Urban Agenda Magazine, March 2018

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uRban agenda magazine

March 2018

I Thee Wed‌ Unique Wedding Venues for Your Special Day

march 2018

Musical Community Building At BergenPAC Maple Sugaring In The Garden State Camps For Those With Different Needs Uniquely Distinguished Boarding Schools Understanding Thomas Edison Destination: Hoboken

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M A RCH 2 01 8 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lynn Adams Smith CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jorge Naranjo ART DIRECTOR Jeffrey Edward Tryon m









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GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Matthew DiFalco Erica M. Cardenas CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Laurie Pellichero Ilene Dube Wendy Greenberg Stuart Mitchner Donald H. Sanborn III Taylor Smith William Uhl ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Robin Broomer

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ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jennifer Covill Joann Cella Charles R. Plohn Erin Toto

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OPERATIONS MANAGER Melissa Bilyeu URBAN AGENDA MAGAZINE Witherspoon Media Group 4438 Route 27 North Kingston, NJ 08528-0125 P: 609.924.5400 F: 609.924.8818 urbanagendamagazine.com Advertising opportunities: 609.924.5400 Media Kit available on urbanagendamagazine.com Subscription information: 609.924.5400 Editorial suggestions: editor@witherspoonmediagroup.com


Urban Agenda Magazine. All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To purchase PDF files or reprints, please call 609.924.5400 or e-mail melissa.bilyeu@witherspoonmediagroup.com. ©2018 Witherspoon Media Group



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MARCH 2018

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42 I Thee Wed: Unique Wedding Venues For Your Special Day BY LAURIE PELLICHERO


Uniquely Distinguished Boarding Schools BY TAYLOR SMITH


A Home Away From Home: Finding The Right Camp For Those With Different Needs BY WENDY GREENBERG 22

How Sweet It Is: Maple Sugaring In The Garden State




Musical Community Building At BergenPAC BY DONALD H. SANBORN III 38

The Wizard We Never Knew: Understanding Thomas Edison BY WILLIAM UHL


MARCH 2018



Far Hills Country Day School BY LAURIE PELLICHERO


Discover Downtown Somerville 34

Urban Pantry 35

Destination: Hoboken BY TAYLOR SMITH 48

Fashion & Design: Blushing Bride 12

Dapper Groom 14

A Well-Designed Life 50, 52

Urban Books: The Culture Of Summer Camp




On the Cover: A bride at the Woolverton Inn, in Stockton, New Jersey; www.woolvertoninn.com. Photography by Mario Passalacqua.


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I Thee Wed…

Unique Wedding Venues for Your Special Day By Laurie Pellichero



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A wedding in front of The Nine Muses by Carlos Dorrien at Grounds For Sculpture (Courtesy of Grounds For Sculpture).

hen it comes to choosing the perfect wedding restaurant, an award-winning wine selection, and an array of elegant sites venue, one size definitely does not fit all. to host your dream wedding. Known for its historic setting, the Inn takes Fortunately, whether you want an intimate pride in providing an intimate, romantic location. “We consider it an honor ceremony at a vineyard, farm, or the shore, and a privilege when couples choose The Bernards Inn as their wedding or a large-scale celebration in an elegant ballroom, New Jersey is home to reception venue,” said Joshua Barbee, general manager of the Inn. many unique spots that are sure to provide just the right fit for your special The Bernards Inn offers multiple rooms to host your wedding. The day. downstairs Silver Vault and Wine Pantry showcases the preserved history For loves of art and nature, Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton (www. of the Inn, and is the perfect space for an intimate wedding. The spacious groundsforsculpture.org; 609.586.1303) is beautiful in every season and Fenwick Ballroom upstairs fits the criteria for those looking to hold a showcases more than 270 contemporary traditional ceremony and reception with sculptures sited on 42 acres of a spacious dance floor. horticultural wonder. It offers a wide In addition to the venue spaces, The variety of spacious, flexible facilities to Bernards Inn offers 20 guest rooms, meet ceremony and reception needs, including a bridal and grooms’ suite; firstboth inside and outdoors, including the class amenities; top-rated cuisine; and a sculpture gardens, the recently-expanded dedicated event planning staff. Seward Johnson Center for the Arts, and “Our dedicated team is focused the Zagat-rated Rat’s Restaurant. on providing exceptional service and “Grounds For Sculpture is a unparalleled attention to detail to ensure glorious location for a wedding,” said your Bernards Inn wedding is a joyous Coby Green-Rifkin, director of marketing lifetime memory,” said Barbee. “It is communications, Grounds For Sculpture. tremendously rewarding to be a part of “Making your vows in a picture-perfect one of a couple’s happiest moments.” setting surrounded by nature and Located in Stockton, the Woolverton Inn contemporary works of art is unique (www.woolvertoninn.com; 609.397.0802) and memorable. We’re honored to share has a 40-plus year heritage of providing in one of the most important days in a fine hospitality. In fact, it was ranked among couple’s life.” the top 10 bed and breakfasts in the U.S. “With Grounds For Sculpture and by BnB.com in its most recent survey. Rat’s Restaurant, you have an interesting Weddings and events are a part of that The Reeds at Shelter Haven (Courtesy of The Reeds at Shelter Haven; setting based in two different worlds,” heritage as the Inn lends itself perfectly to facing-page photo by MLE Pictures) added Kathleen Newman, director of hosting celebrations — from small, intimate catering, STARR Catering Group at Grounds For Sculpture. “Lush gardens gatherings to larger receptions of up to 200 guests. of simplicity, romance, and beauty with unique horticultural designs “Most of our larger events are held between May and October to take nestled in a venue with such rich history. The contemporary feel of the advantage of the beautiful grounds, which offer a variety of options at galleries versus the whimsical fun, relaxed atmosphere of Rat’s. It is a truly which to locate ceremonies, cocktail parties, and formal or casual dinners inspirational venue where food and art converge.” as well as after-parties,” said owner Mary Passalacqua. Nestled in the quaint town of Bernardsville, The Bernards Inn (www. Weddings at the Woolverton can be individually tailored to meet the bernardsinn.com; 908.766.0002) is a luxury boutique hotel with a renowned vision of each couple. Options include a ceremony in the Horseshoe Garden

MARCH 2018

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2/9/18 12:19:13 PM

Unionville Vineyards (Martin Riordan Photography) The Barn at Gravity Hill (Photo by Sarah Collum Hatfield)



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The Bernards Inn (Courtesy of The Bernards Inn)

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Lake Valhalla Club (Photo by Anthony Ziccardi) adjacent to the historic 1792 stone Manor House. Cocktails hours can take private moments during the party!). For the ceremony, the lawn behind place on the patio or front porch, or on the Great Lawn beneath the shade the mansion provides picturesque view of the Home Vineyard, the original of towering magnolia and sycamore trees high atop the Delaware River. estate vineyard of the winery. The ceremony and reception can also be held Dinner receptions are hosted in a secluded corner of the property, and in several other unique areas, including the post-and-beam winery floor, catered with a four-course gourmet dinner beneath a beautiful tent atop a the stone-walled Cave Room with wine barrels, or under a twin high-peak permanent wood platform. tent on the new brick patio adjacent to the winery. The 3,200-square-foot “We typically hold our weddings outdoors,” said Passalacqua, who tent is complete with twinkle lights, chandeliers, and optional palladium added that smaller events can be hosted in the Manor House during late window siding for chilly evenings. fall, winter, and early spring. “Each of these spaces provides a special atmosphere and a wedding Wedding weekends at the Woolverton venue unlike any other,” said General Inn provide a unique opportunity for family Manager John Cifelli. “The wine is pretty and friends to reunite and spend quality good, too — Unionville was named one of time together before, during, and after Food & Wine magazine’s Top 500 wineries the wedding. “We encourage our wedding in the country for 2017, and we are a leading clients to feel as if they were hosting the producer on the entire East Coast.” wedding in their own home, without the The land of Unionville itself is a rich stress, handing over the planning and patchwork of American history,” added execution to our competent staff and Cifelli. “George Washington led his troops vendors so that they can really enjoy this over much of the area, and camped nearby special occasion,” said Passalacqua. on the grounds that now nourish some of Couples getting married on a Saturday our finest vines.” typically reserve all 14 guest rooms for Channeling the charm of the outdoors both Friday and Saturday evenings. and infused with modern, rustic elegance, Overnight guests receive a full three-course the Lake Valhalla Club in Montville (www. Woolverton country breakfast on Saturday lakevalhallaclub.com; 973.334.3190) offers a and Sunday mornings. During the wedding lakeside setting surrounded by a canopy of weekend couples also have full use of the serene trees and majestic mountaintops to property, which provides the possibility to celebrate your big day, or any other special Woolverton Inn (Courtesy of Woolverton Inn) have a rehearsal dinner onsite on Friday occasion. evening that can be catered in a variety of ways — from food truck picnics to something more formal. If you would like the dramatic backdrop of a vineyard, Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes (www.unionvillevineyards.com; 908.788.0400) provides an idyllic setting on an 89-acre preserved farm winery nestled in the pastoral hills of Hunterdon County. The stately 1858 Farmhouse Mansion makes for a charming space to prepare for your special day (and provides a hideaway to steal a few

Serving members and the public since the 1930s, Lake Valhalla Club’s English Tudor clubhouse provides the backdrop for guests to enjoy a memorable dining experience with the personal touch of dedicated hospitality specialists. The vintage-chic ballroom with two grand stone fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows affords up to 225 guests panoramic views of the lake. At Lake Valhalla Club, only one wedding at a time is held to ensure every detail is met and hosts and their guests feel the care and attention

