5 Star Shameless Name Dropping Tour of Princeton

princeton-tour-company0_d84d95dc-5056-b3a8-49569459a53c1e99On this scenic 3 mile stroll, you’ll learn the chronological history of Princeton University while seeing all the essential sites on Princeton campus – including Nassau Hall, Princeton Chapel, Prospect Garden, Blair Hall and Rockefeller College. Outside the gates, you’ll see the homes and hangouts of Albert Einstein, F Scott Fitzgerald, TS Eliot, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, Robert Wood Johnson and more! The public tours begin at 116 Nassau Street inside the Princeton University Store and end in the heart of downtown inside Mistral restaurant at 66 Witherspoon Street. Private tours are available year round. Please call 1-855-743-1415 to inquire about availability.

Date night: An evening of passionate duos in Princeton

via APP.com

Photo: COURTESY OF Marco Borggreve)

Photo: COURTESY OF Marco Borggreve)

Chamber music — a small group of unamplified musicians — to my mind is the purest way to experience the gifts the Western classical tradition has to offer. Granted, the theater of opera, ballet and the visual stimulation of a conductor leading a vast orchestra are largely missing in the chamber music experience.

Instead we are confronted, in an intimate, very direct way, with the personalities of the few performers and the raw musical experience. We experience the sweat, the muscle dexterity, the vibration of each string, the nuances of interplay between the musicians, the way a performer’s physique moves beneath the dress or jacket.

The experience approximates an embrace. We watch an opera or a symphony concert behind a kind of screen of spectacle; in chamber music we become part of the action.

The craft of music — all music, in fact, not just Western classical repertoire — is designed to engage us, intellectually and emotionally, and yes, even physically. We’re in tune with the composer and the performers across ages and gulfs of time and space. Because we’re closer to the players in a chamber setting, the opportunities for that engagement in chamber music are simply more frequent and more profound.

Violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov will perform a program of passionate 19th and early-20th century duos at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Feb. 5.


Get in the Holiday Spirit This Season

Improve your holiday mood with these two performances!

2014-12-10_13-11-40Princeton High School Performing Arts Center The Snow Queen, presented by the Princeton Youth Ballet. Dec. 20 and 21. $15 to $25. Princeton High School Performing Arts Center, 151 Moore Street. 609-948-8065;princetonyouthballet.org


Richardson Auditorium A Bach Christmas, featuring 100 choral singers, trumpets, drums, soloists and orchestra of Princeton Pro Musica, with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. $25 to $60. Richardson Auditorium, in Alexander Hall on the Princeton University Campus. 609-258-2800.

Hometown Halloween Parade!


Thursday, October 30th

Dress up in your best costume and join the Arts Council of Princeton for the Annual Hometown Halloween Parade!

Starting at 5:30, on Hinds plaza (across the street from the Princeton Public Library), the Princeton University Marching Band will perform as the town’s ghosts, goblins and all things spooky gather.  At 6:00 the marching band and a giant puppet parade will lead the procession to the Palmer Square Green for a spooky performance to celebrate Halloween!

Celebrity Chef Brian Duffy Coming to Princeton

2014-09-03_14-23-22Celebrity Chef Brian Duffy, of the Spike TV show Bar Rescue, is coming to Princeton on Sunday, September 14th. He will be visiting the Community Park School from 3pm – 5:30 pm. The event is free of charge.

Duffy will be preparing affordable, nutritious, easy to prepare meals using ingredients generally available to low-income families.

The effort is part of the Send Hunger Packing challenge. Chef Duffy will also help local kids cook a meal of their own as a way of demonstrating the connectione between cooking and nutrition.

About 12 percent of the school population in Princeton, or about 420 children, qualify for free or reduced lunches during the school year. The Send Hunger Packing program provides free weekend meals for children to take home in backpacks. Last year the program provided weekend meals for 88 percent of the 266 students in grades kindergarten through five, as well as preschool children. As of May 2014, 5,522 weekend meal packs were delivered to students.

For more information, visit the Send Hunger Packing website.

Anthony & Cleopatra Coming to McCarter Theatre

2014-08-27_13-47-00She was the seductive queen of Egypt and he one of the generals of Rome. Their tempestuous love affair would tear empires apart. Nicole Ari Parker (Boogie Nights, Soul Food) and Esau Pritchett (Fences) join director Emily Mann for this sizzling production of William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, one of literature’s great masterpieces. Full of romance, passion, and betrayal, don’t miss this intimate tale of two legendary lovers whose desires shaped the destiny of the world.

“[Nicole Ari Parker is] stunning enough to stop traffic in Times Square.” – Huffington Post

“Breath-stopping in both swiftness and sensuality…completely enchanting.” – The New York Times (on Emily Mann’s Romeo and Juliet)


Dancing Under the Stars

2014-08-06_12-34-50Dancing Under the Stars will take place on Friday, August 8th from 7pm-8pm at Hinds Plaza. (Plaza is located on Witherspoon Street next to the Princeton Public Library.

Members of Central Jersey Dance will give demonstrations and lead others in an evening of dancing. This event will continue twice monthly through September, weather permitting.

The music covers ALL dance disciplines and they take requests. It is recommended to wear light clothing, bring water, and flat bottomed dance sneakers. Learn basic steps to Ballroom and modern dances.

