Princeton Magazine Fall/Winter 2020

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The Season of Giving







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fAll/wINTER 2020 PUBLISHER J. Robert Hillier, Lh.D., FAIA EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lynn Adams Smith OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Melissa Bilyeu ART DIRECTOR Jeffrey Edward Tryon GRAPHIC DESIGNER Matthew DiFalco PHOTOGRAPHERS Charles R. Plohn Jeffrey Edward Tryon CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Laurie Pellichero Ilene Dube Donald Gilpin Lori Goldstein Wendy Greenberg Anne Levin Stuart Mitchner Donald H. Sanborn III Taylor Smith ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Charles R. Plohn ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jennifer Covill Joann Cella Morgan Rairigh

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Choose your gifts now and use our convenient layaway with pick up/delivery just before the holiday. | 215-493-6100 | 7 West Afton Avenue, Yardley, PA 19067 Princeton Magazine is published 7 times a year with a circulation of 35,000. All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To purchase PDf files or reprints, please call 609.924.5400 or e-mail ©2020 witherspoon Media Group




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62 12 56 FALL/WINTER 2020






Mira Nakashima creates in the present, while preserving the legacy of the past

Pairing food, wine, and music for entertaining






Providing help, hope, and healing in a time of pandemic


Professionals share their insights on what makes working from home work





Responding with hope in “an incredibly dark and challenging time”


Behind the scenes of the annual Palmer Square tradition





Holiday gift books that keep on giving 40

ON THE COVER: The Palmer Square tiger, decked out for the holidays. Photo by Charles R. Plohn.









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| FROM THE EdiTOR Dear Readers, At the time of writing this letter votes were still being counted for the contentious presidential race, and armies of lawyers were assembled on both sides for a possible post-election legal fight. As 2020 comes to a close, Americans are emotionally strained from the political drama, economic struggles, devastating wildfires, racial strife, and COVID fatigue. Publishing is considered an essential business, which means we never stopped working at Witherspoon Media Group due to the pandemic. Being on constant deadline has provided us with a familiar routine and a small sense of normalcy during these turbulent times. But with so many of our staff members from different departments working remotely, it has been a challenge to coordinate. Bob Hillier and I would like to extend special thanks to Operations Director Melissa Bilyeu for her outstanding efforts and to applaud the entire staff for their hard work and dedication. The encouragement we receive from the community is greatly appreciated and makes our jobs rewarding. Every article in this issue was somehow affected by the pandemic, but the stories are filled with hope. It was our goal to have an uplifting cover and I believe we succeeded with Charles Plohn’s photo of the Palmer Square tiger dressed in a red ribbon. To go along with the festive cover, Anne Levin has a story on the behind-the-scenes preparation of the Palmer Square Christmas tree. The 3.5 miles of lights were stretched out in the long tunnels under Palmer Square where a crew of 8-10 people replaced all the bulbs, before stringing them on the 70-foot Norway Spruce. Due to social distancing restrictions the annual lighting ceremony was virtual. I recently paused to admire the lit tree on a dark chilly night, after purchasing Christmas candy at Thomas Sweet. There were a few children running in circles around it and I was thankful the tree was able to spread holiday cheer this year, as it has done since at least 1940. We are in the midst of peak holiday shopping season and it’s vitally important to support our local merchants! The independent stores add character to our town and some of my personal favorites are jaZams, Landau, Mandalay, Lace Silhouettes, Labyrinth Books, and of course Hamilton Jewelers. Be sure to check out Homestead Princeton’s beautiful new store on Witherspoon Street and don’t forget that all of the restaurants now offer takeout. To help our readers with holiday meal planning, Ilene Dube interviewed area chefs of varied cuisines about how they will celebrate. Chef Chris Connors from Anton’s at the Swan in Lambertville has French classical training and he spoke of preparing oysters, rack of lamb, and pheasant or Guinea hen from Griggstown Quail Farm. Anthony Kanterakis of Local Greek and Small Bites by Local Greek in Princeton will be celebrating with his Greek fiancé at Mama Kanterakis’ house and feasting on turkey, moussaka, and pastitsio. Chef Mitresh Saraiya of Brick Farm Group in Hopewell was born in India and incorporates warming spices into his cooking of meat from pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. As a child, his Indian family celebrated American holidays with lasagna or eggplant parmesan, which are still some of his favorites. Doria Roberts and Calavino Donati of The Pig and The Pit in Pennington have Southern roots and put their creative spin on comfort foods such as turkey poblano meatloaf with jalapeño tequila gravy, fried green tomatoes with apple horseradish sauce, and sweet potato pie. The chefs suggested wine pairings (which I saved on my phone) and our 10



music aficionados Lori Goldstein and Donald Sanborn compiled playlists to complement the different cuisines (which I downloaded on my laptop). The pandemic has forced many people to work from home and family members are competing for space to participate in Zoom meetings. Our working from home photo series with images taken by Jeffrey Tryon and Charles Plohn includes an architect, book author, bank president, professor of voice, and a potter who is the executive director of a community arts center. You will have to read Ilene Dube’s story to discover who these area professionals are and to get a glimpse into their homes. Princeton-based Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Greater Mercer County has taken a proactive approach to helping people of all faiths who might be food deprived or suffering from isolation during the pandemic. Read more in Laurie Pellichero’s article about the broad range of social services they offer such as community webinars, mental health counseling, youth engagement programs, and the Mobile Food Pantry which has served more than 9,600 people. The race for a COVID-19 vaccine inspired Taylor Smith’s article about the evolution of vaccine development. Smallpox was the first known successful vaccine and it was discovered in 1796 by an English country doctor who noticed that milkmaids who previously caught cowpox didn’t catch smallpox. Modern-day vaccines have taken an average of 10 years for development but with more than 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently underway, experts remain hopeful that one will prove to be effective and safe by year end. Speaking of hope, you would not think these last two articles would have anything in common but they both touch on discrimination, perseverance, and hope. Mira Nakashima of George Nakashima Woodworkers has received international recognition for her designs and she considers her work to be not only a continuation of her father’s legacy, but of her own legacy as well. Mira was an infant during World War II when the family was sent to a Japanese American internment camp in Idaho. She comments in Wendy Greenberg’s article how it was “another example of racial discrimination which is unfortunately repeated in many forms to this day.” In 1943 the family moved from the camp to Bucks County and her father thought it was prophetic that the town was called “New Hope.” Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. is chair of Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies. Glaude grew up in Mississippi with a father who was a postman and a mother who was a custodian. There were no books in his house but he found them elsewhere and became an avid reader. Today, Glaude draws insight for his writing and teaching from his readings of early American philosophers, contemporary political scientists, and African American literature. Donald Gilpin’s interview outlines Glaude’s long journey and his hopeful vision of a future that is brighter than the past. Bob Hillier and I would like to send heartfelt wishes to our staff, readers, and advertisers for a safe holiday, and look forward to the promise of 2021. Respectfully yours,

Lynn Adams Smith Editor-In-Chief

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The Woodworker’s

Daughter Mira Nakashima Creates in the Present, While Preserving the Legacy of the Past By Wendy Greenberg |

Photographs courtesy of Mira Nakashima


he Connaught Grill in London’s Mayfair neighborhood has been called legendary, known for its traditional British ambiance. After being closed for a decade, it reopened with some fanfare in early 2020, reimagined with resplendent wood wall panels, tables, and chairs, a new take on its old style. It is unmistakably the work of George Nakashima Woodworkers, helmed now by George’s daughter Mira Nakashima. The craftsmanship is both a tribute to Mira’s father, and her personal artistry. She considers the work of George Nakashima Woodworkers not only a continuation of his legacy, but her own legacy as well. Since her father’s death in 1990, Mira has been running the business, overseeing the designs and monitoring the upkeep of 15 buildings — residences and studios — off Aquetong Road in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and has gained her own international recognition. The Connaught is not the only recent significant project. “The Connaught Hotel is probably the largest project we have completed in recent history,” said Mira, “although we also completed challenging projects for several boutiques with the architect Michael Gabellini; a large installation in Chicago for the Hyatt corporate headquarters; and a lounge area for the Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by MSME Architects; each of which had a different aesthetic, initiated by the architect and modified to fit our capabilities.” It took some time, however, after her father’s death, to show clients she was capable in the present, and at the same time loyal to the past. SURVIVING GEORGE’S DEATH

“Unfortunately, when my father died, there was a prevalent press myth that he did everything with his

own two hands,” said Mira. There were those “who insisted that because the ‘master’ was no longer alive to sign his masterpieces, the product was devalued, and canceled their orders,” she said. Just before George Nakashima’s death, New York’s American Craft Museum (which evolved into the Museum of Arts and Design) showed a retrospective of his work, which “finally proved him an ‘artist’ rather than just a ‘woodworker’ or ‘designer-craftsman,’” said Mira. The show, while

a well-deserved tribute, made Mira’s going forward more difficult in some ways. But the American Craft Museum show had given them a threeyear backlog of orders. And a loyal Princeton couple whose house and furniture collection had been lost in a fire “steadfastly believed that we could replace their entire original collection effectively.” The couple, the late Dr. Arthur and Evelyn Krosnick, formerly of Stuart Road, had what the New York Times in 1991 called “one of the largest private collections of furniture by the furniture craftsman George Nakashima.” (Their 111 pieces were surpassed only by the collection of Nelson and Happy Rockefeller in Tarrytown, New York.) The collection took three years to replace. The Nakashima records had no sketches, but a photo essay of the Krosnick home, destined for the New York Times just before the fire, provided pictures of the entire collection. Ironically, two pieces survived because they were lent to the American Craft Museum exhibition. But eventually, as some employees left, and the studio began to run out of work, friends stepped in to help. First, the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Mira Nakashima Pennsylvania, commissioned Mira to design the Nakashima Reading Room in 1993 as a memorial to her father. She also credits Robert Aibel of Philadelphia’s Moderne Gallery with boosting her confidence and teaching her that public relations was part of staying in business. “Knowing that I had to establish credibility as a designer in my own right, rather than just copying old work, he [Aibel] sponsored a show of new work, generated publicity, and we slowly came back to life,” Mira said.

George and Mira Nakashima, 1980s (opposite). FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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architecture as well as the furniture collection. The buildings are on the Pennsylvania National Register of Historic Places, have been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and are listed as World Monuments. But the current health pandemic has taken a toll. Saturday open houses and tours of the property were shut down in March, and there are no plans to resume tours until the pandemic is under control. “So our main sources of Foundation income have decreased to almost nothing this year, but we feel it is most important to ensure the health of our woodworkers,” said Mira. Specialized videos and virtual guided tours to support the Peace Foundation are planned, and George’s nephew John Nakashima premiered the documentary George Nakashima on October 2 through the Design Miami website. GrowInG Up Tsuitate sofa, a dramatic piece intended to be seen from all sides.

The show and new designs were featured in Architectural Digest in 1994. Moderne Gallery’s The Keisho Collection: Continuity and Change in the Nakashima Tradition was the first catalogue of works designed by Mira. In 2003, she designed and produced chairs for the Concordia Chamber Players, which are now sold as the Concordia chair in the Nakashima line. By 2006, the New York Times Art & Design section ran a headline, “Nakashima Works Keep Soaring in Value” and happened to mention the Krosnick pieces, which were auctioned at Sotheby’s when the couple moved to Arizona. Independent thInker

But the idea that Mira has recently come into her own may be a misinterpretation. She has always been her own person. “For 20 years,” she said, “I worked under my father as his design assistant and under my mother as her office assistant, and was often fired for speaking my mind and disagreeing with the way they ran the business.” Taught to think outside the box and to create new paths, she often differed with her parents on issues like offering health insurance for employees before most businesses offered it. Today, she said she runs the business in a less authoritarian style. “Since they [her parents] have been gone, it has become much more democratic,” she said of George Nakashima Woodworkers. “I confer heavily with the senior workmen and usually defer to their recommended methods of construction; they, in turn, defer to my design decisions as to final cuts and placement of butterflies [joints which stabilize or join separations in the wood].” Mira has two design assistants who “take a lot of the initiative in problem-solving and wood searches, as well as email correspondence, photography, and generating shop drawings.” A manager oversees the scheduling of work, shipping, and payments, as well as maintenance of the property. The staff is a combination of family and non-family. Her daughter-in-law manages sales and publicity in the office, and Mira’s husband,

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Jon Yarnall, is one of a team of longtime loyal craftsmen, including Gerald Everett, who is retiring after 50 years. Among her four children, the one who was interested in joining the business was left a quadriplegic after a local car accident three years ago. Of seven grandchildren, one lives close enough to help, but is still in school. Mira is also president and treasurer of The Nakashima Foundation for Peace, which was founded by George Nakashima in 1984 in order to build his first Altar for Peace, placed in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City in 1986. Since then, peace altars have been sent to Auroville, India, and to Moscow, through donations to the Foundation. When Mira’s mother gave one of the New Hope buildings to the Foundation before she died in 2004, the Foundation took on a second mission — to preserve the Nakashima legacy of

Like her younger brother Kevin, Mira grew up where she now works and lives. Her favorite spot, pressed to name one, is in the Reception House, “as it does not get used often, so is usually quiet and dark,” she said. There, a “a four-and-a-half-mat, Japanese-style room” reminds her of her time spent in Japan, of a tea ceremony with “my dear Aunt Milly (friend and textile artist Mildred Johnstone), and zen meditation.” She loves the “big, beautiful dining table” where her mother served dinner for the family and friends, as well as a Japanese bath “where each of my children were invited to create their own designs and write their names in the tile.” Her father once performed a wedding ceremony in the Reception House, but now it is used for special meetings “as the seating around the table is conducive to creative, collaborative thinking,” she said.

