Princeton Magazine February 2022

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FEBRUARY 2022

Albert E. Hinds Princeton Legend and Witness to History


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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022


How far will you go if someone you love is at risk for stroke? You’ll do whatever it takes, right? You’ll seek out a surgeon with expertise in everything from traditional open surgery to state-of-the-art minimally invasive endovascular procedures. And you’ll also look for something more. You’ll look for care. Because when someone you love is at risk for stroke, you want it all. Unparalleled skill and unmatched compassion. And so do we.

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CONTENTS

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14

42

52 FEBRUARY 2022

22

46

30 “A MAGNIFICENT VOICE”

ALBERT E. HINDS BY JEAN STRATTON

BY DONALD H. SANBORN III

Princeton legend and witness to history

Marian Anderson in Princeton 46

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HISTORIC FARMHOUSE FIT FOR A MODERN-DAY FARMER

C-CHANGE CONVERSATIONS

BY ILENE DUBE

BY WENDY GREENBERG

The Skeuse homestead is reimagined for today’s living

Opening minds to the impacts of climate change

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AN OUTGROWTH OF IMAGINATION BY TAYLOR SMITH

The benefits of unstructured play and nature-based camps

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BOOK SCENE BY STUART MITCHNER

The Wedding Dress: Styles and stories

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60

COUNTDOWN TO CAMP

PRINCETON BASIN

BY LYNN ADAMS SMITH 38, 39

Ghost of a town

BY ANNE LEVIN 62

PAUL MULDOON ON HOW TO WRITE A SONG

A WELL-DESIGNED LIFE

INTERVIEW BY DONALD H. SANBORN III 42

BY LYNN ADAMS SMITH 66, 68

ON THE COVER: Albert E. Hinds. (Photography by Peter C. Cook)

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

(CREDITS) CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PAUL MULDOON BY DENISE APPLEWHITE (UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHER, OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS); ALBERT E. HINDS, PHOTO BY PETER C. COOK; CARSON ADVENTURE PAK COMPASS, CARSON.COM; SKEUSE HOUSE PHOTO BY PAM CONNOLLY; MARIAN ANDERSON IN 1940, PHOTO BY CARL VAN VECHTEN (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS); C-CHANGE CONVERSATIONS PHOTO BY ANDREW WILKINSON; BOY PHOTO, SHUTTERSTOCK. COM; VERA SZEKELY STAINLESS STEEL AND WROUGHT IRON FIREPLACE CIRCA 1970, SOTHEBYS.COM.


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| FROM THE PUBLISHER Welcome to your February issue, which celebrates Black History Month as evidenced by the beautiful cover photograph of Albert E. Hinds by Peter Cook of New Hope, Pa. Get ready, you are about to learn a lot of Princeton history in these pages. Mr. Hinds is an amazing legend in the African American community of Princeton and was interviewed by our Jean Stratton in 2005, the year before he died at 104. That interview has been updated for you by Jean with new perspectives shared by Shirley Satterfield, the wonderful historian and president of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society, which is dedicated to preserving the history of our African American community. Historic sites in that community are now marked by stainless steel plaques as part of the Heritage Tour. What newcomers to town might not know is that the African American neighborhood used to extend all the way up to Nassau Street. With the “urban renewal” of Edgar Palmer’s Square in 1936, part of the community was relocated to Birch Avenue into houses provided by Mr. Palmer. In 2016, the neighborhood from Paul Robeson Place down Witherspoon and John streets to Birch Avenue became Princeton’s 20th Historic District. The African American community that had existed there was totally self-sufficient due to segregation. There were four churches, a school, a YMCA, several social organizations, a commercial retail area, and, most importantly, a huge sense of pride. Teachers, shop owners, pastors, and wage earners working at the University and its eating clubs were all living as close neighbors. Many children who grew up in this community went out and became huge successes in the world, with Paul Robeson being the most notable. Albert Hinds, for whom the plaza next to the Princeton Public Library is named, was the long-living “link” from that history to today. Another Black history article is about the magnificent singer Marian Anderson, the very first African American woman to receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Princeton University in 1959. You will enjoy Donald Sanborn’s story of how she and Albert Einstein met, and then became lifelong friends. More Princeton history comes to life as Anne Levin tells us all about the Princeton Basin. The Princeton Basin? Well, that is the low land area at the bottom of Alexander Street at the curve with the new bridge where the canal, its towpath, the Stony Brook, and the west end of Lake Carnegie all come together. You will learn that it once was a tiny but thriving industrial area, with a railroad running through it. The final chapter of this issue’s history lesson is Ilene Dube’s tale about the Skeuse family’s 1700s homestead, which has been reimagined for 21stcentury living and beyond. The immaculate preservation of the exterior is an outstanding architectural accomplishment, equal in quality to the transformation inside. Now here is a history test: Who was on the cover of the first issue of Princeton Magazine after Lynn Adams Smith and I bought it and brought it from Bergen County to here, where it belonged? Yes — it was Paul Muldoon and his crazy little band of cool music makers! Well, the award-winning poet is back in an interview by Donald Sanborn about his Princeton University course, How to Write a Song, and his work as editor of Paul McCartney’s new two-volume anthology, The Lyrics. “Boom, boom!” as we say in our house when we are going to change the subject. And the subject is away from history and to the present where we are all challenged by climate change. One of the wonderful things about Princeton is the overall intelligence of its citizenry and their concern for and understanding of big issues like the climate. Wendy Greenberg tells us about an amazing group of Princeton women who have taken on the challenge of educating the country and beyond about the impacts of climate change and are meeting with great success. Just as there are people who don’t believe in COVID-19 vaccines, there are those who don’t believe in climate change. Raising their awareness is the mission of C-Change Conversations, as you will learn in Wendy’s story.

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY E. TRYON

Dear Princeton Magazine Readers,

I also want to direct your attention to the spectacular design on the first page of the article by our Art Director Jeffrey Tryon. Jeff is the unsung hero of all our graphics. As I write this letter, the temperature outside is 20 degrees. But summer will soon be upon us, and smart parents are shopping around for camps for their kids. Taylor Smith becomes your camp counselor in her “Outgrowth of Imagination” article about nature-based camps and the wonderful benefits of unstructured play. Related to that, look at Lynn Adams Smith’s Countdown to Camp pages on things your kids might take to camp. Also check out her elegant WellDesigned Life pages of neat things you might want around your house. Spring is almost here and that means weddings! In his Book Scene, Stuart Mitchner offers a selection of books on wedding dress styles and stories. And if you do plan to attend weddings, please remember to shop locally and especially with our advertisers in this magazine. In closing, I want to tell you about a letter I got from a reader who commented on how each issue of this magazine gets better and better, including the advertisements. I shared that letter with the staff because they are truly the folks who have made this steady “raising of the bar” happen. Lynn and I hope you will see that, in this issue, the bar just got a bit higher. Enjoy! Respectfully yours,

J. Robert Hillier, Lh.D., FAIA Publisher


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Albert E.

HINDS Princeton Legend and Witness to History By Jean Stratton

T

heodore Roosevelt was president of the United States. Woodrow Wilson was president of Princeton University. Nassau Street was a dirt road; most people traveled in horse-drawn carriages, and Henry Ford’s Model-T had not yet taken over the roads. Silent movies were just beginning to attract an audience. There were no powered airplanes, household radios, television sets, fax machines, smartphones, computers, DVDs, or streaming. Certainly, no Facebook or Twitter. Penicillin had not yet been discovered, nor was the polio vaccine available. Princeton Hospital had not yet been built, let alone become a medical center. The devastating 1918 influenza pandemic was more than a decade away. It was 1902, the year Albert Edward Hinds was born in Princeton. (Portrait by Peter C. Cook)

FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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(Photo courtesy of Shirley Satterfield)

LIVING LEGEND

Despite his entrance into the world in that long ago time, Hinds’ influence has spanned the decades, and his contributions have inspired many in Princeton and beyond. Hinds, who was indeed a living legend in Princeton, died in 2006 at the age of 104. His remarkable life was a tribute to his intelligence, self-reliance, endurance, determination, and generosity of spirit. As an African American, he was well known to the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, points out his distant cousin, Princeton resident Shirley Satterfield. A former educator and guidance counselor, she is founder and president of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society, and leads Heritage Walking Tours. “He had been telling the town’s history for years, but only those in the immediate community heard it,” said Satterfield. “He was the oldest Black man in Princeton, and I guess that’s when his legacy started. But those of us in the neighborhood knew Mr. Hinds and how great he really was. He told us about Princeton way back through the 1900s.” Way back indeed! ALL MY BEGINNINGS

In his own words, from my interview with him in a 2005 Town Topics article, he recalled some of those earliest years. “I was born at home, in our house on the corner of Witherspoon and Quarry streets,” said Hinds.

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

“Everyone was born at home then. This was before Princeton Hospital was built. The hospital location was then a dairy farm. “All my beginnings were one block from Witherspoon Street. I went to school there, and my church was Mt. Pisgah at Maclean and Quarry streets. It is the oldest Black church in Princeton, and is still my church.” Son of Arthur and Sophia Hinds, Albert Edward was named for royalty. “My father was originally from British Guyana, and I was named both for British and Belgian royalty,” he explained. His parents were busy working and providing for the family. His father was a waiter at the Princeton University eating clubs on Prospect Street, and his mother worked as a domestic for a Princeton family as well as caring for her own children. The oldest child in the family, Hinds was brother to four girls and three boys, and he remembered a happy childhood, filled with good times and lots of hard work. “I just enjoyed myself, and took things in stride,” he said. “I first attended the Witherspoon Elementary School, and then in 1910 the Quarry Street School was built, and I went there. Both schools were segregated.” “OWL” TRAIN

Hinds was very involved in numerous weekend and after school jobs, and his great passion was horses. For a time, it took precedence over school, he reported in the 2005 interview.

“In seventh or eighth grade, horses interrupted my education. Brown Brothers had a livery stable where the Post Office (now former Post Office) is today. There were horses galore! I was so interested in them that I’d miss school to go to the livery stable. “Then, I was hired to drive a hack — remember, these were horse-drawn carriages in those days. I was just a young kid, and I’d drive to Princeton Junction at midnight to pick up passengers on the ‘Owl’ Train. I had two teams of horses that I groomed and took care of. I also had a chance to ride the horses.” “Nassau Street was a dirt road then,” continued Hinds. “I later helped to pave it around 1919. But before that, you’d see people riding horseback down the street, and they would race horse-drawn sleighs there in winter. There was also a race track in Princeton, at the end of Leigh Avenue, across Route 206.” In addition to his job at the livery stable, Hinds delivered newspapers. “During World War I, I delivered the papers, and also kept up with what was going on in the war,” he said. “Also, here is a list of some of the other jobs I’ve had. Work never kills you! “I delivered milk, worked in a butcher shop, a stationery store, laid bricks, and took care of the furnace at the library, which was then at Bainbridge House on Nassau Street (now home to a gallery for the Princeton University Art Museum). I also had a shoeshine box that I made from a box that held nails for horses’ shoes. I got it from the stable.” Sports, especially football, were another of Hinds’ interests, and he was a star end on the integrated Princeton High School football team. Dubbed “Man o’ War” (for the famous race horse) by his teammates, he was quick and had good hands. At 5’4, he made up for lack of height by his ability and speed. SILENT MOVIES

