life”

—Havelock Ellis

Such thoughts are not only for professional dancers, who devote themselves totally to their art, but to those amateur dancers, young and old, who love to dance to the music and aspire to be the best they can be.   

All these dancers are happy to know that the Martin Center For Dance is now open and offering ballet instruction at all levels. Beautiful dancing makes the music sing, and when done really well, it flows like a dream. The instructors at the Center know all about that.

Located at 11 Princess Road in Lawrence Township, the Center is owned and directed by the husband and wife team of Douglas Martin and Mary Barton.

Both are experienced professional dancers, choreographers, and teachers, who are joined at the Center by faculty members and former dancers and choreographers Mary Pat Robertson, Maria Youskevitch, and Kirk Peterson. more

STRAIGHT ARROW: Tom Schreiber prepares to unload the ball in action for the Archers Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). Former Princeton University men’s lacrosse star midfielder Schreiber ’14 helped the Archers LC reach the semis of the PLL Championship series this summer. Tallying 16 points on 12 goals and four assists in the competition, Schreiber was named as Gait Brothers Award as the league’s top midfielder. He also contributes to the PLL off the field, working as an analyst for the league. (Photo provided courtesy of the PLL)

By Bill Alden

Tom Schreiber has made a big impact on and off the field in helping the fledgling Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) get off the ground.

As the PLL started in 2019 with 14-week tour-based schedule taking place in 12 major-market cities, former Princeton University star midfielder Schreiber ’14 started working as an analyst for the league, focusing on player relations. On the field, Schreiber sparked the offense for the Archers Lacrosse Club squad, tallying 39 points on 15 one-point goals, a pair of two-point goals, and 20 assists.

This summer, Schreiber and the PLL thrived through the COVID-19 pandemic as the league conducted its season in a bubble, holding in a PLL Championship Series in Herriman, Utah, from July 25-August 9.

“We were there for three weeks, which is a long time,” said Schreiber, a 5’11, 205-pound native of East Meadow, N.Y.

“On the back of a pandemic where you are really not socializing with anyone and for us, part of the pre-travel process for COVID was that you had to self-quarantine for 14 days. I know that everybody took that pretty seriously so we were just starving for some social interaction. It was actually fun.”

The Archers LC players had fun out in Utah, reconnecting with each other and welcoming some fresh faces to the squad. more

READY TO POUNCE: Princeton High football player Dylan Angelucci patrols the field in a 2019 game. Senior Angelucci should be seeing action at safety and wide receiver this fall for PHS. The Tigers open their 2020 campaign by playing at Robbinsville on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton High football team couldn’t do any contact drills during its first week of practice due to COVID-19 restrictions, it still made good progress.

“We went an entire week essentially without any equipment, the kids were so excited to be out there and the coaches were excited that I don’t think we paid it too much mind,” said PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher.

“We had a lot of learning to do. I am harking back on the fact that football is definitely an intricate, complicated game. There are a lot of moving parts and there is a lot of teaching that needs to take place. We didn’t get to do any of that teaching in the summer time. That week was actually pretty invaluable.”

Despite COVID-19 concerns and coming off a 0-8 season, PHS boasts good numbers this year with a roster of more than 40 players. more

GRACEFUL MOVE: Princeton High field hockey player Grace Rebak controls the ball in a game last fall. Junior defender/midfielder and co-captain Rebak will help key the PHS defense. The Tigers open their 2020 season by playing at Hamilton West on October 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Heather Serverson is seeing a special spirit in the way her Princeton High field hockey team has dealt with practicing through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The girls have done a great job with it,” said PHS head coach Serverson, who guided the Tigers to a 14-4-1 record in 2019 as they advanced to the semifinals of both the Mercer County Tournament and the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional.

“They keep coming earlier and earlier to practice because they are so excited to get there. They are saying it is the highlight of my day, I need to get outside. They just love it. I have never seen them so happy, nobody is complaining.”

