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Luxury Boutique Hotels of New Jersey

Spring 2019 TAMMY MURPHY: NEW JERSEY’S ACTIVIST FIRST LADY FASHION DESIGNER ANN LOWE ENGAGEMENT AND WEDDING RING DESIGN TRENDS A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO WEDDING WEAR FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME: AREA CAMPS


BASKING RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB The place to explore private membership With flexible Membership packages and a superb restaurant that overlooks the club’s pristine 18th green and the rolling Somerset Hills, Basking Ridge Country Club is truly a dynamic environment for all to enjoy. BRCC offers a variety of annual membership packages to best fit your budget and lifestyle.

Voted as one of New Jersey’s top family- friendly clubs!

BASKING RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB

(908) 766-8200 ext. 2 For more information on the various memberships available, or to arrange a tour of our property,

185 Madisonville Road Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 www.baskingridgecc.com ltreich@baskingridgecc.com


SIMMS JEWELERS

291 MAIN STREET, BEDMINSTER

908 781 7818

SIMMSJEWELERS.COM


PEACE, RESPECT & DIGNIT Y

Memorial Celebrations of Life Cherished Memories

SPRING 2019 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lynn Adams Smith OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Melissa Bilyeu ART DIRECTOR Jeffrey Edward Tryon GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Matthew DiFalco Erica M. Cardenas Derick Gonzalez CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Laurie Pellichero Wendy Greenberg Anne Levin Stuart Mitchner Taylor Smith

•Mausoleum Crypts •Ground Burials •Cremation Niches

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

Monica Sankey ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jennifer Covill Charles R. Plohn Joann Cella Erin Toto Dave Briggs 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:

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95 Mt. Airy Road Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 908.766.0522 • SHMPCEMETERY.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. ©2019 Witherspoon Media Group

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EDITORIAL SUGGESTIONS: editor@witherspoonmediagroup.com


A COMMUNITY THAT ASPIRES HIGHER peddie.org

Peddie is more than a school that students attend. We are a community that they help create. From the moment students step on to our campus, they feel welcomed and know they’ve found a new home. Inspired by a world-class faculty, students not only make themselves better each day, they make each other better. They uncover new passions. They find new ways to fuel their potential. And, together, they prepare for their role as citizens in the global community.


CONTENTS

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Luxury Boutique Hotels of New Jersey BY TAYLOR SMITH

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Destination: Asbury Park BY TAYLOR SMITH

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An Uncredited Career: Fashion Designer Ann Lowe BY ANNE LEVIN

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All That Glitters: Engagement And Wedding Ring Design Trends BY TAYLOR SMITH

A Different Approach to Wedding Wear: Designer Danielle Frankel BY TAYLOR SMITH

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Fun In The Summertime: From Nature to STEM, Area Camps Offer an Abundance of Options BY LAURIE PELLICHERO

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Top MFA Programs BY TAYLOR SMITH

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Urban Books: Black History Lives Between Covers, From Douglass to Obama BY STUART MITCHNER

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Tammy Murphy’s “All In”: New Jersey’s Activist First Lady BY WENDY GREENBERG

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Fashion & Design: A Well-Designed Life 50, 52

On the Cover: The George, 37 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair NJ. Photography courtesy of Lesley Unruh @allenunruh.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP-LEFT: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; TAMMY MURPHY PHOTO BY TOM GRIMES; THE GEORGE PHOTO BY LESLIE UNRUH; DANIELLE FRANKEL STUDIO; KIFU PARIS TEARDROP SIDE TABLE; TONI MORRISON; SOMERSET COUNTY PARKS; ANN LOWE, WIKIPEDIA.

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COURTESY OF THE BERNARDS INN

The Bernards Inn

Luxury Boutique Hotels of New Jersey A memorable getaway could be less than an hour away

BY TAYLOR SMITH

Looking for a spring getaway, or the perfect place to host a special event? Now’s the time to visit one of these stunning inns, all located within the Garden State.

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF LESLEY UNRUH @ALLENUNRUH

PHOTO BY DYANNA LAMORA PHOTOGRAPHY Congress Hall

The George

The Bernards Inn 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville 908.766.0002; www.bernardsinn.com

The Madison Hotel 1 Convent Road, Morristown 973.285.1800; www.themadisonhotel.com

World-class dining and accommodations come together at The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville. Called “the grand dame of the Somerset Hills,” The Bernards Inn offers four-star, farm-to-table gourmet cuisine. In addition, the executive pastry chef goes above and beyond to create spectacular desserts and wedding cakes. Managed by a team of wine directors, The Bernards Inn’s wine collection has been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for the past eight years. Each of the specially appointed guest rooms includes pastoral-themed oil paintings, architectural detailing, and antiques that capture the traditional settings of the great estate homes of the Somerset Hills.

The Madison Hotel in Morristown is more like a grand estate with yearround events, dining, and wedding activities. Set amid a bucolic landscape, The Madison Hotel is noted for its Georgian-style facade and dramatic clock tower, and blends timeless elegance and personalized service with modern technology and award-winning cuisine to create an unforgettable guest experience. GK’s Red Dog Tavern and Rod’s Steakhouse offer year-round dining, fine wine, and spirits. From intimate to regal, The Madison Hotel’s wedding services are centered on the extravagant Glynallyn Ballroom, where their wedding experts tend to every detail. For arts, culture, history, and shopping, Morristown is home to the Mayo Performing Arts Center, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Drew University, College of St. Elizabeth, Washington’s Headquarters, and The Mall at Short Hills along with many boutique shops.

The Grand Summit Hotel 570 Springfield Avenue, Summit 908.273.3000; www.grandsummit.com Nestled in Summit, The Grand Summit Hotel is a popular choice of discerning travelers for its close proximity to New York City, Newark Airport, Short Hills, Parsippany, Whippany, Morristown, Chatham, Madison, and Millburn. Located at the intersection of downtown Summit and the residential district, it offers unforgettable relaxation in a park-like setting, while also being close to cultural and recreational attractions. The Grand Summit, now preparing to celebrate its 150th birthday, exudes classic styling while offering innovative and progressive services and amenities. Family owned and operated, The Grand Summit believes in working with local artists, craftsman, food artisans, and coffee roasters. Many of the art pieces in the hotel were created by local artists and are offered for sale, with a percentage of the proceeds being donated to the Reeves-Reed Arboretum. When it’s chilly, be sure to stop in for a quiet rest by the roaring fireplace in the lobby.

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The George 37 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair 973.783.7878; www.thegeorgemontclair.com Located 12 miles west of New York City in the attractive suburb of Montclair, The George is the project of makeup maven Bobbi Brown and her husband, Steven Plofker, a real estate developer and attorney with a background in urban planning from Harvard University. The couple has called Montclair home since the 1980s. The George was originally built as a private residence for the father of Charles Van Vleck (the architect for the Rockefeller family), and became a hotel known as The Georgian Inn in 1940. The couple used their sense of design and understanding of Americana to transform the forgotten Georgian Inn into a destination spot in the heart of Montclair. Creative Director Brown handpicked toiletries, food, snacks, beverages, linens, books, and furniture from some of her favorite brands. Dogs are welcome at The George (the couple’s dog Biggie wanders through the hotel), and each of the 32 rooms is designed with a bespoke feel with

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DON PEARSE PHOTOGRAPHERS, INC JESSICA ORLOWICZ/PEACH + PORT PHOTOGRAPHY

JESSICA ORLOWICZ/PEACH + PORT PHOTOGRAPHY

COURTESY OF THE PEACOCK INN COURTESY OF THE NASSAU INN

The Peacock Inn

The Nassau Inn

The Reeds at Shelter Haven

first-class amenities. Room rates include a complimentary breakfast available for two guests in the breakfast room. Guests should contact reception for a list of recommended restaurants in downtown Montclair, which has become something of a dining mecca within New Jersey. Known for her makeup color palettes, Brown went with an industrial feel for The George, painting the walls in a flat gray paint and exposing original brick finishes and matte black hardware. Tartan-covered headboards and deep tufted couches complete The George’s modern-day look. Lastly, be sure to notice the name of each of the 32 rooms, which are all decorated differently. The “Jack” for example, includes black-and-white photographs of Jack Nicholson and coffee table books on Jacqueline Kennedy.

The hotel has 188 guest rooms and four banquet rooms with over 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space. A popular site for weddings any time of year, The Nassau Inn’s Prince William Ballroom is perfect for a joyful reception or a timeless candlelit dinner.

The Nassau Inn 10 Palmer Square, Princeton 609.921.7500; www.nassauinn.com A full-service hotel in downtown Princeton’s Palmer Square (www. palmersquare.com), The Nassau Inn is the ideal place for an escape or romantic getaway any time of the year. Offering historic charm with modern amenities, The Nassau Inn features the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, a beloved local gastropub with significant Princetontonian charm and history. During the winter, guests will enjoy the oversized stone fireplace and snug atmosphere. A favorite of Princeton students and alumni, visitors will notice the colorful mural painted by Norman Rockwell behind the bar. Past guests have left their mark in the surface of the dining room’s tables, and a famous photo gallery of noteworthy Princeton University graduates lines one wall. Live music is a staple, and the American grill menu is also served al fresco on the restaurant’s outdoor patio during the warmer months. In walking distance to Princeton University, The Nassau Inn has always had a storied connection to the Ivy League institution. Originally opened in 1769 at 52 Nassau Street, The Nassau Inn was demolished and rebuilt in 1938 at 10 Palmer Square to make way for road adjustments and construction of today’s Palmer Square, the site of much of downtown Princeton’s shopping, dining, and even housing.