In winter, he and his friends had fun with their sleds on Quarry Street, and they also liked to see the silent movies at nearby theaters. “Movies were segregated then, and we sat up in the balcony,” he recalled. During summers when he was in high school, Hinds worked at Swift & Company Meat Packing


in Jersey City, in the tobacco fields in Windsor, Conn., and at the Raritan Arsenal in New Brunswick, uncapping cannons. “We weren’t allowed to bring in matches,” he remembered, “and when we first went to work, they gave us a notice: ‘In the event of an accident, where do you want your body sent?’” After graduating from high school in 1923, Albert attended Lincoln College in Pennsylvania, and then went south to New Orleans, La. At the suggestion of his friend, William Mitchell, he took a job with the Colored YMCA, and also attended Straight College in New Orleans. “I admired William Mitchell, who was four years my senior,” said Hinds. “He was a Princetonian, and he and Paul Robeson were very good friends. He had worked with the YMCA in New York and in New Orleans. He asked me to go to New Orleans, and I became interested in YMCA work.” He also immediately liked New Orleans. “It was a very cosmopolitan city, even in 1924, and it was more flexible about race than any other Southern city,” he pointed out. “I was there 10 years, and I would have stayed longer if the economic conditions had been better.” THE WAXWOOD

While there, he was instrumental in bringing together two other famous Princetonians: Howard Waxwood and Susie Waxwood. Howard Waxwood later became the much admired principal of the Witherspoon Elementary School for Colored Children. The building has been reconfigured into apartments, and is now known as The Waxwood “Howard and I grew up together in Princeton,” recalled Hinds. “He was working at Morehouse College in Atlanta, and I was in New Orleans. He came down and got a job at Straight College. I had met Susie, then Susie Brown, and introduced them. They married, and lived in Princeton a long time.” After leaving New Orleans, Hinds attended Talladega University in Alabama, majoring in educational recreation, and took a variety of courses, including sociology. He graduated in 1934, and spent one year working in Alabama before returning to New Jersey. He was then hired by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to oversee the playgrounds in Hightstown. “Then I was transferred to the Colored YMCA in Princeton, where I enjoyed teaching and coaching all different sports programs. Later I was sent to Trenton, where I directed the Charles Young USO program.” During World War II, Hinds married Heidee Ethel Galbraith, and they had a daughter, Heidee Myrna, who now lives in Atlanta. Mrs. Hinds died shortly after the birth of their daughter, and he subsequently married twice again. His wives, Esther and Inez, are both deceased. During the war, he worked at the Eastern Aircraft Plant, assembling wing parts. After the war ended, he became an exterminator, working at the state hospital for 17 years, until he retired in 1970.

CARPENTER ANTS

was to move houses from Baker Street, which was demolished, to Birch Avenue. He also bought land, and built some new houses for the people who were displaced. Unfortunately, Black people continue to be displaced, as development expands and neighborhoods change.”

In fact, that was not his first venture in the exterminating business. Earlier, he and his partner Charles Sperling (noted Princetonian and Shirley Satterfield’s uncle) were called upon to help dispatch a hoard of carpenter ants from lumber SUBTLE RACISM used in the construction of Palmer Square. As he recalled, “On the west side of Palmer “Princeton is my home,” Hinds added in the 2005 Square, the lumber was green and infested with interview, “and I like it, but it’s not a place for poor carpenter ants,” adding, “Charles Sperling was people. It never has been, and there is still subtle my boyhood friend, and we were partners in this racism.” business. But it wasn’t until years later that I Hinds’ extermination work also brought him learned about his remarkable career. He spoke eight languages, went on to become a lawyer, traveled all into contact with a very famous Princeton resident, Albert Einstein, who settled in Princeton in the over, advised people in government, and became a 1930s when he joined the faculty of the Institute very important person.” for Advanced Study. The construction of Palmer Square, while a After working at Einstein’s house, Hinds welcome and attractive retail/residential addition remained in touch with the renowned physicist, in the eyes of many, also caused the displacement who was a strong supporter of African American of many African Americans in the neighborhood, whose homes were demolished — or in some cases, moved — to make way for the new structures. The brainchild of Princeton graduate Edgar Palmer, who was also heir to the New Jersey Zinc Company fortune, it was modeled on New York City’s Rockefeller Center, and would become a central town square featuring a Colonial Revival Movement style. It was an ongoing project from 1936 until its completion in 1943. Hinds’ extermination work there gave him a close-up view of the venture, and he remembered its effect on the African American community. “A lot of Black people were displaced when Palmer Square was built,” he pointed out. “One of the good things Edgar Palmer did, though, Unpaved Nassau Street. (Historical Society of Princeton)

The Waxwood on Quarry Street. (Photo by Jeffrey E. Tryon) FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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Above, Artist Tom Nussbaum’s Hinds Gates and patterns. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn) Left, Hinds Plaza and the Princeton Public Library. (Photo by Jeffrey E. Tryon)

YOUNG PEOPLE

It was his work in recreation that meant the most to Hinds, and he continued to share his time and knowledge with young people for many years. “In all my different jobs in recreation work, I especially enjoyed the young people and the coaching,” he said. “I think and hope I played an important role in the lives of many of the people who I coached or taught. This is something that matters.” What also mattered greatly in Hinds’ example of how to live a purposeful life was his work in the Princeton community to further social justice for

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

African Americans and help enlighten officials, neighbors, and the community at large about the need to work together to achieve fairness for all. As an active member in the community, he served on the Borough Zoning Board for many years, participating in a variety of issues that affected the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and the overall community. “I was very interested in the Zoning Board, and we discussed important matters,” recalled Hinds. I served under three mayors, and it was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it.” PATIENCE OF LISTENING

The late James Floyd, a former mayor of Princeton Township, remembered serving on the Zoning Board with him, and was especially aware of Hinds’ patience and willingness to work hard. “I really learned a lot about people and patience when I served with Al,” said Floyd. “He was a quiet mentor to me. He had the patience of listening. He would always hear you out, then speak from his own experience, and incorporate that into what was going on. He reserved opinion until he heard others’ point of view. Then, when he did speak, he did so with authority.” That brings to mind one of Hinds’ favorite sayings, which he liked to paraphrase from Martin Luther King Jr., reports Shirley Satterfield. “It is always the right time to do the right thing.” She established a walking tour identifying African American locations in the Witherspoon-Jackson community in Hinds’ honor, naming it the “Albert E. Hinds

Memorial Walking Tour: African American Life in Princeton.” “I called Mr. Hinds my ‘history partner’ because every time I was asked to speak about the history of the Witherspoon-Jackson community, I asked him to come along because he knew everything,” said Satterfield. “For many years, we gave presentations of the rich African American history in Princeton.” The range of Hinds’ contributions to Princeton is extraordinary, extending from community activism to the arts, sports, and more, emphasized Satterfield. “For example, not many may know that when the noted artist Rex Gorleigh came to Princeton in 1947, Mr. Hinds worked with him to establish photo courtesy of town topics

justice, and also a close friend of Paul Robeson. Satterfield recalls a meeting which Hinds attended with the authors Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor about their book Einstein on Race and Racism. “They discussed Einstein’s views, and Mr. Hinds was also interviewed about the book by the BBC in England.” Famous people have often walked the streets of Princeton over the years, and while there is no reference to a specific meeting between Hinds and Princeton undergraduate F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they might have encountered each other around 1913, when Princeton was a much smaller town. A freshman at the time, the future famous novelist was thrilled with Princeton. As he wrote in a letter, “I am now a Princetonian. It’s great. I’m crazy about it. This is some place!” Who knows what encounters could have taken place on Nassau Street in those long ago days!


an interracial organization, known as Princeton Group Arts. This was an art group that focused on using the performing and visual arts to bridge racial divides. “He was the founder of the local NAACP chapter, president of the youth center located in the building where the Colored YMCA had been, and a member of the advisory committee of the Historical Society of Princeton.” FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE

With his special knowledge of “Princeton past,” Hinds was very helpful to the Historical Society of Princeton when “A Community Remembers: Princeton’s African American Community” was the society’s featured exhibit in 1996. The late Gail Stern, then Historical Society director, recalled his contribution at the time. “Albert is a wonderful person. He has a farreaching memory and a good firsthand knowledge of Princeton’s history. He helped us tremendously with the exhibition and the history of Princeton’s African American community. He is a great resource — a living legacy. I think the world of him.” A person of strong faith, Hinds regularly attended services every Sunday at Mt. Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he served as usher, trustee, and also helped pump the pipe organ. In his later years, he taught the older

members of congregation about nutritional health, and led them in a calisthenics class. He was also strongly committed to the Suzanne Patterson Senior Center, where he played bridge every Tuesday. An accomplished player, he won the center’s tournament. “I’ve played for a long time, since I was 15 or 16, even before it was bridge,” he noted in 2005. “I played whist, which was a forerunner of bridge. Bridge is a challenging game. It makes you think, and it makes you honest.” In addition, he was involved in the LINK (Local Intergenerational Network of Kindness) program at the Center. 18 PRESIDENTS

Hinds’ lifetime spanned the administrations of 18 American presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt to George W. Bush, and as the years passed, his longevity was a source of inspiration to many, and despite some health considerations — “the wear and tear of 100-plus years. I have outlived my warranty!” he once said — he remained incredibly active. Nevertheless, reflecting on having outlived so many old friends, family, and contemporaries, and despite his involvement in many activities, one can be lonely, he noted. “No one remembers what I remember.” But there is no question that Albert Edward

Hinds will be remembered. Over the years, he was the recipient of many awards and honors. On the occasion of his 100th birthday, he received numerous citations and acknowledgements of friendship and respect, including a Senate Resolution from the state of New Jersey, a plaque from the Zoning Board, a Legacy of Service award from Princeton University Community House, a citation from former Governor Christine Todd Whitman, and a Princeton High School Athletic Hall of Fame plaque. From his Witherspoon-Jackson neighbors is a citation reading: “Albert Hinds — A wonderful and dedicated citizen, whose leadership, sound judgement, and caring have made a significant difference in the lives of his neighbors and fellow citizens in the community.” And most recently, the area next to the Princeton Public Library was named the Albert E. Hinds Plaza in his honor in 2013. Containing two “gateways” and memorial plaques, the plaza is an ongoing tribute to his memorable life and achievements. Shirley Satterfield was instrumental in establishing this memorial to him, as she said, “to recognize the contributions of a resident who gave over 90 years of service to the Princeton community. An ordinary man who did extraordinary things.” As Hinds’ legacy continues, it becomes more and more evident that he was not only a man for all seasons, but, for his community, the essential man.

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C-CHANGE CONVERSATIONS OPENING MINDS TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE BY WENDY GREENBERG

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PORTRAITS BY ANDREW WILKINSON INFOGRAPHICS COURTESY OF C-CHANGE CONVERSATIONS


hey appear to be an unlikely group to advocate for and educate on climate change. They are not scientists, but they understand the science. They are not politicians; in fact, they are non-political. They have no hidden agenda, but what they have is a concern that climate change will harm our health and economy, and a passionate interest in the well-being of the Earth for future generations. The 26 volunteers at C-Change Conversations are professional women (and one man), gathering scientific information on climate change, seeking skeptics, booking presentations, and hoping to open minds. They come from careers in marketing, communications, finance, investment, and business. In some ways the messengers are part of the message: that climate change affects all of us, and we all need to listen. They have become known as trusted messengers. “We are nonpartisan. People can’t tell what our politics are. That is important to us,” said founder and President Kathleen Biggins of Princeton, where the group is based. “As far as I know, no one is doing it the way we are doing it — our approach and strategy are unique,” she says. Not only is the timing crucial in terms of mitigating climate change damage, but the group sees a “greater opening” among those who were not previously open to learning that climate change can impact them. C-Change collects and examines new information regularly and puts out a monthly newsletter to update others. Their science advisers, including Princeton’s own Climate Central, have contributed to the C-Change Primer that is the basis for presentations that take them all over the country. “We translate the science,” says Biggins. “We are careful about our role.”