MARCH 2018

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The Inn at Fernbrook Farms (Contemporary Image Photography) that their special event deserves. Not only can the award-winning venue craft specialty cocktails, if you have a sweet tooth be sure to ask about the bonfire and s’mores service. “No request is too small. No ask is too big. We aim to make your day one you will never forget,” said Claudio Beltrami, food and beverage manager at the Lake Valhalla Club. “We have a family-forward philosophy that puts our guests’ needs above all, giving you a warm, welcoming environment.” From the vibrant colors of the fall foliage to the winter wonderland of freshly fallen snow, this four-seasons venue offers the opportunity for picture perfect moments at every turn. Lake Valhalla Club is a 108-acre gem hidden in the mountains of northern New Jersey, yet just a stone’s throw away from New York City and major highways. For those who prefer a shore wedding, The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor (www.reedsatshelterhaven.com; 609.368.0100) combines casual elegance and coastal chic with natural surroundings to create a backdrop that is unlike any other. The Reeds is a year-round luxury boutique hotel and resort located directly on the bay, and is just steps from the beach. It features 37 distinctively-designed guest rooms and was recently voted one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “World’s Best Hotels.” One of the Jersey Shore’s most exclusive destinations, it offers many options for couples on their wedding day. Favorites include intimate sundeck ceremonies with gorgeous sea views, bayside cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the covered veranda extending to the landscaped outdoor lounge, and dinner and dancing the the open-air ballroom for up to 220 guests. “The Reeds’ Sweet Grass Ballroom is the ultimate celebration space for you, your entire wedding party, and guests,” said Julie Yeager, executive director of sales and marketing for The Reeds at Shelter Haven. “Wall-towall sliding glass spans the bayside view, allowing the opportunity to open your space to the outdoor veranda and provide an ‘indoor/outdoor’ feel with a full view of the sparkling harbor. The incredible fireplace also blends with the indoor-outdoor concept. The ballroom is simply spectacular, and provides the perfect backdrop for your special day.” If you want to celebrate on a working farm and also help support the community, The Barn at Gravity Hill (www.thebarnatgravityhill.com; email: reservations@thebarnatgravityhill.com) is available for weddings and other events. Located minutes from the Delaware River in the historic Lambertville/New Hope area, the renovated 1740s barn overlooks farm fields, animal pastures, and the surrounding preserved park. It was designed as



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an intimate, indoor/outdoor space where guests can experience the beauty of the farm and enjoy the rustic elegance of the climate-controlled space. Windows have replaced the barn door, providing a panoramic view of the farm and surrounding park. Gravity Hill Farm was founded in 2005 as a small family farm, dedicated to teaching about nature—and nurturing—through organic farming and raising animals. Its owners wanted to create a farm rooted in their community, and of service to that community. After ten years as a market farm, Gravity Hill leased its growing fields and market to Roots to River Organic Farm, so that the family can spend more time on education and community-building projects at the farm. The Barn can accommodate 80 guests, and capacity with a tent is 120. The venue also features five bedrooms including a bridal suite, a gentlemen’s lounge with a pull-out couch, five bathrooms, an updated kitchen, a large stone fireplace, and sweeping views. “Your event helps make it possible for us to host community and education-based organizations in a space that would otherwise be unaffordable,” said the owners of The Barn at Gravity Hill. “The important work of these organizations benefits our entire community.” A unique estate at the heart of a preserved 230-acre working farm, The Inn at Fernbrook Farms (www.innatfernbrookfarms.com; 609.298.3868) features a three-story 1750 Georgian Manor House with seven guest rooms as well as nine acres of lawns and gardens, and outdoor hearth, a summer house, and a gazebo, providing multiple venues for a picturesque wedding. “We are a unique venue for couples and families looking for something different,” said owner Susie Kuser. “This is a very special place that has been in our family for more than 100 years. The mansion has been preserved in time, and our grounds are truly one of a kind, offering a variety of rustic and elegant spots where you may choose to have your ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception.” Kuser emphasized the impeccable service provided at the Inn, and noted that resident chef Christine Wendland won the “Bangin’ Backyard” episode of Food Network’s Chopped on July 4. The food at the Inn is all made from scratch using seasonal ingredients, many grown right on the farm. Weddings at Fernbrook are all-inclusive, and their team will work with you to create the wedding you have envisioned. “You get the complete Inn,” said Kuser. “From 11 o’clock on the morning of your wedding day to 10 o’clock the following day, the Inn is all yours. The ideas are endless at Fernbrook, so dream big and we will make it happen.”

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Uniquely Distinguished Boarding Schools BY TAYLOR SMITH

The boarding school experience is unique to each individual student and school. For some, the setting or architecture may be a defining feature — encouraging students, faculty, and alumni to dream big. For other institutions, traditions hold a special place in the heart of each graduate — a perpetuation of history, pride, and scholarly achievements. While some of the schools described here believe in the importance of a single-sex high school education, all of them hope to instill in their students a passion for collaboration. Perhaps one of these high schools is well-suited to your family. 16


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Avon Old Farms School Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn., is known for many things, including brotherhood, scholarship, integrity, sportsmanship, and stunning architecture. In 1913, Miss Porter’s School graduate Theodate Pope Riddle, one of Connecticut’s first licensed female architects, purchased 3,000 acres of land in an area known as “Old Farms.” It was Riddle’s intention to build Avon Old Farms in the “distinctive Cotswold Tudor style.” The materials used to construct the school were gathered from quarries, fields, and forests on site. Riddle is said to have remarked on the construction: “Beauty of material and authentic design, yes, but imagine the boys trooping in with muddy boots from the farm and you will see the reason for stone floors and excellently strong and simple furniture!” Nestled in bucolic Farmington Valley, Avon is located 20 minutes from Hartford, Conn.; two hours from Boston, and two and a half hours from New York City. A largely self-contained campus, visitors are almost always struck by the community’s emphasis on nature and the co-mingling of the academic experience within a natural setting. This perspective harkens back to Riddle’s own intention to create a school “where students live and learn amongst nature.” In addition to the architecture, the influence of English secondary school traditions are evident in the current school curriculum and traditions. The unusual school mascot, the Winged Beaver, reflects the school’s motto Aspirando et Perseverando, which translates to aspiring and persevering. The wings of aspiration represent the soaring flight of an eagle and perseverance is symbolized in the diligence of a beaver. Learn why Avon Old Farms School is considered to be the top private all-boys boarding high school in Connecticut at www.avonoldfarms.com.


The Hill School Founded in 1851, The Hill School is a coeducational, college preparatory, boarding and day school for grades 9-12 and postgraduates in Pottstown, Pa. Known as “The Family Boarding School” for its emphasis on a strong sense of campus community, The Hill was the first boarding school in the United States where students and faculty lived together. Small class sizes, small group meetings with advisors, weekly chapel services, and sitdown meals are meant to foster friendships amongst students and faculty members. Family Night occurs every Tuesday night within the dormitories. Abandoning the normal study routine for one evening, students participate in games, activities, and general dorm bonding. Oftentimes, dorm parents will provide “hall feeds” and dining options on Family Night. Other noted traditions are The Hill School vs. Lawrenceville School rivalry, which extends back to 1887, making it the fifth oldest high school sports rivalry in the United States. Emphasis is also placed on formal academic dress code; boys are required to wear a coat and tie to class and girls must wear a blazer and collared Oxford shirt. Just prior to commencement, soon to be male graduates receive a Hill School tie and girls are given a Hill School scarf at the Alumni Association Induction Brunch. After the completion of the commencement ceremony, the newlyappointed graduates leap into The Dell, the on-campus pond. Female faculty members and sixth form girls gather for the Sixth Form Tea on the Sunday before graduation. The familial atmosphere extends beyond the campus to The Hill School’s alumni network. As noted on its website, more than 30 percent of current Hill students have a legacy connection to the school. Regional alumni events are held throughout the year, encouraging strong friendships among Hill students even long after they have graduated. The yearly Reunion Weekend occurs every June and attracts Hill families from around the world as they “come home” to The Hill community. Experience campus life for yourself at www.thehill.org.

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Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn. was founded in 1843 by Sarah Porter. An impressive scholar, Porter was tutored by Yale professors and mastered four languages in addition to teaching herself Hebrew in her 80s. The school’s enrollment grew quickly, in part due to the support of Farmington area fathers who wanted to educate their daughters in the liberal arts. By the 1880s, Miss Porter’s School had risen to national prominence and boasted nearly 100 young women as students. Miss Porter insisted that her students were well-rounded, which extended from academia to physical exercise (a novel idea at the time). Girls were encouraged to familiarize themselves in tennis and horseback riding, along with history, botany, Latin, arithmetic, reading, spelling, geology, and astronomy, to name a few. The modern-day Miss Porter’s School describes its mission as “educating young women to become informed, bold, resourceful, and ethical global citizens. We expect graduates to shape a changing world.” Founder Sarah Porter stated, “They came as girls; they left as women.” With such a long history of encouraging and educating young women, Miss Porter’s has produced many notable alumnae, including Fulbright Scholar Award recipients, White House fellows, and Academy Awardnominated directors and screenwriters. Additional internationally-known alumnae include Jackie Kennedy, Lily Pulitzer, and Gloria Vanderbilt. At last count, the number of boarding students is 212, while the number of day students is 113. The alumnae number approximately 5,990 worldwide. Learn more at www.porters.org.

photographs courtesy of miss porter school

Miss Porter’s School

Founded in 1848 in Blairstown, N.J., Blair Academy has decided to amplify its forward-thinking and collaborative philosophy with the opening of the state-of-the-art Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration (CIC). Designed to stir the imaginations of Blair’s students, CIC is home to the Fine Arts and Technology departments. The open-air architectural design boasts a Collaboration Forum, two media labs, art and ceramics studios, a maker space, and fully-outfitted technology classrooms. The layout enables groups of all sizes to convene for academic work and guest presentations. For example, CIC plays host to Blair’s famous Society of Skeptics lecture series. Individual students will also be able to pursue hands-on problem solving in the areas of the arts and technology, the goal being that these imaginative exercises will engage, inspire, and propel Blair students into college and beyond. Discover more at www.blair.edu.