Part of the lumber collection in the Pole Barn, awaiting selection for projects.

The Arts building and cloisters on the grounds of Nakashima Woodworkers, New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Her father came to New Hope by way of town was called “New Hope,” and made many was to “give some trees a fitting and noble purpose, Spokane, Washington, where he was born in friends in the artists’ community which flourished helping them live again.’’ 1905, and Seattle, where he grew up. He earned here in the 1940s,” said Mira. Through the Mira, now president and creative director for a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the generosity of a Quaker farmer, a fellow graduate George Nakashima Woodworkers, holds a bachelor’s University of Washington, where he also spent two of MIT, who owned the Aquetong Road property, degree in architecture from Harvard, and a master’s years studying forestry. After earning a master’s George Nakashima was able to settle on the current degree in architecture from Waseda University in degree from MIT, he traveled, earned a diploma land. Tokyo. She moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with from the École Américaine des Beaux Arts her former husband, and returned with their in Fontainebleau, France, and spent time young family to New Hope in 1970 and in Tokyo where he worked for the Czech began to assist her father. architect Antonin Raymond. It was there he Historically there have not been many met Marion Okajima, from Seattle, whom he female woodworkers, though one of Mira’s married, and they returned to Seattle where assistant designers is also female. he made furniture and taught woodworking. “It is just in recent years that several When Mira was an infant, the family female woodworkers and furniture designers was sent to Minidoka, in Idaho, a so-called have come to light, and it is good to “relocation center” where some 9,000 of the have their company. I, however, studied 120,000 incarcerated Japanese Americans architecture during a time when there were were sent, according to the Minidoka very few women in the field, and hope website. that I was not judged differently than my “The World War II incarceration of contemporaries just because I was female. Japanese Americans was but another Although I am proud to be among the example of racial discrimination which is first women from Radcliffe College [the unfortunately repeated in many forms to this former women’s affiliate to the then-all Concordia chairs, with music stands, originally conceived for the Concordia Chamber Players. male Harvard] to receive a Harvard degree, day,” said Mira. “I was a newborn baby in 1942, and somehow survived, but my father actually He set up his business as a protest to mass I never felt that I should feel especially privileged felt very fortunate to work alongside a master production, said Mira. He became known for largebecause of that, and I feel the same way about being carpenter, trained in Japan, while he was there.” scale tables made of large wood slabs with natural a female furniture designer.” In 1943, the Nakashima family was sponsored grain and smooth tops but unfinished natural edges. A Respect foR Wood by the carpenter’s former employer in Tokyo, “The ‘uniqueness’ imparted by the imperfections,’’ Antonin Raymond, who then lived in Bucks County, the elder artist wrote in an essay for the American Growing up surrounded by a reverence for wood, Pennsylvania, and was able to leave the camp. Craft Museum exhibition’s catalogue, “makes these Mira acquired the same love and respect for wood. “My father thought it was prophetic that the pieces appealing.’’ Part of his mission, he wrote,


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Tenafly table with seven Conoid lounge chairs, made from an ash tree from Tenafly, New Jersey.

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She still works with “hundreds of thousands” of pieces in storage, many of which had been purchased and milled by her father. “We are almost completely dependent on one local logger who has been finding and processing trees for us since my father’s time,” she explained. “We primarily use walnut logs which have been harvested sustainably from nearby in Pennsylvania, trees that have been cleared for housing developments or roads, and custom-mill them in different thicknesses for different purposes, through and through, so that they retain their natural edges.” The wood, most of which is from Bucks County, is separated with sticks and carefully stacked to allow air to pass between planks and dry naturally for several years. When the planks reach a certain moisture content, they are placed in a kiln and further dried to so that the wood will be stable when made into furniture. After that, the sticks are removed and the lumber is “dead-piled” in sheds “so we can select from them for as near perfect matching as possible,” said Mira. “Depending on the size and thickness, we sometimes draw on piles of wood collected by my father from long ago, and sometimes, as in the case of The Connaught Hotel, wood that has been newly harvested and dried.” In the case of The Connaught Grill, the wood drying process had to be modified. The architect envisioned not only wood-paneled booths, “but 15 tables of varying sizes, and banquette seating within the booth styled like our cantilevered Conoid chairs,” said Mira. “We were quite concerned that we did not have enough black walnut of the proper size and thickness to complete the job as originally envisioned, so we worked through different options and modifications with the flexible and imaginative architect John Heah. When we finally settled on a solution, we set out on a search to find a number of fresh walnut logs of the proper size, cut them to the proper thickness, and set about drying them faster than we have ever dried lumber before.” The vision to re-create a new atmosphere while retaining a sense of the traditional paneling was “easier said than done,” said Mira. Asked if it was important to balance preserving the Nakashima legacy and also show her own artistry, Mira answered that she doesn’t see it that way. “I never perceived that there was a definite divide between doing one or the other. Preserving the Nakashima legacy and utilizing my father’s wood pile to make beautiful furniture is most important, and continuing that legacy is my legacy, too.” What is important now, Mira said, is “to cultivate and preserve the art of using and respecting natural materials, drawing by hand on paper with pencils, making furniture with both hand and power tools, preserving a place in which work is an integrated process, the place itself integrated with its natural environment. “We strive to continue making furniture and to maintain the property as ‘George would have done’ so that his spirit still lives here.” More information about made-to-order furniture can be found at

Butterfly Gate, above, and George Nakashima with a young Mira.


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This executive home is nestled on 6.56 acres surrounded by protected woodlands.This stunning 5,900 sq ft, 4 bedroom 5.1 bathroom home with office and home gym that could be used as an additional bedroom, is perfect for entertaining and enjoying your own private oasis.This brick front home features an extra large 3 car garage, huge pool, large treks deck, extensive landscaping and paver patio complete with outdoor speakers, and tons of lighting throughout the property so you can enjoy the beauty from inside and outside year around.The outdoor kitchen is complete with a 40 inch grill with smoker and rotisserie, 2 side burners, a stainless steel ice chest and plenty of electricity for any accessories you might want to add.Through the living room you will find a large sun room that has a wet bar.The sun room has French doors that lead to one of the many outdoor living areas. To the right there is a study with great views to the back yard, a half bath and a surprisingly large storage closet.The family room is impressive with cathedral ceilings and a stone wood-burning fireplace. Past the family room is the gourmet eat-in kitchen,Viking range, side by side Kitchen Aid refrigerator, double ovens and a warming drawer. Past the kitchen you come upon the owners entrance mud room with a large walk in pantry, a laundry room with access to the back deck, a side door that leads you to the driveway, a full bathroom with a shower stall, a secondary staircase and the extra large 3 car garage with its own staircase to the basement. Up the main staircase on the right you will enter through double doors to the master suite which boasts a very large his and hers closet, a sitting room with great natural light, and the master bath.The master bathroom is flooded with light, two separate vanities, a private water closet and a huge walk in spa shower with jets along with a separate tub. Additionally, upstairs are two en suite bedroom and bathrooms. An additional bedroom with a hall bath. There is also a bonus room that is currently set up as a gym but could be made into a media room, playroom or additional bedroom. $1,295,000

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Home Sweet office

ProfeSSionalS SHare tHeir inSigHtS on wHat makeS working from Home work By ilene DuBe PHotograPHy By Jeffrey e. tryon anD cHarleS r. PloHn

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oom and other video chat services came along just in time for our work-from-home era. While many have called our electronic devices “home offices” for decades, attending meetings, in-person gatherings, and site visits without leaving home was the final frontier. What will the post-pandemic future be for working from home? Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told The Wall Street Journal, “I don’t see any positives. Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.” Others, including BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, according to LinkedIn News, say the adaptation has changed office space needs and will ultimately lead to less in-office staff. And according to surveys on Axios, fewer than 10 percent of Americans want to work remotely all the time. Let’s talk about stress: Working from home reduces the stress of commuting and negotiating child care arrangements, while, at the same time, child care arrangements and being in the same room(s) with family members for extended periods of time has greatly increased stress. Certainly, the hybrid model is here to stay. Princeton Magazine spoke to several area professionals, some of whom have had to change the way they work, others who are working the way they always have, and others who flex as needed. TWIN SPACES

Architect Leslie Dowling has just completed major renovations (“essentially new construction,” she says) on a property at the edge of the Princeton University campus, at the corner of Charlton and William streets. “We bought it for the location and because it had a detached apartment for my design studio,” she says. “Previously my office was on the lowest level of my house, which I liked because the whole house could be shown to clients as a sort of model home. But I did find a need to physically separate my work space from my living space.” Dowling, who earned her master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University, honed her skills in custom residential design while working for Michael Graves. She is married to restaurateur Carlo Momo, and has renovated four houses in Princeton and built one from the ground up. The house on Charlton Street was previously a two-family property with a 150-year-old duplex residence and detached 75-year-old two-unit apartment. She converted the duplex to a twobedroom, single family home the couple shares with their 16-year-old daughter Anna and 10-year-old Havanese, Pepper. “He hasn’t minded the sevenmonth work-from-home situation,” says Dowling. “He’s emotionally needy, to put it mildly, so having us all here has been perfect for him.” The detached two-unit apartment, fronting on William Street and also a duplex, was converted to a one-bedroom loft apartment for the East Coast office for Dowling Studios. Dowling works with her twin

sister and design partner Julie, who is based in the firm’s San Francisco office. “We are a boutique architecture studio by choice,” says Dowling. “We take just a few projects per year and like to do all of the design and drawing development ourselves.” The lower level of the light-filled space is a conference area, and the upstairs is a loft. “It is a

legal apartment and was designed to be easily converted to that use should the need ever arise,” she says. For the past decade most of the firm’s projects have been in California, so Dowling has commuted to San Francisco for key project meetings or to the projects themselves, located mostly in the now fireravaged counties north of San Francisco. “Several FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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of our past projects are in grave danger,” she says. Along with the pandemic, “It’s like a two-headed monster.” As for interacting with the outside world these days, “I am naturally risk averse and definitely do not want to get this virus, so I have been very cautious when interacting with others. Working from home has been a fairly smooth experience for me, though it has not been possible to commute to the West Coast where we have a few projects at various stages of completion. I don’t know what other architects have experienced but COVID has definitely slowed everything down in our world. Building departments have been closed, and projects have been placed on hold or are moving very slowly.

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It’s been hard for everyone.” On the plus side, working from home means not having to leave Pepper alone and if she doesn’t have a Zoom meeting scheduled, the dog crosses the courtyard and goes to work with her. Then again, “it can be hard to separate work from home, though I have it very easy with just Anna at home. I have huge admiration for all of the parents out there who are working from home while home schooling and caring for young children.” Anna is a student at Stuart Country Day, which follows a hybrid school schedule. “Toward the end of March, she was attending virtual school in her bedroom. We were under construction, so I was working from our dining

room in our apartment and Carlo was running the restaurant business from the living room. That was a little stressful, but we’ve become eerily accustomed to it now.” WRITER’S PARADISE

Princeton author Landon Jones is at work on a book about celebrity culture, which is under contract to Beacon Press in Boston. “I also distract myself writing occasional op-ed pieces, when the inspiration strikes,” he says. Earlier this year he published two in The Wall Street Journal — one on Albert Camus and The Plague, and the other with Pia de Jong about the release at Princeton University

of T.S. Eliot’s love letters to Emily Hale. Reached while visiting his daughter’s family in Maine, Jones says his office is always with him. But what, exactly, constitutes his “office”? “When I travel, my office is my MacBook Air, along with as many hard copies of my book proposal and chapter summaries that I can carry. I like to hold papers in my hands when I can. I sometimes spread them on the floor. I seem to think horizontally.” But he does have a brick-and-mortar office at home in Princeton. “We bought our house from a gentleman scholar named Nathaniel Burt and his wife Winkie. The Burts had a music studio above the garage with a Steinway upright piano in it. So we had the piano moved to our living room, and we then increased the space as much as we could. Today it is a writer’s paradise, filled with books, bookshelves, boxes of clippings and files, lots of counter space, and wraparound windows.” His commute is a 10-yard walk “which provides some psychological distance — and takes away my excuses.”

