November 21, 2018

By Nancy Plum

Princeton Symphony Orchestra explored three unique composers this past weekend in a Sunday afternoon concert in Richardson Auditorium. Bookending Niccolò Paganini’s monumental Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 6 were two 20th-century works written only two years apart. In a concert featuring musical surprises and ear-catching effects, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, together with an exciting and very contemporary violin soloist, performed to a spellbound audience in Richardson.  

Leoš Janáček’s 1926 Sinfonietta, as arranged by Erwin Stein, reflected the composer’s fascination with military bands and showed Janáček’s imagination in scoring each of the five movements for a different group of instruments. Led by Music Director Rossen Milanov, the musicians of Princeton Symphony played Janáček’s largest purely orchestral work cleanly and precisely. An effective pair of horns opened the first movement fanfare, together with exacting timpani and a quartet of trumpets. A Gypsy feel marked the second movement, which recalled Janáček’s hometown of Brno in what is now the Czech Republic, and elegant solos were heard form flutist Niles Watson, oboist Lillian Copeland, and later English horn player Lauren Williams. Throughout the five-movement work, Milanov kept the five musical vignettes flowing seamlessly, well capturing an atmosphere of Eastern Europe in the early part of the 20th century. more

By Anne Levin

Unity Phelan

Among the most accomplished alumni of Princeton Ballet School is Unity Phelan, a 23-year-old Princeton native who is now a soloist at the New York City Ballet. Phelan comes home this weekend to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in American Repertory Ballet (ARB)’s production of The Nutcracker at McCarter Theatre, Friday, November 23 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. (Princeton Ballet is the official school of American Repertory Ballet).

“I danced so many roles in this production while I was growing up,” said Phelan, who found time to reminisce in between rehearsals for New York City Ballet’s own month-long run of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center’s Koch Theatre, in which she will alternate as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Dewdrop. It is Balanchine’s version of the famous “Sugar Plum” pas de deux that Phelan, partnered by fellow New York City Ballet soloist Joseph Gordon, will dance at McCarter, though the rest of the ballet is ARB’s own version. more

It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me.

—Herman Melville, Moby Dick

White Album, White Whale — all’s fair in love and hyperbole when it comes to describing the magnitude of the Beatles when their first double record was released 50 years ago tomorrow. Wrapping the music in white, with the name of the group only faintly perceptible, offered listeners a blank page, as if to say “Use your imagination. Fill in the blank. Set your fancy free.” more

HEADING INTO HISTORY: Princeton University football player Jesper Horsted races past Penn defenders last Saturday. Senior star wide receiver Horsted made eight catches for 165 yards and three touchdowns to help Princeton defeat the Quakers 42-14 and put the finishing touches on a perfect season for the Tigers. Princeton ended the fall at 10-0 overall and 7-0 Ivy League. It marked the program’s first undefeated season since the 1964 team went 9-0 and its first outright Ivy title since 1995. Horsted, for his part, passed Kevin Guthrie to grab the Princeton record for career receptions, ending his career with 196 catches and 2,703 receiving yards, the second most in program history. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With no Princeton University football team having posted an undefeated season since 1964 when the Tigers went 9-0, this year’s squad set its sights set on perfection.

“Before the season we got together and talked about our goals for the year were and that was the biggest stated one that we were all working toward,” said Princeton senior receiver Jesper Horsted. “The way to be the best we could be was to go 10-0.” more

OVER AND OUT: Princeton University field hockey player Elise Wong tracks a ball in a game this season. Senior defender Wong starred in a losing cause as third-seeded Princeton fell 1-0 in overtime to second-seeded Maryland in the NCAA semifinals. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 15-5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Hosting Maryland in mid-September, the Princeton University field hockey team couldn’t hold the fort as the high-powered Terps rallied from a 4-1 deficit to pull out a 5-4 win in overtime.