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photographs courtesy of blair academy

Blair Academy

march 2018

2/9/18 12:25:10 PM

photographs courtesy of peddie school

Peddie School: The Signature Experience program at the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J. enables juniors and seniors to design their own program of independent research under the guidance of faculty mentors. Students have the freedom to fully immerse themselves in a subject matter of their choice, culminating in publicly sharing with the school-wide community what they have discovered. The Language Signature Experience takes the study of Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish out of the classroom and into the world at large. For example, Elizabeth DeMoine ’18 used her Signature Experience to offer free swimming lessons to low-income Spanish speakers in her area. DeMoine’s Spanish language skills enabled her to connect with and instruct members of the Hightstown community, fusing her love of Spanish, swimming, and teaching. The Research Science Signature Experience can take on any form that a student wishes, from researching child development to genetics or computer programming, all within a professional laboratory setting that is above and beyond what is typically available to a high school student. Cait Barrett ’17 chose to study zebrafish alongside graduate students in the Mullins Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Students with a passion for writing may be interested in pursuing a Creative Writing Signature Experience. Juniors and seniors will have access to Philadelphia and New York City, visiting professional writers, faculty advisors, electives, and guidance in submitting their novels, short stories, plays, poetry, or creative nonfiction for publication. Peer review and public readings are also a part of this intellectual experience. At the end of their coursework, Peddie students will have a substantial portfolio of original work. Recent Signature Experiences also include original coursework in the fine arts, performing arts, robotics, Asian studies, and scientific study. Another option for Peddie students is to pursue a Signature Experience the summer before their senior year. A faculty director will work with an

individual student during the winter and spring to develop the logistics of an independent course of summer study. Peter Le ’17 chose to travel to Uganda to develop and produce videos for a nonprofit organization that educated Ugandan youth on topics ranging from health to politics. As a result, Le learned to improvise, think on his feet, and see projects through from start to finish. “The whole point of the Signature Experience program is to teach you to work independently. That’s also the whole point of a Peddie education,” according to the school. Schedule a visit and tour at www.peddie.org.

march 2018

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THE LAWRENCEVILLE SCHOOL 2500 MAIN STREET LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ 08648 609-620-6683 summerscholars.lawrenceville.org

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Courtesy of Camp Quality New Jersey

A Home Away from Home:

Finding The Right Camp for Those with Different Needs by Wendy Greenberg



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photographs courtesy of Camp Lee Mar


rinceton University freshman Jack Aiello credits a special New Jersey camp for giving him the confidence to climb the Himalayas with the challenges associated with type 1 diabetes. Despite the unpredictable effect elevation can have on metabolism, his blood sugar numbers stayed under control. In a blog on the camp website he wrote, “Eight summers of living with peers and counselors who have diabetes have given me a tremendous amount of knowledge and confidence in managing diabetes... Camp gave me counselors who spent weeks camping in the wilderness, friends who cycled thousands of miles competitively, and dozens of role models and friends who always kept their diabetes under control—not the other way around.” Now as a counselor at Camp Nejeda in Stillwater, he cultivates the same type of empowering community that supported him as a camper. Nejeda is one of the many camps for youths with special medical issues or disabilities that are available to families who decide that camp is the best way to spend time during the summer. Camp Nejeda, celebrating its 60th anniversary next year, is among the camps in the tri-state area that support a growing population who might benefit from a camp that is focused on their needs. While there is no “official” list of camps for campers with special issues, there is information for parents from medical and advocacy organizations, and, of course, an internet replete with information.

Courtesy of Camp Quality New Jersey

good news: many options A spokesperson from the American Camp Association (ACA), New York and New Jersey chapter, says the right camp probably exists for the family who is willing to explore the options. “If a family is interested in sending their child with special needs to camp, the good news is there are many options, both private and nonprofit,” says Renee Flax, a camper placement specialist. The ACA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and enhancing the quality of the summer camp experience. It is the only independent accrediting organization reviewing camp operations in the country, based on the health, safety, and risk management aspects of a camp’s operation, and collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices at the camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation.

“There are both day and overnight camps for children and adults with varying special needs including mild, moderate, or severe disabilities,” says Flax. “There are special needs camps for children beginning as toddlers through adulthood for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities, diabetes, cancer, Asperger’s syndrome, and many other special needs. There are also camps that offer inclusion programs as well.” When seeking a camp, “It’s important to be up front and honest about your child’s needs with the camp director to ensure the camp is equipped to properly care for your child,” says Flax.

“a home away from home” At Camp Nejeda, one of the goals is to provide a traditional camp experience. “This is a place where the campers are just like everyone else and wearing an insulin pump or injecting insulin is not a big deal,” says Jennifer Passerini, director of development. Camp Nejeda is for campers with type 1 diabetes — a chronic condition in which the pancreas does not produce the insulin needed to allow glucose to enter cells to produce energy. It cannot be prevented and there is no cure. Director Bill Vierbuchen says the residential camp offers a zip line, archery, canoeing — basically what any camp would offer and more. There is also blood sugar testing and counting carbs. The 72-acre camp in Stillwater includes programs on nutrition and diabetes management. Campers come for one- or two-week sessions, most from the tri-state area, many from Mercer, Morris, and Somerset counties. Most campers return year after year. It is one of five independent nonprofit camps in the country for type 1 diabetes. Camp Nejeda also offers two summer day camps, one in New York City and one in Deptford. “It’s a home away from home,” says Passerini. “The kids just want to fit in. The psychological and social aspect of living with a chronic disease is often overlooked. Think about managing the disease for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Counselors are all alumni. “The value of having counselors with type 1 diabetes is that the campers find positive role models. Seeing the counselors successfully managing their diabetes is empowering,” added Passerni. Campers are referred by pediatric endocrinologists, school nurses, and those who work with the specific population. The specialized medical staff

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photographs courtesy of Camp Nejeda



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photographs courtesy of Camp Lee Mar

includes 15 nurses and a pediatric endocrinologist. A third-year family practice resident from Hunterdon Medical Center is present as well. Campers have opportunities for hands-on learning, such as how blood glucose levels may be affected by an adrenaline rush from the zip line, or how insulin doses are calculated based on food intake, stress levels, and physical activity. A knowledgeable camp staff is crucial for the campers’ well-being. A camp like Nejeda, a stand-alone nonprofit, does not survive without charitable support. “It is not research, but it has immediate impact on the campers today,” says Passerini. Donations help keep camp fees low, and provide scholarships pay the cost for many. New Jersey Camp Jaycee, an ARC of New Jersey residential summer camp for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, also takes pride in offering a comfortable camp experience. Its new director, Maureen Brennan, says, “Camp Jaycee becomes ‘a home away from home’ for not only many of our campers, but also for our staff. Both come from all over to enjoy the activities and outdoors.”

Camp Quality New Jersey operates from a site rented from the Newark YMCA’s Camp Linwood MacDonald in Sussex County. The campers, ages 5 to 17, are in remission with their cancer. “We run a one-on-one program,” Passy says. “Each child has his or her own companion and they keep in touch during the year. There is a three-day winter camp for teens in February and two family days that include the companions and the camper families.” The medical staff includes volunteers from CentraState, St. Peters University, and Robert Wood Johnson hospitals in New Jersey. “Parents welcome the experience for their kids to be like other kids,” he says. “They truly appreciate the camp. The children come back more mature and more able to handle their challenges. They are among other children with the same illness, and out of hospital settings. Basically, they have a lot of fun!”

Courtesy of Camp Quality New Jersey

one-on-one program

options for life skills Most parents will search the internet for appropriate camps, but Ari Segal, director of the overnight Camp Lee Mar in Lackawaxen, Pa., has this advice: “Speak to the camp director, but also speak with the family of a current camper. Most camps are happy to refer.” Segal is only the second owner of the 66-yearold Lee Mar, but when he had his own child with special needs six years into his directorship, his mission became more clear. While running a camp for children with mild to moderate neurological disabilities has challenges, such as special diets and the need for a low camper to staff ratio (1:3 in some instances), “seeing the pleasures that the children get out of camp is a real joy,” he says. “They don’t

Another camp for a very specialized group is Camp Quality USA New Jersey, for children with cancer. At Camp Quality, says Executive Director Al Passy, every camper is paired with a companion throughout their stay at camp and throughout the year. The camp’s origins are in Sydney, Australia and the New Jersey residential camp is one of 15 in the country. Camp Quality is a typical camp with Camp Quality New Jersey Camp Director Kait DeGennaro, baseball, campfires, swimming, and a full range of and Executive Director Al Passy. summer camp activities and recreational programs. The volunteer-driven and community-funded nonprofit is held for one week want camp to end.” Lee Mar offers an academic and speech program. The staff will follow during the summer, and runs on the gifts of donors and supporters. A gala is held each April, notes Passy, to help fund programs throughout the year. Extended School Year goals (agreed upon in meetings with school districts),

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and Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals. Some, but not all, school districts may help with camp tuition if a camper is considered to be maintaining yearlong goals. The seven-week program gives campers, who come from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and around the world, time to acclimate. It also offers the Living Independently Functional Education (LIFE) program, which takes campers to supermarkets, banks, and into the community, and readies them for independent living. The camp is for ages 7 to 21, but alumni with disabilities often consider vacations through The Guided Tour, Segal’s travel and vacation program for adults with disabilities.

