September 9, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

Actually, the town I had in mind was Califon, N.J.

—Philip Van Doren Stern

The first sentence of the screenplay for Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life calls for a night sequence showing various streets and buildings in “the town of Bedford Falls, somewhere in New York State.”

Above the first sentence of the film’s primary source, Philip Van Doren Stern’s Christmas story, “The Greatest Gift,” there’s a drawing of a despondent looking man leaning on a bridge railing. The “little town” described, “bright with colored Christmas lights,” has no name. In a 1946 interview, the author, a Rutgers graduate who grew up in Jersey City, makes it clear that the place he had in mind was Califon, in Hunterdon County, 37 miles northwest of Princeton. As noted in Wikipedia, the center of town is “the historic iron bridge spanning the South Branch of the Raritan River, which divides the borough.” 

On the Bridge

I’m beginning in Califon because it’s the original setting of It’s a Wonderful Life, not Seneca Falls, New York, the town that has declared itself the model for Bedford Falls by holding an annual festival; it even named a hotel after Clarence, the whimsical angel who appears on the bridge in time to save George Bailey from ending his life. Clarence accomplishes his mission by jumping into the icy waters himself, knowing that George’s instinct to help others is so fundamental that he’ll take the plunge to save a life.

But look what just happened. Even as I’m trying to explain the motive for my online trip to Califon and its historic bridge, I’m still riding the emotional rollercoaster of the film’s final half hour as Clarence shows George the nightmare of Pottersville, a vision of the fate that would befall the community had he never been born and had the town been left to the mercy of Henry Potter, the unredeemed and unpunished banker from hell who makes Scrooge look like a sucker.

In fact, the actual town of Califon is located a mere six miles west of a town called Pottersville, which lies the same distance from the Trump National Golf Club at Bedminster, a domain known as Camp David North or the Summer White House. more

“SENECA”: Pegasus Theatre Company presented an online conversation featuring the film’s co-writer, co-producer, director, and editor Jason Chaet; and its composer, Robert Manganaro. Above: Actor David Seneca (Armando Riesco, left) struggles to be a good father to his daughter Annette (Claudia Morcate-Martin). The film is available on HBO and HBO Max. (Image Courtesy of Kosher Quenepa LLC)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Pegasus Theatre Company of West Windsor premiered its “Intimate Conversations Series” on September 3. The online discussion featured two of the artists behind the 2019 film Seneca: director and editor Jason Chaet, and Princeton-born composer Robert Manganaro. Pegasus board member John Paxton, a teacher and independent filmmaker, curated the conversation.

The event came about because Manganaro is a family friend of Managing Artistic Director Jennifer Nasta Zefutie. “I grew up with Jennifer’s husband, John. He and I have remained close friends for years,” Manganaro says in an email to this writer. “I was best man in his wedding, so it’s fun that this came full circle.”

As a songwriter and performer Manganaro has collaborated with Hamilton star Anthony Ramos on songs including “Ocean City,” “Take Me To The Middle,” and “Freedom.” He has performed the National Anthem at NBA and NCAA basketball games, in stadiums such as the Prudential Center and Barclay’s. He met Chaet through the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where both are on staff. more

Kathryn Boswell (Photo by Corinne Louie)

State Theatre New Jersey will hold Broadway Online Trivia Night, hosted by actress Kathryn Boswell on Wednesday, on September 16 at 7 p.m. Proceeds raised support State Theatre’s Community Engagement programs. A minimum donation of $5 allows patrons to participate in the trivia challenge.

To sign up for Trivia Night, go to

The Broadway-themed trivia will be composed of 50 multiple choice questions covering everything from classic musicals like The Music Man and Fiddler on the Roof to composers and stars like Stephen Sondheim and Bernadette Peters, to newer musicals like Hamilton and Mean Girls. The first-place winner gets bragging rights as well as a $150 State Theatre gift certificate and a State Theatre swag bag. The second-place winner gets a State Theatre swag bag.

Online Trivia Night will be hosted on Zoom on each participant’s desktop computer and played on the smartphone-based trivia game app called Kahoot. Closed Captioning for this event can be made available by request by emailing by September 11. more

VIRTUAL CIRCUS: The pandemic has not stopped Trenton Circus Squad, which has planned an online fundraising event for next month. (Photo by Donnie Ramsey)

For the first three months of the pandemic, the Trenton Circus Squad closed its doors in order to come up with a new model for interacting with the community and spreading its mission of inspiring youth to take big leaps in life. The result was Trenton Circus Squad virtual, outfitting the organization with cameras, microphones, and production equipment for “Step Right Up! Plugged In,” a fundraiser taking place October 17 at 7 p.m.

