Urban Agenda Magazine: Spring 2017

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Spring 2017


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On the Cover: Olek working on “Our Pink House” in Avesta, Sweden. Photo by Helena Kinnunen / Kerava Museum


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Furs and leathers are surrounded by controversy for their use of animal skins. They represent the exotic, the risqué, and the fierce. Yarn, on the other hand, comes from goat farms and often suggests homespun domesticity and grandmothers. However, the typically unsexy material is undergoing a revival. Thanks to women who are using the medium in unconventional ways, yarn is becoming a means of personal expression. 8


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Crocheted Wall Street bull, pic by Olek, NYC, 2010

arn art has gained popularity with the help of the “yarn bombing” movement, where artists dress everyday objects like bicycle racks, park benches, or telephone poles in a vibrant crochet covering. While some of the public artworks are commissioned, a true bombing is unannounced, leaving a colorful surprise for city dwellers on their morning commute. Since the early 2000s, Magda Sayeg, a Texas native, has been responsible for a myriad of these displays, but she is best known for covering a bus in Mexico City with knitted blankets. In 2005, she founded Knitta Please, a group of Houston knit graffiti artists, and over the years, similar groups have formed worldwide. In London, Knit the City’s Yarn Corps “sneakily stiches” phone boxes, bollards, and the like. They’ve completed larger projects for prominent companies, such as their Woolly Owools yarn storm for designer Ted Baker in 2013. To announce the opening of the Ted Baker store in Leeds, the group placed their adorable knit owls throughout London. Knit the City’s puns are just as masterful as their handiwork. Yarn artist, Deadly Knitshade, founded the group in 2009 and wrote a book about their rebel crocheting in Knit the City: A Whodunnknit Set in London.

Bold Stitches One of the scene’s most prolific artists is Agata Oleksiak, known as Olek. Unlike her knitting counterparts, Olek works alone. Originally from Silesia, Poland, Olek moved to Brooklyn, where she took the city by yarn storm. You might be familiar with the colorful winter sweater she crocheted for the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street on Christmas Eve, 2010. Like the sculpture’s original artist, Arturo DiModica, Olek created the piece without permission in response to the most recent stock market crash. The popularity of the sweater-clad bull ignited people’s desire to use yarn in similar ways. “When I started, nobody could spell the word crochet, no one was doing it,” explains Olek. “Albert Einstein said, ‘The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself

in places no one else has been.’ So in 2012, I crocheted his statue in Washington, D.C. I am still surprised I was able to pull it off guerilla style with all the special service and police that surround that area.” Olek is internationally recognized for her yarn storming, but she is also known for her fierce independence. As the movement gained momentum, Olek took her work in a different direction. “I separated myself from the yarn bombing scene simply because I didn’t like it,” she says. “I felt like a mother who was disappointed with her children’s choices. It lacked creativity and originality. People were not pushing themselves to make new choices and, instead, were repeating what was publicly approved.” Olek’s redirection not only increased yarn’s popularity, but also its power. Knitting and crocheting are often stereotyped as the passive activities of homemakers, but Olek helped turn them into forms of activism. “As an active supporter of women’s rights, sexual equality and freedom of expression, I have used the broad appeal of my work to display my solidarity with those stifled by oppressive laws worldwide,” she explains. In September 2016, Olek, along with a group of Syrian and Ukranian women, covered an entire home in Kerava, Finland with hot pink crochet. During the Winter War in 1939, bombs landing nearby had threatened the home, and the family who owned it had to flee. As many of the women who assisted Olek were refugees, the project symbolized their ability to recreate a home for themselves, work as a community, and bring hope to a seemingly bleak situation. At times, Olek’s work can be delightfully irreverent as when she enclosed humans in crocheted head-totoe onesies as part of her exhibit, Knitting is for Pus**** at the Christopher Henry Gallery in New York. She also crocheted, “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament,” on the streets of London for an International Women’s Day project at Stolen Space Gallery. At other times, her art is simply extraordinary, as when she concealed a four-car locomotive in Lodz, Poland in just two days. Despite, or perhaps because of, Olek’s provocative creations, the yarn aficionado has been widely recognized for her work. She was named one of

(above) Olek by the "Our Pink House" in Kerava, Finland pic by Emilia Kangasluoma / Helsingin Sanomat. 2016 spring 2017

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Crocheted locomotive, pic by Slawek Fijalkowski, Poland, 2013

Knitting is for Pus****, pic Jeffery Kilmer, NYC, 2010



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Olek with assistants Llama Qassas and Sarah Kassas working on "Our Pink House" in Avesta, Sweden, pic by Mikael Bakaldin

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Yarn Mermaid Olek BOND/360

Yarn Street Art London Kaye2 from www.londonkaye.com

Women's March On Washington, January 21, 2017, Washington D.C., USA



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Yarn Street Art by London Kaye from www.londonkaye.com

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40 influential American craft artists under 40 by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. As a result, Knitting is for Pus**** was included in the Smithsonian’s 2012-2013 40 Under 40: Craft Futures Exhibition. For the installation, Olek displayed a crocheted replica of her studio apartment, which featured a cozy covering for every item in the space from the ceiling to the toilet. Her work has been shown in other prominent galleries and museums worldwide including the Brooklyn Museum and Art Basel Miami, where she covered walls, boulders, and people in crochet for Women on the Walls, a mural project that celebrated female artists and the changing face of street art. Olek has also received press in publications such as The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and Vogue.

addition to the New York street-yarn scene, partnered with Red Valentino for a knit-inspired capsule collection. The classically trained dancer went from pirouettes to purl stitches when she started crocheting playful scenes on fences. Now, her special edition knitwear is selling for upwards of $750.


On January 21, 2017, there was a yarn bombing of a different sort when pink knit hats with cat ears covered the National Mall during the Women’s March on Washington. Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman of Los Angeles started the Pussyhat Project as a way to show female solidarity in the wake of the 2017 presidential election. Suh and Zweiman’s project called upon women to knit, SEWN INTO FILM AND FASHION sew, or crochet pink “pussyhats” to send to marchers for them to wear at the rally. With the aid of social media, Film director Una Lorenzen has caught on to the yarn it is estimated that over 50,000 hats were sent to the trend, and more importantly, the fearless women behind nation’s capital from crafters around the world. As a it. Her 2016 documentary, Yarn follows Olek and a handful result, the hats came to not only symbolize women’s of other female artists from around the world who are reappropriation of the taboo euphemism into a term using the unexpected medium to spread influential for female empowerment, but also their reclamation of messages. Recently, the film was screened at the 8th knitting. Annual Architecture and Design Film Festival in New The Pussyhat Project brought knitting out of the home onto the streets and into our political system. Like York City. Yarn is also stitching its way into the fashion scene. a nationwide knitting circle, it provided women a safe, Prior to the yarn craze, if someone said your sweater female-centric arena to generate dialogue and voice looked handmade, they’d likely be met with some side their concerns. Each crafter’s personal story was stitched eye. However, in the DIY era where hipsters rule and cool into a hat, which in the end, created a blanket of will that and casual is king, a handmade look can be the goal. Often relayed a message of power and protest at the capital. times, the more nuanced and unique an item appears, the To pull a loose string on the knits of 2017 is to unravel a pricier it becomes. This has created an ideal environment multifaceted world of art, fashion, and feminism. With the advent of social media and social networking websites for knitwear to enter the world of designer fashion. SPRING 2016 WOMEN / PHOTOS / TOMMY like Ravelry.com, knitters and crocheters have been The prominent fashion website, Fashionisers HILFIGER RUNWAY LOOKS named crocheted outerwear as one of spring/summer able to connect with fellow enthusiasts and share their 2016’s biggest trends. Tommy Hilfiger’s 2016 spring ready to wear collection creations with the masses. This has contributed to the resurgence of knitting featured entire ensembles made of yarn, along with crocheted bikinis, sandals, and a revamping of yarn. Maybe it’s time to whip out your knitting needles, jewelry, and other warm-weather essentials. London Kaye, a more recent because along with formidable females, yarn is here to stay.

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Summit Destination:

Rise and Shine If you’re in the mood for huge portions and free flowing coffee for breakfast, the Summit Diner is your place. Calling an old railroad car home, this nostalgic 1930s-styled establishment embodies the quintessential American diner. If you plan on indulging in their delicious Taylor Ham on a weekend morning, be prepared to wait alongside the usual crowd of people craving an authentic diner breakfast.

