Princeton Magazine, September 2020

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Princeton University’s Omar Wasow on Race, Protests, and Politics






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sEPTEMbER 2020


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omar WasoW’s Life-shaping Question By donald gilpin

By Taylor sMiTh

“How did we get from civil rights to mass incarceration?”

Telehealth in the age of Covid-19 50


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Sarah Rasmussen becomes McCarter’s new artistic director



book scene By sTUarT MiTChner

Reading the presidential narrative


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A Well-designed Life 74, 76


on the cover: omar Wasow, assistant professor in princeton University’s department of politics. photo courtesy of




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| FROM THE PUBLISHER Can you believe that this is the third issue of the magazine to get to you during this COVID-19 pandemic? Who would have believed that it would go on so long, and do such damage to the nation physically, financially, and psychologically. That said, I believe our September issue is rich in topics that will engage you. For openers, Donald Gilpin’s cover story about Omar Wasow, an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University, is extremely timely, given the Black Lives Matter protests that are taking place across the country. In May, Dr. Wasow published an extensively researched paper on race, protests, and politics that attracted the attention of such news outlets as The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic. Already timely, the paper became even more relevant after the death of George Floyd just a few days later. Dr. Wasow has two master’s degrees, plus a Ph.D. in African American studies, all from Harvard. He was raised in New York City’s Greenwich Village by his African American mother and German-Jewish father, both educators and activists. Also of local importance is the arrival of Sarah Rasmussen, McCarter Theatre’s new artistic director. To say that Sarah is energetic is an understatement. Though McCarter has currently gone “dark” due to the pandemic, Sarah is hard at work with Managing Director Michael Rosenberg, planning for when the theater will reopen in 2021. You will enjoy meeting Sarah in Donald Sanborn’s article. You will enjoy, even more, what she intends to bring to the McCarter stage. Another victim of the pandemic is the practice of medicine as we have known it. In her story on telehealth in the age of COVID-19, Taylor Smith raises many questions about the future of medical care including the impact on privacy laws, health insurance, medical devices, prescriptions, treatments, and, most importantly, diagnosis. In a slightly different take on the state of medicine, who would think that a 1,500-pound horse could assist in the therapy of children and adults with special emotional, mental, and physical needs? Equine assisted therapy is the topic of Anne Levin’s story. It is not only eyeopening, but also an inspiring and moving illumination of a little-known healing therapy. With the general election just weeks away, you should visit Stuart Mitchner’s “Book Scene.” Stuart has put together a collection of books about former United States presidents. Reading a couple of these books and comparing those presidents to the candidates today may inspire you, enrage you, depress you, or make you want to move to New Zealand. I think Wendy Greenberg had the most “fun” story with the famous foods of New Jersey. Having grown up here, I certainly knew about the annual August line of trucks waiting to get into Campbell’s Soup with their loads of ripe tomatoes, and they had to be just the right level of ripe or the trucks got rejected. What I did not know about was the communion wine you could take without getting a “buzz” — Welch’s Grape Juice! Nor had I ever heard of the Original Trenton Cracker, or Trenton pork roll. Read on and you will be fascinated by the number and the variety of food companies that have called New Jersey home, while shipping their products nationwide. Would you like a Welch’s Malbec? If Wendy’s story didn’t whet your appetite, try Ilene Dube’s recipe, featuring Otto and Maria Zizak who are taking over the former location of Hopewell’s Peasant Grill. The couple recently purchased a 52-acre farm where they will grow produce for the restaurant with organic agriculture operating under the principles of biodynamics.




photography by jeffrey e. tryon

Dear Princeton Magazine readers,

McDonald’s Big Mac can’t hold a candle to Maria Zizak’s Ottoburger, a grass-fed beef burger, wrapped in deep-fried Hungarian dough, which happened to be featured on TV’s Food Network. This is a family business, as you will read about the couple’s two teenaged sons’ and their daughter’s support of their parents’ efforts. Originally from Slovakia, the couple has operated restaurants in Brooklyn and on Staten Island. Let’s welcome them to the Hopewell restaurant scene, which has developed even more in recent years. Editor-in-Chief Lynn Adams Smith joins me in thanking you for your readership, and wishing you good health in these trying times. Also, we ask you to shop locally at the establishments of our advertisers, who have been so loyal to our magazine, just as you have been as readers. Stay well and eat well! Respectfully yours,

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


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Omar Wasow’s Life-Shaping Question:

“How did we get from civil rights to mass incarceration?”

photo courtesy of omar wasow

by Donald Gilpin

Images courtesy of WIkImedIa commons


mar Wasow, who studies race, protests, and statistical methods and their effects on politics and elections, has always been intrigued by a puzzle, ”a question about politics that was always there at the back of my mind.” It was a question that took him from the high-flying world of entrepreneurship as a celebrity in the early days of social media back to the academy for graduate school then to the world of university research, writing, and teaching at Princeton University, where he is an assistant professor of politics. As a boy growing up in Greenwich Village in New York City in the 1980s, Wasow lived in a household of academics, with his German-Jewish father an economics professor at NYU and his African American mother an early education teacher and education fundraiser. Wasow described the ”rich environment for learning,” in which he grew up, filled with discussion and debate. “We would always argue at the dinner table over the news,” he added. “I had questions growing up,” he said in a July telephone interview. “My parents had always been not just educators, but activists. My

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Leaders of the march posing in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln).

dad had gone to register African American voters in Mississippi in 1964 with the Freedom Summer Project. That was a real high point in his life, but in a larger American context it represented a set of victories for the civil rights movement.” He continued, “And when I was growing up in New York there was this puzzle which was that things seemed like they had gotten derailed in many ways. From the highs of the mid-60s civil rights successes things seemed to have gone off the rails.” Wasow, born in 1970, described the “derailed” environment that surrounded him as a teenager attending Stuyvesant High School in New York in the 1980s, before going off to Stanford University where he received his undergraduate degree in race and ethnic relations. “There was a crack epidemic,” he said. “There was this very tough-on-crime policy, broken windows policing. So I wondered what had happened after the successes of the mid-’60s to make a turn from civil rights to tough-oncrime during my coming of age in New York. That question about politics was always there in the back of my mind. How did we get from civil rights to mass incarceration?”

And that question not only led to an abrupt career change for Wasow in 2005, it also led him into more than a decade of research on the political consequences of nonviolent and violent protests. This work has resonated widely in the world of current politics, and was recently featured in The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic. After college Wasow turned away from the world of academia in which he had grown up. “My family used to joke that the only way I could rebel would be to come home with a briefcase as a businessman,” he said, and that’s what he did. “I did feel that the academy was a place where people did important work, but for me as a young person it often felt divorced from the world.” Internet entrepreneur, “phIlosopher prInce”

Wasow wasted no time getting involved in the world. After college he spent a year working for a nonprofit and pursuing entrepreneurship, then in 1993 started a web design company called New York Online, “which was 20 phone lines in my apartment in Brooklyn hooked into modems literally like a media barrack online.” september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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Images courtesy of WIkImedIa commons

Congress of Racial Equality and All Souls march in memory of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victims.

U.S. Army trucks with federal law enforcement on the University of Mississippi campus 1962.

Protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed and the unrest began.

Minnesota National Guard soldiers stand in front of the state capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“This is ancient history in the world of social media,” he noted. “I was impassioned about online community long before it was a mainstream thing, going back to my days in high school and things called bulletin board systems.” Cutting edge? No, Wasow says, “a version of cutting edge which was just being too early. There were lots of good lessons to be learned from that venture which started before the worldwide web took off in the mid-’90s.” In 1999 Wasow co-founded a new company called, an early social network on the web (before Facebook, which appeared in 2004). It quickly became a national network, the leading social network for African Americans, reaching about 3 million people each month. He also helped to found a K-8 charter school in Brooklyn. Described in a 2001 New York Times article as “a hip visionary” and a “philosopher-prince of the digital age” and by People magazine as the “sexiest internet entrepreneur,” Wasow was in demand, as a sort of demystifier of technology — on the NBC Today show, as an internet pundit for MSNBC, three mornings a week on WNBCTV in New York, and in the series Oprah Goes Online, where he tutored Oprah Winfrey in her first encounters with the internet. Abrupt CAreer ChAnge

But the questions about politics, “the puzzle I’d been trying to make sense of since I was a kid,” had not gone away. “We were growing

14 |


BlackPlanet, and it was lots of fun,” he recalled, ”but at a certain point some of that in-my-bones, in-my-blood interest in asking questions and learning began to come to the fore. I’d worked in social media for several years, and the learning curve for me in social media flattened.” He continued, reflecting on his 2005 lifechanging decision to apply to graduate schools. “Some questions have a natural business model attached to them,” he said, “and some questions can only be answered in the academy. Understanding the country’s transition from civil rights to tough-on-crime was best answered by going back to school.” In the following years at Harvard University Wasow earned master’s degrees in government and statistics, a Ph.D. in African American studies, and, more importantly for his ongoing quest, a thorough grounding in theory and history in political science and African American studies, along with invaluable technical training in statistics. “Through that training I’ve been able to come to this question: What do we see in the patterns historically that might allow us to better understand what happened in the 1960s that’s influencing policy today?” Wasow said. He explained, “If you look at incarceration in this country, between 1900 and 1970 it remained relatively flat. Then it started to skyrocket in the late 1970s and early ’80s, so the question is: What happened in that transition period of the late ’60s and early ’70s that gave rise to that politics? That question brought me to look at

the role of different kinds of protest movements in driving politics in America. What I started to dig into then was the role that an earlier wave of nonviolent protests and a later wave of violent tactics used by protesters played in shaping the politics of that era.” As a graduate student at Harvard, Wasow explored data on protester arrests and people’s concerns about crime. He found that more violence led white voters to shift towards Republican candidates and candidates with lawand-order messages. “A core finding of the research is that protests that escalated to violence likely helped tip the 1968 election to Nixon,” he noted, adding that he has been approached by both Democrats and Republicans in the current campaign, wondering whether the 2020 election is going to be more like 1968 or 1964. “In both those elections,” he explained, “you have a pretty good contrast between a candidate who is running on law and order and a candidate who is running on a record of civil rights. For example, Goldwater runs on law and order and loses in 1964. Nixon runs on law and order and wins in 1968. LBJ champions the 1964 Civil Rights Act and wins, but in 1968 Hubert Humphrey, lead author of the Civil Rights Act, loses.” He continued, “The puzzle of the paper is why is law and order a losing strategy for Goldwater and a winning strategy for Nixon, and the next question is “Does Trump look more like Nixon in ‘68 or Goldwater in ‘64?”

Images courtesy of WIkImedIa commons

1963 March on Washington.

George Floyd protest in Miami, Florida. september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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Images courtesy of WIkImedIa commons

Peter Norman (silver medalist, left) from Australia wears an OPHR badge in solidarity with gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos on the podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Wasow’s extensively researched paper with an abundance of supporting statistics was published by Cambridge University Press online in May and in the August issue of American Political Science Review. It concludes: “Statistical minorities in stratified democracies can overcome structural biases to influence and frame the news, direct elite discourse, sway public opinion, and win at the ballot box. For subordinate groups in democratic polities, though, tactics matter. An ‘eye for an eye’ in response to violent repression may be moral, but this research suggests it may not be strategic.” The paper, already timely, became dramatically more relevant four days after its publication in May, when George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police set off protests, some turning violent, across the country. Wasow’s work has provoked widespread debate and discussion. Ten years ago Wasow’s research on protest tactics became the basis of his Harvard doctoral dissertation and helped him to land a job in the Princeton politics department in 2012. His paper published last month on Cambridge Core (, “Agenda Seeding: How 1960s Black Protests Moved Elites, Public Opinion, and Voting,” is an expanded, revised, further developed version of his earlier work. Wasow discussed tactics that have been proven successful for groups seeking to achieve influence. “What kinds of tactics might be most effective to advance your cause?” he queried. “Historically groups at the margins of society

16 |


Police take a knee during protests in Philadelphia on June 2.

have often been shut out and in some places they have turned to civil disobedience as a method to raise awareness about their concerns, and in other cases people have employed violent methods of resistance.” He continued, “Especially looking at African American protest movements in the 1960s, what I find is that nonviolent protest tactics help to grow the coalition of people supporting civil rights.” He emphasized the powerful role of the media in affecting public opinion and voting behavior. “Protests are driving news coverage,” he said, “and news coverage is driving public opinion and voting behavior.” Through research conducted in thousands of newspapers from the 1960s, Wasow discovered that the kind of tactics used by protesters shaped the coverage that appeared in the newspapers. “When protesters were nonviolent, especially if the police were violent, that generated very sympathetic press,” he said. “But when there was protester-initiated violence the coverage tended to focus much less on civil rights and much more on crime and riots. And public opinion was heavily influenced by what was in the news.” Wasow declined to make any election predictions for November 2020. But he did say that if this summer is seen as a summer of violent, destructive protests like the summer of 1968, that this election year would be more likely to resemble 1968 “when issues of disorder were front and center in the politics and concerns

about rights were overshadowed.” So far, however, he sees a different picture in 2020. “We have seen, by some estimates, the largest protest movement in the last 50 years, possibly the largest in American history, having been mostly peaceful and in fact echoing moments that look more like peaceful protests in a repressive state, like Bloody Sunday in Alabama.” He added, in his mid-July comments, “The way the protests have gone and also the way the police have responded in many cases has meant that media coverage has focused a lot more on the concerns of excess police force and indiscriminate use of police force, particularly against African Americans. What we see now is a very high degree of sympathy for the larger cause of reform of the police and, to my mind, a surprisingly high degree of sympathy for the protest movements. Something like 74 percent say they are sympathetic to the concerns of the protesters, so that suggests it looks more like 1964, where betting on law and order is a losing issue.” He also noted that President Trump’s attempt “to run a campaign as a tough-on-crime and law-and-order candidate has not resonated.” But, Wasow cautioned, he’s not placing any bets. “It’s important to keep in mind that these things are very unpredictable. There could still be unrest that gives more credence to Trump’s law-andorder campaign. Even though he’s down in the polls, if there’s anything we’ve seen in 2020 it’s that this is an exceedingly unpredictable year.”

