January 1, 2020

“MAGICAL COPSE”: This polymer clay work by Emily Squires Levine is featured in “Embracing Color/Polymer Clay,” her solo exhibit on view at the Hunterdon Art Museum January 12 through March 1. An opening reception with an artist talk is January 12, 2 to 4 p.m. (Photo by John Carlano)

Artist Emily Squires Levine says that small colorful boxes and bowls have attracted her for as long as she can remember.

One of her first memories is of a colorfully embroidered fabric oval box, a gift from an aunt who traveled to the shores of the Algarve in Portugal. She has kept this memento her entire life. Other recollections include a mother-of-pearl box and a small bowl from Turkey which held tiny seashells.

This lifelong love for colorful vessels has deeply influenced her art. Levine works with polymer clay, creating bowls, vases, and other items that entice the eye with their vibrant colors and diverse patterns. more

“ENDLESS JUNKMAIL SCROLL”: This piece by Vernita Nemec is part of “Doom and Bloom,” on view at the West Windsor Arts Center January 6 through February 28. The exhibition features the work of 25 artists using recycled and reused materials. An opening reception with the artists is Sunday, January 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The West Windsor Arts Council presents “Doom and Bloom” — an art show calling attention to the crisis of trash on earth and how artists can have a positive impact on the environment. This exhibition, featuring the work of 25 artists using recycled and reused materials, will be on view January 6 through February 28 at the West Windsor Arts Center.

The juror was Vernita Nemec, artist and director of the Viridian Artists art gallery in Chelsea, New York City. An opening reception with the juror and artists will be held Sunday, January 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. Artists will be at the opening to discuss their work.

Artwork featured in the show transforms common discarded materials into inspiring works of art. It was a requirement of the prospectus that at least 80 percent of the materials in each work would otherwise be trash, if not saved from the landfill in this manner. more

“IF THESE QUILTS COULD TALK”: The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park will host a juried exhibition of quilts by the Friendly Quilters of Bucks County and the Sankofa Stitchers January 19 through April 19. An opening reception is Sunday, January 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion has announced a juried exhibition of quilts by the Friendly Quilters of Bucks County and the Sankofa Stitchers. Featuring nearly 30 quilts across a range of sizes, styles, and color schemes, the exhibition’s display of artistry, creativity, and story-telling will fill Ellarslie’s first floor galleries from January 19 to April 19.

There will be an opening reception on Sunday, January 19, from 2 to 4 p.m., as well as a closing reception and Quilters Walk and Talk on Sunday, April 19, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Friendly Quilters and Sankofa Stitchers work to keep the traditions of quilt making alive by creating works of art that tell stories and strengthen historical and community bonds. The members of both groups are experienced quilters and have quilted individually and together for many years, bringing a wide range of styles to this exhibition. more

FAMILY TIES: “We have thousands of different tiles in the showroom, and we also have exclusive lines that are available to us in the area. Tile is very durable, and its easy maintenance is another advantage.” Jack (left) and Darlene Flood, owners of A Step in Stone, are shown with their son Brian, who is operations manager. A display of glass and stone mosaic tiles is featured in the background.

Tile can be a wonderful addition to your home. It is handsome, durable, and versatile. Appropriate for many rooms in the house — from bathroom to foyer to kitchen and beyond, it is both eye-catching and functional.

Enhancing both floors and walls, its myriad designs and styles offer choices for everyone’s taste. For sure, tile is a winning decorative choice.

No one knows this better than A Step In Stone. Recently marking its 15th anniversary, this special tile emporium, with its spacious showroom, is known both for its superior selection of tile from all over the world and its exceptional customer service.

Every style, size, design, color, and texture is on display. Ceramic tile, stone, glass, mosaic, porcelain, and metal are among the categories available, all conveniently arranged for customer accessibility.

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COMPREHENSIVE CARE: “People are smarter about dental care today and good oral hygiene. If they are careful about this, they will have a better outcome and better luck with their teeth.” The specialists at Prosthodontics of Princeton include, from left, Alexander S. Drew, DMD, MS; Steven C. Isaacson, DMD; and Suzanne B. Reinhardt, DMD; who are all skilled in helping patients achieve the best oral health.

By Jean Stratton

The first step is to make an appointment. Whether it’s a toothache, missing tooth (or teeth), or just time for a checkup, Prosthodontics of Princeton is there to make sure the treatment is appropriate, timely, and thorough.

Located at 601 Ewing Street, Suite B-4, the practice, owned by Steven C. Isaacson, DMD, was originally founded by his father George Isaacson, DMD.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Steven Isaacson went on to obtain a specialty degree in prosthodontics at Temple University School of Dentistry, with emphasis on reconstructive dentistry, including implants and cosmetic dentistry.

