September 29, 2021

SUDDEN IMPACT: Princeton High girls’ volleyball player Sarah Villamil returns the ball last Thursday against Notre Dame. With junior transfer Villamil coming up with a match-high nine kills, PHS defeated Notre Dame 2-0 (27-25, 25-20). The Tigers, who defeated WW/P-South 2-0 (25-23, 25-15) last Monday to improve to 6-3, host Lawrenceville School on September 30, play at Florence on October 2 and then host Hopewell Valley on October 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Moving north from Florida, Sarah Villamil has found a home with the Princeton High girls’ volleyball team.

“We are all about having a positive mindset,” said PHS junior Villamil, who came to the Princeton area from Broward County in South Florida.

“It is about being ready and having the mindset that you are going to win and fighting for and getting it.”

Last Thursday, Villamil and PHS had a fight on their hands as they hosted Notre Dame. The Tigers jumped out to a 20-13 lead in the first set only to see the Irish battle back to make it 25-25.

“You can’t waste the energy that you have on being concerned,” said Villamil, reflecting on the Notre Dame rally.

“You have to waste it on getting the point and getting the win.”

Villamil ended up getting the winning point on a kill as PHS pulled out a 27-25 win.

“It just kind of happened,” said Villamil. “Once it happened, it was a crazy feeling, knowing that you did it.” more

ON TARGET: Princeton High quarterback Jaxon Petrone fires a pass in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior Petrone connected on 12-of-19 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown as PHS defeated Bishop Eustace 15-12. The Tigers, now 1-3, play at Audubon High (3-1) on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though his Princeton High football team lost 27-21 to Cherry Hill East on September 18 to fall to 0-3, Charlie Gallagher saw progress.

“We played much better I was very happy with what the guys did in the Cherry Hill game,” said PHS head coach Gallagher, whose senior quarterback Jaxon Petrone passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns in the defeat.

“Jaxon and the wide receivers are getting better. We are doing different schemes and getting everybody to mesh, including the coaches, so we are all on the same page.”

Things got even better last Friday night as PHS traveled south to Bishop Eustace and came away with a 15-12 win.

The Tigers jumped out to a 15-0 lead in the second quarter as Everaldo Servil scored on a TD pass from Petrone and Tyler Goldberg added a second touchdown on a three-yard run. Bishop Eustace responded with a late score in the second quarter. The Crusaders added another TD in the fourth quarter but the PHS was able to run out the clock to earn the win.

Gallagher tipped his hat to his defense which held the fort in the second half. more

WILLING TO FIGHT: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player William Vasquez, right, battles a WW/P-South player for the ball last Friday. Senior forward Vasquez tallied a goal and an assist to help PDS prevail 4-1. The Panthers, who fell 3-2 to WW/P-North last Monday to drop to 3-4, hosts Peddie School on September 29, Blair Academy on October 2, and Pingry School on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

William Vasquez ran to the sidelines with a bloody nose last Friday as the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team hosted WW/P-South.

But the PDS senior star cracked a smile as he got treated, having just scored a goal to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

“I got a bloody nose when I was celebrating over there,” said Vasquez.

After nosing ahead of the Pirates, PDS never looked back on the way to a 4-1 win.

The Panthers controlled the second half, getting goals from Theo Capeilleries and Joaquin Rodriguez as they closed the deal.

“We had them on our half and once we scored that third goal, we kept going,” said Vasquez.

“We learned from past experiences that we can’t let up, even if it is 3-1 up or 4-1 up. We have to play like it is 0-0 every time.”

It did take a while for PDS to get going as it fell behind 1-0 three minutes into the contest.

“When we were down one-nil, we just had to keep our heads up and keep going,” said Vasquez. “Once we got that first goal, we started playing well.”

Vasquez helped the Panthers get that first goal, sending a ball into the box that Todd Devin headed into the back of the net with 19:11 left in the half.