In order to be productive, he likes to have a window “with a long view so I can gaze and daydream. I like lots of counter space around me so I can organize my chapters. I am not good at organizing on my computer, so I make a mess on a counter or on the floor. Then I like some physical activity every day — walking or tennis — to keep me relaxed and get rid of any tension I might be carrying. Deadlines help. When I had a deadline on my William Clark biography, I wrote five chapters in five weeks.” The pandemic lockdown has had little effect on Jones’ routine. “It’s pretty much the same for me. I do not have regular writing hours, like some writers do. I write whenever I find time. My social life has diminished, as has everyone’s, but then writing projects just fill up that space.” HOUSE OF MUSIC

Soprano Rochelle Ellis, adjunct associate professor of voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Princeton University, has been

working from home since March 13 — that was the day of her last live performance, at the Princeton University Chapel. The other members of her home pod are wife Lucy Strauli, who teaches music to elementary school students in New Brunswick, two daughters, and a puppy. The key to looking professional on Zoom is all in the backdrop, and so the upstairs bedroom had to be re-arranged for Strauli’s teaching sessions. Ellis — a St. Louis native who earned her doctor of musical arts degree in voice from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers — spends the day near the piano and treated herself to an ergonomic steel desk chair. As if learning to teach voice remotely wasn’t enough of a challenge, Ellis also had to move her office this past summer, as the Choir College moved to the campus of Rider University in Lawrence. That meant getting permission from the dean to be on campus, and then packing up 25 years’ worth of stuff. Although Rider is conducting all classes virtually, Ellis had a chance to see her new office and is looking forward to using it one day, though remains sad that there was never a chance to


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say goodbye to the old campus. “I’m happy to be working from home, but I do miss singing,” she says. Making music is very much a social experience that she misses. “The personal interactions, the spontaneity, seeing colleagues, chatting about the news and TV and snacks — I’m a personable person and enjoy shooting the breeze.” She hopes that, when this is all over, “I can open my mouth and there’s something there.” Meanwhile, teaching remotely she has had tech difficulties such as lag time — making it impossible to sync the piano to voice — but has since learned of audio interfaces that work with a separate microphone. Ellis is grateful for high-speed internet connection, but working from home means being your own tech support. She has found that the situation enables students to become more independent and learn to depend on their ear and not the piano. The instructor has been teaching the origins of African American vocal techniques, classical, jazz, and blues to her students, all future music educators. “It’s an opportunity to

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expand their own singing capabilities. Each class spotlights a vocal technique: breathing, vowel placement, history, vocal pedagogy.” Ellis acknowledges that no one knows how long this way of teaching will endure — it has already been far longer than anyone expected. “I don’t want to be sad and depressed, so I find exciting things to do but in a different way. You have to be active and continue to learn and be excited about what you do.” After a lifetime of juggling — her evenings had been consumed with driving her daughters to swimming, gymnastics, riding lessons, Princeton Girlchoir — Ellis is settling into this new routine, with one daughter at Chapin and one schooled from home. It just requires having a lot of iPads, with four Zoom meetings happening at once while the girls do cello and violin lessons. “That’s part of life in the Ellis household — you have to do music.” Ellis has one adult daughter who, before COVID, sang with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. When a vaccine finally is developed, “I think some of this will stay. Look at the money you can

save by not being on campus. Not everyone wants that experience. Colleges will have to adapt.” Ellis says the cool thing about 2020 is that we can develop 20-20 vision. “This year has helped us develop clear vision about what’s important in relationships, jobs, families; what it means to be a good citizen; and what we need from our government leaders. It would be foolish to go back to the ‘good old days.’ They were not always so good. The key to life in the future is to find alternative ways to do things so everyone has a place, that there aren’t people who can’t contribute.” “I tell my students, we will sing together — that will happen,” she continues. “As musicians we bring light into dark. Whether in visual arts or film or literature, our job is to keep the glow of this world going, to heal from this gaping wound. We have done it throughout history. You really have to pay attention — this is the time you have, and you have to make the most of it. All we can do is have faith and put one foot in front of another and do your job and love people.”


As executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton, Adam Welch had his first official day on the job September 1, though he began meeting with staff in mid-July. “I was so eager to begin I could not stay away!” The Hightstown resident and ceramic artist who formerly headed Greenwich House Pottery in Manhattan says he is spending as much time as he can in the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, but also working remotely from home.

The building has been open since summer, with a 12-week in-person children’s camp that welcomed small groups of masked campers, and a full lineup of virtual camps. Additionally, pod-based art experiences for students of all ages take place both inside and outside on the terrace. “At the Arts Council we are taking this opportunity to engage an online audience that, pre-COVID, did not exist for us. The staff and instructors have worked diligently to ensure that we are reaching our immediate and ever-present community as well as those that we serve through our outreach efforts.”

Nevertheless, “art and an engagement with humanity is something that cannot be completely replaced through a screen. I feel that empathy is best gained through the human experience. In today’s world, this means you follow strict guidelines and ensure all necessary safety protocols are in place. There will be a time in the future where things will resemble the world pre-COVID, but until that time we will do the responsible thing and take every precaution.” Welch is excited to have engaged the broader community with pop-up art experiences such as the mural on the wall at the corner of Witherspoon FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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and Spring streets painted by Arts Council staff and artists Melissa Kuscin and Maria Evans. “The entire staff is working to bring what we traditionally have done inside, out.” He points to the signage, streetscape, and social distancing sidewalk stickers created by the Arts Council. “Did I mention the staff here are amazing, creative, dedicated, and very aware of what our responsibility is to keep everyone safe?” Welch also enjoys the work he does from home which “largely transpires in our home library/ children’s classroom/my wife’s office. Though COVID has been tumultuous and devastating for many, the opportunity to do my work remotely has been the most rewarding experience of my life.” He does not miss the daily commute (two hours each way) to New York City that he had done for 12 years. “Working remotely, I have that much more time to engage with my family, and the rewards have been beyond measure.” The ceramic artist credits his wife, Rachel, as the go-to person for everything in his household, but while acknowledging how “amazingly creative and active” his two daughters are, as well as the great work done by the East Windsor/Hightstown school district. “It was a difficult transition for the kids. They did exceedingly well, given the situation, but enthusiasm did fade. So, when you are working,

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while helping to support and nurture the love of all things educational, it is quite a different experience. Though I love to teach and would offer the gift of that passion at every turn, if you want to know about what it is to juggle working from home and doing everything, Rachel is the person to ask.” Nevertheless, he was able to focus with great precision, he says. “It was unprecedented what the Arts Council had to deal with — reinventing the business model, transitioning what was always inperson to remote. Art, the transfer of some vision into some material, was not so easy to translate directly. We had to all work much harder than normal. Let’s just hope that the lessons learned can help to shape our future.” To make his own work, Welch turned the garage into a studio. “For 12 years it sat collecting the detritus of life,” but when the pandemic hit and he had to teach remotely, it meant wiring up electricity for the wheel and lights. He weeded out old bicycles and equipment “and got things set up for a proper studio. Rachel also worked wonders with our internet company to upgrade our service and get a contemporary modem so I would have a strong wireless signal in my detached garage.” In the past Welch had worked in the ceramic studio at Princeton University, where he teaches, as well as at Greenwich House. “While those studios

are stocked and well-equipped, my home studio was not. Now it is and the ease allows me much more time.” And there is the added benefit of not having to make the trek to those other studios. While his own work has not necessarily changed, “it does have me thinking more about pottery and the value and humility of the handmade.” Has being an artist helped to prepare him to cope with challenges like these times? “There was no preparing for these times. There is not even a way to conceptualize these times and there is no way to garner enough empathy to wrap your head around the deep trauma that people are experiencing or will be experiencing around our community and beyond. Nor do we have a way to grasp the anxiety that is and has yet to manifest in our children. That said, I feel that being an artist has allowed me to view situations creatively. That is to say, to see potential in helping shape my view of things. There is opportunity in all things.” SPORTS MEMORABILIA, TECH, AND ANTIQUES

Kevin Tylus, president of Bryn Mawr Trust, and his wife, Ginger, have lived in a charmingly renovated historic farmhouse in Skillman since 2004. The original section of the house dates to 1760, and was

built by one of the earliest settlers of Blawenburg. It sits on land that was originally a dairy farm owned by Atherton Hobler, a founder of Benton & Bowles advertising agency who collected guernsey cattle. His son, the late Herb Hobler, founder of Nassau Broadcasting Company and a pioneer of the teleprompter who was a leader in numerous Princeton-area nonprofits and initiatives, lived in a nearby home. The house fell into disrepair by the 1990s, when new owners brought it back to life and architect Max Hayden was contracted for its renovation and addition. Tylus works from an antique library table in a 12-by-15-foot room with wood beams spanning the ceiling and a floor rise near the window that looks out on a majestic maple tree. Despite the tools necessary to work today — laptop, iPad, iPhone and its stand, printer, and a satellite phone Bryn Mawr Trust has distributed to its employees in the event of an emergency — the space is orderly and still exudes historic charm. He makes the space his own with framed photos of his family (four children and 10 grandchildren); a Larry Bird jersey (acquired through an auction benefitting the Hun School — Tylus and his children are all alumni, and he has served as a trustee as well as board president); a rack of golf balls that each tell a story of his travels, his friendships, his golf games (Tylus is president of the Springdale Golf Club); a signed photo of Mickey

Mantle; a 1940s Princeton University football helmet; and the spade used for the groundbreaking ceremony of Hun School’s Global Commons. There’s a painting of Bill Bradley during his last game at Dillon Gymnasium painted by a golf champion — Tylus has infinite tales to tell about sports figures and their connections to Princeton. Although the reason for Bryn Mawr staff working from home is unfortunate, says Tylus, it enables everyone to be more efficient. “We can do a 45-minute Webex (video conference) versus a twohour live meeting. We’re giving time back to our people.” Tylus works out of both the Hulfish Street offices and the office in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and finds that without the commute the start of the day is less stressful. “Customers prefer to work this way too, having less contact with people outside the home.” He cites one webinar on investing in uncertain times that drew 1,500 registrants. “We still see people in person, but only by appointment.” Banking had traditionally been a walk-in type of business. “Customers would shop at Olives or stop for coffee and then drop in,” he says. “Now they must let us know they are coming. We put safety first, and customers appreciate the precautions we are taking.” Speaking of stress, Tylus has sympathy for staff who feel they must work all the time when working from home, and for those with children at

home whose schooling they must oversee. Among the other downsides: “You don’t have the benefit of informal interactions over coffee or lunch. New employees need mentoring and a way to learn the culture of the organization. Even though we have all this technology the word ‘society’ implies we are together.” And then there are the power failures, which affected many Princeton residents earlier this year. Still, Tylus marvels at how we have adapted. How, for example, the food industry has evolved in its home delivery model. One thing Tylus does miss is interaction with the community organizations Bryn Mawr supports, such as Arm in Arm, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and McCarter Theatre, or with partner organizations such as the Arts Council of Princeton. Among those 10 grandchildren, five live locally but now that they are back in school, he can only see them at outdoor events for limited amounts of time. Tylus often ends his workday by going to watch one of their games. And, he says, since the start of the pandemic, golf has experienced a resurgence, both nationally and at Springdale, which has added 44 new members. “Because they aren’t commuting, families start coming to play at 5 p.m. — we’re seeing evening golf that never existed. It’s a wonderful way to work off steam.”

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After I got my Rabbit Run Creek listing under contract in a record time of 10 days, almost immediately, I was presented with another listing in the same development. Although the community is new (2019) and still in the process of being constructed, peoples’ lives change and so, too, do their living situations. Recently, I had prospective buyer ask me if I was a resale realtor. I said “yes, I guess you could call me that.” This led to a conversation about the value of resale vs. new construction. This is a common question. My answer is that some resales—particularly those that have been owned for a year or less—have the look, the feel, even the smell of new construction. A new resale can definitely be a WIN WIN!! See my fabulous new listing below.