When the foes met against last Friday in the NCAA semifinals in Louisville, Ky., Tiger senior defender Elise Wong was confident that Princeton could contain the Terps. more

ROUGH FINISH: Princeton University men’s soccer player Benji Issroff heads the ball up the field in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, junior defender Issroff helped the Princeton defense stymie Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament as the teams tied at 1-1 through 90 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. The game went to penalty kicks and the Wolverines ended up prevailing 11-10 in a shootout that went 14 rounds, nine past the typical five. The heartbreaking loss left the Tigers with a final record of 10-5-3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The Princeton University men’s soccer team didn’t play like an underdog at host Michigan in the NCAA tournament last Thursday.

The Tigers players took exception to an online preview by Top Draw Soccer that said Princeton needed “to keep this low-scoring, sit deep, and look for chances on the counter attack or set pieces,” in order to compete. more

BLACK MAGIC: Princeton University women’s hockey player Claire Thompson controls the puck in action last weekend. Junior defenseman Thompson tallied a goal and two assists to help Princeton defeat Colgate 6-0 on Friday in the program’s first-ever #BlackOutBaker game and then chipped in an assist as the Tigers tied Cornell 2-2 a day later. League-leading Princeton, now 5-2-3 overall and 4-0-2 ECAC Hockey, is next in action when it hosts Quinnipiac on November 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University women’s hockey team holding its first-ever #BlackOutBaker game as it hosted Colgate last Friday, Claire Thompson helped the Tigers get out to an early lead.

Junior defenseman Thompson blasted in a shot from the point as Princeton jumped ahead 1-0 with 7:20 left in the first period.

“Annie [MacDonald] did a really good job in the corner getting the puck free and she sucked their d-zone down into them which made me free,” said Thompson, wearing eye black as part of the black-out festivities. more

By Bill Alden

Carlie Littlefield sees herself as a pass-first point guard for the Princeton University women’s basketball team.

Last winter in her freshman campaign, Littlefield had 84 assists, second on the team to senior star Leslie Robinson, and averaged 8.3 points a game.

But with Robinson having graduated and rising sophomore shooting guard Abby Meyers away from school this year and junior star and reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Bella Alarie out with a broken arm, Littlefield is shouldering more of the scoring load this winter. more

CARRYING THE LOAD: Princeton High football player Jaylen Johnson fights to gain yardage in a game this fall. Senior running back, defensive lineman Johnson starred on both sides of the ball for PHS as it went 2-7 this fall. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bringing an 18-game losing steak into the 2018 season, the Princeton High football team was hungry to taste victory this fall.

In game four, PHS broke through, edging Cherry Hill East 21-14 on September 29 to break the 21-game skid. Two weeks later, the Little Tigers enjoyed a second victory as they rallied to edge West Windsor-Plainsboro 22-19 on October 12. more

By Bill Alden

Jackson McCarthy and Tucker Zullo have formed a productive partnership for the Princeton High boys’ cross country team over the last few years.

Last Saturday at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park, the senior stars worked together to produce a fitting culmination to their state careers as McCarthy finished 24th in a time of 16:27 over the 5,000-meter course with Zullo right behind in 31st with a time of 16:30.

“We took turns going back and forth, back and forth,” said Zullo. “I really like to take it out strong the first mile and Jackson was just sitting on me the first mile. And then the second mile it was reversed and we just were able to feed off each other. It’s funny, we were talking to each other during the race and saying, ‘I’m here,’ or ‘I got you.’” more

KEEPING AT IT: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Atticus Lynch, right, goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Senior midfielder Lynch was a stalwart for PHS this fall as it battled through injuries to go 8-6-3 and advance to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Wayne Sutcliffe knew that his Princeton High boys’ soccer team didn’t have much margin for this error this fall as it looked to maintain its status as a local powerhouse.