“I think Milan [Shah] had a great play on that,” said Vasquez. “He fed it to me and I saw Todd on the far post. I had to give it to him.” more

KRIS-CROSS: Princeton Day School girls’ tennis player Kristina Wang prepares to hit a backhand last week at the Mercer County Tournament. Sophomore Wang placed third at second singles in the event, helping PDS tie for sixth overall with Lawrence High in the team standings. In upcoming action, the Panthers have a match at WW/P-South on September 29 before starting play in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public A South sectional where it is seeded fourth and will host fifth-seeded Red Bank Catholic in a quarterfinal match on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into the Mercer County Tournament last week, the Princeton Day School girls’ tennis team wasn’t battle-tested.

Due to rainouts and the tournament being held earlier in September than in past years, PDS had only played two matches before hitting the courts at the Mercer County Park tennis complex.

The Panthers made up for some lost time, seeing plenty of action at the two-day event, highlighted by sophomore Kristina Wang placing third at second singles and the pair of Ashlyn Du and junior Sophie Zhang taking fourth at first doubles.

“I love playing as many matches as you can,” said PDS head coach Michael Augsberger, whose squad ended up tied for sixth overall with Lawrence High in the team standings at the event won by WW/P-South.

“We were at the U.S. Open on the first day, we went up as a team for a bonding experience. This reminds me of that, obviously on a smaller scale, with the excitement, everyone rooting for each other and being all over the grounds. They love it.”

Wang appears to have an exciting future at singles.

“She is such a grinder, she plays marathon matches,” said Augsberger of Wang, who posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over Hun’s Sabrina Wang in the third place match. more

FIRST QUALITY: Hun School girls’ tennis player Amanda Francis rips a forehand last Wednesday in the girls’ first singles final at the Mercer County Tournament. Junior star Francis ended up falling 7-5, 6-4 to Leticia Kitio of Lawrence High in the match. The run by Francis to the final helped Hun finish third in the team standings at the event. In upcoming action, the Raiders have home matches against Pennington School on September 30 and Stuart Country Day on October 2 before playing at Princeton Day School on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Amanda Francis found herself in a bind as she played in the second set of the girls’ first singles semifinals at the Mercer County Tournament last Wednesday.

“I was down 2-5 in the second set so I really had to battle because I didn’t want it to go to a third set,” said Hun School junior Francis, reflecting on her match with Eva Lependorf of Princeton High at the Mercer County Park tennis complex.

“The first set I was really consistent; I played aggressive. In the second set, the girl really stepped up her level. I really needed to make sure that I competed hard as well.”

Francis rallied to pull out a 6-2, 7-5 win and earn a spot in the final against Leticia Kitio of Lawrence High.

Coming into the match, Francis realized she was in for a battle. more

STICKING WITH IT: Hun School field hockey player Nicole Schaefer controls the ball in recent action. Senior Schaefer scored a goal as Hun tied Stuart Country Day 1-1 last week. The Raiders, who lost 2-1 to Montgomery last Saturday to move to 2-4-1, play at Academy of the New Church (Pa.) on September 29 before hosting Pennington School on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Through the first four games of the 2021 season, the Hun School field hockey team had already shown progress from last year.

After going 1-6 in 2020, Hun got off to a 2-2 start, highlighted by defeating Conwell Egan (Pa.) 4-0 on September 13 and then topping Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 8-0 five days later.

Last week, the Raiders took another step forward as they headed across town to battle local rival Stuart Country Day, earning a 1-1 tie in a thrilling, hard fought contest.

The foes were knotted in a scoreless tie at halftime in the September 21 game and then Hun took the lead midway through the third period on a goal by senior Nicole Schafer, assisted by classmate Ashley Jones.

Stuart responded with a tally by Isabel Milley minutes later and the game ended tied 1-1 at end of regulation. In a 10-minute overtime, both teams had scoring chances but the defenses held and the game ended in the stalemate.

“We have been working on winning the quarters, it was great that we won that one quarter when we put it in,” said Hun head coach Tracey Arndt.

“So now it is next steps. It was a great learning experience. We always say that you win or you learn. We learned from that. It was our first overtime game in a really long time, we had some nice runs.” more

FIRING AWAY: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Kaitlyn Magnani hits the ball in a game earlier this season. Senior star midfielder Magnani picked up an assist as Stuart tied Hun 1-1 last week. The Tartans, who moved to 7-0-2 with a 0-0 tie against South Hunterdon last Monday, play at Blair Academy on September 29 before hosting the Solebury School (Pa.) on October 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kaitlyn Magnani wasn’t fazed when the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team fell behind Hun 1-0 in the third period last week in the clash of local rivals.