Images courtesy of WIkImedIa commons

An Indiana National Guardsman from the 76th Infantry Brigade talks to a Washington, D.C. resident at the National Mall on June 6.

“City Kid” AdApts

Wasow has lived in Princeton with his wife, documentary filmmaker and Princeton University graduate Jennifer Brea, since 2012, and has happily adapted to country life. They live on Cherry Hill Road, about a mile from the center of town, where they enjoy the benefits of both town and rural life. “I love to go running in the Mountain Lakes Park on the edge of town,” he said. “The combination of town and nature is really remarkable. For a city kid it’s been a marvelous transition to appreciate the joys of what it’s like to live in the country and still have the charm of a small cosmopolitan town. A real highlight for us has been going and buying produce from farmers.” And recently they started raising chickens. He added, “If you come from New York, where I grew up, you see a very industrial New Jersey coming out of the Holland Tunnel and you see smokestacks and shipping yards, and it’s hard to realize how beautiful central Jersey is and how spectacular the rural country is just minutes outside of Princeton.” Brea, who has suffered chronic fatigue syndrome for about eight years but is now mostly recovered, created a film titled Unrest about her experience with the disease. She profiled five different families in three different countries. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival where it won an award and made the short list for an Oscar.

“It’s a remarkable accomplishment,” said Wasow, who proudly noted that he has a producer’s credit on the film. “I was a kind of support group for her, so we definitely collaborated in that sense, and more generally the experience of working on the film with her shaped me so that one of the classes I now teach to undergraduates is a film and politics class. That experience working with her really changed my relationship to film and how film could be a valuable part of teaching and help students think about politics.” It may be in his DNA, inherited from his educator parents, or perhaps he honed his teaching skills 20 years ago in his days as an internet guru explaining the workings of the internet to TV audiences and coaching Oprah on the fine points of surfing the web, but Wasow’s affinity for teaching is widely acknowledged. “I do pour a lot into teaching, and that was nice to be recognized by my peers,” he said about winning the 2019 Princeton University Politics Department’s Stanley Kelley Jr. Teaching Award. Wasow discussed the impact of teaching politics to graduate and undergraduate students. “I feel I prepare my students well to have a better understanding at this moment in American politics,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful experience for me. I’ve heard a number of students say ‘I’m majoring in politics now because of this class.’ That’s the kind of thing you dream about — as a professor to have that kind of influence on someone.” A course titled Applied Quantitative Analysis

might not sound like the most popular option in the curriculum, but Wasow is not the typical professor. “My love of statistics is something I can share with them,” he said. “Statistics class has been a real labor of love.” With only about a dozen students enrolled the year before he started teaching it, Wasow’s statistics class has grown by`10 to 20 percent each year and last year had 75 students enrolled. Wasow pointed out that the Princeton University undergraduate thesis requirement boosts the value of his course. “It has real applicability for them because they have to do their own original research projects,” he said. “The whole class is a kind of boot camp for doing your junior paper and senior thesis. Students say this is really going to help them prepare for that original research. For students who don’t like math, this can be transformative. I love being able to share my passion for this material in a way that is inclusive and is bringing in people who don’t think of themselves as super quants or the ‘mathiest’ students.” For Wasow, the lifelong puzzle remains only partly solved. The questions about race and politics and protests that his father lived through in the 1960s and the country is living through in the months leading up to the November election continue to intrigue Wasow as he pursues his ongoing research. “To turn this paper into a book is the heart of what I’ll be doing through this fall,” he said. september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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Spotlight Q&A with Dr. Patty L. Fagin, Head of School at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart PHOTOS COURTESY OF STUART COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL OF THE SACRED HEART

Interview by Laurie Pellichero

Tell us about Stuart’s response this past spring to the COVID-19 pandemic. How did it adapt to distance learning? I want to start out by expressing immense gratitude to my faculty and staff for their nimble and swift response to distance learning. Since our spring break started just as COVID forced area school to close, our teachers used their break to prepare a new method of instruction that would deliver on our Sacred Heart mission and the promise of academic excellence. And with over 10 years of investments in technology, including the use of Google Education tools in the Middle and Upper School, Stuart was able to pivot to virtual learning with impressive ease. To maintain a sense of structure and normalcy, we ran a regular daily schedule in all three divisions with teachers providing synchronous instruction for the majority of the day. The Lower School used a combination of SeeSaw and Google Classroom with modifications to the length of time each class was held, and our youngest students — ages 2-4 — met with their teachers every day online. As the weeks turned into months, our teachers adapted their schedules and instruction style to meet students’ needs, and we introduced weekly programming to support the wellness goals of the community. The way our teachers were able to support our girls’ learning and convert major in-person events like a musical and a senior class capstone project into virtual experiences truly demonstrated a dedication to their students and the Stuart community. How has Stuart kept its community of students, parents, and teachers engaged while at home? Stuart is a tight-knit community, and we wanted to make sure our girls had social interaction after closing down. Over spring break, the Head of Middle School held virtual gatherings with dance-offs, trivia, Pictionary, and more. The Head of Lower School read books to her students and dropped in virtually for nightly prayer. Since March, we have engaged our families in the reopening process with a focus on regular communications through email, video messages, virtual town hall gatherings, and social media. We invited some families to serve on our Reopening Task Force, which includes nine working groups in areas like health and safety, facilities, and technology. Others participated in town hall and virtual presentations regarding our work to safely reopen school. Overall our goal has been to overcommunicate — whether we knew the answer or not. To establish a direct line of communication between our families and staff to the task force, we set up a special email address that was fielded daily by the team and answered quickly. In the month before school started, we worked with our parents association and diversity committee to reimagine many of our signature community experiences as virtual events and add more creative opportunities for

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engaging our families. For example, we usually start the year with StuartFest — a big community celebration and day of service. This year, it will be virtual and include a family pizza night! What are Stuart’s plans for fall? Will both in-person and remote learning options be available for students? Stuart will be open both in-person and remotely, five days a week, under our normal schedule. Students who choose the remote option will stream in to classes live through huddle carts that are stationed in every classroom. We will be offering after care for students in all grades as well. We want to be flexible and be able to meet the changing needs of families during this challenging time. What safety protocols will be in place? We have placed safety at the forefront of our return decision. We are blessed with an abundance of physical space and with a school that can easily physically divide its student population by Lower, Middle, and Upper School. Our Early Childhood and Lower School students will remain in their homeroom classes for academic and co-curricular instruction. Desks in the classroom are spaced 6 feet apart and every student age 3 and older will be required to wear a mask. Every morning, families will complete a brief symptom screening through the Magnus Health app, and each child will receive additional symptoms checks upon arrival to school. Once in the classroom, in addition to masking and physical distancing, we will be monitoring air flow in each classroom to ensure the exchange of fresh air is optimal. In addition, we have added a stateof-the-art ionization system that will filter the air in every classroom all day long. Of course we intend for our students to get outside each day for recess and have mask breaks following social distancing guidelines. What is the All-Girls’ Advantage? The research is clear that girls thrive in educational environments where they are free to be themselves, and where they are encouraged to be bold, confident leaders in an environment where all opportunities to shine are held by girls. The skills and confidence girls gain from an all-girl environment in elementary through high school are carried forward in life. Girls who attend girls’ schools are more likely to hold leadership positions, pursue high academic achievement, and are six times as likely to be interested in STEM. Time and again, young alumnae return from college and share how the all-girls’ education at Stuart gave them confidence to speak up, take chances, and seek opportunities in a coed college environment or male-dominated field.

Educating to lives of exceptional leadership and service

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We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to Stuart for the wonderful educational and developmental experiences provided for our daughter during her four years in high school... she has matured into an incredibly smart, independent, and kind young woman. Simply put, if you want a smile on your face every time you think of your daughter, send her to Stuart." -Parent of a 2020 graduate

OCT. 18

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Register online at Interested in starting your daughter’s journey today? Contact 609.921.2330.


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For the last seven years, my son has jumped out of bed in the morning because he cannot wait to get to school. His teachers and coaches have shown him how to be a responsible citizen and they make learning fun. The Sacred Heart values have become part of his fiber and we are confident that they will serve him well as he navigates his life. - Leslie D., PASH Parent

We bring out the best in boys in

learning environment! 20 |



Are you concerned about your Child’s communication skills?

Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center (PSLLC) is New Jersey’s leading practice for a variety of language, social, academic, and psychological services for children of all ages.


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Our Infant, Toddler, and Primary programs are safe, developmentally-responsive, and led by credentialed child experts. A high-quality Montessori experience ensures children move into their elementary years as explorers, thinkers, doers, and kind community members who are curious and courteous. We remain committed to putting the health and safety of our community first and are following the guidelines set out by the State and CDC regarding Covid-19 concerns.

See what sets us apart! • 609-924-4594 Tuition Assistance is Available

It’s a new day for college admissions. Now more than ever, your story is more important than your test scores. Better grades and test scores have always been important, and your investment in tutoring and learning center services has helped bring your child to the threshold of advancement. While some school counseling offices offer assistance with essays, many students don’t feel comfortable sharing personal or family information that may characterize the truly differentiating attributes that will gain them acceptance at the colleges of their choice. Further, many school guidance counselors are biased by their prior knowledge of the student, and they rarely have enough time to dedicate focused oneon-one attention to your child. Perfect Positive Projections provides affordable, individualized assistance for your student in the crucial process of defining, shaping, refining, and delivering the messages that college admissions committees use to decide whether your child is passed over, or is admitted to the colleges of their choice.

Perfect Positive Projections • Princeton, NJ 609-433-5012 •

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• Articulation • Auditory Processing Therapy • Autism • CogMed® • Evaluations – SpeechLanguage and psychoeducational • Executive Function Therapy

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For a free phone consultation and/or more information about PSLLC please visit our website, or call 609-924-7080.


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615 Executive Drive Princeton, NJ 08540 609-924-7080 •

Nurturing Potential. Igniting Passion.

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Perfect Positive Projections • Princeton, NJ 609-433-5012 •

“I do not draw much energy from writing so, as you might imagine, writing college essays was very painful for me. Tamara spent countless hours investing in me and she really helped me find my own voice. To be candid, I don’t know if I would have gotten into Wharton without her assistance. Words cannot express how much I owe her.” “The part of the college admissions process I was most apprehensive about was definitely the essay. Although I had been to countless college admissions presentations at my school, I was still unsure about what they were looking for in an essay. Tamara was key in helping me frame my story in a way that was most appealing. Working with her allowed me to turn the essay portion of the application from a weakness into a strength, and I ended up with an essay that was strong enough to win early admission to Yale, my top-choice school.”

Let’s discuss next steps Contact Tamara Franklin at Perfect Positive Projections to learn more about the ways she works with students to craft their college essays and interview talking points. Our hours are flexible and can be scheduled around work schedules, sports, extracurriculars, or weekends at the beach. Don’t wait until the last minute. Call 609-433-5012 to schedule your appointment.


