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Broadway Cabaret

Back to School

Heidi Moon and Bob Matsukawa bring Japanese culture and tableware to Palmer Square with Miya Table & Home. Page 10

Princeton native Katie Welsh returns to town to bring the sounds of Sondheim to the Arts Council. Page 12

School is back in session. Set your kids up for success with advice from area leaders in education. Special Section

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Leading Off

A post-consolidation scorecard, another school board candidate, and a lawsuit over school board voting technologies.

4 5

Real Estate Transactions How Princeton Future shapes the future

Sheldon Sturges, co-founder of the citizens’ action group, reflects on the organization’s past achievements and suggests what is needed to keep the town affordable. By Michele Alperin

10 Retail: Miya Table & Home

Once known only to wholesalers, Miya has a retail store on Palmer Square, close to home for the company owners. By Michele Alperin


The Arts: Katie Welsh

Born in Princeton, with theater training at Princeton University, a 2015 alumna brings some Broadway tunes to her September 8 Arts Council homecoming. By Richard D. Smith

18 Food: Send Hunger Packing Princeton 190 W itherspoon St | 609-683-4455 Appointment Only

Networking opportunities

In advance of the September 23 fundraiser, Ross Wishnick explains that food insecurity is a real problem for some kids, even in a town like Princeton. By Sara Hastings


Parting Shot with Pia de Jong Retail Details ........................................................................................... 11 Arts Briefs................................................................................................. 13 What’s Happening................................................................................... 14 Dining Guide............................................................................................ 19 Food for Thought..................................................................................... 20 At Your Service/Classified........................................................................ 23

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Arts Editor Dan Aubrey EVENTS Editor Samantha Sciarrotta BUSINESS EDITOR Diccon Hyatt Photographer Suzette J. Lucas Contributing WriterS Michele Alperin, Richard D. Smith Contributing COLUMNIST Pia de Jong Production Manager Stacey Micallef (Ext. 131) Graphic Artists Vaughan Burton AD TRAFFIC COORDINATOR Stephanie Jeronis Sales Director Thomas Fritts (Ext. 110) Senior Account Executive Jennifer Steffen Account Executives Luke Kiensicki, Rahul Kumar, Mark Nebbia Administrative Advertising assistant Maria Morales

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LEADING OFF Now consolidated, how are we doing?


t’s been more than five years since the old Borough and Township created the new, consolidated Princeton. The move, approved by voters after three previous efforts failed, promised to save taxpayers money and provide better services to residents. How has it worked out? NJ Spotlight, the statewide online news organization, published a report on August 7 that took stock of some of the consequences. As expected, consolidation did not lower property taxes, but it apparently has slowed the rate of growth, according to NJ Spotlight’s analysis: “Princeton residents have seen the rate of growth in their property-tax bills slow since the consolidation went into effect in 2013, according to a NJ Spotlight analysis of tax data compiled by both state and local officials. Bills were rising at nearly 20 percent cumulatively in both municipalities over a five-year stretch before the merger started being implemented in the 2000s, but the rate slowed to just over 10 percent for the five years spanning 2013 and 2017, the analysis showed. “The municipal share of the local property-tax bill has also stayed steady at the same 21 percent since the merger, and the rate of growth in the overall municipal levy has also slowed, from over 16 percent in both Princetons during a five-year period before the merger, to 11 percent between 2013 and 2017. The statewide average for the same five-year period was 8.8 percent.” According to NJ Spotlight’s report Princeton’s workforce was reduced from 229 employees to 204 because of the consolidation. The combined police force resulted in a decrease of six officers, down to 54 (and they no longer have to drive through a different municipality to answer calls as they did when the township was configured like a doughnut with the Borough in the hole). The full story is available at

More school wrangling, one more BOE candidate


ne more candidate for the Board of Education and a brand new lawsuit against the Princeton Public Schools are the latest developments in the continuing turmoil surrounding school board issues. The new candidate is Brian J. McDonald, vice president for development at Princeton University from 2002 to 2010, and now an artist and consultant to nonprofits. Until last year he was a member of the town’s Citizens’ Finance Advisory Committee. His youngest child is a sophomore at Princeton High School and two older children have also gone through the Princeton school system. McDonald joins challengers Mary Clurman and Daniel Dart, along with incumbents Betsy Baglio and Dafna Kendal, in seeking three open board seats. Board President Patrick Sullivan did not file for re-election and will step down at the end of the year. In a statement announcing his candidacy, McDonald said “our schools are now at a critical point in their history as they need to make important decisions about aging facilities; issues pertaining to the health, safety, security and fair treatment of our students; increasing enrollment that is already resulting in overcrowding; and an operating budget that is under considerable stress.” He added that “our schools continue to struggle with persistent problems of racism and economic inequities that our society struggles with, and not all of our children are being educated as well as they should be. Similarly, for too long the mental and physical health and wellness of our high school students have not been sufficiently addressed. I am encouraged by the steps the district is beginning to take to address these and other longstanding issues. It is imperative that these initiatives continue despite the financial challenges we have to overcome.” Regarding the referendum that will be

on the November ballot, “it provides an opportunity for the district to address urgent and emerging needs and I hope that it passes,” McDonald said. To address the concerns for more transparency and community involvement in decision-making McDonald said that he would propose two citizens’ committees to advise the board: “one modeled after the town’s Citizens’ Finance Advisory Committee, on which I served for seven years, and another to support the district’s efforts to construct, renovate, and maintain the schools and other district facilities.”

Schwartz-O’Hara lawsuit


oel Schwartz, who has been critical of the School Board’s decision to renew the agreement that sends Cranbury students to Princeton High School and of the board’s analysis that underlies the referendum in November, and his wife, Corrine O’Hara, have filed a lawsuit against the district. The suit alleges that the board’s use of an electronic voting system violates the state’s Open Public Meetings Act, commonly known as the Sunshine Law. Schwartz and O’Hara contend that the computer voting system does not allow the public to witness which school board members vote yes or no, or abstain. The lawsuit asks the court to invalidate the June 12 vote on the new 10-year sending and receiving agreement with Cranbury and invalidate any previous votes by the board that used the electronic voting methodology. A hearing was scheduled with Judge Mary Jacobson for Thursday, September 27, in Mercer County Court. Since the new system was adopted in 2017, there is no verbal roll call vote at school board meetings. According to a report in Planet Princeton, “the voting results are not read out loud at the Princeton School Board meetings. Votes are displayed on a screen at the front of the room, but people who are not sitting close enough can’t read the screen. Sometimes the vote only briefly flashes on the screen.”

Letter: Pro-referendum


support the Princeton Public Schools Facilities Referendum and urge everyone to vote yes on both questions presented. This vote is about programs and maintaining educational standards crucial to the value of our homes and our community. In November we must vote to address the need for more classrooms and athletic facilities for the students that we have, as well as the ones we know will be moving into our system. Included in the referendum are necessary improvements for security and crucial and overdue HVAC upgrades of our outdated and inefficient systems. Class size is one of the most important factors in the quality of education and we are already at or over-capacity in all of our schools. This is not a question — we are there. In the next five years school enrollment is expected to grow another 10 percent and this trend is likely to continue. Demographers can be off, but we need the capacity now and it would be foolish to not prepare for the increases that are inevitable. Our educational space does not fit the curriculum or our needs today, The collaborative and interdisciplinary programs in Princeton Public Schools are often hindered by outdated and overcrowded spaces. We have to address our diverse student body and ensure that their needs are addressed from sufficient STEM resources to appropriate space for counselors, food service and special education. Students cannot effectively learn in stifling heat. Our classes have been disrupted when rooms are either too hot or in the case of heating malfunctions, too cold. These upgrades are necessary and will be energy and cost efficient. I was lucky to educate my kids in the Princeton Public Schools. I am now an empty nester and a taxpayer who wants to make sure that our schools remain strong for all our kids. Molly Chrein Ridgeview Road Chrein served on the school board from 2011 to 2017.

September 2018 | Princeton Echo3

REAL ESTATE Zoning Board updates

T PRINCETON Janet Stefandl $750,000 MLS# 7188530

PRINCETON Jane Henderson Kenyon $2,200,000 MLS# 6935609

PRINCETON Great Road $1,295,000 MLS# 7156732

PRINCETON Laurel Cecila $2,245,000 MLS# 7147576

he Zoning Board reviewed the following applications at its August 22 meeting. 374 Cherry Hill Road, Michael and Elme Schmid, applicants and owners. C1 bulk variances to permit an addition. 76 Linden Lane, Jeannie and William Mark, applicants and owners. D4, C1, and C2 variances for floor area ratio, side yard setback, and impervious coverage to allow an addition. 246 Valley Road, Feng Qiao Lu, applicant and owner. C1 variance for side yard setback to allow an addition. The Zoning Board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26.

Recent transactions

T PRINCETON Norman T Callaway, Jr $1,425,000 MLS# 7102974

PRINCETON Library Place $2,650,000 MLS# 7156663

PRINCETON Michael Monarca $1,825,000 MLS# 6937441

PRINCETON Maura Mills $2,975,000 MLS# 7153830

PRINCETON Barbara Blackwell $1,968,000 MLS# 6935103

Realtor® Owned PRINCETON Martha Giancola $3,999,000 MLS# 7161056 LAMBERTVILLE 609.397.1974

MONTGOMERY 908.874.0000

PENNINGTON 609.737.7765

PRINCETON 609.921.1050

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Subject To Errors, Omissions, Prior Sale Or Withdrawal Without Notice.

4 Princeton Echo | September 2018

he following listings of residential home sales, which closed between June 1 and 30, are based on public records and tax files. The number in parentheses after the closing price indicates the amount it was above or below the original listing price. 30 Paul Robeson Place. Seller: Palmer Residences 1 LLC. Buyer: Robert Bruno Alexander Naumann Trust. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 half baths. Condo. $1,800,000 (-$75,000). 265 Ewing Street. Seller: Princeton Capital Group. Buyer: Xianhua Wang and Jia Zheng. Two-story Colonial. 5 bedrooms, 5 baths. $1,450,000 (-$49,000). 404 Snowden Lane. Seller: Susan Capon. Buyer: Robert and Paula Oehlberg. Two-story Colonial in Littlebrook. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths. $999,999 (-$195,001). 37 Wiggins Street, Unit 2. Seller: Estate of Beverly Jeffers. Buyer: Nataraj and Mallika Vulchi. Two-story condo. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. $482,500 (-$92,500). 396 Mount Lucas Road. Seller: Prince­ ton Land Development. Buyer: Princeton Capital Group LLC. Colonial. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. $550,000 (-$100,000). 224 Stuart Road East. Seller: Benjamin and Cindy Lee. Two-story Colonial. 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. $970,000 (-$129,500). 67 Randall Road. Seller: Christina and Kosuke Imai. Buyer: Ravishankar and Shraddha Suresh. Split-level in Littlebrook. 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. $1,200,000 ($100,000). 9 Andrews Lane. Seller: Stuart and Karen Krieger. Buyer: Timothy and Larisa Labas. Two-story Colonial/Contemporary in Andrews Foulet. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. $935,000 (-$165,000). 29 Snowden Lane. Seller: Martha Sandweiss. Buyer: Fox and Foxx Dev LLC. Two-story Colonial in Littlebrook. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. $1,115,000 (-$10,000).