The Peacock Inn 20 Bayard Lane, Princeton 609.924.1707; www.peacockinn.com/en-us The Peacock Inn is a 16-room boutique hotel located close to downtown Princeton. With excellent access to sidewalks and walking paths, guests are able to leave their rooms and visit all of Princeton’s historic sites, from Princeton University and McCarter Theatre to Einstein’s home. The attractive colonialstyle mansion features upscale dining in its signature bar and restaurant. Brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, cocktails, and dinner are offered most days. Dinner menu standouts include Crab Cake Croquettes, Baby Kale Salad, Seared Duck Breast, and Southern Mist — an olive oil and pistachio sponge with ivory chocolate cream, sour cherry compote, lavender merengue, and cocoa sauce. The afternoon tea menu includes English-style scones, sweets, and savories, along with an optional champagne flight and caviar experience. The Asbury 250 5th Avenue, Asbury Park 732.774.7100; www.theasburyhotel.com The Asbury is at once a hotel, social club, rooftop lounge, and art space. Expertly matching up the seaside town’s mix of rock ‘n’ roll and Victorian-era charm, The Asbury is perfectly situated for visitors to have direct access to Asbury Park’s beaches, nightlife, and dining. You can enjoy The Asbury’s live music in the lobby; sunrise yoga; outdoor movie theater, Baronet; lively lobby bar, Soundbooth; and rooftop escape, Salvation. The 110 guest rooms come in a wide range of sizes, from king and queen rooms to family rooms and suites that can sleep up to eight. The bathrooms are

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light and bright, and the fashionable rooms are accented with black-and-white vintage photographs of Asbury Park. Two blocks from the Asbury Park beach and boardwalk, the hotel is also a popular site for family gatherings, weddings, and celebrations, and features 4,800 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor space “unlike any other on the Jersey Shore” for any special occasion. The Hewitt Wellington Hotel 200 Monmouth Avenue, Spring Lake 732.974.1212; www.thehewittwellington.com/en-us The Hewitt Wellington Hotel is one of the Jersey Shore’s most beloved boutique hotels. Located less than three short blocks from the ocean, the hotel also features views of the spring-fed lake for which Spring Lake is named. The three-story Victorian hotel features Deluxe Lakeview Suites, many of which feature a private balcony. The hotel restaurant, Whispers, is regularly voted a top dining destination within New Jersey. Gift certificates are available, as well as Romantic Getaway Packages, perfect for wedding anniversaries or just to show someone you care. The Reeds at Shelter Haven 9601 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor 609.368.0100; www.reedsatshelterhaven.com The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor is a year-round luxury boutique hotel and resort located on a bay and just steps from the Jersey Shore. With 37 distinctively designed guest rooms and suites, the Reeds offers bayside and oceanside views, distinctive sunsets, numerous dining options, boat docking, beach services, and convenient access to Stone Harbors’ downtown shopping district. Voted one of Conde Nast Traveler’s “World’s Best Hotels” for the second year in a row, The Reeds is imbued with an easy, coastal style. The perfect escape for a romantic winter getaway or summer wedding, the hotel offers flexible event spaces for 10-220 guests. The two restaurants on location are Sax, an indoor restaurant and lounge (open daily throughout the year) and Water Star Grille, a seasonal outdoor dining experience open May through September.

Debuting this May, Salt Spa at The Reeds includes a brine light therapy lounge and Turkish bath, a blowout bar and makeup application studio for weddings or a night on the town, a nail care salon, waxing services, and a fullyequipped fitness center. You may not want to leave The Reeds, but if you do, there’s plenty to explore in Stone Harbor. White sandy beaches are complemented by unique shore town shops, parks, watersports, fishing, and local attractions. Congress Hall 200 Congress Place, Cape May 888.944.1816 www.caperesorts.com/hotels/capemay/congresshall A favorite of United States presidents such as Franklin Pierce and Ulysses S. Grant, Congress Hall is situated in the beach community of historic Cape May. Cape May was a favorite of summer revelers and rivaled Saratoga Springs, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island, as the place to see and be seen during the summer months. Benjamin Harrison actually nicknamed Congress Hall his “Summer Whitehouse.” With panoramic ocean views, Congress Hall is bordered by Beach Avenue to the south and Washington Street Mall to the east. With 108 guestrooms styled and furnished in seaside hues of blue, white, and seafoam green, the hotel melds the simple pleasures of the past with modern day conveniences. During warmer months, guests can relax in a private beach tent overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, lounge by the pool, or sit in a bleach white rocking chair overlooking the Grand Lawn. The Sea Spa at Congress Hall includes a unique array of spa treatments in a bright, cheerful environment. Treatments feature all-natural beauty and spa products by Thalgo, which are derived from algae, seaweed, and other oceanic elements. Congress Hall’s excellent dining options include the Blue Pig Tavern, Boiler Room Pizzaria, and Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop. The Cape May Historic District includes over 600 buildings in the late Victorian style, shingle style, bungalow style, and more. Also, not to be missed is Beach Plum Farm, located just 2 miles away. Beach Plum is home to chickens and piglets, and produces a wide variety of fresh produce.

Wine Tasting Series

Afternoon Tea

Wednesdays 4pm - 6pm •$24 pp

add champagne & caviar for $95 pp

Daily • 2pm - 4pm

Tea, sandwiches, scones, & sweets $65 pp Reservations Are Required

Complimentary fruit, cheese, crackers & crudités Call for details

Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 609-924-1707 • 20 Bayard Lane • Princeton, NJ 08540 • ThePeacockInn.com

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Destination:

ASBURY PARK

During decades of economic decline, Asbury Park was mostly known as the place where musical icon Bruce Springsteen got his start at The Stone Pony nightclub in the mid-1970s. However, since 2000, Asbury has seen a dramatic revitalization and influx of new residents from urban centers like New York City. In fact, modern-day Asbury has been affectionately dubbed “Brooklyn on the Beach” for its large population of artists, musicians, foodies, and creatives. Real estate projects, like the new Asbury Ocean Club, and new restaurants dominate the historic boardwalk, and day trippers flock to the seaside town year-round. Over 39 bars, several blocks of art galleries, antique shops, restaurants (from traditional Italian to vegan), and an art house cinema lure visitors from the nearby NJ Transit depot. The tradition of live musical acts is still alive and well at venues like The Stone Pony, Wonder Bar, and the vintage bowling alley-music hall Asbury Lanes. Food trucks serving ceviche, empanadas, and Johnny’s Pork Roll gather north of the Convention Center at North Eats. The seasonal Market at Fifth Avenue features independent artisans and designers selling everything from woven leather jewelry to locally-made sunglasses. For those who are fans of design, be sure to browse the beach cottage decor at House of Modern Living, Shelter Home, and Salt Design Co. Shoppers can search through racks of vintage clothing at Backward Glances at The Shoppes at the Arcade before heading over to the surfer bar Asbury Park Yacht Club. Visitors and locals also enjoy the atmosphere at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, which features craft brews and long wooden communal tables. Families and those looking for a mellower scene might want to wander down the boardwalk to neighboring Ocean Grove, which was founded as a Methodist summer retreat. Its 6,000-seat wooden auditorium, circa 1894, hosts free concerts with a 11,010-pipe organ on most Saturday afternoons. Ocean Grove features a plethora of Victorian mansions as well.

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TAYLOR SMITH

As the sun sets and your appetite grows, why not explore Asbury’s unique dining scene? Mogo serves Korean-fusion tacos at a sit-down spot downtown. The Bonney Read is known for freshly shucked oysters and other regional seafood favorites. Talula’s offers wood-fired pizzas topped with local meats and produce. Porta is one of the best upscale pizzerias in town with pies like the Spring Betty, featuring goat cheese and spinach béchamel. For ocean views, try Langosta Lounge, a Caribbean fusion restaurant with nightly live music on the boardwalk. After dinner, try your hand at the vintage pinball machines at the boardwalk’s Silverball Museum. For the over 21 crowd, experience why Asbury is a center for LGBTQ nightlife at the Jersey Shore at the poolside Paradise Nightclub at The Empress Hotel. In terms of hotels, Asbury has a surprisingly large number of options. The Asbury brings trendiness and sophistication to a whole new level with two different rooftop bars, permanent art installations, easy access to the beach, a rec room with pinball and ping-pong machines, and more. Another great option is Tides, where the combination of a luxury spa and lively pool scene creates the perfect balance between relaxation and excitement. For all things weird and wonderful, check out the drag queens in all their glory at the annual Asbury Park Promenade of Mermaids. In addition, local favorite Paranormal Books and Curiosities sells obscure occult books and objects. While you’re there, get your tarot cards read, tour the paranormal museum, and participate in a séance. Finally, don’t leave town without playing a round of mini golf at Asbury Eighteen Mini-Golf. The course is located right next door to Asbury Splash Park and features 18 holes of quirky, beachfront miniature golf. For a daily calendar of events on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, visit www.apboardwalk.com.