“In our game against PDS (a 4-1 win on September 15), we were down 1-0 in the beginning and right away we scored back,” said Stuart senior midfielder Magnani. “I had confidence in my team that we could come back.”

Minutes after the Hun tally, Magnani helped get Stuart come back in the September 21 contest, feeding Isabel Milley for the tying goal.

“Isabel is our great wing, she is always in great space,” said Magnani.  “I just sent it right to her and she had a great backhand.”

That ended up being the last goal of the contest as the teams played to a 1-1 tie through regulation and 10 minutes of overtime.

“They had a really great goalie [Norah Kempson] who was coming out pretty far and that really gave us a challenge,” said Magnani.

“We had a lot of intensity and I think we had some great shots but again their defense was very good. We gave it our all.” more

September 23, 2021

“RISING FROM ASHES”: The sukkah with that theme built by Studio Hillier, one of eight architecture firms to participate in Sukkah Village Princeton 2021, was created and built by Julian Edgren with help from Dustin Bailey, both up-and-coming designers in the firm, with support from Studio Hillier Operations Manager Oliver Pelosi. This particular sukkah, near the Arts Council of Princeton, is paired with community partners Princeton Housing Authority/Princeton Community Housing. The sukkahs can be seen through September 29. (Photo courtesy of Studio Hillier)

By Wendy Greenberg

The sukkahs that are dotting the Princeton landscape this week are more than the innovative and creative architectural designs they appear to be. They are part of Sukkah Village Princeton 2021, an interfaith program with local partners developed to call attention to formidable social issues facing New Jersey and the world, today.

The program and event were put together by Joshua Zinder, president of the AIA of New Jersey and managing partner of the Princeton integrated architecture and design firm JZA+D, who was inspired by a similar competition in New York City. He challenged area architects to show how design could highlight the social crises of today. Eight local architects and two student design teams are participating, and are linked with nonprofit partners to highlight charitable work.

 more

September 22, 2021

Terhune Orchards on Cold Soil Road continues its Fall Family Fun Weekends through October 31. Activities include a play area, barnyard animals, an adventure barn, hay bale and corn mazes, pony rides, live music, pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, and more. Visit terhuneorchards.com for timed admission tickets. Festivalgoers share what they are looking forward to this fall in this week’s Town Talk on Page 6. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

The future of the former Court Clubhouse at 91 Prospect Avenue, three Queen Anne Victorian houses on the other side of the street, and the Prospect Avenue streetscape are all on the agenda at tomorrow night’s September 23 meeting of the Princeton Planning Board (PPB).

Princeton University is seeking a zoning variance in order to demolish the three houses and move the 91 Prospect clubhouse building into their place in order to provide space to construct the Prospect Avenue entrance to its planned Environmental Studies and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (ES+SEAS) complex. The new ES+SEAS is designed to include four different buildings and to stretch out over 666,000 square feet between Prospect and Ivy Lane to the south.

The University’s plans for Prospect Avenue have met with strong resistance from the community, with a petition in opposition gathering 1,626 signatures at last count and numerous residents voicing criticism and objections at the previous two PPB hearings and in public media (See letters on the subject in today’s Mailbox).

Thursday’s PPB meeting on the Princeton University application, the first since July 8, will provide one more opportunity for public input before the PPB members deliberate and come to a decision on whether to approve the University’s plan.

The University has repeatedly emphasized the importance of its project and the impossibility of completing that project without removing the 91 Prospect building.  A University press release earlier this month stated, “From addressing climate change to developing new ways of delivering vaccines, Princeton’s proposed engineering and environmental studies project will enable breakthrough teaching and research in the service of humanity while enhancing the public experience of the surrounding neighborhood.” more

By Donald Gilpin

A Princeton Middle School (PMS) student has tested positive for COVID-19, PMS Principal Jason Burr notified parents and staff in an email Monday night, September 21, the seventh new case in the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) in the past several days.