186 Birch Avenue, constructed in 2008, sold in June for $892,650. 28 Hillside Road. Seller: 28 Hillside. Buyer: Eduardo Giraldo. Threestory Colonial. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. $1,165,000 (-$24,000). 84 Jefferson Road. Seller: Philippe Guarilloff and Anja Werth. Buyer: Grigore Pop-Eleches Keena Lipsitz. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Two-story Colonial in Jefferson Park. $615,000 (-$34,900). 108 Dempsey Avenue. Seller: Estate of Isabelle Clark-Deces. Buyer: Chandra Shekhar and Anuradha Rangarajan. Ranch. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. $781,000 (-$38,000). 15 Pelham Street. Seller: Stephen and Margaret Lin. Buyer: Eiko Tomita. Twostory Colonial in Riverside. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. $925,000 ($50,000). 32 Mason Drive. Seller: Barbara and Bradley Lawrence. Buyer: Salman Rocha and Alexandre Pinto Trust. 1.5story Contemporary/Ranch in Riverside. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. $1,420,000 ($1,000). 122 Crestview Drive. Seller: Daniel and Kathleen Mena. Buyer: Juan Rafael and Kathryn Pottinger. Two-story Colonial. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths. $1,300,000 ($30,110). 27 Southern Way. Seller: Thomas and Constance Leyden. Buyer: Barbara Vietor. Two-story Colonial in Riverside. 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. $1,199,000. 602 Kingston Road. Seller: Francois and Isabelle Wilhelm. Buyer: Caius Howcraft and Hai Zheng. Three-story Tudor in Littlebrook. 7 bedrooms, 5 baths. $1,225,000 (-$225,000). 186 Birch Avenue. Seller: Maria Wright. Buyer: Margaret and Robert Miller. Two-story Contemporary. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. $892,650 ($12,650). 24 Deer Path. Seller: Hilary Herbold and Terence Smith. Buyer: Aylin Tagcu. Ranch in Littlebrook. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. $830,000 ($31,000). 141 Harris Road. Seller: Paul and Yoshie Driscoll. Buyer: Lafleur Stephens, Artilda Collins, and Kwame Dougan. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. 1.5-story Cape Cod. $670,000 ($25,000).

What’s in Princeton Future’s future?

by Michele Alperin


f you have followed Princeton municipal affairs in recent decades, especially the controversial matters such as the expansion of the Arts Council, the creation of a public square and parking garage at the library, the relocation of the Dinky station, and the apartment complex that rose on the site of the old hospital, you have heard of Princeton Future. Not an arm of government, and not a business organization, either, Princeton Future is a nonprofit with a mission to bring together knowledgeable people with innovative ideas, hold panels for the community to learn about and respond to plans created by architects, planners, affordable housing experts, and financial people, and to methodically record the public’s responses. Its Saturday morning planning sessions at the public library are well attended and comprehensive in their approach, breaking problems down by neighborhoods or by other relevant components. Late last year, when the town introduced a report proposing major changes to the way parking is managed, Prince­ton Future invited a handful of experts to analyze the proposals and lead a public discussion of their possible consequences. On Saturday, October 6, Princeton Future will host another public forum, this time on affordable housing (see box, page 7). In lots of communities, development issues such as those addressed by Prince­ ton Future receive plenty of attention, usually at planning board meetings where the talk is dominated by developers and their lawyers on the one hand, and Not In My Backyard opponents on the other. When the discussions do occur the planning process is usually so far down the road that the choices facing the town are either accept it or reject it. With Princeton Future, says co-founder and administrator Sheldon Sturges, “we are trying to get a consensus from the community — can we all agree on this?” And, he continues, “because we have people who actually know things to lead the conversation, you get to a better place.” The Princeton Future board, he says, “is hopefully a pretty good representative of the whole community.” In addition to Sturges the board includes Kevin Wilkes, an architect and builder, president; Jeff Gradone, a lawyer concentrating in property taxation and redevelopment, treasurer; Katherine Kish, executive director of Einstein’s Alley, secretary; Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, professor of sociology at Princeton; Peter Kann, former publisher of the Wall Street Journal; Alvin J. McGowen, affordable housing advocate and former assistant county prosecutor; Marvin Reed, former mayor of Princeton Borough; and Rick Weiss, founder of Viocare Inc., a healthcare company. Princeton Future’s website describes its mission: “As the Princeton region grows, a complex intertwining set of issues related to planning, development, and affordability needs to be faced, analyzed, and, in

Public space advocate: Sheldon Sturges, co-founder of Princeton Future, overlooks the farmers’ market on Hinds Plaza, one of his organization’s signature success stories. Photo by Suzette Lucas so far as is possible, resolved collectively. We hope to move forward together with a view towards integrated solutions. We hope to avoid the piecemeal, project-byproject approach that has led to community frustrations, inequities, and general dissatisfaction that opportunities were squandered.” The founders in year 2000 were Robert Goheen, Bob Geddes, and Sturges. Goheen, who died in 2008, was a Princeton University alumnus, former university president, and a resident of Princeton for most of his life. Geddes, now retired, was dean of the university’s school of architecture from 1965 to 1983, and maintained an architectural practice in town for many years. Sturges had no similar Princeton ties — but after getting a job here, he realized it was “a wonderful place to raise children.” Then he bought a house and stayed put, even after he became a commuter to Manhattan. The idea of civic responsibility was not strange to Sturges, even at a young age. “My mother always looked at me and said, ‘You have a great deal to give to the world,’ and I believed her,” he says. On the other hand, he has learned from experience “it is not always a good thing — sometimes you run into brick walls.” The son of a teacher at the Milton Academy in Massachusetts, which Sturges attended through 12th grade, Sturges was admitted to Harvard as a scholarship student. Having “descended from school teachers, everybody was broke,” and Sturges worked his way through school. “I think that’s a good thing,” he says. “It makes you ambitious in a way some of the guys who inherited a lot of money weren’t. Somehow cleaning out toilets at

the end of the year inspires you to go out in the world and do something.” At Harvard between 1960 and 1964, Sturges experienced both John F. Kennedy’s election and his visit to campus a week later. Seeing him “all tanned and very handsome looking,” Sturges says, “I think the general thought was ‘Okay, he did it, so can we.’” A history major, he taught French for a year at the Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut. Then he earned a master of arts in French at the University of Paris. In the footsteps of his brother and father, both French teachers, and also to stay out of the Vietnam War, he took a job teaching at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. But in the middle of his second year at St. Paul’s, during the Tet Offensive, he was drafted into the National Guard. When his service was up Sturges sought career advice from Francis Keppel, chairman of General Learning Corporation, a joint venture of General Electric and Time Inc. The advice, Sturges says, was “that the technological resources of America ought to come together with the publishing resources of the country. It seemed like a good idea for me — I can stay doing educational work but maybe learn about business.” Sturges was hired by Frank Caplan, founder of Creative Playthings, whose new company was Edcom Systems in Princeton. Caplan started Sturges on a series of business ventures involving monthly learning opportunities for children when, just back from the Nuremberg Toy Fair, he told Sturges, “We have two containers of science kits coming in four

‘We hope to move forward together with integrated solutions and to avoid the piecemeal, project-by-project approach that has led to community frustration and squandered opportunities.’

months from Japan — you figure out what to do with them.” So Sturges, with sponsorship from the Franklin Institute and rental of the Scholastic magazine mailing list, created a monthly book club of science experiments that eventually had a million dollars in sales. This venture whetted his interest in business. In 1972 Sturges applied to work at Scholastic, which he knew was run by “two of the smartest guys in the publishing business.” He was soon commuting to New York, marketing paperbacks to students via their teachers. He then figured out a successful response to low sales of books to early teens. His idea was to make kids’ magazines “less boring,” and he created “Dynamite,” a magazine for 7 to 10-year-olds that included baseball cards and a fold-out poster. At the Magazine Publishers Association convention in Bermuda in about 1980, Sturges met 26-year-old Steve Jobs, who told him, “I’m always asked if the computer is going to replace the human mind? The answer is no, it’s going to be the bicycle for the human mind.” That intrigued Sturges, so he took Jobs’ card, and they ended up doing business together. In the new realm of computer education, Scholastic published Bank Street Writer, “the first word processor for American schools” and “a huge force in selling the Apple II,” as well as “Microzine,” the first magazine on a floppy disk. In 1985 Sturges secured funding from six groups to open Sturges Publishing Company, and Jobs gave him the warranty list of everybody who owned an Apple computer. “My company was formed on the idea that intellectual property was going to grow up randomly around the world the way books do,” Sturges says. Sturges focused on creating a software club for kids, with monthly magazines for three age groups that came on a disk along with two software programs for the price of one. He first sold the magazines via direct mail using the warranty list he had acquired from Steve Jobs. Later, he linked up with Computer Depot and trained its salespeople to enroll customers who bought Apple computers in the software club. Not too long after Computer Depot declared bankruptcy, Sturges was only able to keep up the magazines for a year using Apple’s warranty list. He followed up with a couple of small magazines connected to the Macintosh computer, but in about 1989 he had to lay off all his employees. While continuing to operate as an entrepreneur, Sturges got caught up in community service in the mid-1990s, when he watched a discussion between Connie Mercer of HomeFront and the head of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen on “The Poor in Our Neighborhood.” It emphasized, Sturges said, that “you have to help your neighborhood.” He ended up as president of Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) for three years. Princeton Future started September 29, 2000, as an offshoot of Sturges’ attempt See PRINCETON FUTURE, Page 6

September 2018 | Princeton Echo5

PRINCETON FUTURE, from page 5 to make sure that the garage next door to the library would be well constructed. The borough and the township had come to an agreement in 1999, after 12 years of trying, to keep the library downtown, as opposed to possibly moving it to the Princeton Shopping Center, as long as the community built a garage and people from the township could park for free to go to the library. “I looked at the government — the elected officials and the staff — and thought, ‘Nobody here knows anything about building a garage,” Sturges says. Without that talent, he feared “that it was going to end up being a big mess.” Having spoken to Bob Geddes, former dean of architecture, Sturges says he knew that “we were both on the side of the poor and the people.” Second, “I knew he knew how to plan and how to build.” Third, he knew that Geddes, having set up “storefront architecture planning spaces where the people could help plan,” believed in communal input to the planning process. In sum, Sturges says, “He’s still a real democrat and a fighter for social justice.” Sturges called Geddes at 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning, and at noon had lunch at the old Annex restaurant. Assessing the situation, Geddes said, “Okay, we need a banker,” and he asked Sturges whether he knew someone from the university who might help. Sturges thought of Bob Goheen. Sturges, Geddes, and Goheen had lunch the next week and “agreed to form a noname organization that would attempt to

gather talent in the town to address the issues facing downtown.” Goheen too had a strong interest in social justice. As Prince­ ton president, he had hired Carl A. Fields, the first black administrator at an Ivy League college. When Princeton Future was founded, Sturges appointed as honorary legal chair Nicholas Katzenbach, U.S. attorney general who had confronted Alabama governor George Wallace to enable desegregation of the University of Alabama. “Nick was my true north on matters of race in the town,” Sturges says. Goheen, Geddes, and Sturges were a complementary threesome: Geddes is a genius architect and planner, but more important, is a fabulous teacher (Sturges jokes that he was Geddes’s “longest reigning graduate student” because they spoke five to six times a day for six years); and Bob Goheen was “a battler.” “What I like about Princeton Future is that it has always been led by a small collective rather than by one person,” Sturges says. “The three of us would hash things out and then expand the decisions to a larger group.” The three men created a booklet, “The Founding of Princeton Future,” for the initial meeting, attended by 200 people. Especially important to Sturges was in-

cluding a conversation he had had with Albert Hinds, whose grandfather had been a slave on a North Carolina plantation, moved north to work on the Brooklyn Bridge, and later worked as an assistant to Princeton president James McCosh, planting the first magnolia tree in Princeton in front of the library. Sturges particularly highlights what Hinds had to say about being an African American in Princeton: “There is a general feeling that the intention has always been to move us out so that the town can be lily white. Conditions now aren’t a whole lot better than they used to be.” Princeton Future captured its basic principles in its first yearly report: stopping Princeton’s piecemeal approach to planning; having the social vision and the physical vision inform each other; being aware of useful talent among town residents; maintaining the desire to get built what Princeton Future plans; being able to collectively finance what makes sense; and the need to work hard to “maintain the racial, ethnic, and economic diversity of our town.” That first year the group launched a planning effort. It hired a planner to do valuations of parking places, residences, and retail stores in three zones down-

