December 9, 2015

McGukianFilm director, writer, and producer Mary McGuckian will discuss her recent film, The Price of Desire, about Irish architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray, on Friday, December 11 at 4:30 p.m. at the Lewis Center for the Arts’ James M. Stewart ’32 Theater, 185 Nassau Street. Part of the 2015-16 Fund for Irish Studies series at Princeton University, the event is free and open to the public.

The film, which premiered at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival earlier this year, is set substantially in and around Gray’s most abiding work, the villa E.1027 at Roquebrune Cap Martin in southern France, now recognized by many as the first fully fledged modernist house ever constructed. The drama explores the controversial events and details surrounding Le Corbusier’s effacement, defacement, and eventual erasure of Gray’s authorship and ownership of the one of the most important houses of the 20th century.

Gray is regarded as a cult figure among collectors of her work. This film is part of the Eileen Gray Project (2014-15), which includes a companion documentary, Gray Matters, by Marco Orisini, as well as a series of limited edition Eileen Gray Project Portrait Prints by Julian Lennon, and various other projects designed to bring Gray’s life and work to the public’s attention.  more

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) presents Sarah Donner in a Holiday Soiree on Saturday, December 12 at 8 p.m. The concert will be held in the ACP’s Solley Theater at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street.

Donner is known for her bright musical melodies and ballads. She will be joined by guitarist and vocalist Amanda Duncan and Chris Q. Murphy. Tickets are $12 ($10 for ACP members, students, and seniors).

Parking is available in the Spring and Hulfish Street Garages. For more information, visit or call (609) 924-8777.


Art Evening

“SOFT EVENING”: Gail Bracegirdle’s watercolor pictured above is among the works by the Artists’ Gallery’s 16 artists who will be exhibiting at the Gallery’s annual holiday show “Small Works in a Small Town.” The exhibit runs from Thursday, December 10 until Sunday, January 31, 2016 during which time patrons can purchase smaller artworks that make perfect holiday gifts.

The Artists’ Gallery’s (AG) 20th annual holiday exhibition, Small Works in a Small Town, runs from Thursday, December 10 until Sunday, January 31, 2016. The show predominately features smaller artworks by the gallery’s 16 artists that are perfect for holiday gifts. An Open House with the artists will be held at the gallery, located at 18 Bridge Street, Lambertville on Saturday, December 12 from 1 to 7 p.m.; light refreshments will be served. more

December 7, 2015


The faces of children tell you all you need to know about the beauty of the Palmer Square tree the moment the lights came on Friday night. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

See below for the December 6, 2015 Princeton Council Meeting.

Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.

December 3, 2015

See below for the December 3, 2015 Planning Board Meeting.

Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.

December 2, 2015

At a lengthy and often emotional meeting of Princeton’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) Monday evening, a consultant to the municipality recommended that the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood be designated a local historic district.

A standing-room-only crowd including neighborhood residents, architects, and local officials packed the main meeting room at Witherspoon Hall to hear a presentation by Wise Preservation Planning, the Chester Springs, Pa. company hired to survey the area that has been home to the town’s African American community and other ethnic groups for generations. Following an informative presentation by longtime neighborhood resident and historian Shirley Satterfield, the HPC opened the floor to members of the community. more

Describing last week’s two heroin arrests as only the “tip of the iceberg,” Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter is certain this problem “is not going away any time soon.”

“People are turning to heroin because of the price,” Mr. Sutter said. “There has been a huge spike in the cost of pills, prescription pain killers, and heroin is a cheaper alternative. It has become the second most popular street drug after marijuana.”

Princeton Police made two arrests last Tuesday, November 24 at a John Street residence: Jordan Walden, 22, of Princeton for possession with intent to distribute С also possession of marijuana, cocaine, and prescription legend drugs; and Laura Sliwa, 19, for possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. The drug distribution charges were within 1000 feet of school property and within 500 feet of a public park and public housing. Both were taken to Mercer County Correctional Center, with $225,000 bail for Mr. Walden, $10,000 bail with a 10 percent posting option for Ms. Sliwa.  more

Bainbridge House, the historic building that has served as home to the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) since 1967, is being turned into an arts-focused information center and gathering space. The circa 1766 house at 158 Nassau Street will also be home to new administrative space for the education staff of the Princeton University Art Museum, the University announced Tuesday.