Serverson is happy to have senior co-captain Shoshi Henderson leading the team’s forward line. more

ABOVE THE REST: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Nick Petruso, right, soars high to head the ball in a game last fall. Senior Petruso, who led the Colonial Valley Conference (CVC) in goals last year with 21, will be the go-to finisher for the Tigers again this fall. PHS is slated to start its 2020 campaign when it plays at Hamilton West on October 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Going with a young lineup on 2019, the Princeton High boys’ soccer team got better and better as the season unfolded.

“We won 14 games and led the CVC (Colonial Valley Conference) in shutouts; Nick [Petruso] was the leading goal scorer in the league,” said longtime PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe, who guided his team to a 14-7 record last fall.

“We went to the Mercer County Tournament semi and the sectional quarterfinal. That is an excellent season.”

Dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the guidelines put in place for competition, PHS has been rolling with the punches as it looks at an unusual season in 2020.

“It is more complex getting things started each day and then debriefing and releasing the team at the end of the training session,” said Sutcliffe, whose team is scheduled to start its 2020 campaign when it plays at Hamilton West on October 3.  more

BUSHMASTER: Princeton High girls’ soccer star Greta Bush prepares to boot the ball up the field in a game last year. Senior defender and team co-captain Bush will provide energy and skill for the Tigers. PHS opens regular season play by hosting Hamilton West on October 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton High girls’ soccer team, its preseason training has centered on getting the most out of every moment on the field.

With the 2020 season in doubt for months due to COVID-19 pandemic, the PHS players were more than appreciative when the Board of Education gave the green light for fall sports to proceed.

“They are thrilled; we keep on focusing on the fact that look we are here and who would have really thought and that we would be on the field in person with games next weekend,” said Rodriguez, whose team is coming off an 8-6-3 campaign last fall and starts its 2020 season by hosting Hamilton West on October 3.

“We are maximizing this opportunity and really, really enjoying it. The girls are positive about it. We have gotten through our team selections, we have announced our captains (seniors Lily Gabriello, Phoebe Frankel, and Greta Bush along with junior Sophia Lis) and we are excited for the season to happen.”

For the most part, practices have been business as usual once the players get on the field.

“It has been great, being with the girls and having practice,” said Rodriguez. more

GETTING A LEG UP: Hun School boys’ soccer player Jack Tarzy displays his skills in a game last fall as he controls the ball under pressure. Junior defender/midfielder Tarzy figures to be a key player for the Raiders this fall. Hun begin its 2020 campaign by hosting Life Center Academy on October 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Pat Quirk wasn’t sure if his Hun School boys’ soccer team would ever hit the field for the 2020 season.

With rivals Peddie and Lawrenceville canceling their fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Quirk was relieved and grateful when Hun gave its teams the green light to start their season.

“We are extremely lucky that the school is letting us have this activity,” said Raider head coach Quirk, who is in his 13th season at the helm of the program and guided the squad to a 6-10-3 record last fall as it advanced to the state Prep A semifinals and the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals.

“I think we are the only MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) school that is trying to have competition.”

While Hun is savoring the chance to compete, it is being cautious as it trains.

“Our school was very conservative when it came to allowing us to practice over the summer,” said Quirk.

“They gave us a week in August and then we hit that state two-week dead period. They allowed us to come out and we started tryouts on September 14. We just split into a junior varsity and varsity on Wednesday so the varsity has only really been playing together for the last three days. That is the biggest thing we tell them — you guys hold the season in your hands. Basically, we are still playing with masks on when we are practicing.”

The Raider players are thrilled to be back together. “They are excited, especially the seniors,” said Quirk, whose team starts its 2020 campaign when it hosts the Life Center Academy on October 3.

“They saw what happened to the spring athletes. We just keep saying that the goal is going to look different this year as a whole. The overall goal is always just to get better each day and to have fun with your friends and just to enjoy the opportunity that we have.”