The C-Change Executive Committee includes, sitting from left, Pam Parsons, Kathleen Biggins, and Carrie Dyckman. Standing, from left, are Catherine Sidamon-Eristoff and Kathy Herring.

They have been invited to present in 31 states, reaching 163 organizations, and get standing ovations in politically conservative areas. They speak in places that are comfortable to their audiences: garden clubs, country clubs, investment clubs, land trusts, churches, and schools. The presentation takes the topic out of the realm of the environmental and into the economic — how it will impact jobs, personal security and health, and exposure to geopolitical instability. In the fall of 2019, Biggins and co-founder Katy Kinsolving wrote in Harvard Public Health Magazine that “the top predictor of one’s opinion on climate change is political party affiliation: Individual positions on the issue are often a litmus test of whether someone is a ‘good

Mature ice, depicted in bright white, is disappearing, and being replaced by immature ice and open water.

conservative’ or a ‘good liberal.’ … By meeting with those who are skeptical, in a place where they are comfortable and surrounded by people they consider to be peers and friends, we find they are more willing to listen. We often speak at regularly scheduled meetings, so that audience members do not have to consciously decide to come hear our message. This means they don’t feel disloyal to their ‘tribe,’ uncomfortable, or that they are wasting their time.” GARDEN CLUB OUTGROWTH

The idea for C-Change started when Biggins attended a conference for the National Affairs and Legislative arm of The Garden Club of America in 2006. There, she heard about climate change from “non-green types, like military and business leaders, and it snapped my head back,” she says. “I was intrigued by it, but when I spoke to people back home, they said climate change was not a big deal.” Hurricane Sandy had devastated parts of New Jersey and New York in 2012. “I read that climate change exacerbated the intensity,” says Biggins. “I was sent back to the conference and learned that the climate risk had grown even bigger and was coming even faster, and it made me want to find a way to help others understand they too were at risk.” To replicate the Garden Club conference experience locally, Biggins asked a group of like-minded Princetonians to help her create a speaker series in Princeton in 2014. She was joined by Pam Mount of Terhune Orchards, founding chair of the board of Sustainable New Jersey and former Lawrenceville mayor and councilperson; Carrie Dyckman, a producer and web developer active in environmental causes; FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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Carrie Dyckman oversees communications.

and Kinsolving, a food educator, writer, and community volunteer. The team has grown to 26 volunteers, all of whom share a passion for mitigating climate change. They all bring varied skills to the group. GETTING TO KNOW THE PROBLEM

Treasurer and board member Catherine SidamonEristoff said she was surprised at how little she knew about the environment until about seven years ago. Sidamon-Eristoff’s interest began as a youth growing up near the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and she has served on various boards focused on environmental education. The issue of climate change education, she writes in an email, became important to her when Sophie Glovier, author and C-Change team member, introduced her to The Watershed Institute (where Glovier is municipal policy specialist) in 2013. “I started a deep dive into the impact that climate change was having on our water resources,” writes Sidamon-Eristoff, “from sea level rise to stormwater management, to the streambed erosion of the Stony Brook and other waterways. It was there where I met Kathleen Biggins, a former trustee of The Watershed Institute and current advisory board member. Over many dog walks she outlined her vision of a way to bring together people with

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Catherine Sidamon-Eristoff is treasurer and a presenter for C-Change Conversations.

different political perspectives to learn from scientists and climate experts about what climate stresses our planet was experiencing, and what the predictions for the future might be. Kathleen invited me to her house for one of the early C-Change ‘conversations,’ and I was startled by how little I really knew.” Sidamon-Eristoff’s Wall Street experience landed her in the treasurer’s role. “I realized that the economic impacts of climate change were not well-known or understood by the investing community, and I saw a way in which I could add value to C-Change.” A presenter for C-Change, she says she is “learning how to educate my financial services peers on the business risks and opportunities from climate change.” Dyckman’s story of involvement with the group takes a similar path, having been concerned about climate change but not fully understanding the risks. “As I learned more, I found it hard to believe that no one I knew was talking about it,” she says. After working as a multimedia producer, Dyckman returned to Princeton with her family and became active in conservation, hosting composting workshops. She oversees the C-Change communications and the creative team producing visual materials, which includes their award-winning website. Dyckman was asked to help develop a lecture series to bring experts into the community to discuss climate change and its impacts on health,

and personal and geopolitical security. “I realized this was a great way to get the conversation going,” she says. After three years of bringing in experts, Biggins, a trained journalist, realized that audiences needed a broader and more comprehensive view of the issue and wrote the C-Change Conversations Primer. Audiences appreciated the nonpartisan scientific approach, she says, and they recommended the presentation to others — fueling C-Change Conversations’ growth across the country. “As I watched Kathleen further refine the material and the expertise with which she handled the issue in a nonpartisan way, I knew we had a tool that could make a difference. We just needed good visuals and a recognizable brand to put us on the map,” says Dyckman, who put her producer skills to work. Biggins realized that her colleagues and friends had been skeptical because they had no sense that they could be impacted by the changes in the climate. The speaker series they set up in members’ homes featured speakers such as author and clean energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah; former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman; a U.S. Navy rear admiral; a former head of risk strategy for Goldman Sachs; a former energy corporation officer; and others. The speakers were a draw, but so was the relaxed salon atmosphere.


INFOGRAPHICS FROM THE C-CHANGE CONVERSATIONS PRIMER:

The blue line indicates that without man’s activities, we would be in a cooling period. (Climate Central)

(Climate Central)

1880-1887

It’s real: Observing consistent results around the globe. (World Meteorological Organization)

2010-2017

Cooler temperatures are indicated in blue and white, and hotter temperatures are indicated in yellow and red in this graphic showing the increase in average global temperature since the industrial revolution. (NASA. climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature)

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Severe Disasters Increasing. (NOAA)

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Climate change is thought of in many circles as a “liberal issue,” Biggins says. “But it wasn’t always. It was part of John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and Newt Gingrich spoke of it in 2007. The Primer gives Ronald Reagan credit for helping diminish greenhouse gas emissions when he led the way to save the ozone layer, and notes that there are solutions that fit more conservative outlooks.”

increases the heat index, crop production decreases and human health takes a toll. The Primer also points out that oceans are now 30 percent more acidic, so the food chain is compromised … and oceans are absorbing heat, leading to bleaching of coral reefs; there has been a 55 percent increase in the mid-Atlantic in heaviest precipitation events 1958-2016; in some parts of the country there has been too little snow, resulting

She also explains that the “economic equation has changed. The cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action.” Renewable energy costs are falling. Solar and wind are cheaper, she says. “We can grow jobs; new technology is burgeoning.” BUILDING BRIDGES

Reactions are most always positive. The NOAA slide with moving oceans, showing artic And so, Biggins and other ice melting away resonates members of the C-Change team particularly, says Biggins. “You took the Primer on the road, are seeing it with your own eyes.” meeting its audiences in their Audiences are also particularly homes or comfortable spaces. moved by the photo of bleachedC-Change has also recently out coral reefs. “Every smidgen of expanded its audiences to business temperature matters,” she says. leaders and businesses including During the pandemic, like a Southeastern conference of the almost everyone, C-Change Young Presidents Organization, pivoted to Zoom. “In one week, and C-Change Conversations’ we hit many states with multiple first international presentation to presenters,” says Biggins. “But the employees of Commonwealth much of our power comes from Bank, Australia. The team has getting to see us in person. It’s trained others in Princeton and important to de-escalate worry.” around the country to give the Members of the group began to presentation, and Biggins has travel again in the new year. developed a new primer outlining When asked if she is hopeful climate change’s impacts on for the climate, Biggins points health. out that economics have changed, “Clearly our nonpartisan, and there is more job growth in targeted approach is working,” the green sector. “If you look says Sidamon-Eristoff. “Audience at it from the big picture, there members cannot tell what our are more ancillary benefits from presenters’ political views are — making changes,” she says. we universally receive high scores “Second, people are seeing on being nonpartisan, even from differences with weather events. audiences in the deep South and Third, new technology in how Midwest. Demand for the Primer we grow food, harness energy has led us to train more presenters — there is so much innovation and invite team members from coming.” around the country to join us.” She believes people are The basic Primer seminar becoming aware, and that is an hour talk with engaging C-Change is a “bridge builder” — PowerPoint visuals, presented bringing people together at a time conversationally. “Both the when so many forces are pushing message and the messenger us apart. are important,” Dyckman says, “It takes a village — I am the adding that C-Change is careful originator of the idea, but it took about “consistently projecting an incredible team,” Biggins says. an empathetic, even-handed, and “There is an adage: passionate inclusive tone during speaking people can make change, even if Kathleen Biggins holds a block of carbon that produces 1 Kg of CO2 when burned. The U.S. annual emissions engagements.” you are not in a position of power. per person is 16 tons of C02, which is roughly two of these blocks per hour. Included in the presentation “There is greater interest are visuals that illustrate key information among people on how climate change impacts in dwindling water resources; the sea level is such as: noting that the Earth’s temperature them. I’m excited to see some of the shifts. It’s rising in places like La Jolla, Calif., Charleston, has risen 1.1 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees something I’m proud of. We’re building bridges S.C., Miami, Fla., and Annapolis, Md.; and how to Fahrenheit since the Industrial Revolution; a when others are tearing them down.” mitigate risks and why we should care. slide from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric “How difficult is it to avoid risks?” Biggins Administration (NOAA) showing critical artic asks in the presentation. “We don’t know that our ice melting since 1990; how temperatures have house is going to burn down, but we act in a way risen from 1890 to now, and are predicted to be that will prevent it. Scientists say the risks from higher by 2100, from the National Aeronautics climate change are much greater than the risk of and Space Administration; and that as humidity house fire.” ON THE ROAD

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OTHER C-CHANGE CONVERSATIONS PROGRAMMING: The monthly newsletter, Curated Climate News, features climate news of hope and concern. The November issue, for example, was about the hopeful outcomes of COP26. The Ask the Scientist newsletter invites readers to submit questions directly to experts working in the field. Soon to be launched is a “Solutions Series” to focus on why we should be hopeful in our effort to address climate change. The Solutions Series is a continuation of offering facts about climate change from trusted sources, including new technologies that are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs, talking with scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, energy experts, and others. The conversations will be filmed in the Princeton Public Television station and aired on the station. For more information, visit c-changeconversations.org.