A m o de rn l oc al e ste eped in history


nown as one of the most prestigious towns in the country, Summit, New Jersey was first settled around 1710 as a region of small farms. With the 1837 addition of the Morris and Essex railroad line, the town became increasingly commercialized and by the late 1800s, it was considered the premiere weekend resort area for wealthy city-dwellers. Summit, aptly named for its location atop the Second Watching Mountain, quickly became known for its rural charm. Due to its close proximity to New York City, many families built summer estates in the town to enjoy the fresh air and natural landscape. Fast-forward to 2017 and Summit is still attracting well-to-do government and business leaders looking to raise a family in a quaint town while quickly and easily commuting into Manhattan for work. This transportation hub in Union County boasts striking Tudor and Colonial style homes from the 1900s, nationally ranked schools, scenic arboretums, and quality shops and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a day trip full of family fun, the tree-lined streets of Summit, New Jersey are ready to welcome you. Urban Agenda Magazine maps out a trip to Summit for every traveler’s taste.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Azalea Garden. Photo by Julieanne Frascinella

Downtown Summit. Photos by Andy Foster Photography

Shop Till You Drop For more than 20 years, Bob Carroll has worked in clothing retail in Summit. In that time, he’s mastered the art of men’s fashion and opened up John Hyatt Clothing. Named after his late father, the men’s haberdashery offers menswear that makes a distinct connection between old and new. John Hyatt carries preppy-traditional clothing in classic American and English styles, including a Peter Millar Crown Shop, which is limited to an exclusive group of retail partners. www.johnhyattclothing.com Started by a mother and daughter team from Summit, No. 18 Boutique knows how to dress its locals. This high-end women’s clothing store sells a curated selection of American and European designers such as Iro Paris, Veronica Beard, and Rachel Zoe. Private styling sessions and personal shopping services are also available. Be on the look out for their newest shop in Hoboken this spring. shopno18.com Find Your Adventure Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum is a 12.5-acre natural wonderland that is perfect for families. Its landscaping is in the style of the late 19th and 20th century and is known for its impressive herb garden and striking daffodils during the month of April. Tours of the dense woodlands, formal gardens, and Wisner House can be arranged upon request Tuesday-Friday and Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. reeves-reedarboretum.org. Started by a group of seven painters in the early 1930s, The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has evolved to become one of the state’s leading cultural institutions. The 24,00 square foot space is dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through exhibitions, studio classes, and community programs. The Center’s year-round class offerings range from Comic Book Art for children ages 6-9 to the adult Evolution of Rings jewelry-making course. Other events include artist talks, film screenings, and wine and paint evenings. artcenternj.org. If you’re looking for style inspiration, Summit is a hub of home design and renovation companies like Cove Carpet Floor & Home, Pereaux Interior Design, and Harquail Brothers Outdoor Kitchens. At Cabri, Inc., owner Lakshmi Sheth works with her full-service design team to transform any size space with their timeless taste and competitive prices. Their design house specializes in kitchens and Wood-Mode Custom and Brookhaven Semi-Custom cabinetry. Nearby, Kitchen Expressions is well equipped to renovate everything from bath vanities and mud rooms to entire homes. cabridesigns.com; kitchenexpressions.com At Mondo Summit, local retailers, artisans, and musicians provide you with a wide array of entertainment options. Shop this vertical mall on Springfield Avenue for creative cooking items at Kitchen à la mode, handcrafted jewelry by Heather Duetsch, a classic novel from Booktique, or other eclectic finds. Feeling inspired? Head to the Brownstown Theatre and Artspace for a jazz night or art show, view the latest movies hosted by The Film Society of Summit, or jam out at the World of Rock music school. After all the activity, settle in at Marigolds for sweet and savory café fare or, if you’re really feeling Zen, try Mindfulness Meditation or another innovated workout hosted in this dynamic space. mondosummit.com Relax and Revive Owners Christine Ku and Zoe Cortez have combined their talents—and names— to establish Zoku, a high-end salon that brings world class cuts to northern New Jersey. Their highly trained color and style teams perform the latest trends in men and women’s hair. Services range from the European highlighting technique called balayage to specialized hair and scalp treatments. A one-stop shop for all things beauty, Zoku also has an aesthetician on staff to provide spa services such as microdermabrasion, facials, waxing and airbrush tanning. zokusalon.com Satisfy Your Stomach 40NORTH Restaurants is behind some of North Jersey’s leading eateries. From neighborhood pizzerias to historical taverns, this family owned restaurant company has six brands in 11 locations through out our state, including two restaurants in Summit. Piattino: A Neighborhood Bistro offers fine Italian foods with culinary twists such as Rabbit and White Bean Pizza or Early Morning Risotto. The gastronomic adventure continues with their “Do It Yourself” charcuterie and cheese board and inventive cocktail menu. Down the road, over 40-plus craft beers are on tap at The OFFICE Tavern Grill, which serves modern American cuisine like Apple Butter BBQ Pulled Pork, Stout Battered Fish and Chips, and Chicken and Waffles. piattinonj.com; officetaverngrill.com Sometimes you just need a steak, and no one understands that more than Roots Steakhouse. With locations in Summit, Morristown, and Ridgewood, this modern restaurant offers North Jersyians everything from dry aged porterhouse steak to a diverse array of prime cuts. The goodness goes beyond steak and into the world of well-composed salads, creative cocktails, and Jumbo shrimp over dry ice. piattinonj.com Plan Your Stay In existence since 1868 and in its current location since 1929, The Grand Summit Hotel has certainly withstood the test of time. Established in order to cater to New Yorkers seeking to escape the city, this historical hotel has maintained its elegance. Just 30 minutes from New York City, the boutique hotel with 149 rooms and suites is ideally located for those seeking to experience both the city and the country while visiting Summit overnight. grandsummit.com

The Grand Summit Hotel



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Beatrix Farrand

Force of Nature

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at The New York Botanical Garden was designed by Beatrix Farrand in 1916. It was restored and completed in 1988 in honor of dedicated gardener and conservationist Peggy Rockefeller.

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photo by ivo m. vermuelen

by wendy plump

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is possible to be cowed by Beatrix Farrand even now, over 100 years since her first landscape commission at Princeton University and half a century since her death. There is much to be thankful for in the sylvan, living landscape she put in place to give an austere campus a greener aspect. Two hundred years ago the university was practically a field; there were no trees at all around Nassau Hall. Farrand‘s influence remains most evident today in the twisting blooms of wisteria that climb the great Gothic walls of the Graduate College each spring. Or the Wyman House rose garden. Or the sugar maples and beeches that accentuate—rather than compete with—the university’s soaring architecture. Or for that matter the entire, park-like character of campus. Still, she is a little intimidating.

First consulting landscape architect at Princeton University. Designer of gardens at the White House, at the University of Chicago, at the Morgan Library in New York. Creator of the celebrated garden property Dumbarton Oaks. Niece of novelist Edith Wharton. Only woman founder, along with 10 men (including Frederick Law Olmsted), of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Consorter with many of the wealthier families of the early 20th century—

1943 portrait of Beatrix Farrand. Courtesy of the Beatrix Farrand Society. Portrait by The Gledhills Portraits, Santa Barbara, CA

Rockefellers and Morgans and Cabot Lodges. Only child. Perfectionist. Workaholic. Bachelorette until age 41, when she married Max Farrand. And early feminist, though she probably would not have given herself the label. “I have put myself through the same training and look for the same rewards,” Farrand told the New York Daily Tribune in 1900 when, no doubt, some impertinent reporter asked her why she demanded equal footing in the masculine world of landscape architects. Although she wouldn’t have agreed with that title, either. She called herself, always and unfailingly, a landscape gardener. “We still do things based on her vision and her thoughts about how the campus should look,” said Devin Livi, Princeton’s Associate Director of Grounds and Landscaping. “If a tree dies, we try to replace it in kind and are very concerned with what she wanted the campus to look like. The way the campus looks today is the result of her work—the vines, the espalier, the native plant choices. “I got the torch from my predecessor when I got here, and I’m carrying it now,” Livi added. “When you start to peel away the history of her work, it’s fascinating.” Although it was relocated in the 1960s, a nursery started by Farrand for the cultivation and acclimation of campus plants and trees is still in use today by the university. Formerly on Faculty Road, the nursery was moved to West Windsor in the 1960s. Many have speculated about how Farrand, socially fortunate though she was, managed to accomplish so much so early in the game for herself and other women. The 19th Amendment, after all, was still eight years from ratification when she began her Princeton work in 1912. A quick survey of her upbringing amid strong, ambitious women in New York City—her mother wrote articles and a book about women; her aunt wrote The Age of Innocence—and the question practically answers itself. The better question is, how did she learn landscape architecture in an age when there were no schools for it, and when the avenues for women of means were strictly delineated? With her social standing,


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photographs by ricardo barros View through a canopy of Wisteria towards the Dean's Garden at Princeton Graduate College.

