The Asbury Park Music + Film Festival (APMFF) presents Lucinda Williams at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, April 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25-89 and are available for purchase at apmff.org/ticketsmore

Photo Credit: McKay Imaging Photography Studio & Gallery

The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers presents Art After Hours: First Tuesdays on March 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. The evening features curator-led tours of two exhibits, “’It makes me think of that awful day…’ The Natural World in the Anthropocene” and “A Celebration of the Children’s Books of Vladimir Radunsky,” as well as a performance by violinist Suliman Tekalli, the State Theatre New Jersey artist-in-residence, in partnership with the Center for Musical Excellence. In addition, Mason Gross jazz students Vaughn Stavropoulos (keyboard) and Ian Young (bass) perform throughout the evening. Art After Hours is free and open to the public, with complimentary refreshments. more

Image Courtesy of Artworks Trenton

Trenton’s downtown art center and three partner organizations will open their doors to all for two days of free art activities on March 7 and 14. For toddlers, grandparents, and everyone in between, Art Making Day is a free event that promotes the idea that entire communities can be connected and uplifted through various forms of creative expression. more

Bring the whole family to help George Washington celebrate his 288th birthday on Sunday, February 16 from noon to 4 p.m. at Washington Crossing Historic Park, located at 1112 River Road in Washington Crossing, Pa. more

By Taylor Smith

Russell Juleg, a land steward and educator for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, will explore the surprising diversity of plant communities in the Pine Barrens region of New Jersey, including historical and current attempts to categorize the various communities, at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve on Sunday, February 23 at 2 p.m. more

By Taylor Smith

Oak Crest Day Camp in Somerset will host an Open House for prospective parents and families on Sunday, February 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the event, attendees will learn how to save up to $600 off tuition, and find out why the Oak Crest experience is so exceptional. more

A Cup of Tea, painted by Lilian Westcott Hale for Collier’s magazine (1909)

February is the perfect excuse to slow down with a steaming cup of comforting tea. Shop these brews for instant satisfaction!

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This season’s true blues, botanical prints, bamboo bags, and wide-legs pants will add a punch of new to your current wardrobe. 

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By Taylor Smith

Community Options, Inc. invites runners, walkers, and rollers (baby strollers and wheelchairs) to help raise funds to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities at the annual Cupid’s Chase.

The Cupid’s Chase 5K on Saturday, February 8 at the Princeton Shopping Center will raise funds to support people with disabilities in Mercer County. To register, visit cupidschase.orgmore

By Taylor Smith

Tabby’s Place is a cage-free adoption and clinical care center for cats that essentially have nowhere else to go.

Located at 1100 US Highway 202 in Ringoes, the organization was launched in April of 1999 by Jonathan Rosenberg and his wife, Sharon. Today, the nonprofit public charity is home to more than 100 cats. Its long-term vision is to accommodate 400 cats with the installation of several new buildings across the eight acre property. more

On Saturday, February 15 from 9 a.m. to noon, Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS) will celebrate LOVE Your Park Day at the Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve at Mountain Lakes House in Princeton.

During this volunteer session, attendees will join FOPOS members in identifying and removing target invasive species from the woodlands as well as free native trees and shrubs from encroaching vines. Come spring, the cleared area will be better able to host native wildflowers, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife that depend on the habitat with which they co-evolved.  more

Red-breasted Nuthatch by Karen E. Brown

Launched in 1988 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. more

Over 1,000 Romantic Letters Unsealed at Princeton University After 60 Years

By Donald Gilpin

The unsealing after more than 60 years of a collection of 1,131 letters written by Nobel laureate T.S. Eliot to Emily Hale, his secret platonic love, caused “the special collections equivalent of a stampede at a rock concert” on the morning of January 2 in the basement of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, according to Daniel Linke, interim head of the Library’s special collections, as told to the Associated Press.

Emily Hale and T.S. Eliot in Dorset, Vermont, during the summer of 1946. (Photo courtesy of Princeton University Library)

Released at the same time as a 1960 “disclaimer” statement from Eliot, which had been held in Harvard University’s Houghton Library, those letters, one of the most noteworthy sealed archives in the world, will provide rich fodder for English professors and biographers for many years to come. Eliot aficionados have long debated the true nature of Eliot’s relationship with Hale and her influence on his poetry.  Psychotherapists will also be drawn to this intricately detailed, complex, unflattering depiction of a man who perhaps most closely resembles the persona of his first published poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915).

“Prufrock” is a very odd love song, an interior monologue full of doubt and indecision, anguish, regret, weariness, and longing, but no more odd and frustrating than Eliot’s relationship with Hale as depicted in his letters written from 1930 to 1957. If you thought his poetry was difficult to understand, the complexity and confusion of his love life as revealed in these letters and his 1960 statement disclaiming his relationship with Hale will not surprise you. 

Like his character Prufrock, the Eliot who emerges from the letters to Hale and the subsequent statement, apparently intending to set the record straight, is full of contradictions and uncertainty. He burned Hale’s numerous letters to him when he found out that she had turned over his letters to Princeton University, to remain sealed until 50 years after they were both dead. He died in 1965. She died in 1969.  more

Under Troon management, the historic club is teeing off to a greener future

By Ilene Dube | Images courtesy of Springdale Golf Club

Some describe it as “a good walk spoiled” (a quote falsely attributed to Mark Twain*). Others call it “The Greatest Game Ever Played” (such was the title of a book and film about golf champion Francis Ouimet). Princeton’s most famous resident, Albert Einstein, reportedly said of the sport: “Tried it once. Too complicated. I quit.”