The middle school student, who was last at school on Friday, September 17, will isolate, and one close contact will quarantine, Burr reported.

PPS has stated that it will “continue to follow protocols and do the necessary contact tracing in each instance that is brought to our attention. Further we are continually adapting and responding to new information and guidelines as they emerge.”

PPS follows the CDC definition of a close contact as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before the onset of illness.”

Earlier on Monday Littlebrook School  Principal Luis Ramirez informed the school community that two Littlebrook students, who had last attended school on Friday, September 17, were exposed outside of school and had tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.  The two students are isolating, and 11 Littlebrook students who are considered close contacts are quarantining for 10 days.

Also on Monday, Princeton High School Principal Frank Chmiel reported in an email to the school community that a third PHS student, who was last in school on September 13, had tested positive for the coronavirus. That student will isolate for 10 days, and one close contact will quarantine for 10 days.  more

By Donald Gilpin

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald, an incumbent seeking his second three-year term on the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE), is in the spotlight this week, providing information about his background, why he got involved with the schools, why he wants to continue on the Board, and what his priorities are for the future of the district.

New candidates Mara Franceschi and Jeffrey Liao, and incumbent Betsey Baglio will be competing with McDonald in the November 2 election for three available seats on the BOE. Franceschi was featured in last week’s issue, and Town Topics will present profiles of Liao on September 29 and Baglio on October 6.

McDonald, 61, is a sculptor and designer who also advises nonprofits on matters of governance, strategy, finance, and fundraising. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, operations, municipal and corporate finance, and management, especially change management.

A 1983 Princeton University graduate, McDonald served from 2002-10 as the University’s vice president for development, overseeing all its fundraising activities and managing a staff of more than 160 professionals and a budget of $25 million. Before joining the University, he worked in public finance at Kidder Peabody & Co. and The First Boston Corporation, and as an entrepreneur in the restaurant, music, and fine arts fields.

He served for seven years on the town’s Citizen’s Finance Advisory Council, where he helped develop policies on capital spending, debt management, and making the town’s finances more transparent and understandable. He also served as a trustee of McCarter Theatre for 17 years, including five years as president; a trustee of the Watershed Institute; and he is a trustee and treasurer of Sustainable Princeton. more

CHASING A CURE: Princeton University sophomore Beianka Tomlinson, fourth from left, is one of 12 students across the nation to be awarded a grant from Northwestern Mutual for childhood cancer research.

By Anne Levin

Growing up in Jamaica, Beianka Tomlinson realized early on that access to quality health care was an issue — especially for children. She knew, early on, that she wanted to help.

“I have always wanted to be a physician, and I believe that it is the path God has set for my life because it is a passion that I’ve had since I could speak,” she said in an email this week. “It sounds very cliché, but there is no other way to explain it.”

As one of 12 college students across the nation to be awarded a grant to do research into childhood cancer, the Princeton University sophomore has taken a step closer to her goal. Last month, Northwestern Mutual donated $60,000 among the 12 recipients, awarded through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Program.

Through the program, Tomlinson has worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and studied the disparities of children who have relapsed acute myeloid leukemia. Specifically, they are learning how patient outcomes differ by factors such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

There is only one children’s hospital in Jamaica, a country with a population of nearly three million. Tomlinson has volunteered at fundraising events to increase the number of intensive care unit beds and medical equipment at the hospital.  more

By Anne Levin

Between his popular TED talks and his Walkable City books, Jeff Speck is among the nation’s best known city planners and urban designers. The former director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, Speck will set his sights on Princeton September 28 and 29 when he tours the town, delivers a lecture, signs books, and then appears at a Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber breakfast event.

“He is a nationally regarded urban planner,” said Aubrey Haines, managing partner of Princeton Property Partners and an organizer of the visit. “He over saw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. So he went around the country and helped small cities figure out planning challenges. His focus is called Walkable City. He’s very interested in walkability.”

Speck is scheduled to walk the town with municipal leaders Tuesday afternoon, September 28, then lecture at 6:30 p.m. at the Nassau Inn. The talk is followed by a book signing.

