March 14, 2018

Area youths definitely looked the part for the Einstein look-alike contest held Saturday at the Nassau Inn. The event was part of the annual Pi Day Princeton celebration marking Albert Einstein’s March 14 birthday. Participants share their favorite Pi Day events in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

In more than 20 different events held last Saturday and also scheduled for today, Princeton is celebrating the 139th birthday of one of its most famous residents. Albert Einstein, who came here from Germany in 1933 and joined the Institute for Advanced Study, with which he was affiliated until his death in 1955, was born on March 14, 3.14, the numeric equivalent of Pi.

The annual celebration, founded and organized for the past 10 years by Princeton Tour Company CEO Mimi Omiecinski, honors Pi, mathematics, science, famous Princeton geniuses, local merchants, and, of course, Albert Einstein, who lived at 33 Mercer Street.  more

By Anne Levin

The future of parking in Princeton took up a large portion of Princeton Council’s meeting on Monday, March 12. Julie Dixon of Dixon Resources Unlimited gave an overview of a recently completed study on how the town should approach ongoing problems associated with parking.

Keeping up with technology and remaining transparent are key elements of the process, said Dixon, whose company has advised towns and cities all over the country. “We look for realistic implementations and solutions that will last,” she said at the beginning of her presentation. “There is a lot of technology out there, and we don’t want to put you into a closed system.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Architects from Fielding Nair International and Spiezle Architectural Group presented their preliminary designs for a 5/6 school and the transformation of the Princeton High School (PHS) building at a special meeting of the Princeton Board of Education at the Valley Road administrative building last night.

The plans will continue to be adjusted based on feedback from the Board, staff, students, and the community, as Princeton Public Schools (PPS) prepares to submit its tentative design plans to the State Board of Education in April in preparation for a facilities referendum on October 2.  more

THE SURVIVOR AND THE LIBERATOR: Holocaust survivor Ernie Gross, left, and World War II veteran Don Greenbaum, will speak about their unique connection at a program at Adath Israel in Lawrence on March 18. Greenbaum was among the U.S. Army soldiers to liberate Dachau, where Gross was a prisoner, but the two didn’t meet until 2012.

By Anne Levin

The first time Ernie Gross and Don Greenbaum crossed paths was on April 29, 1945. Gross, then 16, was standing in line to be exterminated at Dachau.

The notorious concentration camp was where thousands of Jews were killed during World War II. Greenbaum, then 20, was a corporal in the United States Army, which had arrived to liberate the prisoners at the camp. more

Spring means Sunday walking tours led by the Historical Society of Princeton, spanning a variety of topics about the legacy and landscape of the town. Tours begin at 2 p.m. and vary in price, depending on the tour. Topics include the Classic Princeton Walking Tour, Historic Stony Brook, The Princeton Eating Clubs, Marquand Park, and Memorials.

For reservations, pricing, and meeting locations, visit

ETHICAL TEA ESTATES: Mary Fritschie, familiar to Princeton patrons of the former Infini-T Cafe, volunteered in Uganda and Rwanda while searching out tea for Tea Leaf Market. She is shown here with Vanessa, a student at Kasiisi School in Uganda.

By Anne Levin

Back when she ran Infini-T Cafe & Spice Souk on Hulfish Street, Mary Fritschie used to love her morning routine of grinding up spices to brew chai teas. The aromas would permeate the roomy cafe, which opened in 2011 and attracted a loyal following.

That was before damage from a vicious storm flooded the premises, causing it to close for good in June, 2017. more

PIED PIPER OF THE ART ROOM: Tanya Vail collaborates with her students in a working studio environment in the Chapin School art room. About 20 years ago she decided to give up her job as a graphic designer to become a full-time teacher, and has never looked back. “I figured that the universe had pointed me in this direction for some reason,” she said. (Photo Courtesy of Tanya Vail)

By Donald Gilpin

The start of Tanya Vail’s teaching career was less than auspicious.

She was working as a graphic designer at a publishing house in Nashville, Tennessee, when she saw an ad for someone to teach freshman graphic design classes at a local design college.

“I started out teaching one class,” she recalled. “My first class was terrible — a complete crash and burn. I had never done it from that point of view before. I had been in the student’s seat but not the one lecturing from the front. It was so bad. If I could have, I would have walked out.” more

Imagination is more important than knowledge — it encircles the whole world.

—Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

—Hamlet (1601–∞)

By Stuart Mitchner

If you were to measure their relative value in light of Einstein’s statement, Shakespeare would have the advantage because the works of his imagination can be apprehended while Einstein’s require a knowledge of mathematics and physics most people don’t possess. Unfair and illogical though it may be, the wonders of Shakespeare’s language supercede the relatively impenetrable wonders of Einstein’s theory. more

“I OF THE STORM”: Performances are underway for “I of the Storm.” Directed by Janice L. Goldberg, the play runs through March 18 at Passage Theatre. A homeless ex-convict, who used to be the vice president of a brokerage, shares his life story. (Photo by Michael Abrams)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Passage Theatre is presenting I of the Storm. With this production the company is continuing its series of monologues, Solo Flights. Writer and performer Richard Hoehler’s one-man show previously was presented in 2015, at the Playroom Theater, an off-Broadway venue. Subsequent performances have taken place at the Gym at Judson and the Cape May Stage. more

By Kam Williams

Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) is a loyal employee at Promethium Pharmaceuticals who has been patiently waiting for his chance to share in the success from the company’s lucrative sales of medical marijuana in a pill form. Unfortunately, the naive Nigerian immigrant is unaware that the Chicago-based company’s CEO, Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton), has no intention of giving him a share of the profits.

Instead, Richard fills his head with promises of a lavish lifestyle like the ones he’s seen in rap videos. Furthermore, Harold has no idea that his boss is having an affair with his wife, Bonnie (Thandie Newton). In addition, Richard is in a relationship with his business partner, Elaine (Charlize Theron).  more

FIRE ON ICE: Members of the Princeton University men’s hockey team celebrate a goal during their sweep of Brown in a best-of-three ECAC hockey first round series earlier this month. The seventh-seeded Tigers kept rolling last weekend, sweeping second-seeded Union 2-0 in best-of-three quarterfinal matchup. Princeton, now 17-12-4, plays top-seeded and No. 2 Cornell (25-4-2) in the semis on March 16 in Lake Placid, N.Y. with the victor advancing to the title game on March 17 to face the winner of the Clarkson-Harvard semi. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having gone 0-17-3 in its last 20 games against Union, including 0-2 this season, the Princeton University men’s hockey team seemed overmatched as it faced the Dutchmen in an ECAC Hockey best-of-three quarterfinal series last weekend.

But Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty wasn’t concerned about that history with his seventh-seeded Tigers having gone 9-2-1 in their last 12 games coming into the clash with second-seeded and No. 16 Union. more

DANCE PARTY: Members of the Princeton University women’s basketball team celebrate at Triumph Brewing Company last Monday after learning their assignment for the upcoming NCAA tournament. The Tigers, now 24-5, are seeded 12th and will face fifth-seeded Maryland, 25-7, in Raleigh, N.C. on March 16 in the Kansas City bracket. It is the seventh trip to the Big Dance in the last nine years for the Tigers, who beat Penn 63-34 in the Ivy League tournament championship game last Sunday to earn the league’s automatic bid to the tourney. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton University women’s basketball team rolled to the Ivy League regular season title, that didn’t guarantee the Tigers a spot in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

Instead, the Tigers had to go to Philadelphia and survive a two-game gauntlet at the Ivy League postseason tourney to earn the league’s automatic bid to the Big Dance. more

SHOOTING STAR: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Austin Sims fires a shot in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star midfielder and co-captain Sims scored five goals, including the game-tying and game-winning goal as Princeton rallied from a four-goal deficit to beat Rutgers 15-14 in overtime. The Tigers, now 3-2, open Ivy League play by hosting Penn (3-3) on March 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Austin Sims and his teammates on the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team weren’t about to hit the panic button even though they found themselves trailing Rutgers 14-10 with 9:58 remaining in the fourth quarter last Saturday at Class of 1952 Stadium. more

SENIOR SWIM: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Emily Curran displays her freestyle form in a meet this year. Senior star and co-captain Curran enjoyed a big final campaign, helping PHS go 9-4 and advance to the North 2 Public B sectional quarterfinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Carly Misiewicz sensed that her Princeton High girls’ swimming team was developing a special spirit as it headed into the homestretch of the season.

“Our girls’ team was really passionate and really cared for each other,” said PHS head coach Misiewicz. “They wanted to dig deep.” more

LIVING IT UP: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Olivia Corrodi controls the puck in a game this season. Junior forward and assistant captain Corrodi helped PHS enjoy a winning campaign this winter as it ended up with a 9-7-3 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though his Princeton High girls’ hockey team went 3-10 in 2016-17, Christian Herzog had high hopes coming into this winter.