A lot of players should get the opportunity to see action this fall for Hun.

“As long as I can remember, we haven’t had this deep a roster,” said Quirk.

“We have 19 kids and I would say one through 18 would probably see the field any day. It is going to be tough; we are going to have to find spots for guys.”

At forward, Quirk has a number of guys who could fill that spot in senior Amar Anand, sophomore Massimiliano Verduci, senior Levin Willems, and junior Hector Suriel.

“Amar can score a lot of goals so we could put him up there top as a senior and leader,” said Quirk.

“We are still toying with a couple of ideas. Mas scored a couple of goals for us last year and he is looking pretty good. Levin can get mixed in up there. Hector is a new kid from the Dominican who just got out of quarantine, he was late getting to school. We are expecting him to play up top as well.”

Across the midfield, junior Osman Bayaztoglu, sophomore Tyler Stark, junior Aden Spektor, freshman Conor Frykholm, and sophomore Will Zeng are in the mix.

“We have Osman in the midfield and maybe Tyler and Aden,” said Quirk.

“Conor is a freshman that came up from the middle school and has been doing well in practice. Will will probably play somewhere in the midfield.”

On defense, Quirk will be looking at junior Jack Tarzy, junior Lucas Mazzoni, junior John Balian, junior A.J. Torres, and freshman Joey Bucchere, among others.

“We see Jack right now in the back, he has played there a little bit in the past and he does well with the game in front of him and distributing,” said Quirk.

“Also in the back will be Aiden or Tyler; whoever is not in the midfield will probably play back there. Lucas has been pretty strong for us on the left side. He will be playing in a wingback area. John will also be on defense and A.J. will be too. We have a new freshman Joey who reminds me of Gibson Campbell ’20. He has got pace and a lot of ball control.”

Senior star goalie Alex Donahue will be controlling the defensive end of the field for Hun.

“Alex has one more year, he got bigger and he worked hard,” said Quirk.

“As soon as gyms were open, he got going and was back into it. He is a voice in the back. He can control his back line and distribute the ball.”

While 2020 figures to be an unusual year as Hun navigates the COVID-19 situation, Quirk believes his players will make the most of things.

“It is just enjoying the opportunity that we have and working to come together as a team,” said Quirk.

“We are going to get this opportunity right now to train with each other and to really grow as a unit and really build this bond that we continually talk about. It is just supporting each other, being good teammates with each other.”

September 23, 2020

Homestead Princeton hosted a Grand Reopening on Sunday afternoon at its new location on Witherspoon Street. The event featured giveaways, raffles, and participation from local businesses. Attendees share what type of business they would like to see come to Princeton in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department is reporting a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Princeton among 18- to 25-year-olds during the past month, despite mostly positive news otherwise in the ongoing local battle with the COVID pandemic.

“They are an active demographic, especially during the late summer and early fall,” said Princeton Press and Media Communications Spokesman Fred Williams. “End of summer socializing, Labor Day, and back-to-school activities on campuses across the country are sustaining the trend, but the good news for us here in our region is that this uptick does not appear to be associated with any community spread or ‘super spreader’ events.”

Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser noted that college campuses are seeing spikes in infections and that some of those cases are being imported into the town of Princeton from colleges and universities across the country.

“These institutions are choosing to send their students home when there is a confirmed outbreak on their campuses,” said Grosser. “Those students may or may not receive tests before departing school and returning home.”

He continued, “When they return home, they often seek testing, which is how we are receiving these positive test results here in Princeton. The 18- to 25-year-old range has seen a dramatic increase in the past two weeks, with nine new cases, six of which were from individuals coming from out-of-state higher education institutions.” The Health Department has urged those individuals to isolate safely at home to avoid further transmission. more

By Donald Gilpin

Keeping a close eye on COVID-19 transmission rates and guidance from local and state health officials, Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Interim Superintendent Barry Galasso is ready to propose the next step of a phased-in schooling plan, with Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade, and self-contained special needs classes K-12 possibly going into the schools in person on October 5.