Detail of the Dean's Garden at Princeton Graduate College.

Farrand would more likely have been expected to design flower gardens and host garden clubs. But the muscular art of paring and shaping a landscape was a privileged discipline for a privileged few. Meaning men.

Sargent made a present of two Cedars of Lebanon to the first Dean of the College, Andrew Fleming West, and these trees have have a quiet, commanding presence within the Old Quadrangle today. Sargent also later sent Farrand specimens and seeds for use in Princeton plantings. Another possibility is the architect Ralph Adams Cram, Princeton’s first ALONG CAME CHARLES SARGENT consulting architect, tapped to design the Graduate College. His office in New York City was close to Farrand’s. However, since his architectural Born in 1872, Farrand exhibited an early talent plans also included topographical analyses for for garden design, at least in part because landscaping that Cram apparently wanted to she witnessed the careful laying out of the do himself, this theory is less likely. family summer home, Reef Point, overlooking In his 1994 thesis on Farrand, Frederic Frenchman Bay in Maine, when she was just Webster posited that a chance meeting 11 years old. Her grandmother was also noted between Farrand and Mrs. Moses Taylor Pyne for having one of the first espaliered fruit led to the assignment. Farrand did work on gardens in Rhode Island. Farrand took on a the Pynes’ home, Drumthwacket, in 1910 and career-starting commission as early as 1897, Pyne was, after all, on the building committee working on the first of several private homes for the Graduate College. Whatever the case, in and around Bar Harbor. By the end of her Princeton distinguished itself, wrote Webster, career, she would have landscaped as many as by being “among the earliest and perhaps the 50 private homes in that area alone. first university in this country to carry on an A family friend introduced her to the great unbroken policy of planting and care of its horticulturist at Harvard, Charles Sprague campus.” Farrand was a major early factor in Sargent, director of The Arnold Arboretum. that distinction. Farrand began apprenticing under Sargent, In a letter to the Controller of the University and soon moved into his family home as his in 1912 about the College, Farrand wrote: “I shall favorite pupil so that her studies could continue be glad to consider the work in detail when the uninterrupted. It was Sargent who taught her, proposed tentative drawing for the possible according to the Dictionary of Notable Women, development of the land is made by Mr. Ralph that she should seek to “make the plan fit Cram. In regard to the terms of payment my the ground and not twist the ground to fit a charges are fifty dollars a day and my traveling plan.” This philosophy in particular enlivened expenses. Work done in the office is paid for at and undergirded Farrand’s future designs for The path to the Reef Point Gardens, Bar Harbor, Maine, 1946. Courtesy of the the same rate.” When she wrote that letter, she Princeton University. Beatrix Farrand Society. From Reef Point Gardens Bulletin, I:1. was 30 years old. There are several possible explanations for Farrand’s introduction to Princeton. One is that Sargent himself—knowing Princeton’s intentions to landscape a new property for its Graduate College—put her name in the hat. In fact, (OPPOSITE) An aerial view of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at The New York Botanical Garden. Peak rose flowering through June. NYBG Photos by Ivo M. Vermuelen.



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dumbarton oaks photography courtesy of wikimedia commons

A tree-lined path at Dumbarton Oaks.

Dumbarton Oaks facade and fountain.

Garden view at Dumbarton Oaks in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. spring 2017

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photography by frances benjamin johnston, 1864-1952. wikimedia commons. Hand-colored photograph of the southeast garden at the White House, Washington, D.C. in 1921. Beatrix Farrand designed the garden for Ellen Axson (Mrs. Thomas Woodrow) Wilson in 1913.

Hand-colored photographs of Reef Point, Beatrix Farrand’s summer home in Bar Harbor, Maine, in 1920.


As Farrand’s work for Princeton progressed, her reputation grew around the country. She would go on to designing for scores of college campuses including Yale, where she met her husband Max Farrand, Within two weeks of her business engagement at Princeton, Farrand a history professor there. She enjoyed a long stewardship at the Abby delivered up a landscaping plan for the Graduate College site. Her Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine, which was inspired by preliminary report outlined six points of importance. First among them, her comprehensive study of designs and patterns in Beijing’s Forbidden for example, was a robust connection between the new college and main City as her way of honoring the Rockefellers’ passion for East Asian art. campus. Others included the priority use of She did a White House garden for Woodrow evergreens at the college entrance because “for Wilson. She landscaped the area around J. more than half the time the buildings are most Pierpont Morgan’s home in Manhattan. in use, the deciduous trees are leafless.” She set But her most celebrated work is the garden down a plan for border plantings, and plantings property Dumbarton Oaks, a research library around the buildings to come. administered by Harvard University in the This did not sit well with architect Ralph Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. There, Cram. “I am very strongly of the opinion that Farrand worked in close collaboration with owner the landscape treatment around a given building Mildred Bliss for more than 30 years. Her intensity should be determined by the architect thereof,” and vision are still to be seen in the formal he wrote to then-President John Grier Hibben. gardens with their emphasis on ornamental trees “No landscape gardener, however competent, and shrubs. Farrand and Bliss designed every can be expected to see the thing as he sees it.” garden and hedge and sited every bench and urn Cram’s disapproval had little impact. Hibben at Dumbarton. apparently approved Farrand’s curvilinear, Farrand spent her last years at Garland Farm informal plantings that complemented the natural in her beloved Maine, where she kept some of the contours of the setting. Farrand went on in 1915 books from her research library of nearly 3,000 to become the university’s permanent consulting volumes. She died in 1959 at the age of 86. landscape architect, and enjoyed a rich and In a letter to Princeton Professor Gerald fruitful relationship with Princeton for the next 1959 photo of the Garland Farm terrace and study. Courtesy of the Breese in 1984, noted gardening scholar and three decades. Intensely devoted to her work, Beatrix Farrand Society author of Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes, she was said to have followed undergraduates as Diana Balmori offered this summation of Farrand: they walked around campus to see where they were beginning to wear “The extent and importance of her campus landscape work has not been paths through the grass, after which she would decide to place a path studied partly because of the lack of attention given to the professional directly there. work of women, partly because of the shift in attention from the campus Several boxes of letters and written materials comprise a small Farrand site to its individual buildings. collection at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Combing through “In fact,” Balmori added, with a subtle nod toward Farrand’s broad them is a journey back through time, through carefully-typed, onioncontributions, “the campus can be considered an American invention.” skin letters, bills of lading, orders for trees and plants and fertilizers, notes on placement and water management, old schematics, and pencilsmudged correspondence. And every time Farrand signed a letter, it was underscored with a straight, strong, black line.



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4/14/17 10:27:41 AM

photo by ivo m. vermuelen

Peak rose flowering through June at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, The New York Botanical Garden. NYBG Photos by Ivo M. Vermuelen.

spring 2017

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spring 2017

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photos courtesy of Wing Wong