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Photos courtesy of Princeton AcAdemy of the sAcred heArt

A Reflection from Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart Headmaster Alfred F. Dugan III

I hope that everyone is healthy, safe, and well, both physically and emotionally, amidst an extraordinary summer and while we prepare for back to school. Where do we begin? The other day, I opened my inbox (for probably the twentieth time that day) to find an email from a student that stated, “I am glad that you keep this school alive, healthy, and running. You are the best principal in the world.” I paused, looked out the window of my office to the empty front fields that have been six months longing for the playing of boys, and then looked back to the email. Tears formed in my eyes… So much emotion… So much gratitude... And this loving message from one of my students provided me with the inspiration that I was in dire need of. I need to be in the presence of students. Like those empty fields, I desperately miss the joyful energy of our young men. For me, the calling is and always will be about children — the promise, the hope, the joy. I have felt the absence of our boys in a profound way and I cannot hide the fact that it has taken its toll on me. An epoch of solitude for an extrovert like me has affirmed why and for whom I do what I do; as an educator of the Sacred Heart, I am grateful for the blessing I have of journeying with our young men through life in such a meaningful way, purposefully shaping our world through goodness. I cannot wait to welcome our boys into the new school year.

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat reminds us to “act slowly and prudently with the grace of God.” Today, we find ourselves in the throes of two pandemics — one a global health crisis and the other a social crisis fueled by racial injustice. In this moment we must pause, reflect on what we have learned during this time, and move forward with care, purpose and grace. Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart is responding to both pandemics with creativity, compassion, and courage. Regarding public health, the only way we will succeed in this moment is if we as individuals do our part, trust each other, act in the best interest of one another, and join together as one strong community. Regarding racial injustice, we must be radically antiracist and educate our young men to act with intentionality as such; we must devote ourselves to addressing and fixing issues of injustice, and we must never be silent. Our mission is a cause and in this way, we will uplift our beloved community and contribute to the wellbeing of humankind. As we live through these days, let us breathe. Just breathe. Let us be kind to ourselves. Masks and all, let us smile at each other with our eyes, the windows to our soul. We are part of a human family and, as Poet Laureate and Civil Rights activist Maya Angelou reminds us, “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” Health, wellness, safety, and peace — this is what I wish for all.


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By Anne Levin | Photos courtesy of

herapist Jeanne Mahoney sees it happen, again and again. A person in the depths of depression, a child silenced by autism, or a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emerges stronger, more confident, and more at peace after spending time in the company of horses. Informally called “horse therapy” and formally known as equine assisted psychotherapy, use of the majestic animals for emotional and physical healing is a recognized branch of mental health. Mahoney’s Salem County farm is the headquarters for Equine Assisted Therapy of NJ, a nonprofit corporation that practices this route toward positive change. It is one of more than 800 centers across the globe dedicated to the concept. According to the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH), there are nearly 4,800 certified instructors and equine specialists like Mahoney, helping almost 69,000 children and adults. Horses are iconic. They stand for power and

freedom. They are effective in therapy, experts say, because they give immediate feedback to the handler or rider’s actions. They react strongly to body language. Their quiet sensitivity helps people by mirroring their emotions; they almost have a sixth sense. “Horses are non-judgmental. They have a sense of how people really are,” says Mahoney, who has been helping people heal by partnering them with horses for two decades. “They can tell if you’re upset. If you come to the barn in a bad mood, they know you’re in a bad mood. If you come in in a hurry, they know you’re in a hurry. They just know.” While significant research and large, controlled studies on the effectiveness of using horses for therapy are still needed, there is little evidence that it is not effective. Some organizations have funded research on their own. The Horses and Humans Research Foundation works to “advance global knowledge of horsehuman interactions and their impact on health and wellness through the funding of rigorous research, outreach, and education,” according to its website.

The Mannington Township farm where Mahoney, trained facilitators, and nine horses work with clients has an indoor arena and barn, an outdoor arena, a round pen, acres of pasture, and trails around the property. Services include equine assisted learning, leadership training, team building, psychotherapy, coaching, hippotherapy (riding to improve coordination), occupational therapy, applied behavior analysis (for autism), and school programs. There are individual, group, and family sessions. Some clients ride; others groom the horses or just spend time around them. “I’m a way better therapist with a horse,” says Mahoney. “If a person isn’t being honest with me, I know. Because my horse already told me.” Though she grew up in a suburban housing development, Mahoney fell in love with horses when she was 8 years old. When she married and started her own family, she and her husband bought a small farm. Horses became a part of the family’s life. A licensed nurse, Mahoney was working at a hospital when she began doing adaptive riding, which is recreational horseback riding for individuals with challenges.


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“I had a few doctors who had children with some special needs,” Mahoney says. “They would bring them to my tiny farm. I worked with the kids riding the horses. They [the doctors] were amazed at the improvements they saw in the children’s gait, their social abilities, and just their happiness in general.” In 2000, Mahoney became certified by PATH as a riding instructor. She earned further certification six years later from Eagala, a global network that uses a team approach — putting a client in the arena together with a credentialed mental health professional, a qualified equine specialist, and horses. Mahoney recently retired from nursing in order to run the nonprofit full time. Through New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program, she was able to expand her small farm to nearly 29 acres. Working there with her team, she treats individuals with a variety of issues. A significant portion are veterans struggling with trauma and readjustment to life after the military. “Most of them are suffering from PTSD and moral injury,” Mahoney says. “It’s not only what you did and what you witnessed, but maybe what you didn’t do that drives you crazy. I try to have them in a group, because they witnessed in a group.” The veterans don’t ride during psychotherapy sessions. “They come into the arena, and I give them activities to do,” Mahoney says. “Sometimes we just plain old have fun. We play different games with the horses. They loosen up a little bit, and stuff comes out. This work makes a big difference. A lot of the veterans take to it more than the traditional talk therapy in an office. I really try to pull everything out of the tool box.” People with disabilities are also known to benefit from sessions in the arena or on the trail.

Therapist Jeanne Mahoney

Mahoney recalls especially rewarding progress with a young boy suffering from cerebral palsy. He is now in high school. “That horse loved him,” she says. “And being on the horse was empowering for him. It made him feel bigger than everybody else, and that was important.”

Not everyone chooses to get in the saddle. “Some people just want to be near the horses. They like being in the barn with them,” says Mahoney. “I’ve seen people with special needs, or people who are down in the dumps, spend time in the barn and then leave with a whole different demeanor.” Because horses are naturally herd animals, family therapy sessions with them can be especially effective. “It’s phenomenal,” Mahoney says. “The horses will be in there, loose, and so will the family. Horses live in a herd. And in a herd, you have to check in with all of your herd members. They know if one horse in the herd is hurting. They feel it. They really are matriarchal in many ways. They take turns being the leader. They protect the one that needs to be protected. It’s just fascinating how they interact. And it works so well with a family – another kind of herd.” Mahoney doesn’t get paid for her work, instead funneling all the fees back into the nonprofit. While committed to all of her clients, her devotion to veterans is clear. “Our goal is to not have any veteran have to pay for anything,” she says. “I have a veteran liaison who works with me in finding funds for them. Because veteran suicide is way too high. We live in a very hectic world, and you have to slow down somewhere.” To learn more, visit

september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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Cornerstone Equestrian Teaching horsemanship in a no-pressure lesson program. Building skills through fun and innovative lessons to communicate and partner with the horse. Whether your goals are showing or riding for fun. Accredited through CHA (Certified Horsemen Association) and PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) It is well documented that the horse can have a calming effect and therapeutic presence. They are used in many programs for participants dealing with anxiety, PTSD, and other social issues. Cornerstone has two programs that delve into the therapeutic presence of the horse — The Connection and The Experience. Whether a one-on-one experience with the horse (The Experience) or a relationship-building activity for two people (The Connection) you can experience the calmness and peaceful demeanor of a sentiment being. Both encourage a unique experience that includes learning and observing the horse with hands-on grooming and working the horse in the arena.

Cornerstone Equestrian 281 Long Hill Rd, Hillsborough, NJ (908) 812-3990

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Selling All Price Points in the Princeton Area NEW LISTING

















This 3250 Sq Ft home is located on 10 acres on Pidcock Creek. When you enter, you will notice the beautiful brazilain cherry hardwood floors throughout the first floor.The south facing vaulted two story living room that gets sun all year around through the large windows and skylights.You will notice that this home flows from room to room with ease. Off of the family room there is a 4 season room with multiple sliding glass doors that open to the backyard. Off of the family room and living room is the updated kitchen with a large island and seating for 5.The kitchen has been recently updated.This home is currently being farmed and has potential to be split into 3 flag lots.The pole barn is just a few years old and has tons of potential, whether you are a master woodworker, or an amateur farmer wanting to try your hand at plowing your field or an experienced equestrian looking for an oasis for your horses. There is also a detached garage with an additional carport.



This executive home is nestled on 6.56 acres surrounded by protected woodlands.This stunning 5900 square foot home is perfect for entertaining and enjoying your own private oasis.This brick front home features an extra large 3 car garage, huge pool, large treks deck, extensive landscaping and paver patio complete with outdoor speakers, and tons of lighting throughout the property so you can enjoy the beauty from inside and outside year around. The outdoor kitchen is complete with a 40 inch grill with smoker and rotisserie, 2 side burners, a stainless steel ice chest and plenty of electricity for any accessories you might want to add. The family room is impressive with cathedral ceilings and a stone woodburning fireplace. Past the family room is the gourmet eat-in kitchen, Viking range, side by side Kitchen Aid refrigerator, double ovens and a warming drawer. This home also has a whole house generator. Come see what one of the most sought after streets in Belle Mead has to offer.

Nick Esser Cell: 646.745.5460

550 Union Square, New Hope, PA 18938 • • 215.862.5500

STONEY HILL OVERLOOK Welcome to 16 Stoney Hill a rare opportunity to own a 12 acre estate in downtown New Hope.This well-appointed almost 7000 square foot home has been completely updated. As you enter this stately home you will come into the wide foyer with a private office and half bath to your right. Up a few stairs you come to the great room that has a marble fireplace, cathedral ceilings, custom millwork and expansive windows looking out to your private oasis.The kitchen is completely upgraded with a chef’s heart in mind. Featuring white cabinets with a grey island, beverage bar with a wine refrigerator, marble countertops and new appliances throughout. The kitchen also has a large eat in area with French doors to your covered pavilion with blue stone patio and large outdoor fireplace. The Bluestone patio wraps around the front of the house providing expansive vistas of the property. $2,295,000


Welcome to Stone Hill Hideaway This exclusive home is tucked away on 2.95 acres in Solebury, a mere five minutes from downtown New Hope and moments from the Logan Square and all other amenities.This center hall colonial is approached by a private drive under a canopied tree line and into your own private oasis. The yard is professionally landscaped and has been very well maintained. Picturesque views from the east facing front porch showcase beautiful sunrises. $859,900


This Charming & pristine kept second floor office space is well suited for a multitude of potential business uses. Space features three separate rooms, pumpkin pine floors & a brand new bathroom. Lease includes gas/electric/sewer/etc. Don’t miss this opportunity. Available immediately. $750/MO

Nick Esser Cell: 646.745.5460

550 Union Square, New Hope, PA 18938 • • 215.862.5500

Serving Central NJ and Bucks County, PA

Serving Central NJ and Bucks County, PA Serving Central NJ and Bucks County, PA


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NEW HOPE ’S A LL- N E W LU XU RY L I FE ST Y LE HOT E L Edgy yet elegant, and urban in design, River House is culturally rich and highly stylized, complete with sweeping riverfront views and vibrant local art perfectly curated for luxurious stays, special events, and elevated dining experiences.

New Hope | 215-682-2022 | |


A New Opportunity Awaits… Discover Princeton Windrows


n these uncertain times, Princeton Windrows consistently delivers exceptional independent senior living. Our highest priority has always been the health and safety of our residents, and over the last few months we have seen unwavering dedication from our community and unprecedented support from our staff. Princeton Windrows flourishes as a vibrant, inclusive, and welcoming resident-owned and managed independent-living condominium community that is truly different by design. Before Russell and Tricia Marks, residents since 2006, decided to purchase their residence at Princeton Windrows, they had lived in 26 other homes across the world. After years of moving, the Marks realized that the obligations of cooking, cleaning, and home maintenance were taking too many valuable hours away from their pursuits and passions. “It was important for us to focus our attention on the things that we find fun in life,” Russell remarks. The Marks quickly discovered that the most

important attribute of their new community was the people. Russell notes that with a pleasant mix of lively, well-educated neighbors from a variety of backgrounds, they have made “absolutely fascinating new friends.” Tricia adds, “We have been able to spend more time with old friends who have also moved to Windrows.” One of the greatest distinctions of Princeton Windrows is that homeowners have a direct say in the decisions that shape the community through the many committees that advise our elected Board of Trustees. Other major benefits of Windrows include the first-class services and amenities provided to residents by a friendly, caring, and well-trained staff that is dedicated to them and them alone. The Marks were equally impressed by the culinary experience at Windrows, which not only offers what Russell characterizes as “marvelous food,” but also provides a relaxing end to their busy days. “Every evening can be a dinner party with scintillating and interesting conversation,” Russell says, “and lots of laughter.” Russell and Tricia add “Since the social distancing guidelines instituted due to COVID-19, we have had all our gourmet lunch and dinner meals prepared and delivered to our doorstep by the culinary team at Windrows.” For those who consider themselves lifelong students, those yearning for personal enrichment, or those seeking just plain fun, the opportunities within Princeton Windrows and in the larger Princeton community are endless. Our residents can choose from a variety of on-site, socially distanced, activities including yoga, Tai-Chi, pickleball, tennis, ping pong, gardening, and musical performances.