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A Tree Glows in Princeton Behind the Scenes of the Annual Palmer Square Tradition By Anne Levin Photos courtesy of Palmer Square Management


a stretch of long tunnels that run underneath Palmer Square, an annual rite of the holiday season gets underway just after Halloween. In these catacombs (minus the tombs), the 3.5 miles of lights that adorn the massive Palmer Square Christmas tree are hung along the walls so that their multi-colored bulbs can be tested and replaced. It is an exacting process that takes about three weeks to complete. By the day after Thanksgiving, the tree is ready. That evening — Black Friday — crowds of local residents and tourists gather on the green and around the Square, awaiting the moment when the switch is flipped and the 70-foot Norway Spruce bursts into light. It is an annual, much-anticipated tradition — in normal years. But 2020, of course, is not a normal year. FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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Hordes of people standing shoulder to shoulder are the last thing that Palmer Square Management, and the municipality of Princeton, want to encourage this season. Thanks to the

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COVID-19 pandemic, the tree lighting is virtual this year, with no ceremony for people to attend. But the management company was not about to let fans down. After much deliberation, the staff settled on a solution that they hope captures the holiday spirit while keeping people safe. Instead of an in-person event, the tree was lit ahead of time. The usual participants — dancers from American Repertory Ballet, singers from Princeton High School, actors from McCarter Theatre, musicians from School of Rock, and Santa Claus — took part in a video production that will be available to watch online throughout the season. “We knew we couldn’t do it in person this year,” said Lori Rabon, vice president of Palmer Square Management and general manager of the Nassau Inn. “We get thousands of people. In all good conscience, with what is going on, I just can’t do that. But Jamie [Wolkert, of Palmer Square Management’s director of marketing] came up with a brilliant idea.” Wolkert’s first goal was to keep things as traditional as possible while avoiding a specific, dated event. “I was worried that if we did a live stream, people would get wind of it and show up. So, we scratched that idea,” she said earlier this

fall. “We decided to film the tree lighting ahead of time and add some behind-the-scenes footage of the guys decorating the tree. We’ll tell some stories, too. Because there are stories to tell.” While it’s hard to pin down the exact date when the tree lighting began, there are scattered mentions of it in Princeton University’s “Papers of Princeton” database. “There was an illuminated Christmas tree in Palmer Square from at least 1940 — that caption from the [Princeton] Packet exhibition suggests 1939 as the first year a ‘Community Christmas Party’ was held in Palmer Square, but does not specify whether a tree was included that first year,” wrote Stephanie Schwartz, the Historical Society of Princeton curator of collections, in an email. The earliest references Schwartz found to a tree lighting are 1961 and 1976. The former, dated December 22, 1961, shows Mayor Raymond F. Male flipping the switch as Fred M. Blaicher, then president of Palmer Square Inc., looked on. A December 2, 1976 calendar entry in Town Topics newspaper lists a tree lighting at Palmer Square with singing by the Boychoir of Princeton, sponsored by Palmer Square shops and the Nassau Inn.

There are unconfirmed legends. A blog that pops up repeatedly online, in which the unnamed author admits to taking a certain amount of “creative liberties,” has this to say: “In 1945, as a token of appreciation for donating his 195-foot steel schooner for commission in World War II to patrol and protect the shores of Iceland, Sveinn Bjornsson, the nation’s first president, personally presented Edgar Palmer [who built the Square] with quite literally the most beautiful Norway Spruce in all of Scandinavia. A gold collar around the lower trunk bore the inscription translated ‘May this tree protect your lands the way your ship protected ours.’ During that time period, the Nordic custom of gifting evergreens to close friends and allies was equivalent to being knighted, an honor of which Edgar Palmer was very proud. He immediately made arrangements to have the tree planted on the green at Palmer Square. Furthermore, while it stood only at a mere 10 feet tall at the time, it had the magnificence of a tree more than 10 times its size.” According to Jim Elkington, the Nassau Inn’s director of facilities, it takes 33,872 volts of electricity to light the towering tree. Elkington

was a young teenager when he began helping his father, who worked in the hotel’s maintenance department, prepare the lights and decorate the tree. “That was the 1970s. There weren’t as many light bulbs back then,” he said. “They would change the colors. Sometimes they were blue and green, sometimes white and blue. Then, in the 1980s, we went to multi-colored. These strings are long — really long. If you put them end to end, they would stretch from Nassau Street to the Princeton Airport.” The long hallways underneath Palmer Square West are the only place with enough room to work on the bulbs. “We replace the lights every year, because of the weathering,” Elkington said. “It usually takes about eight to 10 people to do the job.” The painstaking process doesn’t always go as planned. Elkington remembers one year in the late 1990s when he had to do some challenging, last-minute repairs. “The most important thing is that the tree lights. You get one chance,” he said. “During the day of the lighting, we test it often to make sure it will light. About one hour before the event, we turned it on, and the star wasn’t working. A squirrel had bitten through it

or something. I had to climb it with the lights in my pocket, and I got it done just in time.” The annual tree lighting officially inaugurates the holiday shopping season for Palmer Square. “It has become such a tradition, for so many families,” said Rabon. “I talk to people, who tell me they came when they were children, and now they bring their own. They come back in multi-generational families. Parents come from Florida for the holidays, and everything on that Friday is about going to the tree lighting and visiting with Santa. I think it is extremely important. It breaks my heart that we won’t be able to do it in person this year, because it does mean so much. But the show we’re producing will hopefully make up for it until we’re able to come back live next year.” FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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The Spirit of Christmas, which is peace, the gladness of Christmas, which is hope, and the heart of Christmas, which is love.


NDHS_Princeton_Christmas Ad.indd 1

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Christmas Shop

Christmas displays are in our greenhouses.

Holiday Harvest Box — Baby Purple Cabbage: Bringing our winter bounty to you! Honey Brook Organic Farm is offering home delivered shares to Mercer County through the end of December. For more information, visit the Holiday Harvest portion of our website at Multi-Color Bracelet: Hamilton Jewelers Private Reserve bracelet with multi-color sapphires and diamonds. Handmade in platinum, showcasing oval and cushion shaped sapphires totaling 40 carats and 5 carats of brilliant diamonds. 92 Nassau Street, Princeton, 609.683.4200; Sapphire Earrings: Hamilton Jewelers Private Reserve drop earrings with sapphire and diamonds. Exquisite drop earrings handmade in precious platinum, showcasing two pear-shape blue sapphires weighing 10 carats with two round brilliant diamonds. 92 Nassau Street, Princeton, 609.683.4200;

Lashes • Brows • Waxing: Next Lash Studio, 856 US Highway 206, Suite B6, Hillsborough; 732.630.NEXT(6398). Rarebird Cheese: Silver medal winner from the 2018 ACS Conference. A washed rind, raw milk cheese aged between 60 and 90 days, Rarebird’s defining characteristic is that it is made with the milk of only one single milking. When mature, the paste has a silky, custardy feel, giving off a whiff of minerally sea cave and a bit of the barnyard. Cherry Grove Farm’s cheesemakers recommend that Rarebird be served at room temperature and paired with Gewurtztraminer, Dolcetto, or a strong dark ale. $29.99 per lb. Visit Havilah Cheese: A 2020 Good Food Awards winner, Havilah is Cherry Grove Farm’s longest aged cheese. Extended affinage has produced a full-flavor and rich mouth-feel, with savory notes of pineapple, citrus, and caramel. A star on the cheese plate with membrillo or honeyed walnuts. Try after dinner with an Italian Passito or Vin Santo. $25.99 per lb. Visit

Santa visits on the following dates: Nov. 27, 28, & 29 Dec. 5, 12, & 13 from 10am to 3pm Sunday Dec. 6 from 1pm to 5pm

Santa will have a face covering and seating will be socially distant. Garden Center Hours: Mon. thru Sat. 9am-6pm Sunday 10am-5pm

(609) 921-9248 133 Carter Rd. • Princeton, NJ FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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heading this Book Scene with the grand old sales slogan online sources say was first used in 1926 by the Victor Talking Machine Company. My excuse is Brandon Stanton’s new book Humans (St. Martin’s $35) and its 2013 predecessor, Humans of New York: Stories. Just as Victor’s phonographs and records kept on giving the gift of music to listeners, Stanton’s books and blogs offer an ongoing many-faceted gift of New York life to readers who love and are lonely for the locked-down city. I found myself engaged in a variation on the practice at a holiday office party centered on anonymous gifts chosen by number in an all-in-good-fun lottery, the idea being that the gift you just unwrapped could be traded for someone else’s. It happened that two years in a row, the giftwrapped package I pulled out of the holiday grab bag contained Humans of New York, which proved to be one of the most continuously rewarding presents I’ve ever been given. What do you do when you’ve been given an extra copy of something that makes you smile whenever you open the covers to take a walk in Stanton’s New York? Do you cast the precious object back into the holiday trade winds for a colleague’s bottle of wine? No, you give it to a friend you hope will cherish it as much as you do, and all the better if the friend happens to be moving to the city. AGAINST THE LABELS

Humans extends Stanton’s range to people and cities in more than 40 countries, from Amsterdam to Tehran. In his introduction, he admits that after 10 years he’s still not sure what to call the creative enterprise that began with Humans of New York. “Photography project” seems “too reductive,” blog “a little too digital.” The scope of the concept “seems to strain against all the labels” he’s used in the past. In view of the geographical dimensions, the one word title makes sense, especially since it leaves the door open for New Yorkers, still the focus of some of the most appealing stories. I know what Stanton means about labels, having found myself straining against “coffee table books” as a term that tilts too close to the idea of display for display’s sake. The volumes mentioned here are simply the ones I’d like to think offer something more lasting than their surface appearance or their value as conversation pieces.

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In The Dairy Restaurant (Schocken $29.95), Ben Katchor “has captured the spirit of old Jewish New York,” according to the The New York Journal of Books, which compares it favorably to previous work like Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer (2000), making note of the “fascinating hybrid format,” part history, philosophy, rumination, part graphic imagery” that “lovingly chronicles and restores a vanishing cultural fixture.” AT THE WHITNEY

Another New York-based book is the monograph for the Whitney Museum’s acclaimed exhibit Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 (Yale Univ. Press $65), which was closed to the public for five months during the coronavirus lockdown. On the occasion of the Whitney’s reopening in mid-August, the Financial Times’ Ariella Budick hailed Vida Americana as “an electric exhibition.” Visitors will have until January 31, 2021, to experience the show’s “grand drama.” Editor/curator Barbara Haskell’s introduction refers to a “vision of Mexico” that “captured the American imagination as an antidote to the rootlessness and isolation of modern urban and industrial life.” While numerous American artists traveled to Mexico, the leading Mexican muralists — José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros — spent extended periods of time in the United States, executing murals, paintings, and prints; exhibiting their work; and interacting with local artists. In his New York Times review of the show’s February opening, Holland Cotter draws attention to “three vital things” — “It reshapes a stretch of art history to give credit where credit is due; it suggests that the Whitney is, at last, on the way to fully embracing American art; and it offers yet another argument for why this country’s build-the-wall mania has to go. Judging by the story told here, we should be actively inviting our southern neighbor to enrich our cultural soil.” BREAKING GROUND

Jane Hall’s Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women (Phaidon Press $49.95) has been cited by ELLE Decoration for the way it “marks and celebrates women’s roles in the architectural world, and presents a glorious visual manifesto of more than

180 exceptional buildings from around the world.” Writing in Art in America America, Jessica Varner comments: “Within its bright red-and-orange covers, Breaking Ground brings together, in a starkly consistent format, completed buildings by women spanning more than a century. Arranged alphabetically by the architect’s last name, the entries each provide a photograph or two of a building, and a short biography of the structure’s architect, presenting the 180-plus projects as a diverse but united front.” Jane Hall is the inaugural recipient of the British Council Lina Bo Bardi Fellowship and a founding member of Assemble, the London-based, Turner Prize-winning collective. EXPLORING LIVABILITY

Of her book, Made for Living: Collected Interiors for All Sorts of Styles (Clarkson Potter $40), interior designer Amber Lewis says, “Livability is my true north. The materials I use time and again all change with age and wear. Not only is that okay, it’s how you achieve more than a re-creation of what you’ve already seen, or what somebody else has done.” Lewis is the principal and founder of Amber Interiors, a fullservice firm that provides designs for everything from largescale residences to extensive commercial projects. She and her team work with architects and contractors to bring to life the distinct visions seen in her work, on her blog, and in her retail shop. Lewis lives with her husband and daughter in Calabasas, California. A NEW YORK STORY

Wolf Kahn: Paintings and Pastels, 2010-2020 (Rizzoli Electa $55) celebrates the work of the American artist Wolf Kahn (1927-2020). A refugee from Nazi Germany who immigrated to the U.S. in 1940, he settled in New York City, where he studied with painter Hans Hofmann. It’s possible to imagine this longtime New Yorker among the “humans” who crossed Brandon Stanton’s path when the

photographer was exploring the streets and parks and stories of the city between 2010 and 2020. Co-authored by Hunter College Professor Emeritus of Art History William C. Agee and independent curator and art historian Sasha Nicholas, the volume focuses on the oil and pastel landscapes made during the last decade of Kahn’s life and was prepared in close collaboration with the artist. Nicholas puts Kahn in context with other artists and situates his late work within his broader career, while Agee, who met with Kahn for several interviews, discusses his process and most recent paintings. Also included is a contribution by poet and literary critic J. D. McClatchy (1945-2018), who was editor of The Yale Review and president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In his poem, “Wolf’s Trees,” he writes of “melon or maize, solferino or smoke, / Colors into which a sunset will collapse / On a high branch of broken promises.” A FIELD GUIDE FOR THE WORLD