“He’ll compose his specific talk on what he sees around town,” said Haines. “The talk is open to anyone. With visual and verbal comments, it ought to be fascinating.” more

By Anne Levin

If you live in New Jersey, you have likely come into unsettling contact with white-tailed deer.  Particularly prevalent this time of year, these animals have flourished in parks, roadways, and backyards since being introduced to New Jersey a century ago.

From damaging native plants and shrubs to causing vehicle accidents that can be fatal to drivers and cause gruesome suffering to the animals themselves, the volume of deer requires constant monitoring to keep the situation from reaching unmanageable levels.

That was the scenario two decades ago, when late Princeton Township Mayor Phyllis Marchand took steps to address the problem. Marchand lobbied the state to get legislation put in place for the program that exists today. It authorizes implementation of community-based deer management, using alternative methods to traditional hunting that keep numbers down and spare the animals from lingering deaths in vehicle collisions.

At its most recent meeting on September 13, Princeton Council voted to pass three resolutions related to deer management.  One was an agreement with John Zampini/Suburban Deer Management Association for bow hunting on public lands during the fall and winter seasons. Another was for services by White Buffalo Inc., for specialized deer management services. The third endorsed an application for designation of a special deer management area and community-based deer management plan.

Before voting, Council members were given extensive background by municipal attorney Trishka Cecil. She has been closely involved with the deer management program since she was assigned to work on it as a new attorney with Mason, Griffin & Pierson 21 years ago.

The idea of culling the deer herd was something she initially resisted — until she realized there was a humane reason for the program. more

By Stuart Mitchner

I don’t want to create responsible shows with lawyers in them. I want to invade people’s dreams.

—Joss Whedon

No doubt about it, Joss Whedon’s extraordinary series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) suffers from Laughable Title Syndrome. Even now, all these years later when it’s become a pop culture fact of life, I hesitate to tell someone how much I’m enjoying the show. Even now, I’m asking myself “How did I get into this?” But I said the same thing after binging on Friday Night Lights and Battlestar Galactica. It all goes back to Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution Was Televised, where Joss Whedon’s Buffy has its own chapter among the 12 series that “changed TV drama forever.”

“Never Camp”

Sepinwall immediately differentiates the WB series from the 1992 feature film, which was “too camp,” according to Whedon’s colleague David Greenwalt: “Joss does a lot of things. He does funny, he does serious, he does break your heart, but it’s never camp.”

Worse yet, the victim of the camping was Whedon himself, since the film was a travesty of his own screenplay, his creation, his Buffy. Television critic Emily Nussbaum describes what he went through in her piece “Must-See Metaphysics” (New York Times Magazine September 22, 2002). Watching his vision of “populist feminism” turned into “a schlocky comedy,” he “sat in the theater, crying. ‘I really thought I’d never work again … It was that devastating.’ “ Yet he was able to resurrect Buffy on television, “restoring the show’s powerful central metaphor: adolescence is hell, and any girl who makes it through is a superhero.”

The title remained — and still remains — an issue. But, as Whedon said in the same article, “if I’d made Buffy the Lesbian Separatist, a series of lectures on PBS on why there should be feminism, no one would be coming to the party, and it would be boring — the idea of changing culture is important to me, and it can only be done in a popular medium.’’ more

By Nancy Plum

For the second consecutive year, Princeton Symphony Orchestra began its concert season outdoors. With indoor halls in the area limited or closed to large audiences, the Orchestra presented its opening concert of the 2021-22 season at Princeton’s Morven Museum and Garden Pool House, featuring the Philadelphia-based Jasper String Quartet performing three chamber works to an outdoor audience. Violinists J Freivogel and Karen Kim, violist Andrew Gonzalez, and cellist Rachel Henderson Freivogel played a program of Florence Price and Maurice Ravel, as well as a work by a unique composer fusing classical and indigenous American music.  

The chamber music of early 20th-century American composer Florence Price has been popular in this past year of outdoor-only concerts, and the Jasper Quartet opened last Thursday night’s performance with Price’s String Quartet in G Major. Playing from a gazebo to an audience seated on Morven’s back lawn, the Jasper musicians were able to bring out the quirkiness of Price’s harmonic language as well as the rich melodies which mark this composer’s works. The Quartet played melodic themes with consistent forward motion, with teasing trills from the violins and an ensemble sound which became richer as the music progressed. The second movement’s free and open theme reflected Price’s extensive repertory of songs, contrasted by a fast-moving and playful section. Cellist Henderson Freivogel provided a particularly solid foundation to close the work under violist Gonzalez’s rich viola playing and the nimble fingering of the two violinists.  

Composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma and maintains a string commitment to the nurturing and development of American Indian classical composition. Frequently commissioned by musical organizations nationwide, Tate is particularly known for infusing classical music with American Indian nationalism. Tate’s chamber work Pisachi, Six Epitomes for String Quartet, was commissioned in 2013 by the avant-garde string quartet ETHEL, and was conceived as part of a multi-media presentation. Pisachi, whose title is the Chickasaw word for “reveal,” draws from Hopi and Pueblo Indian musical rhythms and forms for its musical language.  

The Jasper String Quartet players began Pisachi with an almost imperceptible violin, as a subtle viola solo barely won out in an auditory competition with an overhead airplane. Violinist Freivogel provided a very high violin part against the rumbling accompaniment of the other players, and the quartet opened the six “epitomes” with a consistently straight tone, emphasizing dynamic contrasts and effects. In the second movement, the Quartet played quick and agitated unison passages with dynamic intensity, suggesting horses galloping across a Western backdrop. Violist Gonzalez provided intricate double stops to the third movement and was also featured in the closing “epitome,” leading the ensemble through musical effects including undulating cello and viola passages which supported very delicate upper strings.   more

BACK INDOORS: Violinist Simone Porter is the soloist in the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s October 3 concert, marking the orchestra’s return to indoor performance at McCarter Theatre.

On Sunday, October 3 at 4 p.m., the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) returns to indoor performances with its Mendelssohn & Beethoven concert featuring violinist Simone Porter as soloist in Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, on a program with contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery’s Banner and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major.

Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts the concert at McCarter Theatre Center’s Matthews Theatre.

“I am thrilled to be conducting again in the concert hall,” said Milanov. “I look forward to seeing many faces both familiar and new experiencing a musical reunion, affirming the value of live music.” more

LIVE LAUGHTER: Remember Uncle Floyd? Along with ventriloquist Gemini Lombardi, he will be on stage September 24 at Stangl Factory Stage in Flemington. (Photo by Chris Marksbury)

The Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting “Evening of Laughter” on Friday, September 24, 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Stangl Factory Stage, 50 Stangl Road in Flemington.

The headliner is comedian Uncle Floyd, along with comedian/ventriloquist Gemini Lombardi (from the Borgata casino in Atlantic City). Also on the bill will be New Jersey comic Bob Gonzo, and the winners of the Festival of Comedy New Jersey competition. The evening of “clean comedy” benefits the new Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Unity Bank Center for Business and Entrepreneurship. The Unity Bank Center recently opened for business, and offers use to businesses and organizations at a nominal cost. 

“With all that has happened over the last year, we all need a fun night out and what’s better than an ‘Evening of Laughter’,” said Hunterdon County Chamber President Chris Phelan.

Attendees can bring their own food to the Stangl Factory Stage. Tickets are $35 and sponsorships are also available.

For more information, to purchase tickets, and/or to register as a sponsor, call (908) 782-7115 or visit hunterdonchamber.org.

EXPERIENCING MUSIC OUTDOORS: Princeton University brings back its “Breathe in Music” program, on and off the campus, starting October 3.

Princeton University Concerts (PUC) will transition its popular Breathe in Music program, conceived in partnership with the Princeton University Office of Religious Life, to an outdoor format this October. A series of eight “Live Music Meditation: Outdoors” events — four afternoon sessions at 2 p.m. at the Princeton University Graduate College Courtyard, and four twilight sessions at 5:30 p.m. at D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center Campus, surrounded by Greenway Meadows park — will invite listeners to experience a guided meditation to live music.

