February 28, 2024

Princeton High girls’ swimmer Kyleigh Tangen takes off to do the anchor leg in the 400-yard freestyle relay last Sunday as PHS battled Chatham in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group B state final at the Rutgers Aquatics Center. Tangen and the Tigers fell just short of a second straight statetitle as they lost 89-81 to the Cougars to end the winter at 14-1. For more details on the meet, see page 28. (Photo by Steven Wojtowicz)

By Anne Levin

At a meeting on Monday, February 26, Princeton Council held its annual discussion with Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber on the relationship and collaborations between the University and the municipality. The gathering allows members of the governing body to ask Eisgruber about specific areas of collaboration with the University, while giving him an opportunity to speak about the state of the University, its priorities, and higher education in general.

On January 30, the University announced its plan to contribute more than $50 million over five years to the municipality, community organizations, and lower- and middle-income residents to support mutual community interests including college access, sustainability, diversity and equality, mass transit, municipal infrastructure, safety, and emergency services. The plan provides for contributions of $39.5 million to the municipality. more

By Anne Levin

For retailers and restaurateurs, post-Valentine’s Day is a traditionally quiet time of year. What better time, the creators of Princeton Restaurant Week thought four years ago, to jump-start the local culinary scene with seven days of special menus and reduced prices?

The first Princeton Restaurant Week debuted in 2020 with a few participating eateries. Then the pandemic hit, putting the concept on a two-year hiatus. The event returned last year under the aegis of Experience Princeton, the nonprofit formed in 2022 as the Princeton Business Partnership, a Special Improvement District (SID) dedicated to promoting and marketing the town. Some 40 restaurants signed on. more

By Donald Gilpin

“Sustainability,” “resiliency,” “stormwater control,” and “flood mitigation” are words appearing with great frequency in current media and engineering studies, and a look at descriptions of infrastructure projects underway in Princeton reveals the predominance of these environmental concerns.

The February 26 Municipality of Princeton newsletter reports on plans to replace six old and out-of-date storm drains (culverts) in town. The project is in the early design stages and may take a year or two before it is completed.  more

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”: Princeton High School (PHS) students are rehearsing for their upcoming musical production, running March 14 to 16 at the PHS Performing Arts Center. (Photo courtesy of Princeton Public Schools)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton High School (PHS) and Princeton Middle School (PMS) are offering a rich assortment of performing arts and cultural enrichment in the coming weeks, starting next weekend with Mary Poppins JR. at PMS March 7 to 10, the 17th Annual Asian Festival at PHS on March 8, and Beauty and the Beast at PHS the following weekend, March 14 to 16.

The Asian Festival, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the PHS New Gym, is a collaboration of the Mandarin and Japanese language classes, the Asian American Club, Chinese Club, Korean Club, Japanese Club, Bollywood Dance Club, and Chai Club. more

By Donald Gilpin

This Friday, March 1, the Princeton Fire Department (PFD) will be adding a valuable piece of equipment to its toolkit of resources used in fighting fires. In a 10:30 a.m. presentation at the Princeton Firehouse on Witherspoon Street across from the Municipal Building, Polestar of Princeton, a Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer, will be donating an electric vehicle fire blanket to the PFD and demonstrating how to use it.

“This looks like an excellent tool to safely extinguish an EV vehicle fire,” said Princeton Department of Emergency and Safety Services Director Michael Yeh. “When an EV vehicle is on fire, firefighters would cover the vehicle with the blanket, effectively covering the vehicle and depriving it of air while smothering the fire.” more

By Anne Levin

A few weeks ago, Mimi Omiecinski was dropping off some posters for Pi Day Princeton at the front desk of Princeton Public Library when two teenaged boys who were walking by stopped to comment. “Oh, Pi Day,” one of them said to the other. “We have to do the Pie Eating Contest.”

Omiecinski, whose Princeton Tour Company started the annual Pi Day celebrations in 2009, was pleasantly surprised. “I said to them, ‘You know Pi Day?’ And they said, ‘Of course! We’ve done this since we were kids.’ It hit me then,” Omiecinski said. “This is a thing.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

And what curious flower or fruit
Will grow from that conspiring root?