Our online and Zoom activities include our signature “Wednesday at Windrows” lecture series; our technology, engineering, and design “TED” Talks; monthly committee meetings; poetry and short-story contests; “swing-a-longs”; and more. Nestled just four miles from Princeton, our community offers the opportunity to discover the bustling cultural downtown area. Homeowners can take great pleasure in the beauty of our meticulously landscaped 35-acre campus. The architectural details of our common buildings and distinctive Villas and Townhouses truly set this community apart. And for those with furry companions, Princeton Windrows is pet-friendly. Princeton Windrows provides the opportunity for retirement to be meaningful and interesting in a supportive and intellectually challenging community. Residents of Princeton Windrows enjoy the benefits of homeownership, including freedom and privacy, without the worries of housekeeping and the burden of home maintenance. Our community defines 55-plus independent condominium living at its best. Come join us!

Contact our Sales and Marketing office at 609.520.3700. Princeton Windrows Realty, LLC, 2000 Windrow Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540


Through a gated entry, over a private bridge sits a meticulously restored mid-century modern stone and glass home. Situated up high, this magnificent property takes in the view of a meandering stream and woodlands beyond. This iconic home sits on 9-acres and has undergone a complete renovation. Separate garage off courtyard. This property has a septic in place. Unwind and de-stress with the sound of the stream flowing by in this easy to maintain property. $3,150,000


Whitegates Farm is a stunning one level home located on one of the most prestigious roads in Solebury...Meetinghouse Road. This home, with its long, sinuous drive, delivers you to the front parking area. You are instantly met with the perfect symmetry as you enter the front portico. The double height and extensive Great Room has a beautifully crafted 2-story fireplace, custom wood floors and a wall of glass looking out at the inviting back patio. There are a total of 5 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. Whitegates Farm is a country respite where you can escape the hectic city life and luxuriate in an environment that is both sophisticated and aesthetically beautiful. $2,595,000


Curl Creek Farm is a example of the quintessential Bucks County farmhouse/estate, that is becoming more and more difficult to locate. As you enter the circular drive, one immediately views the spectacular red barn with three prominent cupolas/air vents that give this structure strength and grace. To the left, the farmhouse is sited back from the road and enjoys its view of the lush landscaping and the 1,000 acres of preserved land that envelops it. The beautiful landscaped grounds with irrigation, contain an in-ground pool in its own magical “secret garden.” The pool area has an outdoor patio area with fireplace and an indoor pavilion. $2,395,000

Art Mazzei Cell: 610.428.4885

550 Union Square, New Hope, PA 18938 • • 215.862.5500

TheaTer as “an Invitation to Joy” Sarah rasmussen Becomes McCarter’s New artistic Director

Sarah raSmuSSen. Photo by William Clark.

By Donald H. Sanborn III


arah Rasmussen, named the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune’s “Artist of the Year” in 2018, has succeeded Emily Mann as artistic director of McCarter Theatre as of August 1. She is excited to come to a regional theater in a university setting, having been the head of the University of Texas at Austin’s M.F.A. Directing program. An inaugural recipient of the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle grant, she also has received the Princess Grace Award, as well as Drama League and Fulbright Scholar fellowships. “The search committee was impressed with Sarah’s commitments to inclusive artistry and inventive storytelling,” McCarter Board Chair Robert Caruso says in a press release. “McCarter looks forward to how she — partnering with managing director Mike Rosenberg — will expand the theater’s audiences with innovative programming and original content.” McCarter hosted an online gala in May to honor Mann’s accomplishments in her 30 years as artistic director and resident playwright. In her remarks, Mann welcomed her successor. “I’m using my torch to light the torches of other people,” Mann said, quoting Gloria Steinem. “May [Rasmussen] enjoy this extraordinary audience, community, and staff as much as I have. Long may she blaze.” Rasmussen is moved by this metaphor. “Emily has been such a beacon for so many

Rasmussen’s production of “Fly By Night” for the Jungle Theater. Front: James Detmar (Mr. McClam), Joy Dolo (Crabbie), Jim Lichtscheidl (Narrator), Royer Bockus (Daphne), and Joshua James Campbell (Joey Storms). Back: Chris Koza (Harold McClam). (Photo by Dan Norman)

female directors and artistic directors,” she says. “I love that idea of torches being shared with others.” Rasmussen was raised in Sisseton, South Dakota. “I grew up pretty far from any live performing arts, but my parents thought it was important that we watch Great Performances on PBS,” she says, adding that whenever the family traveled to a larger city, “we saw a live performance.” She remembers being taken to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis by her mother, an English teacher whose curriculum included Shakespeare. After seeing a performance there, Rasmussen knew, “‘That’s what I want to do with my life.’ Early on I knew I wanted to direct, and ultimately run a theater company.” She founded her own company in Sisseton, at age 14. “I felt bad that there wasn’t any live theater in my hometown, so I thought, ‘How hard can it be? I’ll start doing it!’ she recalls. “I have great memories — not only the love of creating what’s on stage, but doing that as a gift for a community, to bring people together.” The company gave Rasmussen her earliest experience in directing plays, working with a cast of “kids from ages 4 to 18.” Rasmussen earned her BA from St. Olaf College. She earned her MFA from the University of California San Diego, whose campus houses the La Jolla Playhouse. At that time, she met La Jolla’s former managing director, Michael Rosenberg, who now fills the same position at McCarter.

“La Jolla has a long history of generating new plays and musicals,” notes Rasmussen. “So that partnership with Mike is something I’m excited about.” She emphatically adds that she admires Mann’s “legacy of creating new pieces at McCarter.” Past Productions; artistic style

Given the formative impression that the Guthrie made on Rasmussen, she remains grateful for the opportunity to have directed playwright Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Sense and Sensibility there, in 2016. “Emily Mann was the first woman ever to direct on the Guthrie stage; she directed The Glass Menagerie there,” Rasmussen observes. “So I knew about Emily as a young aspiring artist. That is so important in our field, to see that example.” Rasmussen has directed two productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona. The first (2014) was for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), where she formerly was resident director for that company’s Black Swan Lab new work development program. The second (2016) was for the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, where she has been artistic director for the past five years. “That OSF production was the first ever allfemale Shakespeare in the history of OSF, which has been one of our longest-running regional theaters,” Rasmussen says. “That was a fun experience, because it allowed many amazing female actors to play huge roles that they hadn’t september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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Brian Sostek (left) and Randy Reyes in Mixed Blood Theatre’s 2008 production of “1001.” Rasmussen directed the production following completion of her MFA degree at the University of California San Diego. (Photo by Ann Marsden)

gotten to play before. A lot of those actors would say, ‘After that I started getting cast in all these new ways,’ because they were seen in a new light. That was an intergenerational group of women — from high school kids, to Catherine Coulson (who played the Log Lady in Twin Peaks).” Intergenerational conversations, both onstage and in the audience, are crucial to Rasmussen. “It’s so simple, but it’s also powerful to tell stories with intergenerational characters and scenarios,” she says. “I’m driven by inclusive stories that put intersections of community on stage. Whether it’s intergenerational, or different communities encountering each other, theater is a place where we go to be educated, delighted, and entertained.” “Another hallmark of my work is gender parity and making sure that we have strong representation of women’s voices; and of Black, indigenous, person of color voices,” Rasmussen adds. “I’m excited that a theme of my conversations with McCarter’s board was a commitment to continuing to make sure that theater is a place where everyone’s stories belong on stage, and everyone belongs in the audience.” Rasmussen’s artistic style favors a strong visual aesthetic. “I love working with designers,” she says. “I think of directing as a threedimensional visual art and storytelling medium. I love the timelessness of visual elements. It’s true

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that a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual works leave space for audience members to bring themselves to the poetry of that piece, and find their own resonance within the narrative. One of my favorite writers, Paula Vogel, talks about humor as a way to open our hearts, so that we can go more deeply into questions. I feel the same way about music and the visual arts.” She also is passionate about directing plays that “ask pressing questions about our time. Whether looking at a classic story through a new lens, or a brand-new play, an important question for me to always ask is, ‘Why right now?’ I’m especially drawn to stories that ask hard questions, but do so with an invitation to joy.” The Jungle TheaTer

In 2015 Rasmussen was appointed artistic director of the Jungle Theater, a position in which she succeeded that company’s founder, Bain Boehlke. “The Jungle was a really special chapter of my life; I loved my time there,” she enthuses. The company launched both plays and musicals. “Fly by Night (2017) and Ride the Cyclone (2019) are musicals, and I love working on new musicals,” Rasmussen continues. “I love collaborating with music directors, composers, and singers. Musicals add that other dimension where we’re firing on all the cylinders of what a live performance experience can offer.” In 2018 the Jungle presented Rasmussen’s

production of another adaptation by Kate Hamill. “Little Women was a piece that we commissioned; that was a big deal for us, to start commissioning plays,” she says. “That production marked the 150th anniversary of the book, and we felt that was a timely story for right now.” She regrets to find even more resonance in the novel now, given its portrayal “of a nation really at a very divisive point in its history — and dealing with pandemics.” Rasmussen notes that before COVID-19 shuttered live venues, the Jungle was “about to open a new play called Redwood, by an amazing younger female Black writer named Britney K. Allen. The play was asking hard, raw questions for our time, about racial equity, but it was doing so with a lot of joy and humor.” From The Jungle To mccarTer

In 2019 Mann announced the decision to end her tenure at McCarter. At that time, a press release promised that the board of trustees would “be formalizing a process for identifying the theater’s next artistic director, with a commitment to build on Emily Mann’s storied legacy.” “I had always been aware of the amazing work happening at McCarter, but I was happy at the Jungle, so I wasn’t looking to move,” Rasmussen recalls. “But the search consultant reached out and asked if I would have a conversation with them, or had anyone else

Rasmussen’s production of “Little Women” at Dallas Theater Center. From left are Liz Mikel, Maggie Thompson, Jennie Greenberry, Pearl Rhein, and Lilli Hokama. (Photo by Karen Almond)

Rasmussen’s production of “Sense and Sensibility” at the Guthrie Theater. Standing, Suzanne M. Warmanen (Mrs Dashwood). Sitting, from left, are Natalie Tran (Margaret Dashwood) and Alejandra Escalante (Marianne Dashwood). (Photo by Dan Norman)

Bear (“Crab”) and Andrea San Miguel (Ensemble) in Rasmussen’s production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” for the Jungle Theater. (Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp) september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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Rasmussen’s production of “Ride the Cyclone” for the Jungle Theater. From left: Shinah Brashears, Josh Zwick, Jordan M. Leggett, Michael Hanna, and Gabrielle Dominique. (Photo by Dan Norman)

to recommend [to replace Mann].” McCarter announced Rasmussen’s appointment to the position last April. Having been a professor, Rasmussen is excited to be part of a “legendary regional theater” in a university community. She is energized by her first conversation with the members of the search committee and its cochairs, Caruso and Dr. Jill Dolan (dean of the college at Princeton University). “We had an animated conversation for about 90 minutes,” She appreciates the extent to which McCarter’s board is “diverse and engaged.” She says that the most crucial thing she learned from that first conversation is that “there’s so much potential between the University and McCarter.” She has immense respect for Princeton faculty members such as lighting designer Jane Cox, director of the Program in Theater; and U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, chair of the University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Rasmussen admires the extent to which Princeton is a “community of research, scholarship, and inquiry.” Vision for Mccarter in an Uncertain fUtUre

“I’m thrilled to be building on the legacy that Emily has nurtured,” Rasmussen says. She acknowledges, “There’s much to be discerned in terms of the next steps we’ll take, especially in

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this unusual time! But I’d like to see McCarter continue to be a leader in the country in terms of supporting new voices and artists, and developing new stories that not only connect with the McCarter community, but also feed our national conversation, producing pieces that go on to have a life elsewhere.” Rasmussen sees the COVID-19-enforced pause as an opportunity for theater companies, including McCarter, to consider long-term institutional changes. In the past few years, the theater community has been re-examining its role in the national conversation about racial justice, which has intensified following the death of George Floyd. Rasmussen asks rhetorically, “How can we move forward to create the most welcoming, supportive, and innovative McCarter that we can?” As to the question of how the live performing arts — and theater in particular — re-emerge in the wake of the pandemic, Rasmussen says, “We all wish that we had the crystal ball! What I can say is that stories will continue to matter to us more than ever. As we’ve seen in this pandemic, people flock to stories on Netflix. But it’s not quite the same — laughing alone in your living room, in front of your own screen. I love the live experience of gathering with people for live art. That’s the reason we do this; we love the spark that happens when people are together, and they’re sharing that energy with performers and other audience members.”