While modern golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the game can be traced to the Song Dynasty in China during the years 960 to 1279. The Dutch and the Romans may have also played an early form of the game.

Today, the rate of attrition for old-time golfers exceeds the number joining from a younger generation, and consequently more courses are closing than are opening. But at Princeton’s Springdale Golf Club, celebrating 125 years of operation, membership is surging.

Open exclusively to its 400-plus members, as well as Princeton University students and faculty — the University owns the land and the club has a long-term lease — the bucolic enclave with a gothic tower at its center is only viewable to most of us while driving along Alexander Street, or possibly taking our children and grandchildren sledding on its hill. On special occasions, Springdale opens its doors to the community for special events, fundraisers, and charity golf outings. Cross-country skiing is permitted on the fairway, though not on the greens.

Paris has Notre Dame Cathedral, Pittsburgh has its Cathedral of Learning, and in Princeton the Gothic spires of Cleveland Tower loom over the course at Springdale. Part of the Graduate College, Cleveland Tower was designed by Ralph Adams Cram (architect of New York’s St. John the Divine Cathedral) as a memorial to President Grover Cleveland, who served as a University trustee following his retirement from public life, and is home to one of the world’s largest carillon organs.

Woodrow Wilson and Grover Cleveland were pals but competitive, says Springdale’s Board of Governors President Kevin Tylus, and the two presidents bickered over where to put the tower. Wilson wanted it in town, and Cleveland ultimately consented that it could be anywhere as long as it bore his name.  more

They Live in Their Living Rooms

By Anne Levin | Photography by Jeffrey E. Tryon and Charles R. Plohn

It is sometimes said that professional chefs don’t cook at home, and fashion designers just wear a lot of black. But it would be hard to find an interior designer who doesn’t give much thought to the surroundings of his or her own home. We asked four local designers to reveal their favorite spots at home, and to tell us why. The results? They love their living rooms. After a busy day creating customers’ decor, these designers just want to come home to a space that is comfortable, personal, and, of course, visually pleasing. more

A Book, a Museum, and Newly-Discovered African American History in the Sourland Region

By Wendy Greenberg

This is a story of a community taking control of its past, its present, and its future. It’s a story of what can happen when people of faith set out to protect and publicize important truths and stories gleaned from a few of the oldest African American cemeteries in Hunterdon and Mercer counties in central New Jersey.”

From the introduction to If These Stones Could Talk: African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and Surrounding Regions of New Jersey by Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills

They call it the phone call that changed their lives.

Fourteen years ago, Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills, both in their 50s at the time, working for their communities, in their churches, and with their families, had no idea what was in store for them. But during the next decade and beyond they would write a book, set up a museum, and form a consulting business. Most impactful to them, they learned about their own descendants, and uncovered a history of slavery in Central New Jersey.

The call, from Walter Niemeier Jr. of Lambertville, came to Buck, of Hopewell Borough, assistant secretary of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association (her husband, John Buck, is president, and Mills, of Pennington Borough, is secretary). Niemeier, who died in 2018, had discovered that a paved driveway was planned for a lot off Rock Road in Hunterdon County — land that he recalled was an African American burial ground. The lot was originally owned by Elnathan Stevenson, who had been a judge in Hunterdon County in the early 19th century. Because of their involvement in Stoutsburg Cemetery, some 10 miles away, Niemeier thought that the Bucks and Mills might want to know about the planned desecration. more

By Stuart Mitchner

This Oscar Night fantasia was inspired by the winner of the Book Scene Award for the Best Cover Art on a Science-Related Topic — Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (Duke University Press $29.95 in paper), an anthology edited by Princeton Associate Professor of African American Studies Ruha Benjamin. If I were following the Academy model, representatives from the publisher would join the editor onstage, but the person accepting the trophy should be Manzel Bowman, the artist whose brilliant, complexly suggestive digital collage, Turbine, not only illuminates  the cover’s catch word but helps lighten the weight of the subtitle.

“A Mysterious Sexy Stranger” 

The Einstein Oppenheimer “Spooky Action at a Distance” Oscar goes to theoretical physicist Sean Carroll’s Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime (Dutton $29). On accepting the award and paying homage to the two Institute for Advanced Studies legends it was named for, Carroll playfully credited Einstein for “sticking quantum mechanics with the label it has been unable to shake ever since,” namely spukhafte, or “spooky.” There were #MeToo murmurings from the audience when he described the alluring inscrutability of quantum mechanics as “a mysterious, sexy stranger” tempting us “into projecting all sorts of qualities and capacities onto it, whether they are there or not.” more

By Taylor Smith

Located in the rolling hills of Warren County, two miles east of the Delaware River in Milford, N.J., Alba Vineyard is the perfect February getaway. The winery is hosting Wine and Chocolate Weekends on February 8, 9 and 15, 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tasting experiences are priced at $20 per person (21 and older) and include a flight of Alba’s estate wines paired with cheeses, flatbread, and a sampling of gourmet truffles, chocolate caramels, and a selection of French macarons. The price also includes an etched wine glass. more