The opportunity to work with his father has continued to inform his practice, and, as he says, has given him a chance “to continue the tradition of integrity, detail, and thoughtfulness that my father instilled in me.” more

ON GUARD: Princeton University women’s basketball player Maggie Connolly guards a foe in recent action. Last Sunday, against visiting University of New Hampshire, sophomore guard Connolly got the second start of her career and came up big, scoring a career-high 17 points to help the Tigers rout the Wildcats 77-37. Princeton, now 12-1, is next in action when it plays at Penn on January 11 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With star point guard Carlie Littlefield sidelined for the Princeton University women’s basketball team as it hosted the University of New Hampshire last Sunday, Maggie Connolly got the second start of her career and was ready to shine.

“We miss Carlie always,” said sophomore guard Connolly. “I hope she will be back as soon as possible, but it was exciting to play and get the opportunity get out there with my teammates and make some plays.”

Connolly ended up making a lot of plays, scoring a career-high 17 points as Princeton routed UNH 77-37 before 989 at Jadwin Gym.

In reflecting on her big day, Connolly said she is feeling more of a comfort level on the court with her teammates. more

INSIDE STUFF: Princeton University men’s basketball player Richmond Aririguzoh goes up for a hoop in recent action. Last Sunday senior star Aririguzoh scored a game-high 23 points to help Princeton defeat Lehigh 71-62. The Tigers, now 4-8, play at Penn on January 4 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After suffering an 87-72 defeat to Hofstra in its last action before Christmas, the Princeton University men’s basketball team did some soul-searching over the holidays.

“We all just recognized that it was a really bad game,” said Princeton senior star Richmond Aririguzoh, reflecting on the loss to the Pride on December 19.

“We put up a bad performance for us and our fans.  We just came back to basics and competing and doing the little things right.”

Last Sunday against visiting Lehigh, Aririguzoh did a lot of things right, scoring 23 points to help Princeton defeat the Mountain Hawks 71-62 before a crowd of 1,927 at Jadwin Gym. more

GETTING IT DONE: Princeton University men’s hockey goalie Jeremie Forget tracks the puck last Saturday against Quinnipiac. Sophomore Forget made 33 saves in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-1 to the Bobcats. The Tigers, who lost 4-3 to Quinnipiac on Sunday as they fell to 2-10-3 overall and 0-6-2 ECAC Hockey, host Dartmouth on January 3 and Harvard on January 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though Jeremie Forget had only seen 31 minutes of action at goalie in the first 11 games this season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team, he maintained an upbeat attitude.

“I have always tried to stay positive in practice,” said sophomore Forget. “I knew eventually I would get my chance and once I got it, I wanted to make sure I would seize it to make sure I would give myself more playing time.”

Forget started game 12 as Princeton hosted Colorado College on December 7 and seized opportunity, making 25 saves as the Tigers fell 2-1 in overtime. Three days later, Forget had 26 stops as Princeton edged AIC 2-1 to snap a 10-game winless streak. more

DOUBLE DUTY: Princeton High hockey player Victoria Zammit controls the puck in a game last season. Senior forward Zammit has been doing double duty this winter, playing for both the PHS boys’ and girls’ hockey teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was already a busy day for Victoria Zammit by the time she arrived at Baker Rink to play for the Princeton High girls’ hockey team when it hosted Summit in mid-December.

“I was in the boys’ game against Hopewell, this was a doubleheader,” said PHS senior forward Zammit, who is culminating her high school career by playing for both programs this winter.

“I was pretty tired; I downed a Red Bull in the car on the way here. The boys was a good warmup.” more

GRADE A: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Stephen Avis brings the puck up the ice in a game earlier this season. Senior defensemen Avis has provided strong work on the blue line as PHS has started 5-0-1. The Tigers begin the 2020 portion of their schedule by facing Steinert on January 3 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having won its first five games this season, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team faced its first defeat as it trailed Notre Dame 3-2 in the waning seconds in its final game of 2019.

But with sophomore forward John O’Donnell finding the back of the net with eight seconds remaining in the third period of the December 20 contest, PHS pulled out a 3-3 tie to remain undefeated.

First-year Tiger head coach Joe Bensky sensed that his players were going to do whatever necessary to remain undefeated.