The 18th Mansion In May Designer Showhouse And Gardens Be A Part Of New Jersey’s Gilded Society At Mansion In May 2017


by sarah emily gilbert

his spring, Alnwick Hall in Morristown, New Jersey will come alive for The Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center’s (WAMMC) 18th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens. A year after incorporating Morristown Medical Center (MMC) in 1892, Myra Brookfield, with the aid of Augusta Stone, established the WAMMC. Come 2017, the association has grown to over 700 member volunteers, but it remains steadfast in its original mission to support the advancement of the hospital and its programs. “A lot of people don’t realize that our organization is 125 years old and started the hospital,” explains Mansion in May’s Publicity and Marketing Chair, Kathy Hobbs. “It’s incredible that today’s members are still donating their time to the same cause. The WAMMC is a group of highly professional fundraisers that have great knowledge and skills, but more importantly, a passion to be part of this group.” To date, the WAMMC has raised close to $25 million, which has helped MMC become a nationally ranked hospital. To generate revenue, the group operates three gift shops and a Starbucks in the hospital, along with a local thrift store called The Bargain Box, but Mansion in May is their primary fundraiser. Since its debut in 1973, the biannual event has grossed more than $10 million, making it one of the country’s preeminent designer showhouses. This year’s mansion, known as The Abbey, is currently on the market and was offered for the event by its owner, Tom Maoli. Although Mansion in May doesn’t officially begin until spring, the WAMMC “moved in” on January 1 to prepare the space. Updates included new carpets, refinished floors, and Wi-Fi, but the real transformations were at the hands of leading designers from the region. For the 18th edition of the fundraiser, over 270 interior and landscape designers toured The Abbey in the hopes of participating in its renovation. Each applicant submitted three inspiration boards to the WAMMC’s selection committee that outlined their rooms of chose and design proposals. After days of jurying, the WAMMC awarded 45 interior designers and 17 landscape designers from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania a space in the home or on its property. According to Hobbs, there is no shortage of design inspiration at this year’s mansion. “The first time I walked into The Abbey, I was so impressed by its integrity to the Golden Era. It’s one of the last homes standing from that time period, but

all the early designs are still there, from the magnificent ceilings to the gorgeous stairway. When you look up the stairs, you see the stained glass windows, which are exceptional.” Renowned architect Percy Griffin built the 21,000 square foot mansion between 1903 and 1904. Along with 42 rooms, the palatial home boasts quality wood detailing, intricately decorated ceilings, and stained glass windows created by American artist, Otto Heinigke. Typical of Gilded Age mansions, The Abbey was designed to mimic European architecture. The mansion’s crenulated parapets and brick and stone exterior are reminiscent of Alnswick Castle in Northumberland, England. Although The Abbey did not house a king, it was home to American Telephone and Telegraph executive, Edward Peter Meany and his wife, Rosalie (née Behr) Meany. Between 1880 and 1929, the area that connects Morristown and Montclair, New Jersey was home to America’s elite, and consequently, some of the premiere social events of the time. If there wasn’t a soiree at the Vanderbilt, Dodge, or Morgan residence, there was sure to be an opulent gathering at the Meany estate, such as a live performance by Metropolitan Opera Singer, Madame Alma Gluck. Over time, most of the homes along this iconic stretch called “Millionaire’s Row” fell to decay and disrepair, but the Meany estate remains as a vestige to the time. Located on 335 Madison Avenue, The Abbey will be brought to its former glory as its doors open for house tours and private events during the month of May. The proceeds from Mansion in May 2017 will support the Center for Nursing Innovation and Research at Morristown Medical Center. For four consecutive years, the hospital has received the Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence, given to healthcare organizations with exemplary nursing. With a special focus on research and post-acute patient care, the new center will help the MMC apply for the Magnet Award once again, and continue to grow its exceptional nursing program. Between May 1 and May 31, over 30,000 visitors are expected to walk through the doors of The Abbey, an impressive turnout even by Rosalie Meany’s standards. To step into the Gilded Age of New Jersey, purchase tickets for this year’s Mansion in May at www.mansioninmay.org.

spring 2017

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4/14/17 10:43:08 AM

urban books

The Blessings of Home Design: From Garden Sheds to Fallingwater by Stuart Mitchner



ome design begins the first time we draw the face of a house. For me, this was a clumsy but legible two-story square with windows where the eyes would be and a door for the mouth, a rooftop for hair or headpiece, and a chimney for Santa. I was 11 when we moved into “a real house.” We’d been living in a grad-student-GI-bill barracks with a pot-bellied stove. It was like going from the Little House on the Prairie to a mansion. The change galvanized my austere English professor father. One morning I came downstairs and he’d painted an abstract expressionist mural in the space above the mantel. “What happened to the wall?” I asked. “Think of it as a giant Rorshach test,” my mother suggested. I saw some birds, a snake, a melting piano, two shapes like boomerangs in flight, a harp, and a lady in a funny hat tripping over something. When a “real artist” we knew came by one day, he stood gazing at my father’s work for a minute. Then he formed a small “O” with thumb and index finger, placed it over the tripping lady in the hat, and said, without irony,”This bit is quite nice.”

Beaton’s original reaction to Ashcombe House has an otherworldly quality: “I was almost numbed by my first encounter .... It was as if I had been touched on the head by some magic wand.” Beaton employed the Austrian architect Michael Rosenauer to make alterations that included a passageway through the house to unite the front and the back; elongating the windows; and the installation of plumbing and electricity. The artist Rex Whistler designed the Palladian front door surround. Some 60 years later pop star Madonna and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, bought the house; six years later it went to Richie as part of the divorce settlement. Reddish House had a somewhat similar fate. After buying it in 1947, Beaton added rooms to the eastern side, extended the parlor, and installed new fittings. The costumes he designed for My Fair Lady were stored in the attic. He lived there until his death in 1980. Seven years later the house was bought by prog rock icon Robert Fripp of King Crimson and his wife singer/actress Toyah Wilcox; they lived there until 1999, made extensive renovations, and are apparently still married and living in Worcestershire.

Two Great Houses

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th

I thought of my father’s painterly audacity when I read about Cecil Beaton’s “amusing bedroom” in the Sussex Gardens home he and his parents moved into when he was 22. According to Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life (Rizzoli $85) by Andrew Ginger, which includes a foreword by Hugo Vickers, Beaton’s “crowning effect” was to paint the walls “peppermint pink over-painted with large, stylized fleurs-de-lys in contrasting colors of light caramel brown and pistachio green.” He also dressed his small four poster bed in “scarlet stencilled in gold, with a bright pink satin bedspread edged with gold trimming.” The furniture was painted light pink in contrast to the peacock blue carpet. Although one journalist suggested that “one could not call it a restful room” and wondered if so much color was “almost too mentally stimulating,” another article declared it to be “probably the most original room in London.” This lavish volume (“overwhelming in the best sense,” says one reader) about a 20th-century “Renaissance men”—photographer, costume designer, set designer, playwright, creator of fashion fabrics, and writer on raffiné interiors and the personalities who inhabited them”—is centered on two Wiltshire homes “dear to Beaton’s heart”: Ashcombe House, and Reddish House (pictured with Beaton on the cover), not to mention London’s Pelham Place and various New York hotel suites.

New York’s Museum of Modern Art will commemorate the 150th birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) with a June 12-October 1 exhibit, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive. Edited by Barry Bergdoll and Jennifer Gray, an eponymous monograph (MoMA $65) features a collection of scholarly explorations “rather than an attempt to construct a master narrative.” Each chapter centers on a key object that an invited author has “unpacked,” tracing its meanings and connections, and juxtaposing it to other works from the archive, from MoMA, or from outside collections. Fourteen contributors will cover subjects including Wright’s “quest to build a mile-high skyscraper, his status as one of the earliest celebrity architects, using television, press relations and other forms of mass media to advance his own self-crafted image; a little-known project for a Rosenwald School for African-American children.” Other investigations concern his “lifelong dedication to affordable and do-it-yourself housing, as well as the ecological systems, both social and environmental, that informed his approach to cities, landscapes and even ornament. The publication aims to open up Wright’s work to questions, interrogations and debates, and to highlight interpretations by contemporary scholars, both established Wright experts and others considering this iconic figure from new and illuminating perspectives.”


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spring 2017

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Fallingwater Back in print in a new format in time for Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th, Fallingwater (Rizzoli Classics $39.95), edited by Lynda Waggoner with photographs by Christopher Little, includes authoritative texts on Fallingwater’s history, structure, restoration, and collections, including the house’s relationship to its setting and its importance to the sustainability movement; its meaning in the context of Wright’s body of work; the analysis and planning process that went into Fallingwater’s restoration and how a seemingly unsolvable problem was overcome through modern engineering. Fallingwater Director Waggoner’s introduction recounts the visit by architect Philip Johnson on the occasion of his eighty-fifth birthday. Standing on the west terrace gazing at the tower window, Johnson is said to have declared, “It is the greatest house of the twentieth century.” But when asked if he could be quoted, he said, “Certainly not. I’ve designed a few buildings myself you know.” In 1955, Wright called it “a great blessing—one of the great blessings to be experienced here on earth.”