“We usually define cities in terms of their bigness, so it’s easy to forget that our daily experience of any city is made up of countless tiny, intimate encounters.” Design critic and author Michael Bierut could be describing one of Brandon Stanton’s books, but he’s actually talking about The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $30) by Roman Mars, creator and host of the podcast of the same name, and its digital director and producer Kurt Kohlstedt. Booklist calls The 99% Invisible City “A field guide for everywhere.” With a little tinkering, the same could be said of Brandon Stanton’s Humans, a global field guide to people and stories everywhere. The term global has never been more significantly in evidence than during a year living in the shadow of a pandemic, where, at this writing, in-person visits to bookstores still need to be monitored. Such was the case during my late September visit to Labyrinth Books in Princeton, where several of these titles were on display. FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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Nestled in magnificent Bucks County, this gem, with its combination of beauty and rich history, is surrounded by nature, wildlife, parks, canals, rivers, and bridges. Across its rolling hills and open fields are stunning gentlemen’s farms, picturesque small towns, and plenty of wineries in the heart of Council Rock District, all within an easy commute to Princeton, NYC, and Philadelphia. Not only beautiful and practical, but as a LEED Platinum level home, the size, location, and system in the house are all carefully selected for efficient and healthy living. The house also comes with rooftop solar panels, a geothermal system for heating and cooling, radiant floors, a cistern for collecting and reusing water, and a security system with cameras. It is the perfect sized home designed to maximize energy and be environmentally friendly without compromising in space for entertainment, every component of the house has been carefully selected for a high quality of living and the materials. Located only 1 hour to NYC by train. $2,395,000

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Princeton: 354 Nassau Street (609) 683-9700

Crosswicks: 2 Crosswicks Chesterfield Road (609) 291-5525 Pennington: 7 Tree Farm Road (609) 303-0625

Holidays Chefs

with the

Pairing Food, Wine, and Music for Entertaining IMAGES COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

By Ilene Dube


this writing, New Jersey restaurants can only operate at 25 percent capacity, and restaurateurs were vying for the few remaining heat lamps to prolong the outdoor dining season. For sure, the holidays will be different this year — with many unable to gather with the family and friends that make the holidays a true celebration. Princeton Magazine spoke to area chefs to learn how they will celebrate this year, both at home and in their restaurants. And writers Lori Goldstein and Donald H. Sanborn III compiled playlists inspired by each restaurant to help readers create a similar ambience in their own homes.

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For the man behind Local Greek on Leigh Avenue and Small Bites by Local Greek on Nassau Street, the holidays are one big fat Greek festival. Anthony Kanterakis — “Tony” — will be celebrating with his Greek fiancé and Greek mother, who lives in Monroe. Everybody eats when they come to Mama Kanterakis’ (Chrisanthe) house — his sister, aunts and uncles, and family friends. There will be turkey, as well as moussaka and pastitsio, all prepared by Chrisanthe, and guests are welcome to bring dessert. While Kanterakis doesn’t do any of the cooking — “I’m a zombie after Thanksgiving” — as a restaurateur he never takes a day off, even when the restaurant is closed. “I would never open on Thanksgiving or Christmas because those

days are dedicated to family (New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are open). But it never feels like work — I’d rather be here at the restaurant than anywhere else, and the employees feel that way too. There’s camaraderie, and it’s like home.” Kanterakis describes himself as the kind of boss who solicits ideas from his staff and puts them into practice. The holiday menu at Local Greek includes Oven-Roasted Lamb and Kokkinisto, a kind of beef stew with orzo and Greek-style tomato sauce, with grated Kefalograviera, a hard yellow Greek cheese with a nutty piquant flavor. (Local Greek is a market as well as restaurant and sells some hardto-find staples of Greek cuisine.) Chrisanthe — she and her late husband emigrated from Greece before Tony was born — once owned New Athens Corner Bakery in Highland Park, which sold prepared Greek

Italian. Carranza’s brother, Douglas, is the head waiter at Local Greek. “They’ve both embraced Greek culture. They mold the kitchen,” says Kanterakis, who has given Carranza a Greek nickname, Laki. There is some overlap in Greek and Italian cuisines — Kanterakis says one of his favorite things to eat is Makaronia Me Kima, which he compares to a Greek Bolognese sauce for spaghetti. When he thinks about families breaking bread

together, Kanterakis says he wants to cry. “The elderly are more affected (by COVID-19) and the younger ones are afraid to get their elders sick, so family gatherings have to be seriously cautious. Greek homes are known for inviting everyone, but this year it will only be immediate family.” Family is a term that Kanterakis uses generously, to embrace the people who work with him and even the local business owners who gather at his outdoor tables. This year he plans to give thanks for good health, and for family.


gourmet food. She has been in the kitchen at Local Greek, working with Chef Lazaro Carranza on the Kokkinisto with the goal of making her traditional recipe work in a contemporary setting. Kanterakis calls her his inspiration. “All the recipes we use stem from her hand.” Carranza, who is originally from Guatemala — he studied at the Academia Culinaria de Guatemala — worked in food service for 20 years at Princeton University, becoming adept at Mediterranean cuisine including Greek and

“Zorba the Greek” (1964) - Turner Classic Movies.

wine pairing

Agiorgitiko: The most common red greek wine, it is characteristically spicy with notes of plum, and low acidity but good fruitiness and coloring. Agiorgitiko means “St. George’s Grape,” and is probably named for a chapel near Nemea in the Pelloponnese where it’s most common. It is thought to be one of Greece’s oldest varieties. It’s best paired with meat dishes such as beef or lamb stews and roasts. Moschofilero: A lively and floral white-wine grape grown in the Peloponnese region of Mantinia. Still white, rosé, and sparkling wines offer flavors that span from light and delicate, to ripe and fun-loving, to exotic and spicy. It’s often compared to Riesling, Traminer, and Viognier, though its character is distinctively Greek. Best enjoyed with fish dishes, as well as with refreshing salads and vegetable dishes.


As your guests enjoy a taste of the cuisine offered by Local Greek, give them an authentic musical flavor of the Mediterranean as well. An album by musician Constantin Paravanos, Greece: Syrtaki and Hellas Folk Dances, contains treasures such as “To Dilino,” “Voyage sur la mer Egée,” “Athina,” “Xamenos,” and “Sirtaki Syrtaki.” Complete your guests’ experience with the music of Mikis Theodorakis, a prolific composer whose works include operas, ballets, and symphonies. Among Theodorakis’ best-known compositions is the score for the classic film Zorba the Greek (1964), which was adapted from the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. Director Michael Cacoyannis — who also helmed the 1983 Broadway revival of the musical version, Zorba — filmed the movie on location in Crete. Selections from the soundtrack include “Zorba’s Dance” and “Sirtos Chaniotikos” (“The Fire Inside”). Compiled by Donald H. Sanborn III FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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and their holiday tradition was to host an “Orphan’s Thanksgiving.” They opened the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day to serve those who had nowhere else to go, whether it was because their kitchen was under renovation, they couldn’t afford to travel home, had dietary restrictions that made them unwelcome, or simply didn’t feeling like cooking and cleaning. “It turned into a tradition instantly,” says Roberts. After the first year, “we didn’t even have a chance to announce it before customers started asking for it.” It never felt like work, she adds, but was something they enjoyed. This year will be quiet. “We’ll miss sharing Thanksgiving with those customers, but we’ll still be cooking for anyone who needs it, and that’s just as rewarding.” Says Donati: “I will be cooking a small quiet dinner we’ll spend with my mother-inlaw. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I have to have the staples to make it feel real — mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and, of course, Doria’s sweet potato and pecan pies.” Donati and Roberts plan to take time off


Doria Roberts and Calavino Donati moved to the area a year ago with the plan of bringing their tea shop, Tipple and Rose Tea Parlor, to Princeton. Previously located in Atlanta, Travel + Leisure ranked Tipple and Rose third in the country for its high tea service. The tea parlor was also beloved for its scones. Roberts, who grew up in Trenton and went to Princeton Day School, wanted to live closer to her mother who’d had some health setbacks. Then the pandemic came along and put the brakes on the idea of sit-down tea service in Princeton. But as one door closed, another opened in the form of a pop-up space at the site of the former Éclair Café in Pennington. The Pig and The Pit is a “ghost kitchen,” which Roberts describes as having no indoor dining space — perfect for these times. After 25 years living in the South, Donati and Roberts developed the confidence to take on Southern BBQ, incorporating elements to satisfy both Roberts’ vegetarian diet and Donati’s

omnivorous consumptions. Roberts is the baker, and the sweet potato pie is from her mother’s recipe. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Roberts toured as a musician, sharing the stage with the Indigo Girls, Odetta, Sara McLaughlin, John Mayer, and others. She retired from music and began working as a baker with her wife. Beginning in 1996, Donati had created a near cult-like following at her Atlanta restaurant, The Roman Lily Café. “Well-behaved women rarely make history” is Roberts and Donati’s motto, and according to The Pig and The Pit website, their from-scratch approach uses fresh and local ingredients but “we like to break the rules! A lot. So you’ll often see playful spins on familiar favorites like Turkey Poblano Meatloaf with jalapeño tequila gravy, Cornbread Tres Leches, Fried Green Tomatoes with apple horseradish sauce, Sweet Potato Salad, and lighter fare like Coconut Curry Hummus, organic local Tofu Gyro, and Mustard Greens Tabouli.” “Calavino loves to feed people,” says Roberts,

wine pairing

Beer and bourbon are the usual accompaniments to Southern food and, especially, BBQ because the strong flavors tend to overwhelm the subtle notes you want to experience in wine. But, if wine is a must, we’d suggest varietals with a little effervescence to open up the palate and complement the smoke and spice found on our menu. A nice white Vinho Verde, a cava-like Portugese wine with smaller bubbles, for fish and chicken dishes like our Fish Fry platter with sides of our Balsamic Glazed Figs + Brussels Sprouts and Southern Caviar (blackeyed peas marinated in a mustard greens pesto vinaigrette), Shrimp n’ Grits, or our Smoked and Seared Pork Chops with green apple chow chow (a type of pickled relish) and mashed sweet potatoes. For heavier foods we’d go with a Lambrusco, an Italian red wine made frizzante style. They can be a little sweet and reminiscent of muscadine wines that are popular in the Southern U.S., but a Lambrusco’s depth coupled with the brightness of its bubbles tempers the heavy, syrupy tendencies of a muscadine varietal. We’d suggest pairing a “brut” Lambrusco with our Turkey Poblano Meatloaf with jalapeño tequila gravy and spicy collard greens or our Meat n’ Two platter featuring our Smoked + Pulled Brisket with bourbon creamed corn and dirty portabella rice.”