The Historical Society, which has been renting the building from the University for $1 a year for several decades, is relocating to Updike Farmstead on Quaker Road. Currently closed, the HSP will reopen on January 6 at Updike Farm. The organization has been dividing its operations and exhibits between the two locations since purchasing the six-acre farm in 2004. more


LIGHTING UP THE NIGHT: The steps of The Nassau Inn are among the sites around town that will be aglow on Monday night in honor of the 14th annual Communites of Light campaign, which benefits Womanspace. Kits are still available for those who want to join the tribute.

At dusk on Monday, December 7, rain or shine, Princeton streets, driveways and walkways will glow with light from rows of luminaria. These votive candles anchored by sand and encased in brown paper bags have become a tradition that has a message.

“They are a symbol of hope,” said Lauren Nazarian, director of development for Womanspace, the Mercer County organization that helps women and children affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. “We want people to know we are here, that our services are available. And it’s a fundraiser for us as well.”

Womanspace’s 14th annual “Communities of Light Peace Begins at Home” campaign was officially launched last October. Kits that cost $10 and have the organization’s logo are available, while virtual luminaria are also for sale. Raoul and Carlo Momo of the Terra Momo Restaurant Group are the honorary co-chairs of the current campaign. Both are active in the local community. more


TAKING FLIGHT: Princeton University women’s basketball player Annie Tarakchian, right, battles a Rider player for the ball as the teams met last week. Senior star and tri-captain -Tarakchian poured in 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help Princeton top the Broncs 78-59 in the November 24 contest. Over the weekend, Tarakchian starred as the Tigers headed to her native California and won the Loyola Marymount Tournament in Los Angeles by beating UC-Irvine 83-42 in the opening round on Friday and then defeating Seattle 85-48 the next day in the title game. The Tigers, now 5-1, host Michigan on December 6 and Monmouth on December 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Annie Tarakchian suffered through a rare off night when the Princeton University women’s basketball team lost at Seton Hall to see its 32-game regular season winning streak come to an end.

The senior star and tri-captain hit just 1-of-11 shots from the floor and had three points as the Tigers fell 71-64 to the Pirates in the November 19 contest.

As Princeton hit the court last week for its next game at Rider, Tarakchian was chomping at the bit to get back into action.

“It was frustrating last game, honestly I just wanted to get back out there and play another game because not having a game for a while after a rough one makes you think about it longer,” said Tarakchian, a 6’0 native of West Hills, Calif. more

AM Slaughter

WOMEN MEN WORK FAMILY: Anne-Marie Slaughter, speaking at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, looks for revolutionary changes in the workplace and in society to bring about equality and fulfillment for men and women in the next phase of the women’s movement. (Photo by Sameer Khan)

Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning for the State Department under Hillary Clinton, called for a “new social contract,” to complete “the second half of the women’s movement” in a speech Monday at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where she had served as dean from 2002 to 2009.

“We’ve made enormous progress, but we still have a long way to go,” she told the crowd of about 200 (female-male ratio about 4:1) mostly Princeton University students and faculty with a small contingent from the larger community.

Advocating a focus on care, men, public policy, and collective action, Ms. Slaughter explained how her thinking on the subject of gender equity, work, and family has changed since her 2012 Atlantic Monthly piece “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” became one of the most widely read and hotly debated articles in the magazine’s history.  more

Hillary Chute and Richard Dienst will be at Labyrinth Books on Wednesday, December 15 at 6 p.m. to discuss Ms. Chute’s new book Disaster Drawn, about the ways in which graphic narratives document the disasters of war.

Investigating how hand-drawn comics have come of age as a serious medium for engaging history, Disaster Drawn explores the ways in which graphic narratives by diverse artists, including Jacques Callot, Francisco Goya, Keiji Nakazawa, Art Spiegelman, and Joe Sacco, document war. Ms. Chute demonstrates why, even in the era of photography and film, people understand hand-drawn images to be among the most powerful forms of historical witness of war. more


CLOSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: Participants in the district’s new Mobile Access Program get tips from teacher Daniel Scibienski at a training session held at John Witherspoon School in October. More sessions will take place as the program expands to a total of about 200 eligible students across the district.

The Princeton Public Schools Mobile Access Program (MAP) will be providing all eligible students with free internet access and laptops, with the goal of giving every student in the district, regardless of means, with access to online educational resources to build their academic skills, to enhance communication between home and school, and to increase general knowledge.