—Elizabeth Bishop

Those lines are from the poet Elizabeth Bishop’s reimagining of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” Bishop has admitted that she was hoping someone would compose tunes for her suite “Songs for a Colored Singer” (an acceptable title in the 1940s). “I think I had Billie Holiday in mind,” she said in a 1966 interview. “I put in a couple of words just because she sang big words so well — ‘conspiring root,’ for instance.”

The Bishop-Holiday connection was pointed out by Paul Alexander in Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year, the subject of last week’s column. In fact, a misprint in that article (“Back” for “Black”) is the reason I’m  returning to Holiday and rereading Bishop with particular attention to “The Man-Moth,” a great New York poem inspired by a newspaper misprint for “mammoth.” more

By Nancy Plum

The fall performance of the Richardson Chamber Players, postponed from its original November date at Richardson Auditorium, took place last Thursday night at Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall on the University campus. The concert was devoted to the music of “Les Six,” a group of composers working in Paris during the early 20th century and credited with developing a purely French repertory of music. The nine musicians who performed Thursday night as the Chamber Players presented a program of works for a variety of instrumental and vocal combinations, allowing the audience to experience collective artistry close up.

Clarinetist Jo-Ann Sternberg, violinist Brennan Sweet, and pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti opened the concert with the 1936 Suite for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano of Darius Milhaud, immediately showing a bright ensemble sound. Sternberg’s clarinet lines richly resonated through the intimate space of Taplin Auditorium and Brennan’s lyrical violin passages brought out well Milhaud’s graceful melodies. The three players highlighted the saucy feel of the closing movement, bringing the work to a graceful close.  more

“PIPELINE”: Performances are underway for “Pipeline.” Directed by Alex Conboy, the play runs through March 3 at the Hamilton Murray Theater.Above, from left: Omari (Matthew Oke), a student who faces expulsion from a private school, and his mother, Nya (Alex Conboy), a public school teacher who desperately wants her son to have opportunities that her students may never have. (Photo by Lucy Shea)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Prior to her career as an actor and award-winning playwright, as well as a story editor and co-producer of the Showtime series Shameless, Dominique Morisseau taught drama at the Henry Ford Academy, a high school near Detroit, where her mother also taught.

So Morisseau’s moving and poetic drama Pipeline (2017), in which the central protagonist is a teacher, is informed by firsthand experience. The play won the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, and premiered at Lincoln Center Theater. more

RARE U.S. APPEARANCE: Princeton University Concerts hosts the Hagen String Quartet, which is based in Austria, at Richardson Auditorium on March 7 at 7:30 p.m.

The Hagen String Quartet will return to Princeton University Concerts (PUC) on Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium. This Salzburg-based quartet, which is celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year, rarely tours to the United States, and will return to PUC for the first time since 2017. more

Mariana Karpatova

Princeton Symphony Orchestra music director Rossen Milanov joins mezzo-soprano Mariana Karpatova in an exploration of the songs, dances, and culture of their native Bulgaria at a PSO Soundtracks talk: “A Celebration of Bulgaria,” on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Princeton Public Library’s Community Room.

Immediately following, there will be time for a brief Q&A. The talk serves as a prelude to the orchestra’s March 9-10 concerts which include a work by Bulgarian composer Marin Goleminov. Soundtracks is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. more

FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES: Suzi Shelton helps introduce children to live performance at the State Theatre New Jersey on March 9. (Photo by Meredith Zimmer)

State Theatre New Jersey has announced the spring performances for the storytelling and music series, Milk & Cookies. Included in the lineup are Suzi Shelton on Saturday, March 9 and Amelia Robinson of Mil’s Trills on Saturday, May 18.

Each show includes a 10 a.m. and a 12 p.m. performance. The program is a way to introduce young children ages 3-8 to the magic of live performance. The 12 p.m. shows are sensory-friendly performances specially designed to provide a safe, welcoming environment for kids on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities. Tickets are $5 and include a cookie and carton of milk after the show for every child. more

BACK ON HOME TURF: Taylor Pickett-Stokes, center, returns to her alma mater, Mercer County Community College, with the Underground Performing Arts Collective’s performance of “Black Girl Magic” March 1-3.