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As the Pig and The Pit’s website says, “We put a homemade Jersey spin on downhome traditional Southern favorites.” So let your diners enjoy some country and bluegrass favorites as well. Welcome your guests to a holiday dinner with “Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours” by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, “Old-Fashioned Christmas” by Jimmy Martin and the Sunshine Boys, “A Tennessee Christmas” by Amy Grant, and “Footprints in the Snow” by Bill Monroe. If you prefer to use songs that can be enjoyed in any season, you can welcome your diners with Bill Monroe singing “Y’all Come”; a performance by Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris of “Take Me Home, Country Roads”; and Travis Tritt’s life-affirming “It’s a Great Day to be Alive.” Complete your selection with hits by bluegrass stars such as “Nashville Cats” by Flatt & Scruggs; “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” by Allison Krauss; and “Riro’s House” by the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Also, treat your guests to the album Tall Fiddler, which earned musician Michael Cleveland the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. Compiled by Donald H. Sanborn III


Chef Mitresh Saraiya, formerly executive chef at Agricola restaurant, joined Brick Farm Group in February as the catering and commissary chef, working closely with the chefs from Brick Farm Tavern and Brick Farm Market (the Hopewell restaurant and farm-to-table specialty shop and eatery owned and operated by Robin and Jon McConaughy, and supplied by their Double Brook Farm). “I have a great passion for utilizing all things local,” says Saraiya. “At Brick Farm we are focused on our pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. This is very different from Agricola where we were more vegetable focused. It’s always good to know where the food you are eating comes from.” Saraiya, born in India — his family emigrated when he was 3 — was raised as a vegetarian, but that hasn’t stopped him from being adept at roasting a whole goat or pig. When his grandmother came to live with his family she ran a small catering business, and he has fond

recollections of watching her knead dough. Drawn to the food business as a teenager, he nevertheless followed his parents’ wishes to go to college, where he majored in psychology. Soon after graduation he went on to the Pittsburgh Culinary Academy. His Indian family would celebrate the American holidays with lasagna or eggplant parmesan, “which are still two of my favorite things to eat. Our big holiday is Raksha Bandhan, which is a celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters. On this day we would get the whole extended family together, about 50 of us, and would prepare something different every year. There would always be so much food, so it reminded me of Thanksgiving and Christmas, just much earlier in August.” The holiday is celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Sravana, often in August. Celebrants dress in traditional attire and, according to the Times of India, “the rakhi party includes a melange of mouthwatering foods starting from yummiest appetizers to scrumptious


between Christmas and New Year’s Day and invoke some of Donati’s family traditions such as making donuts and going to the market to gather ingredients for a feast of crab legs, potatoes, corn, and oysters. And Roberts will spend preholiday time baking cookies for her nieces. “It’s not officially Christmas until I make cookies for someone.” In the season of gratitude, both are thankful for making their new home in New Jersey, and for those who’ve helped make their dreams a reality, especially during uncertain times. The good news is, they will open Tipple and Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary as a tea emporium a few doors down from The Pig and The Pit. “It has the potential to be a full-service tea shop, but for now we’ll just be selling 140 kinds of loose leaf tea, tea and coffee brewing accessories, honey varietals, homesteading equipment … and you’ll be able to rent our vintage tea ware and have your afternoon tea catered by us.”

wine pairing

Holloran Vineyard is located in western Oregon’s Willamette Valley, known for producing world-class Pinot Noir. The soil is iron-rich and the climate is considered maritime with ocean breezes seeping in through gaps in the mountains. The cool wet winters and long dry summers with ample sunshine provides an extended grape growing season that is ideal for Pinot Noir. Holloran 2014 Pinot Noir provides ripe flavors, and red cherry aromas with notes of clove that complements Chef Sariya’s use of spices with warming qualities such as cinnamon, clove, turmeric, cardamon, and coriander. Established in 1749, Domaine Fouassier from the Sancerre region of France is one of the oldest wine growing families in the Loire Valley. Today, brothers Benoit and Paul represent the 10th generation and have added state-of-the-art machinery without forgetting traditions, and converted the vineyard to organic. Domaine Fouassier 2018 Sauvignon Blanc has pink grapefruit and lime citrus aromas with flavors of fennel and juicy peach that pairs well with fish, cheeses, crisp greens, or a pillowy ricotta gnocchi in brown butter sauce.


Your guests will enjoy a holiday menu with music inspired by the bucolic setting of Double Brook Farm in Hopewell, Brick Farm Tavern’s location. Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, No. 6 will accompany your meal. The great composer was known to gain respite from the challenges of his life in Vienna when he traveled to the countryside to enjoy long walks in nature. (You’ll want to turn down the volume during the 4th movement’s thunderstorm.) Debussy’s Prelude a Làprés-midi d’un Faune, based on Mallarme’s poem, is a succession of scenes through which pass the desires and dreams of the faun. In Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, Op. 114 in A major, one can hear the ripples of the brook, the home of the trout, Die Forelle. Listen to the peace of Ralph Vaughan’s Pastoral Symphony No. 3 and savor his gorgeous violin solo with orchestra in “The Lark Ascending” as la pièce de résistance. Compiled by Lori Goldstein FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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desserts: Tandoori Aloo Tikka, Paneer Tikka, Vegetable Biryani, Boondi Ka Raita, Kadhi Chawal, Chole Kulche, and, for dessert, Halwa and Malpua Rabri. Saraiya will be working in the days leading up to each of the holidays, but Brick Farm will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days and he looks forward to spending the time with his wife, Kelsey, and her family. “They have a tendency to go all out and make tons of food,” he says. “There will be a traditional turkey for Thanksgiving, with all the works. The bird will be prepared by my mother-in-law but I always have a hand in the sides. Feeding others, especially family and friends, brings me great joy.” The Tavern will offer seasonally-inspired dishes around the holidays. “The menu changes frequently so it’s always a new experience for the guest.” There will be turkey “somewhere on the menu for sure,” and the Market will be offering turkeys for pickup, along with classic sides — gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese. “We think that, due to the pandemic, people will be gathering in smaller groups and doing more dining at home — with only 25 percent capacity indoors there won’t be much room for guests in restaurants.” Even if gatherings are smaller by necessity, “it is still important to celebrate by maybe having

a video chat going throughout the day that can make you feel like people are there with you, celebrating.” ANTON’S AT THE SWAN

This nearly 30-year-old restaurant exudes the old-fashioned elegance of the 250-year-old hotel in which it is located. Chef Chris Connors, an Orange native who was once the head chef at The Peacock Inn in Princeton and chef de cuisine at the Frenchtown Inn, bought the Lambertvillebased Anton’s in 2001. With a classical French training, Connors found his way to new American cuisine and says he likes the Lambertville location for its proximity to farms in Hunterdon, Mercer, and Bucks counties. “I have been cooking farm-to-table going back to the late 1980s, before the phrase was even part of our vernacular.” After a temporary closure due to the pandemic, Connors was feeling good about being back at work. But he will close again for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. “I plan to be home with my immediate family — my wife, Ursula, and our two sons. For Thanksgiving we will have the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. We will probably have a few green vegetables and pie for dessert — nothing fancy,

just the classics. Ursula is an excellent cook and we share the cooking at home.” For Christmases past, the family’s go-to places have been Indian Garden in Yardley and Oishi in Newtown, both in Pennsylvania. He cherishes childhood memories of getting together with extended family. “We would usually see our aunts, uncles, and cousins. In recent times we’d get together with my father-in-law, and my brothers and their families. Christmas Eve was always my favorite holiday and it happened to be my father’s birthday, so we always had a double celebration.” For those who visit Anton’s in the holiday season, Connors will probably have Rack of Lamb with lamb sausage on the menu, along with pheasant or Guinea hen from Griggstown Quail Farm. “I’ll serve oysters since they’re usually so good in the winter.” With limited seating capacity, he is curbing variety but will still have what customers have come to expect. This year Connors is giving thanks for friends and family. “I am reminded every day how much they mean to me. For those of us who have been fortunate enough to stay healthy, the single biggest thing we have lost is time with family and friends. Phone calls, video chats, and text messages help, but they don’t replace sitting around the dinner table with people you really care about. I look forward to the day when we can do that again.”

wine pairing

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a French wine from the southern Rhône region which has a more Mediterranean climate with milder winters and hot summers. The characteristic terroir (flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced) comes from a layer of stones called galets (pebbles) that retains heat during the day, releases it at night, and helps to retain moisture in the soil during dry summer months. Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wines from the left bank are full bodied and characterized by their aromas of prune, chocolate, and ripe black fruit. The right bank reds are slightly lighter. Sancerre is located around a medieval hilltop town in the Loire Valley of France and is renowned for producing crisp white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc. The climate is cool continental so the grapes have high acidity and crisp flavors. Sancerre white wines have refreshing flavors including lemon, lime, elderflower, and some grassy notes. The silex soil in the region produces a mineral character in white wines that can be described as flinty.

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Anton’s at the Swan, in Lambertville, offers New American comfort food. In the spirit of our country, Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony No. 8 echoes familiar Native American and African American melodies that are perfect accompaniment to your holiday menu. Dvorak, a Bohemian (now Czech) composer, was hired as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City in 1892. During a short stay in Spillville, Iowa, he was so impressed by America’s openness that he wrote what became known as his “American” Quartet, Op. 12 in F major. Ironically it does not contain any American melodies. A premier American composer, Aaron Copeland, wrote “Appalachian Spring,” commissioned by Martha Graham for ballet. If any of your guests has winter doldrums, this piece is sure to lift one’s spirits. Finally, in keeping with Anton’s modern classic cuisine, Philip Glass’ mesmerizing String Quartets No. 2-5, performed by the Dublin Guitar Quartet, are a quiet backdrop for scintillating conversation. Compiled by Lori Goldstein


The Martha Graham Dance Company performs “Appalachian Spring” on the stage of the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium on Oct. 30, 1944. The Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation Collection, Music Division. (Library of Congress)


BRICK FARM GROUP HAS YOU COVERED FOR THE HOLIDAYS Whether dining at Brick Farm Tavern, shopping at Brick Farm Market, enjoying a prepared meal to take away, or planning a catered event, the goal of each Brick Farm Group afďŹ liate is simple: provide the best-tasting food in the most responsible and sustainable way possible.

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Senior Healthcare Personalized high quality care, safety, security, expert staffing, kindness and love are all the things our clients, residents, and families love about Greenwood House the most! But don’t’ take our word for it. Hear it straight from them. Visit our website and read the many letters of thanks and appreciation @

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Y THE W MAKES THE DIFFERENCE YWCA Princeton is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women through programs that address inequity, provide education, and create opportunity. Supporting Families: The Burke Foundation Early Childhood Center at YWCA Princeton provides affordable, high-quality, and safe early childhood education and care for children ages 8 weeks through 6 years old. Empowering Girls in STEM: Our all-girls robotics teams compete in the First Lego League and First Tech Challenge, and learn to design, build, and program robots that are capable of completing tasks in a competition setting. Serving Survivors: YWCA Princeton’s Breast Cancer Resource Center provides free support services and programs to empower breast cancer survivors and thrivers to live with, through, and beyond breast cancer. Advancing Opportunity: YWCA Princeton provides educational resources and classes for those who are learning English as a Second Language, or are studying to achieve their high school equivalency certificates.

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Mobile Food Pantry distribution.

was a regular provider of fresh produce and goods, but, like all grocery ased in Princeton, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of chains, they experienced challenges meeting the demand in the late spring.” Greater Mercer County (JFCS) is a nonprofit agency that To keep their pantry supplies stocked, Napell said the JFCS staff reached serves the entire community — individuals of all backgrounds, out to new vendors. “We sought out providers beyond our immediate area faiths, and ages. JFCS offers a wide spectrum of social services and built new relationships in the community,” she said. including senior programs, mental health counseling, food “Community supporters have been incredible throughout the pandemic,” pantry and food distribution services, and community and continued Napell. “We’ve had local groups hold food drives and make youth engagement, all of which work together to provide a donations directly to the pantry. Princeton broad network of support. Christian Church donated several boxes of JFCS has been assisting individuals and food, Princeton Elks Lodge has collected food families with many of life’s toughest challenges and personal items, West Windsor Plainsboro since 1937, but the COVID-19 pandemic has Education Association has provided nonbrought new challenges in getting people the perishable items and several donations of fresh help they need. While the agency has closed fruit, and the Beth El Synagogue Community its office on Alexander Road to clients, Garden has been providing weekly donations visitors, and most staff members, JFCS has of vegetables since early September.” successfully continued all its major programs She said that they were also fortunate to be and has expanded its offerings as well. approached by Novo Nordisk, which provided The Mobile Food Pantry, which delivers six weekly donations of food through their nutritious food directly to Mercer County provider, Sodexo. residents vulnerable to food insecurity and The Mobile Food Pantry has now benefited hunger, is a prime example of this, said more than 9,600 individuals since its launch Michelle Napell, executive director of JFCS. and is making three to four stops per week. “This is still our first year on the road, and it has It has 27 distribution partners across Mercer become the largest program due to the drastic JFCS standard pantry bag. County, in eight of the 12 municipalities. increase in need,” she said. “We launched in Distribution partners include local schools where they partner to serve Title January and made three stops, which served about 350 individuals, by the 1 students and their families; low-income housing developments and lowend of February. Then March came, and with it the COVID-19 pandemic income populations; senior low-income housing; and housing developments that changed the dynamic of our community. The mobile pantry became an for low-income adults with disabilities. incredibly valuable resource as demand for food increased as well as the The on-site pantry, the Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry, has obstacles in getting food to those with the greatest need.” served more than 1,700 individuals since March, and JFCS continues to see Napell said that sourcing food for the mobile pantry, as well as the on-site about twice the monthly visits (about 100) as compared to pre-pandemic. pantry at JFCS headquarters, was a challenge early in the crisis. “Wegmans FALL/WINTER 2020 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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The on-site and mobile food pantries are kept Kosher in line with the mental health department with community webinars and drop-in hours.” Napell explained that the community webinars cover a variety agency’s Jewish roots, but both are open to the broader community of topics including parenting challenges during the pandemic, regardless of background or faith. grieving the loss of a normal routine, youth coping with the In addition, their Kosher Meals on Wheels program loss of missed experiences, stress management skills, delivers 350 meals a week to seniors. Napell said they are in the second “cohort” of an expanded delivery dealing with anxiety, and more. The webinars are provided for free and are recorded to be shared. service made possible by emergency grants As for drop-in hours by phone, Napell said, provided by the Jewish Federation of Princeton “Our counseling team recognized early on that Mercer Bucks. the emotional and mental toll of the pandemic Mental health counseling is another core service of JFCS. Their clinical team is devoted to would have many examining their mental health and reaching out for support. Five days a week, helping “individuals of all ages in their healing we have two hours of ‘drop-in’ time where journeys in coping with emotional, situational, any community member can connect with a and ongoing mental health concerns through counselor for a 30-minute supportive session. the provision of evidence-based, compassionate The counselor can provide coping skills and therapy and support.” help the caller work through anxieties, stress, or The JFCS counseling department accepts clients with private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, other emotional challenges. If further counseling is needed, our counselor can make a direct referral to our and uninsured individuals. The agency also provides intake coordinator.” bilingual services in Spanish. The webinars and drop-in hours are provided through the As social distancing guidelines were rolled out in the Michelle Napell funding support from the Princeton Area Community Foundation. wake of the pandemic, JFCS was able to pivot to teletherapy JFCS also offers support groups, now held via Zoom, on a variety of for counseling services. “We immediately transitioned our clients to topics including caregiver support, pandemic parenting, and a social support teletherapy by phone and video call when quarantine protocols began,” said Napell. “There was no interruption to their services, and we have continued group initiated over the summer that was designed to provide socialization for older adults who were feeling increasingly isolated during COVID-19 to take on new clients. Additionally, we’ve expanded the reach of our