“They kept fighting and you could see in their eyes that their weren’t going to give up until the final buzzer went off,” said Bensky. more

TOPPING IT OFF: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Caroline Topping looks to pass the ball in a game last season. Junior guard Topping scored four points in a losing cause as PDS fell 26-15 to Willingboro on December 19 in their last game before the holiday break. The Panthers, now 1-6, start the 2020 portion of their schedule by hosting Steinert on January 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Looking to end 2019 on a high note, the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team jumped out to a 9-3 second quarter lead over Willingboro in its last action before the holiday break.

“We definitely came in ready to play,” said PDS head coach Liz Loughlin.

“Once we felt a little settled I think we took our foot off the gas and allowed the other team to come back onto the game.”

Willingboro came back all the way, outscoring PDS 15-2 over the rest of the first half and the third quarter as it went on to earn a 26-15 win over the Panthers in the December 19 contest. more

December 26, 2019

Rabbi Adam Feldman, 55, who has led The Jewish Center of Princeton since 2005, died on Tuesday, December 24 while on vacation with his family and his wife’s family. Details have not yet been provided, but Rabbi Feldman died while doing an outdoor activity, according to an email sent to members of the congregation on Wednesday by Randy Brett, president of the executive committee.

A funeral service will be held on Sunday, December 29 at 10 a.m. at The Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street. A story about Rabbi Feldman will be in the January 1 issue of Town Topics.

December 25, 2019

“GEM OF PRINCETON”: In a year when environmental issues frequently grabbed the headlines, Marquand Park celebrated the grand opening of its Children’s Arboretum on April 27. The festivities included a ribbon cutting with the mayor, a treasure hunt for families, and free trees given out by the Marquand Park Foundation, recipient of an Award of Recognition from the town of Princeton. (Photo courtesy of the Marquand Park Foundation)

By Donald Gilpin and Anne Levin

While some of the ongoing local issues that have been in the forefront this year reached resolution, others remain unsettled.

Princeton reached a long-awaited agreement last week over its Affordable Housing obligation. But the final word on whether Westminster Choir College will continue at its Princeton location instead of moving to the Rider University campus in Lawrenceville remains in the balance. Princeton Theological Seminary reversed course when it announced it would not pursue a previously released development plan on the campus. The revamp of Princeton’s parking system was modified by the municipality in response to residents’ complaints. Concerns voiced by those who live near the newly-built fueling station on Mount Lucas Road led Princeton Council to announce some changes to the site.

As in recent years, members of the community gathered in large numbers to express opposition to various national policies. Most recently, demonstrators filled Hinds Plaza, on a miserably rainy day, to show support for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

There was an increased focus on immigrant issues. Rallies in Palmer Square and Hinds Plaza demonstrated support for local immigrant neighbors as well as those imprisoned in detention camps in other parts of the country.

One of the town’s oldest office buildings, at 20 Nassau Street, has been sold and will become a hotel. Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad built a new headquarters on Mount Lucas Road. The closure of the Alexander Street bridges and a drawn-out stoppage of the Dinky train service between Princeton and Princeton Junction led to a host of traffic woes, though drivers appear to have adjusted to the Alexander Street/Road closure. It is scheduled to reopen in April. more

Presented by The Jewish Center of Princeton, the annual event, which also included a menorah lighting, was held indoors last Thursday evening due to inclement weather. But that didn’t stop the enjoyment of music, food, and fun. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Stuart Mitchner

“I can’t stop thinking of all the things that I should’ve said that
I never said ….”

I could quote that line from Kate Bush’s song, “This Woman’s Work,” at the top of every column, with a small but necessary change in the title. Until I checked online just now I didn’t know Kate had written it expressly for the climactic moment of the 1988 film She’s Having a Baby, where the woman in question is played by Elizabeth McGovern, known now to millions of Downton Abbey fans as Lady Crawley.

It’s typical of the pleasures and challenges of what I do every week that a Kate Bush song from the late 1980s leads to Downton Abbey. Given the freedom of a weekly writing assignment chosen by no one but yourself, you’re going to be tempted, intrigued, and distracted by more options than you have time or space for; thus the notion of having more to say than you have room for, given the realities of a more or less 1800-word limit and a Tuesday afternoon deadline. Last week at the hour of decision, there was nothing to do but to take a short cut and rethink the format as an open letter to the reader, saying, in effect, “time to go now, see you next week.” more

BRITISH COMEDY: The cast members of “Calendar Girls,” which runs from January 3-12 at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre, are ready to take the stage.

The Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) and the Pennington Players kick off the New Year with the risqué British comedy Calendar Girls, a true story based on the lives of 11 Women’s Institute ladies who pose nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund.