In the first 10 days of school, PPS students have been learning virtually, remotely from home through a new learning management system that is reportedly much improved over last spring’s flawed system.

Galasso said on Friday, September 18 that the buildings should be ready for the youngest and the special needs contingents on October 5, for all the elementary students by October 12, and for middle and high school students by October 19, but he acknowledged that he can’t predict the course of COVID-19.

“I can predict HVAC schedules,” he said. “I can ascertain whether teachers will be ready to teach, but I can’t figure out the virus. That’s a wild card. We’re going to have to play that by ear. I can’t predict what will occur.” He pointed out that the number of cases in Princeton has risen in recent weeks, and he noted that both Hopewell Valley Central High School and West Windsor-Plainsboro’s  Community Middle School had to close temporarily last week after hybrid openings followed by reporting of new coronavirus cases. more

By Anne Levin

A virtual public meeting about the Witherspoon Street Improvement Project attracted a sizable online crowd on September 15, with many community members expressing opinions about the future of the roadway between Nassau and Green streets.

A portion of the street has been one-way in recent months to allow for outdoor dining and encourage the patronage of local businesses that have been suffering since the onset of COVID-19 in March. There are five options being considered for Witherspoon Street going forward.

One is to keep the street one-way northbound, as it is now, with one lane of loading and parking between Nassau and Spring streets. The option would consider pairing with the one-way southbound operation of South Tulane Street. A second alternative would be much the same as the first, but with two lanes of loading instead of one.

The third option would close the street completely to motor vehicles between Nassau and Spring streets, and consider pairing with the one-way westbound operation of Spring Street. The two other design alternatives would allow for two-way traffic — one with one lane of loading and parking; the other with two loading and parking lanes, as it was before the pandemic.

“It went both ways,” said Princeton Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton. “Some people favored a full closure. Others had big concerns about that and how it would affect the economic vitality of the downtown. So that’s what we’re needing to work through.”

Last week’s meeting was the second to be held on the project, and a third will be held at an October date to be determined. The project has several components, including sewer construction and traffic signal replacement. Members of the community have offered ideas having to do with landscaping; transit; way-finding; bicycle corrals, lockers, and shelters; street amenities; tree canopies; and more. more

ARTFUL WINDOWS: Installation began this week on a project to enliven empty storefronts on Palmer Square’s Hulfish Street with representations of artworks from the Princeton University Art Museum. The vacancy problem has moved the municipality to consider hiring an economic development consultant and, eventually, a business manager.

By Anne Levin

As the pandemic continues, the number of empty shops and restaurants in downtown Princeton and Princeton Shopping Center is a growing concern. Some 30 storefronts are now vacant.

Among recent closings are the Nassau Street restaurant Despaña, Green Design on Witherspoon Street, and the New York Sports Club in the shopping center. On Palmer Square, eight out of 53 storefronts are vacant.

At Princeton Council’s meeting on September 14, Councilwoman Michelle Pirone Lambros reported that the municipality’s Economic Development Committee, which she chairs, is proposing to hire a professional consultant to address the vacancy issue.

Lambros said on Monday that she was planning on calling for a vote at the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, September 23. “If they support that, then we’ll bring it to Council at the meeting on September 30,” she said. “What we want to do is hire a consultant we’ve identified, who has done this for other towns.”

The ultimate goal would be to hire a professional business manager, whose main job would be to focus on the business community. “I know that in other towns, the business manager works with landlords, small and large, to help with vacancies and bring people in,” Lambros said. more

By Donald Gilpin

Gaps in achievement and opportunity and challenges of affordability were in the spotlight Saturday morning, September 19, as eight candidates for three open spots on the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) shared their visions for the future of Princeton schools, in a virtual forum sponsored by the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association (WJNA).