The event is co-sponsored by The Princeton Library and Central Jersey Dance.

This incredible, fun evening has received rave reviews so come and join the fun!

Summer Wine & Music Series

2014-07-31_13-36-42Summer Wine & Music Series at Crossing Vineyards & Winery. 1853 Wrightstown Road, Washington Crossing, PA

Friday, August 1, 7PM.

Performing: The Mango Men: Rock, Pop & Country, Island Style!

Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at gate.

Bring a Lawn Chair.

Wine & cheese available for purchase. No outside beverage permitted.

Call for reservations 215-493-6500, ext. 19 or buy on-line: www.crossingvineyards.com. Email: info@crossingvineyards.com.

Palmer Square by the Numbers

via Diccon Hyatt/ US1

Palmer Square Townhomes Exterior SMALLPopulation. Palmer Square, with just 100 dwelling units in the newly completed Residences section and 124 units — mostly smaller ones — in the original 1930s development above the retail stores, will comprise just a small fraction of the Princeton population. But those folks will be surrounded by good company. The former Princeton Borough and Township, recently consolidated into one municipal entity, had a combined 28,572 population in the 2010 census.

The former Princeton Borough was one of the wealthiest locations in the state, according to the 2010 census, with a median income of $104,000.

Property Taxes: The average Princeton homeowner pays about $15,000 a year in property taxes, according to the state Department of Community Affairs. The taxes on one of the recently sold Residences at Palmer Square, priced at the low end of the scale, were just over $18,000.

Transportation: The whole point of living in Palmer Square is that most things you would want to go to are within walking distance — except a full-service supermarket. But a specialty market, D’Angelo Italian Market at 35 Spring Street, can be counted on for the emergency carton of eggs or quart of milk.

Even though Princeton University’s new arts neighborhood adjacent to McCarter Theater has forced the relocation of the Dinky train station 400 feet further away from Nassau Street, it is still within walking distance. Once there the Dinky is a link to the railroad’s main line and, yes, the world.

Inevitably, though, a car will be a necessity in a town like Princeton. The Residences at Palmer Square all have either direct access to a parking garage, or elevator access. Parking itself is another added cost: $170 per month.

Dining. Palmer Square and nearby Witherspoon Street is one of Princeton’s two restaurant rows (the other is four blocks east on Nassau Street, a short walk). Right next to the square, on Witherspoon Street, is the Witherspoon Grill, Agricola, Mezzaluna (a BYOB venue), and the Alchemist & Barrister. An Indian restaurant, Masala (also BYOB), is located just a few doors up Chambers Street from the front doors of the new Residences units.

In the heart of the square are Mediterra, Teresa’s Caffe, and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, the dining room of the Nassau Inn. Palmer Square boasts two highly regarded wine stores, Corkscrew on Hulfish Street and Cool Vines, just off Witherspoon on Spring Street, as well as two highly regarded dessert destinations, Thomas Sweet Chocolate and the Bent Spoon, a gourmet ice cream shop.

Such is the draw of Palmer Square as a dining destination that Steve Distler, the owner of Mistral, the new tapas-style restaurant on Hulfish Street at the corner of Witherspoon, is now considering relocating his highly acclaimed Elements restaurant from its location on Bayard Lane (a drive away) to a space next to Mistral, putting it all into one very walkable location.

Entertainment. High arts and culture are always on display at the McCarter Theater, also within walking distance. There is no escaping intellectualism even at the movies, since the town movie theater, the Princeton Garden Theater on Nassau Street, tends to play films that do not feature giant robots or talking animals. (It is currently showing “12 Years a Slave” and two different indie movies about Palestine.)

Two of the town’s most vibrant cultural hubs, the Arts Council of Princeton and the Princeton Public Library, are virtually across the street from the Residences at Palmer Square.

Education: While most of the residences in Palmer Square were not designed with children in mind, those who end up living there will be within a short distance of a wealth of academic possibilities.

Private schools within a few miles include Princeton Day School, Stuart Country Day School and the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, the Hun School, the Princeton Friends School, the Chapin School, the Waldorf School, and the Lewis School. The Lawrenceville School, where Saudi Arabian princes on occasion have sent their children to be educated, is a short drive down Route 206.

The public schools serve about 3,500 students in four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Princeton High’s average SAT scores of 1884 (as of 2013) put it among the top-ranked schools in the state. About 91 percent of graduates enrolled in a four-year college, with another 8.4 percent in two-year colleges. In 2013 the number of students scoring 3 or above on AP exams was 1,173. In 2012 the school had 20 National Merit Scholars and 44 winners of letters of commendation.

According to the district’s website, the student population is so diverse that more than 50 languages are spoken at home including Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French, Korean, German, Polish, Dutch, Danish, Hungarian, Burmese, Hebrew, Arabic, and Vietnamese. Twenty-two percent of the public school’s students claim one of 55 languages other than English as their first language.

All this helps explain why Palmer Square has gone out of its way to market its residences to buyers from abroad, including Asia (see main story, page 32). The builders of the Residences didn’t build it with the Chinese market in mind, but now that it exists, they are certainly going to explore it.

Says Adrienne Albert, CEO of Marketing Directors, the firm marketing the Residences at Palmer Square: “When you see a trend, you jump on it.”