Photo Credit: @mouthfoods

Gifts with Spirit from Mouth.com

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The Princeton Indoor Track and Field Invitational at Jadwin Gym will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 19. (Photo Credit: Princeton Athletics | www.goprincetontigers.com)

Friday, February 17

11 a.m.: Free, Tiger Tales for children ages 3-5 at Cotsen Children’s Library (repeats weekly).

Noon: “Black History at PTS Matters,” a panel discussion about the role of black history at Princeton Theological Seminary; Mackay Campus Center Auditorium at PTS.

4:30 p.m.: Fund for Irish Studies at Princeton University presents Fintan O’Toole on “If It Wasn’t for the Irish and Jews” at James M. Stewart ’32 Theater. more

Photo Credit: @smittenkitchen

Ice Cream Cook Books, Taco Cook Books, Smoothie Cook Books Galore!

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Irish theater critic and scholar Fintan O’Toole will present the 2017 Robert Fagles Memorial Lecture entitled “If It Wasn’t for the Irish and Jews” on Friday, February 17 at 4:30 p.m. at the Lewis Center for the Arts’ James M. Stewart ’32 Theater, 185 Nassau Street. Part of the 2016-17 Fund for Irish Studies series at Princeton University, this event is free and open to the public. more

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber and 47 other American college and university presidents today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to “rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country‘s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world.” “If left in place,” the letter says, “the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country.

The letter was initially drafted by Eisgruber and University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann.

The text of the letter follows:

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Lucian Msamati and Southbank Sinfonia in National Theatre Live’s Amadeus 

Friday, February 3

11 a.m.: Free, Tiger Tales for children ages 3-5 at Cotsen Children’s Library (repeats weekly).

11 a.m.: Homeschool Week at the Princeton University Art Museum. The day’s theme is “Africa” and includes interactive tours followed by related art projects. All ages are welcome. No tickets or reservations required.

6 p.m.: Princeton University women’s ice hockey vs. Yale.

7 p.m.: Princeton University women’s basketball vs. Dartmouth. more

Make a fashion statement (and music) with these stylish speakers from WallpaperSTORE*

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Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber issued the following statement to the University community on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017.

To the Princeton community,

Many of you have written to express concerns about the recent federal executive order barring entry to the United States for refugees and for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. I share those concerns. Since its early days, when the College of New Jersey recruited a transformative president from Scotland, this University has depended on America’s ability to attract and engage with talented people from around the world. Princeton today benefits tremendously from the presence of extraordinary individuals of diverse nationalities and faiths, and we will support them vigorously. more

From SSNs to security questions, Anurag Sharma of Withum’s Cyber & Info Security Group keeps us safe from phishing and scams

Were you affected by the recent Netflix scam? If your personal information went untouched this go around, it’s only a matter of time until it is targeted by another cyber attack. Fortunately, there are ways to thwart these scams with a little know-how and online savvy. Here, Anurag Sharma, Principal of Princeton’s Withum’s Cyber & Information Security Services Group, shares his tips on cyber security for 2017. more

Photo Credit: @canadagoose

This military-inspired print can be worn a number of ways!

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Photo Credit: @baublebar

10 Baublebar Picks That are Perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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Photo Credit: Justin McLeod

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

December was a boozy month for the town of Hopewell, New Jersey. It marked the grand opening of two new breweries: Troon Brewing on the property of Double Brook Farm (130 Hopewell Rocky Hill Road) and The Referend Bier Blendery located on 1595 Reed Road. You might think this could lead to a “Battle of the Brews,” but in reality, it’s a welcomed coincidence according to James Priest, owner and founder of The Referend.

“Whenever you’re at either place, everyone is talking about the other one too,” he explains. “It’s great; we’re doing two considerably different beer styles, and people are really excited about both. On Untappd [an app where users can check-in to breweries and share their experiences], we’re the two highest rated breweries in New Jersey right now, so we’re trying to keep that going.”

The Referend isn’t just different from Troon, but the vast majority of breweries in the United States. This is due impart to the fact that the startup isn’t actually a brewery but a “bier blendery.” Priest explains that he doesn’t have a brewhouse of his own, which is where the “brewing” technically occurs. Instead, he travels to other breweries where he creates a specifically engineered wort, which is basically unfermented beer; pumps the boiling wort into a mobile coolship, or an open-top vessel in which wort cools; and brings the still non-alcoholic wort back to the blendery to spontaneously ferment in oak barrels.

The intricate art of spontaneous fermentation is the traditional brewing process for the most idiosyncratic type of beer you’ll taste: lambic. A Belgian specialty that dates back to the Roman Empire, lambic-style beers are relatively rare stateside. A handful of independent American breweries produce spontaneously fermented beer, but The Referend is the only brewery in the country that never adds cultured yeast to their beer. In short, Priest is likely “blending” up the most authentic lambic beer in the nation.

Unlike most beers that are fermented in sterile tanks with carefully selected strains of yeast engineered in a laboratory, Priest’s are left in his coolships overnight where wild yeasts and microbes in the air can enter the brew. The average brewer tries to prevent natural microbes from taking residence in their beer to avoid unpredictable flavors. Priest, on the other hand, embraces the “wildness” that is integral to lambics.