Incumbents, current BOE President Beth Behrend and Vice President Michele Tuck-Ponder, and challengers Adam Bierman, Hendricks Davis, Jean Durbin, Bill Hare, Paul Johnson, and Karen Lemon, emphasized the need for equity, access, and accountability in the schools and the importance of closing the achievement gap, with African American, Hispanic, special education, and economically disadvantaged students often falling behind, at least on standardized test results.

The eight candidates offered an array of proposals to help bridge those gaps, and an  assortment of plans to pay for those initiatives with minimal impact on already-high Princeton property taxes.

WJNA Co-Chair Leighton Newlin, who moderated the proceedings, emphasized the critical nature of the present moment  “during a national pandemic when virtual education, tutorials through pods, internet access, and connectivity could further exacerbate the historical minority education achievement gap, making it intractable to address, adjust, or reverse.”

In introducing the candidates for  two-minute opening  statements, later followed by their answers to specific questions about equity and affordability and short closing remarks, Newlin added, “We are at a crossroads for our educational endeavors for the children of Princeton.” more

By Anne Levin

Mariel Hemingway

These days, even the most mentally fit are experiencing anxiety and depression. The ongoing pandemic, racial tensions, climate disasters, and the economy are just some of the issues that make those who normally have an upbeat outlook on life start to question their attitudes.

“Absolutely, people are struggling,” said Janet Haag, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mercer. “I think everyone is feeling this to some extent. And it makes people more likely to relate to others who are really having a hard time.”

“Creating Mental Harmony in Times of Uncertainty” is the title of NAMI Mercer’s 12th annual Harvest of Hope Wellness Conference, being held virtually from October 4-8. Actress Mariel Hemingway, whose family has experienced seven suicides including her famous grandfather, author Ernest Hemingway, and supermodel sister, Margaux Hemingway, is the keynote speaker.

“Suicide is very prevalent in her family, and she has dedicated herself to finding ways to keep herself well,” Haag said of Hemingway. “She did a documentary, Running from Crazy, in which she talked about her own family experience, raising the question, ‘How do you change that trajectory for yourself?’ ” more

By Stuart Mitchner

A year ago I was writing about baseball and the Beatles on the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road and the St. Louis Cardinals’ four-game playoff-clinching sweep of their arch rivals, the Chicago Cubs. At the time I didn’t know about the photograph staged to publicize the ill-fated June 2020 London series between the Cubs and the Cardinals.   

However disappointed fans may have been when the event was canceled by the pandemic, the image of Cubs outfielder Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and catcher Yadier Molina crossing Abbey Road helps make up for it. Here are four ballplayers reenacting in full uniform the zebra crossing cover shot seen round the world, each player replicating the posture, style, and stride of a Beatle — Bryant subbing for George, Rizzo for barefoot Paul (his slightly uplifted lead foot similarly positioned at the exact edge of the identical zebra stripe), Goldschmidt for Ringo, and Molina for John, whose song “Come Together” provided the tagline for both teams’ Facebook postings.

Just imagining what went on behind the scenes brings a smile. Did Rizzo volunteer to go shoeless, or did the organizer of the shoot explain the situation by quoting McCartney, who lived around the corner at the time: “It was a really nice hot day and I didn’t feel like wearing shoes, so I went around to the photo session and showed me bare feet.” Or was there a squabble among the players about which Beatle each would be subbing for? Or perhaps some back and forth between the fiery Molina and the outspoken Bryant, who once defamed the city of St. Louis as “boring.” And maybe a debate about airbrushing the elaborate tattoo on Molina’s right arm, settled with a line from the theme song of the shoot: “One thing I tell you is you got to be free.”

Deals and Steals

It’s worth noting that the legendary Cardinals-Cubs rivalry, the second-most storied in baseball, made them the logical choice to follow 2019’s Red Sox-Yankees London match-up, which had been billed as “an intense and historic rivalry well over a century in the making.”