The poor are not listened to, Sturges says. ‘I have been methodical about typing up what people said because they deserve to be heard.’

town. It documented findings on each area of the town, did planning studies, and then mailed postcards to every resident, inviting them to a June, 2002, workshop to think about the area around the library and the proposed garage. The debate about building the garage wasn’t easy — some people liked the existing surface parking lots and wanted to keep the town the way it was. “The extremes get up and talk all the time; but you do get to the middle,” Sturges says.


o get real input from the community for their plan, they organized 33 inhome meetings. They asked people what things they liked most about Princeton and what things they would like to see in Princeton, listing them on a board. Participants used different color dots to prioritize the items. “Out of that came a sheet of characteristics,” Sturges says, for example a grocery store downtown that carries lettuce. Funding for the plan proposed by Princeton Future included $60,000 from the university at its founding, $10,000 from Dean Mathey’s Bunbury Company, and another $30,000 from many individuals. The plan included its recommendations for Hinds Plaza, the garage, and two multistory buildings. As part of the planning process, Prince­ ton Future produced a 184-page book titled “Listening to Each Other: The Downtown Core, The Downtown Neighborhoods; December 2001 to June 2002.” Now part of the Princeton Collection at Princeton Public Library, it illustrates Princeton Future’s commitment

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6 Princeton Echo | September 2018

to community input. The book, based on conversations with residents who lived in the different zones, contains “verbatim of what each resident who showed up said,” Sturges says. Sturges committed himself to these full reports of what every participant said because of his consciousness of “the rich-poor divide in America” and its consequences. “One of the things that happens when you have a public meeting is the poorer members of our town are not as skilled in public speaking and expression as the mayor and other people more practiced and having loud voices. When there are stammers, or a different accent or cadences, you’re not apt to listen as carefully,” he says. Most of these conversations were videotaped, and Sturges transcribed them word for word. “The poor are not listened to in America,” he says. “They don’t vote enough and nobody listens to them. I have been methodical about typing up what people said because they deserve to be heard.” “Hopefully once you’ve created the documents, the head of the planning board and the guys in government read it,” Sturges says, adding that Wanda Gunning, chair of the planning board since Princeton Future’s founding, “has been to every Princeton Future meeting and sees us as an organization of value. She likes to listen to what people are saying.” However, Sturges points to what he views as a flaw in the town planning process: that the planning board only hears final plans. “It means an applicant may have spent millions preparing, but there

But is it affordable?


t’s easy to envision the kind of sustainable town championed by Prince­ton Future — a walkable downtown, streets with ground level retail and housing above, dynamic public spaces, a healthy mix of restaurants and entertainment venues, and all linked via pedestrian paths and bikeways to the surrounding community. It’s also easy to envision such a community being prohibitively expensive, with housing beyond the means of school teachers, police officers, or others who provide the daily services to make the town as appealing as it is. Princeton Future addresses the affordable housing issue on Saturday, October 6, from 9 to noon at the Princeton Public Library. Tom Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association, will address the gathering. Discussion groups will then meet to consider plans for possible affordable housing at six downtown sites: The Chambers Street garage. Mid-block of Nassau Street. The Park Place parking lot. The Griggs Corner parking lot.

has been no official conversation until they come to the zoning board for variances or to the planning board for final approval,” he says. “By that time the people have been left out.” Since its founding Princeton Future has

cil proposed a new, expanded building diagonally across Witherspoon Street from the library. The original brick building had belonged to the black Y, built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Sturges says. When the Y “went out of business, the borough had title to it, and the mayor sold it to her best friend for a dollar to found the Arts Council of Princeton.” When the Arts Council proposed a big expansion, the neighborhood was not happy, and Princeton Future held 22 meetings to air differences. “We had constructive conversations chaired by Nick Katzenbach,” Sturges says of the Princeton Future board subcommittee that included three people from the neighborhood, three from the Arts Council, and Katzenbach, Yina Moore, and Princeton artist Susan Hockaday from Princeton Future. Palmer Square North. Princeton Future also played an active role when Palmer Square North (Princeton Future’s “Robeson Place South,” with boundaries Paul Robeson Place, Hulfish, Witherspoon, and Chambers) was being developed, creating an alternative plan that brought back previous street patterns. “The simple idea we had was to have a skyscraper, seven stories, for people that could afford it and have an enormous tried to bridge that divide and has played number of affordable houses,” he says. a part during many transformative proj- This plan came out of series of workshops ects, in addition to the Hinds Plaza cre- led by planner Bob Brown, an affordable planning expert, and an economist to figation. ure out the economic benefit of the plan. Arts Council expansion. In 2004 See PRINCETON FUTURE, Page 8 controversy arose when the Arts Coun-

The underdeveloped area of small parking lots, garages, and storage buildings behind Starbucks and the U-Store (known as “E = mc Square(d).” The area around the Bank of America building and the Harrison Street firehouse Among the ideas being considered are replacing some older, one-story buildings with taller buildings that include “non-market units” set aside for people like teachers or police who work in Princeton and whose rent would be set at 30 percent of their total income. To entice developers the parking requirement would be reduced in proportion to the number of non-market units. Given a future with ride-shares, shuttles scheduled by smartphone, electric scooters, and improved mass transit, Sheldon Sturges says, “things are going to change” with respect to parking. He adds that before 2000, about 80 percent of new units in this country were built in the suburbs. Since 2000 about 80 percent have been built in town centers. For more information, visit www.




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gets built, because they can fund facade improvements, buy land, and build and lease buildings, with the goal of making the downtown economy more sound and making the town more vibrant.” It could, for example, also subsidize rents for retailers who sell the items people need in their daily lives, like needle and thread. A special improvement district is necessary, Sturges says, because “it is hard for the government to make plans outside of a lot-by-lot development scenario.” Princeton Future just got a first-time grant from NRG and continues to get grants from the E.T. Cone Foundation as well as many individuals. Sturges says he is paid “a very nominal amount to keep the lights on as the administrator of the organization.”

PRINCETON FUTURE, from page 7 But Palmer Square was private rather than public, and in the end the owners had other plans for the property. Witherspoon Street. In 2004 and 2005 Princeton Future did the Witherspoon Street Corridor Study, based on conversations about what should become of the hospital site. “What the people wanted was a village-like kind of thing,” Sturges says. But when the hospital decided to move, it needed money and ended up selling to Avalon Bay, which could pay cash. Princeton Future worked with the developer, but “it turned out they didn’t listen. All they cared about was a courtyard with a swimming pool that could only be accessed by the people who lived there. The only green space was at the entrance to the leasing office.” “The neighbors went berserk, but it was their private property and they could do pretty much what they want,” Sturges says. At the Avalon Bay neighborhood meeting, the corporation refused to allow table discussions, but demanded that all discussions include all participants, Sturges says, and exhibited an attitude of “No, we’re in charge; we’re paying for this meeting; we want to hear it all.” Consolidation. Princeton Future held two important public meetings to provide input on the 2012 consolidation vote. In March, 2011, each member of the consolidation commission led a conversation on one of the following topics: governance and administration; shared police department; shared public works; and finances

S Sturges and his wife, Tatiana, sample the produce at the farmers’ market at Hinds Plaza, which Princeton Future helped create. Photo by Suzette Lucas and taxes. The second meeting, in October, shared recommendations by Princeton Future on consolidation, with each presentation followed by a Q&A. Ongoing projects. Princeton Future is still alive and kicking and has drawn in some younger people, including treasurer Jeff Gradone, a Princeton attorney

at Archer focusing on local property tax, redevelopment, and condemnation. And other efforts are underway to improve Princeton. One reaches back to Princeton Future’s founding: it is to form a partnership of all nonprofits, corporations, and public bodies to form a special improvement district. Sturges explains, “It is a way to make town-wide planning that

turges and his first wife, Caren Sturges, a former president of Princeton Symphony Orchestra, have three children: Rebekah Harris Sturges, a landscape architect, Zachary Sturges-Moine, a consumer fraud lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Louise Ingalls Sturges, a painter and artist. He met his second wife, Tatiana Popova, in the children’s department of Princeton Public Library, where she was translating for the illustrator Gennady Spirin. “We’re hoping to lead community discussions in October that would get people excited about more density in downtown,” he says, although he admits that “density” has been “a dirty word in this town.” At the same time, many people in Princeton understand that density downtown is more sustainable. Sturges is hoping to

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make density more palatable by arguing from a social justice perspective. People like fire volunteers, he says, can no longer afford to live in the town, “and the same with teachers.” But, he adds, teachers who live in the town are more likely to know students and families over a longer term: “You can’t make people live here, but you ought to give them a decent choice.” More recently Princeton Future has joined the cadre of townspeople who have transformed Dohm Alley, the 10foot wide alley on Nassau Street between Starbucks and Landau’s, into an outdoor art gallery and performance space. Dohm Alley had been identified as a site of a possible mini-park in Princeton Future’s early assessments of downtown spaces and how they could be used. A volunteer group led by Kevin Wilkes, the architect and Princeton Future board member, and Peter Soderman, a landscape designer, began work on the alley about two years ago. Now the group has become part of Princeton Future, which is administering fundraising efforts. Still on the wish list: a multitouch, 65-inch weatherproof monitor that will grant access to a range of information about Princeton. One button will feature documentaries about such Princeton luminaries as Albert Einstein

and Lyman Spitzer, who conceived the Hubble Spacecraft; another button will tell you what is going on in Princeton for the next two hours — talks or activities at Princeton Theological Seminary, Institute for Advanced Study, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton Public Library, the YMCA or YWCA, and other local venues. Sturges is also considering an idea he calls “a Cotswold walk or ramble.” He envisions a walking route that winds behind buildings on Nassau Street, where he envisions cafes, bookstores, and popup shops, then down through the Delaware & Raritan Canal, the Institute for Advanced Study, and Princeton Theological Seminary, by Einstein’s house, and back into downtown. “The job is to create vibrancy in the downtown. We have to make it so it becomes economically feasible and the shops work,” he says. Looking back on Princeton Future’s most successful venture, the Hinds Plaza, garage, and related buildings, his group and Mayor Marvin Reed worked together to “create a consensus of probably 60 to 70 percent of the people” who “wanted public space, shops, and affordable units.” Describing the process, Sturges says attendees fell into four categories: radically against Princeton Future’s proposal, radi-

A special improvement district is necessary, Sturges says, because ‘it is very hard for the government to make plans outside of a lotby-lot scenario.’