INCLUSION Some camps welcome neurotypical campers or siblings alongside their campers with special needs. Mane Stream therapeutic riding camp in Oldwick is an inclusive summer day camp for children with special needs, their siblings, and their typically developing peers. The activities, mostly based on horses and riding, promote A sampling of summer options for those with special needs and/or medical issues: Camp Lee Mar, in Lackawaxen, Pa., is a residential camp for youths ages 7 through 21. 215.658.1708; www.leemar.com Camp Nejeda is a residential camp for campers ages 7 to 15 with type 1 diabetes. 973.383.2611; www.campnejeda.org Camp Quality USA New Jersey is a residential camp for youths ages 5 to 17 whose cancer is in remission. 732.845.1958; www.campqualityusa.org/nj Camp Ramapo, in Rhinebeck, N.Y., is a residential summer camp that serves children ages 6 to 16 who are affected by social, emotional, or learning challenges including children affected

independence, self-conďŹ dence, team building, and socialization while allowing each camper to explore and discover new skills, according to its website. Rebecca Wanatick, manager of community inclusion and program services for the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, which covers Essex, Morris, Sussex, Somerset, and Union counties, noted that two area Jewish community center day camps offer inclusion to campers with disabilities: Camp Deeny Riback in Flanders and Camp Yachad in Scotch Plains. Many in the camp ďŹ eld, like Wanatick, will answer questions and guide parents. Parents who are looking for a camp can call her and she will ask about their needs, whether they want indoor or outdoor, and “work with a family on what their child would need to be most successful in a camp setting.â€? The camps, by their nature, meet social/emotional goals on a daily basis. “There are absolutely more options,â€? she says. “More overnight camps, and more camps open to including campers with disabilities. Inclusion beneďŹ ts everyone, not just the campers with special needs, and reects our diverse world.â€?

by autism spectrum disorders. 845.876.8403; www.ramapoforchildren.org Comfort Zone Camp, for children grieving the loss of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. Various locations. 866.488.5679; www.comfortzonecamp.org Hamilton Area YMCA SKOR and SOAR, Special Kids Organized Recreation and Special Organized Adult Recreation programs for individuals with intellectual, physical, and/or emotional disabilities. Contact Tyler Koerber at 609.581.9622, ext. 122 or tkoerber@ hamiltonymca.org Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children, in Avalon, is a camp for children ages 7 to 15 with a visual impairment. Camp ofďŹ ce: 609.967.7285, offseason: 610. 329.6133; www.dillerblindhome.org

Monmouth County Parks offers therapeutic recreation in Colts Neck with several camps for those with disabilities. 732.460.1167, ext. 22 and 24; email: therapeutic.recreation@monmouthcountyparks.com New Jersey Camp Jaycee is a residential summer camp for children and adults with intellectual disabilities located in Effort, Pa., and run by The ARC of New Jersey. 732.737.8279; www.campjaycee.org One Happy Camper NJ offers help with Jewish camp options. 973.929.2970; www.onehappycampernj.org Also, families can call the American Camp Association, NY and NJ, for free, one-on-one advice in navigating the many special needs camps options at 212.391.5208. It also offers a list of camps that are ACA-accredited.


visit theisoldicollection.com or call 908-787-5990


visit theisoldicollection.com or call 908-787-5990

5 Kimball Circle, Westfield $2,995,000 | 5 Bedrooms | 4.2 Baths

Iconic residence on one of Westfield’s most prestigious streets. Stunningly appointed throughout, this home offers three levels of living space including five bedrooms, four full and two half baths, including a master suite with a spa like bath. Lower level includes rec room with wet bar, media room, game room, gym and wine cellar. Nestled on slightly over an acre of magnificently landscaped grounds featuring Pugliese saltwater pool and hot tub, multiple patios and seating areas and a built-in TudorjustOval, Westfield fireplace. Exquisite, private9setting minutes to downtown shopping, dining and NYC transportation. one of a kind residence to be missed! 4This Bedrooms | 2.1 Bathsis |not$895,000

Westfield Area Homes by 9 Tudor Frank D. Isoldi

Oval, Westfield 4 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | $895,000 Broker / Sales Associate Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

908-787-5990 WestfieldCell: Area Homes by Frank D. Isoldi

For more follow on Instagram @frankdisoldi | twitter @homeswestfield

209 Central Avenue, Westfield Office: 908-233-5555 x202

Š2017 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell BankerŠ and the Coldwell Banker logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.



Broker / Sales Associate MARCH 2018 Residential Brokerage Coldwell Banker

Cell: 908-787-5990 UA_CampsSpecialNeeds Feb 18.indd 6

For more follow on Instagram @frankdisoldi | twitter @homeswestfield

209 Central Avenue, Westfield 2/26/18 x202 10:27:41 AM Office: 908-233-5555

Š2017 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.

Far Hills Country Day School:

Preparing Young Minds to Change the World

by Laurie Pellichero

photography courtesy of Far Hills Country Day School


et on 54 acres in Far Hills, N.J., about an hour west of New York City, Far Hills Country Day School is a private, co-educational day school for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school was founded in 1929 on the principles of the Progressive Education Movement, and believes in a balanced approach to learning that includes solid academics paired with valuable life skills and character development. The school’s “whole child” philosophy includes an emphasis on classroom personalization and differentiation. “At Far Hills, we focus on strength of mind and strength of character,” says Head of School Tom Woelper. “We work to empower each learner, both where they are and where they need to be.” The core curriculum in reading, writing, languages, math, and science is designed and taught by dedicated specialists. A variety of active, engaging, hands-on teaching methods are combined to provide intimate, individualized, level-specific education that is designed to unlock each child’s potential. “The true Far Hills difference lies in identifying and embracing every opportunity to integrate relevant, experiential, character-forming lessons into each classroom and social interaction,” says Woelper. “Apart from a strong focus on academic achievement, we strive to inspire resourcefulness, resilience, integrity, self-control, and other invaluable traits that lay the foundation for lifelong success.” Features of the Far Hills campus include learning gardens; computer labs; media centers; a state-of-the-art performing arts center; and a large athletics center with a climbing wall, outdoor fields, tennis courts, and a ropes challenge course. There are also meadows, ponds, and woodlands to enjoy and explore. Multi-disciplinary learning programs such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) help develop important life skills such as creativity, teamwork, resilience, and time management. The Far Hills World Language Department offers students the opportunity to study Mandarin, Spanish, and/or Latin.

“We prepare students for success in the modern world,” says Woelper. “We offer programs like 1-to-World and Robotics to prepare them for the world that will be, not the world that was.” Far Hills Country Day School also encourages and embraces all aspects of diversity. The staff believes that different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas strengthen the learning experience for everyone in the community. “We are committed to maintaining and enhancing an inclusive environment where we explore, understand, and value our shared experience and the unique characteristics and beliefs of every human being,” says Woelper. “We seek to learn from and celebrate the differences within our community and around the world.” Woelper emphasized that the school has a family atmosphere, where the children are all known and loved. “We like to preserve childhood for our kids,” says Woelper, who added that the upper school students act as leaders for the younger students. Woelper says that Far Hills has a strong secondary school placement record, with about 40 percent of the students going to on boarding schools and 60 percent to day schools. “Our graduates to go the best boarding schools and best area day schools,” he says. “We are proud of our secondary school placement.” The Far Hills Country Day School Alumni Hall of Honor includes mezzosoprano Frederica von Stade ’60; President and CEO of Forbes, Inc., Malcolm “Steve” Forbes Jr. ’62; and Christine Todd Whitman ‘61, New Jersey’s first elected female governor and head of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2001-2003. The school also offers one-week Smart Fun Camps on campus for eight weeks each summer. The camps reflect the same philosophy as the school’s classrooms, with small group sizes allowing for more attentive instruction, experiential learning, and lots of fun. Registration is now open for the next sessions, which run from June 18 through August 10. For more about Far Hills Country Day School, call 908.766.0622 or visit the website at www.fhcds.org.

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BY ILENE DUBE “A s a p r u n i s t h e s w e e t g o o d b y e o f w i n t e r. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.” — John Burroughs



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Senior Naturalist Allison Jackson drills into a red maple before placing the spile, where the sap flows from the tree.

aine and Vermont may lure visitors with excursions to sugar shacks, and their tourist centers delight children of all ages with boxes of maple leaf-shaped sugary treats, but the joys of maple sugaring can be had without leaving the Garden State. While 75 percent of U.S. maple syrup comes from New York and New England, the maple syrup producing region extends south to Tennessee and west to Minnesota. In New Jersey, there are statewide opportunities to witness maple syrup being made, from tree tapping to sap boiling. On a late fall day, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association Education Director Jeff Hoagland and Education Manager Pat Heaney led a visitor around the Watershed Reserve on Titus Mill Road in Hopewell Township to see some of the maple trees that would be tapped in January. When done properly, tapping maple trees does no harm. Hoagland describes maple sugaring as a celebration bookending the winter solstice. “It’s still winter on the calendar, but we can hear the tree frogs and birds waking.” The Watershed only taps about 12 trees, and for educational purposes only. A maple sugaring hike and brunch is offered in March, during which participants visit tapped trees, learn about the process to convert maple sap to syrup, and see the evaporation station before indulging in pancakes slathered with syrup from the Watershed Reserve’s trees. For more information, go to www.thewatershed.org. “We’re bringing science to life,” says Hoagland. “There’s a magical quality to it. People come here for the wonder—we want them to understand the science and the issues, and learn what they can do on their own property. It’s a hands-on immersive experience, identifying the trees, seeing their layers, hearing Native American stories.” One such tale is that the creator gave the maple tree as a sweet gift. At that time, all you had to do was break off a branch and the syrup flowed like honey. But soon the village was in disrepair, the fields were overgrown, and the fires had grown cold. The creator sent an ambassador to find out what had gone wrong and the ambassador found the villagers lying on their backs, drunk with maple syrup. The syrup had fattened

them up and they could not move. To teach them a lesson, the creator watered down the sap. Now it would only flow once a year, and in order to harvest it they would need to build buckets from birch bark. They would need to gather wood to make fires to boil the sap. Hoagland, who has been with the Watershed for 33 years, first cooked sap over a wood fire in 1984 for the Watershed’s program on Colonialera techniques. Since then, the process of tapping trees has not changed much, although one year he experimented with a batch of maple sap beer. In the early years, the spile, or spigot for extracting maple, was made from staghorn sumac. Now it is made from metal or plastic. And whereas Native Americans used dugout tulip trees for buckets and gourds, metal buckets are used to gather sap. It takes about 40 years for a tree to reach the point at which it can be tapped healthily, estimate Hoagland and Heaney. While climate change may alter the timing of the sap run (see below), Hoagland says you know the tree is ready when you see the buds open—that’s when the sugar has gone back up into the tree. Below freezing temperatures at night and above freezing during the day cause the expansion and contraction that moves the sugar up. “It used to be at the end of February to mid-March—now it can be as early as January,” says Hoagland. “The dramatic change in climate makes the tree more vulnerable to predators such as tent caterpillars and gypsy moths.” Landscape design has evolved for maple sugaring. “Everyone who built houses in the 18th and 19th centuries planted a beautiful shade tree over it,” says Hoagland. There are two such maple trees on the former residence on the Watershed Reserve, but after 20 years of continuous tapping, these trees are being given a break. “You can do three taps a year without doing harm to the tree,” says Heaney. “That’s the industry standard.” Drilling is done on the south side of the tree, where the sap has warmed in the sun. The tree will heal within two years, adds Heaney. The yellow-bellied sapsucker—“nature’s driller”—is another sign that it’s time to tap the tree. Squirrels, meanwhile, scurry to the end of the branches to get what everyone else has missed. “We all live happy together,” says Hoagland.