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IMAGES COURTESY OF ASBURY OCEAN CLUB

Experience Beachfront Luxury at

ASBURY OCEAN CLUB

Located along the Jersey Shore just 70 minutes by car from New York City, Asbury Ocean Club is the highly-anticipated centerpiece of a 35-acre oceanfront redevelopment from renowned developer iStar, as part of the company’s 10-year, multibillion-dollar plan for a 1.25-mile stretch along the Asbury Park waterfront. With closings commencing this summer, the 17-story tower will offer 130 luxury condominium suites perched above a 54-room boutique hotel, with more than 20,000 square feet of retail space that will offer a new year-round restaurant and carefully curated shops. The resort features an unrivaled amenity package and concierge services that are on par with the top residential buildings in Manhattan and Miami. From the prime beachfront location, world-class amenity package, and concierge service to the uber-luxe interior finishes, every detail has been meticulously crafted. There is simply nothing of this caliber of luxury available anywhere on the Jersey Shore. The residential experience at Asbury Ocean Club starts in the dramatic, double-height lobby. The two- and three-bedroom residences have been particularly popular, as many of the future homeowners at Asbury Ocean Club will be making this their primary residence. Those who plan to use the property as a vacation home are drawn to the extra space for family and friends. All of the residences include east-facing terraces that wrap either north or south, and provide views of an endless coastline and promote seamless indoor/outdoor living. With a wealth of space for enjoying the spectacular vistas and taking in the soothing sounds of the ocean, the terraces are a coveted amenity for the residences. Asbury Park is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the nearby cities and offers new culinary, shopping, and entertainment venues to enjoy throughout the year. iStar tapped a world-class team of global talent to bring the building to life, including renowned interior designer Anda Andrei, president of Anda Andrei Design, who worked with Bonetti Kozerski and Handel Architects to create the interiors of the residences. Each home comes equipped with a Miele appliance

suite including washer and dryer. The residences are outfitted with white lacquer cabinetry by Spazzi of Spain, wide-plank bleached white oak flooring, and Marvel Calacatta bathroom walls, all with abundant hurricane-impactresistant floor-to-ceiling windows that show off the spectacular ocean views and let in an abundance of light into the homes. There are multi-zone heating and air-conditioning systems in every home for comfortable, year-round living. The amenities at Asbury Ocean Club make beachfront living completely effortless and cater to a healthy, active lifestyle. The indoor-outdoor spaces on the fourth floor include an expansive terrace with a 65’ x 30’ pool overlooking the ocean, a full-service pool bar and grill, a garden pavilion with reflecting pool, and an outdoor lounge with fireplace. The ocean-view fitness center has been programmed by New York-based fitness consultant The Wright Fit and boasts a yoga room with sun-warmed meditation terrace, a spa that offers residents on-call massages, and relaxation rooms. The children’s facilities are stocked with games and activities for the little ones, and there is an entertainment lounge, 16-seat cinema screening room, library, and game room with custom billiards to ensure residents and their guests will stay entertained. There is also an event room with chef’s kitchen, perfect for hosting private celebrations. To ensure ease of living, a concierge will be on call 24/7 to assist with residents’ day-to-day needs including grocery shopping, stocking refrigerators, making dinner reservations, and securing concert tickets. Pets and their owners will enjoy the dog wash for sandy paws, and private storage rooms for paddleboards and surfboards will provide a much-needed convenience. By 2020, residents will get to enjoy a members-only beach club featuring a pool, cabanas, bar and grill, restrooms, and changing facilities. The residences at Asbury Ocean Club will sit on top of a 54-room boutique hotel operated by David Bowd of Salt Hotels (Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, Mercer in New York, and the Chiltern Firehouse in London). Bowd is also a partner and operator of The Asbury. With just a small collection of rooms, Asbury Ocean Club’s hotel will be able to provide bespoke services and curated offerings that create a luxurious experience for its guests. Corcoran Sunshine is the exclusive sales and marketing team for Asbury Ocean Club. Pricing for one-bedroom residences start at $897,000. For inquiries, call 732.705.1100 or visit www.asburyoceanclub.com.

SPONSORED CONTENT SPRING 2019

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An Uncredited Career: Fashion Designer

ANN LOWE

By Anne Levin

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IN

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier on their wedding day, 1953. (Photo by Toni Frissell; Wikimedia Commons)

the annals of the accomplished whose work has gone largely unrecognized because of their race, Ann Lowe occupies a prominent spot. Lowe was an African American fashion designer whose lavish creations were coveted by the rich and socially prominent. While she earned such distinctions as Couturier of the Year and made the Who’s Who in American Women list, she rarely received the attention she deserved. In 1953, Lowe designed the ivory silk taffeta gown that Jacqueline Bouvier wore for her wedding to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The dress featured trapunto, a layering of fabrics to create a dimensional effect — a technique for which Lowe was known in fashion circles. But the future first lady is said to have credited “a colored woman” with creating the famous gown, neglecting to identify her by name. Lowe’s designs made the pages of Vogue, Town & Country, and other popular fashion magazines. Her skill and artistry impressed French designer Christian Dior. At one point in her career, she had her own label and a store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Her dresses were sold at Neiman Marcus, Henri Bendel, and Saks Fifth Avenue, where she was the head designer of a special boutique with a privileged clientele. Yet her genius was rarely recognized. “Ann Lowe was highly respected by the fashion industry, but the custom nature of her work made her little known publicly,” writes Margaret Powell, the curatorial assistant of decorative arts and design at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pa., in an email. Powell is writing a book about Lowe, to be published by Simon and Schuster in

2021. “Some designers expanded their work to capture a lower price point, but Ann didn’t want to do that,” Powell continues. “She just wanted to make her gorgeous dresses.” Lowe was born in Alabama in 1898 to a family of seamstresses. She learned to sew from her mixed-race grandmother and her mother, who made dresses for Southern society women. Her mother’s sudden passing left 16-year-old Lowe with the challenge of creating four ball gowns for the first lady of Alabama. She succeeded, and her career was launched. Focused on making it in the fashion industry, Lowe left her first husband to become an in-house seamstress to a wealthy woman in Tampa, Fla. She was given the opportunity to study, for six months, at a design school in New York. “Ann had a wide range of very specific skills from the Civil War period, notably to conserve fabric while making ornament for the gowns, plus the more traditional services of a northern seamstress,” said Powell. “This combination was unusual. One of her most successful themes — silk roses in different states of bloom, winding around a silk gown — was something she had developed for a Tampa gasparilla [pirate] queen in 1928. They were made from scraps off the workroom floor.” Lowe had to endure racist attitudes during her training. “She was segregated in her New York school, after being allowed to attend at all, since they had never had a black student and this was 1927,” says Powell. “This was frustrating for her. She was put at a desk in a hallway near the bathroom. As her teachers saw the high quality of her work,

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An ivory dress (left) decorated with swirls of handmade fabric rose vines. The variety of rose depicted on the dress is the American Beauty, which has led to it being called the “American Beauty” dress. A pink satin and organza dress (middle). Pale green teal silk sari gown (right) designed by Ann Lowe. (Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane)

they were actually bringing people out to show them her techniques. And she had worse problems [later] in New York. Any time she would have a salon, she would need to have a white business partner. Because a black person would not be able to rent in these areas.” Lowe, who died in 1981, was not often written about during her lifetime. But she gave an interview to Ebony magazine in 1966 and made a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show around the same time. The Saturday Evening Post profiled her. Recent decades have seen an interest in her life and work. A Google search reveals numerous articles detailing her talent and her struggles. Lowe was prominently featured in a 2016 exhibit by the Museum at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, focused on the impact of designers of African descent. The same year, a show highlighting Lowe’s work was mounted at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Among the designer’s most famous creations was the dress Olivia de Haviland wore to accept her Oscar for the 1946 film To Each His Own. But Lowe’s name wasn’t on the label.

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The Bouvier/Kennedy nuptials received considerable press. The dress Lowe designed was described in detail by The New York Times and other publications, without mention of her name. Also not mentioned was a flood in Lowe’s studio that destroyed the original gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. In ten days, Lowe and her team recreated what had originally taken them months to make. Despite the high prices of the dresses she designed, Lowe never made much money. According to the Ebony interview, at one point in her career she was able to turn out an average of 1,000 gowns a year, had a staff of 35, and grossed $300,000 a year. But by 1963, she was forced to declare bankruptcy. “One morning I work up owing $10,000 to suppliers and $12,800 in back taxes,” she said. “Friends at Henri Bendel and Neiman-Marcus loaned me money to stay open, but the Internal Revenue agents finally closed me up for non-payment of taxes. At my wits end, I ran sobbing into the street.” Rumor has it that Lowe’s IRS bill was finally paid by Jacqueline Kennedy when she learned of the designer’s troubles. No two designs by Lowe were alike. Her clients had names like Rockefeller, DuPont, Auchincloss, and Biddle. She was a snob, and proud of it. “I love my clothes and I’m particular about who wears them,” Ebony. “I am not interested she told Ebony in sewing for cafe society or social climbers. I do not cater to Mary and Sue. I sew for families of the Social Register.”

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Ann Lowe designed this dress for Pauline “Polly” Carver Duxbury for her 1967 debutante ball. (Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane.)

Lowe lived in an apartment in Harlem for nearly five decades. After her son Arthur Lee, who served as business partner, died in a car accident in 1958, she relied on her sister, who served as Lowe’s eyes when she was partially blinded by glaucoma. She was 82 when she died after a long illness, having spent the last five years at the home of her daughter in Queens. Lowe’s story continues to fascinate those interested in fashion and African American history. Five of her designs are held at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I think there is a renewed interest in Ann,” says Powell. “It’s because of people like Henrietta Lacks [whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951] and Hidden Figures [the film about three African American women who made brilliant discoveries at NASA in the 1950s] — stories of other black women who contributed so much to history, but received little in return.”

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Perched on a hill in the historic Lambertville/New Hope area, our renovated 1740’s barn looks out on farm fields, animal pastures and the surrounding preserved park.