“Coming into the season, we knew we had a very young team,” said PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe. “In order for things to go well, we were going to have to stay relatively injury-free.” more

By Bill Alden

After taking its lumps early in the fall, the Princeton Day School boys’ cross country team saved its best for last.

Building on a positive performance at the Mercer County championship meet in mid-October that saw several runners post personal bests, PDS ended the season by placing a solid fifth in the team standings at the state Prep B meet at the Blair Academy on October 24 won by Newark Academy.

“That was a terrific way to end to season; we were looking at that kind of performance and hoping for that all year,” said PDS head coach John Woodside, whose team was led at the meet by sophomore Gunnar Clingman, the seventh place finisher in a time of 17:46 over the 5,000-meter course with junior Kevin Dougherty coming in 14th at 18:41. “There is no question that there were a lot of struggles early on.” more

JORDAN RULES: Hun School field hockey player Jordan DelOrefice, right, goes after the ball in a game this fall. Senior DelOrefice scored five goals this season to help Hun go 6-11 as it bounced back from a 2-9 start. It marked the last season at the helm of the program for longtime head coach Kathy Quirk. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Struggling to a 2-9 record by mid-October, the Hun School field hockey team could have thrown in the towel over the last few weeks of the season.

Instead, Hun kept pushing, winning four of its last six games to end the fall with a 6-11 record.

“We made tremendous improvement, both myself and my assistant coach (Christine Caberle) were very happy with the way that we had improved,” said Hun head coach Kathy Quirk, noting that one of the ream’s finest efforts down the stretch came when they battled hard in a 3-0 loss to Blair in the state Prep A semis game. “We just grew as a team, a lot of individuals grew.” more

November 14, 2018

HONORING OUR VETERANS: Spirit of Princeton held its annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday at the All Wars Monument. The keynote speaker was Lt. Col. Peter L. Gilbert, fourth from left, who currently serves as the U.S. Army War College fellow at Princeton University. Gilbert is shown with local veterans and members of the Princeton Police Department. Participants share how we should thank and honor veterans for their service in today’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Donald Gilpin

Preaching to a congregation of about 800 in the Princeton University Chapel on Sunday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, iconic civil rights, religious, and political leader, called for hope and perseverance in the current troubled political climate. 

“Is it dusk moving toward midnight or dawn moving toward noon time?” he questioned in his sermon leading off the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) annual Multifaith Service and Conference for Peace. more

By Donald Gilpin

Delivering the keynote address in a daylong conference on clean energy technologies that brought together leaders from the worlds of business and academics, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy presented his vision for making the state a global leader in innovation and clean energy.

He claimed that New Jersey, with Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Bell Labs, Sarnoff, and others, “was the Silicon Valley before it was the Silicon Valley,” and promised that the state can reclaim its place in global innovation. more

ASPIRING ARCHITECTS:Sophomores from Trenton Central High School visited the Princeton School of Architecture Embodied Computation Lab this fall as part of their architectural studies in the School of Architecture’s ArcPrep Program, an immersive course on architecture, urbanism, and integrated design studio practices. (Photo courtesy of Princeton University School of Architecture)

By Donald Gilpin

Trenton high school students are plunging into the world of architectural studies, under the direction of the Princeton University School of Architecture’s Princeton ArcPrep, a program featuring an immersive semester-long course on architecture, urbanism, and integrated design studio practices. more

@CRAZYJEWISHMOM: Kate Friedman Siegel, right, has popular Instagram account and a book, “Mother, Can You NOT?”, both inspired by her mother Kim Friedman, left. Siegel will appear at Stuart Country Day School on November 28 at 6:45 p.m. in a program presented by the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County.