“The Beginning Point of Any House” Jane Field-Lewis’s The Anatomy of Sheds: New Buildings from an Old Tradition (Gibbs-Smith $30) takes a humble subject in an imaginative new direction with over 50 examples from around the world, some simple and modest and some extravagant. While the owners themselves describe how they have created their own hideaways, Field-Lewis provides style notes and comments based on her conversations with owners, architects, and designers. For

the interiors, recycled, vintage and precious items are mixed with new, functional and practical ones. One example Field-Lewis writes about has a literary source, having been inspired by the cabin in Thoreau’s Walden. The idea was to design a structure that would bridge the gap between Thoreau’s “walled-in space” and the outdoors, creating interaction between the internal and external environments. The walls and pitched roof were constructed from sections of traditonal pine and contemporary transparent acrylic glass panels, mounted on polyethylene floats and connected with rope screws. Recyclable acrylic panels were chosen instead of glass because they are lighter, more transparent, and consume less energy. The effect brings “transparency” to the building. For the builder, it’s “like a model of the primitive habitat at the birth of architecture...the beginning point of any house.”

George Kennan Builds a House Many houses after the one my father exercised his inner Picasso on, I found myself living with wife and child in a carriage house behind statesman and historian George Kennan’s lofty, Italianate Hodge Road home. Our place was painted a deep red with green trim. Directly in front of us was the playhouse the former Russian ambassador had built for his children and painted in the same colors. It would have made a nice addition to Jane Field-Lewis’s book, true to the words of the craftsman builder she quotes in her introduction: “People appreciate having their attention guided to ... something constructed carefully and well.”

spring 2017

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or most Broadway musicals, the “composer” creates only the songs, usually providing vocal lines with piano accompaniment. Other musicians, including an orchestrator, prepare the score for performance. The orchestrator adjusts a composition “to fit…whatever orchestral combination has been selected,” Broadway orchestrator Don Walker writes in his autobiography. In the 1940s, Webster’s Dictionary came out with a second meaning for orchestrate: “to arrange or combine so as to achieve a maximum effect.” “Then the floodgates opened and all kinds of people began to call themselves ‘orchestrators,” Walker quips. “So now I am trying to find another professional name to call myself, but it’s late.” During Broadway’s mid-century “Golden Age,” Walker orchestrated music—and theatrical institutions.

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Walker (1907-1989) was born in Lambertville, New Jersey, to Thomas and Blanche (nee Basford) Walker. When not on the road during tryouts for a new musical, he spent most of his life across the Delaware, in New Hope, Pennsylvania—on an Aquetong Road farm that Walker dubbed Harmony Hill. During his years as an accounting student at the Wharton School, Walker played tenor saxophone in his band, the Don Walker Interfraternity Five. Over a Christmas vacation, he noticed some of the titles in his father’s sheet music catalogue, including “The Waters of Minnetonka” and “From the Land of the Sky Blue Water.” Walker writes: “I thought…I’m going to try to write an orchestration for a full dance band, and I’ve got a title for it! I’ll call it ‘An Indian Rhapsody!’” Soon he was arranging music for Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, an ensemble that produced recordings for Victor at a time when the RCA studio was in Camden, New Jersey. His earliest theatrical work entailed the orchestrations for two of the University of Pennsylvania’s Mask & Wig shows: Ruff-neck and Out of the Blues. In the early 1930s, he orchestrated radio shows for George M. Cohan and Sigmund Romberg. Walker also orchestrated May Wine, a 1935 operetta Romberg wrote with Oscar Hammerstein, as well as the Ziegfeld Follies of 1936. Walker married Audrey Langrill Simpson of Moore Park, Toronto, in 1931. They had two children: Ann (who married Yanek Liebgold), and David E. Walker. An honorary board member of the New Hope Historical Society, Ann Liebgold outlived her parents and brother; Audrey died in 2003, and David in 2012. In 2013 Ann Liebgold published Men of Notes, her father’s memoir of his career from the late 1920s to the early 1940s, through Dorrance Publishing. In the foreword, Walker hastens to state that his wife suggested the book’s title. “Tell them about those wonderful and otherwise characters you had to work with,” she advised him. “I remember, growing up, he was often not at home; he was out on the road with shows,” Ann Liebgold recalls. “When he did come home, we would always do something special: a trip to Virginia, or something like that. You couldn’t talk to him if he was working. He did work at home, sometimes, if he was on a show and he felt he’d been away for too long. He would bring a copyist with him, so that he could keep up with the pages that needed to be copied.” Eventually, Liebgold worked as a music copyist at Chelsea Music Services, which her father founded with copyist Mathilde Pincus.

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4/14/17 10:33:06 AM

In 1938, Walker was instrumental in the founding of the Bucks County Playhouse, in New Hope. “During the course of a fairly large party, a group gathered in one corner and kicked around the idea of a straw-hat theatre,” Walker remembers in his introduction for The Difference Began With the Footlights, Gilda Morigi’s history of the Playhouse. Walker and his theatrical colleagues partnered with the Hope Mill Association, a group of “public-spirited people” who had bought the mill. The Playhouse was constructed on the site of the New Hope Mills. Built in 1790, the gristmill gave the town of New Hope its name. The Playhouse was going to be named the New Hope Theatre; Walker’s recollection was that his wife Audrey suggested calling it the Bucks County Playhouse. Asked about her memories of the theater’s inception, Ann Liebgold replies, “You have to remember, the year that was going on I was six years old. I just remember lying in the trellis that was covered with wisteria, and hearing all these people talk below, while my brother and I played Robin Hood! I remember all the work it took to get it built. As a kid growing up, my mother took us to the theater. When I was sixteen, I became an usher.” The Bucks County Playhouse opened on July 1, 1939. Its inaugural production was Springtime for Henry; the star was Edward Everett Horton, who had a supporting role in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film Top Hat. “There was an interesting article at the time, ‘Ground is Broken in New Hope for a New Experimental Theater,’” notes Alexander Fraser, the Playhouse’s current Producing Director. “The founding mission of the Playhouse was to give young new playwrights a chance to spread their wings.” Fraser continues, “Of course, it quickly became famous for stardriven summer stock productions. In some cases they were new plays,

and some were beloved chestnuts. I think originally [the productions] just were plays, but I know that Kitty Carlisle, for instance, did a production of Lady in the Dark, which her husband [Moss Hart] wrote, at the Playhouse. That was probably in the late 1940s. So musicals were added as time went on.” Of Walker’s involvement, Fraser says, “He was very active in the operations, and served on the board of directors. In 1949, he was involved in the building of the Playhouse Inn, which is now being recreated just next door to the Playhouse.” In addition to his administrative role Walker also wrote for the theater, composing and scoring The Bucks County Revue and Mistress of the Inn.

In 1952, Walker co-founded Music Theatre International with composer Frank Loesser, for whom he orchestrated The Most Happy Fella. Originally called Music Theatre Incorporated, the company was conceived when Walker noticed that many scores held by Tams-Witmark, another licensing house, were incomplete. In The Sound of Broadway Music: a Book of Orchestrators and Orchestrations, Steven Suskin notes that Walker initially suggested the idea of a new licensing house to Richard Rodgers, for whom he updated the orchestrations of Pal Joey, On Your Toes, and Babes in Arms. Rodgers co-founded what would become the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization—but without Walker. Frank Loesser, however, had a catalogue of shows ready for licensing, including Guys and Dolls, so he partnered with Walker. “By 1957, Loesser—who preferred to personally control his several businesses—bought out Walker,” Suskin writes. It was Loesser who changed the name of the company to Music Theatre International. Asked whether her father regretted selling his share, Ann Liebgold replies, “I don’t think so. I never heard a word about that.”


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Walker’s Broadway career spanned six decades. He contributed orchestrations for By Jupiter by Rodgers & Hart, and Carousel by Rodgers & Hammerstein. Other shows he worked on include Damn Yankees, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, and Cabaret. Walker continued working until 1981, orchestrating early scores by Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Stephen Schwartz. In addition to his orchestration work, Walker was a composer in his own right. He wrote Memphis Bound, a swing version of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta HMS Pinafore, as well as Courtin’ Time. Steven Suskin writes, “This seems as good a time as any to talk about Walker’s crusty demeanor…many Broadway people were in awe of Walker’s reputation and thrilled to have him. But to others, he was forbidding.” Suskin quotes producer and director Harold Prince: “He was a grim presence, but he was so good. He would walk down that aisle for the orchestra call, and you’d say, ‘Oh, God, I hope it’s better than he thinks it is.’” “People didn’t understand what a reserved person he was,” counters Ann Liebgold. “[My father] was a quiet man. He would stand and listen. He was really quite a shy person, except when it came to his music.” When Walker wasn’t working, he hybridized gladiolas. He was the president of the North American Gladiolas Association, and a judge for the All-America Gladiolus Selections. “He hybridized to make different colors, strength, or different varieties,” Liebgold remembers. “When he was here, he was very much occupied with the hybridizing. He’d have two flowers blooming, and he was always trying to make a blue one. It’s a long procedure to develop a flower from pollen!”