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Photograph courtesy of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

A solitary hiker explores the trails on the 950-acre Watershed Reserve during a frosty winter day.

“We’re the greedy ones with the big drill,” adds Heaney. At the Watershed, the sap is boiled into syrup on the cook stove in the new Education Center. “It’s a great wallpaper remover,” jokes Hoagland of a process that yields a tremendous amount of steam. “With two burners going, you can set off the alarm—and then feel rain coming from the ceiling. We open the windows and clouds form.” Pictures of the classical sugar house show it with plumes of steam evanescing from the windows. Before the Civil War, when no other sweeteners were grown in the U.S., maple sugar was a big industry. Native Americans made maple sugar, which has a longer shelf life—maple syrup requires refrigeration. When cane sugar, a more cost-effective sweetener, began to be imported from the Caribbean, maple sugar production took a nose dive. Other trees, such as birch and black walnut, can also be tapped for syrup but may not be to everyone’s taste, says Hoagland. And trees such as the invasive Norway maple produce a sap with undesirable characteristics, according to the Cornell University website.

FROM STARCH TO SUGAR The sugar maple is first choice for making maple syrup as there is more sugar in the sap compared to other species, such as red or silver maple, meaning it will take less sap to produce a gallon of syrup. In the fall, maple trees re-absorb chlorophyll, but they don’t let it go to waste—the color that you see is the pigments that aren’t re-absorbed. Trees with higher sugar content tend to have the brighter foliage in the fall. The sugar maple tree stores starch in its trunk and roots before winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Freezing nights and thawing days make for heavy sap flow. The trees are tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap. The sap is then boiled to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup. The sap must be filtered before boiling, then again halfway through the boiling process to remove bark, ants, moths, and debris. Maple sap becomes maple syrup at 219 1/4 degrees. A natural sweetener, maple syrup is touted as being healthier than



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processed pancake syrups such as Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima. Maple syrup contains naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium, according to the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association (an organization that exists to promote maple sugar). Like broccoli and bananas, maple syrup is a natural source of beneficial antioxidants, which have been shown to help prevent cancer, support the immune system, lower blood pressure, and slow the effects of aging. Maple syrup is more nutritious than other sweeteners, packing one of the lowest calorie levels, and has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities. In addition, researchers have found that pure maple syrup contains phenolic compounds, commonly found in plants and agricultural products such as blueberries, tea, red wine, and flaxseed. Some of these compounds may benefit health in significant ways (see charts). Maple syrup can also be used as a skin tonic, according to Maine Maple Producers, which claims that maple syrup can help to lower skin inflammation, redness, blemishes, and dryness. Combined with milk or yogurt, rolled oats, and raw honey and applied as a mask, the mixture can hydrate skin while reducing bacteria and signs of irritation. And the amber-colored liquid is not just for pancakes and waffles. Maple syrup can be substituted for sugar in baking, and is used to flavor everything from bacon to chicken, salmon, and carrots. On a less-than-sweet note, climate change is negatively impacting maple sugaring. As temperatures have climbed, the tapping season in New York and New England starts about eight days earlier and ends 11 days earlier than 50 years ago, according to Princeton-based Climate Central. Higher temperatures mean less sugar in the sap, and so more sap per gallon of syrup is required. During hot periods outside of winter, the sugar within the sap can be reduced by 40 percent. A century ago, 80 percent of global maple syrup production was based in the U.S., with 20 percent in Canada. Those figures are now reversed, with climate change likely playing a role, along with advances in sap collecting and Canadian subsidies. With no change in greenhouse gas emissions rates, Climate Central estimates that tap season may start 30 days earlier by 2100.

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Photographs courtesy of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

The Watershed's Senior Naturalist Allison Jackson explains to captivated youngsters how the maple sap will be boiled down into syrup.

Once collected, the maple sap is continuously boiled down for hours to reduce it into sweet maple syrup as participants wait in eager anticipation during a previous spring brunch. march 2018

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Yellow-bellied sapsucker, photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.com. URBAN AGENDA MAGAZINE


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% of Recommended Daily Value in mg per 1/4 cup or 60 ml portion.

Maple Syrup

Corn Syrup


Brown Sugar

Native Americans were the first to discover that sap from the maple tree tastes sweet. They collected the sap to drink, marinate their meat, and boil down to crystallized maple sugar. They did not make maple syrup because it was difficult to store, but they were able to use the crystallized sugar all year long. Early European settlers who arrived in New England learned this process from the Native Americans. Thomas Jefferson enjoyed maple sugar so much that he planted a grove of sugar maples at Monticello, his home in Virginia.

White Sugar

Manganese Riboflavin Zinc Magnesium Calcium Potassium

95 37 6 7 5 5

0 1 0 0 0 0

4 2 2 1 0 1

2 0 0 2 4 1

0 1 0 0 0 0







Sugaring Weather

SOURCE: Canadian Nutrient File, 2007 (Health Canada) and US Food and Drug Administration Nutrient Database.

In New Jersey, maple sap begins to flow when the nights fall below freezing and the days warm to above freezing. During this time you may also see icicles, a sign of sugaring weather. Generally, the season lasts three to four weeks followed by spring.


ORAC Value 100g of Fresh Product

Broccoli, raw

ORAC Value per serving

Sugar Content


Broccoli, raw

Banana, raw


Banana, raw

1/2 cup (46g)


Carrot, raw


Carrot, raw

1 (72g)


Maple Syrup


Maple Syrup

1/4 cup (60 ml/80g)


Cabbage, raw


Cabbage, raw

1 medium (123g)


Tomato, raw


Tomato, raw

1/2 cup (85g)





1/2 cup (37g)


1 medium (118g)


SOURCE: USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods. Maple syrup antioxidant results from Brunswick Laboratories USDA certified facility.

3. Collect the sap as soon as possible so it can be processed before it spoils. 4. Boil sap until it is reduced from two percent sugar and 98 percent water to 67 percent sugar and 33 percent water. 5. Bottle and enjoy the finished syrup. Maple Syrup Grades The grading system for syrup was established by the USDA based on color. Grade A Light Amber Flavor: Mild, most delicate maple flavor Time: Made earlier in the season when the weather is colder Use: Maple candy and maple cream Grade A Medium Amber Flavor: Easily discernible maple flavor Time: Made after the sugaring season begins to warm

You can make syrup from the sap of any maple tree, but the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) produces sap with the greatest sugar content—up to two percent. Other maple trees have one percent or less. The sap is boiled in an evaporator, a special stove used for making maple syrup. The syrup is done when the sugar content is 67 percent.

Use: Most popular grade of table syrup

Five Steps to Syrup

Flavor: Strong maple and caramel flavor

1. Tap a maple tree that is at least 10 inches in diameter. Tap on the sunny south side of the tree. 2. Hang a bucket by hammering a spile with an attached hook into the hole.

Grade A Dark Amber Flavor: Strong maple flavor Time: Made later in the season as the days get longer and warmer Use: Table and baking Grade B

Time: Last syrup made in the season Use: Baking (Source: NJ DEP)


Vermont is the largest producer in the United States, generating about five and a half percent of the global supply. It takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Maple syrup is boiled even further to produce maple cream, maple sugar, and maple candy. Maple syrup boiled at Sweet Sourland Farms is offered for sale at the Watershed’s Maple Sugaring Brunch & Hike.

It takes one gallon of maple syrup to produce eight pounds of maple candy or sugar. A gallon of maple syrup weighs 11 pounds. Usually a maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped. As the tree increases in diameter, more taps can be added – up to a maximum of four taps. Tapping does no permanent damage, and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years. Each tap will yield an average of 10 gallons of sap per season, producing about one quart of syrup. The maple season may last eight to 10 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for about 10-20 days in the early spring. (Source: mobile-cuisine.com, provided by Pam Podger, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association)

Samples of maple syrup for dipping into with tasty pancakes are available for hungry hikers at the spring brunch.



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The Canadian province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for about three-quarters of the world’s output; Canadian exports of maple syrup exceed $141 million USD per year.

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SWEET SOURLAND FARMS Charlize Katzenbach, Princeton University Class of 1971, farms the property she grew up on in Hopewell Township. At Sweet Sourland Farms, Katzenbach has a few hundred sugar and red maples on tap. She uses a wood-fired evaporator in the sugar house to make about 50 to 100 gallons of pure maple syrup a year, depending upon weather conditions. Sap is collected with a tubing on a vacuum system at sundown each day, and boiled at night. Katzenbach and her wife, Bru, experienced their first taps at Howell Farm more that 30 years ago. After seeing a demonstration there, the Katzenbachs purchased a spile, the tapping device used to direct sap from the tree into a collecting vessel, and gave it as a birthday gift to a friend who had 150 maples on his property. When the friend relocated to New Mexico, the Katzenbachs acquired his stainless-steel evaporator machine. Over the years, the Katzenbachs have refined the process by which the sap is collected, using tubing and a vacuum pump to bring it uphill to a tank in the sugarhouse that Charlize built for the purpose. The multichambered evaporator converts the sap to syrup, powered by waste wood from the farm’s sawmill. The maples on the 27-acre farm, which was featured in the documentary Sourlands, are indigenous to the area. Some are hundreds of years old, some are 40 to 50 years old. Sweet Sourland Farms sells its maple syrup, but suggests visiting the other farms listed to view the operation. Sweet Sourland Farms, 90 Lambertville-Hopewell Road, Hopewell; www.localharvest.org/sweet-sourland-farms-M22027.

HOWELL LIVING HISTORY FARM Sign up for maple sugaring at Howell Living History Farm, where there are 150 maple trees for tapping, and you’ll be put to work cutting firewood for sap boiling—the first step in preparing for a sugaring operation. Participants will keep warm by sawing wood with a two-person saw and splitting wood with a wedge and hammer, and will learn about varieties

of wood and their use for fuel, buildings, fencing, and/or tools. They will also learn to identify a sugar maple tree, tap the tree, and taste the sap, if it is flowing. Visitors may also load some of the sap on a horse- or oxen-drawn wagon to take back to the farm for boiling in an evaporator. Then, using wheat grown on the farm, participants can help grind and sift flour and take a turn churning butter. Learn about the conveniences of a circa-1900 kitchen while you sample a pancake topped with homemade butter and maple syrup. Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Lambertville; www. howellfarm.org.