By Anne Levin

Trying to hold a three-way phone conversation with Kate Friedman Siegel and her mother, Kim Friedman, is a challenge that would be annoying if it wasn’t so funny. This mother/daughter comedy routine is the basis of the popular Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom and Siegel’s book, Mother, Can You NOT? more

PRINCETON EATING CLUBS OPEN HOUSES: The Cottage Club is one of many Princeton University eating clubs that will be open to visitors for free, self-guided tours on Sunday, November 18 and Sunday, December 2. Hours are 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on both days. For more information, visit (Photo by Clifford Zink)

By Anne Levin

If you have always wondered what is inside the Princeton University eating clubs that line both sides of Prospect Avenue, two upcoming dates are your chance to explore. The Princeton Prospect Foundation (PPF) is offering free access to several of the stately buildings, free of charge, for self-guided tours. more

By Donald Gilpin

The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) issued its findings last Friday, November 9 that “the undisputed facts indicated the use of force was justified under the law” in the fatal police-involved shooting at Panera Bread on Nassau Street on March 20. 

Following a four-hour stand-off at the restaurant, Scott L. Mielentz, 56, of Lawrenceville was fatally shot by two members of the New Jersey State Police SWAT unit. As a result of the investigation, which included numerous witness interviews, video of the shooting, forensic analysis of the scene, and other evidence, DCJ Director Veronica Allende determined that presentation of the police-involved shooting to a grand jury was not required. more

EXPLORING HISTORY: “I enjoy the opportunity to talk with people about history, and see them get excited about it. I also love seeing them get involved with an exhibit or event that we have put together.” Izzy Kasdin, executive director of the Historical Society of Princeton, is enthusiastic about introducing people to history’s unique insight and relevance to today’s world.

It’s not just facts and figures and dates. It’s ideas and events and explorations. And, especially, it is stories. Stories about people and places and not only major historical figures whose names we all know — but about those we don’t know. It’s about what they did, what they thought, how they lived, how they worked. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Whenever I think of New York City in fiction, the first two novels that come to mind are Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, which was published on or before November 14, 1851, and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, published on July 16, 1951. Ishmael’s voyage, the remedy for the “damp, drizzly November” in his soul, begins on “a dreamy Sabbath afternoon” in “your insular city of the Manhattoes,” where “the streets take you waterward.” The “madman stuff” that happens to Holden Caulfield on his voyage through Manhattan leads him to, among other places, “the movies at Radio City,” which was, he says, “probably the worst thing I ever did.”  more

“YOUR MOVE”: This painting by Charles McVicker is featured in the Garden State Watercolor Society’s “49th Annual Juried Exhibit,” on view November 16 through January 20, 2019 at the Trenton State Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park. An opening reception is Friday, November 16 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Trenton State Museum at Ellarslie presents water media artists from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey in the Garden State Watercolor Society’s ”49th Annual Juried Exhibit,” on view November 16 through January 20, 2019. An opening reception is Friday, November 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. more

ANCIENT ART OF PAPER-CUTTING: Contemporary artist Dan Landau will present a free class on paper-cutting on Monday, November 26 at 6:15 p.m. at Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street, Princeton. The event is free and open to all community members aged 16 and over, but space is limited and registration is required (register at Eventbrite:

Have you ever made a snowflake with folded paper and scissors in school? If so, you’ve engaged in the ancient art of paper-cutting. This art form has been around in one form or another since the Chinese invented paper, and has been infinitely adapted over time by different artists and cultures. more

Chris Hedges

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges will be reading from his new book America: The Farewell Tour (Simon & Schuster $27) at Labyrinth Books on Tuesday, November 27 at 6 p.m.

Ralph Nader says, “Chris Hedges wants us to face realities. Our society is unraveling, institutionally and structurally, and is being replaced by the corporate state of merging big business and government. Commercialism overwhelms civic values, impoverishes its subjects, and reaches into childhoods bypassing parental authority. Poverty, addiction, gambling, and hopelessness spread like epidemics. Only we the people can reverse the disintegration of democracy by plutocracy. In America: The Farewell Tour, Chris Hedges depicts the horrifying truths on the ground from which resistance rises to jolt us into an active, realizable culture of reconstruction.”  more