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AN OUTGROWTH OF IMAGINATION The Benefits of Unstructured Play and Nature-Based Camps By Taylor Smith

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U

nstructured play is open-ended, and child-led. It is an opportunity for children to flex their creative muscles without adult guidelines as to what they can or cannot do. An example of this is bringing a coloring book to a child. A coloring book is filled with lines and shapes in which children are expected to color within. Alternatively, unstructured play would look more like handing a child a piece of paper and a box of crayons and telling them that they can create and imagine to their heart’s content. Previous generations probably remember their parents or grandparents telling them to simply “go outside and play.” The benefits of this type of play are only now being fully understood. It has been recognized that there is a pivotal period in childhood development where children can imagine and formulate their own games and rules (waldorfeducation.org/waldorf-education). Even the practice of playing with dolls and toys, creating shapes and structures out of Legos, and building one’s own “world” out of their imagination is significant. Toddlers, children, and even young teenagers benefit from role playing and acting out the scenarios that they dream up in their mind’s eye. This also aids social development, problem solving, and selfunderstanding in the sense that young people are learning how to occupy themselves and to develop their own creative reflexes. Using one’s imagination also deepens social connections among children. Acting out storylines and building self-initiated games with their peers stimulates cognitive memory and social acuity, which is defined as the ability and inclination to perceive the psychological state of others and act accordingly. Just think — as an adult, how often have you had to self-initiate solving a problem particular to your life? What about appropriately reading social conversations and body language? This probably happens multiple times a day, every day. Unstructured play thus prepares children for the accelerated intellectual, emotional, and social problem solving that they will be required to engage in during high school, college, their professional lives, and beyond. For this reason, unstructured play can be viewed as the gateway to adulthood and real-life thinking. Why should you resist the temptation to overbook your child’s summer vacation? Overbooking your child’s summer vacation prevents unstructured play from happening naturally and more frequently. Instead of a constant roster of assigned daily activities, such as carpooling from dance lessons to swimming lessons, computer camps, and more, try setting up an open-ended play date for your child. Invite your child’s friends over for an afternoon at the local park or simply hanging out in the backyard. Left to their own resources, adults will be surprised and delighted at the organic play that can ensue. During this unstructured or “open” play, children will learn to observe and communicate with their peers through direct communication, body language, negotiation, problem-solving, planning, imagining, and more. It won’t take long for parents to observe that their child is improving their communication and socialization skills, learning patience with other children and how to work through problems without the constant involvement or interference of an adult or teacher.

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Summer is truly the ideal time for children to disconnect from their smartphones, laptops, and iPads and instead, play in the backyard, their bedroom, or at a nature-based camp that encourages these types of “unprovoked” socialemotional and developmental experiences. So, what types of camps in the greater Princeton area offer these types of opportunities? Princeton Magazine has rounded up a selection of top day camps for children to engage in outdoor play with their peers, with only limited structure and very little technology or screen time. Nature heals and boosts health and happiness levels for children as well as adults, so why not try something different this summer and see how it impacts your own child’s confidence, cognitive development, and problem-solving skills? The year 2022 is the perfect time to make a change, so let’s begin with allotting children the gift of self-discovery and freedom at these nature-centric summer camps: WALDORF SCHOOL OF PRINCETON

Located at 1062 Cherry Hill Road in Princeton, Waldorf School offers new and exciting summer camp sessions for 2022. Registration is now open at princetonwaldorf. org. The sessions will be held June 27-July 15 and July 18-August 5. The camp is open to children ages 4-12 and camp hours are 8:30AM to 4PM . The Waldorf School welcomes summer campers to their outdoor campus, complete with a rippling creek, adventure forest, biodynamic farm, landscaped gardens, and numerous outdoor play structures. The goal is to provide campers

with a sense of adventure and community, while forming new friendships and a lasting love of the outdoors. One camp parent remarked, “I loved that the day and activities were structured, but not overly so. Children were allowed to express their creativity and imagination. Opportunities to wade in the creek and bake bread in a woodfired oven made more memorable experiences.” Another parent noted, “Safe but unstructured exploration is the perfect balance to his very structured school life.” A 10 percent early-bird discount is available for those registering before February 28. Children are welcome to participate in one or both of the three-week sessions, which will involve different forms of creative play. For inquiries, call 609.466.1970. SUMMERQUEST AT PRINCETON MONTESSORI SCHOOL

Princeton Montessori’s SummerQuest, at 487 Cherry Valley Road in Princeton, is a wholesome, stimulating, nurturing experience for children through age 9. SummerQuest takes a Montessori approach to children reveling in the outdoors, crafts, theater, gardening, building forts and tepees in the woods, and new friendships. Extra time is allotted every day for daydreaming and unstructured play time with their SummerQuest classmates. Allow your child to be inspired this summer with fun in the sun and ample time in nature. Founded in 1968, a Princeton Montessori education creates the building blocks for a healthy and happy whole person though selfinitiated discovery, learning, and play. Early-bird savings are available before April 15 and registration is currently open at princetonmontessori.org. Art Intensives and International Ivy programs are available on site for older students. A Montessori parent said, “I’m struck by how much better the Montessori toddlers are at playing peacefully with their peers than toddler in other nursery school programs.” If you think your child would benefit from a summer-based Montessori program, be sure to give SummerQuest a try. WATERSHED NATURE CAMP

The Waldorf School of Princeton

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

The Watershed Center and Reserve in Pennington includes 950 acres of fields, forests, trails, ponds, and streams. On a typical summer day, campers venture into the woods to explore under logs, out in the meadow to catch butterflies, or down to the stream to explore

Princeton Montessori School

watery worlds. Campers will partake in fresh air, making new friends, developing a deeper love of the natural world, and a healthy dose of adventure. Camp leaders believe that every child deserves the chance to experience summer vacation at a slower, less stressful pace, simply connecting with their peers. It is the goal of Watershed Nature Camp to instill in campers respect of the plants, animals, and people that surround us. Registration for summer 2022 is now open. To view the 2022 camp brochure, visit thewatershed.org/camp. SOLEBURY SUMMER CAMP

Located on a sprawling campus in New Hope, Pa., Solebury engages campers ages 4 to rising seventh grade in hands-on science and nature activities, swimming, sports, and flex time, where groups of children get to determine how they want to play. This is a time in which they work with their peers to create their own games, playacting, socialization, and more. Hot and cold lunches are available every day along with snacks. Each week of camp will have a special theme such as Carnival, Wet and Wacky, Spirit Week, and more. All summer 2022 programs at Solebury School are available at 2021 prices. To register, visit solebury.org. HOWELL LIVING HISTORY FARM

Howell Living History Farm, located at 70 Woodens Lane in Hopewell Township, brings people back to the year 1900, when horses and buggies traveled the nearby roads and fields. At Howell, children can roll up their own sleeves for hands-on activities, meet interpreters in


The Watershed Institute

historic costumes, and create magical memories. In past years, children would become real farmhands by helping with animal chores and field activities. This popular program introduces children to working horses, chickens, sheep, and more. The Hatchery program is designed for preschool-age children to learn about life on the farm. Activities include collecting eggs, watering the sheep, feeding pigs, and exploring the farm. Snack time, crafting, and story time are all in a day’s work. The Cooking and Chores camp gives older kids the option to learn how to use a wood stove and open hearth as the farmers did at the turn of the century. For children ages 6-16, these week-long

camps are centered around farm chores, craft time, exploration, and free play. Email kdaly@ howellfarm.org for the latest information or visit howellfarm.org/kids-programs.

to a 240-acre campus in beautiful Bucks County, Pa. For questions, call Camp Director Mike Bailey at 215.579.6689 or email gsdc4kids@ georgeschool.org.

GeorGe School Day camp

Terhune orcharDS

Join George School in Newtown, Pa., for their 45th season of summer camp. Registration is now open at georgeschool.org. George School Day Camp is open to boys and girls ages 4-14. Established in 1977, campers participate in a range of outdoor activities, from archery to zip lining, swimming, sports, theater, and everything in between. Campers have access

Every summer, Terhune Orchards on Cold Soil Road in Princeton welcomes children to experience a fun-filled week of summer camp on their picturesque, 250-acre working family farm. Children will learn how the farm operates through educational, interactive, and exploratory activities. The farm’s acreage includes streams, nature trails, fields, and the resident barnyard animals. Sample activities involve learning how to cultivate a garden, wagon rides, story time, crafts, and harvesting and sampling the in-season crops. Campers will spend their days exploring the farm and immersing themselves in nature. Check terhuneorchards.com for this year’s summer camp dates or call 609.924.2310.

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ramblinG pineS Day camp

Rambling Pines in Hopewell is a local day camp like no other. The long-standing, family-owned camp has a track record of amazing childhood summer experiences for children ages preschool through ninth grade. While the program options vary by age, Rambling Pines campers get to enjoy a host of outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, agility courses, creek exploration, mountain biking, tennis, street hockey, nature studies, music, boating, and more. Daily lunch, snacks, and bus service are available to enrolled campers. See why Rambling Pines is a local favorite for active kids and

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Hunter Farms includes two indoor rings, outdoor rings, great jumps, and courses for a variety of skill levels. The summer program runs Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2:30pm during the months of June, July, and August. There is limited enrollment. To reserve a space, call 609.924.2932. A registration form is available online at hunterfarms.us.

Enrollment for summer 2022 is now open. For questions, contact Anne Pierpont, director of auxiliary programs, at 609.921.6132 or email apierpont@stuartschool.org. To learn more, visit stuartschool.org/student-life/ summer-camp.

SUMMER AT STUART shutterstock.com

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, at 1200 Stuart Road in Princeton, plays host to a yearly Summer at Stuart program for early childhood, lower school, middle school, and upper school students. A wide range of summer enrichment programs are available. They range from naturebased exploration, science, and discovery to outdoor athletics, recreation, and the arts. The supportive and diverse experiences are a Stuart trademark and one that children and their families will not soon forget.

families. Visit ramblingpines.com for registration information. HUNTER FARMS DAY CAMP

Located at 1315 The Great Road in Princeton, Hunter Farms’ Children’s Summer Riding Program provides world-class riding instruction, jumping, shows, stable management, crafts, and games centered around everything horsey.

34 |

PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

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Heidi A. Hartmann Call / Text 609.658.3771 E:HeidiHartmannHomes@gmail.com W: HeidiHartmannHomes.com Listing And Selling All Price Points In The Greater Princeton Area.


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ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS YEAR-ROUND ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS YEAR-ROUND Learn more at laurelschoolprinceton.org Learn more at laurelschoolprinceton.org 36 |

PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

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800NORTH NORTHROAD, ROAD,HOPEWELL, HOPEWELL, NJ NJ 08534 800 609-256-3552 609-256-3552


AM Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center is New Jersey’s Speech-Language & Learning Center is Newpsychological Jersey’s leadingPrinceton practice for a variety of language, social, academic, and now occupational therapy services for children all ages. Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center isisNew Jersey’s Princeton Speech-Language Learning Center Newof Jersey’s leading practice for a variety of language, social, academic, psychological

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Parent training and support • Autism Spectrum Disorders • Parent training and support Parent training andServices support Psychological For a free phone consultation and/or more information • Coordination difficulties • Psychological Services Psychological Services Reading/Writing Tutoring aboutSpeech-Language, PSLLC please visit• our website, psllcnj.com • Evaluations: Reading/Writing Tutoring Reading/Writing Tutoring Language Receptive & Expressive Neuropsychological, Psychoeducational, • Receptive &&Expressive or call 609-924-7080. Receptive ExpressiveLanguage Language Sensory Processing Therapy & Occupational • Sensory Processing Therapy Sensory Processing Therapy Executive Function Therapy • Social Communication Groups • • Executive Function Therapy • Social Communication Groups • •Executive Function Therapy • Social Communication Groups Handwriting difficulties 615 Executive Drive • Handwriting difficulties • Handwriting difficulties

Follow Us Princeton, NJ 08540 on and/or Foraafree freephone phone consultation and/or more information For consultation 609-924-7080 | info@psllcnj.com For a free phone consultation and/or more moreinformation information Social Media aboutPSLLC PSLLC please visit website, psllcnj.com about please visit ourour website, psllcnj.com about PSLLC please visit our website, psllcnj.com @Princeton Speech-Language call 609-924-7080. @Princetonspeechies oror call 609-924-7080. call 609-924-7080. & Learningor Center