The event will take ticketed attendees to each of the partner organizations in Newark, Asbury Park, Camden, and Trenton to watch the young performers in action, see interviews, hear testimonies, and see participants perform in works inspired by the country’s current state of civil unrest. more

“OPENING LIKE A PARASOL”: This painting by Jessica Mensch is featured in “Here and Now,” the new fall exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedmister. It will be on view September 11 through December 11. A virtual opening reception will be held via Zoom on Friday, September 11 from 6-7 p.m.

The Center for Contemporary Art (The Center) in Bedminster has announced its new fall exhibition, “Here and Now,” on view from September 11 through December 11.. To celebrate The Center’s 50th anniversary this fall, curators John Yau and Wes Sherman spent over a year assembling the work of 19 contemporary artists. 

The artists featured in the exhibition are Chakaia Booker, Willie Cole, Chie Fueki, Evan Halter, Takuji Hamanaka, Barry Hazard, Suzanne Joelson, Judy Koo, Talia Levitt, Jessica Mensch, Phillip McConnell, Ilse Murdock, Nadia Haji Omar, William A. Ortega, Joyce Robins, Stephanie H. Shih, Francesca Strada, Tejaswini. and Peter Williams.  more

“STRANGE WATER”: This painting by Ebony Flag is part of  “Art Against Racism: Memorial.Monument.Movement,” a nationwide virtual exhibition making its debut on October 3. The deadline for artists to submit, in order to be included in the opening, is September 14, but artwork will continue to be accepted until Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021.

Since the killing of George Floyd, artworks protesting Black lives lost to police violence have emerged all over the world. “Art Against Racism: Memorial.Monument.Movement” is a nationwide virtual exhibition created in response to this moment and will be presented on a groundbreaking video platform beginning October 3 at 5 p.m. EST.

“This is a grassroots project welcoming all voices, both professional artists and those who express themselves in other forms,” says Art Against Racism founder and organizer Rhinold L. Ponder.

Contributors are submitting short videos about their projects, discussing why they made this work, how art is a powerful tool for creating a just society, and the urgency of voting in 2020. The interactive exhibition serves as a living archive for preserving the breadth of art inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The exhibition is searchable by contributor’s name and geographic location. more

BEST BARBECUE:  “We use only fresh seasonal ingredients and select cuts of meat, making our delicious Texas-style barbecue the perfect Barbecue Experience.” John Procaccini (left) and Matt Martin, owners of More Than Q Barbecue Company, stand beside “Bubba,” their special steer mascot.

By Jean Stratton

That unmistakable wood-smoked aroma, the unique flavor, the tasty texture… indeed, barbecue in all its forms appears to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue — literally and figuratively!

Increasing in popularity all the time, with new restaurants springing up all over the country, it is said to be more popular in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world.

One of the latest eateries to emerge is More Than Q Barbecue Co., located at 3522 Route One North in The Square at West Windsor shopping center. Opened June 30, it is owned by John Procaccini, “Z” Pappas, and Matt Martin.

Known for their success in establishing many restaurants in the Princeton area, including Osteria Procaccini, Trattoria Procaccini, and Pj’s Pancake House, among others, Procaccini and Pappas continue to look for new dining experiences for their clientele. More Than Q is the 10th restaurant under the auspices of their restaurant management and consulting company, Gretalia. more

ICE BREAKER: Sarah Filler controls the puck in a game this past winter during her sophomore season with the Princeton University women’s hockey team. Having accumulated 114 points on 44 goals and 70 assists in her first two seasons with the Princeton University women’s hockey team, star forward Fillier is more than halfway to breaking the Princeton career assists (122) and points (218) records held by Katherine J. Issel ’95. This summer, Fillier was named to train with Team Canada through its National Women’s Development Camp, which is being held virtually. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Sarah Fillier just turned 20 this past June, but she is already on track to achieving a pair of ambitious goals in her ice hockey career.

Having accumulated 114 points on 44 goals and 70 assists in her first two seasons with the Princeton University women’s hockey team, star forward Fillier is more than halfway to breaking the Princeton career assists (122) and points (218) records held by Katherine J. Issel ’95.

“I always plan to have a better season that the last one,” said the 5’4 Fillier, a native of Georgetown, Ontario who tallied 22 goals and 35 assists in each of her campaigns with the Tigers.