It will be something of a homecoming for Trenton native Taylor Pickett-Stokes when she takes the stage at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Kelsey Theatre with the Virginia-based Underground Performing Arts Collective (UPAC) and their presentation of Black Girl Magic March 1-3.

The show combines poetry, monologues, and conventional drama with film. Sister, a young Black woman, is struggling to find a place of acceptance in the world. Guided by the Ancestors, African Warrior Queens, Sister comes to a place of self-reconciliation and acceptance as she is given a glimpse into the lives and legacy of Black women, past and present. Taylor-Stokes plays multiple roles, including Harriet, Stacy Abrams, Mahalia Jackson, Celie, and a church medley singer. more

INAUGURAL EXHIBITION: The lobby of the Montgomery Municipal Center now houses Clem Fiori’s exhibition, and will host future showcases organized by the Montgomery Arts Council.

The Montgomery Municipal Center will host local artist and longtime resident Clem Fiori at a free artist reception and talk on Thursday, February 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. Fiori is presenting his work, which highlights the region’s natural landscape, in the inaugural exhibition organized by the Montgomery Arts Council. more

YOUTH ART AT GOURGAUD GALLERY: This painting by fourth grader Wyatt Lively is featured in a “Youth Art Exhibition” on view March 2 to March 21 at Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury. An opening reception is on March 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.

National Youth Art Month is celebrated each March. Cranbury School will be celebrating youth art at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury with an exhibition on view March 2 through March 21. An opening reception is on Saturday, March 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Stacey Crannage, art teacher at the Cranbury School, has chosen art pieces from students in kindergarten through eighth grade to be showcased. Criteria for the displayed pieces to be included were technique, originality, and the student’s personality shining through. Student artwork will include paintings, drawings, and clay sculptures, among others.  more

“MARSH”: This work by Chelsey Luster is featured in “CFEVA at 40: Four Decades of Supporting Contemporary Art,” on view through May 26 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa.

The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., presents “CFEVA at 40: Four Decades of Supporting Contemporary Art” through May 26. With this exhibition, the museum celebrates the Center for Emerging Visual Artists’ (CFEVA’s) milestone year with a show that symbolically includes the work of 40 contemporary artists affiliated with the center who represent the region’s artistic excellence. more

GOING OUT WITH A BANG: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sarah Fillier, right, races up the ice in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior star forward and team captain Fillier tallied three goals and an assist to help seventh-seeded Princeton top 10th-seeded Dartmouth 5-1 in a single-elimination contest in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey tournament. The Tigers, now 14-10-6 overall, will play at second-seeded Clarkson (29-3-2) in a best-of-three ECACH quarterfinal series starting on March 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing in her last game at Hobey Baker Rink for the Princeton University women’s hockey team last Saturday afternoon, Sarah Fillier didn’t waste any time showing that her home finale was going to be one to remember.

With seventh-seeded Princeton hosting 10th-seeded Dartmouth in a single-elimination contest in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey tournament, senior star and team captain Fillier tallied a goal and and an assist to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. more

DEVELOPING SITUATION: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Chad Palumbo heads to goal in recent action. Sophomore Palumbo has emerged as a bright spot for the Tigers, providing scoring punch from the midfield. He totaled five goals and one assist as the Tigers started the season by defeatingMonmouth 15-5 on February 18 and then topped Manhattan 15-6 two days later. Last Saturday, Palumbo chipped in two assists as the Tigers fell 13-7 at No. 4 Maryland. No. 15 Princeton plays at No. 18 North Carolina on March 1 and at No. 1 Duke on March 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Chad Palumbo has a special motivation to make the most out of every moment he is on the field for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team.