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restrictions. The counseling team is also working with local synagogues and community groups, providing support groups on broad topics such as the psychological impact of the pandemic, as well as more specific topics such as self-care. Senior services are another big component of the offerings at JFCS. Geriatric care managers provide regular support and services to older adults and help them age in place and connect with any additional needed services such as in-home care or transportation. While in-home visits and assessments have been halted during the pandemic, care managers have continued to provide support by phone. Senior clients who used to receive monthly check-in calls from their care managers are now contacted weekly to check in on their needs and overall health and wellness. Since the onset of the pandemic two new services have been initiated, Friendly Phone Calls and Senior Shoppers. Both are provided at no cost. “Our Friendly Phone Calls match a volunteer with a senior, who either requested the service or was identified by our team as in need of socialization,” said Napell. “The volunteer calls the senior once a week as a friendly check-in. The service has been well-received by our senior clients, who are facing severe isolation due to quarantine safety measures, and for volunteers, who are also benefiting from the social calls.” Napell said that its Senior Shoppers service was critical in the early days of the quarantine when grocery delivery services and stores were overwhelmed with the demand. “Our Senior Shopper volunteers are connected with one of our elderly clients who is uncomfortable or unable to safely get to a grocery store,” said Napell. “Volunteers shop for the senior and make a contact-free delivery to their home.” Napell noted that JFCS has also expanded its virtual program offerings for seniors. “Our longtime partner Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor held a virtual Beth El Seniors meeting where one of our care managers presented on mental well-being.”

With most of the JFCS staff now working remotely, Napell said a significant challenge since the onset of the pandemic has been trying to maintain the connection between staff. “The logistics of remote work make collaboration more difficult. Our staff regularly collaborates with employees across departments on projects and programs, and not being in one place together proved challenging,” she said. “Also, our staff, just like many others facing similar remote work obstacles and isolation, had to combat the emotional and mental toll of this new work environment.” Napell said they quickly had most staff members set up on Zoom so they could regularly connect and “see” each other as much as possible. They hold bi-weekly staff meetings and have initiated biweekly “coffee talks” between meetings so they can come together in a less formal setting, via Zoom, and catch up with one another. “Mental health is one of our core programs, so we were well prepared for the mental and emotional impact the ongoing quarantine and many unknowns of the pandemic would have on our team,” said Napell. “From the early days of remote work, we encouraged self-care and provided resources.” Napell said that, from the start of the pandemic shutdowns, JFCS was successful in getting the word out about their programs. “The collaboration across community agencies has helped us all better serve those in need,” she said. “Our proactive outreach has led to new, sustaining partnerships.” JFCS regularly updates its website and social media channels with program information, blog articles, and links to a wide range of resources. To learn more about Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County, volunteer, or make a donation, visit or call 609.987.8100.

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Eddie Glaude Jr. responds with

Hope in “An

Incredibly Dark and


Time” By Donald Gilpin Photos courtesy of Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite

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he day I interviewed him for this article, September 23, was not a good day for Eddie S. Glaude Jr., the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies. It was the day that the verdict was delivered on the shooting of Breonna Taylor by three police officers in Louisville, Kentucky. None of the three was charged in Taylor’s death, though one officer was charged with wanton endangerment. Glaude interrupted the call at one point to listen to the breaking news report on TV. When he returned to the phone, his voice was subdued. “I wasn’t expecting much,” he said, “but it’s still enraging. It never stops. It seems as if something happens every day.” With numerous publications on religion, philosophy, and African American studies, including his most recent book Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, Glaude is very much a scholar engulfed in the world of academics, but at the same time he is the most public of intellectuals, much in demand as a Time magazine columnist and a regular commentator on radio and television news programs such as Democracy Now!, Morning Joe, and The 11th Hour. The mix of deep engagement with current events as well as scholarship pervades Glaude’s classroom, as it pervades his life and his work. He described the class, African American Studies and the Philosophy of Race, that he is team teaching, remotely this term, with his colleague Imani Perry. “Teaching today,” he said, “before I could say anything I had to reference the backdrop of the Breonna Taylor decision about to be rendered. And you could see it on the students’ faces:

‘Here we go again. It just won’t stop.’” He continued, “These students have come of age amid continuing catastrophe, whether the catastrophe of climate change or the Great Recession, school murders or police killings, or global pandemic and economic depression. These are the young folk who have come of age in a moment that suggests that the country is broken. “And you can see them in my classes reaching for something, reaching for an account, trying to make sense of it all. It gives the classroom — even virtually — a sense of urgency. And many of them are taking the risk, even in the midst of a global pandemic, to continue to protest for a better America. Your shoulders have to be broad to carry the weight of our future.” From rural mississippi to the NatioNal Forum

Glaude grew up in a working-class home in Moss Point, Mississippi. His father was a postman, and his mother was a custodian, then supervisor of a custodial team at a shipyard. “There really were no books in the house,” he said, but he found books at school, in the library, and elsewhere, and became a reader. “I’ve been interested in politics for as long as I can remember,” he noted. As part of a YMCA program that invited high school students from across Mississippi to the capital to help run the state government for two or three days, Glaude was chosen as the first Black youth governor of the state. “That was fun,” he said. “And I was a special guest of the Mississippi Democratic Party to the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco in 1984. I had a front row seat to hear Jesse Jackson’s speech and Mario Cuomo’s ‘Tale

of Two Cities’ speech. I witnessed the contention between Jackson’s delegates and the old civil rights establishment that had supported Walter Mondale.” Already captivated by politics, which later led him into African American studies, Glaude graduated from high school at age 16 and made his way to Morehouse College in Atlanta. “I was trying to find my way,” he said. “I read, but I didn’t read in a disciplined way. It was at Morehouse that my political sensibility was transformed. It became a much more focused interest in the circumstances of Black people, not just politics in general. I had originally thought I was going to run for office and become a politician.” a seNse oF selF

Glaude’s interest in politics has never waned since his days in high school and college in the 1980s, but at Morehouse that interest both intensified and took an academic turn. “When I got to Morehouse, I was in some ways radicalized,” he said. “I found a political language from my dad’s rage. I found a language for my own anger that I didn’t know I had. It’s in that environment, being at an all-male HBCU [historically Black college and university] that I really came to a sense of myself as an African American man.” He continued, “It was at Morehouse that I decided that formal politics was corrupt and offered little in terms of really transforming the circumstances of the most vulnerable among us.” It was also at Morehouse that Glaude met Aaron Parker, a professor of philosophy and religion and a Baptist minister. “He invested in me,” Glaude said. “He asked me what I was going to do with my life. I wasn’t

Precept for “Introduction to the Study of African American Cultural Practices,” led by Eddie Glaude Jr. fall/winter 2020 PrinCetOn MaGaZine

| 63

sure. I was a reader, and I knew I wanted to do something like what Dr. Parker did. I didn’t know what it would entail, but I knew I loved to read. I loved disappearing in books. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after I graduated, but I made a decision where I stumbled into graduate school.” Hearing from friends about a program that aligned with his politics and interests, Glaude enrolled in a graduate program in African American studies at Temple University. It was at Temple that the next chapter of the journey that eventually brought him to Princeton took place, and “at the heart of this story of my connection to Princeton is Cornel West,” Glaude noted. The PaTh To PrinceTon

As a graduate student at Temple in the early 1990s, Glaude was invited to deliver a paper on Afrocentrism at a major conference at the University of Wisconsin, which West also attended. West, renowned public intellectual and now a Princeton University professor emeritus, was teaching a seminar at the time on the African American intellectual tradition, the first graduate seminar in African American studies ever offered at Princeton. Glaude eagerly accepted West’s invitation to attend the seminar and eventually his subsequent invitation to apply for admission to Princeton as a graduate student in religion. Not entirely happy with the narrow focus of the Temple African American studies program, Glaude spent a summer in England studying with Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy, “stalwart figures of the British Black intellectual movement,” then transferred to

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Princeton the following year. “I went over there for the summer and my mind was blown away,” he recalled, “and then I came back to Temple and left Temple within a year.” Glaude, who described himself as “always an avid reader,” claimed that his undergraduate experience at Morehouse “just opened me up, but it wasn’t really until graduate school at Princeton in 1991-92 that everything clicked. But I didn’t take the traditional route.” After earning his doctorate in religion from Princeton, with a year at Harvard University working in an exchange scholars program with West, who had moved to Harvard, Glaude began his teaching career at Bowdoin College, where he taught for seven years. In 2002, both Glaude and West returned to Princeton to join, in West’s case re-join, the Princeton faculty. Glaude is proud of his accomplishments at Princeton over the past almost 19 years, particularly in the building of the Department of African American Studies, which he chairs. “It was a long journey, but it’s something that I’m immensely proud of,” he said. “Since I arrived at Princeton, I think I’ve played an important role in building the department. Before I arrived no student at Princeton had ever graduated with a degree in African American studies, and now we’ve graduated three classes of students. It’s a wonderful thing.” He described the tenure of Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University’s first woman president (2001-2013) and only the second woman president of an Ivy League university, as crucial to the transformation of Princeton away from its racist past. “It was like tectonic plates shifting,

the way she came in and what she decided to do,” he said. He continued, “That doesn’t mean that Princeton has suddenly become a Shangri-La when it comes to matters of diversity and the like, but we’ve made a difference, I think, in how the institution works.” “PrinceTon has To Do BeTTer”

Whether Princeton University is making progress rapidly enough to shake off its reputation as a traditional Southern institution, however, is still in question, says Glaude. “The reputation of Princeton as the Ivy of the South is well earned,” he noted. “It’s a place that carries the burden of the history of its past. It’s been kind of late in the way in which it’s approached that reputation.” Glaude praised recent efforts by Princeton University to overcome its racist past and to combat inequalities that remain, but he said that the University’s commitment “waxes and wanes — one period when it’s horrible, another period when there’s an uptick, and then another period when it’s horrible again. We’ve got to be consistent in what we do.” He continued, “Princeton has to do better. I think it knows it has to do better with regard to the diversity of its faculty. It has committed itself to diversifying its student body at the undergraduate and graduate levels, so it has a lot of work to do in this regard.” Glaude, however, had little patience with the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement in September that it was investigating Princeton University for admitting that racism remains

embedded in the University and in society at large. “It’s silly,” he said. “It’s frivolous. It’s more than likely a reaction to our own explicit attempt to deal with systemic racism at Princeton.” Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber had earlier in the month reported on the University’s progress in pursuing several initiatives to combat racism and inequality on campus. “There are those who want to insist on American innocence at every turn,” said Glaude, “and they police efforts to encounter our past honestly and genuinely by declaring it as antiAmerica propaganda and the like. And if they hold power, they will bring the full brunt of state power to maintain their hold on the lie. And so it’s just the latest example of a minority of people who want to insist that America remains permanently where white reigns. So it’s a frivolous act by small-minded, small-hearted people.” Among the University’s recent actions to combat racism, Glaude applauded the decision last June to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its School of Public Affairs and from a residential college. “I think it’s a wonderful first step, but we have to avoid the temptation of selfcongratulation,” he said. Pointing out that it took the University a long time, and many generations of students calling for the removal of Wilson’s name, to finally taking action, Glaude commented on the University’s past identification with Wilson and Eisgruber’s comment that “this is not who we aspire to be.” Glaude noted, “There’s no doubt that Woodrow Wilson is critical to Princeton’s self-understanding. The University wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for what he did for the school. At the same time, the Princeton of Woodrow Wilson is not the Princeton that makes me possible. There’s a reason why Paul Robeson went to Rutgers as opposed to Princeton.” He continued, “The Princeton that we are and the Princeton that we aspire to be are not consistent with the values that Wilson represented, and it makes sense that what and who we choose to celebrate reflects not only who we are, but who we aspire to be. And so I’m delighted by the decision, and I think that decision goes hand in hand with the idea that we have to continue to work hard to make this University a place that is available to everyone and a place that looks like and reflects not only the country we live in, but the country we aspire to live in.” “Pushing the Boulder uP the hill AgAin” with JAmes BAldwin