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All That Glitters Engagement and Wedding Ring Design Trends By Taylor Smith

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E

The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding carriage procession through the streets of Windsor. Markle’s ring features popular yellow gold.

ngagement and wedding ring influencers like Gurki Basra, be refreshing for guests to see a palette of shimmery pastels during senior buyer of jewelry and watches at Barneys New York, the wedding ceremony, some brides may be purists at heart and realize say that the top 2019 trends in engagement ring styles that like all things en vogue, trends do come and go. include colored stones, multiple bands, and a mix of metals. In addition to new wedding dress and diamond styles, pre-owned Gray diamonds in particular have begun to emerge as a stones may be another appealing path. Stunning pre-owned diamonds, style statement as younger brides become more adventurous in their emeralds, rubies, and more are available for purchase at most major choices. jewelers and at auctions. In fact, many jewelers have made a successful If you’re drawn to an edgier look, but worry about your tastes business of reworking antique jewelry for the modern bride and groom. changing down the road, jewelers advise that you can always reset your ring. Raw diamonds or uncut diamonds are another option for CONFLICT FREE DIAMONDS unique engagement rings. Raw diamond styles range from ultracontemporary to minimal and organic in shape. They also tend to Both Hamilton Jewelers of Princeton and Brilliant Earth pride be slightly more affordable since they’re unpolished. In addition, themselves in going above and beyond the current industry standards no two raw diamonds are alike, fulfilling another to offer Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds that “have engagement trend of one-of-a-kind pieces. The been selected for their ethical and environmentally brilliance of a raw diamond is also something to sustainable origins.” The diamonds are sourced behold, as they are warm in hue and contain a from particular mine operations or countries that vast color spectrum, making the diamond look as maintain their commitment to internationallythough it is lit from within. recognized labor, environmental, and trade The challenge of finding the right combination standards. These countries include (but are not of metals, diamonds, gemstones, and setting is limited to) Russia, Canada, and Botswana Sort. challenging for any bride or groom. Many jewelers As far as mining practices and standards are recommend that buyers keep the metal and stone concerned, Beyond Conflict Free does not finance in the same color family. For example, yellow rebel movements, protects against human rights gold dramatically captures the luminescence of abuses, minimizes environmental degradation, a yellow diamond. Similarly, a chocolate-colored Collet front, Ashley Zhang Jewelry maintains safe and responsible labor practices, diamond in a yellow gold setting generates a and supports community development (www. warm, luxurious feel. Complementary colors can brilliantearth.com/conflict-free-diamonds). also create an unexpected effect, such as a rose gold setting matched As stated on its website, “Hamilton Jewelers supports the United with a green gemstone. Nations’ efforts to stop the sales of diamonds from any country As for dresses, fashion insiders predict that the era of the snowwhere rebel forces use diamonds to finance acts of war and terror.” white wedding gown will gradually recede as brides take chances The company is also committed to the Jewelers of America Code of on muslin and tea-stained colored gowns. Silver palettes are also on Ethics, which obliges “all transactions to be conducted in an ethical the rise for wedding dresses as brides seek the dramatic sparkle that and professional manner. We expect our suppliers to comply with their recalls fabric styles of the 1920s and 30s. Also popular are platinum national labor and environmental laws and regulations and to respect silks, fern-colored green tones, blushing pinks, icy lavenders, and the fundamental International Labor Organization conventions, as well more. With all the options nowadays, it is important that bridesas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” to-be attempt to navigate the line between tradition and trend (a Simms Jewelers of Bedminster also points out that U.S. retailers cabernet-colored gown may be a regrettable choice). While it might of fine jewelry are somewhat protected from engaging in the sale of

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Double Halo Pendant with Round Center Diamond, Pear-Shaped Center with Baguette Sides, Diamond Bracelets, Courtesy of Aires Jewelers.

Photos courtesy of Simms Jewelers.

Conflict Diamonds because of the Clean Diamond Trade Act (2003), implemented the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberly process standardizes the certification among diamond exporting countries, thereby creating common language, transparency, auditing, and monitoring of diamond exportation. The act requires that all diamonds imported to the U.S. or exported from the U.S. have a Kimberley Process Certificate. The act aims to prohibit the importation of diamonds whose mining fuels conflict in the country of origin. Among its many styles, Simms is now featuring a showstopping 18K white gold ring with 75 diamonds (rounds and emerald cuts) totaling over 6 carats. The ring expands and will fit a size 6 to 7.5 finger.

lab-grown gemstones have an online price set at 10-15 percent below market price. An individual diamond from their online store costs from $305 for a 0.38 carat round-cut gem to $23,000 for a 2.30 carat gem. In addition to Roscheisen, the masterminds behind Diamond Foundry are largely engineers from Stanford, Princeton, and MIT. Since its launch in 2015, the company appears to be perfecting its foundry process, productivity, and retail potential as it has made an effort to collaborate with a wide variety of diamond cutters and designers. Its “Real. Unique. World Positive” website slogan is accompanied by attractive images of engagement and wedding rings (loose diamonds are also available at www.diamondfoundry.com). Partnerships with New York City retailers include Clay Pot Nolita (www.clay-pot.com) and Lori McLean Jewelry (www.lorimclean.com). Diamond Foundry made a splash at a 2017 Paris ENGINEERED DIAMONDS Fashion Week launch event, at which the company headlined the Fashion Tech Lab presentation. Over Is there such a thing as a 100 percent authentic 400 fashion luminaries including representatives diamond created in a lab? Look no further than Santa from Chanel Fine Jewelry, Balenciaga, Dior, Louis Clara, Calif.-based startup Diamond Foundry (www. Vuitton, and Louboutin were in attendance. diamondfoundry.com). Backed by over a dozen Of his support and belief in Diamond Foundry, wealthy investors including actor Leonardo DiCaprio, DiCaprio posted to his personal Twitter page, “Proud Diamond Foundry is able to “grow” new diamonds by to invest in Diamond Foundry — a co reducing human & taking a culture of an original diamond and heating environmental toll by sustainably culturing diamonds.” to temperatures of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (similar When it comes to engineered diamonds, some historic Jade Cabochon, to the temperature of the sun). These layers of crystal Ashley Zhang Jewelry brands have been less enthusiastic. Companies like De Beers are stacked, one on top of the other, until a pure diamond and Tiffany’s have cultivated their own iconic luxury brands is formed. The largest diamond generated in the lab so far under the notion that diamonds are rare, eternal, and exclusive. In weighed in at 12 carats. Diamond Foundry currently produces 1,000 fact, De Beers’s slogan, “a diamond is forever,” perpetuates the idea carats per month, which is approximately 150 to 300 gems from every that the only acceptable option is mined diamonds. two-week batch. Initially published in 1845, the Tiffany Blue Book was the first Natural diamonds are rated and tested for purity and authenticity collection of extraordinary jewelry available to newlyweds across the by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Color, cut, clarity, and United States by mail-order catalog. carat weight are examined by a GIA-trained gemologist. Diamond Deemed “a rare beauty,” Tiffany yellow diamonds “make a Foundry founder Martin Roscheisen assures that Diamond Foundry’s glamorous statement for day or night.” Tiffany’s expertise in yellow products have tested as true, pure jewelry white diamonds. diamonds dates back to 1878 when Charles Lewis Tiffany purchased So how does the cost of a man-made diamond compare to those the 287.42 carat Tiffany diamond. This rare specimen was then cut dug out of the earth? According to Diamond Foundry’s website, their into a brilliant cushion-shape weighing in at 128.54 carats. Yellow

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diamonds continue to be a draw for the thousands of people who visit Tiffany’s flagship store in New York City every year.

YELLOW GOLD

“When you use a white metal like platinum for the diamond setting, it makes the stone really pop and also accentuates the yellow gold even more. It can be so subtle that people won’t event notice the white metal, or it can be more of a statement choice.” Another noteworthy design is Zhang’s Grace Emerald Cut Engagement Ring, inspired by Grace Kelly’s iconic engagement ring. The Grace is a classic emerald cut featuring a slim band tapered by baguette diamonds flanking the center emerald cut diamond. The ring can also be custom ordered with a different center stone of your choice. Does your bride have a theatrical flair? Then the Art Deco Jade Ring may be right for her. This stunning Art Deco-era ring is surrounded by a halo of subtly sparkly sing cut diamonds, set in platinum. The platinum shank is beautifully decorated with hand engraving. The ring is circa 1920 (www.ashleyzhangjewelry.com/vintage/artdeco-jade-ring).

Featured on Meghan Markle’s ring, yellow gold is on the rise for 2019. The bright metal complements almost any type of setting — from pear shaped to stacked and nested rings — and works with both diamonds and gemstones. Yellow gold metals can suit any bride’s ring style, such as vintage, modern, romantic, feminine, and/or classic. Brilliant Earth (www.brilliantearth.com) offers a wide selection of new yellow gold wedding band designs. As described on its website, yellow gold has the potential to “symbolize your love with the warm glow of yellow gold, a classic band, a vintage-inspired style or an ultra-glamorous design.” Noted as being “Ethical. Stunning. One-of-a-Kind,” Brilliant Earth allows users to shop diamonds by shape. Options include round, oval, cushion, princess, pear, emerald, marquise, asscher, radiant, and heart. From vivid blue sapphire to sparkling moissanite, Brilliant Earth’s selection of gemstone rings is sure to please. You can create your own individual ring by selecting a gemstone and pairing it with a setting of your choice. You can also shop by gemstone, with aquamarine, morganite, Picchiotti Pave, Simms Jewelers. emerald, and sapphire being the particular standouts.

MIXED METALS While mixed metals maybe de rigueur for an everyday stack, the engagement ring use of mixed metals is clearly a trend for 2019. As seen by the Ashley Zhang Collet Engagement Ring in Platinum and Yellow Gold with a Cushion-Cut Diamond, the platinum basket on a gold band makes the cushion-cut diamond really shine. Of the Georgian-inspired solitaire, Ashley Zhang told Brides magazine,

THE RULES ARE OUT

In 2019, it appears that brides and grooms can play by their own rulebook. This extends beyond the ring and the dress to coeds on each side of the aisle and mismatched attendant attire (because, why not?). Embracing colors and color trends for 2019 could also include a floral design inspired by the Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral. Fresh palettes, pops of bold color, and eclectic stationery are all ways for the happy couple to express themselves. “Sociable and spirited” is how Pantone describes the juicy orange-golden shade on its website (www.pantone.com). This “animating and life-affirming hue” could easily be incorporated into a bouquet filled with poppies or a chuppah strung with chrysanthemum flowers in various shades of coral, yellow, orange, and pale pink. In short, there’s no end to the colorful 2019 wedding design trends.