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cally in favor, moderately pro, and moderately con. “What we discovered is that if you have enough meetings, people in those left of center and right of center areas get sick of hearing the strident people on the extreme and sort of veer toward the center.” Sturges’ concern for the future involves not just the town, but a more global business idea that brings together his longtime interest in meshing education and technology. Sturges Publishing Company has a patent to build a conversational robot. Data structures in a cell phone will be able to analyze the learning style of the “student,” and a conversation would ensue. “A young boy walking barefoot in Somalia could have a conversation with Desmond Tutu,” he says, or an adult might talk to Aristotle or Napoleon. But so far he hasn’t been able to procure the money he needs to develop a prototype. “The idea of capturing the pattern of input of a growing mind and adjusting the presentation of content accordingly is the core idea,” he says. His friend Roy Rosser, patent agent and entrepreneur, said to him, “Sheldon, what you’re really talking about is conversation. It’s what a good teacher does. A good teacher looks you in the eye and figures out where you are and then puts forward his information at a level you can get.” Maybe that is a little like what Prince­ ton Future does. It tries to involve everyone in the conversation about planning in this town, listen well, and determine the major needs and fault lines in the community and options for solving or resolv-

ing them. As it seeks to reach a consensus on good planning solutions, Princeton Future packages its findings in ways that enable citizens and local government to make the best decisions for Princeton’s future. “The idea would be,” Sturges says, “let’s try to figure out, everybody in town, what kind of town we want, and then go forward and make that happen. I’m a believer that we will all agree on what that is. I believe the town wants to be sustainable, I believe the town wants to be inclusionary, and I believe everybody likes the university and the university respects the town. Our job is to figure out by what mechanism can we work together.” Princeton Future, Box 1172, Princeton 08542.

Spirit of Princeton calls for volunteers


he Spirit of Princeton invites community members to help produce three popular events: the Memorial Day parade, the Flag Day commemoration, and the Veterans’ Day ceremony. A charitable non-profit group of local residents, the Spirit of Princeton became operational 21 years ago and is led by Mark Freda and Kam Amizarfari. The late Ray Wadsworth, who founded the organization with Herb Hobler, led the organization until his death, a few days after the 2018 Memorial Day Parade. To contribute to the Spirit of Princeton with either sweat equity or financial support e-mail

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Miya brings a touch of Japanese culture home to Palmer Square By Michele Alperin


ntil recently only wholesalers were aware of the Miya line of elegant, Japanese themed tableware. Since the 1930s the New York and Somerville, New Jersey-based firm has provided merchandise to small specialty boutiques and museum stores. But a few years ago Miya’s president, Bob Matsukawa, and his wife, Heidi Moon, moved to Princeton with their three daughters. They decided the time was ripe to go retail. “This has always been a dream of mine, to have a little retail shop,” Moon says. A retail store made sense as an adjunct to their wholesale business. First of all, Moon says, it gives them insight into the world of their many retail customers. Their customers, she says, “carry a few things here and a few there,” and “we wondered why some customers did better than others with our product.” Although they attributed the varying reactions to their products to both merchandising and location, having a retail store gives them “a lot more direct contact with consumers,” Moon says. Their new store at 41 Palmer Square West, Miya Table & Home, “is definitely educational. We are learning a lot about the retail business and about customers’ wants and needs.” With these pluses in mind and the emp-

Bob Matsukawa and Heidi Moon in Miya Table & Home on Palmer Square. Between them is their maneki-neko, a Japanese fortune cat. ty storefronts they saw in Princeton, they thought it would be “nice to have a flagship store for our company,” Moon says. “In an effort to grow our brand so people know who we are and to merchandise our products the way we want, we thought it was a great opportunity and tried a popup

shop in November,” Moon explains. “We thought Princeton was perfect — we have a lot of families, we have students, but also a large international community, and whether they are Japanese or not, there is an appreciation of different cultures, design, thoughts, and ideas.”

She figured Princeton people are open to products that are different and unique. “If there is anywhere it might work, it is here,” Moon says. The popup shop did very well, and they opened Miya at the same location on Palmer Square on April 7, with a five-year lease. So far their experience has been very positive. A “nice mix” of tourists, students, local families, and people from nearby towns wander in for a variety of reasons, Moon says. Many customers already have some relationship with Japan, through visits or friendships. But, she adds, “A lot of times it’s just the food — a lot of people tell me they want to visit Japan one day because they love the food.” Or sometimes they see the patterns in the window and just like the styles. Miya began its life in New York City during the 1930s when Matsukawa’s greatuncle, Okinawan immigrant Chosuke Miyahira, opened a small flower shop on 28th Street in Manhattan. Because of that store his great-uncle was able to sponsor family members to work in the business during World War II; unlike what was happening on the West Coast, Moon says, “on the East Coast they weren’t taking businesses away from the Japanese.” In the 1960s Matsukawa’s father moved to California, where he supported himself by doing gardening. Then late in the de-


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cade his uncle invited him to New York for a visit, and then asked him to join Miya — his own children were not interested in joining the business. Miya’s inventory has changed “little by little, with each generation,” Moon says, as Americans’ interest in Asian-designed products has evolved. Early on Miya imported Japanese-style robes, stone and paper lanterns, wind chimes, lacquerware (made from wood with a black, glossy finish), ceramics, and even whole Japanese teahouses that people put in their backyards. Miya also carried more ornate items — large platters with decorative designs. “Ornate was unique in the 1970s and early 1980s,” Moon says. During that period Miya “became one of the only companies importing housewares from Japan,” Moon says. “Whatever they brought in would sell quite well — it was unique and, at that time, inexpensive.” Around 1977 Matsukawa’s father took over from his uncle, and in 1986 moved the business from New York City to Somerville, New Jersey, because, Moon says, “it was getting too expensive for a warehouse there.”


atsukawa joined the Miya wholesale business after graduating from New York University in 1992 with a degree in business management and took over as president in 2008. He was followed in 1996 by his sister, June Matsukawa, who now handles the firm’s finances and accounting. Matsukawa’s mother and his paternal uncle and aunt have also been part of the business. For most of its history, Miya has had from 10 to 15 employees. In the 1990s Miya started to change their inventory, “away from super-ornate decorative items to lots of blue and white tableware and small, more practical items,” he says. Moon says, “The ornate and traditional designs were less appealing to me. Just growing up in New York City and New Jersey, it seemed a little bit old fashioned, something from the older generation. The simpler stuff appealed to me more and the trend was moving that way in the U.S., a simpler, sleeker, modern aesthetic.” “By moving more toward items that could be used every day — and not just for Japanese cuisine but for any type of food — we were able to appeal to a much larger audience,” Matsukawa says. “We’re trying to open Japanese design to have a little more universal appeal,” Moon adds. Aiding and abetting their decision to move in a more modern, pragmatic direction was the American exploration of Japanese food, particularly sushi. “The biggest boon for us was Japanese food,” Matsukawa says. “When the food culture

and Japanese food took off in the U.S., that’s when we experienced a really significant increase in demand for our dishes and Japanese tableware.” “The idea of using the dishes as an everyday part of your lifestyle and the way that you eat is what we are trying to promote,” he continues. “In the past, when the company started, it was about promoting Japanese culture, and it was seen as an exotic type of aesthetic. Now we are trying to make it more approachable and accessible to people.” Food trends today continue to favor Miya, in particular the heightened interest in ramen, as well as matcha, used in the Japanese tea ceremony, and other green teas. “Millennials are learning about matcha and its health benefits, and it’s becoming pretty popular to have every day instead of coffee,” Moon says. Another potential boon for their wholesale business involves restaurant tableware. “I think a lot of the restaurants have moved to using plain white porcelain, in particular Asian and fusion restaurants,” Matsukawa says. “We feel like people are starting to be a bit bored of that and restaurants are looking for ways to stand apart. They are adding an additional element to food preparation and food presentation by using the design of the dish to enhance the overall experience.” This is in line with Japanese customs around carefully serving food. “A lot of the food culture there is based on the presentation and aesthetic of the food when it is served,” Matsukawa says. “Serving it on plain white dishes doesn’t really cut it.” Miya’s inventory reflects different aspects of Japanese pottery design — all of which are easily identifiable as Japanese. As Moon explains, these include “a very Zen, minimalist design aesthetic,” “a handthrown pottery look, with glazes”; and also the kawaii, which means “cute,” and is influenced by anime. The store inventory focuses largely on the first and third categories. When they started the store, Moon says, “We picked out the most popular lines, which are the blue and white,” she says. This perky, blue-and-white tableware is reasonably priced. “A lot of people come in, and they are surprised that the prices are pretty affordable,” Matsukawa says. Prices range from $40 to $75 a place setting, which includes a large and small plate, a bowl, and a mug. Some store items are just fun to look at. These small, whimsical kawaii pieces include a popular rice bowl with little faces, cat-eye plates and mugs from Jewel Japan, and ceramic items highlighted by tiny figures from Decole Japan, for example, a mug, with a tiny cat standing on its handle, leaning on the body of the mug. “These little things make especially

Princeton was a perfect spot for Miya’s flagship store. ‘We have a lot of families, we have students, but also a large international community, and whether they are Japanese or not, there is an appreciation of different cultures, design, thoughts, and ideas.’

we’re not sure how authentic it feels for us to.” “We are trying to figure out ways to balance interest in Japanese culture and figure out how to incorporate it and fit it into the Western lifestyle, which is what we have,” Matsukawa adds. “By doing that, I think we can help introduce Japanese culture and ceramics in a way that doesn’t make it seem too foreign or exotic.” For right now, Moon appreciates the contribution Miya is making to Prince­ ton’s food culture. “People who love to cook like to put their things on pretty dishes. We want people to enjoy the plates and tableware as much as the food. Food is love — why not put it on something you love as well?” n addition to the small stores that are Miya Table & Home, 41 Palmer Square Miya’s primary customers, the company West. 609-212-0282. www.miyacomalso sells it merchandise on the wedding registry website “It provides a unique gift for a lot of people,” Moon says. “I think part of its appeal is that it is made Retail details in Japan.” he retail landscape is changing, and To keep up with evolving tastes and the there is no better illustration than latest products, she and Matsukawa take downtown Princeton, where stores seem separate buying trips to Japan each year; to open, close, and relocate faster than they have similar tastes and always text the time it takes to walk around Palmer and e-mail to get input from the spouse Square. at home. Next to Miya, at 39 Palmer Square Moon moved to the United States from West, is Custom Ink, the latest addition South Korea with her family when she was four. Her mother, born in 1936 in to the square. The Virginia-based retailer North Korea, had escaped to the south offers custom t-shirts for clubs, teams, with her family in the early 1950s, right and special occasions. The new bricksbefore the Korean War. Both of Moon’s and-mortar outpost will have various parents graduated from college in Korea, styles of shirts that can be customized then came to the United States, where her with logos, images, and words. www.cusfather worked first for an import compa- Also new to the square earlier this year ny. After a short stay in California, they moved to Flushing, New York, where they is Plainsboro resident Iryna Kudelya’s lived until her father opened a dry clean- Princeton Floral Design, which offers ing store on Long Island when Moon was flower arrangements and other gift items at 28 Palmer Square East. www.prince­ in high school. At Cornell University Moon majored in Asian and Asian American studies, Rouge, the eclectic women’s clothand right after graduation, in 1993, taught ing store formerly located next to WithEnglish in Japan at a junior high school erspoon Grill, has also moved to Palmer through the Japan Exchange Teaching Square and can now be found at number organization. Then she worked at Estee 45 — the former home of Indigo PrinceLauder and then PBS as a marketing as- ton, which closed its doors in 2016. www. sistant. Matsukawa and Moon met after colChocolate lovers may be distraught to lege through friends. After they married in 2000, she started working with Matsu- see demolition inside the Lindt store at kawa at Miya, which she says was “a natu- 68 Palmer Square West, but they should ral fit — I had studied East Asian stud- fear not: the store is simply undergoing ies, had lived there, and was familiar with a facelift, and in the meantime they can the terms and the designs, and somewhat get their chocolate fix across the street in the store’s temporary spot. www.lindtusa. with the culture.” Matsukawa and Moon have three com Similarly, art lovers who grew accusdaughters, Gwen Matsukawa, 15, who will be a junior at Princeton High School; tomed to Cranbury Station Gallery at Stella, 14, who graduated this spring from 39 Palmer Square West need only walk John Witherspoon Middle School, and around the block to find the new home Lois, 10, who just graduated from Little- of Kathie Morolda’s art and framing shop at 10 Hulfish Street, the corner location brook Elementary School. “Princeton is the perfect combination that housed a Kate Spade store until 2016. of urban and suburban living,” Moon says. “The school district is great of course, but Over on Spring Street, the CoolVines it’s also the people in the community. We wine store is gone, but the space has love that our kids go to school with kids been repurposed by Beth Censits, wife that have different experiences and per- of CoolVines owner Mark Censits, and spectives. It’s a community that embraces is now home to Princeton Consignlearning, traveling, creativity, culture, and ment. The store carries men’s and womworld views.” en’s clothing and accessories and tries to Matsukawa and Moon have been fill the void left by two recently closed thinking about incorporating more as- consignment shops: Jane, at 7 Spring pects of Japanese culture in their business, Street, and Milk Money, on Tulane Street. although, she says, “as Asian Americans 609-924-0039.

a workspace a lot of fun,” Moon says. Some items are not offered wholesale, but only at the store. Examples include rice cookers in four sizes; Hasami porcelain, whose simple, stackable shapes in earth tones can be mixed and matched; and a Donabe, a clay pot for cooking soups, stews, rice dishes, and casseroles that can be used in the oven or in an open flame. “Over time Miya moved more and more specifically into ceramics — something that was very popular and appealed to a much broader audience in the U.S.,” Moon explains. “The other items were heavier and more difficult to market and ship.”