Nevertheless, online platforms and events have been integral in filling the void left for theatergoers by live events. Earlier this year McCarter presented live-streamed events that included a series of conversations between Mann and some of her past and present collaborators. Rasmussen plans to explore ways in which the effectiveness of online avenues can be heightened. “How do we get the feeling of that shared experience around the campfire, when we’re on our screens?” Rasmussen considers, adding, “We’re going to continue to explore all options for staying engaged with our audiences. I know that McCarter’s continuing to do a lot of education classes, which is great. We’re going to stay creative, and keep sharing things as they come. In light of the pandemic, it’s been so heartening to sense that support for the role that McCarter has played in the community.” On a personal note, Rasmussen concludes, “My family’s excited to make Princeton home.” She has two children; one is in preschool, the other will be starting kindergarten. She is grateful for “the warm welcome we’ve already experienced from afar, from the community. So we’re excited to be here!”

Four Picturesque Listings in Princeton

265 Herrontown road The possibilities at this scenic 3.3-acre property are endless! The simplest is to move right into the well-built ranch and enjoy it as it is with hardwood floors, a bright and open living/dining room and a big deck. You may also opt to expand and add a bedroom or two to supplement the existing three. Finally, buyers with big dreams may choose to start with a clean slate and build brand new. No matter what, the deep lot with a backyard shrouded in privacy can accommodate all your outdoor wishes. $799,000

176 Parkside drive To pass through the gates into the courtyard, where a fountain trickles under tall sycamores, is to be swept to another time and place. It’s hard to believe such a majestic home began as a barn, part of the Drumthwacket Estate. Today, clean lines and modern finishes, like a state-of-the-art Baffi kitchen, are just the right counterpoint to authentic barn doors and wood beams rising up to meet a 26-ft ceiling. The dramatic core of the house opens to 2 finished wings, one with 3 of 6 bedrooms. $3,950,000

51 Grasmere way Located in a leafy enclave just off of Princeton’s most picturesque winding road, close to a selection of renowned schools and recreational opportunities, this all brick house has no shortage of space or style. Every room is airy and generous in scale, especially the open kitchen and two-story family room. An amazing stone terrace with meadow views runs the length of the house. The 4/5-bedroom floor plan offers ultimate flexibility with a main level suite, as well as a finished basement. $2,200,000

68 maGnolia lane This Palomar-built beauty is just as clean and stylish as it was when brand new. Actually, it’s better! Professionally chosen custom window treatments, fresh paint in nearly all the common spaces, sparkling updated lighting and blossoming mature trees make it even more alluring than ever. Factor in the finished basement, multiple home office options and the big, fenced backyard literally steps from Princeton’s adored Littlebrook School and this 5-bedroom house will top every must-see list. $2,150,000

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| book scene

Reading the Presidential Narrative by stuart Mitchner


raig Fehrman’s introduction to Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote (Avid Reader Press $30) features a photograph of then-Senator John Kennedy standing between poet W.H. Auden and novelist John O’Hara. The occasion was the 1956 National Book Awards at which Kennedy delivered the keynote address, “The Politician and the Author: A Plea for Greater Understanding.” He was 38 at the time, November 1956, and his book Profiles in Courage was climbing the best-seller list. In his talk he playfully presents himself as being “in the camp of the enemy; you, the authors, the scholars, the intellectuals, and the eggheads of America, the traditional foes of politicians in every part of the country.” Four Novembers later the junior senator from Massachusetts was elected president, thanks in part to intellectuals and authors like Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Kenneth Galbraith, and Norman Mailer, who reimagined Kennedy as a movie star-charismatic hero with “the eyes of a mountaineer” in his Esquire essay, “Superman Comes to the Super Market.” “Miles to Go”

The concept of the president as author encouraged by Fehrman’s book and the image of young JFK standing between a poet and a writer may have influenced my response to the close-up on Kennedy on the cover of Fredrik Logevall’s JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956 (Random House $40). If you think of the future president as the eventual author of his own story, it’s possible to imagine him seeing beyond his political ambitions to a darker, more daunting challenge. I find more of the poet than Mailer’s mountaineer in his expression. There’s a “miles to go before I sleep” look in his eyes, as if he were peering into Robert Frost’s “lovely, dark and deep” woods with a troubling presentiment of “promises to keep,” perhaps already sensing the vague outlines of the mission he was embarking on. In a speech from the same period, the senator suggested “If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, ... the world be a little better place to live.” No wonder, then, that JFK combined poetry and politics by having Frost read a poem at the inauguration, the opening chapter of his presidency. BelievinG in the ProtaGonist

A compelling narrative usually requires an engaging, believable protagonist, a hero you can side with no matter what, which is how I related to Kennedy and Clinton, the only two chiefs of state this side of Lincoln that I ever felt “close to” as a reader of the presidential narrative. I was literally close to

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Kennedy on November 25, 1963, if “literally” covers the fact that I was in Washington D.C. watching his funeral procession with thousands of others, close enough to hear the creaking of the wheels of the horse-drawn caisson bearing his coffin. Bill Clinton was very much alive on the hot day in August 2004 when I stood close by, reporting on his appearance at a fundraiser for Representative Rush Holt. He was in his element, the champ, the smiling warrior. He’d been through the valley of the shadow, suffered the slings and arrows of impeachment and emerged with his head and his ratings high. Two weeks earlier, I’d read and reviewed his memoir, My Life, noting that Clinton’s gift as both politician and writer is that people interest him. He likes them and wants to be liked by them, and he relishes the quirky details he finds in teachers, friends, strangers, or relatives. I thought at the time that he might write a novel “one of these years.” A little over a decade later he teamed up with James Patterson to write The President Is Missing, and now he and Patterson are working on another page-turner titled The President’s Daughter. Meanwhile, the only new book about the Man from Hope, Michael Nelson’s Clinton’s Elections: 1992,

1996, and the Birth of a New Era of Governance ($34.95), comes not from a high-powered trade publisher but the University Press of Kansas. Reagan Redux

Two newly published titles in the run up to the 2020 election are Reconsidering Reagan: Racism, Republicans, and the Road to Trump (Beacon Press $28.95) by Daniel Lucks, and Rick Perlstein’s Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980 (Simon & Schuster $40). In spite of The Nation hailing Perlstein as “the hypercaffeinated Herodotus of the American century,” I doubt that I’d enjoy his 1,120-page tome as much as I did Ron Reagan’s My Father at 100 (Viking 2011), with his first-hand portrait of about “as strange a fellow” as he’d ever met: “Not darkly strange, mind you. In fact, he was so naturally sunny, so utterly without guile, so devoid of cynicism or pettiness as to create for himself a whole new category of strangeness.” LincoLn FoReveR

I’ve felt that Abraham Lincoln’s was the most inspiring chapter in the American narrative ever since a visit to the Ford Theatre Museum when I was 12. Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times (Penguin Press $44), a new biography by David S. Reynolds, has been hailed by Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America — “Abraham Lincoln is the central figure of the American story, a flawed but noble man who insisted against all odds that the national experiment in liberty must go on in spite of all. In this wonderful new biography, David Reynolds brings the giant to life once more, reminding us of the limitations and the possibilities of politics in a fallen world.” appReciating caRteR

Another election season biography is His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life (Simon & Schuster $37.50) by Jonathan Alter, one of cable television’s

most visible talking heads. Although I never felt as close to Carter as I did to Kennedy and Clinton, I was pulling for him as the hero of a fresh new chapter in the national story after the debacle of Nixon and Watergate. Although he lost his bid for re-election, he served an unlimited second term outside of office, leading by example, fighting to eradicate diseases and building houses for the poor with Habitat for Humanity. Walter Isaacson, biographer of Einstein and DaVinci, rightly calls Carter “our most underrated modern president” and finds “his story a needed inspiration in this dark time.” WiLson’s Fountain

Although there appear to be no recent or upcoming biographies of Woodrow Wilson, you can find one “written in water” in the fountain fronting the School of Public and International Affairs that bore the 28th president’s name until June 27 of this year when it was removed because of Wilson’s “racist thinking and policies.” Sculpted by James Fitzgerald, and officially described as the Fountain of Freedom, its original purpose was “to symbolize Woodrow Wilson’s vision of lasting world peace.” While it’s possible to connect the quest for freedom with the force field of water splashing, jetting, gushing up and down and in and out of the craggy contours of the 20-foot-high bronze sculpture, it’s hard to imagine a “vision of lasting world peace” in all that tumult. Everything’s at cross purposes, like a massive celebration of disorder and conflict, with the jets coming and going every which way, some at angles, spilling mist and spray in all directions. There’s also joy, poetry, and music in the play of light and the sound, but when the water’s turned off all you see is a bleak, twisted mass that might serve to mark a battle scene where great losses were sustained — or the illustration to a particularly dark chapter in America’s work in progress, a phrase that has special resonance after President Obama used the words (“a constant work in progress”) to describe his conception of America in his July 30 eulogy for congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis.

september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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Brave New World T E L E H E A LT H








he coronavirus pandemic hit the globe like a tidal wave and promptly overwhelmed hospitals, physicians, and the medical community. While remote treatment isn’t a new concept in medical care, it hasn’t always been embraced due to limitations surrounding insurance coverage, privacy laws, and traditional medical business models. However, when social distancing became imperative in order to combat the spread of the virus, telehealth and more specifically, telemedicine (which provides remote clinical services to patients) gained new ground. REMOVING TELEHEALTH BARRIERS


Dr. Peter Thomas, vice president of outpatient services for Princeton House Behavioral Health, has worked as a clinical psychologist in Princeton for 20 years. Princeton House provides partial hospital services and intensive outpatient services for those in need of mental health, rehabilitation, and psychiatric support. When COVID-19 struck and quarantine orders were issued by the state of New Jersey, all of Princeton House’s services became remote. As Thomas explains, shutting down group programs on March 17 meant that the staff of psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, and medical professionals had to create a new model for mental health treatment. “Since we’ve gone to this remote model, we’ve admitted more than 1,300 patients in the telehealth model,” he notes. “We’re actually providing the services on the same scale as before the shutdown.” When asked about overall patient satisfaction with the remote model, Thomas is extremely positive. “From a patient experience, it’s kind of interesting…. When we conducted a patient experience survey and asked them how well they communicate with their therapist, 94 percent

said receiving remote treatment was helpful and 63 percent said they would consider choosing telehealth over in-person in the future.” With all of Princeton House’s staff operating 100 percent remotely, Thomas adds that “everyone’s adapting to how to use the platform effectively for their own business and treatment purposes. It took us a good six weeks to two months to figure out how to best utilize this technology for the needs of our patients.” For patients who previously had issues with transportation or for whom distance or work scheduling conflicted with regular doctor’s appointments, the flexibility of connecting with a psychiatrist via a laptop or smartphone has been paramount. Thomas says that “the laptop experience is sometimes even more intensive than an in-person encounter. The patient’s face encompasses almost the entire laptop screen and the patient is there, in your field of vision. It is, in many ways, a very effective form of communication.” Regarding how the insurance companies have adjusted their business model to allow for telehealth treatment, Thomas explains, “most of the insurance companies made rapid adjustments to accommodate remote treatment. The big question from the provider and patient communities is whether or not remote treatment will be a permanent option for patients to receive their care.” Much has been noted nationally on how telemedicine actually highlights issues of income inequality. On one side, medical specialists are now available to anyone almost anywhere in the country. Conversely, reliance on advanced

From the first COVID-19 case confirmed in the U.S. by the CDC on January 21, 2020, regulatory changes have sought to reduce barriers that previously existed to allow for patients to optout of in-person visits when appropriate. The first coronavirus relief legislation was signed by Congress on March 6 and the passage of the CARES Act followed on March 27. This over $2 trillion economic relief package was delivered by the Trump administration to protect the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The CARES Act provides assistance for American workers and families, assistance for small businesses, an attempt to preserve jobs for American industry, and assistance for states, local, and tribal governments. Among these many provisions, the CARES Act also seeks to encourage the use and availability of telehealth.