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A Different Approach to Wedding Wear

Designer Danielle Frankel Focuses on Classic Tailoring and Fit BY TAYLOR SMITH

Danielle Frankel launched her eponymous wedding dress fashion label in New York City in 2017 after having worked at both Marchesa and Vera Wang. 28

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF DANIELLE FRANKEL STUDIO. WWW.DANIELLEFRANKELSTUDIO.COM

It

was Frankel’s own nuptials that spurred her to create her wedding dress designs, which are produced exclusively in the United States, along with veils, bras, jackets, belts, and jewelry. She began by taking her own private clients on a hunch that modern women were looking for something that was less Cinderella-inspired and more modern and aesthetically unusual. For example, Frankel’s own wedding dress included a silk-faille coat dress with an off-the-shoulder collar. The look was inspired by her husband’s white button-down shirts. For the reception, Frankel chose a 90s-era silk-duchesse coat that she purchased at the Brooklyn Flea Market. A similar wedding dress design is available in her current collection (the Lou for $10,995). This aesthetic of clean lines and menswear-inspired tailoring soon caught the attention of buyers at Bergdorf Goodman, and her wedding dress designs are now available at Bergdorf’s in New York City as well as Mark Ingram and Moda Operandi Madison. The designer also has a presence at exclusive retailers in Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Her looks are sold online at Net-A-Porter.com and ModaOperandi.com. Both online retailers are committed to bringing the most cutting-edge fashion to people around the world. As stated on its website, Moda Operandi in particular aims to “connect you directly to the world’s best designers.” Perfect for the new bride, Moda Operandi highlights a full calendar

of digital trunk shows in categories including jewelry, accessories, home design, and more. The company’s online trunk shows feature offthe-runway looks from London, New York City, and Milan, making them available for purchase to anyone, anywhere. Recent bridal trunk shows included Temperley London Bridal (the Duchess of Cambridge is a devoted fan), Carolina Herrera Bridal (think beautiful bows in duchesse satin and sophisticated brocade), newcomer Markian Bridal (signature feathers, utterly feminine silhouettes, and embellished straps), and Tel Aviv designer Mira Zwillinger (check out those princess-like gowns and mermaid skirts). Frankel describes her current collection as “a handsome approach to a bridal wardrobe” and cites the emphasis on classic tailoring and fit. The Berthe in Collection I features a canvas-colored baroque look with an off-the-shoulder slouch and heavy puffed sleeves. The Emmy dress harkens back to the Hollywood darlings of the 1930s with easy draping that cascades down and around, revealing an open back, delicate buttons, and an extremely sheer (practically see-through) fabric. Another stunner is the Rena, which pairs well with a visible lace bra and white slacks. Frankel has styled the look with oyster pearl drop earrings that graze the collar bone and delicate glacial white pumps. Also guaranteed to stop your guests in their tracks is the Tilda. This strapless number is liquid smooth, tailored to perfection on top and contrasted by a glossy silk, pleated skirt the color of a painter’s raw canvas. Collection II includes the jaw-dropping

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unday, November 12th • 1-3PM Sloane, which would be perfectly suited to Shakespeare’s Juliet. The softly feminine number is highlighted by off-the-shoulder draping, long bell sleeves, a wide-open neck, and delicate hook buttons down the front. The skirt moves outward like the saucer on a teacup. To view all of Frankel’s current and past wedding dress designs, jewelry, jackets, accessories, and more, visit www.daniellefrankelstudio.com. When asked about styling, Frankel suggests that it’s all in the brides look, personality, venue, and intention. Many brides want to change their fashion looks from the church ceremony to the reception. Frankel’s collections allow the bride to have her classic, statement-making moment followed by something a little more fun, easy, and suggestive. A high-slit dress combined with a single-breasted coat allows the bride “to have both moments.” Options like the Chantilly-lace and grosgrain strap bra ($550) underneath an open jacket or paired with a high-waisted skirt is one way to fashion the look. The styling flexibility of Frankel’s designs allows women to shop each collection and have many different outcomes. As she suggested to Vogue, Frankel’s woman is “the right amount of yin and yang,” citing celebrity Zoe Kravitz as her ultimate definition of relaxed and cool. “If I’m really doing this, I have to make these pieces wearable outside of the collection,” she said. Frankel also has her own celebrity clientele; megawatt chef Katie Lee caught the attention of paparazzi when she wore one of Frankel’s dresses at her Amalfi Coast wedding. The idea of a wedding dress that extends beyond the wedding day might be a novelty for some women. Frankel’s jackets, pearls, veils, skirts, and dresses can certainly be passed down (they

have a timeless quality to them already), but they can also be styled and worn after the wedding with more down-to-earth wardrobe staples for a creative, artsy appearance. Created In collaboration with fine jewelry artisans, Frankel’s latest jewelry line — featuring pearls harvested and handpicked in Southeast Asia — is strikingly architectural. Similar to her other wedding accessories, the heirloom quality jewelry is not just suitable for weddings or special occasions, the majority of the pieces can also be worn every day. The raw pearls and wire mesh designs and draping of the various earrings and necklaces truly read like objets d’art and are only available in limited quantities. Common metals include rose gold and silver, which complement almost any skin tone and generate a luminescent appearance. Do you want a custom creation for your wedding day? Frankel can handle that, too. She accepts appointments for custom designs and styling on her website at www.daniellefrankelstudio.com. Details like wedding date, accompanying guests, and styling details can be submitted in the initial inquiry form. All of this information will help the designer to assess whether a custom look is achievable for that particular client. In general, women who have a clear and distinct vision of their wedding day look are best suited to a custom-design experience. Also, what’s more glamorous than a wedding dress fitting in Manhattan’s Garment District?

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Forfollow more follow on Instagram @frankdisoldi | twitter @homeswestfield For more on Instagram @frankdisoldi | twitter @homeswestfield

©2018 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. ©2018 Coldwell Bankerby Residential Brokerage. Rights Reserved. Coldwell Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles the FairbyHousing ActBanker and theReal EqualEstate Opportunity Operated a subsidiary of NRTAll LLC. Coldwell Banker© andBanker the Coldwell Banker logo are registered service marksofowned Coldwell LLC. Act.

©2018 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Rights Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Act the Equal Opportunity Act. ©2018 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. AllReserved. Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential fully supports themarks principles of Housing the Fair Housing ActLLC. and Estate the Equal Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker© andand the Banker logo registered service owned by Banker Coldwell Banker Real LLC.Opportunity Operated by All a subsidiary ofRights NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker© theColdwell Coldwell Banker Brokerage logo areare registered service marks owned by Coldwell Realand Estate OperatedOperated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker©Banker© and the Coldwell Banker logo are logo registered service marks owned Coldwell Banker Real Estate by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell and the Coldwell Banker are registered service marksby owned by Coldwell Banker RealLLC. Estate LLC.

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NURSERY THROUGH GRADE 8

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> A variety of junior clinics are available starting at the age of 6. The golf academy also offers individual lessons for all ages and abilities that are formatted to suit individual student needs. > Club membership is not required to participate in any of the Academy’s programs!

908-766-8200 ext. 4 or email ddemarrais@baskingridecc.com

185 Madisonville Road | Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 34

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Photo courtesy of Camp Invention.

Fun in the Summertime

From Nature to STEM, Area Camps Offer an Abundance of Options BY LAURIE PELLICHERO

While it’s just the beginning of spring, summer will be here before we know it. Now’s the time to start thinking about where to send the kids to camp – and make those reservations before they fill up. Here is just a sampling of the many options right here in the area, each unique in its own way.

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CAMP INVENTION Camps held in Bridgewater, Chester, Cranford, Hillsborough, Madison, Somerset, and Vauxhall 800.968.4332; invent.org/camp Camp Invention is a nationally-acclaimed summer program where STEM concepts come to life. Led by local teachers at area schools, the five-day program has tapped into kids’ natural curiosity since 1990, giving them the opportunity to become innovators through teamwork and immersive, handson creative problem-solving. Each year, the Camp Invention education team collaborates with National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees to develop a new, action-packed Camp Invention experience for children ages kindergarten through sixth grade. With the 2019 program, Supercharged, campers will take on four exciting challenges. In Innovation Force, the children will collaborate with inventor superheroes and take on the role of engineers, fabricators, and innovators to conquer villains. Creative problem solving is the focus of Deep Sea Mystery, where campers team up to rebuild ships and design underwater equipment. In DIY Orbot, participants explore circuit boards, motors, and gears as they design a remote-control bot to take on obstacles from sports to dance. And kids will gain confidence in Farm Tech as they code bots to turn a polluted wasteland into a money-making machine and create devices to save animals. CAMP RIVERBEND 116 Hillcrest Road, Warren Township 908.647.0664; campriverbend.com Founded in 1962 by Marianne and Harold Breene, Camp Riverbend sits on a 30-acre site along the Passaic River in Somerset County. The four Breene children — Roger, Jill, Paul, and Robin, and daughters-in-law Debbie and Miriam — now run the camp, and each member of the family is dedicated to providing a personal, hands-on experience that campers will never forget. Camp Riverbend provides a wide range of activities, including arts and crafts, sports, swimming, challenge courses, a spray park, environmental learning, and performing arts. Camp-wide special events like carnivals and guest performances are enjoyed by campers and staff alike. Camp Riverbend offers three options for children of different ages: The Clubhouse for Pre-K 3and 4-year-olds and rising kindergarteners; Riverbend Experience for campers entering first through eighth grade; and Day Trippers for campers entering grades seven through nine. Camp Riverbend provides the perfect environment for young explorers, with vibrant woods, open fields, nature trails, a wetlands sanctuary, a variety of athletic facilities, and the river bank. The philosophy at Camp Riverbend is to build “confidence, not competition.” The camp honors each camper’s talents and efforts, emphasizing that it is a place where children can be themselves, explore the world, and learn new skills in a fun and supportive environment. Every camper is encouraged to participate in all activities and every achievement is applauded — from a camper’s first atbat to a grand-slam home run.