September 2018 | Princeton Echo11


An alumna’s musical homecoming By Richard D. Smith


bright smile suddenly flashes across the face of singer/actress Katie Welsh, who is being interviewed about her upcoming performance at the Arts Council of Princeton. The interview, over coffee in Princeton University’s Frist Campus Center, has been briefly halted by the sound of Broadwaystyle piano music coming from an unseen performer elsewhere in the center. Welsh is delighted. “We have some lovely underscoring going on here!” she exclaims. The music’s serendipity is so appropriate. Welsh, a Princeton native and graduate of the university’s Class of 2015, is discussing her Broadway cabaret series, presented by the Music & Theater Collective at the Arts Council’s Paul Robeson Center. The three-part series kicks off on Saturday, September 8, with “Women in the World of Sondheim.” Welsh is especially pleased because that particular show “is what began this journey for me.” Katie Welsh was born in Princeton. Her mother, Sandy Welsh, earned a masters in media studies from the New School in New York, worked for 20 years at the major Young & Rubicam advertising agency in that city, and most recently has been director of accounts, research, and strategy at Dana Communications, the Hopewellbased ad company. But the senior Welsh’s serious advocation has been music. “My mom studied voice privately for 10 years, and she plays guitar,” Katie relates. “She does a lot of folk but she also loves Broadway musicals. So her career has been in media, but music’s been her love.” During Katie’s first few years, she and her single mom (who had just started working at Dana) lived in Lawrenceville. When she was three, they moved into Princeton, living right on Nassau Street. Welsh shares a fond — and formative

— childhood memory of watching a videotape of a PBS production of “Into the Woods,” Stephen Sondheim’s imaginative musical retelling of classic fairy tales, with her mom. Little Katie was three years old at the time. “I could watch the first act and the first act only,” she recalls. Then her mother would take her into the kitchen for a juice box, deeming the Little Red Riding Hood-and-the-Wolf scene potentially too scary for a very young child. But the allure of musicals had beckoned the youngster early on. She attended Riverside School through the second grade. She started studying dance at the Princeton Ballet School when she was four. (“I ended up being there for 11 years,” she laughs.) Around age seven, she began choir singing and then piano lessons at the Westminster Choir College conservatory. When Katie was eight, they moved back to Lawrence Township. She entered third grade at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, staying in the Lawrence public system through high school graduation. But she also started taking private voice lessons and, during her sophomore year, took a Westminster musical theater workshop during which students did scenes from musicals, receiving training in singing and dancing. Soon the younger Welsh began experiencing milestones — and even “aha!” moments — along the way. She understudied the part of Ensign Nellie Forbush in a Lawrence High production of the classic musical “South Pacific.” Although not the show’s star, she performed the role several times during its run. “There was a moment when there was a feeling of, this is right, what I want to do.” When it came time for college, Katie Welsh ended up at Princeton University. Why there? Why not Juilliard, Columbia, or New York University, or one of a dozen other highly ranked schools that,

Broadway to Princeton: Katie Welsh, Princeton 2015, honed her musical skills at the university’s Lewis Center. Now she’s back in town, opening a series of cabaret shows at the Arts Council on September 8.

unlike Princeton, grant undergraduate degrees in theater? “Why Princeton?” She explains: “From sixth grade on, there was something within me that said, I want to go to Princeton. I grew up literally on Nassau Street. This was a place I knew, the campus, the art museum, all these things.” Upon learning that there are different tracks to a Princeton undergraduate degree in English, she selected theater and performance studies: “Which meant in addition to foundational courses in various types of literature, I could really focus a lot of my work on dramatic literature.” Plus, she earned a certificate — the Princeton equivalent of a minor — in theater. She found herself studying musicals in a scholarly environment and performing selections from them in class. Her spring semester junior year advisor was professor Stacey Wolf, who taught “Isn’t It Romantic?: The Broadway Musical from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Sondheim” and soon became Katie’s mentor. She also studied with award-winning New York theater directors John Rando and John Doyle, both visiting instructors. “The Lewis Center for the Arts — even though the new facility wasn’t built yet —

was really thriving,” she says. “So I was able to take all kinds of classes in theater and in English. That was huge. In addition, I took music theory and a course on the history of gender and sexuality in America.” Wolf, also the author of “The Feminist History of the Broadway Musical,” became advisor to Welsh’s pivotal — perhaps career launching — senior thesis and performance work, “Women in the World of Stephen Sondheim.” Sondheim is, of course, ranked by many critics as the greatest living writer/ composer of musicals and among the best and most influential of all time. His early co-creations as lyricist (notably “West Side Story” and “Gypsy”) and his wholly written and composed works (including “Sweeney Todd,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Company” and “Into the Woods”) are indisputable classics. They enthrall theater-goers, inspire performers, and challenge scholars. Katie Welsh came to appreciate Sondheim as all three. “He’s an amazing writer for the actorsinger,” she says. “He does a lot of the work for you. He crafts the story of the song within the song. You as a singer are informed by it.” “Women in the World of Stephen Sondheim” fulfilled both her theater certificate requirement and was part of her critical-creative thesis for her English degree. “The critical was the 100-page paper I submitted and the creative was this cabaret I’d created.” Welsh won the English department’s Alan S. Downer Senior Thesis Prize and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Another major “Aha!” moment came that summer. Welsh performed during a Princeton alumni night at the Duplex


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Club in New York. “It was only one song,” she says, “but I realized, there are venues to do this in! This is my niche, this is what I can do!” She has subsequently performed at such popular city spots as Feinstein’s 54 Below, the Metropolitan Room, and Don’t Tell Momma, as well the Princeton Club of New York. She has also presented at BroadwayCon, a major annual Broadwayoriented convention at the Javits Center. Through all this, Welsh has been developing what she calls “The Informative Cabaret”: one-person shows that draw material from Broadway hits and the Great American Songbook, but also provide the extra pleasures of insights and intellectual connection — “Aha!” moments for the audience, if you will. For example, one song she will sing in the Sondheim show at the Arts Council is “On the Steps of the Palace” from “Into the Woods.” “You can’t do it out of context,” she says, stressing the need for the informative setups she presents for each song. “It’s about Cinderella leaving the palace and leaving her shoe on the steps.” During the song, we hear Cinderella’s thought process as it evolved to her final decision to leave the shoe behind. It’s the difference, Welsh adds, between a character “working something out [psychologically] in song versus just making an assertion like ‘I’m in love with a wonderful guy.’ Sondheim gets inside the characters and how they would express themselves. That makes his songs so complex psychologically.” During her between-song remarks, Welsh gives context clearly and completely, informing through her scholarship into musicals, yet not lecturing so that listeners’ eyes (and ears) start glazing over. (Her accompanist, New York-based David Pearl, provides a tasteful piano underscoring throughout the introductions.)

my own way. The Sondheim show has a lot of women on the edge of coming into their own, of finding their own way. And as an actor it’s about finding my own way into their stories.” The second of the three cabarets, “New York on Broadway,” is brand new and will have its premiere on Saturday, November 17. Its theme, says Welsh, is “how New York is represented in Broadway musicals: how characters sing about New York upon arrival, how relationships develop in a big city. And how does New York appear as a backdrop and an additional character in these shows?” Examples will be drawn from such hits as “On the Town,” “Sweet Charity,” and “42nd Street.” The final offering, on Saturday, December 8, is “Happy Holidays! From Broadway & Hollywood.” It will be a second encore for this popular holiday show at the Arts Council. Last December Welsh started bringing her shows into the homes of people wanting to host musical soirees. Some had attended one of her public performances and approached her about a private event. Others have visited her website, In the great tradition of aspiring singers, she currently maintains day jobs: not waiting tables, but working part time at Princeton University as a research and editorial assistant for her academic mentor Stacey Wolf and for Dean of the College Jill Dolan. She also keeps up with her performance studies. Judy Bettin, her longtime regular voice teacher, remains a major resource. “I’ve been studying with her now for at least seven years. She’s phenomenal.” And she has gone the standard New York musical theater route of attending crowded, intensely competitive auditions sanctioned by the Actors Equity union, “waiting nine hours to sing eight bars. And sometimes that’s worthwhile.” But right now, she says, performing her one-woman informative cabaret shows “is my passion. This is what gets me up in the morning.” Women in the World of Sondheim, Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street. Saturday, September 8, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15 at or cash-only at the door. www.KatieWelsh. com or 609-915-7889. Richard D. Smith is a Rocky Hill-based journalist who frequently writes about music and history.

‘The Sondheim show has a lot of women on the edge of coming into their own, of finding their own way. And as an actor it’s about finding my own way into their stories.’


f course, some prospective audience members might react skeptically to all this, thinking that dramatic characters with complex psychologies and intense love relationships must be outside the true comprehension of someone of Welsh’s relatively young years. “The Sondheim show focuses a lot on younger women,” she replies. “When selecting the songs, I was conscious of what characters I was intrigued by but also aware of the songs in which I could find

Arts in brief: Arts Council seeks new director


eyond Katie Welsh’s cabaret performance, the Arts Council of Prince­ ton is scheduled for a busy September — all while the organization hunts for a new executive director. Taneshia Nash Laird, who replaced Jeff Nathanson in January, 2017, announced her resignation in August. Arts Council board president Jim Levine is serving as interim director. In the meantime the Arts Council kicks off its fall season with an open house on Saturday, September 8, from 1 to 5 p.m. The family-friendly event includes hands-on art activities, dance demonstrations, and the opportunity to contribute to a community mural. On the same day, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Taplin Gallery, the opening reception takes place for the annual member exhibition, which invites contributions in various media from member artists. The exhibit runs through October 8. The fun continues the following Saturday, September 15, with the Arts Council’s innovative “Dinner” and a movie fundraiser, which gives guests a chance to experience virtual reality technology from Immersive.XR, hear a live performance by the band Dinner, and see a screening of the film “David Lynch: An Art Life.” Finally, the Arts Council takes guests to the Princeton Shopping Cen-

ter courtyard — and to India — with its fourth annual Evening With Bollywood on Saturday, September 22, from 4 to 9 p.m. The night starts with a Bazaar market featuring henna tattoos, arts and crafts, jewelry, apparel, and food and drink. A dance performance by Uma Kapoor’s NachNation leads into a Bollywood dance party open to all. Admission is free; bring a blanket or lawn chair. For more information: www. or 609-924-8777.