Medicare regulations historically restricted the availability of telemedicine services to those living in rural areas. Privacy laws also previously limited remote medical treatment, but those laws were recently temporarily waived so doctors could use video conferencing tools like Polycom, Cisco, Vidyo, and Zoom to connect with patients.


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technology platforms, access to quality health insurance, and language barriers continue to hinder doctor-patient relationships for those operating completely remotely. Other potential drawbacks to virtual diagnosis from a patient perspective are the quality and uniformity of health care and treatment, reliance on sometimes faulty electronic devices and wireless internet, miscommunication, and the inability for a physician to observe one’s symptoms in-person.

Immediately, Princeton Healthcare realized that they needed to deal with many patients remotely in order to reduce the rates of exposure and infection. This was a means of protecting not only vulnerable patients, but the many frontline workers as well. Fisch explains that many non-life-threatening health conditions can be monitored remotely. This includes tracking a patient’s weight, blood

Monitoring Pre-existing HealtH Conditions reMotely

Dr. Tobe M. Fisch, M.D. is a primary care physician and chief medical information officer with the Princeton Health division of Penn Medicine. Fisch also currently serves as the medical director for outpatient population health, which tracks and monitors the overall health of current Penn Medicine Princeton Health patients (this includes tracking vaccination and health screenings among the current patient population). In terms of how COVID-19 has impacted her practice, Fisch says, “There have been a number of impacts. First, a lot of the patients were affected by social distancing practices, social isolation, and a change in the way their everyday lives are conducted. Also, some of our patients have become ill from COVID and others have died.”

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pressure, blood sugar, medication management, and coordination of care (connecting patients with referrals to specialists). The remote model also allows for a patient’s family to join in on the conversation via their laptop or smartphone. Translator services further aids non-English speakers in receiving adequate care. All of these

efforts work towards reducing the repercussions of crowded waiting rooms. While some patients may elect for a virtual model for routine monitoring, Fisch points out that many health issues require in-person diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. For example, since March 2020, many individuals have forgone blood work, pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, vaccinations, and other forms of preventative medicine (the long-term impact of which is still uncertain). Fisch expects that the new medical model will have to continually weigh concerns and current news on infection rates, patientprovider safety, and federal laws in order to determine how best to proceed. “In many ways we’ve had to become the IT guys,” says Fisch. “A silver lining in all of this is the movement to adopt new technology.” Finally, Fisch believes that the improvements made to telehealth coverage by insurance companies will continue in the long term. “Many, if not all of them, plan to continue reimbursement for telehealth in the future.” From a patient perspective, improvements in telemedicine services and coverage offer a certain level of convenient care. Conversely, many patients and doctors are eager to return to in-person visits where the risk of phone tag, misdiagnosis, and abbreviated video conversations are much less likely.

• Chemicals are ubiquitous in our modern lives...they are found in our food, drinking water, indoor and outdoor air, personal care and cleaning products, on our lawns, furniture, and clothing. • Chemicals are now found in the bodies of adults, teens, children, newborns, and even our pets. • Robust, world-wide data shows their harmful effects on human health, including obesity, diabetes, autism, heart disease, hypertension, ADHD, depression, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and cancer. • Many of these health conditions, and medications used to treat them, are associated with worse outcomes and even death from COVID-19 infection • There is no better time than NOW to reduce chemical exposure...let me show you how.

Aly Cohen, MD

Aly Cohen, MD

To learn more about Dr. Cohen, environmental health, and to order Non-Toxic, visit Amazon and Barnes & Noble

The Smart Human

Playing it Safe: Returning to Care By Eric Bosworth

President, Radiology Affiliates Imaging

Cancer and other life-threatening health conditions haven’t stopped for COVID-19. Now, worrisome modeling should serve as a call to Americans that they need to make that doctor or screening appointment which they postponed earlier in the year. A National Cancer Institute model, examining breast and colorectal cancers, predicts more than 10,000 deaths in the U.S. over the next decade due to pandemic-related delays in diagnosis and care. The modeling suggests much of this increase will be felt quickly – in the next two years. Models created by the medical research company IQVIA predict even worse: Delayed diagnoses of an estimated 36,000 breast cancers and 19,000 colorectal cancers due to COVID-19’s scrambling of routine medical care. Delayed diagnoses lead to identification of disease at a later stage. With more advanced disease, the prognosis usually isn’t as good and the care needed is more expensive. Radiologists, who identify and diagnose diseases, are helping to sound the alarm to remind patients about how important it is to reschedule well-visits, screenings, and follow-up appointments. While it’s imperative we all follow public guidelines to protect against contracting and spreading COVID-19, the risks posed by a delayed diagnosis often outweigh the risk of contracting COVID-19 at a doctor’s office that has implemented appropriate measures to protect you and others. Physicians have spent the last several months preparing their clinics and offices for caring for patients during the pandemic. Radiology practices like RAI are following expert guidelines, including American College of Radiology (ACR) and CDC recommendations, regarding infection control procedures. This includes spacing out the time between patient visits to properly clean and disinfect equipment and rooms. Following expert guidelines greatly reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19. It’s smart to play it safe, but delaying an exam won’t make cancer or other life threatening illness go away. It could even make the road to recovery more challenging. So, how should patients prepare when rescheduling a mammogram, colonoscopy, or annual screening exam? Here are some tips to safely return to care: • Check with your provider about their COVID-safety protocols so you know what to expect at your next visit. • Take your temperature and wash your hands before you leave the house; wear a mask; avoid touching your face, especially your nose or eyes. • Show up on time for your appointment, not early. Your care team may have another appointment or the exam room may be getting cleaned for your appointment.

• Avoid touching surfaces and try to remain six feet apart from others in the office. • Limit guests. Take no more than one family member or friend with you. • Practice patience. Doctors are spacing out appointments to allow for proper equipment and room cleaning, which requires more time.

While these safety precautions may take some time to adjust to, playing it safe means following guidelines. Patients must get back on offense against diseases like cancer where early diagnosis is crucial.

WE ARE OPEN! SAFE. TRUSTED. Hamilton, Lawrenceville & East Windsor

(609) 585-8800

Now scheduling appointments for all screening studies.

Penn Medicine Princeton Health physicians contribute to our success in many ways—from providing exceptional patient care, and teaching our next generation of physicians, to volunteering their time and talent. Many of our physicians and their practices also support the mission of Princeton Health through their personal philanthropy. Below is the list of physician and physician practices who made a philanthropic contribution to the Princeton Medical Center Foundation between June 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020.

Thank you for your leadership and generosity. Dr. Victoria C. Abellana Dr. Juan C. Abellana Dr. Jeffrey S. Abrams Dr. Alexander M. Ackley, Jr. Dr. Christopher Ananian Dr. M. D. Atkin Dr. Dennis Balgowan Dr. John C. Baumann Dr. Robert B. Berger Dr. Bruce J. Berger Dr. Steven R. Bergmann Dr. Carolyn G. Bernacki, DO Dr. Mark E. Branon Dr. Alicia Brennan Dr. Bernard Broad Dr. Howard Buckwald Dr. William P. Burks Dr. Robert M. Cardinale Dr. Julie A. Caucino Dr. James J. Chandler Dr. Charles G. Clark Dr. David Cohn Dr. Gerard A. Compito Dr. Douglas P. Corazza Dr. David J. Cordon Dr. Peter B. Cridge Dr. Michael C. Darder Dr. J. T. Davidson Dr. Julia T. De Sanctis Dr. Robert Debbs Dr. Joel L. Deitz Dr. Donald F. Denny, Jr. Dr. Matthew C. Difazio Dr. Rachel P. Dultz Dr. Barbara Edwards Dr. H. B. Elmes, DDS Dr. Ashgan A. Elshinawy Dr. Gilbert A. Falcone, DDS Dr. Tobe M. Fisch Dr. Daniel J. Fletcher Dr. Hiral Fontanilla Dr. David H. Fulmer Dr. John Ghazi Dr. Timothy C. Gjenvick Dr. Joyce H. Glazer Dr. Kenneth H. Goldblatt Dr. Kenneth A. Goldman Dr. William M. Green Dr. Andrew S. Greenberg

Ms. Judith Greif, APN Dr. Leonard A. Grossman Dr. Gwen E. Guglielmi Dr. Elliot J. Gursky Dr. W. T. Gutowski, III Dr. Lewis S. Guttesman Dr. S. S. Hamilton Dr. James B. Hastings Dr. William F. Haynes Dr. John A. Heim Dr. David J. Herman Dr. Lauren C. Hogshire Dr. Richard Holstein Dr. Gayle S. Holtzman Dr. Timothy S. Howard Dr. Xingjia Hua Dr. Rameck R. Hunt Dr. Michael N. Jolley Dr. Seth S. Joseffer Dr. Steven P. Kahn Dr. Gregory A. Kaufmann Dr. Roderick T. Kaufmann, Jr. Dr. Daniel S. Kessel Dr. Avedis K. Khachadurian Dr. Madhurani Khare Dr. Mary Kitazono Hammell Dr. Margaret L. Lancefield Mrs. Ellen Land, APN Dr. David S. Leder Dr. Richard T. Lee Dr. Michael A. Leopold Dr. Samuel S. Levine Dr. Hank R. Lubin Dr. Bert Mandelbaum Dr. Judith A. Margolin Dr. Craig Margulies Dr. Jonathan B. McCabe Dr. Kim H. Millar Dr. Jacqueline F. Mislow Dr. Roger V. Moseley Dr. Lisa S. Motavalli Dr. Aubrie J. Nagy Dr. Ronald G. Nahass Dr. Willis F. Paine Dr. Glenn Palsky Dr. William A. Parker Dr. John D. Passalaris Dr. Joseph J. Pecora, III Dr. Joseph M. Pepek

Dr. Barry Perlman Dr. Robert L. Pickens Dr. J. Dean Pierson, Jr. Dr. Kavitha Polkampally Dr. Richard Porwancher Dr. Puthenmadam Radhakrishnan Dr. Beverly A. Radice Dr. Ayman H. Ramzy Dr. Chitharanjan V. Rao Dr. Julius S. Richter Dr. Joseph E. Ringland Dr. R. M. Roberts Dr. Kathryn J. Robison Dr. Stanley E. Rosenberg Dr. Barry R. Rossman Dr. Harvey D. Rothberg Dr. Kerstin A. Rubbert-Slawek Dr. Elliot B. Sambol Dr. Mark A. Schaeffer Dr. Fred H. Schlesinger Dr. Neal B. Schofield Dr. Marc I. Schwarzman Dr. William N. Segal Dr. Rik Sen Dr. Andrew J. Shanahan Dr. Eileen M. Shanahan Dr. Daniel W. Shapiro Dr. Sheetal H. Shrimanker Dr. Harpreet Sidhu Dr. Ann E. Smelkinson Dr. B. Gabriel Smolarz Dr. David B. Sokol Dr. Deborah Sokol Dr. Manamadurai Somasundaram Dr. Dewi S. Sudjono-Santoso Dr. William J. Tate, III Dr. Melanie Teasley Dr. Mark J. Tenenzapf Dr. Louis J. Tesoro Dr. Henry K. Tsai Dr. Kenneth Ung Dr. Ajanta S. Vinekar Dr. Fong Wei Dr. Alexander Wolfson Dr. Richard H. Wong Dr. Sari L. Yehuda Dr. Peter I. Yi Dr. David C. Youmans Dr. Brian G. Zack