ADDITIONAL MAPLE SUGARING OPTIONS INCLUDE: ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge; www.somersetcountyparks.org. A 90-minute program is conducted at the Sugar Shack, a half-mile hike from the EEC. Participants are advised to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Boots are recommended as the trails can be wet, muddy, and/or covered by snow.

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2/26/18 1:15:54 PM

From Cutting-Edge Design to Savory New Eateries:

Discover Downtown Somerville From Vision to Reality at Design Studio of Somerville

New Eateries Heat Up Downtown Somerville Dining Scene

Whether you are updating a single room, decorating an entire home, or simply looking for unique gifts and stylish accessories, Design Studio of Somerville (DSOS) is your full-service design firm and retail boutique destination. The 3,000-square-foot design showroom and luxury home shop are filled with a well curated, eclectic mix of décor and furniture, bringing a jolt of high energy style to the center of Somerville. With almost 30 years of experience and a broad range of style perspectives, owner Tom Sfisco and the DSOS design pros bring your visions to life, and strive to make the design process an enjoyable one. Your inspiration, combined with their design expertise, results in a home that you will love to live in. The Design Studio of Somerville flagship store is located at 67 W. Main Street in Downtown Somerville; www.dsosdesign.com. Whatever your needs or budget, they invite you to talk with them about the possibilities that await you.

The Salad House, a fast-casual restaurant specializing in fresh customized and signature salads, is just one of several new eateries and cafes that have recently opened downtown, with several more slated to open soon—including Somerset County’s first brewpub. “Downtown Somerville has certainly earned its reputation as a foodie destination, with more than 45 popular restaurants and eateries to please every palate,” said Beth Anne MacDonald, executive director of the Downtown Somerville Alliance. “You can eat your way around the world here from Greek, Asian, Cuban, New American, French-inspired, Italian, Irish, and more, but this year is particularly exciting because we’ve got several new concept restaurants and cafes that will add some new flavor to the downtown.” The Salad House joins several newly-opened restaurants in the downtown area including Kuay Tiew Noodles and More, serving authentic cuisine; and Fresh Tiki Bar, a café and juice bar specializing in smoothy bowls, fresh fruit smoothies, juices, and more. Kuay Tiew opened in late 2017, and its signature noodle, soup, and rice dishes are garnering rave reviews. Slated to open this spring are the Village Brewing Company, Somerset County’s first brewpub, serving its own micro brews and progressive American cuisine; and Grumpy Bobas, a bubble tea café, offering premium customizable fruit and milk teas using whole and organic ingredients whenever possible. “We’re so excited to bring our one-of-a-kind bubble teas to Somerville,” said Grumpy Bobas owner Yanshu Liu. “Somerville is such an eclectic downtown, with so many small, independent businesses offering unique products and experiences. We think we’ll fit right in.” Downtown Somerville’s New Restaurants and Cafes: The Salad House, 58 West Main Street; www.thesaladhouse.com Kuay Tiew Noodles and More, 42 West Main Street; www.ktsomerville.com Fresh Tiki Bar, 15C Division Street; www.facebook.com/FreshTikiBar Village Brewing Company, 34 West Main Street; www.villagebrewing.com Grumpy Bobas, 72 West Main Street; www.facebook.com/grumpybobas

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HAVE THE HOME YOU LOVE TO LIVE IN Your inspiration. Our design expertise. With over twenty five years of experience, our design professionals will work with you to create a home that reflects your personal style, from classic to modern and everything in between. Together we’ll achieve an inviting home you love – all you’ll need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy. Visit our flagship store in Downtown Somerville for an inspired shopping experience. Unique gifts, stylish accessories, and extraordinary furniture – Design Studio has it all!

67 West Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876 908.685.1921 • www.dsosdesign.com



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1. Grateful Bites: Cascading Spring Wedding Cake: Hand-crafted design by our CIA-trained decorators with sugar paste roses, eucalyptus, dusty miller, and white hydrangea. All wedding cakes can be designed by consult — make your wedding dreams come true today. 908.782.3458, ext. 2; www.gratefulbites.com/order. 2., 7. Le Bon Magot: A multi-award-winning, woman-owned specialty food business offering distinctive flavors of chutneys, pickles, and preserves created from unique spice blends, unusual ingredients, and innovative treatments of traditional recipes. All are made in small batches using only the freshest produce and highest quality spices with no additives, preservatives, or gluten. 609.477.2847; www.lebonmagot.com. 3., 4., 5. Design Studio of Somerville: The Design Studio of Somerville transforms homes into extraordinary places of comfort, character, and charm. The right choice and placement of an

accessory can enhance the décor and feeling of a room instantly. The Design Studio of Somerville has a unique collection of beautiful mirrors, artwork, pillows, trays, lighting, and anything you can imagine to put the finishing touches on every room in your home. Our designers will come out to your home and evaluate your accessory needs. Creamer/Lait, $12; Honey/Miele, $22; Sugar/ Sucre, $15. 908.685.1921; www.dsosdesign.com. 6. Rich’s Micro Roast: We roast locally in Hainesport, New Jersey, every day. When you receive your delivery, it is guaranteed fresh. We start with superior, quality beans that are sourced from around the world, environmentally responsible, rainforest certified, organic, and Fair Trade. We roast in small batches based on fluid bed roasting, using clean electricity and hot air. No flame means that it’s environmentally friendly. We have a variety of flavors and offer 12oz Cold Brew, and a brand new Cold Brew Coffee Soda. 609.510.2614; www.richsmicroroast.com.








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2/19/18 12:01:13 PM


The Culture of Summer Camp




ummer camps in literature are not easy to track down. One that comes immediately to mind is J.D. Salinger ’s Camp Hapworth, from which 7-year-old Seymour Glass pens the longest summer camp letter ever written. The last work by Salinger released for public consumption, “Hapworth 16, 1924,” which runs between pages 32-113 in the June 19, 1965 New Yorker, offers a unique — which is to say Salingeresque — view of camp life at Hapworth Lake in Maine. Then there’s Humbert Humbert’s favorite camper, Dolores Haze. Readers of Vladimir Nabokov’s landmark 1955 novel Lolita and viewers of the 1962 Stanley Kubrick film may recall Lo’s eventful stay at all-girl Camp Q in the Adirondacks, where she is deflowered by the camp mistress’s son Charlie, the only male on the scene. Having never been to a summer camp, my sense of the experience depends on films like Moonrise Kingdom (2012), where two 12-yearold misfits meet at Camp Ivanhoe, fall in love, and survive adult interference. Glimpses of camp life can also be found in the movie version of Herman Wouk’s 1958 best-seller Marjorie Morningstar, which was filmed at the real-life Camp Cayuga, where the heroine of the title, played by Natalie Wood, works as a counselor. Wouk provides a more detailed look at camp life in his first novel City Boy (1948), in which a Jewish kid from the Bronx named Herbie Bookbinder spends a summer at Camp Manitou in the Berkshires. In the 1951 film version, Herbie is transformed into a girl named Betty played by Margaret O’Brien, with the title changed to Her First Romance.



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The place to go online for everything you want or need to know on the subject is Summer Camp Culture ( w w w. s u m m e rc a m p c u l t u re . c o m ) . There I learned that in Anna Kendrick’s memoir Scrappy Little Nobody (Touchstone 2016), the singer and Academy Awardnominated actress writes about the making of Camp (2003), her first film, where she plays Fritzi, “a weird girl with greasy hair and terrible clothes,” who goes from being the nerdy loser to the cut-throat star of Camp Ovation’s production of Company. I also learned from Summer Camp Culture that David Sax’s The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter (PublicAffairs 2016) contains an epilogue about the author ’s return visit to Camp Walden in Ontario: “Very little had changed since I left Walden half a lifetime ago. The buildings looked the same; the water had the same metallic taste; the crickets chirped the same staccato tune. Towels and clothes still hung from the front of each cabin’s laundry line, and music blared on loudspeakers throughout camp, announcing the next activity. Boys sprinted from place to place, seemingly for no reason other than they could, and girls made up songs while braiding one another ’s hair. Campers still read Archie comics and made macrame bracelets. They even dressed in the same outfits: Teva sandals, baggy Roots sweatpants, college T-shirts. The conversations I overheard could have been plucked from any summer over the past half-century.”

NETFLIX CAMPERS Two summer camp celebrities are appearing in two recent Netflix shows. Noah Schnaap, who still attends Camp Echo Lake in upstate New York, plays Will Byers, the boy who comes back from the Upside Down in season two of Stranger Things. In a video filmed at the camp, where he’s been going since he was 7, Noah thanks the fans who have written him “from all over the world” and talks about having fun playing soccer and baseball and tennis and swimming in the lake. Star of the otherworldly OA, Brit Marling says she was sent home from summer camp because the stories she was telling were scaring her bunkmates. Speaking at the Vulture Festival, she explained, “I was staying at a sleepaway girls camp and the cabin was made of wood with eyes in it. I started telling the other girls in the cabin this ghost story. I told them the knots in the wood were eyes of ghosts and this ground was where there had been a massacre and everyone in the massacre was staring down at us in the eyes of the cabin.” The OA has been renewed for a second season and a third season is planned for Stranger Things. While most summer camp books are geared toward tweens and teens, an exceptions is Sleepaway: Writings on Summer Camp (Riverhead 2005), a collection edited by Eric Simonoff, a onetime literary agent who spent ten straight summers at Joseph & Betty Harlam Camp. The contributors include Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. Le Guin, David Sedaris, ZZ Packer, Kevin Canty, and Gahan Wilson. Mandy Berman’s Perennials (Random House 2017), which The New York Times Book

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Review hails as “a captivating debut novel,” is set at Camp Marigold, where Fiona and Rachel first meet, become friends, and then return six years later as counselors. While Fiona likes being a counselor to 9-year-olds because she can “talk about real things with them: their lives at home and their friends and the things they like to do — ride horses or swim or dance or draw,” Rachel says her girls talk only about boys. The reviewer finds that “Berman skillfully captures the details and rituals of camp. It’s a place where freedom from the roles young people play at home lets them become who they are. And where, for those who return year after year, a girl can retrace her steps, see all the parts of herself past and present, with the occasional glimpse into the future.” Meg Wolitzer ’s best-seller The Interestings (Riverhead 2016) has received wide acclaim. According to O, The Oprah Magazine, this “lovely, wise book” begins with the main character an outsider at an arts camp who is “accepted into a clique of teenagers with whom she forms a lifelong bond. Through well-tuned drama and compassionate humor, Wolitzer chronicles the living organism that is friendship.”