Another Tiger returns


nother Princeton University alumnus, Doug McGrath of the Class of 1980, is back in town for McCarter Theater’s production of his adaptation of “The Age of Innocence.” The stage version of Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel on New York society in the Gilded Age opens at McCarter on Friday, September 7, and continues through Sunday, October 7. Tickets are available at www.mccarter. org or by calling 609-258-2787. McGrath is best known as the screenwriter for the Woody Allen movie “Bullets Over Broadway” and the film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” which he also directed. His wife, Jane Martin, grew up in Prince­ton and is the daughter of cartoonist Henry Martin.

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Sunday September 2

Friday September 7

Summer Carillon Concerts, Princeton University Carillon, 88 College Road West, 609-258-3654. Doug Gefvert, carillonneur of the Washington Memorial National Carillon. Free. 1 p.m.

Garden Tours, Morven Museum, 55 Stockton Street, 609-924-8144. 45-minute tour of what’s in bloom. $10. Register. Also September 21. 11 a.m. Grand Reopening Celebration, Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton Street, 609-924-8144. The debut of “Morven: A Window into America’s Past,” the museum’s new exhibit. 1 p.m.

Historic Princeton Walking Tour, Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton. $7. Register. 2 p.m.

Monday September 3 Labor Day. Bank and postal holiday.

9/7 to 10/7 • Doug McGrath’s ‘The Age of Innocence’ at McCarter Theater

Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege, Princeton Public Wednesday September 5 Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, 609-924Tea and Tour, Morven Museum, 55 9529. Don Trahan presents “Racial Battle Fatigue in this Time of Stockton Street, 609-924-8144. A docent-led tour followed by tea Turmoil.” 6:30 p.m. and refreshments. Registration required. $22. International Folk Dance, Princeton Every Wednesday. 11 a.m. Folk Dance, YWCA Princeton, 59 Paul RobeContra Dance, Princeton Country Dancson Place, 732-230-3755. www.princetonfolkers, Suzanne Patterson Center, 1 Monument Lesson followed by dance. BeginDrive, 908-359-4837. www.princetoncountryners welcome. No partner needed. $5 Every Instruction and dance. $10. Every Tuesday.. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

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Divorce Recovery Program, Princeton Church of Christ, 33 River Road, Princeton Farmers Market, Princeton 3889. Public Library, Hinds Plaza, 55 Witherspoon Non-denominational support group for men Street, 609-924-9529. www.princetonfarm- and women. Free. 7:30 p.m. Fresh produce, live music, The Age of Innocence, McCarter Thecommunity organizations, and more. Every ater, 91 University Place, 609-258-2787. Thursday. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Douglas McGrath’s world Viva Tango, Suzanne Patterson Center, premiere adaptation of Edith Wharton’s nov45 Stockton Street, 609-948-4448. www. el set in New York City during the Gilded Age. No partner necessary. Begin- Through October 7. 8 p.m.

Thursday September 6

music therapy • choral/instrumental ensembles • honors music program •

Tuesday September 4

Dancing under the Stars, Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, 609924-9529. Central Jersey Dance members lead and offer demonstrations. Also September 28. 7 p.m.

• voice • musical theater • jazz studies • early childhood classes

9/13 • ‘Evolution of a Concept’ at the Princeton Day School gallery Folk Dance, Princeton Folk Dance, Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street, 609-912-1272. www.princetonfolkdance. org. Beginners welcome. Lesson followed by dance. No partner needed. $5. Every Friday. 8 to 11 p.m.

Saturday September 8

mation about the Arts Council of Princeton’s fall programs and events. Free. 1 p.m. Opening Reception, Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, 609924-8777. Annual Members Exhibition. 3 p.m.

Anker, Thomas Sweet, 1325 Route 206, Skillman. Live music. Citizens’ Climate Lobby Meeting, 7 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Hopewell Theater’s One Year AnniverPrinceton, 50 Cherry Hill Road, 609-2402425. Non- sary with Rogue Oliphant, Hopewell Theprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy or- ater, 5 South Greenwood Avenue, Hopewell, 609-466-1964. ganization. 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. $25. Rogue Oliphant is an informal group Fall Open House, Arts Council of Princof musicians and composers who perform eton, 102 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-8777. songs and spoken word pieces written by the Hands-on Irish poet Paul Muldoon. 8 p.m. art activities, music, and games, plus infor-

9/16 • Cover band The Nerds at the Princeton Music Fest

Sunday September 9 Montgomery Fun Fest, Princeton Airtport, 41 Airpark Road, Princeton. 130+ booths showcasing local businesses, art, unique merchandise, culinary delights, and more. Noon. to 5 p.m.

Monday September 10

transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals. Peer-facilitated discussion and information sharing in a safe, confidential, non-judgmental setting. 7 p.m.

Tuesday September 11 National Suicide Prevention Day Conference, Carrier Clinic, 252 County Road 601, Belle Mead. www.attitudesinreverse. org. Panel discussions, speeches and more. $10. Register. 8:30 a.m.

Poets at the Library, Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, 609-9249529. Lyn Levin League of Women Voters, Suzanne and David Herrstrom read their work, plus an Patterson Building, 45 Stockton Street, open mic session. 7 p.m. Princeton. WelcomMeetings, PFLAG Princeton, Trinity ing new members and focusing on voter serChurch, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton. www. vices for the November election. 7 p.m. Support group for families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual, See EVENTS, Page 16 September 2018 | Princeton Echo15


EVENTS, continued from page 15 Princeton Macintosh Users Group, Stuart Hall, Room 6, Princeton Theological Seminary, Alexander Street, Princeton. www. Instagram, with Michael Blank. 7:30 p.m.

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Princeton Chamber, The Boathouse at Mercer Lake, 609-924-1776. Monthly breakfast. $40, $25 members. 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Constitution Day Lecture, Arthur Lewis Auditorium, Robertson Hall, Princeton University. Desmond Jagmohan presents “Constituting Justice: Ida B. Wells’s Anti-Lynching Campaign.” Free. 4:30 p.m.

Thursday September 13 Princeton Chamber, Princeton Marriott, 609-924-1776. Toast to Tourism awards. $70, $50 members. 8 to 10 a.m.

9/21 • Bobby McFerrin

9/21 • Martyn Wyndham-Read

Opening Reception, Princeton Day Thursday September 20 School Art Gallery, 650 Great Road, PrincWelcoming Week Cultural Fair, Princeton. “Evolution of a Concept,” SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2018 eton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2018 featuring work by Princeton Day School SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2018 7:30 PM architecture studios alumni. Exhibit runs 609-924-9529. 7:30 PM 7:30 PM Bring items and share stories that represent THE FOUNDATION OF MORRIS HALL / ST. LAWRENCE, INC. through Friday, Oct. 5. 12:20 p.m. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6,2018 2018 presents a benefit concert tradition. Send an email to lfnadler@gmail. 7:30 PM THE FOUNDATION OF MORRIS ST. LAWRENCE, INC. 7:30 PM HE FOUNDATION OF MORRIS HALLHALL / ST./LAWRENCE, INC. Nassau StreetINC. Sampler, Princeton Uni- com. 6:30 p.m. THE FOUNDATION OF MORRIS HALL / ST. LAWRENCE, THE FOUNDATION OF MORRIS HALLconcert / ST. LAWRENCE, INC. presents a benefit PATRIOTS THEATER AT THE presents apresents benefit concert THE FOUNDATION OF MORRIS HALL / ST. LAWRENCE, INC. versity Art Museum, Princeton University, benefit concert presents benefit concert THE FOUNDATION OFaMORRIS HALL / ST. LAWRENCE, INC.WARa MEMORIAL presents a benefit concert TRENTON 609-258-3788. Friday September 21 presents a benefit concert Visit the galleries, plus food from local resGENERAL ADMISSION Dryden Ensemble, Miller Chapel, Princtaurants and musical performances. 5 p.m. Michael Krajewski, Music Director eton Theological Seminary, 64 Mercer Street, TICKET PRICES Michael Cavanaugh, Vocalist and Pianist Michael Cavanaugh Black Voices Book Group, Princeton 609-466-8541. Michael Krajewski, Music Director RANGE $35-$90 Michael Krajewski,Vocalist Music Director Michael Krajewski, Music Director Michael Cavanaugh, and Pianist Michael Cavanaugh, Vocalist and Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, 609- Performing two Bach cantatas. $25. 3 p.m. Michael Cavanaugh, Vocalist andPianist Pianist Michael Krajewski, Music Director 924-9529. “Born a Michael Cavanaugh, Vocalist and Pianist Call 215-893-1999 or visit One Table Cafe, Trinity Church, 33 MerMichael Krajewski, Music Director Crime” by Trevor Noah. 7 p.m. Michael Cavanaugh, Vocalist and Pianist cer Street, 609-216-7770. www.trinityprincto purchase Michael Krajewski, Music Director Sit down, white tablecloth dinner Saturday September 15 Michael Cavanaugh, Vocalist and Pianist served by a volunteer wait staff. The commuFor more information about Carrier Clinic Walk of Hope and Aware- nity is invited to share a dinner and program. patron tickets or sponsorships, ness, Carrier Clinic, 252 County Road 601, Pay what you can to benefit Mercer Street please contact Jane Millner at 609-896-9500, ext 2215 Belle Mead, 908-281-168. www.carrierclinic. Friends, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Bread for or com. One-mile walk to support the Carrier the World, and Episcopal Relief. Register by PATRIOTS THEATER AT THE TRENTON WAR MEMORIAL PATRIOTS THEATER AT THE TRENTON WAR MEMORIAL Clinic’s programs to battle mental illness and the Wednesday preceding event. 6:30 p.m. GENERAL ADMISSION GENERAL ADMISSION The concert will benefit the patients addiction. Register. 9 a.m. and residents of Bobby McFerrin, Princeton University St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Concerts, Richardson Auditorium, 609-258Center and Morris Hall. Sunday September 16 PATRIOTS THEATER AT THE TRENTON WAR MEMORIAL GENERAL ADMISSION 2800. TICKET PRICES RANGE $35-$90 Sourcing Health Locally, Suzanne PatCall 215-893-1999 or visit to purchase $15-$45. 7:30 p.m. For information about patron tickets or sponsorships, please contact PATRIOTS THEATER AT THE TRENTON WAR MEMORIAL terson Center, 45 Stockton Street, PrincJane Millner at 609-896-9500, ext 2215 or GENERAL ADMISSION Martyn Wyndham Read, Princeton The concert will benefit the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall. eton. Learn how to avoid TICKET PRICES RANGE $35-$90 Call 215-893-1999 or visit to purchase inflammatory diseases and prevent and Folk Music Society, Christ Congregation For information about patron tickets or sponsorships, please contact reverse heart disease, cognitive losses, and Church, 50 Walnut Lane, 609-799-0944. Jane Millner at 609-896-9500, ext 2215 or PATRIOTS THEATER AT THE TRENTON WAR MEMORIAL oncert will benefit the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall. $20. 7:30 p.m. dementia. $48. Register. 8:45 a.m. GENERAL ADMISSION PATRIOTS THEATER AT THE TRENTON WAR MEMORIAL TICKET PRICES RANGE $35-$90 Princeton Music Fest, Palmer Square, Saturday September 22 Call 215-893-1999 or visit to purchase GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET PRICES RANGE $35-$90 For information about patron tickets or sponsorships, Princeton. Six perplease contact Call 215-893-1999 or visit to Jane purchase Millner at 609-896-9500, ext 2215 or Infrared Workshop, Princeton Photo formances on two stages, food and beverage For information about patron tickets or sponsorships, please contact The concert will benefit the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall. vendors, retail offerings, and children’s ac- Workshop, 20 Library Place, 609-921-3519. Jane Millner at 609-896-9500, ext 2215 or The concert will benefit the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall. tivities. Performers include Swingadelic, Irish No experience or partner needed! folk band Shanty’s, cover band The Nerds, Don Komarechka discusses camera settings, 2:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 and local musicians Sean Yocum, Some As- subject, and composition for infrared photography. $299. Register. 10 a.m. Doors open 2:15 pm sembly Required, and others. 11 a.m. Princeton Children’s Book Festival, Manors at Lawrenceville Clubhouse • 26 Fairway Court Committed to Memory: The Art of the Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Slave Ship Icon, Princeton Public Library, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 65 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-9529. Cher- Street, 609-924-9529. www.princetonlibrary. org. Meet authors, visit the “instrument petyl Finley speaks. 2 p.m. Class Begins ting zoo,” purchase books, and more. 11 a.m. Tuesday October 9, 2018 Walking Princeton’s Campus, Princ7:15 pm Registration An Evening With Bollywood, Princeton eton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Class (Dance) Starts Promptly at 7:30pm 609-924-9529. Continuing on Tuesday Evenings Explore Princeton University’s campus with Princeton. Wiebke Martens and Jennifer Jang, authors of A celebration of Indian culture, featuring a live performance by Uma Kapoor’s NachNaFor More Information, call Rich Delgado (609) 844-1140 “Discovering Princeton.” Register. 4 p.m.