Performers are violist Jordan Bak on Sunday, October 3; violinist Alexi Kenney on Sunday, October 10; cellist Joshua Roman on Sunday, October 17; and So Percussion with violist Beth Meyers on Tuesday, October 26; with meditation instruction by Matthew Weiner, associate dean in the Office of Religious Life. Tickets for the hour-long programs ($25 General/$10 Student) will be released on Thursday, September 23 at 11 a.m. online at puc.princeton.edu. In the case of inclement weather, tickets will be refundable. more

“EPIDEMIC”: This pumpkin carved by Matt Derby was featured in last year’s Amazing Pumpkin Carve. The popular event will be back this year as a drive-thru event from October 6 through October 10 at Woolsey Park in Hopewell Township.

Back for its seventh year, the Amazing Pumpkin Carve will again be a drive-thru for visitors to enjoy from the comfort and safety of their car. Adapted to socially-distanced times, the Amazing Pumpkin Carve is an annual tradition, presented by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, that brings spectacular art and a (not too) spooky drive-thru with Halloween fun to the local community from Wednesday, October 6 through Sunday, October 10 at Woolsey Park in Hopewell Township.

Forty colossal pumpkins will be carved and electrified by many of the area’s most talented artists and displayed in a twinkling drive-thru. Smiling skulls, goopy ghouls, and even a giant crow are only a few of the cool creatures carved by artists in recent years.

“The unexpected shifting to a drive-thru last year turned out to be a hit, so we’re doing it again this year,” said Carol Lipson, HV Arts Council executive director. “The drive-thru provides a fun, safe way for families to enjoy the Carve. Plus, you can be in pajamas!” more

“FISCHER END TABLE WITH LAP LIGHT”: This 1932 piece by Wharton Esherick is part of “Daring Design: The Impact of Three Women on Wharton Esherick’s Craft,” on view through February 6 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa.

The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., now features an exhibition highlighting the influences that shaped the work of sculptor and woodworker Wharton Esherick. “Daring Design: The Impact of Three Women on Wharton Esherick’s Craft” runs through February 6, 2022.

The exhibition explores the significant impact of three women – industrialist Helene Fischer, artist Hanna Weil, and photographer Marjorie Content – on Esherick’s career and development at a pivotal creative moment for the artist in the 1930s. Fischer and Content supported Esherick financially through commissions of his work, and all three women provided artistic inspiration and propelled the artist to conceive new ideas that pushed the boundaries between fine art and functional design.

Featuring innovative furniture pieces designed by Esherick for Fischer, Weil, and Content, as well as artwork created by Weil and Content, “Daring Design” investigates the visual and material dialogue between these artists and patrons. more

“RECOLLECTION REMIX”: An installation by David Ellis, one of six area artists to be featured in the Arts Council of Princeton’s September 22 Princeton Pecha, a virtual program inspired by PechaKucha, a lively format that is designed for more show and less talk.

The Arts Council of Princeton presents Princeton Pecha, bringing local artists together to share their work in a virtual program inspired by PechaKucha, a lively, upbeat format created in Japan that is designed for more show and less talk. Featured artists during this September 22, 8 to 9:15 p.m. program include Kouki Mojadidi, Simon Lee, Eve Sussman, David Ellis, Joel Beck, and Eva Mantell.

Each artist will show 20 slides for 20 seconds each (about 7 minutes per artist), exhibiting for the audience an array of visual expression.

Registration is free at artscouncilofprinceton.org.

At the Arts Council of Princeton’s Fall Open House on Saturday, September 18, budding artists contributed to a new mural, made clay sculptures, watched a Capoeira performance, and cheered for the inaugural Pottery Throwdown while learning about upcoming events. Visit artscouncilofprinceton.org for more information.

The New Jersey State Museum is open for visitors to discover exhibitions that preserve and share stories that inspire curiosity and creativity. Of note are the two short-term exhibitions that have been extended — “Preserving the Pinelands: Albert Horner’s Portraits of a National Treasure” and “Fine Feathered Friends: Birds as Mainstay and Muse” — so that visitors have an opportunity to browse the galleries and experience the exhibitions in person.

Visitors can also browse “American Perspectives: The Fine Art Collection” galleries for changes to the works on display, including several new acquisitions. The Museum is operating on its regular schedule, Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Masks are required for all visitors over the age of 2 and social distancing is encouraged.  more