Accepting 2022-23 Applications

615 Executive Drive 615 Executive Drive 615 Executive Drive 615 Executive Drive Princeton, NJ 08540 Princeton, NJ 08540 Princeton, 08540 Princeton, NJNJ 08540 609-924-7080 609-924-7080 | info@psllcnj.com 609-924-7080 | info@psllcnj.com info@psllcnj.com 609-924-7080 | info@psllcnj.com

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FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE | 1/26/22 10:07 AM


PRODUCT SELECTION BY LYNN ADAMS SMITH

COUNTDOWN TO CAMP River Otter hat; $25; sundayafternoons.com Nature Journal by Alice M. Cantrel; $8.95; amazon.com RKS Explorer kids’ sunglasses; $19.95; realshades.com Hanna Anderson stripe thermal hoodie; $24; hannaanderson.com Nite Ize BugLit rechargeable micro flashlight; $20; basspro.com Old Town Saran 160 canoe; $809; rei.com Keen Kids’ Seacamp shoes; $65; keen footwear.com Boden Moroccan Blue Puffins adventure shorts; $47; bodenusa.com Midland T10 Walkie Talkie with 20-mile range; $37.49; midlandusa.com Nalgene Sustain water bottle; $12; rei.com Kelty Big Dipper 30 kids’ sleeping bag; $50; backcountry.com

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022


PRODUCT SELECTION BY LYNN ADAMS SMITH

COUNTDOWN TO CAMP

National Wildlife Federation Snowy Owl Kite: $39; shopnwf.com

Terra Kids cork boat; $17.95; shopmodernlove.com

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Dakkyscraft Bug Hotel; $12; etsy.com Fox Kite; $29; hqkitesusa.com

Fishing Log by Alice M. Cantrell; $8.95; barnesandnoble.com

The North Face Recon Squash youth backpack; $50; dillards.com

Duckett Jacob Wheeler freshwater spinning rod and reel combo: $99; academy.com

FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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The boys' school of Princeton. Since 1998. Creative. Compassionate. Courageous.

He Can Be. Boyhood celebrated. At Princeton Academy, he is seen, known and heard. As he pursues his personal excellence, he has the support of his teachers, coaches and friends. We believe #HeCanBe anything when his heart and soul are nourished in ways that make him whole. For boys, relational learning matters. Learn more at princetonacademy.org.


DENISE APPLEWHITE (UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHER, OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS).

PAUL MULDOON ON HOW TO WRITE A SONG A

ward-winning poet and Princeton University professor Paul Muldoon has edited Paul McCartney’s two-volume anthology, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present (published by Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton & Company). In his introduction Muldoon reveals that The Lyrics is “based on 24 separate meetings over a five-year period” between 2015 and 2020. He adds that most of the meetings “took place in New York, and each involved two or three hours of intensive conversation” in which he and McCartney discussed “six to eight songs.” Last February McCartney visited, via Zoom, “How to Write a Song,” a Princeton University course Muldoon teaches with Bridget Kearney (a founding member of the Brooklyn-based, multigenre band Lake Street Dive, and winner of the 2005 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Jazz Category). The website for the University’s Lewis Center for the Arts describes the course as an “introduction to the art of writing words for music, an art at the core of our literary tradition from the Beowulf poet through Lord Byron and Bessie Smith to Bob Dylan and the Notorious B.I.G.” Muldoon also is at work on a rock musical, Athens, Georgia, an adaptation of the Frogs of Aristophanes. The music is by singer-songwriter Stew (Mark Stewart), co-composer of the Broadway

42 | PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

Interview by Donald H. Sanborn III

musical Passing Strange. Muldoon says that this version has a “strong racial justice component.” The Lewis Center’s website describes Athens, Georgia as an “up-to-date version” that “combines slapstick and social justice” and “features appearances by the rock god Dionysus, the guitar hero Hercules, Check Berry, Little Richard

and, of course, the Real Housewives of Hades.” Athens, Georgia is the subject of a course offered by the Lewis Center, in which students have the opportunity to follow the development of the musical, which was commissioned by the Public Theater.

Muldoon’s 14th collection of poetry, HowdieSkelp, is available from Macmillan. According to Macmillan’s website, the poems in Howdie-Skelp include a “nightmarish remake of ‘The Waste Land,’ an elegy for his fellow Northern Irish poet Ciaran Carson,” and “a heroic crown of sonnets that responds to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Muldoon will read from Howdie-Skelp at Labyrinth Books on March 1 (visit labyrinthbooks. com for details). How did you come to edit The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present? I came to edit the volume because I went to the Met one night in 2015 with Robert Weil of Liveright. He’d already done a book of poems with Paul McCartney. I’d also written an introduction to a new Liveright edition of “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot. Bob Weil had often asked me if there was anything I’d like to work on for him. The opera was Verdi’s Don Carlos, which often clocks in at three and a half hours. Over the course of the evening (during intervals, in other words), the idea of putting together The Lyrics was raised and, by the end of the evening, we had a plan. After that, it was a matter of arranging a marriage with myself and Paul McCartney.


In your introduction to The Lyrics you describe the process of editing the volume as “a little reminiscent of the two-or-three-hour writing sessions that were a feature of the LennonMcCartney partnership.” How did you craft your discussions with McCartney into the final version of the book? Like Lennon and McCartney, we were very determined not to leave the room without something to show for it. Some fresh take on an old favorite. I supposed it was part of my job to provoke Paul McCartney into thinking about his songs in ways that hadn’t quite occurred to him. Not to start making things up, but to find new angles on the texts. Our conversations were recorded on two devices — just in case one failed — and then transcribed. I edited those transcripts down into the series of commentaries that make up the book. What was your biggest discovery in the course of editing The Lyrics? Did anything surprise you or make you view a song differently? I already had some sense of the extent to which he was interested in, and influenced by, the history of literature in English. But I had no idea just how broad and deep that went. Like many post-war kids in Britain, Paul McCartney had an excellent education. His English teacher, Alan Durband, had been a student of F.R. Leavis at Cambridge and was clearly one of those charismatic types of which we’ve heard so much. He helped introduce Paul McCartney to Shakespeare and Dickens,

not to speak of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. The tradition of nonsense verse in English was a major element in Paul McCartney’s writing. It was something he shared with John Lennon.

had he not become a Beatle he may well have become a teacher. For that course, what assignments to you give? By the end of a semester, what do you want your students to have accomplished? We usually have 30 or 40 students. That sounds crazy until you realize they break up into groups of four, say, and work together on a song each week. Depending on the prompt we give them — loss, joy, revenge — they write the words and music and then present it to the class. The other students critique it as if they were critiquing a poem or a short story. We usually look at 10 new songs in each three-hour class.

Did you observe parallels between McCartney’s writing process and your own? The single most relevant aspect of Paul McCartney’s description of his process is his insistence on not knowing what he’s doing when he’s writing a song. When I say I don’t know what I’m doing when I’m writing a poem, people assume I’m being a smartass. When Paul McCartney says it, they pay a little more attention. What would you say is the biggest challenge McCartney has faced in songwriting? How did he overcome it, and what can other aspiring songwriters (including students of your course) learn from that? The challenge is the same for one and all. It’s how to answer silence.

Macmillan’s website describes Howdie-Skelp as a “sharp wake-up call,” and notes that a “’howdieskelp’ is the slap in the face a midwife gives a newborn.” Could you tell our readers a bit about the poems in your 14th collection? I suppose that each of them is meant to take one aback. To surprise. To shock. That’s why I write poems. I don’t see any point in doing it otherwise.

W\U _cOZWbg Q`OTba[ >`]dWRW\U _cOZWbg Q`OTba[O\a You invited McCartney to visit “How to Write a Song.” What do you think is the most important thing your students learned from him? Precisely what I mentioned earlier. To be able to trust the song rather than interceding on its behalf. One of the great features of the class visit was how methodically Paul McCartney went about commenting on the songs that were under discussion that week. He’s a natural teacher. In fact, he says that

Creatively, what’s next for you? In no particular order, I’m putting the finishing touches to a book of essays, The Eternity of the Poem, which will probably be out next year. I have a new collection of poems, The Castle of Perseverance, with watercolors by Philip Pearlstein, coming out soon in the U.K. There’s never a dull moment.

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE SUMMER 2014


“A Magnificent Voice” Marian Anderson in Princeton By Donald H. Sanborn III

Marian Anderson, center, with Albert Einstein. (Marian Anderson Collection of Photographs, 1898-1992, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania)

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022


“E

veryone has a gift for something,” contralto Marian Anderson is quoted as saying, “even if it is the gift of being a good friend.” In 1937 a unique friendship was formed after Anderson (1897-1993) gave a recital at McCarter Theatre. Because of segregation, Anderson as an African American was denied lodging at a hotel in Princeton. In response, Albert Einstein invited her to stay at his home — an invitation he had extended to Paul Robeson two years earlier. The meeting of Anderson and Einstein is the subject of a play, My Lord, What a Night. Written by Deborah Brevoort, the play recently was presented by Ford’s Theatre. The play’s title is derived from Anderson’s 1956 autobiography, My Lord, What a Morning. Anderson’s autobiography, in turn, takes its title from a spiritual whose text includes the line, “To wake the nations underground.” Given the singer’s eventual impact on the civil rights movement, the line is striking. When Brevoort was 7, her mother gave her a copy of Anderson’s book. “I remember loving that autobiography,” she says. When the singer was on a list of subjects for a commission, Brevoort eagerly welcomed the idea of writing about her, in part because the research process would provide an opportunity to reread the

Anderson in 1940. (Photo by Carl Van Vechten)

volume. The playwright was particularly fascinated by the story of Einstein opening his home to Anderson, an act that “launched this lifelong friendship.” “COMPLETE ARTISTIC MASTERY”

The McCarter recital that occasioned the meeting with Einstein took place on April 16, 1937. In

Einstein on Race and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2005), Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor note, “Princeton Group Arts, an organization that provided African American youngsters with art instruction not available in their segregated Princeton school, sponsored Marian Anderson’s performance.” Kosti Vehanen was Anderson’s accompanist for the recital, which included selections by Handel and Schubert. In I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton (Princeton University Press, 2017) Kathryn Watterson writes that the duo performed for a “standing-room only audience.” In the Daily Princetonian, E.T. Cone ecstatically praised the concert in a review whose headline declared the performance “superlative.” Cone was in awe of Anderson’s “complete artistic mastery of a magnificent voice.” “Seldom is a voice like this combined with such a perfect intellectual and emotional understanding of the music,” Cone writes. “Anderson’s vocal technique is unsurpassed in variety of color; contrast of range and marvelous effects in dynamics.” But although the McCarter audience welcomed Anderson, the Nassau Inn “refused her a room,” Watterson writes. “When Albert Einstein heard about the insult, he invited Anderson to stay with his daughter and him in their house on Mercer Street.” In Einstein: His Life and Universe (Simon

Felicia Curry as Marian Anderson and Christopher Bloch as Albert Einstein in the Ford’s Theatre October 2021 production of Deborah Brevoort’s “My Lord, What a Night.” (Photo by Scott Suchman) FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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Anderson performing at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939 (Easter Sunday), in front of 75,000 spectators. Finnish accompanist Kosti Vehanen is on the piano. (Photo by the U.S. Information Agency)

& Schuster, 2007) Walter Isaacson describes the physicist’s invitation as a “deeply personal as well as a publicly symbolic gesture.” Isaacson adds that whenever Anderson returned to Princeton, “she stayed with Einstein, her last visit coming just two months before he died.” “MY LORD, WHAT A NIGHT”