“I think the type of player that I am, you take points into that consideration and with that in mind, it would be great to be able to break records and set records.”

While Fillier didn’t increase her point total in her second season, she felt was a better player with a year of college experience under her belt.

“As a sophomore, I definitely had more confidence in the league for sure,” said Fillier, whose honors this winter included making American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) second-team All-America, first-team All-ECAC Hockey, first-team All-Ivy League and second-team All-USCHO.

“I had been playing with Maggie [Connors] and Carly [Bullock] for a year and knowing how to handle school.” more

RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Benito Gonzalez fires a pitch in 2009 game during his career with the Princeton High baseball team. Gonzalez, who went on the pitch for The College of New Jersey baseball program, has returned to his old stomping grounds, teaching at the Princeton Unified Middle School and coaching the PHS junior varsity baseball team. In addition, he took the helm of the Post 218 American Legion baseball team, succeeding longtime coach Tommy Parker. (Photo by Stephen Goldsmith)

By Bill Alden

Benito Gonzalez experienced a turning point in his baseball career as he headed into the latter stages of his Princeton High career.

“I enjoyed playing for the team, I felt much better about my junior and senior seasons,” said Gonzalez, a 2010 PHS alum.

“Looking back, I feel like that is where I turned a corner and started thinking more about playing in college and things like that.”

Gonzalez went on to play college ball for The College of New Jersey, developing into a star relief pitcher.

“I threw a lot of two seamers and sliders at first; it was something that coach noticed,” said Gonzalez, who went 4-4 in 40 appearances in his career with the Lions, posting an ERA of 3.73 with 40 strikeouts in 70 innings. more

FINDING THEIR STRIDE: A group of girl runners show their form at the Princeton Recreation Department cross country camp held in late August at Greenway Meadows Park. The coed program, run by Princeton High cross country head coach Jim Smirk, drew approximately 45 runners. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With its dirt trails, steep hills, and manicured soccer fields nestled in a bucolic setting off of Rosedale Road, the Greenway Meadows Park is a superb training venue for distance runners.

Over the last two weeks of August, the park was teeming with runners as the Princeton Recreation Department held a two-week cross country program run by Princeton High cross country head coach Jim Smirk.

“When we found out that we were unlikely to have a school sponsored preseason, we really felt like there was an opportunity for us to provide them with some quality training and face to face time,” said Smirk, noting that the fall season is still in doubt due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Our goal was to provide a safe training environment and  with the opportunity to reconnect with each other. Our team is so important to each other and we wanted to do that.” more

September 2, 2020

Socially distanced parkgoers enjoyed the lovely weather and the shade of the trees on Sunday at Princeton Battlefield State Park on Mercer Road. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

The COVID-19 news, as usual, is mixed. Gyms were permitted to reopen on September 1, and indoor dining, movies, and indoor performing arts venues can open on Friday, September 4, under an executive order from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy — all at 25 percent capacity with social distancing and other restrictions.   

Schools are preparing to reopen either remotely, in hybrid fashion, or in-person in the coming weeks. And on Tuesday, September 1, New Jersey added two states, Alaska and Montana, to its list of COVID-19 hotspots placed on a coronavirus quarantine travel list of 33 states and territories.

Princeton Public Health Officer Jeff Grosser reported on September 1 that the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has assessed the central-west region of the state (Mercer, Hunterdon, and Somerset counties) as “low risk,” and that Princeton is among towns with the lowest rate of COVID-19 per 10,000 people in Mercer County. The current COVID-19 prevalence rate in the county as a whole is 230 percent higher than the rate in Princeton, Grosser said.

“The rate of coronavirus spread is currently low in Princeton, but COVID-19 is just as contagious and dangerous as before,” wrote Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Council in their August 31 Princeton Coronavirus Update. “It is still important to practice socially distancing whenever possible, wear a mask when you cannot socially distance, and wash your hands frequently. These precautions are especially important as the state loosens restrictions.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Since hiring full-time career firefighters seven months ago, after more than 200 years as an all-volunteer squad, the Princeton Fire Department (PFD) has seen significant improvements in response times and full staffing of apparatus, and increases in active volunteers and volunteer hours.

“This is a tremendous report,” said Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert in response to Fire Chief T.R. Johnson’s annual report last week to Princeton Council. “The fire department has gone through major transitions recently.  It has improved response time, and volunteer numbers are increasing. Wonderful report — reflects truly amazing work.”