LETTERS HOME Typical of the summer camp genre are Abrams paperbacks P.S. I Hate It Here: Kids’ Letters from Camp and the sequel P.S. I Still Hate It Here, both edited by Diane Falanga, a mother of two, who put the books together after receiving her 8-year-old daughter ’s letters home from camp. San Diego Family Magazine says, “This collection of kids’

actual letters home brings back all the hilarity and homesickness of sleepaway camp. Each image displays children’s creative spelling, their pleading to be picked up or for permission to stay ‘just two more weeks.’ Parents and seasoned campers will enjoy reading this collection and laughing at (or commiserating with) these familiar dilemmas.” Probably the most popular purveyor of the Jewish summer camp experience was Allan Sherman’s hit single “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” about life at Camp Grenada sung to the tune of Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours.” The record reached No. 2 on the 1963 Billboard chart. A typical chorus is: “All the counselors hate the waiters/And the lake has alligators/ And the head coach wants no sissies/ So he reads to us from something called Ulysses.”

THE MISSING LETTER Still, nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to J.D. Salinger ’s vision of life at Camp Hapworth by way of a fabulously well-read 7-yearold channeling Jane Austen and Vivekananda. This literary tour de force in the guise of a letter is a stunning act of imagination in the way it brazenly and joyfully creates its own language and its own voice. Twenty years ago a small publisher was planning to bring it out in book form when the author was scared off by churlish denizens of the lit chat establishment. The world has been promised publication of new work by Salinger sometime before 2020, but so far his heirs have been unwilling to release it.


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2/26/18 12:23:19 PM

Musical Community Building The Choirs of The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC




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Members of the bergenPAC Chamber Chorus join Kristin Chenoweth (center) for a performance. Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Chenoweth’s music director and accompanist, is at the piano. Photo by Jeremy Lebled. (opposite) Kristin Chenoweth (front) sings at bergenPAC, joined by the Performing Arts School’s Chamber Chorus. Photo by Jeremy Lebled.


was really amazing to meet Kristin Chenoweth, and perform with her,” says Jacqueline Lutz of Demarest. Lutz, 9, has been a member of the Chamber Chorus of The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC for two years, in addition to singing in the choir at Luther Lee Emerson School. The Chamber Chorus joined Chenoweth onstage for her December 10 show at the Bergen Performing Arts Center — or bergenPAC — in Englewood; the event was part of bergenPAC’s Benzel-Busch Concert Series. They performed two songs with her: “Upon this Rock” and “Reasons for Hope.” Before the concert, they also performed in the lobby. “We sang two songs: ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and an arrangement, by Kirby Shaw, of ‘This Little Light of Mine,’” says Pastor Jeffrey A. Bryant, the director of the chorus. Becky Serico, the managing director of The Performing Arts School, says that Chenoweth “was absolutely a dream to work with. She was so kind and generous with the kids. We’re lucky, because Dominic Roncace, the president and CEO of bergenPAC, is passionate about education. He is always helping us get opportunities to perform on the main stage. These kids are committed because they know that there’s something really exciting to work towards: ‘If I work hard, I’m going to get to perform with Kristin Chenoweth!’” Bryant adds that Chenoweth, the Broadway and television star whose concerts have sold out at venues such as Carnegie Hall, “is one of their idols. When they found out that we were doing the show, they were ecstatic about performing in the same theater with her. When they got to the sound check, that’s when we met her. Her spirit was just so sweet.” The chorus had only two rehearsals in which to prepare for the concert. “We had to learn music in a two-week time span, for a concert, and they did it,” Bryant says. “They learned music in two weeks, one rehearsal per week.” “That’s the real world,” Serico observes. “So I think that was a real learning experience. You’ve got to be ready, you’ve got to have the technique, and you’ve got to know your stuff. It’s intense.” The young singers “memorized everything, and the show was great,” Bryant says. “Their persistence is mind-blowing to see. They push themselves to the limit.”

Jewelry for Scholarships For the ninth consecutive year, Norma Wellington — a jewelry designer who is based in Northern New Jersey, and has a piece in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute — supported the scholarship fund at The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC. On the day of Chenoweth’s concert, Wellington hosted a reception during which models wore her pieces, and she donated 25 percent of her sales from the event. “I was there at nine; the [jewelry] show opened at twelve,” Wellington remembers. “It takes a long time to set up, because I had over 300 pieces. So I was there until Kristin Chenoweth ended and everybody left, just to make sure there were no additional sales, because it really makes me very happy to be able to give scholarships. Each scholarship is for an entire year, so a kid gets a great opportunity.” She adds, “I had quite a lot of volunteers: models, sellers, and cashiers. So a lot of people were involved. Some of them had never been exposed to bergenPAC, and now they know the great work that bergenPAC does with children. In fact, one of my sellers became a member of bergenPAC that night.” “We have a scholarship committee that looks at each situation: the size of the family, income, extenuating circumstances such as the loss of a job,” Serico says. “We give anywhere from full to partial scholarships, depending on all of those factors. But we really believe in not turning anyone away.” To participate in the Chamber Chorus for 36 weeks, the tuition is $800. The tuition for Young Voices 1 (ages 5-6) and Young Voices 2 (ages 7-9) varies by session. The fall session is $270; summer is $160; and the winter and spring sessions are $260 each. “We’ve got kids that come from schools that already have their own music programs, so what we’re doing is kind of an enhancement for them. They come to us to be on the big stage; to have a professional theater experience,” Serico notes. “But we also have kids who come from high-need schools that have no [music] program at all. You find kids who have this amazing talent, and if they don’t have the teachers or programs to help them grow that talent, that’s a real shame.”

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2/9/18 12:43:42 PM

Kristin Chenoweth (center) is surrounded by students from the St. Paul’s Church in Englewood, directed by Mark Trautman (left); students from the Elisabeth Morrow School; and the bergenPAC Chamber Chorus, directed by Jeffrey Bryant (right). Photo by Jeremy Lebled.

“Exactly,” emphasizes Wellington. “And that’s why I give my show for the scholarship program, because it’s so terribly important. I grew up in Manhattan, and I had the arts available to me. My father and I used to paint, and we went to museums together. My parents gave me music lessons, and I studied opera singing. I want children to have the same opportunities that I had, and they can’t if they’re from poor families.” “So if someone can’t pay, we work with them and we make it happen,” Serico adds. “We’ve been lucky that we’ve been able to do that, because of generous donors like Wells Fargo and Ms. Wellington.” Wellington believes that her background in art, music, and acting helped her when she began her jewelry design business. “I put together a few pieces, went to a flea market and I sold nothing! The reason that I continued was because I had learned from my art education — and my music education — you don’t stop. If it isn’t perfect the first time, you do it over, and you learn to make it perfect.” “So it’s all about perseverance, and working hard. That’s something that I learned as a child in various things that I did, including the music. I was very fortunate,” Wellington states. “It’s such a worthwhile thing to bring the arts to kids who don’t have the opportunity to get close to it, and be part of it. Lives can be changed!”

Curriculum and Repertoire Serico previously worked at New Jersey PAC as a director of arts education; she came to bergenPAC as managing director of The Performing Arts School in July of 2016. “One of the things I was tasked with was building the music program,” she recalls. She brought Bryant — who sang in the Boys Choir of Harlem, as well as Pastor Chantel Wright’s ensemble, Songs of Solomon — with her. “This is my second year with the choir,” Bryant says. “We founded it back in 2016. Becky was the visionary behind it; I was just the hand in motion, to take it off the ground.” “I first met Jeffrey when I was working at Carnegie Hall, in education,” Serico says. “We had choral programs for students in juvenile detention settings. It was challenging and very hard work, but absolutely necessary and wonderful. Not only is Jeffrey a great teacher, he grew up with that passion and desire to build a community and teach kids how to be good in this world. So I wanted Kristin Chenoweth (front) sings with members of the bergenPAC Chamber Chorus, accompanied by Mary-Mitchell Campbell (right). Photo by Jeremy Lebled.