Many of the shows on which Walker worked are still performed today, either in Broadway revivals or in regional and amateur productions. Revivals often commission new orchestrations, just as Walker was hired to update the arrangements for early Rodgers & Hart shows such as Pal Joey. However, Walker’s work can be heard on the original cast recordings.

Music Theatre International’s catalogue includes shows with orchestrations by Walker, including Damn Yankees and Fiddler on the Roof. It also includes more recent musicals such as Les Miserables, If/Then, and the theatrical adaptations of Disney films such as Beauty and the Beast. “The fact that our company was created by artists—specifically musical theatre artists—who had the exceptional strength in both sides of the brain to be business people as well as creatives has played a significant part in how MTI operates today,” says Drew Cohen, the current president, in a statement. “It continues to be our privilege to represent them and their work and to present our customers with the highest quality materials possible, a tradition started by Don Walker himself over sixty years ago.”

Alexander Fraser says the Bucks County Playhouse’s current mission is “to serve the community, first and foremost, certainly as a nonprofit. We have an active education program; we’re thrilled to continue the Student Theater Festival, which is now in its 49th year, and brings kids from all over the region to perform and receive professional adjudication, and to participate in masterclasses in dance, voice, and acting. We’ve recently added an evening performance that parents can attend, called Best of Fest. That’s in the spring. We also do a summer program for high school students where they produce a musical they appear in, and learn what goes on backstage. And we have an internship for kids in college, who are learning skills in theater production.” The Playhouse also has a program to encourage the development of new musicals. “We are also proud of our new musical development program, the Oscar Hammerstein Festival, which honors Hammerstein’s mentorship of Stephen Sondheim and brings young writers to New Hope to hone their skills,” Fraser continues. “This year’s Festival, which includes a benefit concert honoring Shirley Jones and hosted by Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, will be held on April 22 and 23. The summer season begins in May with the world premiere of Clue, based on the popular film; and continues with Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story which runs May 27 to June 17; and Guys and Dolls.” U

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4/14/17 10:37:18 AM

Preschool - Grade Eight

Small By Design

May 6 & 7, 2017 Morven Museum & Garden welcomes thirty-six fine craft artists from around the U.S. The juried show will feature jewelry, furniture, wearable and decorative textiles, ceramics, mixed media, and more. And while you’re here… take advantage of


55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 609.924.8144 •• morven.org 609-924-8144 morven.org

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IT ALL BEGAN IN HOBOKEN n October of 1845—though historians will disagree on precisely when—the first game of baseball under the modern rules took place on the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey. The New York Base Ball Club (later known as the Knickerbockers) faced off against the Brooklyn Club, and beat them handily. It was there that the 90-foot distance between bases was established—a rule that was to be practically as fundamental to the sport as gravity itself. Today, those particular bases are long gone, as are the Elysian Fields themselves—swallowed up by the urban landscape, with only a bronze plaque to mark where they once were. So now it may seem like the Garden State’s connection to America’s national pastime is fainter and more tenuous. And indeed, New Jersey residents so often find themselves pulled toward either the Mets or Yankees across the Hudson, or to the Phillies across the Delaware. It is a conflict as deep-seated as whether we root for the Eagles or the Jets or Giants, as regionally divisive as whether it’s called “Taylor Ham” or “Pork Roll.” Is our great state really a house so divided?



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DH 13 2013

ALEX RODRIGUEZ Well, at some level, yes—clearly and perhaps indelibly. But New Jersey baseball is very much alive and well. It thrives in the state’s minor league teams. In fact, New Jersey minor league ball has a long and distinguished history. In his book Baseball in New Jersey: The Game of History, which accompanied a 1995 exhibit at the New Jersey State Museum, John T. Cunningham argues that the 1937 Newark Bears were among the greatest minor league teams ever assembled. He is far from alone in thinking this, and for good reason: the Bears, then minor league affiliates of the Yankees, rounded out the regular season with 109 wins and 43 losses—an incredible 25½ games ahead of the next best team. They went on to edge the Columbus Red Birds to claim the Little World title in a championship series that stretched to seven games after the Bears lost the first three. The team’s roster included luminaries such as Tommy Henrich, Spud Chandler, Joe Gordon, and Charlie “King Kong” Keller, and the overwhelming majority of that 1937 lineup would go on to play major league ball. Viewed from a present that is so saturated with sports media (instantly updated online box scores, games streaming on smart phones, dozens of sports channels on television) it’s easy to forget how comparatively limited Bears fans’ access was to their team. Most fans followed the Bears’ season through radio broadcasts—which certainly remain an element of the current baseball universe—but those broadcasts were constrained in ways that are hard to imagine now. WNEW’s Earl Harper was the voice of the Bears in those days, but when the team was on the road, he stayed in his Newark studio, essentially spinning broadcasts from thin air as he dramatized the telegraph messages he received. As Cunningham writes, “There was usually one word, ‘ball’ or ‘strike,’ or perhaps a few words, ‘popup 2B’ or ‘fly, left.’ Harper filled in the blanks as he imagined the action that might be taking place on the distant field. ‘Ball,’ for example, became ‘inside, close to Rolfe’s chest. Red steps out, glowers at the pitcher, then steps back in,’ and so on until the next telegraphed word was received.” And according to an account in the WNEW archives, Harper would also enliven his broadcasts with sound effects, snapping a matchstick in front on his microphone to the crack of a wooden bat making contact with the ball. By all accounts, he was hugely popular with his audience.



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Times have changed. Though a team of the same name later played in Newark from 1998 to 2013, The Bears left the state in 1950, the same year the New Jersey minor leagues played host to a 19-year-old Willie Mays for a brief one-season stint with the Trenton Giants on his rapid ascent to major league superstardom. There are now five minor league teams in New Jersey: The Trenton Thunder, established in 1980; the Somerset Patriots, established in 1997; the New Jersey Jackals in Upper Montclair, established in 1998; the Lakewood BlueClaws, established in 2001; and the newest addition, the Sussex County Miners in Augusta, established in 2015. The Thunder and the BlueClaws are so-called “farm teams,” meaning they have an affiliation with a major league team (the Yankees in the case of the Thunder, and the Phillies in the case of the BlueClaws) for which they develop new players rising up through the ranks. The other teams are unaffiliated. For fans, part of the fun of a minor league game is the ever-present hope that they’ll get to discover a future star before he gets his big break in the majors. Sometimes, this hope is rewarded. Thunder fans could lay claim to infielder Nomar Garciaparra before he embarked on a wildly successful career between the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers, and Oakland Athletics that saw him win All-Star accolades six times. Similarly, BlueClaws fans could follow pitcher Cole Hamels’s 2008 World Series win with the Phillies, his 2015 no-hitter against the Cubs, and look back fondly to his brief 2003 stint in Ocean County. Farm teams will also sometimes host major leaguers as they rehab from injury. Former Yankees superstar Derek Jeter played two rehab assignments with the Thunder, in 2003 and later in 2011, and fans went wild. On the second night of his 2011 stint, a record crowd of 9,212 packed the Thunder’s riverside stadium—a venue that officially seats 6,150.

OF 13 2010

NOAH HALL spring 2017

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1B 10 2009

JEREMY HAMILTON For young players, moving up to the majors is, of course, a huge marker of athletic success, but the way financial considerations key into all the striving can hardly be overstated. Top MLB players famously enjoy outrageous salaries. Hamels, for instance, is currently nearing the end of a six-year, $144 million contract. Not bad. But in addition to the pull of major league wages, there’s also the significant push of very modest salaries in the minor leagues. Most minor league players don’t belong to a union, and according to a CNN report, higher salaries ring in at $2150 per month—just over minimum wage. Understandably, most athletes don’t linger for very long in the minor leagues—maybe a few seasons and then it’s up or out. While these teams don’t present great long-term career prospects for athletes, they are very accessible for the communities in which they operate and they offer a fun and affordable option for family outings. Their calendars are filled with weeknight promotions, post-game fireworks, and merchandise giveaways. Last year, for instance, the Miners held a pregame “Grand Slam Beer Fest” featuring beer and cider from local breweries. And in the same season, the Jackals played host to both the Japanese Shikoku Island All Stars and the Cuban National team. So, as the weather warms, remember that all over the state, players will be returning from spring training, managers will be shuffling and tweaking their rosters, and maybe announcers will even be stocking up on matchsticks. Because soon enough it will be opening day, and then it’s time to play ball.