“Going in, no matter what happens, I thought that we would be pretty close to .500,” said PHS head coach Herzog. more

Princeton Day School senior athletes Damali Simon-Ponte, left, and Grace Barbara are all smiles as they recently signed letters of intent to compete for Division I college soccer programs. Joining them for the ceremony in the back row, from left to right, are Head of School Paul Stellato, Associate Director of College Counseling Cindy Michalak, Director of College Counseling Sarah Graham, Head of Upper School Jason Robinson, and Director of Athletics Tim Williams. Simon-Ponte will play soccer at the University of Delaware in the fall. In 2016, star midfielder Simon-Ponte was the leading scorer for PDS and one of the top assist leaders in New Jersey as the Panthers won their third straight state Prep B crown. Barbara, for her part, will play for Princeton University next year. Star goalie Barbara is a two-time Mercer 33 honoree and was named top goalkeeper in Mercer County during 2016. Three other PDS seniors, C.J. Uche (Bucknell), Maddie Coyne (George Washington), and Donovan Davis (Elon University), have also committed to play soccer for D-I programs.

March 7, 2018

Owners Costa, left, and Niko Maltabes hosted a grand opening on Saturday celebrating Hoagie Haven’s new space at 244 Nassau Street, just two doors down from its original location. In between the two shops is Slice Between, a pizza restaurant run by their brother, Mike. With the expanded space, Hoagie Haven now offers seating and online ordering, along with local deliveries. Hoagie Haven customers share their favorite orders in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

“It could’ve been us,” reads the Facebook announcement of the PHS Walkout to Protest Gun Violence. “Join us on Wednesday, March 14th. Front lawn.”

In conjunction with thousands of schools across the country, the Princeton High School (PHS) student-led demonstration, seeking stricter gun laws, will protest “the government’s mishandling and lack of change over gun violence in America.”  more

By Anne Levin

Last weekend, representatives from the Chinese company to which Rider University has proposed transferring ownership of Westminster Choir College visited Westminster for meetings with faculty, staff, and students. Live-streamed sessions were also held for parents and alumni about Kaiwen Education Technology Company, which recently signed a non-binding, $40 million agreement with Rider for the Choir College, Westminster Conservatory of Music, and Westminster Continuing Education. more

By Donald Gilpin

A psychiatrist, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer, and a retired New Jersey state trooper presented the case for legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana to end the negative effects caused by current laws, in “Beyond the Bias,” a forum sponsored by New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR) at the Princeton Public Library last Thursday evening.

“It’s a civil liberties issue,” ACLU Policy Counsel Dianna Houenou said. “We’re in the midst of a civil rights crisis.” Citing nearly 25,000 arrests for marijauna possession in New Jersey each year, with African Americans arrested at a rate three times higher than whites, Houenou argued for “reform with racial and social justice at the heart of it.” more

BUILDING UP: JZA+D’s design for the Nelson Glass building on Spring Street stacks six terraced apartments atop the original structure. The rental units will include one designated affordable. Construction could start this summer. (Rendering courtesy of JZA+D Architects)

By Anne Levin

Robbie Nelson has watched many of her contemporaries and fellow Princeton High School graduates sell their families’ properties on Witherspoon Street to people from out of town. She wasn’t about to do that with Nelson Glass, the Spring Street business founded by her late father in 1949. more

RAPID RESPONSE: Joel Wattacheril, representing the Reformed Church of Highland Park’s Project DIRE (Deportation and Immigration Response), and Adriana Abizadeh, executive director of LALDEF, spoke to a gathering at St. Paul’s Church last Thursday about preparation for ICE raids. (Photo Courtesy of Anastasia Mann)

By Donald Gilpin

The six-month deadline for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program passed on Monday, but court rulings have blocked President Trump from terminating the program for now, and the DREAMers remain in limbo.

Trump passed the problem to Congress to resolve disagreements over the DACA program, which protected people brought to the country illegally as children from deportation, but negotiations in Congress have made little progress. There are currently more than 17,600 DACA recipients in New Jersey, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. more

By Anne Levin

At press time on Tuesday, this month’s run of nasty storms was predicted to continue with a second nor’easter, and a third round of bad weather predicted for next week. Last Friday’s mix of snow and rain had police, utility, and rescue workers busy dealing with power outages, roads blocked by fallen trees, and downed power lines.

At various points, Friday’s storm left more than 130,000 New Jersey residents without power. As of Tuesday morning, power had been restored to all Mercer County customers who had lost it, according to PSE&G’s communications office. But the utility was gearing up for round two. more

Daniel A. Harris will read poems about race and “color” from his recent book Accents on Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m. at the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall (second floor; entry on Quarry Street, ADA-accessible). He will focus on his growing up white in a privileged Manhattan environment, from birth (1942) to the verge of college (1960) while only sporadically learning about white supremacy, racism, and the practice of enslaving blacks in the United States.  more