Brevoort observes, “There are pictures of Einstein hanging around backstage at Carnegie Hall at Anderson’s various concerts; he loved her singing. So he was at the Princeton concert, and all we know is that he invited her to stay at his house. My play tries to fill in the details, of the conversations that took place that night.” About the genesis of My Lord, What a Night, Brevoort explains that in 2015 “There was a Premiere Stages Liberty Live commission (from Liberty Hall Museum), to write a 45-minute play about an event that took place in New Jersey. There was a long list of topics that they wanted to consider, and Marian Anderson happened to be on that list.” In 2015 the play was debuted at Premiere Stages at Kean University. Contemporary American Theater Festival presented it in 2019. Last February, Orlando Shakespeare Theater presented an online production; and in October, Ford’s Theatre offered it both in person and via (Broadway On Demand) streaming. Reviewing the Ford’s Theatre production for District Fray, Nicole Hertvik describes

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the portrayal of Anderson as “restrained and conflicted,” and Einstein as a “firebrand.” When Brevoort is asked whether that description reflects what her research revealed about the personalities of her two protagonists, the playwright replies: “Absolutely.” Perusing historical records to research the play, Brevoort observed a fundamental difference between Einstein and Anderson. “Einstein was famously vocal and active about civil rights issues,” the playwright observes, adding that this activism was greeted with the “consternation of Abraham Flexner and the Institute for Advanced Study, who would have preferred that Einstein keep his head down. Everything Einstein said made it into the headlines, because he was basically the most famous person in the world.” Hertvik writes that as a character in Brevoort’s play, Flexner brings the perspective of the “assimilator. He admits to being embarrassed to be a Jew and he displays an obtuse indifference to the plight of African Americans.” Conversely, Mary Church Terrell — the other character in the play, “urges Anderson to use her celebrity for the greater good of all Black Americans,” Hertvik notes. By contrast, Anderson “famously did not make political comments,” Brevoort continues. She observes that the singer was “opposed to being involved in political “issues — much to the consternation of the African American community, who wished that she would use her

fame to speak on their behalf.” As a dramatist Brevoort was fascinated by the fact that a close friendship developed despite this difference. “Both of them suffered discrimination,” the playwright says. “Einstein, obviously, had to flee Nazi Germany, and Anderson was dealing with the horrors of Jim Crow.” She reflects that hatred “affected both of them deeply, personally.” “But they had diametrically opposed viewpoints as to how one responds in the face of hatred,” Brevoort observes. “Yet they became good friends. That’s the thing that really attracted me to the story — that difference, and the basis of that friendship.” LINCOLN MEMORIAL CONCERT

My Lord, What a Night “culminates with Anderson’s famed 1939 performance in front of the Lincoln Memorial,” writes Hertvik in her review. The performance “attracted 75,000 spectators of all races, including African Americans who had been unable to see her perform due to the segregationist policies of the time. Millions more listened at home.” In 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to permit Anderson to sing a concert at Constitution Hall, due to a policy that excluded African American performers. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned in protest, and formed a committee to find a different venue.


Pointing to events such as the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, Brevoort adds that the concert established the National Mall as the site “and symbol of civil protest in the United States. To this day, when we march on Washington, we go to the National Mall, and we stand beneath the Lincoln Memorial. That is because of Marian Anderson.” RETURNING TO PRINCETON

In 1943 the DAR did invite Anderson to sing for an integrated audience at Constitution Hall (even though the policy that had excluded her four years earlier did not end until 1952). The occasion was a benefit for the American Red Cross. Jerome and Taylor write, “Despite her worldwide renown, it was not until January 1955 that Anderson was finally permitted to sing with New York’s Metropolitan Opera.” She became the first African American to do so, performing the part of Ulrica in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. “That same month, Princeton’s Friendship Club brought her back for another concert at McCarter,” write Jerome and Taylor. She again stayed with Einstein, who died a few months later. Jerome and Taylor quote Anderson as writing: “I knew this was really good-bye.” In 1959 Princeton University conferred the Doctor of Humanities honorary degree on Anderson. The website for the University’s Women’s Center notes that this made her the “first African American woman to receive such an honor from the college.” “AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF HISTORY”

Mitchell Jamieson's 1943 mural, An Incident in Contemporary American Life, at the United States Department of the Interior Building depicts the scene of Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo by Carol Highsmith)

Through FDR’s administration a concert was arranged to take place at the Lincoln Memorial. On April 9 (Easter Sunday) Anderson sang a selection that included “America (My Country, ’Tis of Thee).” “The Lincoln Memorial concert forever changed the Black experience in America, because it was the moment where the civil rights issue broke through to the national audience,”

says Brevoort. “Not only were 75,000 people at that concert, but it was broadcast on the radio. My mother remembers, as a child, sitting by the radio, listening to that concert.” In 1936, Anderson had been the first African American to perform at the White House, an event at which a young Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in the audience. Twenty-seven years later, Anderson sang at the 1963 March on Washington.

Brevoort hopes that My Lord, What a Night will “resurrect an important piece of history.” She soberly reflects, “The dilemma that Marian Anderson and Albert Einstein were facing that night … continues to this day. My hope is that, as we look at this historical drama set in 1937, we see how little we’ve actually changed.” Racial justice is an issue that deeply affects the playwright on a personal level. Brevoort is married to Tony Award winning actor Chuck Cooper. She says that as an African American, Cooper has “endured everything that happened to Marian Anderson: racial profiling and racist incidents. The conversation that takes place in Einstein’s house is a conversation that my husband and I have had numerous times around our own dining room table. My Lord, What a Night is a historical drama about 1937, but the issue remains.” Despite the contralto’s longtime resistance to being connected with political activism, Brevoort is unequivocal in defining her sociopolitical legacy. “Marian Anderson carried the civil rights issue into the ears of Americans, and into their hearts.”

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Willow Gate Farm

4370 Province Line Road, Lawrence Township. Willow Gate Farm is one of those rare historic Garden State properties that grows even more enchanting with each passing decade, while also surpassing modern standards of comfort. At 16 acres with 4 charming outbuildings and a pool, the grounds present endless opportunities. Terraced lawns and a circular drive provide a formal introduction to the stone manor house. Inside, spaces are grand and bright, especially the double living room and the dining room featuring the original cooking fireplace. The main suite is serene, yet luxurious, offering a dressing room with island and a marble bath with towel warmer within reach of the clawfoot tub. A new laundry room might make washing and folding a favorite chore! A media room joins guest quarters on the cupola-lit top floor. A pumphouse, a workshop and a huge barn beneath the branches of a majestic beech tree are all picturesque and full of potential. $2,850,000

Barbara Blackwell Broker Associate 4 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542

(609) 921-1050 Office (609) 915-5000 Cell bblackwell@callawayhenderson.com For more information about properties, the market in general, or your home in particular, please give me a call.

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


Pride of Princeton’s Battle Road

12 Battle Road, Princeton. Overlooking Princeton University’s Graduate College and serving as the elegant cornerstone of one of the town’s most prominent residential streets, this stately house looks as if it were plucked from Embassy Row. Built for former Congressman and the 93rd Mayor of NYC, The Honorable George B. McClellan, Jr., the entry hall features the same marble tiles used in Grand Central Station. While some interior spaces are magnificently adorned with carved marble mantles, delicate picture molding and fanciful hardware, the overall scale is surprisingly livable and welcoming. The library is completely enveloped in burnished wood, perfect for fireside evenings, while the adjoining sunroom is a morning delight. Architect Glen Fries oversaw a renovation of the outdoor terraces and the kitchen, done in timeless, yet period-appropriate, white with chef-level appliances. The guest cottage and extraordinary grounds complete the package. $3,500,000

Barbara Blackwell Broker Associate 4 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542

(609) 921-1050 Office (609) 915-5000 Cell bblackwell@callawayhenderson.com For more information about properties, the market in general, or your home in particular, please give me a call.

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



Historic Farmhouse fit for a ModernDay Farmer The Skeuse Homestead is Reimagined for Today’s Living By Ilene Dube Eastridge Design, Interior Design; Lasley Brahaney, Architecture and Construction; Interior Photography by Pam Connolly; Exterior Photography by Tom Grimes

Sean Skeuse spent his formative years on a 200-acre property in the rolling farmland surrounding Stockton, New Jersey. Growing things was in his blood. When he and his wife, Megan, were living in Boulder, Colorado, he became immersed in the cannabis industry, learning about the cultivation, extraction, and retail side of medical marijuana from the ground up.

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The original stone farmhouse dates to the 1730s. Sean Skeuse’s parents had added on, as had prior residents. Sean and his wife, Megan, brought in the design teams of Eastridge Design Home (interiors) and Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction to modernize the home, letting in more light, though staying true to its historic integrity.

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pon legalization of hemp farming in New Jersey in 2019, Skeuse returned to the family homestead – his parents had relocated to Houston. Skeuse’s firm, Headquarters Hill Hemp (HHH), has dedicated 14 acres to growing Berry Blossom Flower, an organically grown product containing less than .3 percent THC, as monitored by the state of New Jersey. (THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, and hemp growers typically market their non-psychoactive product as CBD.) The self-described modern-day farmer, who earned a degree in business administration at Rider University, also raises corn, soy, rye, and apples. Megan, who teaches at Princeton Montessori School, always loved animals. Her childhood pets included a pony, a horse, birds, guinea pigs, bunnies, turtles, and dogs and cats. Today, Sean, Megan, and two daughters keep goats, pigs, silky chickens, rabbits, and geese. The animal theme continues inside on the wallpaper. The original stone farmhouse dates to the 1730s when the property was owned by John Opdycke, a farmer, miller, merchant, and justice of the peace. Skeuse’s parents had made significant changes to the house, adding on, as had prior residents, but Sean and Megan wanted to modernize the home, letting in more light, though staying true to its historic integrity. Also,

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the house had suffered from being vacant for five years. In late summer 2019, the Skeuses brought in the design teams of Eastridge Design Home (interiors) and Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction. “The before looked really before,” said Eastridge, standing on the gleamingly refurbished pumpkin pine floor in the living room. The bucolic surroundings include a meadow and a pond, where the Skeuse daughters enjoy playing outdoors, even in December. There are two other structures on the property: a barn, from where Sean manages the operations of HHH, and a cottage the family rents out — it was recently occupied by friends whose home had been damaged by a hurricane, and served as temporary quarters for the Skeuse family during renovations. Over the meadow and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go — those words might have been sung by Sean, as a young boy. The nearby house once occupied by his grandmother is now his uncle’s residence. As with homes from such an era, the rooms felt constricted and needed to be opened up, bringing in light from all directions, according to Brahaney and Eastridge, who gave a tour around the house on a recent Saturday. Great attention was paid to maintaining original materials and the historic fabric of the house.