“It is not at all hard to ferment beer spontaneously,” says Priest. “What is difficult is completely ceding control to nature, which these beers require of you immediately. In turn, nature rewards you for trusting in its own process, on its own timeline. It seems to be a more philosophical brewing method than most.”

Mother Nature is indeed on her own timeline when it comes to the fermentation process. Once Priest transfers the wort to aged oak barrels to spontaneously ferment, they take anywhere between four months and four years to mature.

“I let the beer tell us when its ready to be enjoyed,” says the ever-patient Priest. “It’s consistently slower than one would hope, but I’m committed to its autonomy.”

There are some lambic-style beers that ease the waiting process. Priest explains that Jung, which is German for young, is served intentionally prematurely at months old to highlight the early developing complexities in the beer’s adolescence.

The aging process of lambic beer is similar to that of wine – and in some ways, so is the taste. Although all the beer produced at The Referend falls under the category of sour beer, Priest likens the taste to a dry wine, champagne, or cider. Others describe the flavor as earthy, hay-like, or leathery. There’s no debating that lambics have an impactful taste, even Priest had to ease-into the old-world beer.

“One of the earliest ones I remember having is Cantillon Gueuze, which is sort of held up as a benchmark for the lambic-style,” says Priest. “I found it slightly off-putting and couldn’t quite pick some of the associations, but I wanted to kind of delve into what else was going on there. Even when I found it, I had the desire to acquire the taste. In a matter of beers, I was legitimately enjoying them not just as an exploration.”

“Some lambics are very approachable for everyone and aren’t that much of an acquired taste,” he continues. “Other lambics certainly can be if you start getting any of the strong, funkier aromas and flavors. In that case, it can take a few times and it did for me.”

With the increasing popularity of sour beers, there’s perhaps no better time for Priest to introduce his brews to the public. The Referend’s grand opening brought tons of thirsty Hopewellians to the previous site of Pennington Athletic Club (now Pennington Ewing Athletic Center) to taste the unconventional beer. The local support is reciprocating by Priest. A Chicago-native, he’s gone full-Jersey at The Referend. His “blends” have featured “Jersey Fresh” peaches, nectarines, grapes, hops, spelt, and grain. “There’s so much in the area,” says Priest, “that it’s thankfully very easy to seek out farmers for whatever we’re looking for and drag it down to The Referend.”

You have to go to the source to try one of Priest’s lambics. The Referend’s beer isn’t sold for off-site consumption, and due to the delicate nature of certain lambics, kegging isn’t advisable. Priest has completed one round of bottling, but they most likely won’t be ready for consumption until springtime. In true lambic style, it takes many months for the beer to carbonate or re-ferment in the bottle. Luckily, you don’t have to wait long to taste some of Priest’s other creations. The Referend’s Tasting Room is open from 2 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month, making the next tasting January 21, followed by February 4. If you plan on stopping by, you mine as well make it a beer tour. The Blendery is merely two miles away from River Horse Brewing Company in Ewing and eight miles from Troon Brewing in Pennington. Now that’s the way to start the weekend. Cheers!

Hydra, 2016. 18″x24″

Morristown-based artist exhibiting at Small World Coffee in Princeton, NJ

Artist Josh Rockland is displaying his work at Small World Coffee on 254 Nassau Street through out the month of January. On his website, joshrockland.com, he writes: “My paintings have a personal, narrative quality that combines seemingly unrelated objects in an aesthetic and accessible way.” Rockland is originally from Princeton and currently resides in Morristown. more

Exceptional works by Evans, Nakashima, Chihuly and more in Rago’s Janury 21-22 Auctions

On Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January 22, Rago will hold auctions of Early 20th Century and Modern Design. Below, is the calendar of events, along with highlights from each collection.

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Photo Credit: @laulauphotographies

Capture that Parisian “je ne sais quoi.”

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Photos courtesy of Cranford Millburn Camera Club

Send us your best shots of NJ by January 20, 2017 for the chance to be in the next issue of Urban Agenda Magazine!

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

You might have photographed your favorite Jersey diner. Perhaps you’ve snapped a picture of a secret trail in the Garden State. Maybe, you’ve taken an image of a historical location in NJ, or better yet, a historic moment in your life. If you’ve shot a picture of New Jersey that represents your personal vision of the state, we want to see it! more

A curated marketplace for the most refined design, WallpaperSTORE* stocks, wraps & dispatches our pick of the finely formed & forward thinking.

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Photo Credit: Rise Power Yoga

You’re not the only one suffering from weight-gain season.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

New Year’s resolutions might be cliché, but after three months of nonstop cookies, booze, and candies galore, we’re ready to jump onto the bandwagon. Stat.

Luckily, area gyms and studios are easing us into our “new year, new you” status with promotional offers and events for the start of 2017. Armed with these deals, you’ll be achieving all your fitness and financial goals in no time. Take that 2016!

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