Photo courtesy of Somerset County Park Commission.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER SUMMER CAMPS Somerset County Park Commission 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge 908.722.1200 ext. 5002 somersetcountyparks.org The Somerset County Park Commission has offered enriching and fun summer camp programs to area children for more than 20 years. They aim to inspire a lifelong love and respect for the natural world, while also cultivating a curiosity about the environment and a fondness for science. Outdoor lessons and hands-on experiences are just some of the benefits of the summer programs. With nearly 500 acres of fields, forests, ponds, and a river, the Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park offers unique opportunities in a natural learning environment. Coyote Kids (ages 4-6) will be offered in three, five-day sessions. EcoExplorers (ages 7-9) will be offering four, one-week sessions and two, two-week sessions. AWESIM KIDS (ages 10-13) will be offering four, two-week sessions. Xtreme Adventure (ages 13-16) will also be returning for another summer of adventure. Post-care for both the Eco-Explorers and AWESIM KIDS programs are available each session for an additional fee. Post-care extends the program day from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. ESSEX COUNTY TURTLE BACK ZOO SUMMER PROGRAMS 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange 973.731.5800 ext. 275 turtlebackzoo.com/ discover/zoo-camps Located in West Orange, the Turtle Back Zoo is committed to providing an enriching recreational experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and wildlife conservation, so that present and future generations are Photo courtesy of Turtle Back Zoo. inspired to understand, appreciate, and protect the fragile interdependence of all living things. Turtle Back Zoo offers a variety of education programs, including week-long summer camps running July 8 through August 23 for children age 5/entering kindergarten and grades one through eight. Campers will be introduced to the world of animals, nature, and science, and enjoy age-appropriate themed camps that include games, teacher-led sessions, behind-the-scenes visits, upclose animal encounters, hands-on science, and fun crafts. Themes for 2019 include Zoo Tales, for campers age 5 and entering kindergarten, featuring stories, experiments, games, and crafts that will make them experts on all the “wild things” at the zoo. In Super Animals, children entering first or second grade can explore the assortment of fascinating

Photo courtesy of Camp Riverbend.

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adaptations that help animals survive in their habitats. Children entering third or fourth grade can discover the complex world of animals as expert engineers and builders in Wild Designs. In Conservation Quest, for children entering fifth or sixth grade, campers will examine the world of conservation, locally and beyond. In Zoo Crew, for children entering seventh or eighth grades, campers will learn all about being a zoo keeper, from feeding the animals and creating enrichment activities, to building habitats. HARBOR HAVEN 1418 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange 908.964.5411; harborhaven.com Harbor Haven offers comprehensive summer programming for children with mild special needs. Its unique seven-week summer camp program provides children ages 3 to 15 with a social and educational experience that bridges the gap between school years. In a nurturing, camp-like environment, children engage in a variety of traditional summer activities combined with strong support for the academic, therapeutic, and social needs described in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Harbor Haven is committed to providing its campers with a safe, happy, healthy, fun-filled summer where growth and improvement of important skills takes place. Through a variety of nurturing programs, in a relaxed and supportive environment, they build “success” into the everyday experience, thereby increasing confidence and self-esteem. Activities include sports, creative arts, performing arts, swim, yoga, karate, photography, cooking, trips, special events, and more. Harbor Haven’s innovative and effective Reverse Inclusion experience invites non-IEP peers into its camper groups. This program provides the opportunity for the special needs campers to experience friendship, activities, and interaction with similar-aged role models who have been carefully chosen to enhance their summer learning. The special needs campers will derive all the benefits and none of the difficulties that can occur in other inclusive settings not designed especially for them. The camp’s focus on language, motor, attention, cognitive, social, and behavior skills is infused in all of their activities. Harbor Haven believes that the capacity to socialize with other children is fundamental for healthy growth and development. Their program, imbedded with intensive social skills, also includes an instructional social skills program which prepares children to be successful in the world around them.

Photo courtesy of Oak Crest Day Camp.

JUNIOR SUMMER GOLF CAMP Basking Ridge Country Club 185 Madisonville Road, Basking Ridge 908.766.8200 ext. 4; baskingridgecc.com/junior-summer-camps

Photo courtesy of Harbor Haven.

Is your child interested in learning more about golf? The knowledge and skills learned at Basking Ridge Country Club’s Junior Summer Camp can leave a young golfer full of confidence and well on their way to a lifelong enjoyment of the game. Friends with similar goals, professional instructors, and the completely immersive setting provide opportunities to learn while having fun. The PGA professionals at Basking Ridge Golf Academy are dedicated to helping young golfers become better players. With a maximum of seven campers assigned to each professional, the classes allow time for individual instruction along with beneficial group interaction. Campers ages 7-16 are sorted according to age and ability, so everyone can experience success. Half-day camps offer a complete rundown of the golf swing. Mechanics are explained, and young golfers spend time practicing fundamental movement drills. Golf pros assist with putting, chipping, full swing, and specialty shot skills, and campers are shown how and when to use them on the course. In addition to providing the full swing instruction of half-day camps, the fullday programs supply details on golf as a sport and a business. Young golfers learn the game’s rules and etiquette as well as the history and stories of today’s players. Instructors explain how to read greens, choose a club, and improve short games. Video analysis is used to help beginning golfers understand their swing. Full-day sessions typically include a warmup, lessons, and drills in the morning. After lunch, there’s time for a swim, and then game play begins with course instruction along the way. Golf membership is not required to participate in the camp. Four camp sessions are offered this summer, the first starting on June 24. Register early, as sessions fill up fast. OAK CREST DAY CAMP 92 Cortelyous Lane, Somerset 732.297.2000; oakcrestdaycamp.com For more than 50 years, the mission of Oak Crest Day Camp has been to create a summer experience so exceptional that it makes campers for life. Its

Photo courtesy of Basking Ridge Country Club.

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core philosophy is to ensure that every camper experiences growth and success in a fun-filled, safe, and well-supervised environment. Programs are offered for children ages 3-15, with each program designed to meet the physical and developmental needs of that specific age group. All programs include a hot lunch, door-to-door transportation, and instructional swim lessons. Campers arrive at Oak Crest between 8:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., and leave at 4:10 p.m. daily. The camp offers a five full-day program for all campers, as well as a three full-day and five half-day options for campers ages 3-5. Programs include Munchkins (ages 3-5), Explorers (first and second graders), Juniors (third and fourth graders), Seniors (fifth and sixth graders), Teen Travel (seventh, eighth, and ninth graders), and LIT (10th and 11th graders). At Oak Crest, professionally trained counselors and specialists are carefully hired, screened, and taught to help children find their own avenue of success at camp. This comes in many forms, from the soccer field to the climbing tower, in the ceramics studio, and on the stage in the camp show, where children will learn real skills and leave camp feeling accomplished. In addition to the skills taught in the activities, campers will learn the social and emotional skills that come with working as a group, which are often missing in today’s world of virtual interactions. This summer’s sessions run June 27 through August 23. Before- and after-care programs are also available. PIONEER TRAILS DAY CAMP 120 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell 973.992.7500 ext. 113; metroymcas.org Operated by the West Essex YMCA and held at Caldwell University, Pioneer Trails Day Camp offers campers an opportunity to discover new interests and gain a sense of achievement through progressive, age-appropriate activities and experiences. Teamwork, problem solving, curiosity, self-confidence, and the Y values of caring, respect, honesty, and responsibility are emphasized throughout the camp program. Pre-K through eighth grade campers, grouped together by the grade that they will enter in September, will follow a daily schedule packed with specialty activities that take them from the Flag Salute at morning line-up to the end of the camp day. Each week of camp has a special theme along with corresponding activities for the week. The camp’s specialists provide age-appropriate instruction in arts and crafts, archery, performing arts, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), indoor and outdoor sports, tennis, computers and group swim lessons. Every week of camp also includes a special event such as an on-site educational or instructive program or a field trip. Previous special events include Corey the Dribbler, the Frisbee Guy, Circus Workshops, and field trips to Sky Zone, Jumpnasium, and Lewis Morris State Park. This year’s camp dates are June 24 to August 9.

Photo courtesy of Tamarack Day Camp.

TAMARACK DAY CAMP 34 Park Avenue, Randolph 862.244.4422; tamarackdaycamp.com Tamarack Day Camp is a co-ed camp for children ages 3-15 that prides itself on creating amazing summer experiences that its campers will remember for a lifetime. Guided by its mission, Tamarack provides a unique atmosphere which allows campers to develop skills in a variety of activities while gaining life skills such as independence, confidence, and leadership skills. Through the activities, the staff help campers develop their emotional intelligence, and learn to set and achieve goals, building perseverance and resiliency. At Tamarack, the programs are designed to meet the physical and developmental needs of each age group. Tamarack’s beautiful 37acre facility located in the heart of Randolph features plenty of field space, a new stateof-the art heated Olympic size pool, a proturf sports complex, air-conditioned creative arts studio, skate park, ropes course, and two zip lines. The camp experience also includes door-to-door transportation and a full lunch program. Tamarack offers four through eight week sessions. Camp begins on June 27.

Photo courtesy of Pioneer Trails Day Camp.

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NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA XIAN ZHANG Music Director

DEBUSSY MASTERWORKS featuring DEBUSSY’S LA MER INGRID FLITER

Mar 7–10 Newark | Red Bank | New Brunswick

SAROD & SCHEHERAZADE featuring sarodists AMJAD ALI KHAN, AMAAN ALI BANGASH and AYAAN ALI BANGASH

Apr 5–7

Newark | New Brunswick

MARY POPPINS IN CONCERT WITH THE NJSO

Apr 12–14 Red Bank | Newark | New Brunswick Apr 14 performance presented in collaboration with State Theatre New Jersey. Presentation licensed by © Disney All rights reserved.