Johnson pointed out that full-time staff, brought on board February 3, have made the PFD less reliant on assistance from other towns and have influenced the department in many ways.   

“Career firefighters have had an immediate impact on ensuring there is sufficient staffing supplemented by Princeton volunteer firefighters,” he said. “It has encouraged our volunteer members to take additional duty shifts at the station, which has significantly improved our response times and virtually removed our reliance on mutual aid for the primary apparatus response.”

Emphasizing progress over the past year, Johnson continued, “The Princeton Fire Department has come a long way from a year ago. We are getting an apparatus on the road for every call in a timely manner, and, even with the challenges related to COVID-19, we are ensuring volunteer duty shift hours are being taken by all volunteer members.  As with any department reliant on volunteers to complete our crews, we still have some gaps and are looking for ways to fill them. But our response times and crew sizes are significantly improved from a year ago.” more

FOXY FRIEND: Princeton Animal Control Officer Jim Ferry is holding a kit fox, only a week or two old, found under a dumpster and taken to Mercer County Wildlife Center, where it was cared for until eventually released back into the wild. (Photo courtesy of Princeton Animal Control)

By Donald Gilpin

Human activity in town may have diminished during the past six months of the pandemic, but foxes have become a common sight in Princeton.

Animal Control Officer Jim Ferry has located several fox dens all across town, in the rural parts near Quaker Road and Stuart Road, and closer to downtown near Springdale Golf Course.

“I have had many reports of foxes looking for food on Nassau Street, Palmer Square, and throughout the University,” said Ferry. “Foxes are territorial. No population estimate, but they are living in every part of town.”

He emphasized that healthy foxes pose virtually no danger to humans. Foxes and any other animal showing signs of rabies  — inability to walk, falling over or walking in circles, making a continuous noise, biting at inanimate objects, appearing overly friendly or aggressive, experiencing seizures or other neurological issues — should be reported right away to Princeton Animal Control at (609) 924-2728. more

LEADING THE SUFFRAGE DEBATE: Catherine Warren, seen in front of her home at 133 Library Place, was treasurer of the New Jersey branch of the Congressional Union, a radical arm of the women’s suffrage movement, and president of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs. She is among those featured in a new online exhibit by the Historical Society of Princeton.

By Anne Levin

Despite its small size, Princeton played a significant role in the fight for women’s right to vote. The town was closely watched in the years leading up to passage of the 19th amendment on August 26,1920, because it was home to the sitting president and a former first lady.

“All eyes are on President Woodrow Wilson — who has avoided the contentious suffrage question up to this point — as he travels to his home polling place in Princeton to cast his own vote in the [1915] New Jersey referendum,” reads a digital exhibit by the Historical Society of Princeton and co-sponsored by Princeton Public Library, now on view at “All eyes were on Princeton.”

“Princeton and Women’s Suffrage: The Greatest Question of the Day” takes viewers from the early efforts in 2010 through to passage of the amendment a decade later. While many in Princeton were in favor of suffrage, many were not. The latter group argued that women did not need the vote because their husbands represented them at the ballot box.

“On the question of necessity, in Princeton, as nationally, anti-suffragist women advanced social reform issues through their personal connections with politicians,” the exhibit reads. “To them, this ‘indirect influence’ was a more respectable, non-partisan means to an end for women, but suffragists argued it was an avenue for action that was open to a privileged few.” more

Remote Learning in PPS

With Princeton Public Schools’ phase-in hybrid program delayed, students will not be going into the schools until October 12, but teachers and administrators are honing their virtual learning plans, and the schools are “well prepared to provide a robust educational experience remotely,” starting on September 14, according to a recent PPS email bulletin.

PPS Interim Superintendent Barry Galasso emphasized that the new Canvas online learning management system (LMS) would provide “a uniform learning platform for all students, and, according to the PPS technology department, it’s 99 percent reliable.”

Admitting that the unreliability of the system used last year caused difficulties, Galasso pointed out that the Canvas system is compatible with both Google and Microsoft, it provides access to a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week hotline for support, and that 60 different teachers and administrators in the district investigated the system before it was chosen.

All of the PPS staff is being trained in the use of Canvas, with 400 starting training earlier this summer and the rest of the staff currently being trained in professional days leading up to the September 14 opening day.

“Teachers appreciate how so many programs, including Zoom, are integrated within the program, so students won’t have to navigate outside of Canvas when using a lot of these tools,” said PPS Technology and Innovation Director Krista Galyon.