Both feuds were founded on infamously one-sided deals: the Red Sox “Curse of the Bambino” sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 and the trade that brought Lou Brock (1939-2020) from Chicago to St. Louis in 1964, a move that helped lift the Cardinals to a world championship the same year. When Brock died earlier this month, the New York Times obituary (“Baseball Hall of Famer Known for Stealing Bases”) quoted him on bravado: “You know before you steal a base that you’ve got nine guys out there in different uniforms. You’re alone in a sea of enemies. The only way you can hold your own is by arrogance, the ability to stand before the crowd.”

The reference to “the crowd” has unhappy resonance in this Covid-mangled season where fans have been replaced by cardboard cut-outs and canned cheering. Following the Cardinals this year has been a challenge, the excitement muted, distant, hard to grasp, with the team missing two weeks’ worth of games due to players testing positive for the virus. Even though chances for a playoff spot look promising, it feels a long way from this time last year when I compared the euphoria of winning vicariously on the field to listening to the second side of Abbey Road (“Fifty Years on Abbey Road: ‘The Love You Take Is Equal to the Love You Make’”).  more

“BROADWAY ONLINE TRIVIA NIGHT”: Broadway performer Kathryn Boswell (above) hosted State Theatre New Jersey’s “Broadway Online Trivia Night.” Boswell read trivia questions, chatted with viewers, and performed a song. (Photo by Corinne Louie)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

State Theatre New Jersey presented Broadway Online Trivia Night on September 16. Kathryn Boswell, a member of the Broadway casts of Gigi and Anastasia, hosted the event.

Boswell performed at the State Theatre in November 2019, as songwriter Cynthia Weil, in the North American tour of Beautiful–The Carole King Musical. Boswell told Broadway Online Trivia Night viewers that the New Brunswick-based theater “was one of our favorite stops as a company. It was so wonderful to be so close to New York City; we felt like we were coming home. It’s just such a … beautiful, welcoming space.”

Broadway Online Trivia Night was hosted via Zoom. A donation, of $5 or higher, allowed viewers to participate in the contest, by using a smartphone-based game app (Kahoot!).

“Proceeds raised support State Theatre’s Community Engagement programs,” states a press release. Director of Communications Kelly Blithe elaborates in an email, “The donations are going towards the general community engagement funds which include our Artist-in-Residence program, virtual school programs, the Milk & Cookies series [an interactive storytelling and music program for families], and Ticket Subsidies including free tickets for community partners, charities, and veterans.” more

MUSIC AT MORVEN: The lush grounds behind Morven will serve as host to chamber musicians from the Princeton Symphony Orchestra this fall, starting September 24.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has announced a new chamber music series for fall with live performances held outside on the grounds of Morven Museum and Garden. The three-concert series showcases the talents of the orchestra’s individual instrument sections and features principal musicians.

Concerts take place on select Thursday evenings in September and October. All that is needed to make the setting complete are lawn chairs or a blanket. Seating consists of marked-off, socially distanced “pods” for up to two people, and are available for $35/pod.

The series opens Thursday, September 24 at 5:30 p.m. with the PSO Brass Quintet performing music of the Renaissance period, selections from Bernstein’s West Side Story, and more. The ensemble consists of Jerry Bryant, trumpet; Tom Cook, trumpet; Jonathan Clark, horn; Lars Wendt, trombone; and Jonathan Fowler, tuba. more

Richard Tang Yuk

The Princeton Festival, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving its communities with an annual summer festival of the performing arts, has announced that Richard Tang Yuk, executive and artistic director and one of the organization’s founders, has decided to leave the Festival.

“After 16 wonderful years with the Princeton Festival, I am excited to pass the reins to its next leaders and watch the Festival continue to thrive and move to the next level,” said Tang Yuk. “I will forever cherish the great experiences I enjoyed at the Festival, which is so dear to my heart. They would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our board of trustees.”