Dr. Paula G. Zollner Dr. Gregory P. Zollner AmeriTeam Services, LLC Becker Ear, Nose, and Throat Center Bug Docs, Inc. Child Health Associates, PA Cognitive Therapy Solutions LLC Dewi S. Sudjono-Santoso, MD, P.A. Envision Healthcare Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates, PA Hygiea Healthcare, LLC ID Care Integral Psychotherapy, LLC Montgomery Medical Associates, LLC Pathology Associates of Princeton, PA Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center Medical Staff Penn Medicine Princeton Medicine Physicians - Plainsboro Plainsboro Pediatrics Princeton Allergy and Asthma Associates Princeton Anesthesia Services Princeton Bone and Joint, LLC Princeton Brain & Spine Care, LLC Princeton Dermatology Associates, PC Princeton Emergency Physicians Team Health Princeton Hypertension-Nephrology Associates, LLC Princeton Medical Group, PA Princeton Medicine Hospitalist Services Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, PA Princeton Premier Medicine, LLC Princeton Proton Partners, LLC Princeton Radiation Oncology Princeton Radiology Associates, PA Princeton Surgical Associates Princeton Urogynecology Princeton Wound Care Center Rachel P. Dultz, MD, FACS, Breast Surgical Specialist, LLC Regional Cancer Care Associates, LLC The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Health System

beef, beets, and deepfried dough

Hopewell’s Newest Farm-to-Table Restaurateurs Specialize in Eastern and Central European Fare By Ilene Dube | Photos by Jeffrey E. Tryon


hen Otto and Maria Zizak purchased 52-acres of preserved farmland in Hopewell and set the plans in motion to open a farm-to-table restaurant on the township’s main drag, they had no idea that a pandemic was about to strike, one that would lead to an economic crisis that would shutter more than half

of all restaurants. In the best of times, 60 percent of restaurants fail within the first year of opening, and 80 percent within five years, according to a study by Ohio State University. One thinks of Marhaba, the beloved Middle Eastern restaurant with an outpost in Lambertville that opened on Nassau Street in Princeton in 2017. Despite the long waits for a table, Marhaba shuttered unexpectedly a few months later. The Zizaks are cautiously optimistic. They have opened several restaurants in New York City and continue to operate two of them during the changing tides of state regulations regarding indoor and outdoor dining. As takeout only, they have been able to lower expenses and remain sustainable. With sound business acumen, the Zizaks are finding the silver linings. For example, while many restaurateurs see delays in opening as setbacks, Otto and Maria are grateful for the extra time to iron out kinks. “The delay has been a blessing,” says Otto. “We are using the time to make sure everything is perfect.” Along with the couple’s sons, ages 15 and 17, Otto is building the restaurant’s furniture. “Now we have three additional months to build the tables and chairs,” he said in July from the farmhouse on the property. The Zizaks ultimately plan to live in the house, but for the time being are renting in Princeton. TAKING COMFORT IN FOOD

If you’re going to open a restaurant at a time when people are undergoing major anxiety about health, economic security, and social justice, let that restaurant be one that offers comfort food. The specialty at Ottoburger, scheduled to open in September with outdoor seating and takeout only, until state regulations allow indoor dining, is a grassfed beef burger nestled in a mound of deep-fried Hungarian dough with all the fixings. Originally from Slovakia, the Zizaks specialize in Eastern and Central European cuisine, so those fixings include beet ketchup and horseradish. (Fear not, fellow vegans, Ottoburger will offer a beet burger with beets, black eyed peas, roots, herbs, nuts and grains, as well as a cauliflower patty with carrots, rutabaga, barley, and quinoa. Pescatarians can enjoy responsibly september 2020 prINCetON mAGAZINe

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sourced cod with grits, and those with allergies and sensitivities will find gluten-free options.) Don’t want your burger on a bun? You can have it prepared in a bowl on top of greens and other farm-sourced veggies. Don’t want a burger at all? There’s borscht, mushroom stew, and halušky, made with alpine spaetzle, sheep’s milk cheese, and crispy bacon bits. “Think mac ’n’ cheese,” says Otto. Beet ketchup, horseradish, sriracha, mustard, and pickled vegetables are all made in house from farm-grown ingredients, as are the bread, dumplings, and desserts. The Zizaks will grow stinging nettle, Jerusalem artichokes, sea buckthorn, and elderberry for condiments served in the restaurant and also to sell on the side. To make the mustard, yellow and brown seeds are soaked in fresh beet juice, then ground with spices. “Beet juice gives it a beautiful color and sweet taste, so you don’t need as much salt, sugar, and vinegar,” says Maria. Commercially prepared horseradish is too sweet and not spicy enough, the Zizaks say. They will grow the root and use it to garnish the “Slav” burger. Sauerkraut they ferment with juniper berries will be served with the grilled sausage platter. Sea buckthorn will go into a jam, and they will use elderberry to make a syrup for homemade soda. As for the stinging nettle: “It gives umami flavor to our veggie burger,” says Maria. “It grows well in this climate. We grew up using it with scrambled eggs, in soups, and in tinctures and oils. Everybody makes a veggie burger, but a good one is put together with ingredients that give it a reason to be a burger. Stinging nettle is something you can’t immediately identify but would miss if it weren’t there.” THE SECRET IS IN THE DOUGH

What makes Ottoburger Ottoburger is that dough, from a recipe passed down from Maria’s grandmother. It has been featured on the Food Network. At the time we spoke, the Zizaks were expecting delivery of a brick oven in which to bake that dough, as well as a dozen chickens. Jon and Robin

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McConaughy, who operate Brick Farm Market and Brick Farm Tavern, a farm-to-table restaurant, as well as DoubleBrook Farm, are neighbors and advisors, as well as the chicken suppliers. The McConaughys are often credited with Hopewell’s rise as a dining mecca in pre-COVID times. “Jon and Robin have guided us through how to get started within the township and how to operate the farm,” says Otto. Ottoburger is sourcing grass-fed beef and heritage pork from DoubleBrook Farm. At 21 East Broad Street, at the corner of Seminary Avenue (the former location of The Peasant Grill, which moved further east on Hopewell’s main drag more than a year ago), Ottoburger will have an indoor seating capacity of 35 but, according to Otto, the outdoor area can accommodate up to 40 (no wonder they’ve been grateful for the extra time to make all those chairs!). “It will be an Old World diner where you can spread your elbows and feel comfortable,” he says. “If it were in New York we would squeeze 50 in there.” The wood going into the furniture is reclaimed from an old barn on Long Island, where the family owns vacation property. Having learned carpentry as a child on his grandparents’ farm, where he built treehouses and boats, Otto is also building a coop for those chickens, whose eggs will go into the dough. And he’s rehabbed properties in New York. “It’s therapy,” he says. RESTAURANT KARMA

Otto will be undergoing lots of “therapy” from the 300-year-old farmhouse that had been vacant for five years. It was originally built as a doctor’s residence, he says, and was added on to over the years. The kitchen still has the commercial stove from the Muscente family, the previous owners who operated the Merry-Go-Round restaurant in Lawrenceville from 1943 to 2001. Otto enjoys the karma of the property being continuously owned by restaurateurs. Before moving to Princeton, the Zizaks (Otto and Maria also have a 12-year-old daughter) lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where they continue

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to operate Korzo Burger. In the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn they run the Brooklyn Beet Company, rated 4.5 stars on Yelp, serving “beet-centric Eastern and Central European meals and cocktails in an intimate, brick-lined space.” Herbs, heirloom tomatoes, Hungarian banana peppers, and other produce grown on a rooftop garden find their way into dill cucumbers, delicata squash soup, apple raisin potato latkes, and the Wunderwurst, a sampler of cured sausages with organic ale mustard and freshly-grated horseradish. Maria is the executive chef at all the restaurants. (Korzo Klub, a restaurant on Staten Island, closed a few years after the Zizaks opened it.) A 2014 New Yorker review called the Brooklyn Beet Company “a restaurant run by people who care about creating an experience as interesting as it is relaxing. Did we mention the beet-ini?” RESPONDING TO CUSTOMER DEMAND

Why are the Zizaks so committed to making what is, in Otto’s own words, essentially a burger joint? When they first opened their New York restaurants, with comfort food such as spaetzle, customers said they wanted a burger. The Zizaks complied and developed their signature dish. When Maria’s demo of the burger wrapped in dough and deep fried went viral on the Food Network, their path to success was on a trajectory. They describe the dish as typical street food in Hungary and Slovakia. “The outside is crispy and golden, with all the meat juices encapsulated.” The 52-acre farm on Route 518 was purchased from D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Revolving Land Fund — it had been purchased by the Princeton-based land trust to protect it from development and resold as conserved property. The McConaughys farm organic alfalfa for their livestock on 40 acres. Otto describes the relationship as “informal.”

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“Jon and Robin are helping us bring the soil back to life and transform it toward our organic and biodynamic goals,” he continues. “In exchange they grow the feed. As a part of the arrangement, we can use the alfalfa to feed any animals we will have on our farm.” Completing the circle, the alfalfa-fed beef will be used in the Ottoburger. On the remaining land, the Zizaks will grow root vegetables, mostly beets, for all three restaurants. ROMANTIC BEGINNINGS

Maria says she never set out to become a chef. As a child she spent a good amount of time in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother, cooking and baking. By age 14 she was cooking family meals and butchering meat. She and Otto grew up in the picturesque mountain city of Poprad — they describe it as having the feel of Princeton — until Otto moved to the U.S. with his family in 1990. Arriving in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, Otto, 14, spoke only four words in English, he recounts with barely an accent. His father worked as an electrical engineer. His parents left Slovakia because they “were free spirits and felt limited after World War II.” Otto went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the City University of New York on Staten Island, and began studies at the Graduate Center of Manhattan until the rock band he belonged to started to consume more of his time. Performing music took him to clubs and bars where “I liked it and started to supplement my livelihood by working in restaurants. I was good at it and liked the environment and wanted to pursue it.”

Back in Slovakia, Maria earned a master’s degree in business from the University of Economics in Bratislava in 1999. Her first job was overseeing the kitchen at a 200-room resort in the Tatra Mountains. Otto returned to Slovakia for a funeral and was reunited with Maria when they were both 26. Sharing a beer, sparks went off, and soon Otto convinced Maria to join him in New York. She only expected to stay a month. The couple started their family while Otto was fixing up a building, one that turned into their first restaurant, Korzo Haus, on the Lower East Side. It was popular and won awards (its burger was voted best in the city by the Village Voice) but with success came an increase in rent. When that proved untenable they moved the operation to Bay Ridge in 2012. SEEKING NEW JERSEY FARMLAND

Growing frustrated with the New York Public Schools — the Zizak children were spread among three schools: Brooklyn Tech, Leon Goldstein High School for Science, and Park Slope Middle School — the family decided to move to Princeton. They had always liked New Jersey, making trips for ice cream to Thomas Sweet and the bent spoon. About a year ago Otto was starting to get a sense that life in big cities is not necessarily sustainable. “If we continue living the way we do, something is going to give,” he thought before the pandemic broke. “I was thinking about the madness of the city and the global economy of cheap goods, that something’s going to crash, and started talking about getting a farm.” The Delaware River, which reminded the Zizaks of the Danube, beckoned, and they began searching near Lambertville. They closed on the Hopewell property December 2019. Otto says he gets a good feeling knowing that the land he purchased will be a farm forever. He bought a tractor, and says he enjoys the long days of

work. (Otto and Maria take turns going in to New York to manage operations there.) “We’ve been able to bring crops to the restaurants, such as squash. Our restaurants are not huge operations, so they are the real farm-to-table that everyone talks about but doesn’t execute.” Maria says she enjoys having her children see how farming works, how much is involved in getting vegetables on the table. Farming was integral to Maria and Otto’s upbringing. His paternal grandfather had a large beekeeping operation, and his maternal grandparents raised livestock. Maria’s family had a garden where they grew much of their food. Her father, a chemical scientist, worked in Switzerland and she would visit for skiing and hiking. “I saw small farms in the mountains and fell in love with the landscape of small-scale farming. From our bedroom window we could see cows roaming freely.” While the Zizaks are transitioning the farm to organic, it will operate under principles of biodynamics. “Organic is certification, whereas biodynamic is more of a choice,” Otto says. “It has to do with sustainability. Organic farming doesn’t necessarily address issues such as water runoff, or how much fertilizer comes from byproducts present at the farm. We are planning to live here and bring the farm back to life. We are using organic seeds, no pesticides, using water responsibly, and making our own compost to generate a new cycle of life. Everything works together, our crops help each other. We have frogs singing every night and no mosquitoes. There are birds, foxes, groundhogs — this is a living place.” With all that’s going on in the world right now, running a farm in Hopewell, New Jersey, “feels very safe. We are thankful we have made the right decision in today’s world.”