Tickets start at $20! njsymphony.org | 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) Made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

CONCERT SPONSOR

XIAN ZHANG MUSIC DIRECTOR

universite.ete.sorbonne-universites.fr

Sorbonne Summer University JULY 1 TO 26, 2019

Summer classes and lectures in French or English French language courses formation-continue@paris-sorbonne.fr SPRING 2019

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By Taylor Smith

IMAGES COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Top-Ranked MFA Programs

Want to develop your creative craft or pen that novel that’s been living inside you? Do you have a passion for painting, drawing, sculpture, or film? Are you considering a teaching career in the arts? We’ve rounded up some top Master of Fine Arts programs in the Northeast that can add an extra spark to your resume and potentially help you to make that career change or land the job you’ve been dreaming about. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Location: New York City Program: Applicants apply to either painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, or “new genres.” Length: 2 years Famous Faculty: Nicola Lopez, Sanford Biggers, Gregory Amenoff, and Kara Walker. Selling Points: If location is a determining factor, it doesn’t hurt to spend two formative years training and studying in Manhattan, arguably one of the largest art capitals in the world. Being an Ivy, Columbia also ranks high for exclusivity, accepting only two percent of applicants to Columbia’s MFA in visual arts. As of 2013, the program also offers a concentration in sound art, so if experimenting with audio is your forte, this is the place for you. YALE UNIVERSITY Location: New Haven, Connecticut Program: Concentrations in painting, sculpture, graphic design, and printmaking. Length: 2-3 years Famous Faculty: Carroll Dunham, Rochelle Feinstein, Gregory Crewdson, Huma Bhabha, and Shirin Neshat. Selling Points: Reputed to have one of the best graduate graphic design and photography

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departments, Yale also has an incredible alumni network and it’s rumored that second-year MFA students are sometimes signed with galleries and/ or participate in international exhibitions before they’ve even graduated. SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS Location: New York City Program: Photography, video, computer art, visual narrative, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Length: 2 years Famous Faculty: Laurel Nakadate, Mark Tribe, and Marilyn Minter. Selling Points: Located in Manhattan, SVA is well known throughout the country for its top-ranked visual narrative concentration which combines visual art and writing, perfect for those interested in illustration and graphic novels. Notable alumni include Keith Harring and Sol LeWitt, both of whom have permanent installations at the MoMA. BARD Location: Annandale-on-Hudson, New York Program: Writing, painting, photography, music/ sound, and film/video. Length: 2-3 years (including three summer sessions) Famous Faculty: Thomas Eggerer, Zoe Leonard, Nick Mauss, Amy Sillman, Ulrike Muller, and Sadie Benning. SPRING 2019

Selling Points: Bard pioneered the low-residency MFA program with students gathering in oncampus sessions for three eight-week summer residencies. Independent work is then divided up among two to three years. The emphasis here is on creating a high volume of significant art, rather than just grades and examinations alone. Bard also has a number of rotating visiting professors, many of whom are successful alumni. The Bard name also goes very far in the art world, particularly the contemporary visual arts scene where Bard graduates have made a large contribution. RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN Location: Providence, Rhode Island Program: Everything from landscape architecture and furniture design to illustration. Length: 1-3 years Famous Faculty: Naomi Fry, Dean Snyder, Henry Ferreira, DIke Blair, and Patricia Tribe. Selling Points: RISD benefits from a cooperative relationship with the Ivy League’s Brown University. Its MFA program is designed with a particular emphasis on craft and traditional skills over conceptual work. In other words, this is where you will learn how to draw as an architect, not just philosophize a vision of a building.


Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Boarding School

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE PEDDIE SCHOOL

By Becky Richardson

I always planned on my children living at home when they attended high school. As I saw each child grow, I prepared myself for the day that they would go off to college, start their careers, and possibly move away. I was comforted in knowing that I had time to prepare since college was still a few years ahead. Then it happened: “Mom, what do you think about me going away for high school?” My daughter Jane even prepared a PowerPoint presentation convincing me why I should let her board at Peddie School, hours away from our home. Having four of my five children go away for high school helped me understand and appreciate the benefits for them. 1. It’s excellent preparation for college Boarding schools helped prepare my children for college. The environment is open, much like a small college campus, yet they have the protection and oversight you would still want for your child. Living “on their own,” students learn how best to study and prepare for classes, experience new cultures and languages as they engage with students from across the country and around the world, and engage with outstanding faculty who challenge and support them. By the time they went to college, they really did have their wings. 2. It will foster opportunities to grow and mature Students are encouraged to explore and stretch as they learn, make friends, advocate for themselves, take responsibility, and experience a new sense of independence. They develop outstanding study habits and learn how to manage their own schedules and requirements. They are encouraged, rewarded, and supervised in ways that allow them to safely explore their potential and passions.

3. It provides unique educational and social opportunities Small class sizes combined with enthusiastic educators (most with advanced degrees), who not only want to share their knowledge but also engage students in uncovering new ways to explore topics, make every class a front-row seat experience. From intensive labs to field trips and courses abroad, boarding schools help students learn through exposure to unique opportunities, in and outside of the classroom. 4. It’s a safe and caring place Sending my 14-year-old away to school required a huge leap of faith. Boarding schools understand this and make the care and safety of students the top priorities. On-staff nurses, counselors, and dorm parents, as well as teachers and administrators, are there round the clock because so many of them live on campus, too. 5. It creates a community and lifelong friendships The diverse community that students become a part of at a boarding school is perhaps the most unexpected bonus for your child. Students from across the state, country, and often the world come together to form a tightly-knit community — one where students learn from each other, collaborate, and support each other. Many of the friendships the students make will last well beyond their high school years and open them to a world of different perspectives and cultures, in addition to exciting experiences. Boarding school has been a life-changing experience for each of my children. They remain grateful to and for the individuals who worked tirelessly to help them, and for opportunities and experiences that helped shape them. And, they still thank us for embracing that “unimaginable” moment.

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URBAN BOOKS

Black History Lives Between Covers, From Douglass to Obama BY STUART MITCHNER

My

only problem with a ceremonial institution like last month’s celebrating black history is in the way “history” implicitly detracts from the ongoing immediacy of the African American experience. “Lives” in my title can be read both as a reference to the lives of people and to the force that lives in the present, which happens when we listen to Charlie Parker or Billie Holiday, read James Baldwin or Frederick Douglass, admire a painting by Jacob Lawrence or a photograph by Gordon Parks, or go online to watch First Lady Michelle Obama’s stirring speech at the 2016 Democratic Convention. The good news is that millions of people have been reading Obama’s memoir, Becoming (Crown $32.50), and David W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon and Schuster $37.50). Blight’s landmark biography begins with President Barack Obama’s September 24, 2016 dedication speech at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in which he delivered “a clear-eyed view” of the “tragic and triumphant” experience of “black Americans in the United States.” After referring to “the infinite depths of Shakespeare and scripture” in black history, Obama paid tribute to “the fight for our freedom ... a lifetime of struggle and progress and enlightenment ... etched in Frederick Douglass’s mighty leonine gaze.” The face on the cover of Prophet of Freedom commands attention with a force reflected in the book’s primary epigraph, Douglass’s declaration, “There is a prophet within us, forever whispering that behind the seen lies the immeasurable unseen.” Blight brings Douglass and Obama together again on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, April 14, 1876, when the former slave spoke before an audience including President Ulysses S. Grant and leaders from every branch of government; according to Blight, “No African American speaker had ever faced this kind of captive audience, composed of all the leadership of the federal government in one place and no such speaker would ever again until Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.”

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“BECOMING” Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high” moment at the Philadelphia convention, where she charmed her audience even as she challenged it, resonates in the down to earth style of the opening pages of Becoming. For her, the White House is “where our two girls played ball in the hallways and climbed trees on the South Lawn,” where “Barack sat up late at night, poring over briefings and drafts of speeches in the Treaty Room, and “where, Sunny, one of our dogs, sometimes pooped on the rug.” Reviewing Becoming in the New York Times, Isabel Wilkerson says, “In finally telling her story, Obama is doing several things with this book. She is taking the country by the hand on an intimate tour of everyday African American life and ambition, while recounting her rise from modest origins to the closest this country has to nobility.”

“A CHILD’S STORY FOR ADULTS” Little Man, Little Man (Duke Univ. Press $22.95) is a book James Baldwin (1924-1987) wrote expressly for his nephew TJ, aka Tejan Karefa-Smart, who notes in his foreword how the book, first published in 1976, has “managed to travel with me through those childhood years and into my adult life.” Referring to “the very real people, places, circumstances, and life events that TJ encounters in this story of childhood,” Karefa-Smart says the “everyday ‘Music up and down the street,’ has become for me the rhythm of my own movement through a colorful, wild world.” Nicholas Boggs and Jennifer DeVere Brody’s introduction discusses Baldwin’s friendship with the illustrator Yoran Cazac as well as tracing the highlights of black children’s literature from W.E.B. Du Bois’s monthly children’s magazine, The Brownie Book (1920-21) and Langston Hughes’s The Pasteboard Bandit (1935) to Toni Morrison’s The Big Box (1999). What makes Little Man, Little

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Olympia, Édouard Manet, 1863. Oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Man “so noteworthy for its time is its self-aware presentation as a ‘child’s story for adults’ that tackles such mature themes as poverty, police brutality, crime, intergenerational relations, addiction, racism, and social marginality through the voice and vision of a black child.”

THE BLACK MODEL Exhibition curator Denise Murrell’s Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today (Yale Univ Press $50) examines the legacy of Édouard Manet’s Olympia (1863), arguing that this “radical painting marked a fitfully evolving shift toward modernist portrayals of the black figure as an active participant in everyday life rather than as an exotic ‘other.’” Exploring the little-known interfaces between the avant-gardists of 19th-century Paris and the post-abolition community of free black Parisians, Murrell “traces the impact of Manet’s reconsideration of the black model into the twentieth century and across the Atlantic, where Henri Matisse visited Harlem jazz clubs and later produced transformative portraits of black dancers as icons of modern beauty.” Also discussed is the urbane “New Negro” portraiture style by which Harlem Renaissance artists like Charles Alston and Laura Wheeler Waring “defied racial stereotypes.” The book concludes with an observation of the ways Manet’s and Matisse’s depictions influenced Romare Bearden and continue to resonate in the work of such global contemporary artists as Faith Ringgold, Aimé Mpane, Maud Sulter, and Mickalene Thomas.