So far 20 students in the district at John Witherspoon Middle School have received laptops and a Wi-Fi hotspot through the Sprint network, including three gigabytes of internet data each month at no cost.

The Princeton Education Foundation provided funding for this initiative, which will eventually extend to about 200 eligible students across the district. The ultimate goal of MAP is to ensure that every student can complete computer-based assignments and conduct academic research at home. A training session has taken place for the first group of participating families and more sessions will be scheduled as the program expands. more


BIG MAC: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Brendon -McCormick controls the puck in a game last season. Junior forward -McCormick  figures to be a go-to scorer for PHS this winter. The Little Tigers start their 2015-16 campaign by facing Nottingham on December 3 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

While the Princeton High boys’ hockey team has suffered some heavy graduation losses, saying goodbye to eight seniors from last year, the formula for success remains the same. more

Pr Academy

Alfred F. (Rik) Dugan III (left) was officially installed as the second headmaster at Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart in a ceremony last month presided over by Abbot Brian H. Clarke (right), O.S.B. of St. Mary’s Abbey Delbarton School.  Mr. Dugan, who assumed his duties on July 1, 2015, praised “the palpable can-do spirit” at Princeton Academy, an independent school for boys in junior kindergarten through eighth grade. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Academy)

Art Zink

ZINK’S “MERCER MAGIC” TALK: Clifford Zink will talk about his new book, “Mercer Magic: Roeblings, Kusers, The Mercer Automobile Company and America’s First Sports Car,” on Sunday, December 13, at 2 p.m. at Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum. The cost is $5 for members of the Trenton Museum Society and $10 for non-members. Pictured above is a photograph of New Mercers lined up at the factory for road testing in 1912.

Clifford W. Zink, the foremost expert on the Roebling family and the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, talks about his new book, Mercer Magic: Roeblings, Kusers, The Mercer Automobile Company and America’s First Sports Car, on Sunday, December 13, at 2 p.m. at Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum, in Cadwalader Park, Trenton. The cost is $5 for members of the Trenton Museum Society and $10 for non-members.

Mercer Magic is a story of Trenton’s entrepreneurship, innovation, and national achievement in the exciting first decades of the 20th century when the new technology of automobiles was sweeping the country.

Members of the Roebling and Kuser families started the Mercer Automobile Company in 1909 to build automobiles “in a class by itself,” and that’s what they did. Mercer Automobile Company produced fine touring and sporting cars, most notably the two-seater Raceabout, which an amateur sportsman could drive around town during the week and take to the local track to race on weekends.  more

Art Provincetown

“DRIZZLY PROVINCETOWN DAY”: This 18×24 acrylic and collage on canvas is an example of local artist SiriOm Singh’s artwork. There will be an exhibition at the Blawenburg Café in Skillman displaying Singh’s “’scapes,” which include landscapes, seascapes, and inner scapes. The artist sees all images as portraits to create structures that have a personality and become living things that serve as a testament to how we care for our world. Singh’s exhibition will be on display until Friday, January 8.

Local artist SiriOm Singh will be displaying his art in Skillman’s Blawenburg Café located at 391 County Road 518 in Blawenburg until Friday, January 8. The work can be viewed weekdays from 7 a.m.–4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. There will be an artist reception on Friday, December 5 from 6-8 p.m.

Singh sees himself as an abstract expressionist. He uses acrylic and collage applying layering techniques, primarily with a pallet knife, to create images that are intended to help the viewer experience inner peace, love, and unity.

The show displays recent images of landscapes and seascapes, some painted on location, and some recreated in the studio, from memory, or from the artist’s imagination. Singh sees all images as portraits – representations of our humanity and our need to plant ourselves solidly in the world. more



When Bogart tells Bergman “We’ll always have Paris” as they say their farewells in Casablanca, he’s responding to her plaintive question “What about us?” For Rick and Ilsa, Paris is another word for love. “We lost it until you came to Casablanca,” he tells her. “We got it back last night.”

While the city of the title is a Moorish fantasy fabricated on a back lot at Warners with stock footage of an overview, Paris is the absolute that will always be the City of Light as Humphrey Bogart will always be the epitome of cool, Ingrid Bergman the epitome of beauty, and “As Time Goes By” the theme song of their romance.