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Breeder of the Rutgers tomato Lyman Schermerhorn (left) in a field of tomatoes (circa 1930s, others in photo unknown). Courtesy of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

ersey tomatoes. The phrase conjures roadside stand baskets piled high with bright red tomatoes begging to be sliced, each bursting with flavor. Tomatoes are among the foods that evoke New Jersey’s culinary richness, along with such disparate delicacies as cranberries, salt water taffy, pork roll, Welch’s Grape Juice, Campbell’s soups, Boylan’s Birch Beer, and other eminent edibles. Behold the “classic” Jersey tomato: Defined by its “deep, red color inside and out,” it may have a large stem scar, “with cracks or slits, or yellow ‘shoulders,’” describes Cindy Rovins, agricultural communications editor at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). Considered “imperfect by today’s market standards, the flesh was smooth, firm, and juicy — not mealy or crunchy like modern supermarket tomatoes. The taste was full-bodied tomato flavor with the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.” But over the years the tomato had drifted, flavor-wise. The stakes, so to speak, were high. After all, the Jersey tomato has a reputation to uphold. Enter the NJAES Rediscovering the Jersey Tomato program, an initiative that, in the last decade, has restored the taste to Jersey tomatoes. The popular Rutgers tomato debuted in 1934, and, by the 1950s, comprised close to 70 percent of all U.S. tomatoes, say Rutgers agriculturalists. But it was developed without a patent and seed

companies made changes over time. The result, as modern agriculture evolved, was that changes that boosted production, or made for sturdier shipping, ultimately sapped the flavor. The Rutgers tomato, developed by vegetable breeder Lyman Schermerhorn, was the result

of crossing the best processing tomatoes, in cooperation with Campbell Soup Company. Schermerhorn conducted field tests on New Jersey farms, with the resulting tomato a favorite of the state’s canning and food processing industries and the choice of U.S. commercial tomato growers through much of the mid-20th century, according to NJAES. What happened, explains Thomas Orton, a professor of plant biology and head of the

Rutgers tomato program, is that when agriculture shifted to a non-local economy, “the tomatoes had to be firm for shipping, no cracks.” Not only were the varieties often diffused, but the tomatoes supermarkets received year-round were far from the vine. “The good news,” says Orton, “is year-round produce, but the bad news was that it takes two to three weeks to get them here. Tomatoes were hard as rocks because they were harvested when they were still green then ripened in warehouses, and flavor was lost.” Jersey tomatoes began to regain their status in 1968 when the Ramapo tomato was developed at Rutgers, and was embraced by home gardeners and commercial growers. But the Ramapo was later dropped from seed catalogs, as newer varieties were introduced, Rovins says. When the Ramapo developer, who was by then retired, sent NJAES the parent seeds, seed companies did not produce small batches for the home gardener market. Rutgers itself decided to get into the seed business. The Rediscovering the Jersey Tomato program has resulted in four varieties, sold through the Rutgers website: the Rutgers 250 tomato; the Ramapo F1 Hybrid tomato; the Moreton F1 hybrid tomato; and the KC 146 tomato, associated with Campbell’s Soup. The newest variety is the Scarlett Sunrise bicolor grape tomato. All emphasize flavor. One serendipitous occurrence eight years ago helped bring back the original Rutgers tomato. The researchers at Rutgers did not have the


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Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch

a day or two, the flavor is captured.” For more information, visit parent seeds for the original tomato, so buying “Rutgers” seed did not guarantee the texture and taste of the original tomato. In 2010, Campbell’s was able to donate parent line seeds to Rutgers. The tomato was released in 2016, which happened to be the university’s 250th birthday. That tomato is now called Rutgers 250. Today, Orton says, “there is renewed interest in flavor. There is improved availability of seeds for commercial growers and small acreage. New seed companies are addressing the demand. Even the average heirloom is very good now. “People want the traditional culinary experience. Picked ripe locally and consumed in


Cumberland County takes pride in its juicy heritage. Its website chronicles how Vineland dentist, Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch, a communion steward at Vineland Methodist Church, had encountered a visitor who drank too much wine. As an alternative, in 1869 he gathered baskets of grapes from his trellises, and filtered, pasteurized, and bottled them. Pasteurization was a relatively new sterilization method using Louis Pasteur’s theory of fermentation. From 1869 to 1872 Welch produced unfermented wine for churches in southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania, and founded Welch’s Fruit Juice Company, first marketed as Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine. It became Welch’s Grape Juice in 1893. Demand was great so a production area was set up in a barn, and later a factory at his second house, where the Vineland police building is now. Son Charles entered the business in 1872. Published accounts recount how, in 1913, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan served grape juice instead of wine during a diplomatic function. Eventually the family moved to Westfield, N.Y., where grapes were more plentiful. Welch’s is now headquartered in Concord, Mass.

The online blog Kitchn has noted that Westminster Cracker Company in New England lays claim to an oyster cracker first made in 1828. Nevertheless, the distinctive Trenton crackers were made in 1847 by British immigrant Adam Exton, soon followed by fellow Trentonian Ezekiel Pullen in 1848, who sold them from a wagon on Trenton’s streets. His cracker company was purchased in 1887 and renamed Original Trenton Cracker Company. A series of sales eventually resulted in one company, which relocated to Lambertville in the 1970s. A March 2019 article in The Philadelphia Inquirer lamented the disappearance of traditional oyster crackers and indicated that the OTC brand was sold to a company in Massachusetts which was seeking a bakery to make the crackers on modern equipment. Attempts to contact the company were unsuccessful. But the crackers live on in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, which has compiled some of this information, and also in the memories of many who loved the classic, crunchy crackers with a bowl of steaming clam chowder. SHORE SOUVENIR: SALT WATER TAFFY

The colorful boxes of boardwalk salt water taffy you bought for your office, or for neighbors who took in your mail (with a small box for yourself), originated in the 1880s in Atlantic City and became permanent residents of the Jersey Shore.


Walmart has pictures of them but says they are out of stock. A search on Amazon brings up other brands. Restaurants are serving pale imitations. The Original Trenton Cracker, aka OTC – the crunchy sphere-shaped crackers often served with oyster stews and fish chowders, seems to be MIA. IMAGES COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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The Atlantic City Exhibit at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, created in part by the Atlantic City Free Public Library, calls the taffy an Atlantic City innovation. The online exhibit cites a legend in which a storm soaked some taffy with salt water and the phrase caught on. The name was briefly trademarked, but it was found to be in common use by the 1890s. A New Jersey merchant, Joseph Fralinger, of Sweetwater, is given kudos for his marketing. A glassblower who later ran an oyster business in Philadelphia, Fralinger moved to the Jersey Shore for his wife’s health. There, he managed some minor league baseball teams, and worked a variety of jobs until he was asked to take over a taffy stand on the Applegate Pier. It was his idea to box the taffies in one-pound boxes – a sweet success. Competition came from Enoch James, who arrived with his sons in 1880, and developed a smoother recipe. James also cut the candy into bite-sized pieces, and is credited with mechanizing the taffy pulling. Both Fralinger’s and James’ stores still operate on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, both owned by the Glaser family since 1947, which proudly uses both original recipes. Shriver’s, the oldest business on the Ocean City Boardwalk, opened in 1898 – and offers 70 flavors of taffy. SEMANTICS: PORK ROLL OR TAYLOR HAM

Even President Obama invoked the pork roll/Taylor ham semantics debate in a 2016 commencement speech at Rutgers, refusing to take sides on the regional favorite. It can be confusing. Taylor is the brand name for pork roll made by Taylor Provisions, Inc., of Trenton. Taylor ham is a common name for the pork-based processed meat. John Taylor, a politician, created pork roll in 1856. He formed Taylor Provisions Company in 1888, establishing the brand Taylor’s Prepared Ham, commonly

Fralinger's Salt Water Taffy, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1966. (mrhistoricalmaniac)

called Taylor ham, sold in a burlap-covered roll. Trenton is also the home of the familyowned Case’s Pork Roll, cured with hickory chips – the same recipe George Washington Case used for his first product in 1870. Trenton’s Mill Hill Park is the site of an annual pork roll festival each Memorial Day weekend (not held this year due to the pandemic) run by Trenton resident Scott Miller, who grew up on Lebanon, Pa., bologna, so pork roll was not a stretch, he says. (A competing festival is also held in Trenton.) Miller calls pork roll a “remarkable product.” The somewhat smokey and spicy pork is sliced, and then grilled or fried. Miller enjoys it thinly sliced and crispy, as a side order, or, like most New Jerseyans, in a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese, on good bakery bread. However you slice it, New Jersey loves its pork roll, or Taylor ham. TART AND SWEET: CRANBERRIES AND BLUEBERRIES

Blueberry pancakes. . . cranberry muffins. . . New Jersey’s role in providing fresh, plump berries is considerable. The Pinelands

is one of the few places where cranberries grow naturally, according to New Jersey’s official website. Many incorrectly think that cranberries grow in water — they actually grow on low vines in sandy, acidic soil with a high water table, called a bog. Many of New Jersey’s cranberry farms are proudly operated by the same families that started the farms. The state site credits a bog near Burrs Mill in Burlington County as the first cranberry farm in 1835. Harvesting used to involve gathering berries by hand, and, later, large wooden scoops were used. Since the 1960s, the bogs are flooded for the wet picking method which involves a machine with a water wheel. The tart cranberry has air pockets and floats to the top of the bog. New Jersey is annually among the top three producers of cranberries in the U.S. according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Elizabeth Lee, of New Egypt, is said to have first made cranberry sauce in New Jersey in 1917, although Marcus Urann of Massachusetts made the sauce in 1912. But they joined together to develop what is now Ocean Spray, a growers’ cooperative. Its former Bordentown facility is now located in Upper Macungie, Pa. The cranberry is not the only berry that puts New Jersey on the map. According to the Phillip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, a substation of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), the first domesticated


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The company now employs 1,000 at its Camden world headquarters, says Pisano. It has grown to become one of the largest processed food companies in the U.S., with a wide variety of Campbell’s products, as well as brands such as Pepperidge Farm, Snyder’s of Hanover, V8, and Swanson. During the pandemic, the company has addressed the issue of food insecurity and “donated more than $5.8 million to support our hometowns across North America and in the Camden area,” says Pisano, noting significant contributions to local organizations like the Food Bank of South Jersey, Cathedral Kitchen, the Salvation Army Kroc Center, Philabundance, and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, among many others. Campbell’s helped purchase laptops so Camden students can learn remotely, and this year, Campbell’s will be completing a 10-year, $10 million initiative to improve the health of Camden youth, according to Pisano. adopted: kerr’s candy

blueberry crop was cultivated in 1916 by another female grower, Elizabeth Coleman White, and botanist Frederick Coville on a farm that White’s family owned. White, of New Lisbon, helped organize the New Jersey Blueberry Cooperative Association. By 1986, New Jersey’s blueberry industry had become the second largest in the country. In 2004, the blueberry became the official state fruit. Bottleneck: Boylan Birch Beer

In 1891, Pharmacist William Boylan created an elixir in his Paterson apothecary. He named it for a derivative of birch trees, Boylan’s Birch, and sold individual portions from a wagon. The Boylan Bottling Co. was known for distinctive long-necked, embossed glass bottles, not too much different from today’s look. The company was located in Haledon for about 50 years until 2001, and then relocated to Clifton before landing in Moonachie, Teterboro, and finally New York City. Testimonials abound for the drink. A blog by the eclectic Muddy’s Bake Shop in Memphis, Tenn., heralds Boylan’s as a “worthy” accompaniment to their baked goods, a “craft soda” made in small batches. According to the New Jersey Bottle Forum, the Boylan family left the soda business for more lucrative liquids after Prohibition, but the business is still in the hands of the second family of owners. MM! MM! Good!: caMpBell’s soup

Fruit merchant Joseph Campbell and icebox manufacturer Abraham Anderson made soup history when they became partners in 1869 in the firm of Anderson and Campbell in Camden, the firm that preceded The Campbell Soup Company, says Campbell’s

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spokesperson Amanda Pisano. In the early years, the company canned Jersey tomatoes in addition to other vegetables, and made jellies, soups, condiments, and minced meats. Tomato Soup was introduced in 1895, initially using Jersey tomatoes. In 1897, general manager Arthur Dorrance hired his 24-year-old nephew, chemist John T. Dorrance, who invented condensed soup – which was easier to ship and store. In 1922, the company added the word soup to its official name. By 1990, the 20 billionth can of Condensed Tomato Soup was produced.

Kerr’s Butterscotch Candy, while made in Ontario, Canada, has been adopted as a Jamesburg resident candy. Kerr Brothers was founded in 1895 by Edward Kerr and Albert Kerr. Emigrating from Scotland, they opened a bakery and candy store in St. Thomas, Ontario, in 1898 and moved in 1904 to Toronto to be closer to suppliers. In 1907 the Kerrs expanded their operations and built a factory in Jamesburg, opening as Kerr’s Butterscotch Inc. They switched the packaging from paper bags to folding boxes and sales reached over 10 million bars after World War I, according to the company website. The Jamesburg Historical Association has an original candy wrapper. points of pride

In 1912, Giuseppe Papa made a tomato pie. Today, Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville is said to be the country’s longest continuously operated family-owned pizzeria. (The New York Times in 2011 explained that Lombardi’s of New York, which opened in 1905, had closed for 10 years before reopening.) Joe’s Tomato pies in Trenton opened in 1910, but has since closed. In the early 1900s, chemist Ben Faunce of Riverside, who sold his own brand of cough syrup, toothpaste, and other medications, concocted a recreational drink, Tak-A-Boost. It was registered with the U.S. Trademark office in 1913 and became The Boost! Company. Trenton’s Allfathers, which began making Easter candy in 1882, is known for its coconut cream, yolk center eggs and other treats like a nine-ounce milk chocolate rabbit.

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