Gregory Jon Geehern, the Festival’s associate conductor and assistant to the artistic director, has been appointed acting artistic director. Geehern, a conductor, pianist, singer, and scholar, prepared and led many Festival choruses. more

NEW AT ELLARSLIE: “Messenger,” a wood sculpture by Richard Sanders, left, and “The Worst Part of a Good Day,” a painting by Christina MacKinnon, are featured in “The Conversation Continues,” one of two new exhibits opening on September 26 at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park.

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie  is set to invite the community back for in-person visits beginning at noon on September 26. Ushering in the reopening are the abstract art exhibition “The Conversation Continues,” and the Trenton history exhibition “On the Forefront: Trenton’s Junior 1, 1916,” both in the museum and online.

A timed entry system available at Mask requirements, social distancing, museum capacity of 25 persons at a given time, and barriers in the museum store are among the museum’s new safety measures.

“Our two new exhibitions get to the heart of our mission to examine our Trenton history and showcase compelling works by emerging and established artists,” said Trenton Museum Society President Joan Perkes. “We are thrilled to reopen to the public with new programming accompanied by a host of measures that support equally welcoming and safe surroundings. In fact, the subject of our history exhibit ‘In the Forefront,’ echoes a past epidemic as Trenton’s Junior No. 1 had to forego a grand opening and fanfare and open many weeks later than planned due to a polio epidemic in the summer and fall of 1916.” more

“ART AND MUSIC: TOUCHING SOUND”: This work by Susan Hoenig is featured in the Arts Council of Princeton’s newest exhibition, on view September 26 through October 24 in the Taplin Gallery. Featuring paintings, drawings, and sculpture, the show is a collaboration between the Princeton Artists Alliance and Mobius Percussion.

The Arts Council of Princeton now presents “Art and Music: Touching Sound,” a collaboration between the Princeton Artists Alliance and Mobius Percussion. The exhibition, featuring paintings, drawings, and sculpture, is inspired by Mobius’ performance of paper melodies (my music box music) by Jason Treuting, a member of the acclaimed ensemble S Percussion. The show will be on display in the Arts Council of Princeton’s Taplin Gallery from September 26 to October 24.  more

OPEN-AIR ENTHUSIASM: “We believe every detail counts. When we are designing, creating, and installing your patio, outdoor kitchen, walkway, landscape lighting, or a new varied landscape for your yard, our team pays attention to every detail from start to finish. We bring our experience and expertise to every project, and make your dream a reality.” Brian Knisely, center, owner of Cedar Creek Landscapes, is shown with manager Daniel Reed, left, and operations manager Rob Cortina at one of their projects.

By Jean Stratton

From the age of 18, Brian Knisely knew he wanted to have his own company and provide customers with beautiful outdoor living opportunities, whether with handsome hardscapes or lovely landscapes.

That dream came true more than seven years ago when he opened Cedar Creek Landscapes in Pennington, with headquarters on Pennington Titusville Road. It was the culmination of many years in the landscaping business, with time spent mastering  the work — from in-the-field training and hands-on application to sales and administration.

“I grew up in Pennington, and worked for landscape companies in the area from the time I was 18,” says Knisely. “We worked across the board, including landscaping, hardscaping, and maintenance. I learned all aspects of the business and got a real overview.”

His background and success in sales was also helpful, giving him an added dimension as he took the big step in opening his own firm. His careful planning and experience set the foundation for a successful business adventure. more

FAMILY BUSINESS: Jake Boone takes a big cut in a 2019 game during his sophomore season for the Princeton University baseball team. Foregoing his senior season for Princeton, star shortstop Boone recently signed a contract with the Washington Nationals to join the pro ranks. Over his Tiger career, Boone played in 72 games in two-plus seasons, hitting .250 with 71 hits, 31 runs, and 24 RBIs. Boone is adding the latest chapter to his family’s illustrious pro baseball history, whose line of Major League players includes his father (Bret), uncle (Aaron), grandfather (Bob), and great-grandfather (Ray). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Jake Boone had every intention of returning for his senior season with the Princeton University baseball team in 2020-21 before turning professional.