DEPICTING THE COLOR LINE W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America by Whitney BattleBaptiste and Britt Rusert (Princeton Architectural Press $29.95) collects the colorful charts, graphs, and maps DuBois presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition, offering a view into the lives of black Americans, by conveying a literal and figurative representation of “the color line.” As Maria Popova has observed, these data portraits shaped how “Du Bois himself thought about sociology, informing the ideas with which he set the world ablaze three years later in The Souls of Black Folk.”

EARLY GORDON PARKS Philip Brookman’s Gordon Parks: The New Tide: Early Work: 1940-1950 (Steidl/ Gordon Parks Foundation/National Gallery of Art $48) examines Gordon Parks’s transformation in the decade preceding his tenure as the first black staff photographer at Life magazine. Born into poverty and segregation in Fort Scott, Kansas in 1912, Parks worked as a brothel pianist and railcar porter, among other jobs, before buying a camera at a pawnshop, training himself, and becoming a photographer. Beginning as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, Parks also eventually found success as a film director, writer, and composer. He received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Arts, and more than 50 honorary degrees. The book was timed to accompany the recent Gordon Parks exhibit at the National Gallery, which was curated by Brookman; there are additional essays by Sarah Lewis, Deborah Willis, Richard J. Powell, and Maurice Berger.

FREEDOM EVERYWHERE In Baltimore, Frederick Douglass, then a 12-year-old slave named Frederick Bailey, found “the book that changed his life.” The Columbian Orator was a compendium of prose, verse, plays, and political speeches by famous orators from Cicero and Socrates to John Milton, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. The used copy he bought with the 50 cents he’d earned doing odd jobs around the shipyard at Fells Point became “a noble acquisition” and was his “constant companion and sole worldly possession” when at the age of 20 he escaped to freedom, finally achieving the objective he envisions in the 1845 Narrative: “I saw nothing without seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and felt nothing without feeling it. It looked from every star, it smiled in every calm, breathed in every wind, and moved in every storm.” Like Douglass’s “noble acquisition,” books born of the African American experience can change lives, transcend history, bridge divides, and break down walls.

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TA M M Y MURPHY’S “A L L I N ” NEW JERSEY’S ACTIVIST FIRST LADY IS ALSO A BIG FAN OF DRUMTHWACKET BY WENDY GREENBERG PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM GRIMES

Tammy Snyder Murphy became aware of climate action some 24 years ago while living in Frankfurt, Germany, where her husband worked in financial services. “I was stunned,” she recalls. “People took cloth bags to grocery stores. They recycled trash, just as a matter of course. It opened my eyes.” The personal commitment to sustainability was a lesson that is still with her today, as first lady of New Jersey. In fact, Tammy Murphy is a passionate advocate for several key issues, the environment among them.

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The Trenton skyline. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com)

S

ince her husband, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, took office just over a year ago, Murphy has channeled a “can do” attitude, which she attributes to her parents, to support the agenda of her husband and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver. She sees herself as a “convener,” and says, “There are four people in this office,” referring to three staff members and herself. “Tell us what you need. We’ll help get it done.” Nevertheless, there are some things that are close to her heart. In addition to the environment, Murphy has been front and center on the issues of maternal and infant mortality. She is present at events and visible on social media (check Twitter: @FirstLadyNJ). In her office down the hall from Gov. Murphy’s — now at 225 West State Street, while the statehouse is undergoing renovation — she spoke about where she can make a difference, including her passion for making Drumthwacket, the official governor’s residence, a symbol of a state that welcomes diversity. The modest office features art she selected from the New Jersey State Museum, such as the colorful Skyway Breakdown (1975) by Peter Homitzky from Hoboken, and the pastoral Farmer’s Field by George A. Herquet Jr., of Penn’s Neck. A model of the state bird, the American goldfinch, sits on some books, and a sofa pillow with a small map of New Jersey reads “Home.” The office has been her working home for the past year, a base from which to cover the state.

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM Murphy delivered the keynote address last fall at a Princeton University Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment conference, “Accelerating Climate Action in the United States: What Are We Doing and What More Can Be Done?” She said she and Gov. Murphy want New Jersey to become a “magnet for innovations and solutions” in climate action. She also spoke at the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards in Trenton last December. All environmental issues are on the table. “I’m interested in it all,” she says. “I’m tangentially involved in all that is going on in environmental issues, at the intersection of how we fix clean energy on one hand, and involve social justice on the other. To lay out the table for future

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generations, you can’t just attack one piece.” She has considered issues from solar energy to horseshoe crabs as endangered species. New Jersey, she points out, had pulled out from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but has now started the process of rejoining. The state has also joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, opposes offshore drilling, and has a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. “It’s not true that being green means more expense, as some have said,” Murphy points out. Economic benefits go hand in hand with environmental protection efforts, she says. For every $1 invested in offshore wind, New Jersey will realize $1.83. Moving to an offshore wind economy will create more than 4,300 jobs and a total economic impact of $700 million, she notes. Murphy has some credentials here. For more than a decade she has been secretary and a charter member of the Climate Reality Action Fund founded by former Vice President Al Gore. The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit organization involved in education and advocacy related to climate change, was established in July 2011 after the joining of two environmental groups, The Alliance for Climate Protection and The Climate Project, both of which were founded in 2006 by Gore. In the early 2000s, when the Murphys were holding dinners in their Middletown home, they connected with Al Gore. Gore soon invited Tammy Murphy to join the Climate Reality Project. She has spoken on the organization’s behalf and is excited about its progress. “We are training the next generation of leaders who can change the world,” she says. “We trained [in] more than 150 countries so far.”

FAMILY INFLUENCE Her interest in community service probably goes back to her paternal grandmother, who was “always involved in something in Virginia.” Her British mother, who she describes as a “force to be reckoned with,” told her, “never let anyone tell you no.” “I never felt impeded,” Murphy says. She is the youngest of five siblings. Her father, Edward B. Snyder, died this past fall, and the funeral program lists some 75 diverse organizations he supported in some way, from the American Red Cross to the Boy Scout of America, from the March of Dimes to several health

SPRING 2019


Drumthwacket, the official governor’s residence. (Photo by Edwin J. Torres)

(Photos By Tom Grimes)

Interior at Drumthwacket. (Photo by Edwin J. Torres) SPRING 2019

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centers, along with museums and cultural organizations. Growing up in Virginia Beach, Va., (where she then aligned with the Republican party), Murphy thought she might have a career in media after she graduated in 1987 from the University of Virginia with a degree in English and communications. But she became interested in finance, and was hired by Goldman Sachs. She later worked in Europe for Investcorp. She became friends with Phil Murphy, but it wasn’t until seven years later that they went on a date and became engaged. They are the parents of four children, ages 21, 19, 17, and 15, and she emphasizes that she is “a mom first” and tries to communicate with her family throughout the day.

POVERTY AND HEALTH ISSUES Because of her interest in family, Murphy is also highly involved in the issues of maternal and infant health and mortality. She noted that New Jersey is 45th out of 50 states in mortality. “It is particularly bad if you are a black child,” she says. “Your chances of dying in the first year of life are three times greater, and for black women, the maternal mortality rate is more than four times higher than it is for white women.” Murphy has crisscrossed the state meeting with coalitions, doulas, foundation members, and other stakeholders. “I’ve learned that the problem is not just prenatal care but poverty, a lack of access to transportation and medical care, opiate use, and much more.” It’s a problem that is so large and complicated, she said, that originally the health department was involved and “now there are 13 cabinet members involved in this issue.” Murphy proudly reports that the New Jersey Black Maternal & Infant Health Leadership Summit last October at Drumthwacket resulted in 120 guests communicating with each other and brainstorming short- and long-term solutions. “It was pretty effective,” she said. But she notes that “one of the biggest challenges is connecting people with resources.” Family festivals, such as one held in Trenton in December, are an effort to bring residents and resources together. The first was in

Plant Roots

Paterson and there were 60 providers and some 300 community residents. More than 90 providers were on hand in Trenton, and some 500 people attended. Another will be held in Camden in March.

DRUMMING UP DRUMTHWACKET As an activist first lady, Tammy Murphy explains that she and Gov. Murphy “have always been a team. We have always brought our combined perspectives. There are so many areas that can use a little bit of help. I’m all in.” Not one to shy away from involvement, Murphy has served on the boards of several schools and organizations, including the board of visitors at the University of Virginia, the advisory board of Tisch College at Tufts University, Phillips Academy Andover (Mass.), the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Rumson Country Day School, the Monmouth Conservation Foundation, and the Count Basie Center for the Arts. As president of the Drumthwacket Foundation, another major initiative is the effective use of the official governor’s residence in Princeton as a symbol of a New Jersey that people want to invest in, and a source of pride for state residents. As such, she sees herself as a caretaker for the “incredible history” and for inspiring state citizens to appreciate the culture and history of the residence. Look for rotating exhibits by New Jersey artists, and for only New Jersey wines served at functions. Last year events hosted by the Murphys at Drumthwacket included a Black History Month reception, a Women’s History Month reception, a Passover Seder, an Asian American Pacific Islander Month reception, a Pride event, the recent the Marine Corps anniversary, and menorah lighting. Drumthwacket saw its first Diwali celebration, a Hindu festival, this past fall. Murphy says she was taught that “everyone is worthwhile. Someone always brings something to the table. Everyone deserves to have his voice heard.” Between multitasking and a whirlwind schedule, Tammy Murphy intends to keep listening.

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Urban Agenda Magazine Spring 2019  

The Spring 2019 edition of Urban Agenda Magazine

Urban Agenda Magazine Spring 2019  

The Spring 2019 edition of Urban Agenda Magazine