For example, there had been a mural on one wall of the living room, a landscape scene, painted by the occupants before Sean’s family. Sean’s mother had touched it up, but Megan and Sean were not interested in keeping the mural, which they felt had served its time. And yet


the Skeuse siblings who’d grown up in the house felt sentimental about it. “There were many voices to listen to,” says Eastridge, good naturedly. The creative solution was to build a new wall over the mural. Someday, a future generation of homeowner may discover the hidden treasure. The renovation includes a new kitchen added to the back of the house, so as not to obstruct the view of the pond. The family was entertaining friends at the kitchen island during the recent visit. The walnut cabinetry echoes the walnut flooring in the adjacent room. Sean’s parents had put a large addition with a walnut floor a generation ago, but Megan and Sean wanted something more family friendly, and so the enclosed wraparound porch has become the new family room. It is a place for exercise, as well as family gatherings. Thanksgiving dinner was served on the large dining FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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table in this space. Megan’s parents, who live nearby, were included in the gathering. “We made small adjustments to have a large impact,” said Brahaney, such as changing smallish French doors to windows. “After living through the pandemic, teaching from home with kids who were schooling from home, I hated the open floor plan. Everyone was hovering in the same spot, with no escape,” Megan said of the space they lived in in Carversville, Pennsylvania, before moving here. “And having a formal dining room seemed excessive.” The enclosed porch floor is a black porcelain tile that looks like slate, but holds up better to the farming life, as well as three dogs and two cats. Many of the materials were chosen for their durability, such as the composite quartzite kitchen countertops. Another accommodation made to the Skeuse parents was keeping certain family heirlooms, such as a large dining table with cabriole legs. But now that Megan and Sean and the two girls eat at the counters or the built-in banquette in the kitchen or on the porch, the heirloom table has become a games table, where a chess set is a permanent fixture. The table on the porch is under an enormous abstract painting in saturated colors the couple found at an auction, but elsewhere are frame TV screens — a subscription allows them to change the art. One of the fun things to do in this house is trace the stone walls to see where the original structure ended and what has been added on, except that it gets tricky. Sean’s parents had a mason build a stone wall to resemble the old

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stone walls, with a beehive oven design. That wall separates the new kitchen from the rest of the house. In addition to the stone walls, wooden beams dating to the original retain some of the rustic farmhouse air. The windowless area that had formerly been the kitchen is now a laundry room — with so

many white cabinets and doors to keep things organized, it is an inviting retreat. “It makes you want to do laundry,” says Eastridge. Other spaces with lots of wooden cabinetry include a butler’s pantry connecting the front of the house to the kitchen, and a mudroom with magnificent white cabinets that one hopes never gets muddy. A first-floor bedroom was, at one time, a screened porch, and is where Sean’s parents stay when they visit. After moving a few walls, Sean’s childhood bedroom combined with the former laundry room on the second floor is now the master bedroom, with a view of the stone spring house and bluestone patio built by Sean’s family. Here, too, is an heirloom — the patio furniture has been redone by Eastridge. White Vermont Danby marble (the kind used in the Lincoln Memorial and the White House), white cabinets, and white tile floors make the bathrooms ethereal retreats. Brass faucets with a living finish and knurled handles fulfill the industrial chic style Megan sought. Eastridge describes the work done for the girls’ bedrooms as “value engineering” — “do the least amount of work to make them comfortable and livable. They got tune-ups.” Such “tune-ups” include custom built-ins in the closets. After the workers left and the sawdust and construction debris were swept away, Megan knew they had done the right thing. She awoke one morning and from the balcony could see her older daughter outside taking care of the animals. “I enjoy watching the kids enjoy the land.” “In every room,” says Sean, “I have new memories mingling with old memories.”


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| BOOK SCENE Great Expectations: “She was dressed in rich materials, — satins, and lace, and silks, — all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white.” Dressed for a wedding that never happened, she had but “half arranged” her veil, her watch and chain “were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets, and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers...” And everything within Pip’s view “which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre and was faded and yellow.” CREDIT TO VICTORIA

Michel Garnier, The Marriage Contract Interrupted (1789). (Wikimedia Commons)

The Wedding Dress: Styles and Stories

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BY STUART MITCHNER

or our lavish New York wedding (no music, no frills, no rice, bearded nondenominational minister, statue of St. Francis looking on), my wife wore a knee-length, crocheted off white dress purchased from the teenage girls’ department at Lord and Taylor (she’s 5’0). Also 5’0 and two years younger on her wedding day in February 1840, Queen Victoria, according to numerous online sources, wore a white, off-theshoulder gown with a structured, eight-piece bodice featuring a wide, open neckline; short, puffed sleeves trimmed with lace; a floor-length skirt containing seven widths of fabric; and a satin train over six yards long, which 12 attendants carried down the aisle. Another thing my wife and Queen Victoria have in common is a fondness for Charles Dickens, who resisted invitations to visit the Queen until shortly before his death in 1870. Of all the wedding gowns in literature, the best known must be the one worn by Miss Havisham when young Pip first sees her in

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In The Way We Wed: A Global History of Wedding Fashion (Running Press $24) by Kimberly ChrismanCampbell, Queen Victoria is credited with popularizing the long, white wedding gown, which was solemnized with the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Among the book’s illustrations is Michel Garnier’s painting The Marriage Contract Interrupted (1789), a preview of Miss Havisham’s dilemma that shows a bride in full wedding regalia “dropping her quill in surprise as an unexpected clause derails the ceremony.” The Way We Wed presents styles and personal stories from the Renaissance to the present day, showcasing wedding gowns from around the world, as well as going-away dresses, accessories (shoes, veils, hats, and tiaras), and clothes worn by flower girls, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride, and groom. Same-sex marriages are covered along with royal weddings, wartime brides, White House weddings, remarriages, and Hollywood weddings. The book features both everyday couples and celebrity brides, including Jackie Kennedy, Angelina Jolie, Frida Kahlo, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, Martha Washington, Ellen DeGeneres, and Meghan Markle. Chrisman-Campbell is a fashion historian and author of Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, a 2016 Costume Society of America Award winner, and Worn on This Day (Running Press 2019). A former People magazine fashion and entertainment reporter, she has appeared as a fashion commentator on numerous media outlets. IN VOGUE

February 10, 1840: Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and Prince Albert (1819-1861) on their return from the marriage service at St James’s Palace, London. Engraved by S. Reynolds after F. Lock. (Wikipedia)

Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, Designers (Knopf $85), edited by Vogue’s European editor-at-large Hamis Bowles, with a foreword by fashion designer Vera Wang, showcases the work of “legendary photographers” such as Cecil Beaton, Patrick Demarchelier, Jonathan Becker, Norma Jean Roy, Mario Testino, Irving Penn, Arthur Elgort, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and Annie Leibovitz. The book includes nearly 400 wedding photographs of royalty, models, artists, actors, musicians, and designers who have appeared in Vogue through the magazine’s 120-year history. Among the couples: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in London; Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars in Italy; Kate Moss and Jamie Hince in the Cotswolds; and Bianca and Mick Jagger after their St. Tropez wedding. A chapter on models’ weddings features portraits of Natalia Vodianova, Coco Rocha, Maggie Rizer, Stella Tennant, Lara Stone, and Cindy


Crawford in their own wedding dress choices. Vogue Weddings also offers behind-the-scenes details from Hamish Bowles, and personal wedding stories from Mario Testino, Plum Sykes, Marina Rust, and Sarah Mower, as well as fashion portfolios of bridal photo shoots.

THE RUNAWAY BRIDE

INDIAN WEDDINGS

My Big Fat Indian Wedding by Tejwinder Laroya (paperback $27) is, the author writes, “a guide to the cultural experience of attending an Indian wedding. As children of immigrants, there’s a constant duality in our hyphenated existence. We have the freedom to pick and choose from both cultures, identities, and communities, but with that also comes the isolating reminder that we don’t belong in either.” The guide provides information for Hindu and Sikh weddings only. Laroya is a third generation Indian who grew up in the West Midlands and has attended many Indian weddings around the world over the years. Available in paperback, Design Sketches: Indian Wedding Dresses (Marjb Design $10.99) is a fashion design book with figure templates for drawing and designing bridal gowns for Indian weddings. The book includes places in which to note the design style, trend, inspiration, textile, and in which to draw details and color or attach fabric swatches. FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN BRIDES

Published in 2020 by Dazzling Prints, The Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer for the Bride (paperback $10.97) includes checklists, to-do lists, calendars, and budget trackers for African American brides. It’s only one among innumerable guides to wedding plans and etiquette that may also contain suggestions for what the bride might wear. For some “stunning wedding dress styles from across Africa,”

visit the African American wedding week display on bridalmusings.com. PROUST’S DUCHESS

Michele C. Cone sets the scene in “Proust”s Muse” (artcritical.com, October 7, 2016): “On November 14th, 1904, a wedding took place in Paris at the neoclassical church of La Madeleine of peerless elegance, and public brouhaha. With the trappings of a royal wedding, including specially commissioned music and a veritable who’s-who guest list, the marriage was that of Armand de Gramont, duc de Guiche and Elaine Greffulhe. As reported by the press, however, it was not the bride’s outfit but that of her mother, Elisabeth, that drew the oohs and ahs: an embroidered Byzantine gown in beige lamé with incrustations of pearl, silver thread and paillettes, and a fur-trimmed train.” The creation of couturier Frédéric Worth, the dress was featured in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s exhibition, “Proust’s Muse, The Countess Greffulhe,” better known to a world of readers as Oriane, Duchesse de Guermantes in A la recherche du temps perdu. The show, which ran from September 2016 to January 2017, originated in the Paris fashion museum, the Palais Galliera, where it was titled “La mode retrouvée.”

I have to admit I have a weakness for the wedding dress in motion, unfettered, flying free, veil tossed back, as the fugitive bride kicks off her heels, picks up the whole blooming fantasia in white, all the frills and finery, and flees, leaving the groom at the altar. Probably the most famous such scene in film history happens when Clark Gable absconds with Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night, the first film to sweep the Oscars. The most spectacular, and my personal favorite, occurs three decades later in The Graduate (1966), when Dustin Hoffman sprints to the chapel, arrives at the moment of truth, leaps into the fray, and makes off with Katherine Ross, using a cross to bolt the chapel doors behind them. One of the most exhilarating scenes in American cinema is the great escape, with Hoffman holding the train as they run off, catch a bus, and we see the bride, veil and all, beaming in the back seat with her sweating hero. There’s something perversely beautiful in the image of all that bridal finery being gazed at in wonder by a bunch of people in a moving bus. My wife reminds me to mention the 1999 film, The Runaway Bride, wherein Julia Roberts deserts numerous grooms at the altar before finally marrying and riding off on horseback with Richard Gere. SHE DIDN’T RUN AWAY

Good thing for me my mother stayed put. For her Christmas Day wedding, the local paper says she “wore a princess gown of white brocaded satin with a short train. The sleeves, wide at the shoulders, came to a point at the wrists and the high neckline was finished with an Elizabethan collar. Her finger-tip length veil of tulle was held by a Juliet cap of seed pearls with orange blossom clips at either side.” I like the hint of Shakespeare, and of course the organist was playing Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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PRINCETON BASIN

GHOST OF A TOWN BY ANNE LEVIN


Untitled, 1982 by Grif Teller. From “Crossroads of Commerce.” (Courtesy of Dan Cupper)

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t the bottom of Alexander Street where Princeton meets West Windsor, joggers, walkers, cyclists, and nature lovers gather — especially in fair weather — along the banks of the Delaware & Raritan (D&R) Canal. The leafy site known as Turning Basin Park has a parking lot on one side of the road, and a popular kayak/canoe launching site on the other. A few houses line Basin and Canal streets, which hug the narrow waterway. It is peaceful and quiet. There is little, if anything, to suggest that, nearly 200 years ago, the area was a bustling

center of commerce and industry. Princeton Basin was a thriving small town along the 65mile canal, a mile south and worlds away from quiet, academic Princeton proper. Princeton Basin took its name from two inlets, or basins, which opened off the north bank of the canal on either side of a turn bridge. These were small ponds where barges could moor overnight, unload their freight, and turn around. Vividly documented in historical publications written in 1939 and 1983, the Basin boasted coal yards, a lumber yard, a hotel, a tavern, and some 20 residences. The general store was a popular

meeting place. A school was built as a mission by Princeton’s Trinity Episcopal Church. Pulled by mules along the banks, barges carried coal, hay, produce, quarried stone, and more between Bordentown and New Brunswick. The Princeton Steam Mills and the New Jersey Ironclad Roofing and Mastic Company were located at the Basin. It was busy, busy, busy — but the Basin’s heyday was short-lived. “Settlement of the Basin dates from the early 1830s, when a railroad building furor was sweeping the eastern seaboard of the United States,” reads Old Princeton’s Neighbors, a 1939 FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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Lottie B. barge on the canal near the Steamboat Hotel. Below, the Branch Line crossing the D&R Canal at Princeton Basin in the 1890s. (Photos courtesy of the Historical Society of Princeton)

publication of the Federal Writers Project. “And to Commodore Robert F. Stockton, United States naval officer and member of one of Princeton’s pioneer families, belongs much of the credit for building the canal and railroad which served central New Jersey. To his initiative, also, Princeton Basin owes its origin.” Finished in 1834, the canal had four locks at Trenton, and another at Kingston. It wound through the smaller communities of Rocky Hill, Griggstown, Millstone, and Somerville. The Camden and Amboy Railroad ran a line next to the waterway. But as the railroads began to dominate the transportation industry, the canal, and its town, went into a steady decline starting in the 1870s. “Princeton Basin existed solely because of the Delaware and Raritan Canal and Camden and Amboy Railroad along its banks,” reads a 1983 issue of the publication Princeton History.. “It was born with the opening of the canal, grew up with it, thrived with it, and as an entity faded away as the canal’s business dwindled and died. It was a short century for Princeton Basin, but a lively one.”