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to bring him here. I said, ‘there’s nothing, we can build this together,’ and he seemed really excited about that.� All of the choirs rehearse on Saturdays. Bryant says that Young Voices is a “more laid-back curriculum, where I teach the kids how to use their voice, and how to make sound in the artistry of music. At that point they’re just coming into their voices. So I teach them their favorite Disney songs, from The Lion King to Moana. I teach them how to breathe, make clear sounds, and stand properly when they’re singing.� “The Young Voices program is an exploration and exposure program for young ones,� Serico concurs. “[We work on] the fundamentals of basic vocal technique: posture, breathing, learning how to read music. In terms of repertoire, we do songs that are within a reasonable range so that the kids can learn the basics of singing in an ensemble, and blending. Working with each other, singing together. So we’ll do things like Disney songs, pop songs, standards like that.� Unlike the Young Voices program, the Chamber Chorus requires an audition to join. “Once they get up into the Chamber Chorus, they’ll have known fundamental notation, and they’ll be able to follow us through a rehearsal year,� Bryant says. “We do everything, from gospel to classical.� “We also do some musical theater,� Serico adds. “We have a varied repertoire at any given time, so that when we’re invited for gigs we can go out into the community and present a diverse, fun program. When you sing, you have to be able to tell a story. So there’s a lot of focus on not just standing and singing, but telling the story, and having expression — in your body, in your voice, and on your face.“

Raising the Curtain on the Community On April 14, the Chamber Chorus will perform with another Broadway veteran, Patti LuPone. “We’re doing five songs with her, so that’s really amazing,� says Serico. “On June 10 we have our school’s second annual fundraiser, that gives the kids an opportunity to have a full, professional performance. We call it Raise the Curtain. The kids in Young Voices don’t get to perform on the main stage with the big artists, but everybody gets the chance to be a part of this fundraiser.� Serico continues, “Years ago we started as a dance school at the [bergenPAC] theater. But over the years the school has grown so much that in 2014 we came

into our own building. We have a lot of theater kids, and a lot of music kids. So we decided to have a comprehensive show featuring all of the different disciplines. For example, last year the kids performed “Circle of Life� from The Lion King; the chorus sang while the dancers danced. It allowed us to create these exciting pieces that are combining disciplines.� Bryant says that he would like to see the choirs become “more involved with community work. We are working on an outreach program, called Sweets and Things, where we will go into nursing homes and homeless shelters [and] sing for the people. So I think that my main goal is to get us into the community, and let them know that a group of young people is here to help them grow — socially, emotionally, and spiritually.� Serico agrees. “It’s important for us to have our own community chorus, with our own kids who go out and represent the community. So we’ll do things like the Menorah lighting, the tree lighting. We were invited to sing and bring cookies to the Englewood Housing Authority. Any opportunity to sing at senior centers, or anywhere people are in need, we’re passionate about doing that.�

Life Lessons In addition to music, Serico and Bryant hope to equip their students with skills that Norma Wellington feels she gained from her education in the arts. “It is more than just a choral music program; for some of the kids it is a safe haven,� Bryant says. “We don’t only teach music, we teach life lessons: we teach friendship, we teach community, and community-building.� “This is a safe, creative, and fun place for the kids to come and build confidence,� Serico adds. “Music teaches self-discipline; you have to be responsible, learn your music, and bring your music to rehearsal. You have to dress professionally when you’re rehearsing and performing. You have to stand with confidence, like a professional. It’s a very close tie-in to life skills.� Wellington observes that the chorus members “learn communication skills. They learn to socialize; they work together with other kids, and they work together with their teachers. They learn to take criticism. It later helps them in the workforce. They learn creativity, collaboration, and discipline. And they have fun, which is the best part. They learn the beauty of music and art.� Jacqueline Lutz says that she has “gained [the] confidence to be on a big stage, and the choir director helps me with my vocal strength. And I have a lot of fun!�

Perched on a hill in the historic Lambertville/New Hope area, QWT TGPQXCVGF oU DCTP NQQMU QWV QP HCTO Ć‚GNFU CPKOCN pastures and the surrounding preserved park. The Barn is available for private and corporate rentals to support the community and educational mission of the farm.

Rustic Elegance at A Faraway Place Close to Home

To inquire about rentals: reservations@thebarnatgravityhill.com.

6 Woolverton Road, Stockton NJ

march 2018

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2/26/18 11:15:07 AM

The Wizard We Never Knew

Understanding Thomas Edison —BY WILLIAM UHL— Photographs Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historic Park

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2/19/18 12:10:24 PM

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2/27/18 9:27:15 AM

Hoboken Not ready for the suburbs, not ready to leave Manhattan by taylor smith


ocated in bustling Hudson County, New Jersey, Hoboken has become a much sought-after place for young people and families to live and visit, offering all the amenities and excitement of the Manhattan lifestyle, but with a small-town, neighborhood feel oozing with post-war charm, ethnic diversity, Italian delis, and the famous Carlo’s Bake Shop. This former industrial port was immortalized by Marlon Brando in the 1954 crime drama On the Waterfront. Drawing from real-life reporting by the New York Sun, the film depicted the corruption and union violence that was taking place amongst longshoremen, as well as local gang violence. For much of its early history, Hoboken was defined by the waterfront. This industrial port town was also home to the Lipton Tea, Hostess Cakes, Tootsie Roll, and Maxwell House production plants. Bethlehem Steel and dozens of other shipbuilding-related businesses dominated the town for many years as well. Hoboken is also known for being the birthplace of both baseball and Frank Sinatra. To this day, locals say that their hometown has the most delicious and authentic Italian food outside of Italy, with a good slice of Neopolitan



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Photographs courtesy of wikimedia commons; shutterstock.com


pizza never being more than a few steps away. Some locals swear that they can catch a whiff of grilled sausages and peppers as soon as they step off the subway. The waterfront came under intense scrutiny in the 1980s when government agencies began bickering over how best to develop the crumbling former cargo-shipping port. By the 1990s, Hoboken citizens, local government, and the Port Authority decided that while private developers were free to create new residential and commercial buildings, designated open space and parks must remain on the site of the former Pier A. New construction was required to follow the historical street grid and architectural flavor of the original area, giving way to low-rise brownstones coupled with high-rise waterfront condos. Frank Sinatra Park and Sinatra Drive paid homage to the cultural roots and identity of the once “rough” town. An appealing promenade, known as the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, was added along the Hudson River and passes through multiple waterfront towns. Walkers, parents with strollers, and runners can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Manhattan skyline along with numerous parks along the way. The 18-mile walkway now connects all of the waterfront New Jersey municipalities from the Bayonne Bridge to the George Washington Bridge. Being in such close proximity to New York City, convenient transportation is vital to local residents, many of whom rely on the city’s rail and waterways to get to and from work each day. The above-ground PATH is a rapid transit system that connects Hoboken Terminal to multiple stops including 33rd Street Manhattan, World Trade Center, Journal Square, and Newark Penn Station. The Hoboken Terminal is also a stop on the greater NJ Transit System connecting Hoboken with Newark International Airport and the state at large (even the Jersey Shore is easily reachable without a car). By water, the NY Waterway ferry service makes daily crossings from Hoboken Terminal/14th Street to Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, Pier 11/Wall Street, and the West Midtown Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Stevens Institute of Technology has been a fixture in Hoboken since its founding in 1870. Serving more than 6,400 undergraduate and graduate students, Stevens is known internationally for its progressive STEM education, finance, energy, and coastal stability programs. Citing a heritage built on technology, the school offers 35 undergraduate majors, more than 40 master’s degree programs, 21 Ph.D. programs, and more than 100 graduate certificates.

march 2018

2/9/18 12:40:26 PM

Many families are drawn to Hoboken as a place to raise children because of its many arts and culture offerings throughout the year. Annual festivals include the Shakespeare Festival of Hudson County, Movies Under the Stars, the Hoboken Farmers Market, Saint Ann’s Feast, the Hoboken Italian Festival, Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, and the Macy’s Parade Studio, which houses the floats for the official Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Hoboken Parks Initiative is dedicated to creating more preserved open space in the city of Hoboken. Current parks include open spaces for dogs and multi-use fields, perfect for pick-up games of soccer. Some of the most prominent open spaces include Maxwell Place Park, Pier A Park, Pier C Park, Sinatra Park, Shipyard Park (14th Street Pier), Stevens Park, Elysian Park, and Harborside Park. One of the main challenges facing Hoboken and its future development is the effects of flooding. The majority of the city was underwater for an extended period of time after the the storm surge caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. According to then Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the city filled up with water “like a bathtub.” In August 2013, the city released the Hoboken Resiliency and Readiness Plan, which uses science-based components to mitigate future floodwater and stormwater damage. Shoreline protection, modernized infrastructure, emergency notification, building codes, and local task forces are all part of Hoboken’s efforts to combat the worst effects of sea level rise. Longtime Hoboken residents have bemoaned the continued rise in real estate market prices. However, surprisingly, in 2016 Jersey City surpassed Hoboken in terms of median rent prices according to Pure Properties’ South Hudson County Market Report. The condo markets in Hudson County towns like Edgewater, Weehawken, Hoboken, and Jersey City are in high demand as more and more young families are looking to buy a piece of New York Cityadjacent real estate without losing that alluring urban lifestyle. Residential brokers say that bidding wars are not uncommon, with newly-listed properties getting snatched up in less than a week. For those interested in entering the Hoboken real estate market, keep in mind that condo inventory is relatively low, so it is often imperative that one acts fast with the help of an experienced and highly-recommended broker. Another bonus to buying into the Hoboken lifestyle – you may not have to loose your family car!

Resources: www.hobokennj.gov www.panynj.gov/path www.nywaterway.com www.njtransit.com www.hudsonreporter.com www.stevens.edu


www.curbed.com www.pureproperties.com www.boutiquerealty.com www.nestseekers.com www.jerseydigs.com www.hoboken.k12.nj.us


The Cemetery of Choice for Family Heritage

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Olivia Burton 3D Bee rose gold watch; $240; us.oliviaburton.com

Brookhaven display cabinet; $2,499; horchow.com

Chan Luu rose gold and silvertone, Swarovski crystal and bead bracelet; $240; net-a-porter.com

Aero marble oval dining table; $5,895; restorationhardware.com

Currey & Company Julius orb chandelier; price upon request; gasiorsfurniture.com

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Ann Gish for Global Views D’oro chair; $1,999; neimanmarcus.com

Brunello Cucinelli mirror leather top-handle bag; $2,395; bergdorfgoodman.com Nak Armstrong Culebra leaf earrings; $7,800; barneys.com Jonathan Adler Ronchamp Charles vase; $88; jonathanadler.com

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A WELL-DESIGNED LIFE Le Soleil suspension pendant; $1,172; hivemodern.com

Balenciaga small bazar striped leather tote; $1,750; luisaviaroma.com

Frances Palmer Jester vase; $625; francespalmerpottery.com

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Nick Munro Domus coffee pot; $120; houseology.com Jonathan Adler Carnaby Versailles green mug; $22; jonathanadler.com

Serena & Lily Ellie side table; $158; serenaandlily.com Lanvin half d’Orsay flats; $795; barneys.com

Pinch Joyce cabinet; price upon request; pinchdesign.com Van Cleef & Arpels Rose de Noel earrings; price upon request; vancleefarpels.com Van Cleef & Arpels butterfly pendant; price upon request; vancleefarpels.com


Palecek Ella lounge chair; $2,272; zincdoor.com



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MARCH 2018

2/23/18 9:36:49 AM

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