“For students, all of the classwork will be in one location,” she added. “In the spring, when our other LMS was not proving to be reliable, teachers moved to various platforms. This was often hard for students who had multiple teachers. Canvas brings all of their learning to one location.” more

HELPING HANDS: Since the onset of COVID-19, there has been an uptick in socially distanced volunteering for projects at Friends of Princeton Open Space. The organization is currently seeking people to assist at the Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve. (Photo by Giuli Simmens)

By Anne Levin

When it comes to protecting natural resources, environmental groups count on volunteers to help keep up with planting, managing invasive species, and other essential projects. Local organizations such as Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS), The Watershed Institute, and Sourland Conservancy regularly involve the public in restoration and stewardship of the natural world.

Sourland Conservancy looks for volunteers throughout the year, and matches them with their specific areas of interest and expertise. The Watershed Institute relies on volunteers for everything from clearing brush and feeding animals to helping out at the annual Butterfly Festival or staffing the front desk.

The FOPOS Land Stewards Program is currently looking for volunteers to help at the 18-acre Forest Restoration Site on the Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve. Sessions are September 2, 3, 9, and 12 from 8-11 a.m. more

By Anne Levin

When it comes to voting by mail in the upcoming general election on November 3, individual states have their own rules. In accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 177 declaring the election as a primarily vote-by-mail event, New Jersey is one of nine states (and the District of Columbia) that will send ballots to most registered voters automatically.

Ballots are scheduled to be mailed to residents by October 5. Mercer County officials are urging residents to make sure their voting information is up to date to ensure they receive a ballot. “In an election where so many people will vote by mail, the [County] Clerk’s office must have current information, such as the correct mailing address, for every voter,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes in a letter to residents.

In a release from County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello, it is recommended that people who will be away between late September and Election Day should apply to vote by mail specifying the mailing address required. Sollami Covello also recommends that those who have a permanent vote-by-mail status should make sure that the address on file is correct by calling her office at (609) 989-6494 or 6495.

The ballots received can be returned by mail, postmarked no later than November 3; by depositing in a secure drop box; or by handing it directly to a poll worker on Election Day. So far, drop box locations include the Princeton Municipal Building at 400 Witherspoon Street, the Hopewell Township Administration Building at 201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road in Titusville, the Trenton Courthouse Annex at 209 South Broad Street, the Hamilton Golf Center at 5 Justice Samuel Alito Way, and the East Windsor Municipal Court Building at 80 One Mile Road. More locations are to be added. more

By Stuart Mitchner

The day after Charlie Parker’s 100th birthday, I’m driving to the lake listening to “the earliest authentic document we are ever likely to hear of the 20th century giant.” So say the liner notes accompanying Bird in Kansas City, 1940-42 on the Stash CD The Complete “Birth of the Bebop.” Privately recorded, “probably May 1940,” Parker’s variations on “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Body and Soul” seem to be following me as I walk toward the lake. Because of the unguarded intimacy of the sound I feel as if I’ve been eavesdropping on a 20-year-old’s first recording, in which, as the notes have it, “an overall lack of poise underscores the youthfulness of the performance.” Suddenly, strangely, the sense of “being there listening in” is replicated in the here and now by the sound of a saxophone. Someone on the other side of the lake is playing. For a few seconds it’s an eerie continuum, a phantom player exploring variations on “Body and Soul.” As I come to the water’s edge, peering across the lake for the source of the music, still unable to see the person playing, it begins to sink in (reality bites) that what I’ve imagined as some skilled sharer of Birdlore is more likely a clumsy learner, probably a kid in a school band, and that the tune I’ve been hearing as “Body and Soul” is actually “Happy Birthday.” Still, I’m smiling as I walk along the lakeside, listening. It’s nothing more than a birthday coincidence on the day after, a consolation prize, but I’ll take it.

Born Twice

Only a “20th-century giant” like Charlie Parker could encompass two cities with the same name in two different states, the Kansas City he was born in forever overshadowed by the musically renowned metropolis across the river that gave birth to his legend. The city in Missouri is where he found “a spiritual home in jazz,” as Gary Giddins suggests in Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker (Minnesota 2013), “which remains the best single examination of his art and life,” according to the “Charlie Parker at 100” link in Friday’s New York Times.