Instead, he accelerated the process to fulfilling his lifelong dream when he signed with the Washington Nationals in August.

“Obviously it’s something I’ve worked for my whole life,” said Boone, reflecting on joining the National League franchise.

“To have a club give me an opportunity like the Nationals, I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t wait to start working and start continuing toward my dream. This is just another step. I’m excited.”

Boone is continuing to take classes that began August 31. It’s looking unlikely that any minor league baseball will take place before next spring, and Boone is training for that chance and hoping to stay on academic track with Princeton’s virtual classes. Past Tiger players who left early would finish their degrees in two fall semesters after missing a spring semester.

“If it was in-person, that’s probably how I would have done it – fall semester, fall semester – that’s the typical route,” said Boone.  more

IN TRAINING: Members of the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team go through some drills at a recent preseason training session. The Panthers will open their 2020 campaign when they host Monroe on October 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team won’t get the chance this fall to go for its seventh straight state Prep B title as the tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it could still be a memorable season for the squad.

“From a coaching standpoint, it is challenging because you are not playing in a tournament so you don’t have any hardware on the line,” said PDS head coach Pat Trombetta, who guided the Panthers to a 16-3-1 record in 2019 as the program won its sixth straight state Prep B title and also advanced to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals.

“One of our goals every year is to defend our crown but the girls know that won’t happen this year so they just want to keep up the competitiveness of the program. Our No. 1 goal this year is to complete an entire season. They know that everybody has to participate and do their part as far as all of the protocols. They want to win as many games as possible and be competitive.”

The squad’s core of seniors is setting a positive tone as they look forward to competing in their final high school season.

“We have six seniors and with the spring season being canceled, they obviously had concerns because some of that impacted those who played spring sports,” said Trombetta, who team starts the 2020 season by hosting Monroe on October 1. more

ON THE BALL: Princeton Day School field hockey player Jadyn Huff, left, controls the ball in a game last year. Sophomore forward Huff figures to be a go-to finisher for PDS this fall. The Panthers start their 2020 season by hosting the Pennington School on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There is a sense of gratitude for the Princeton Day School field hockey team as it has toiled through its preseason training.

With PDS having closed to in-person learning in March and the fall season in doubt for many months, the Panthers players were excited to get the go-ahead to start practice on August 24.

“It has been good for the kids to get back doing a fall sport and having a preseason after not being in school for almost five months,” said PDS head coach Heather Farlow, who guided the Panthers to an 8-7-3 record in 2019 and a trip to the state Prep B final.

“It is a nice change for all of them. It is challenging in so many ways but the kids have been really resilient and are just appreciating the connections with each other so much more.”

Farlow appreciates the leadership she is getting from senior captains Gianna Gasparro, Skye Harris, Olivia Phillips, and Aaliyah Sayed.

“I have four seniors returning from last year and because I knew that we were going to have to have smaller groups, these four seniors worked with me all summer,” said Farlow, whose team begins regular season action by hosting the Pennington School on October 2. more

SAVING GRACE: Stuart Country Day School field hockey goalie Audrey Blandford makes a save in a recent preseason workout. Junior star Blandford will be anchoring the Stuart defense again this fall. The Tartans start their 2020 season by hosting the Hun School on October 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having started coaching the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team in the mid-1980s, Missy Bruvik boasts a vast wealth of knowledge and experience.

But Bruvik has never seen anything like the 2020 preseason where she has been compelled to modify her tried and true coaching approach to incorporate COVID-19 protocols.

“I feel like because we were doing optional workouts in August, we used that time to learn how to best do some coaching to keep the kids engaged,” said Bruvik, who took a five-year hiatus from the program in the early 2000s to follow her daughter Kelly and son Ryan as they competed in college athletics in field hockey and golf, respectively. more