When the two lovers were reunited in Rick’s night club, they talked of the last time they were together, in a Montmartre cafe called the Belle Aurore on the day the Germans marched into Paris. “Not an easy day to forget,” said Rick. “I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.” more


ON THE DEFENSIVE: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Gianluca Travia guards the blue line in a game last season. Junior Travia is being counted on to spearhead the PDS defense this winter as it looks to bounce back from a 3-16-1 season last year. The Panthers were slated to start the 2015-16 campaign by hosting St. Joe’s Prep on December 1, Montclair Kimberly on December 2, and the Hun School on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Going with a youth movement by necessity last winter, the Princeton Day School boy’s hockey team took its lumps.

As the proud program endured a 3-16-1 campaign, its younger players were fighting a losing battle on a nightly basis. more

For its annual Thanksgiving weekend concert this year, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) looked back through music history. NJSO concertmaster Eric Wyrick served as both conductor and violin soloist for three works harking back to the days before conductors formally stood in front of orchestras. Friday night’s NJSO performance in Richardson Auditorium showed the nearly full house how an instrumental ensemble can work within itself to create music rooted in solid communication and musical trust.

In his career, Mr. Wyrick has had extensive experience as both a follower and a leader in an ensemble; in conjunction with his position as concertmaster of NJSO, he regularly appears as soloist with orchestras worldwide and has recorded an extensive repertory. Friday night’s concert was centered on Antonio Vivaldi’s early 18th-century concerto set The Four Seasons, for which Mr. Wyrick served as violin soloist. In the four concerti selected, a chamber-sized NJSO demonstrated the true orchestral intricacy of 18th-century music with themes passed among players and complex musical conversations. Mr. Wyrick brought The Four Seasons into the 21st century by playing off an iPad, and added a wealth of 19th and 20th-century interpretive style to music which is sometimes considered repetitive. In this performance, nothing was boring, and there was tremendous variety in dynamics, contrast, and melodic lines.  more


AJ Cedeño and Graeme Malcolm as seen in a recent production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. Tickets start at just $25 and are available by calling the box office at (609) 258-2787 or online at Special discounts are available for groups of six or more. Purchase a McCarter Theatre membership and automatically receive one free ticket. (Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson)

The American Boychoir’s annual “Home for the Holidays” performance will take place at Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, December 20 at 4 p.m. To purchase tickets, call (609) 258-9220.

Artistic Director Fernando Malvar-Ruiz states, “This year’s holiday program was created as an homage to our many supporters and fans. It stemmed from this fundamental question: if people could pick one song for the American Boychoir to sing for them during the holidays, what would it be? The answers to that question put together an ‘all-star’ collection of favorites, as well as what I hope to be a most enjoyable concert experience.”

Earlier this year, there was some doubt that the American Boychoir School would even be open for the holidays, because the school filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April and the fate of the school was unknown. However, the American Boychoir School leadership, students, parents, and community came together in an unprecedented effort to not only keep the doors open, but to position the school and its revered choir for the future. The holiday season offers the perfect opportunity for the American Boychoir to celebrate and thank its many friends and supporters who are working so hard to keep the school open. more

Join the Princeton Singers for their traditional holiday favorite, A Child’s Christmas in Wales on Saturday, December 12 at 6 p.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton.

Narrated by author Paul Watkins, holiday carols will be accompanied by a reading of Dylan Thomas’s classic story. This local favorite will be, as always, replete with snowballs, Christmas pranks, and a heart-warming ending.

The program is recommended for children ages 10 and older. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit


NTU Camillo 12-2-15

DINING ITALIANO: “We’re keeping the Camillo’s tradition with the same authentic Italian cuisine. At the same time, we are continuing to offer many of the Avanti specialties.” Camillo Tortola, chef/owner of the new Camillo’s Avanti in Pennington, is happy to offer his signature Italian cuisine to both former and new customers.

Good news! Camillo is back. After a hiatus of two years during which time he had closed Camillo’s Cafe in the Princeton Shopping Center, Camillo Tortola has opened Camillo’s Avanti.

He recently purchased Avanti Restaurant at 23 West Delaware Street in Pennington, and is now ready to offer customers his traditional classic Italian cuisine in Camillo’s signature relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” says Chef Tortola, quoting Virginia Woolf.

As a chef, he has been devoted to creating delicious authentic Italian dishes. It is what he has been doing his adult life, and what fascinated him when he was a boy. Born in Italy, and brought up by his grandmother in the small village of Miranda, Camillo was intrigued by his grandmother’s cooking. more