Calendar Girls first opened at England’s Chichester Festival Theatre and later embarked on a national tour. Since that time, it has become the fastest-selling play in British theatre history. more

“EMILY’S NIGHTMARE”: This work by Kimberly Pulli is featured in “Explorations in Felt,” on view at the Hunterdon Art Museum January 12 through April 19. The exhibit features diverse pieces created by 25 artists from around the world. A reception is January 12 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Discover some of the most innovative and beautiful works created with felt in a new exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum (HAM).

“Explorations in Felt” features 29 diverse works created by 25 artists from around the world. HAM will celebrate the opening with a reception on January 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. featuring gallery talks by several artists and refreshments. The exhibition runs until April 19. more

“PLUMMED MUMMER”: This photograph by Dan Aubrey is part of “Mummers X 2” on view at the Trenton Free Library January 11 through February 28. A reception with Aubrey and Bryan Grigsby, whose photos are also featured in the exhibit, is January 18, from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

The Trenton Artists Workshop Association (TAWA) will present the photography exhibition “Mummers X 2” at the Trenton Free Public Library January 11 through February 28.

A reception with the photographers is Saturday, January 18, from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

“Mummers X 2” features 29 photographs of one of the oldest folk art events in the United States, the annual Mummers Parade in Philadelphia.

Held on New Year’s Day, the Mummers Parade is rooted in ancient European customs and traditions that included exaggerated mime presentations.

The two in the exhibit title are two Central New Jersey journalists united by their interest in observing and photographing the Mummers: Bryan Grigsby and Dan Aubrey. more

“BROOKLYN”: This painting by Jennifer Levine is part of “Inside Out…When Worlds Collide,” on view January 4 through February 22 at the Arts Council of Princeton. The exhibit also features works by Jon Sarkin and Kennith Lewis Sr. A live painting event with the artists is Saturday, January 4, from 2-3 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton presents “Inside Out…When Worlds Collide,” an exhibition of works by three individuals who became artists by chance. The exhibit will be on display in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery January 4 through February 22.

Live painting with the artists is Saturday, January 4, from 2-3 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. more

JUMPING FOR JOY: Members of the Princeton University field hockey team celebrate after scoring a goal in the regular season game this fall. The Tigers went on to win the Ivy League title and later advanced to the NCAA championship game for the first time since 2012, where they fell to perennial power North Carolina. Princeton ended the fall with a 16-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Some surprising postseason runs made 2019 a year to remember on the national sports landscape. In pro hockey, the St. Louis Blues went from last place in December to earn their first-ever Stanley Cup in June. The Washington Nationals overcame their history of playoff futility to win the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The Toronto Raptors were a dark horse title contender in the NBA and proceeded to ride the clutch play of Kawhi Leonard to their initial league championship.

At the same time, some dominant teams added to their championship legacy. The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl to win their sixth NFL title and third in the last five years. The U.S. women’s soccer team won their second straight World Cup, continuing their dominance of the international game.

Over the course of 2019, Princeton University teams spiced up the year with some surprise runs of their own. The men’s volleyball team defeated Penn State 3-2 in the EIVA (Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) championship game, winning the program’s first EIVA crown since 1998. The Tigers went on to defeat Barton 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament to earn the program’s first win in the national tournament. At Hobey Baker rink, women’s hockey set a program with a 20-game unbeaten streak and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The wrestling team placed 15th at the NCAA championships, its highest finish in that competition since taking 14th in 1978. Producing a dramatic victory, men’s golf won the Ivy League Championships by one stroke, carding a total of 875 with Columbia next at 876 — its first league crown since 2013. The Tiger women’s tennis won its second straight Ivy title and then defeated Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the second round for the first time since 2014.

In the meantime, some of Princeton’s traditionally strong programs continued to excel. Women’s lacrosse won its sixth straight Ivy League regular season title and then went on to defeat Penn 13-8 in the Ivy postseason tournament championship game. The Tigers ended up advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals. The men’s track squad rolled to first place at the Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship, securing the program’s ninth triple crown (cross country, indoor, and outdoor Heps). After making to a pair of NCAA Final Fours in the previous three years, field hockey took one step further, advancing to the national championship game where it fell to perennial power North Carolina. Women’s basketball won its second straight Ivy crown; their seventh in the last 10 seasons.

On the high school scene, the Hun School girls swimming team pulled off a stunner, winning its first-ever title at the Mercer County Championships. The Princeton Day School baseball team had a sub-.500 record, but caught fire down the stretch to make it to the state Prep B final. The Princeton High girls’ basketball team advanced to the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals, its best postseason run since the 1980s. Seeded seventh in the Mercer County Tournament, the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team knocked off the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds on the way to making it to the final. Chloe Ayres made history for PHS wrestling, winning the NJSIAA Championships title at 105 pounds in the first-ever N.J. girls’ state competition. In the fall, the PHS girls’ tennis won the team title at the MCT for the first time since 2014.