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Old Princeton’s Neighbors describes the Basin as a vaguely defined area, “not an entity, somewhat like a frying pan, with Alexander Street as the handle flaring out at the bottom of

the hill into a skillet-shaped area.” As for the Basin at its peak, Princeton History reported, “One man boasted that on a

Sunday when all traffic halted, he could walk from Princeton to Trenton from barge to barge.” Also, “A company rule enforced throughout the operation of the canal was that Sunday was a day of rest for men and mules. The canallers’ families walked the towpath, visited with fellow boat families, bought vegetables from nearby farms, and while at the Basin could attend church.” There were numerous opportunities for employment during the heyday of the Basin — among them, mule skinners, blacksmiths, and level walkers who covered 14 miles a day plugging holes in the banks caused by muskrats. “Ratters were paid 15 cents for each muskrat they destroyed when they delivered nose and tail,” notes Princeton History. “The pelt they could sell for 18 cents.” The boat captains were the aristocracy of the canal, “living on board with their wives and children and their dogs, with songbirds in cages, an awning stretched over the deck in summer, the water barrel and stove amidships,” Princeton History continues. “Life on board was hardly rigorous, moving at three miles an hour for long,


sleepy stretches with the captain at the helm, the children fishing off the stern, and the mule driver plodding the towpath or stretched out on the back of the rear mule.” The 1939 publication is especially evocative when describing the general store, owned for decades by Basin resident Scott Berrien. It was the gathering place for townsmen, bargemen, canal boat tenders, and mule drivers. “The general store was its own billboard,” it reads. “Before it was recently razed one could see the legend of best-sellers of another day: Silk Waists, Evening Gowns, Dressing Sacks, Kid Gloves, Curtains, Blankets, Candles, Wax, Tow Lines, and Mrs. Mary Brown’s Chewing Tobacco.” Berrien’s store was “typically the center of life in Princeton Basin’s mélange of trade and industrial activity.” The Railroad Hotel was later called the Steamship Hotel, and still later, the Union Hotel. “The tracks of the railroad ran close to the canal bank almost on the doorstep of the hotel,” reads

the 1983 Princeton History. “A passenger station and a freight depot were built and at the top of the hill to the south, a reservoir to water the locomotives.” Billy Lynch’s Bottle House “was known as a lurid spot even to the hard-living canal workers,” notes Old Princeton’s Neighbors. “Police often had to supervise the activities of the tavern’s patrons.” The 1939 publication details that activity: “No proper person would dare to frequent the Basin at night, with the saloon doors piling out boisterous mule skinners and towboys. By contrast, the boat captains for the most part were sober family men with investment and character at stake.” The publication continues, “the sinister walked only a step apart from the sublime. Bright is the memory of a little chapel, the mission of Princeton’s Trinity Church.” The ground for the chapel was given by the Stockton family. The chapel was not the only religious influence at the Basin. The first Roman Catholic Mass in

the vicinity of Princeton was celebrated about 1850 in a house near the area. And about 1894, members of Princeton’s Black community tried to build a small church at the Basin but could not raise enough money. “Only the trees of the Basin seem to have escaped the general decay,” the 1939 publication concludes, singling out a giant elm that was, at the time of the writing, “nearly eight feet in diameter at its base and a showpiece of nature’s vigor. In the midst of decay and ruin, this tree survives as the only living thing that has seen the rise and decline of Princeton Basin. It has watched the coming of men and mules, boats and barges, all the industry and trade that followed the freight down the canal from the Raritan to the Delaware and back. And it looked on while twilight — the shadow of the railroad and motor van — settled over the banks of Stockton’s ‘folly’ and enveloped the Basin.”

Packers Bridge on the Delaware & Raritan Canal at Alexander Street (formerly known as Canal Street), in Princeton Basin. (Photos courtesy of the Historical Society of Princeton) Right, Everts & Stewart & Hunter, T. (1875) detail from combination atlas map of Mercer County, New Jersey and Philadelphia. (Library of Congress)

The Canal House, Alexander Road by Ruth Strohl Palmer. FEBRUARY 2022 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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Currey and Company Toulouse chandelier; price upon request; luxehomecompany.com

Jimmy Choo shearling bucket bag; $1,895; us.jimmychoo.com

Shearling lounge chair; $1,999; cb2.com

Vera Szekely stainless steel and wrought iron fireplace circa 1970; price upon request; sothebys.com

Jan Barboglio Cuatro Servidor tray; $407 borsheims.com

Ironies Casimier armoire; price upon request; ironies.com

Christian Louboutin Pole Sweed leather boots; $1,495; net-a-porter.com

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PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

Armenta New World diamond double leather bracelet; price upon request; armentacollection.com

PRODUCT SELECTION BY LYNN ADAMS SMITH

A WELL-DESIGNED LIFE


Design Redefining Design

Redefining

Design

Redefining

INSPIRING CUSTO

DISTINCTIVE SELECTIONS OF PROJECT MANAG WOODS, FINISHES AND STYLES

FROM CONCEPT T

INSPIRING CUSTOM DESIGNS

PROJECT MANAGEMENT FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION

DISTINCTIVE SELECTIONS OF WOODS, FINISHES AND STYLES INSPIRING CUSTOM DESIGNS PROJECT MANAGEMENT FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION

DISTINCTIVE SELECTIONS 48 West Broad Street • Hopewell, NJ 08525 • p: 609.466.1445 • tobiasdesignllc.com WOODS, FINISHES AND ST

Design

Redefining

INSPIRING CUSTOM DESIGN

SELECTIONS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT 48 West Broad Street • Hopewell, NJ 08525 • p: DISTINCTIVE 609.466.1445 • tobiasdesignllc.c WOODS, FINISHES AND STYLES 48 West Broad Street • Hopewell, NJ 08525 • p: 609.466.1445 • tobiasdesignllc.com

Design

Redefining

Design

FROM CONCEPT TO COMP

INSPIRING CUSTOM DESIGNS

PROJECT MANAGEMENT FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION

DISTINCTIVE SELECTIONS OF WOODS, FINISHES AND STYLES INSPIRING CUSTOM DESIGNS PROJECT MANAGEMENT FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION

48 West Broad Street • Hopewell, NJ 08525 • p: 609.466.1445 • tobiasdesignllc.com

48 West Broad Street • Hopewell, NJ 08525 • p: 609.466.1445 • tobiasdesignllc.com 48 West Broad Street • Hopewell, NJ 08525 • p: 609.466.1445 • tobiasdesignllc.com


Bogner Kira mittens; $200; saintbernard.com Currey & Company Elwynn faux bois small bench; price upon request; luxehomecompany.com Barbour Isla tartan boucle scarf; $60; saintbernard.com

Moncler W short shearling-lined suede ankle boots; $875; net-a-porter.com

Boheme France Atisha women’s skis; $1,750; laperfectionlouis.com

Jan Barboglio Chabella chocolate goblet; $110; horchow.com

Roka CP series ultralight performance sunglasses; $235; roka.com

Jan Barboglio Papacito decanter; $345; borsheims.com

AK47 Design Zero outdoor wood-burning fireplace; price upon request; ak47design.com

Roros Tweed Asmund bold throw; $243; royaldesign.com

68 |

PRINCETON MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022

PRODUCT SELECTION BY LYNN ADAMS SMITH

A WELL-DESIGNED LIFE


Local Ownership • Global Connections • Remarkable Agents

2021 Unrivaled Results

#1

We proudly claim:

higher than our next closest competitor in Mercer County *

in Princeton, Pennington, Hopewell Borough & Township, Montgomery, Rocky Hill, Lambertville, East & West Amwell Townships**

of the top 10 agents in Mercer County, 6/12 in Princeton, 5/5 in Montgomery, and 2/3 in Hopewell & Lambertville

We represented

We represented

257

of the sellers of closed sales in our local market area ≥ $2 million

(6/6) of the sellers of closed sales ≥ $3 million

No other firm had more than 17%***

(and 4/6 of the buyers)***

in the Bahamas, Egypt, Italy, NYC, Florida, South Carolina, the Jersey Shore & more

10,350

135,487

450,158

social media followers from around the world

unique visitors to callawayhenderson.com

views of our high-definition listing videos in 2021

(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn & YouTube)

(up 16% year-over-year)

We brought buyers from

We proudly supported

Our average sold listing price is

69% 75%

9

30

6

MARKET SHARE

100%

referrals placed and received

(up 65% year-over-year) We represented sellers of homes sold for as low as

50

countries

$78,000

local non-profit organizations,

and states & territories

making charitable contributions from every closing

and as high as

$6,292,500

callawayhenderson.com LAMBERTVILLE 609.397.1974

MONTGOMERY 908.874.0000

PENNINGTON 609.737.7765

PRINCETON 609.921.1050

49 Bridge Street Lambertville, NJ 08530

1325 Route 206, Suite 30 Skillman, NJ 08558

10 South Main Street Pennington, NJ 08534

4 Nassau Street Princeton, NJ 08542

*Out of the Top 10 brokerage firms in Mercer County. **Based on dollar volume and/or unit sales. ***Mercer County, Montgomery Township, East and West Amwell Townships. Source: Bright MLS, GSMLS, and TrendGraphix data for 1/1/21—12/31/21 and public records, as of January 2022. Each office is independently owned and operated.


THE FLAVORS OF GREECE COME TO LAMBERTVILLE Enjoy Princeton’s Local Greek flavors now in the heart of Lambertville!

LOCAL GREEK LAMBERTVILLE Loco Cheese serves up hot grilled cheese combos unlike any other! Located at 20 Nassau Street as a *pop up location* at the front window of Small Bites by Local Greek ! Loco sandwiches are not your average grilled cheese, they are overflowing and addicting!

LOCAL GREEK localgreeknj.com 44 Leigh Avenue, Princeton (609) 285-2969 localgreeklambertville.com 2 Canal St, Lambertville (609) 460-4017

SMALL BITES smallbitesbylocalgreeek.com 20 Nassau Street, Princeton (609) 279-1455

LOCO CHEESE www.lococheese.com Located in Small Bites


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