TICKET PRICES RANGE $35-$90 The concert benefit the patients residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall. Call will 215-893-1999 or visit to purchase Call 215-893-1999 or visit to purchase For information about patron tickets or sponsorships, please contact ForJane information about patron tickets sponsorships, please contact Millner at 609-896-9500, extor 2215 or Jane Millner at 609-896-9500, ext 2215 or

The concert will benefit the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall. The concert will benefit the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall.

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16 Princeton Echo | September 2018

9/22 • An Evening with Bollywood at Princeton Shopping Center tion Dance Group, Bollywood-inspired arts tography. $369. Register. 9:30 a.m. and crafts, Indian food and drinks, Bollywood Send Hunger Packing Princeton Fundance party and more. 4 to 9 p.m. draiser, Hinds Plaza, Sylvia Beach Way, Princeton Football, Powers Field, Princeton. Face Prince­ton University. www.princetontigers- painting, popcorn, a DJ, and more. Proceeds benefit Send Hunger Packing Princeton. $20. Versus Monmouth. 4:30 p.m. 1 p.m. Cafe Improv, Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, 609-924-8777. Local Tuesday September 25 comedy, poetry, music, and more. $2. 9 p.m. An Evening with Dr. Rush, Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton Street, 609Sunday September 23 924-8144. Author Stephen Fried discusses his Macro Workshop, Princeton Photo book “Rush: Revolution, Madness, and the Workshop, 20 Library Place, 609-921-3519. Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Don Komarechka teaches about macro water Father.” $15. Register. 5:45 p.m. droplet photography and macro flower pho-

9/29 & 30 Daniel Rowland at Princeton Symphony’s Bernstein concerts Art Talk, Princeton Public Library, 65 dedicates a newly installed poem on the Witherspoon Street, 609-924-9529. www. Scott and Hella McVay Poetry Trail. 1:30 p.m. Trudy Borenstein-SugA Bernstein Celebration, Richardson uira and Dara-Lyn Shrager speak. 7 p.m. Auditorium, Princeton University. www. Music from West Saturday September 29 Side Story and Candide. Daniel Rowland on Unruly Sounds Music Festival, Princ- violin and soprano Meghan Picerno. Preeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, concert talk. Also September 30. 8 p.m. 609-924-9529. Students from Princeton University’s graduate music program and other Sunday September 30 local musicians perform. 11 a.m. Motown Tribute for Detroit ‘67, PrincNew Poem Dedication at the D&R Gre- eton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, enway Poetry Trail, D&R Greenway Land 609-924-9529. Members of the Einstein AlTrust, 1 Preservation Place, 609-924-9529. ley Musicians Collaborative featuring The D&R Greenway Beagles perform Motown hits. 2 p.m.

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In the classroom, hunger hurts

Like us us on on Like Facebook Facebook Send Hunger Packing Princeton hosts its annual fundraiser in Hinds Plaza n Saturday, September 23, kids on Sunday, September 23. and families will gather under tents in Hinds Plaza for an afternoon of pure fun: facepainting and games, the Princeton Public Schools superinpop corn and ice cream, music and laugh- tendent and seed money from Princeton ter. But the event is a fundraiser for a seri- University and the Bonner Foundation, ous cause: Send Hunger Packing Prince­ SHUPP started supplying weekend meals ton (SHUPP), a nonprofit dedicated to for students in need at Princeton’s four eladdressing food insecurity among stu- ementary schools. dents in Princeton schools. “We were pretty much a triumvirate — It’s no secret that it’s hard to concen- Human Services, Princeton University, trate when you’re hungry: if you don’t Mercer Street Friends,” Wishnick says, know when or what your next meal might “a good, closed system.” Money raised be, are you thinking about food or about by SHUPP was administered by Meryour math homework? This is reality for cer Street Friends, which provided and roughly 500 students in the Princeton bagged the food. The schools sent a driver Public Schools. Instead of being hungry to the Mercer Street Friends food bank in for knowledge, they are hungry for food Ewing to pick up the meals and deliver — and that type of hunger makes it hard them to the schools. to concentrate on learning. From there expansion happened natuMuch of this population is assisted dur- rally. “When Princeton Nursery School ing the school day by federal programs heard what we were doing the director that subsidize free or reduced-price called and said, ‘we’d love to be a part of school lunches. Then the weekend comes, this, can we?’ We said absolutely,” says and the reliable source of food is gone un- Wishnick, who adds, “We are private, no til Monday. government money, and we don’t ask imThat was the issue facing the Prince­ migration or income status.” ton Human Services Commission and ix years and more than 110,000 meals its chair, Ross Wishnick, when a meeting later, the organization is still growing was convened in 2012 with residents concerned about Princeton’s hunger problem. and still working constantly for fund“The purpose was to do a very simple ing and for recognition. Expanding to thing,” Wishnick says. “Why don’t we fig- middle and high school grades presented ure out who provides food and just sort of new psychographic challenges, Wishnick point?” The end result was a double-sided notes. “Kids are more aware so they’re page with a map on one side and a sched- more sensitive.” There is also the question of sumule of food providers on the other. That was a start, but it did not fully ad- mer. “All kids are somewhere during the dress the problem of kids who go hungry school year that we can access,” he says. all weekend. And then, Wishnick recalls, “The challenge has been in the summer one of the people at the meeting hap- when we can’t find everybody.” The solupened to be an employee of the Mercer tion was participating with the Princeton Street Friends food bank and mentioned Children’s Fund to help level the playing the backpack program already in place in field at summer camp. “We’re not providTrenton and Ewing. Meals for the week- ing PB&J while everybody else gets hamend are quietly placed in students’ back- burgers. All we do is provide money and packs on Friday afternoon, and kids who everybody gets the exact same thing.” Another challenge is providing fresh might have gone hungry would now have breakfast and lunch for Saturday and Sun- food like fruits and vegetables. The weekend meals are by necessity shelf-stable beday. This was the beginning of Send Hunger cause the school district only picks them Packing Princeton. With support from See SHUPP, Page 20

By Sara Hastings


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DINING GUIDE a a a a a 193 Reviews

$$ • Pizza, Italian

339 Witherspoon St. (609) 921-8041 “This place is quite legendary. Recommend getting the pepperoni and garlic pie with a pitcher of Peroni.” –Vinayak B., Trenton


“Bottom line- thin crust pies which Mercer County, NJ is know for....the “old school” atmosphere works perfectly.....and yes- this place is a solid!” –Steve S., Hightstown See our ad on page 20


66 Witherspoon St, Princeton • 609. 688.8808 •

If you want some fancy cocktails after shopping in Princeton, no one does it better than Mistral… Their menu changes with the seasons and the bartenders and very helpful in pairing suggestions for the cocktails.


This month we’re exploring restaurants that have mastered MASA SUSHI the art of creating delicious and innovative cocktails. Find out where to enjoy a refreshing libation (or two) and just remember, it’s 5:00 somewhere.

a a a a a 232 Reviews

$$ • Japanese, Sushi Bars, Seafood

- Saurabh B., Princeton Junction

415 Nassau Park Blvd (609) 520-8883


94 University Pl, Princeton • 609.423.2188 •

“Best cocktails ever!! Definitely try the Berry White cocktail, the Foxy, the Silver Lining, and several others Great ambiance and you can walk next door to Cargot Brasserie for appetizers, dinner or dessert.” –Lisa O., Lawrence Township


11 Witherspoon St, Princeton • 609.921.2798 •

“Hands down the best cocktail bar in Princeton, both for their creative drinks and the breadth of the stock. For instance, it’s usually hard to find mezcal in this area, but Agricola had several different ones.” – Philip D., Princeton


130 Hopewell Rocky Hill Rd, Hopewell • 609.333.9200 •

“So, when I’m in the mood to inhale more sushi and sides than any responsible medical professional would be comfortable with, this is my joint.” –Jerry P., Hamilton lutely amazing! It doesn’t taste like the cheap stuff you get at other places! It’s smooth and creamy, without any artificial taste, so make sure you save room for dessert!” –Clarissa L., Philadelphia See our ad on page 20

ROOTS a a a a a 267 Reviews

$$ • Asian Fusion, French

– Katrina W., Princeton

– Rinki P., North Brunswick

a a a a a 50 Reviews

$$$ • Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean

1378 Rt 206 (609) 683-2222

29 Hulfish St (609) 252-9680 “Best sushi ever. #dropthemike. The ninja, Krazy and kamikaze all rocked. Get the seaweed! And it’s BYOB.” – Paul C., Hightstown

“Food & service are top notch, with a few delectable standouts. Also, the Bolognese sauce here is just amazing. Try it over their excellent pasta or ex“Fresh, and nicely sized pieces of ceptional gluten-free pasta.” sashimi. Well-prepared. Nice staff. –Jeff B., Princeton Great location with plenty of parking.” “The ambiance is so comfortable. It’s a –Vincent F., Westfield great place to unwind with drinks and See our ad on page 20 food and we will definitely continue to return!” –Jill C., Chester BLUE POINT GRILL See our ad on page 18 a a a a a

$$$ • Seafood


258 Nassau St. (609) 921-1211

a a a a a 439 Reviews


$$ • Italian, Wine Bars

23 Palmer Square East (609) 921-1974

a a a a a

$$$$ • American (New)


66 Witherspoon St. (609) 924-0078

a a a a a

$$ • Pubs, American, Sports Bars


28 Witherspoon St. (609) 924-5555

a a a a a

$ • Sandwiches, American



$$ • Bakeries, Caterers, Desserts

a a a a a 196 Reviews

a a a a a

$$ • Pubs, American

22 Witherspoon St. (609) 921-1569

1 Palmer Square E. (609) 921-0700

OLSSON’S FINE FOODS a a a a a 48 Reviews


$$ • Food

a a a a a

$ • Bars, American (Traditional)

53 Palmer Square West (609) 924-2210

248 Nassau St. (609) 921-8555


a a a a a


$$$ • Juice Bars & Smoothies

a a a a a

246 Nassau St (609) 954-9690

$$$• Steakhouse

a a a a 342 Reviews

$$ • Japanese, Sushi Bars, Seafood


302 George St, New Brunswick • 732.640.0553 •

“Outside of the whiskey they have a decent craft beer menu and pretty extensive cocktail menu which changes every so often. All the cocktails come in cute style glasses depending on the drink you get.”