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spring 2017

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George Woroch, M.D.

Michelle O’Shea, M.D.

Peter Woroch, M.D. Jan Huston, M.D.

COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR WOMEN Whether you’re planning a pregnancy, dealing with menopause or concerned about your risk of breast cancer, Mountainside Medical Group physicians will provide you with excellent care in a warm, relaxing and compassionate environment. Outstanding care for women on the Montclair, Glen Ridge border.

Our Care Philosophy We don’t treat symptoms, we treat people. We don’t lecture, we listen. We don’t generalize, we personalize. OB/GYN: call Dr. George Woroch or Dr. Peter Woroch at (973) 748-7953 to schedule an appointment. Breast Care: call Dr. Jan Huston or Dr. Michelle O’Shea at (973) 259-3505 to schedule an appointment. www.mountainsidedocs.com

Mountainside Member of Hackensack University Health Network

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4/3/17 1:50:36 PM

New State-of-the-Art Cancer Center Opening Summer 2018

Anticipation Is Building Summit Medical Group has partnered with MD Anderson Cancer Center, the nation's top-ranked cancer center. The new Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center in Florham Park, NJ will offer leading, multidisciplinary oncology services covering all aspects of care from routine screenings to diagnostic treatment and surgery.


“With MD Anderson and Summit Medical Group working together, patients will have local access to the expertise of one of the leading cancer centers in the world.” –Dr. Jeffrey Le Benger, Chairman and CEO, Summit Medical Group

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profiles in healthcare

photography by andrew wilkinson

The Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center on The Green at Florham Park is underway. The new 130,000 square foot medical facility at 150 Park Avenue was designed with the future of state-of-the-art cancer care in mind.

(above) Current Summit Medical Group facility at 140 Park Avenue

(above) New Cancer Center construction at 150 Park Avenue

Jeffrey Le Benger, MD, FACS

Describe Summit Medical Group’s partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center. MD Anderson first brought its top-ranked cancer care to New Jersey in partnership with Cooper University Health Care in Camden, New Jersey, in October 2013. The extension of the MD Anderson and Cooper partnership to Summit Medical Group now provides access to topquality cancer care to Northern New Jersey residents. Summit Medical Group and MD Anderson Cancer Center have joined together to bring innovative, world-class cancer services to patients in Northern New Jersey and the tri-state area. This collaboration is the first of its kind between MD Anderson, one of the world’s cancer care leaders, and a multispecialty physician group. The cancer services that we will provide in the new facility, which include surgical oncology, medical oncology, infusion therapy, diagnostic imaging and access to MD Anderson research and clinical trials, are already in place at SMG’s flagship campus at One Diamond Hill Road in Berkeley Heights. Our radiation oncology services will be in place in mid-2017 at the Berkeley Heights campus. Slated to open in early 2018, our Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center in Florham Park will offer leading oncology services that cover all aspects of care from routine screenings, diagnostics, treatment and surgery to survivorship.

Chairman and CEO, Summit Medical Group summitmedicalgroup.com Tell us about the history of Summit Medical Group: After serving in World War I, group founders William H. Lawrence, MD, and Maynard G. Bensley, MD, returned home to the United States to practice medicine during an era of significant technological and medical advances. It was against this backdrop that Lawrence and Bensley founded the Diagnostic Group of Summit in October 1929. Decades later, the original vision for Summit Medical Group (SMG) has remained the foundation of its success. Within the last 15 years, SMG has made a dramatic transition from a small medical practice to a comprehensive, integrated delivery system with over 70 medical services and specialties, 70 locations, more than 700 highly-qualified providers, and 850K unique patients during 2015-2016. Founded in 1929, SMG is today among the largest independent physician-owned multispecialty medical practices in the nation.

In what ways does Summit Medical Group offer personal care? We take care of the whole patient. Our comprehensive, coordinated patient-centric approach to care ensures that our patients get the right care, at the right time. Our electronic health record (EHR) allows our providers to coordinate seamless care. SMG’s patient EHR features e-prescribing, prescription downloads, access to imaging results, laboratory and other diagnostic reporting, and local hospital records. Our patient portal allows patients to communicate with us easily, securely and at their convenience, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers many convenient features to help our patients manage their health more easily. SMG’s multidisciplinary model of care has simultaneously improved care for individuals, lowered costs of care, and improved care quality.

Where are you located? SMG maintains a 42-acre flagship healthcare campus in Berkeley Heights, with more than 70 additional practice locations throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. We serve patients in every direction—to the south in Hillsborough Township and west to Somerville, to the north in Riverdale and east to Teaneck. Our four state-of-the-art care hubs are located in Berkeley Heights (flagship campus) and Florham Park, both offering outpatient surgery; and in Livingston and Westfield. Located near The New York Jets’ training center, Summit Medical Group’s newest addition is on The Green at Florham Park. This 130,000-square-foot medical facility at 150 Park Avenue was designed with the future of health care in mind. What is your medical practice’s relationship to the Summit community? Our founders created Summit Medical Group with a deep sense of caring for the health of their community and we continue to be rooted in that principle today. SMG maintains a practice location on Maple Street in Summit, and many of our providers, employees, and their families live in Summit, where they attend local schools and patronize local businesses.

How can patients contact you? Our main phone number is 908.273.4300.

What are your fields of specialization? I am an ENT physician, board certified in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. I also practice in cancer services and surgical oncology, and participate in medical research. I earned my medical degree from New York Medical College and completed two residencies at Mount Sinai Medical Center in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, respectively. I achieved Fellowship status with the American College of Surgeons, American Rhinologic Society and American Society of Head and Neck Surgery.

Berkeley Heights: 908.277.8880; Florham Park: 973.404.9780 Livingston: 973.436.1500; Westfield: 908.389.6400

To call one of our Urgent Care Centers which provide fast, reliable, comprehensive care— with no appointment necessary:

For more information about Summit Medical Group, visit summitmedicalgroup.com

spring 2017

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4/14/17 11:02:53 AM

Peter Singer on Ethical Politics

montage by matthew difalco

By Wendy Plump



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turns out that surfers and philosophers have a lot in common. To be any good at what they do, they have to be hard-core realists. Good surf or bad, decent people or vile, the approach is the same: if you don’t want to be mullered, then deal effectively with conditions as you find them. As both a surfer and a philosopher, this is practically Peter Singer’s calling card. When he is at home in his native Australia, Singer’s close personal relationship with Things As They Are has led to many a fine morning surfing a point break off the coast of Victoria, regardless of whether the waves are good or not. He just likes being out there. He enjoys the “splendor” of the ocean environment, he says, not as an escape from a bruised world so much as a way to decompress so that he can keep on dealing with it. Frequently described as the planet’s most influential philosopher, Singer has spent a lifetime dealing with it while simultaneously motivating others to live more ethical lives. His latest book, Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter, published last year by Princeton University Press, emphasizes his commitment to setting our moral compass. He writes about matters for which the first solution seems to be an ability to think deeply—environmental ethics, animal abuse, elder care, abortion, the refugee crisis, and the moral conduct of individuals within the body politic. Whether writing books about what he calls “effective altruism” or presenting a TED Talk on same, Singer often operates in that gray area that can make readers wince when they encounter a particularly disturbing scenario. Most of us would have no sure or comforting answer to the moral dilemmas he discusses. That’s where he takes a deep dive. That’s why he is a pragmatist. Singer goes there. Now that the United States is riven to the point of 24-7 tumult, Singer’s imploring, utilitarian, compassionate take on human conduct seems more essential than ever. “We must make policies for the real world, not an ideal one,” Singer writes in Ethics. And then he walks the walk. Singer has been the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University since 1999. He teaches the fall semester course, “Practical Ethics,” one of the university’s most popular. He also serves as visiting professor for half the year at the University of Melbourne in Australia where he teaches a course called “Big Questions.” Of the 10 essays in the “Politics” section of Ethics, only two were written as recently as 2015. The majority, though timelessly relevant, were written years before the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Singer could likely produce a hearty volume on the exigencies of protest in the current political climate. Regardless, this proponent of effective altruism has a few things to say about what we are up against now in an email interview conducted from the other side of the world.