Curious to learn more about Bird’s actual birth city, I’ve been consulting my copy of the WPA Guide to Kansas, which sits on the book shelf next to the WPA Guide to New Jersey. The placement makes sense: I was born in Kansas and live in New Jersey, my life bookended by the Sunflower State and the Garden State.  more

FRENCH FESTIVAL: The cast of “La dispute” from the recorded live performance that is part of Seuls en Scène online, September 10-20. (Photo by Yohanne Lamoulere/Tendance floue)

Seuls en Scène, the French theater festival featuring renowned and emerging French writers, actors, and directors, goes online for this season with 12 events September 10-20.

Presented by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, the festival includes recordings of live performances of contemporary works recently presented on stages in France, several performed in French with English subtitles; recorded readings; and conversations with artists, live on Zoom, and on the current state of theater in France. more

“LION CLOSE UP”: This rug by Judy Carter of the Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild of Flemington has been accepted for inclusion in the 2020 “Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 30,” a premier juried collection of the year’s best hand-hooked rugs.

Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild (HCRAG) of Flemington has announced that five of its members have been accepted for inclusion in the 2020 “Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 30,” a premier juried collection of the year’s best hand-hooked rugs sponsored by Rug Hooking Magazine. more

Acclaimed Trenton graffiti artist Leon “Rain” Rainbow has responded to the coronavirus pandemic with a thought-provoking mural that can be found near the intersection of Hudson and Clinton streets. The Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) has stepped in to sponsor the creation of two more murals, made possible with continued funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and NJM Insurance.

SCAVENGER HUNT: Artist James Fiorentino is shown with one of the cards hidden at D&R Greenway Land Trust and Greenway Meadows Park. Information about the “Beautiful Creatures” scavenger hunt is available at 

The Garden State Watercolor Society (GSWS) invites the public to participate in a fun activity for all ages. GSWS has designed a unique, family-friendly scavenger hunt, with their “Beautiful Creatures” exhibit throughout the town of Princeton and exhibit scavenger cards at Greenway Meadows Park, surrounding D&R Greenway Land Trust.

Challenged by COVID limitations, the GSWS artists have developed this socially-distanced and engaging new way of viewing the 50th Anniversary installation that is part of their “Out of the Wild” juried exhibit. 

Six special prize cards, depicting forests and meadows preserved locally by D&R Greenway Land Trust, can be found hidden at the land trust’s Johnson Education Center campus on Rosedale Road and in the surrounding Greenway Meadows park. D&R Greenway, a partner with GSWS for this celebration of art and nature, preserves and cares for land where real-life beautiful creatures make their homes in wild habitats. more

PERSONAL SERVICE: “It’s important to do something for yourself, especially now during the virus. it’s really more of a necessity now, not a luxury,” says Beata Giermasinka, owner of Amber Spa in Pennington. Here, hairstylist Kasia Hoff is shown cutting a client’s hair in the new outdoor tent enclosure.

Soothing and calming, yet revitalizing and rejuvenating at the same time.

This is what customers have come to expect at Amber Spa in Pennington.

The full-service spa/salon opened in 2002 at its current location, 16 Main Street, and since then has been providing clients with state-of-the-art face, body, and hair care. Facials, massages, wraps, haircuts and color, manicures, pedicures, facial and body waxing, tanning, and makeup applications are all available.

The eight highly qualified staff members specialize in all of the above treatments, with customer-pleasing results, and the warm and welcoming atmosphere invites clients to relax, and for an hour or two, forget the ever-present “To Do” list. more

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Maggie Connors fires the puck up the ice this past winter during her sophomore season for the Princeton University women’s hockey team. Star forward Connors tallied 22 goals and 25 assists in 2019-20 to help Princeton go 26-6-1 and win the program’s first-ever ECAC Hockey title. This summer, Connors is training with Team Canada through its National Women’s Development Camp, which is being held virtually throughout the summer. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Maggie Connors will never forget the final game of her sophomore season for the Princeton University women’s hockey team.

Star forward Connors contributed an assist as Princeton rallied from a 2-0 deficit to stun top-ranked Cornell 3-2 in overtime on March 8, earning the program’s first-ever ECAC Hockey title in the process.

“That game was probably my favorite game that I have played for Princeton so far,” said Connors, a 5’6 native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Labrador in Canada.

“It was incredible, I look back and we just fed off the energy in that building. We were so focused and so competitive. We were working so hard and we just had so much fun at the same time because we had never been there. There were no strings attached because we hadn’t even been to the ECAC final before. We had literally nothing to lose, it was definitely a thriller of a game.” more