Glaude’s Begin Again, published earlier this year by Penguin Random House, was described by Imani Perry as “precisely the witness we need for our treacherous times.” Cornel West called it “undoubtedly the best treatment we have of Baldwin’s genius and relevance.” The book and its genesis are as much about

Glaude and the trajectory of his intellectual life as they are about James Baldwin. “I encountered Baldwin seriously in graduate school at Princeton,” said Glaude, “and he has been since then a critical resource for how I think about matters of race and democracy.” Glaude talked about troubled current events and how the state of the nation in the present had sent him back to learn from the writing and thinking of Baldwin. “So here we are in this moment when the country has in some ways doubled down on its ugliness. We spent eight years with a Black family in the White House, and we saw the tensions and debates. And then the country decided to elect Donald Trump.” He went on, “And I found myself grappling with my own despair and disillusionment, thinking to myself, white America has done it again. It has turned its back on the possibility of real significant change, and in some ways, it has doubled down on its ugliness. And so I reached for Baldwin because he lived through a moment of betrayal. He saw the country turn its back on the promise of the civil rights movement, the Black freedom struggle. He knew what the election of Richard Nixon meant in 1968 and 1972. He knew what the election of Reagan suggested in 1980. So I turned to Baldwin to write with him, to draw on his resources, how he picked up the pieces and found energy to push the rock up the hill again, because I needed those resources for me to pick up the pieces and to push the boulder up the hill as well.” the PAndemic And hoPe for the future

Noting that the coronavirus pandemic has “made vulnerability a generalized state” and at the same time “revealed the deep fissures in American society,” Glaude emphasized the critical importance of the present moment. “Because COVID-19 has really arrested the way we go about our lives, it has created the conditions for a moment of pause when we can really engage in reflection and self-assessment, though it seems as if some parts of the country want to refuse that,” he said. He pointed out the nation’s inequalities revealed in the deaths of people of color at two and a half times the number of deaths of whites. “The disease is indiscriminate, but it takes advantage of and metastasizes in the cracks and fissures of American society,” he added. Glaude reflected on the current state of the country amid racial turmoil, the pandemic, and economic distress in many quarters. “We are in the midst of a reckoning of sorts where we’re going to have to decide once and for all what kind of country we’re going to be. We can’t put this genie back in the bottle again.” Despite the discouraging news from Louisville and the precarious state of the nation, “hope” is the word Glaude used most frequently in his reflections on the current situation, though he has described his perspective in a quote

from W.E.B. Du Bois as “not hopeless, but a bit unhopeful.” “And so,” he concluded, “we have to finally decide whether we’re going to be a genuine multiracial democracy, and my hope is that we will risk everything in this moment because what has been revealed is that a particular political and economic ideology is bankrupt. It has jeopardized the planet and thrown workers into an ongoing state of insecurity and precariousness. It has produced this wealth design that’s not sustainable and it has exploited our fears and anger and grievance in such a way that we can’t even imagine a sense of the common good.” Returning to reference the wisdom of Baldwin, Glaude went on in describing his hopeful vision of a future that’s brighter than the past, with the current crises inspiring positive change. “My hope is that this moment will occasion a different way for imagining the country,” he said. “I know we’ve been here before in the past and we’ve failed miserably, but, as James Baldwin would say, human beings are both disasters and miracles all at once, and we have to protect ourselves from the disasters that we’ve become. “Whenever we show up, if we show up, there is a chance for a miracle. So when it comes to hope I echo Baldwin. Hope is invented every day, so my faith is that we might show up, risk everything, and perhaps a miracle will evidence itself and we can get on the road of giving birth to a new America.” As far as Glaude’s own life and career as a teacher, writer, and public intellectual are concerned, he is eager to meet the ongoing challenges at Princeton and beyond. “I’m a student of Cornel West,” he said, “and what that means for me is that we’re always looking for opportunities to think carefully in public with others. That’s the way in which I imagine my public intellectual work.” Glaude lives in Lawrenceville with his wife, a professor of sociology and African American studies at The College of New Jersey. Their son, a recent graduate of Brown University, is interning with the San Francisco public defender’s office and looking forward to going to law school. “Looking ahead,” said Glaude, “I’ve got some more books in me. I’m sure about that. I see a novel or a play at some point. There’s no limit to how I imagine myself as an intellectual, as a person who is excited and in love with ideas and with the life of the mind. The future is rich in that regard.” Optimistic, “but a bit unhopeful,” he added, “In terms of the broader public, whatever I’m doing or writing, it’s always going to be shaped by this incredibly dark and challenging time we find ourselves in. Nothing is going to be resolved anytime soon. So we have to buckle up and prepare to fight with all we have for a more just world.”

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the world where vaccines are needed most. Distribution is actually a significant roadblock in the effectiveness of vaccine development and use. Many of the globe’s poorest regions lack the infrastructure to inoculate their own populations. In addition, ethical and religious reasons pose potential deterrents, giving rise to the resurfacing of historic diseases that the majority of the world is protected from. Finally, cost has been known to undermine efforts in vaccine development. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “the cost of developing a vaccine — from research and discovery to product registration — is estimated to be between $200 million and $500 million per vaccine. This figure

includes vaccines that are abandoned during the development process.” ( In combination with the cost of development, the timeline for safe and effective vaccine development typically takes 10 years on average ( The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines the general stages of vaccine development including the exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing, and quality control. Clinical development is a three- to fourphase process. During the first phase, small groups of self-elected individuals receive the trial vaccine. In phase two, the clinical study is expanded and the vaccine is given to people who

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

accines have played a central role in the fight against contagious diseases among human populations for the past 200 years. For instance, global vaccination initiatives have helped to eradicate smallpox and polio in all but the most remote populations. Even yearly influenza vaccines have greatly reduced the number of mortalities each year from the common flu, and childhood vaccines have made a major impact in lowering childhood and adult morbidity resulting from infectious diseases. However, there are certain diseases that have eluded scientists and researchers. Specifically, malaria and HIV/AIDS have posed continual challenges as these diseases ravage parts of

French print in 1896 marking the centenary of Jenner's vaccine.

Preparing an inoculation.

The polio inoculation in 1957 at the University of Pittsburgh, where Jonas Salk’s team had developed the vaccine.

Workers preparing chicken eggs for production of measles vaccine.

Doses of oral polio vaccine are added to sugar cubes for use in a 1967 vaccination campaign in Bonn, West Germany.


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have characteristics (such as age and physical health) that are akin to those for whom the vaccine is intended. In the final phase, before FDA approval, the vaccine is administered to and tested upon thousands and checked for safety and effectiveness. Many vaccines undergo a fourth trial phase for additional review and testing. A Brief History of VAccines

The smallpox vaccine was the first known successful vaccine, introduced by Edward Jenner in 1796. An English country doctor from Gloucestershire, Jenner had observed that milkmaids who previously caught cowpox didn’t catch smallpox (the disease that had killed millions of people over the centuries). Symptoms included severe skin eruptions and dangerous fevers in humans, while cowpox, as it appeared in cows, resulted in blistering on the udders. On May 14, 1796, Jenner removed fluid from a cowpox infected cow and scratched it into the skin of an 8-year-old boy. A single blister arose on the infected area, but no smallpox resulted in the child. It wasn’t long before doctors all over Europe began adopting Jenner’s vaccine technique. Jenner set such a precedent with his concept of inoculation that it continued to serve as a model for vaccine development in the 19th and 20th centuries. Diseases like whooping cough, polio, yellow fever, measles, typhoid, tetanus, and hepatitis B were eventually much less life-threatening to millions of people due to the availability of these vaccinations, which were typically administered during childhood. With each passing decade, the recommended combination of infant and childhood vaccination schedules changed. For example, during the 1940s, physicians suggested that children receive smallpox, diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis (given in combination as DTP). The 1950s signaled the arrival of the polio vaccine, something that families around the

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world were diligently waiting and hoping for. Invented by Jonas Salk, it was licensed for approval in 1955. More vaccines followed in the 1960s such as measles, mumps and rubella (combined into the MMR vaccine in 1971). By the mid 1970s, smallpox was no longer on the recommended vaccination list since it had been essentially eradicated.

origination from the first smallpox vaccine? Simply put, Jenner’s vaccine consisted of live, “attenuated” virus (meaning a weakening of the original virus to the point where it causes the development of antibodies rather than severe illness). Some vaccines will still provoke an immune response, such as feeling slightly ill after a tetanus or influenza shot. However, most people are completely unbothered and experience no side effects. In contrast to live, attenuated viruses, some modern day vaccines use dead bacteria or parts of an inactive virus, which still provokes an immune response. Inactivated forms of toxins may also be employed to protect against future infection. In this way, the body “recognizes” the virus when they encounter exposure, but they are not significantly sickened by it. tHe coViD-19 crisis

1955 headlines on the development of an effective polio vaccine.

The vaccine for hepatitis B was approved in 1985 and was recommended by almost all pediatric physicians by 1989. The most recent vaccines include varicella for chickenpox (approved in 1996), rotavirus (1998-1999), hepatitis A (2000), and pneumococcal vaccine (2001). The oral polio vaccine was discontinued in 2000. Adult vaccines have become more widely available, such as Shingrex, approved in 2017, which offers more protection from the shingles virus than its predecessor, Zostavax. So, how do modern vaccines differ in

In 2020, the global community is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and the rush to produce a vaccine that could potentially prevent “2-3 million deaths every year,” according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website ( WHO states, “There are currently more than 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates under development, with a number of these in the human trial phase. WHO is working in collaboration with scientists, business, and global health organizations through the ACT Accelerator to speed up the pandemic response. When a safe and effective vaccine is found, COVAX (led by WHO, GAVI, and CEPI) will facilitate the equitable access and distribution of these vaccines to protect people in all countries. People most at risk will be prioritized.” ( emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019). While the exact timeline of when and under what circumstances a COVID-19 vaccine will be issued and delivered remains unclear, physicians

emphasize the importance of getting a vaccine that is already routinely available — the yearly flu shot. With fears of a new wave of COVIDrelated illness striking this winter, medical officials are advising that the flu shot is more important now than ever. Whether or not one is considered a “high risk” flu patient, the 2020 flu vaccine will help to protect people against the possibility of becoming sick with both COVID-19 and influenza. Stephen M. Han, M.D., FDA commissioner, and Peter Marks M.D, Ph.D, director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, publicly announced, “We are committed to expediting the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but not at the expense of sound science and decision making. We will not jeopardize the public’s trust in our science-based, independent review of these or any vaccines. There’s too much at stake.” ( A fourth phase three clinical trial began in September and it is expected that “up to 60,000 volunteers will be enrolled in the trial at up to nearly 215 clinical research sites in the United States and internationally.” ( news-events). The investigational vaccine was developed by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. According to, “The Janssen vaccine candidate is a recombinant vector vaccine that uses a human adenovirus to express the SARS-

CoV-2 spike protein in cells. Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that cause the common cold. However, the adenovirus vector used in the vaccine candidate has been modified so that it can no longer replicate in humans and cause disease. Janssen uses the same vector in the first dose of its prime-boost vaccine regimen against Ebola virus disease that was recently granted marketing authorization by the European Commission.”

In the background, some fears surround the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines and whether they would potentially be approved for emergency release to the public at the risk of the general population. As political pressure

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mounts around the race for the vaccine, few details have been released as to the cause of adverse reactions among two patients involved in an AstraZeneca trial. As of October 2020, all of the drug makers involved in clinical trials have signed a safety pledge promising to not cut corners when it comes to producing a vaccine that is both safe and effective for all populations. The bottom line is that medical researchers across the globe are looking for a preventative tool to help control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the form of a safe and approved vaccination that can easily be distributed worldwide. In the meantime, handwashing, social distancing, wearing masks, limiting travel, and disinfecting surfaces are the public’s main lines of defense against COVID-19. While many experience signs and symptoms of COVID-19 differently, the CDC recommends that individuals should seek emergency medical attention in the case of trouble breathing, persistant pain and/ or pressure in the chest area, new/unusual confusion, difficulty staying awake, and bluish lips or face. Call 911 or your local emergency medical facility to let them know that you are coming. In addition, rapid COVID-19 tests are increasingly available in most towns and cities throughout the country. Results are administered in 20-30 minutes.



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