Singer has a long history with dissent. In fact, his career could be categorized as a broad and relentless attack on injustice as he sees it. He is best-known for writing about our relationship with animals, questions about life and death and human dignity, the obligations of the affluent, and the severely deformed or terminally ill. Ethics covers these subjects and many others equally daunting, while hewing close to the theme that invigorates everything he does. “What is most important, in my view, is ensuring that everyone, irrespective of income, has the basic necessities for meeting their physical needs and to enable them to participate in society,” he says. “Those necessities include, but are not necessarily limited to, sufficient food, decent shelter, sanitation, education, and health care.” He sees

“MY HOPE IS THAT WE, AND THE WORLD AS A WHOLE, WILL SURVIVE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND SLOWLY EMERGE FROM THIS PERIOD OF HOSTILITY AS WE EMERGED FROM THE HOSTILITY OF THE VIETNAM WAR YEARS,” SINGER ADDS. “THAT’S NOT BASED ON ANYTHING SOLID OTHER THAN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE NATION HAS BEEN POLARIZED BEFORE.” social democracy, in this sense, as the best way to mitigate against the extremes of capitalism while also retaining its virtues. As a student in Australia in the 1960s, Singer participated in protests against the Vietnam War, the longest conflict in which Australians fought in the 20th century. Later, while pursuing a higher degree in philosophy at Oxford University in England, Singer organized a protest in London against factory farming. The issue did not yet have the traction then that it does today, but Singer knew early on it was a worthy fight. His books urge readers to donate at least a portion of their yearly incomes to help the planet’s poorest. So does his website, which he co-founded after writing The Life You Can Save in 2009. His essays are published in newspapers throughout the world. His May 2013 TED Talk, which to date has 1.4 million views, drastically increased donations to the non-profit group he endorsed in the talk, the Against Malaria Foundation. In fact, the Foundation attributed some $64,000 in donations to him. Singer doesn’t hesitate to point out the ironies of our occasional sanctimonious behaviors, either. For example, he writes that organic beef produces more methane per pound of beef than “less well-treated brothers and sisters,” and that at least one screening of Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, took place in a theater so frozen with air-conditioning that Singer longed for a blanket. Through it all, and despite considerable controversy raised by some of his views, Singer has remained a staunch advocate of effective dissent through non-violent protest. “There is no obligation on citizens to oppose governments that they merely find ‘objectionable.’ But in a democracy, we should exercise our right of dissent whenever we feel that the issue is sufficiently important for us to take a stand,” he says. “In a democracy—and the U.S. is still near enough to being a democracy for this to apply—disobedience should always be nonviolent. Those using civil disobedience as a means of protest should be prepared to accept the penalty of the law and use any trial that they may face as a means of demonstrating the strength and sincerity of their convictions.”


Singer highlighted two recent developments as “sufficiently important”: President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven countries from entering the United States, and the “even more weighty”


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matter of America’s potential withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. That withdrawal, Singer adds, would imperil the lives of hundreds of millions, “perhaps billions,” of individuals far into the future. So Singer leans on the example of the Rev. Martin Luther King to remind us that civil disobedience is more than justifiable when the stakes are high and the outcomes of passivity are potentially catastrophic. In emphasizing that leaders have an obligation to make decisions not just for their constituents but for the common good – which he defines as extending beyond our borders and beyond our species -Singer proves himself the pragmatist once again. “I know that some people will deny that any politicians are ethical,” he says. “But we should not forget that if you are instituting ethical ends, such as promoting peace and reducing poverty, you can only implement those policies if you do retain power. “You can’t do much good without it.” In the end, Singer admits that his philosophical toolkit is unlikely to do much for citizens in the “sad and potentially tragic situation” of a bitterly divided nation. Instead, he urges those who wish to conduct themselves in an ethical manner to, quite simply, “do the most good you can. Think of it as an opportunity to make your own life more meaningful and rewarding. “My hope is that we, and the world as a whole, will survive the Trump administration and slowly emerge from this period of hostility as we emerged from the hostility of the Vietnam war years,” Singer adds. “That’s not based on anything solid other than the knowledge that the nation has been polarized before.” For more information on effective altruism, please visit www. thelifeyoucansave.org.

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spring 2017

4/14/17 10:55:26 AM

urban agenda Photo Contest

Kim Palumbo, Sailor Sky, Princeton, New Jersey.

Congratulations to Our Spring Photo Contest Winner! Congratulations to our first place winner, Kim Palumbo from Princeton, New Jersey. Here, she tells us more about her winning shot of Asbury Park, which she took while on a tour with her central Jersey photography group, Black Glass Gallery. “The ship pictured is a rather large sculpture that sits on top of Convention Hall in Asbury Park. I was fortunate to be given a private tour of the building, so it is a rarely seen vantage point of this familiar Asbury Park icon.” To view the second, third, and fourth place photographs, visit our website at www.urbanagendamagazine.com, where you can also access details on our next photo contest!


SPRING OPEN HOUSE Tuesday, May 9 RSVP 973.379.3442 or farbrook.org CO-ED n NURSERY THROUGH GRADE 8 n SHORT HILLS, NJ spring 2017

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4/14/17 11:01:32 AM

photo by Jeff Wendorff

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Bobcat Alley

Protecting New Jersey’s Last Remaining Wild Cats



Established just last year, Bobcat Alley in northwest New Jersey is seeking to provide a stable home for the state’s last remaining wild cats. Once nearly extinct in the state, they are still endangered due to fragmentation and habitat loss. Today, the majority of New Jersey’s bobcat population relies on habitats in Warren and Sussex counties.


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hanks to the efforts of The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey and their partners, the endangered bobcat will be able to roam, when complete, a 32,000 acre functional corridor ideally situated between two mountain ranges – the Eastern flank of the Appalachian Mountains and the New Jersey Highlands. Onethird of the total acreage is protected from development and The Nature Conservancy’s long-range goal is to see an additional one-third of the land mass be protected; this would bring the total protected acreage to 20,000. Heavily trafficked roadways in Northern New Jersey can see over 10,000 vehicles a day. These major thoroughfares act as barriers to the bobcat population, reducing their ability to breed, hunt game, and maintain the health of the species. Ideally, Bobcat Alley will be a place where wildcats can hunt, raise young, and interact without the threat of being hit by a car. Eric Olsen, Director of Land Programs at The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey, emphasizes the importance of protecting these wild cats. “The Nature Conservancy is a scientifically driven organization and that’s how we determine where we focus our resources – does it scientifically make sense?” Olsen and the rest of the Land Conservation Team saw an opportunity to work with organizations like the Ridge Valley Conservancy and local landowners to create a corridor where bobcats could establish natural territorial boundaries without the risk of being forced to cross multi-lane roads and highways (a huge risk for New Jersey’s wildlife, in general). Bobcats are very territorial and somewhat solitary creatures. They hunt rabbits, insects, birds, and other small rodents. In terms of environment, they are highly adaptable, but thrive in heavily wooded areas where they will mark their territories using claw marks, feces, and urine. The animals who reside in Bobcat Alley are monitored by the state’s Endangered Non-Game Species Program. This team of state-employed biologists uses various methods to track the movement, health, and birth rate of the bobcats including a dog named Bear who is an expert at sniffing out scat.



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Visitors can access Bobcat Alley as hikers at Blair Creek Preserve in Stillwater Township or Johnsonburg Swamp Preserve in Frelinghuysen Township. The scenic areas are species-rich, so there is a good chance that visitors will catch glimpses of various forms of wildlife in addition to bobcats. Olsen states, “Bobcats are truly a symbol of wildness. There aren’t many creatures in New Jersey that give you that sense. We have an incredible opportunity to make a lasting difference for these animals right here and right now.” Concerned citizens and local landowners are encouraged to contact The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey to learn how they can get involved. Monetary donations can be made online at https://support.nature.org. This tax-deductible gift will help The Nature Conservancy to preserve critical land before it is developed and ensure that these beautiful felines that call New Jersey home may thrive and grow in numbers. 100% of donations goes towards protecting bobcat habitat in New Jersey. While there is a solid base of protected lands already in Northwestern New Jersey, the Nature Conservancy is interested in working with New Jersey landowners to protect and preserve additional land within this territory. Landowners should contact the Nature Conservancy directly to learn how they, too, can enable bobcats to not only survive, but thrive within the state.

Round trip to Morris Animal Inn • Dog & Cat Lodging • Grooming • Daycare

Morris Animal Inn

120 Sand Spring Road Morristown, NJ 07960


morrisanimalinn.com SPRING 2017

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