D&R Greenway Ball At Point Breeze Estate
MUSIC AND MORE: The Justin Lee Jazz Trio is among the performers at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Harvest Moon Ball, a benefit for the historic Point Breeze Estate in Bordentown.
D&R Greenway Land Trust’s first-ever Harvest Moon Ball, featuring musicians and theater performers, will be held at the Discovery Center at Point Breeze on the evening of September 30, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at 101 Park Street, Bordentown. The ticket price of $60 supports the historic and ecologically important property and can be purchased at drgreenway.org, or by calling (609) 924-4646.
In the tradition of Joseph Bonaparte, the exiled King of Spain who entertained prominent scientists, artists, and leaders at Point Breeze in the 1820s and 1830s, guests are invited to dress as someone who once visited Point Breeze or to come as they are to see who’s who. Prominent people who visited in the 19th century included the Marquis de Lafyette, Dolley Madison, John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, John James Audubon, Louis Mailliard, and Joseph Bonaparte’s daughter Zenaide, for whom a dove was named.
Improv performances and music by the Justin Lee Jazz Trio are planned. Musician Justin Lee is joined by guitarist Raúl Abbad and singer Monika Ryan, a classic jazz singer who recently released her fourteenth album, Playfully. A local resident, Lee is no stranger to Point Breeze; he played a virtuoso solo of both the U.S. national anthem and the French national anthem on Bastille Day when a delegation from Bordentown’s French sister city, Mortefontaine, visited the preserved property.
Drinks and desserts and cheeses from the Bordentown restaurant Toscano will be served under the full harvest moon. Pegasus Theatre, sponsored by Bordentown Arts, a community-based nonprofit, will perform. Principals Peter Alexander and Jennifer Nasta Zefutie will bring their theatrical storytelling to an intimate setting inside the Discovery Center, opened in May 2023, surrounded by exhibits, art, and artifacts.
“We designed this to be an affordable, community-focused event to get people out on the land in an unforgettable setting,” said Linda Mead, D&R Greenway’s president and CEO. “Sunset is magic at Point Breeze. Watching the full moon rise will make this night shine on under the Harvest Moon, like the song.”
Bordentown’s arts scene received a boost in the last few years from the recently formed Bordentown Arts. “There’s an insane amount of talent in this one square mile — just as there’s an insane amount of history,” said Leon Stanley, who founded the nonprofit in 2020 to support arts and cultural experiences within Bordentown City, where he lives with his wife, gallery owner C.J. Mugavero. “We want Bordentown to be the best it can be,” said Stanley. “The arts bring a quality of life, are a driver of the economy, and dovetail with the city’s reputation as a restaurant town.”
The event celebrates that Point Breeze is now a Bordentown treasure, preserved forever. Also being celebrated is the recent election to D&R Greenway’s Board of Trustees of former mayor James E. (Jim) Lynch Jr.
As Bordentown’s mayor in 2020, Lynch seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve Point Breeze — and with it, the unique character of the small city. “The Divine Word Fathers, who were here for 80 years, were hounded by developers who wanted to build warehouses or a thousand condos,” said Lynch. “D&R Greenway and State Green Acres partners joined with the city to permanently preserve the land.”
Lynch, now a city commissioner, joined D&R Greenway’s Board of Trustees in 2023, the latest chapter in a 34-year relationship. “I started working on behalf of Bordentown with D&R Greenway in 1989 [the land trust’s founding year], and it just blossomed from there,” he said. “Joining the board is a great honor for me.”