Other area high school programs cemented their status as perennial champions. The Hun School boys’ hockey team won its sixth straight Mercer County Tournament title. In the spring, the Hun baseball team won its fourth straight state Prep A crown while the Raider boys’ lacrosse team won its second straight Prep A title. Over at PDS, the girls’ soccer team won its sixth straight state Prep B title with the boys’ lacrosse program earning its fourth straight MCT championship. Emerging as powerhouses, the Stuart hoops team earned its second straight Prep B crown and the Tartan track squad won the indoor and outdoor Prep B championship meets for a second year a row. Boasting a high-powered attack, the PHS girls’ lacrosse team won its second straight Central Jersey Group 4 sectional title.

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HURT PRIDE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Ryan Schwieger looks for an opening in recent action. Last Thursday against visiting Hofstra, junior forward Schwieger scored 16 points with six assists and five rebounds but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 87-72 to the Pride. The Tigers, now 3-8, are next in action when they host Lehigh on December 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bringing its first two-game winning streak of the year into its contest against visiting Hofstra last Thursday evening, the Princeton University men’s basketball team was hoping that it had turned a corner.

Defeating Fairleigh Dickinson 80-65 on December 14 in Hackensack, N.J., and then rallying for a wild 90-86 overtime win over Iona at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on December 17, Princeton was poised to win its first game at Jadwin Gym this season.

But a veteran, well-drilled Hofstra squad had other ideas as it jumped out to a 21-12 lead six minutes into the contest and never looked back on the way to an 87-72 win over the Tigers before a crowd of 1,196 at Jadwin. more

JACKED UP:  Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jack Suozzi dribbles the ball in a game last season. Last Friday, senior guard Suozzi scored 15 points in a losing cause at PHS fell 67-54 to Hightstown in the season opener for both teams. The Tigers return to action when they compete in a Holiday Tournament at Rumson-Fair Haven on December 27 and 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jack Suozzi had been struggling with his shot as the Princeton High boys’ basketball team went through the preseason.

But on opening night last Friday against visiting Hightstown, senior guard Suozzi found the range when it counted, hitting a three-pointer in the first quarter and tallying nine points in the half as PHS took a 28-27 lead at intermission.

“I haven’t been making my shots recently, but once I got warmed up I was feeling it a little more,” said Suozzi. “I try to help my team out in any way possible.”

The Tigers came out firing against the Rams, inspired by a raucous atmosphere in the gym. more

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team hosted Pennington last week, it brought some extra motivation into the contest.

“We were just real focused, they knocked us out of Preps last year 66-63 so today we wanted to come in and make a statement,” said PDS senior guard Jaylin Champion-Adams, referring to the Panthers’ loss to the Red Raiders in the Prep B semis last season.

PDS made an early statement in the December 17 rematch, jumping out to a 10-0 lead.

“That definitely set the tone; we just came in and we had a lot of energy,” said Champion-Adams. “The bench kept us alive and everybody was working.”

Champion-Adams and his teammates kept working hard, pulling away to a 69-34 victory. more

OPEN MIKE: Princeton Day School boys’ ice hockey player Michael Sullo controls the puck in recent action. Last Wednesday, sophomore forward Sullo had a goal and two assists to help PDS edge Hun 4-3 in overtime. Last weekend, PDS participated in the Barber Tournament at the St. Mark’s School (Mass.) where it went 0-3. In upcoming action, PDS, now 3-4, hosts its annual Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational from January 4-5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Michael Sullo was one of the smallest players on the ice for the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team as it hosted the Hun School last Wednesday.

But the wiry sophomore transfer ended up making a huge impact on the game, scoring the first goal and then assisting on the final two goals as PDS edged Hun 4-3 in overtime.

For Sullo, the first taste of the rivalry against local foe Hun was sweet. “All of the boys were fired up to get out here; it is always a good game from what I have heard,” said Sullo. “It was my first time around; it was the most fun I have had in a game in a while.”

Sullo tallied the first goal of the contest, finding the back of the net early in the second period.

I saw Luke [Antonacci] circling up top,” recalled Sullo. “He just put one on net, it popped out and I put it in.”

PDS had leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but found itself trailing 3-2 early in the third period. more

December 18, 2019

Morven’s own Wish Tree is just one of the many festive trees and mantels on view in the annual celebration of the season at Morven Museum & Garden. Decorated by area designers, garden clubs, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, the display continues through January 5. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)