242 Nassau St. (609) 921-7723 “For a buffet, the ice cream is abso-

“My husband I love eating at the bar here and have now gone 3495 US Route 1 five or six times since moving to the area a year ago. The cock- (609) 799-8858 tail list is constantly changing (as does the food menu), and I love the tequila drink they had for the spring.”








the monthly

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57 Witherspoon St. (609) 924-6011

a a a a a

$ • Creperies, Farmers Market, Cafes

20 Nassau St. (609) 924-5387

September 2018 | Princeton Echo19

All You Can Eat Sushi Lunch $18.95 • Dinner $24.95 • Kids Half-Price (under 4.5’)

fthought od

Pizza Den opens

sau Street, offers your typical range of pizza toppings along The only things as sure as with sauceless pies, tomato death and taxes in Princeton pies, and a handful of salads are plentiful sources of pizza and sides. and ice cream, so it was only Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 fitting that when Slice Bep.m. Monday through Thurstween closed its doors, its reday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. placement would be another pizza place. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sundays. Pizza Den, sandwiched between the two Visit or call branches of Hoagie Haven at 242 Nas- 609-683-8900.


SHUPP, continued from page 18

Tel: (609) 520-8883 415 Nassau Park Blvd., Princeton, NJ 08540 (near Sam’s Club)

up once a month. There have been talks of creating a “container farm” — a farm built in a steel shipping container that lasts 12 months a year. But SHUPP’s primary concern is fundraising. The all-volunteer group that received its 501(c)3 designation this year does not collect food — Mercer Street Friends takes care of that. And fundraisin is what the September 23 event is all about. “We’re a little crazy because we always do something different,” Wishnick says. Past fundraisers have included a screening of the film “A Place at the Table” at the Garden Theater along with a talk by filmmaker Lori Silverbush, the wife of New York City restaurateur Tom Colicchio. Last year’s event was a “Fill the Bowls” fundraiser, where the $50 price of admission came with a handcrafted bowl made by a Hightstown-based potter. Attendees ate from the SHUPP-stamped bowls and then took them home to serve as a reminder of the cause. Two years ago SHUPP hosted a hunger

banquet, where diners were randomly assigned to a poor table, a middle income table, and a rich table, with food provided by area restaurants. What happened next was eye-opening. “People from the rich table were taking their plates over to the other tables that just had PB&J,” Wishnick says. “It was just organic.” While past events have been geared toward adults, this year’s fundraiser is aimed specifically at kids. The cost of admission is $20 per child — free for adults. SHUPP, Wishnick says, is “always in the awareness-building business,” and the shift in audience for this event is intended to “bring about recognition by bringing out a different set of people who will add to our mailing list.” Wishnick reflects back on SHUPP’s early days. “If I think back to that — I’m not sure I would have given so much money to us when we didn’t fully exist yet. We were just an idea. But an idea created by people who were really committed to this concept, this idea of feeding people and kids.”

ConTE’s pizza and bar


(609) 921-8041

Voted TOP 33 IN PIZZERIAS NATION by Thrillest™

Tel: (609) 683-2222


Private Parties Available

1378 Route 206, Skillman, NJ 08558 (behind Wells Fargo Bank)

Pizza Salads Sandwiches • Pasta • Full Bar •

• Reunions • Birthdays • Anniversaries • Office Parties • Special Accommodations 20 Princeton Echo | September 2018

Looking for more Princeton news? Visit our website or follow us on Facebook to get updates about your community all month long


It’s September! Welcome back, students and families! The Princeton Merchants Association welcomes you in every season, for every reason. Now is the time to learn, taste, and shop for something new.

BUSINESS & COMMUNITY THRIVING TOGETHER A Little Taste of Cuba Cross Culture Indian Cuisine Ivy Inn Morford & Dodds Realty Princeton Farmers’ Market Shanghai Park Restaurant Agricola D’Angelo Italian Market J. McLaughlin Morven Museum and Garden Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad Sherwin-Williams Alchemist and Barrister Dental Care Princeton Jammin Crepes Nassau Inn Princeton Garden Theatre Signature Cleaners & Tailors Altman Investment Management Dinky Bar and Kitchen JaZams Nassau Street Seafood Princeton Integral Yoga Community Small World Coffee Arts Council of Princeton Dolceria JM Group Nino’s Pizza Star Center Smith’s Ace Hardware b+b Hair Color Studio Dr. Fiero Orthodontics Joshua Zinder Architecture Nomad Pizza Princeton Laundromat Surf Taco Bank oof Princeton E. + Design Not in Our Town Princeton Matt Sustainable Princeton E.S.T.I.R. Mattress Joycards Bella Boutique Elements Olives Princeton Nassau Pediatrics Teresa Caffe Labyrinth Books Princeton Berkshire Hathaway 4 Elements Wellness One-Of-A-Kind Princeton Packet Terra Momo Bread Company Lear and Pannepacker HomeServices Fred Astaire Dance Studio Consignment Gallery Princeton Pediatric Dentistry The Papery Beyond Gloria Nilson and Co. Real LightSource Chiropractic Orvis Princeton Pi and Hoagie Three Bears Marketing Lillipies Blue Point Grill Estate Palmer Square Management Princeton Public Library Communications Lindt Chocolate Bon Appetit Good Grief Peacock Inn Princeton Record Exchange Tigerlabs Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s Gardens Cooperative Call Green Design Company MacLean Agency Petrone Associates Princeton School Ga Town Topics International Realty Grit + Polish Marlowe’s Jewelry & Pins and Needles Princeton Shopping Center Trattoria Procaccini Cardinal Partners Hamilton Jewelers Repairs PJ’s Pancake House Princeton Soup & Sandwich Co. Triumph Brewing Cargot Hedy Shepard Ltd Mason, Griffin and Pierson PNC Bank Princeton Symphony Orchestra Two Sevens Center Barber Shop Historical Society of Mathnasium Princeton AcuHealth Princeton Tour Company The UPS Store Chambers Properties Princeton McCaffrey’s Market Princeton Adult School Princeton Township Volunteer Connect Chez Alice HiTOPS McCarter Theatre Princeton Ballet School Princeton University Whole Earth Center Chopt CCreative Salad Princeton Ho Hoagie Haven Mediterra Restaurant Princeton Blai Blairstown Center Princeton Un University Art Museum Withe Witherspoon Grill Claridge Wine & Liquor Home Care Assistance Metropolis Spa Salon Princeton Community Television Princeton University Store Woodwinds Associates Concord Pet Homestead Princeton Milk & Cookies Princeton Dental Group Pure Barre Princeton Yankee Doodle Tap Room Corner House Image Arts Princeton Echo Rtie Aid YWCA Princeton Mistral Craft Cleaners Inside Princeton Miya Princeton Family YMCA Send Hunger Packing Princeton Zafra Press LLC September 2018 | Princeton Echo21


A library among the trees By Pia de Jong


arquand Park is a beautiful 19th-century jewel that’s around the corner from me. When I walk into the park with my dog, I am always greeted by a cheerful buzz of activity. Small children bake pies in the sandbox, bigger kids twirl in feverish circles on their tricycles. When it starts to drizzle, everyone quickly gathers their things and vanishes. As the park falls empty and silent, I tug up the collar of my raincoat and walk my dog through the greensward on Magnolia Hill. The park is an arboretum with more than 150 different species of trees from all over the world. It reflects the need to subdue nature by categorizing it that dates to the time of the traveling scientists Humboldt and Darwin, when the world was under the spell of the wonderful diversity around us. The pride of the park is the Hardy Cedar of Lebanon that smells delicious. The park is at its best with the arrival of the beautiful autumn colors. The Threadleaf Japanese Maple with its gnarly stump glows a bright red. Somewhere in the back

is my favorite tree, the Dawn Redwood, a living fossil. It was thought to be extinct until a Princeton botanist discovered it in China in 1944 and replanted seedlings on campus and in town. As the drizzle continues, I decide to go home. But my dog stops by an old tree stump near the exit. She stands on her hind legs and starts sniffing and barking. Something has caught her attention. A trapped squirrel perhaps? I look closer, and to my surprise, I see a small doorway in the stump. When I peer inside I see a little boy inside the hollow stump, absorbed in reading a book. “Hi,” I say. “Hi,” he replies, blinking in the light. With his green cap on, he seems like a fairy. An elf of seven years. Around him are books stacked on shelves. “What are you doing here?” I ask. “I saw this book place when I was playing here. So I climbed inside and began to read.” He shows me the book he holds in his hand, “Charlotte’s Web.” “It’s about a spider, Charlotte, and a pig, Wilbur. It is very beautiful but also sad. I

I want to climb into the cozy little library, nice and dry, surrounded by books to read quietly while the rain drizzles on the roof.

Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

want to know how it ends.” Suddenly he looks worried. “Where is everyone?” he asks. “They all went home when it started to rain,” I say. “Oh,” he says. With the book in hand, he jumps out of the tree, gives my dog a pat, and dashes away. My dog wonders whether he should chase the boy or keep sniffing the tree. “Take a Book, Leave a Book” says a small sign above the door. Inside are leaflets with the details. The idea of the is to scatter exchanges around communities where you can bring books and take them, on the honor system. It originated in 2009 when Todd Bol, the son of a teacher from Wisconsin, made a miniature of the school library

where his mother had taught for years and put it in his front yard. Everyone was allowed to take the books. It was a great success. There are already more than 40,000 mini-libraries around the world, including almost a thousand in my native Netherlands. Meanwhile, the rain picks up. I want to climb into the cozy little library, nice and dry, surrounded by books to read quietly while the rain drizzles on the roof. It seems to me the height of happiness. A library in a tree in a park that is itself a library of trees. Pia de Jong is a Dutch writer who lives in Princeton. Her memoir, “Saving Charlotte,” was published by W.W. Norton in 2017. She can be contacted at

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FOR SALE FOR SALE: Snow thrower, aquariums/ stands, brown leather chase, drillmaster, power washer (gas) & air compressor. Call 609672-0895. ITEMS FOR SALE: WIZARD OF OZ COLLECTION, articles for crafting like wires, buttons, ribbons, etc., and tons of fabric. Please call 609-392-0994. RWJ AT HAMILTON FITNESS CENTER FOUNDERS MEMBERSHIP. Monthly membership fee capped at $37.50 for life of membership (no yearly increase). Call 609-6478222.

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CELL 609-290-5687

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M.J. Grove, Inc. Plumbing & Heating

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License #8442

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Save Additional 10% Store Wide on all Purchases!

Something New & Exciting in Bordentown! Open EVERYDAY 69 Route 130N • 609-433-0638 10am - 5pm

COMMUNITYNEWS Looking for more local news? Visit our website to get updates about your community all month long

GPS: Yardville, NJ 08620

September 2018 | Princeton Echo23


English–Chinese Immersion School International Baccalaureate Accredited Program (IB)

Early Learning (2 (2-yr-old) through Grade 8 Inquiry-Based Learning Inquiry Small Class Sizes Please join us to find out more about how our Inquiry Based teaching program will benefit you and your child. Meet our faculty, Experience our classrooms, and Learn what it's like to be a part of our vibrant community.

Open House 10/6/2018 (10AM-12PM) 11/3/2018 (10AM-12PM) 11/14/2018 (6PM-8PM) 3/30/2019 (10AM-12PM) Open Classroom 10/24/2018 (10AM-12PM) 11/16/2019 (10AM-12PM) 3/14/2019 (10AM-12PM)

information about our Open Houses and Open ForFor information about our Open Houses and Open ClassClassrooms, please contact our Admissions Offi ce at rooms, please contact our Admissions Office at or 609-375-8015. or 609-375-8015. 24 Princeton Echo | September 2018

25 Laurel Avenue, Kingston, NJ 08528

Princeton Echo | September 2018  
Princeton Echo | September 2018