Heading into his senior year in high school in 2021, Palumbo was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that starts as a growth of cells in soft tissue, and he underwent six months of chemotherapy in order to beat it. more

TIGHT BATTLE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Chet Nweke guards a foe in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior forward Nweke scored 17 points in a losing cause as Princeton fell 67-65 at Columbia. The Tigers, now 20-4 overall and 10-1 Ivy League, host Harvard on March 1 and Dartmouth on March 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Chet Nweke had the rebound in her hands for a split second under the basket with just a couple seconds left in regulation, and then it was gone along with a long winning streak.

The ball was dislodged from the senior forward for the Princeton University women’s basketball team and the Tigers suffered a 67-65 loss at Columbia before a sold-out crowd of 2,698 at Levien Gymnasium on Saturday, their first Ivy League loss of the year, and first in 25 straight Ivy games overall spanning back two seasons. Their 24-game conference winning streak was fourth best in the country. more

SPRINTING STAR: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Kyleigh Tangen heads to victory in the 100-yard freestyle at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group B state final last Sunday at the Rutgers Aquatics Center. Tangen also placed first in the 50 free as the Tigers fell just short of winning their second straight state title, losing 89-81 to Chatham in a meet that came down to the final event. PHS finished the season with a 14-1 record. 

By Bill Alden

As the roar of the crowd packing the Rutgers Aquatics Center hit ear-splitting levels last Sunday afternoon with the state title rematch between Princeton High girls’ swimming team and Chatham coming down to the final event, Kyleigh Tangen kept her mind on the task at hand.

With PHS trailing Chatham 79-77 as the foes hit the water for the 400-yard freestyle relay, Tiger senior Tangen stood in the blocks ready to swim the anchor leg, surveying the situation. more

PASSING IT ON: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Riley Devlin passes the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior guard Devlin scored 10 points as seventh-seeded PHS fell 62-57 to 10th-seeded Middletown South in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 15-9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Riley Devlin, getting to play at home in her final game for the Princeton High girls’ basketball team as it hosted Middletown South in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 4 sectional was something she won’t soon forget.

“It was our first state game here in a really long time, we were really hyped,” said PHS senior guard Devlin, reflecting on the matchup last Wednesday between the seventh-seeded Tigers and the 10th-seeded Eagles. “We had a lot of energy. We were excited to be home in front of our parents and fans.” more

HOMING IN: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Han Shin, right, battles a foe in recent action. Last Thursday, senior defenseman Shin tallied a goal and two assists to help sixth-seeded PDS defeat 11th-seeded Morristown-Beard 4-0 in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament. On Monday, Shin contributed an assist as PDS fell 3-2 in overtime to sixth-seeded St. Augustine in the Non-Public quarterfinals to end the season with a 10-8-1 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was Han Shin’s last game at McGraw Rink and it turned out to be one of the best performances of his career.

Senior defenseman Shin scored a goal and had two assists to help sixth-seeded PDS defeat 11th-seeded Morristown-Beard 4-0 in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament last Thursday. more

February 21, 2024

Two baby grand pianos were carved entirely out of ice on Sunday afternoon on the Green at Palmer Square, and then used as bases for a frosty musical showdown by the Flying Ivories. (Photo by Sarah Teo)

SUMMER DAYS AT NASSAU SWIM CLUB: Princeton University has informed the Nassau Swim Club (NSC) that it will be terminating its lease agreement with the club in April. Unhappy to see the closure of their pool in the woods between the Graduate College and the Institute for Advanced Study, NSC members are continuing to challenge the decision. (Photo courtesy of Nassau Swim Club)

By Donald Gilpin

After more than 50 years of welcoming swimmers to its pool in the woods off Springdale Road, the Nassau Swim Club (NSC) has received notice that Princeton University is terminating its lease as of April 23.

Though faced by the challenges of declining membership and a variety of financial setbacks over the past decade, the NSC remains a much loved Princeton institution, and the current members and their families are not going to go away quietly.

“Tell Princeton University that Nassau Swim Club is Worth Saving!” reads a change.org petition, posted by the NSC board, that by the morning of February 20 had gained more than 460 signatures in less than a week. “NSC is a beloved summertime tradition for many people and its loss will be felt deeply, in Princeton and beyond,” the petition states, describing NSC as “an important community asset.” more