By Doug Wallack

On June 18, 2014, President Barack Obama hosted the first White House Maker Faire. Part science fair, part cultural showcase, that day’s event bore witness to a 17-foot-tall robotic giraffe ambling around the grounds, a working piano keyboard made from touch-sensitive bananas, a wealth of 3D-printed objects—including pancakes in the shape of president’s face—and more. In his remarks on the day’s proceedings, Obama hailed the ingenuity of ordinary citizens made possible by increasingly accessible technology. 

Obama located the inventors gathered there at the vanguard of the grand sweep of American innovation: Americans had realized dreams of a transcontinental railroad, networks of telegraph lines, the lightbulb, the Internet. What would come of this current frenzy of discovery and invention was anyone’s guess. “It gives you a sense that we are at the dawn of something big,” he said. more

By Stuart Mitchner

When the weather was gloomy and the mood was right, I could see a Cézanne painting in our backyard. This minor miracle was due not to any mortal painter or landscaper but to the mighty forces that formed the Princeton Ridge, which we have been living on for thirty years. Thanks to some long-long-ago geological turbulence, the makers of the Ridge deposited an immense boulder smack in the middle of the yard, forming a focal point for painterly fantasies. Half a year ago an ash tree was growing out of a cleft in the boulder, creating an effect not unlike the tree-in-rock formation in the right foreground of Cézanne’s Rocks—Forest of Fontainebleau, of which Ernest Hemingway said, “This is what we try to do in writing, this and this, and the woods, and the rocks we have to climb over.” more

PEACE CORPS MEMORIES: Pam and Gary Mount of Terhune Orchards volunteered in Micronesia for the Peace Corps back in the late 1960s. Gary, above and below, helped build an outrigger canoe in the time-honored tradition of the islands. (Photos Courtesy of Pam and Gary Mount)

Written by Anne Levin

Pam and Gary Mount spent the first three years of their marriage in the Peace Corps. Married only a month, the couple, who dated all through Princeton High School, set off in 1967 for a remote island in Micronesia. There, and on smaller islands in the western Pacific Ocean chain, they did agricultural work, taught, and helped build a water tank, among other tasks. more

Written by Princeton University’s Office of Communications

Academy Award-nominated film director, screenwriter and producer Baz Luhrmann has been selected to deliver the keynote address at Princeton University’s Class Day ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2017.

Class Day, which takes place the day before Princeton’s Commencement, is being organized by members of the graduating class. The ceremony also includes remarks by class members, the recognition of class members for their contributions and the induction of honorary class members.  more

Surprise the college graduate in your life with something fabulous and functional. 

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Illustration Courtesy of the Historical Society of Princeton

Friday, May 19 

6 to 9 p.m.: Opening reception for ArtJam at 19 Hulfish Street in Princeton’s Palmer Square. The exhibit features national and local artists. Proceeds benefit HomeFront’s ArtSpace (the exhibit will be on view through June 6).

6:30 p.m.: Award-winning author and professor Eddie Glaude Jr. speaks at One Table Café at Trinity Church, Princeton. Reservations are required by May 17. RSVP by calling (609) 216-7770.

7 to 9 p.m.: Opening Night, Dancing Under the Stars at Hinds Plaza co-sponsored by Princeton Public Library and Central Jersey Dance. more

Three events for the price of one: an informative discussion, a feature film, and a live performance by Princeton Festival artists.

Fans of the 2012 Dustin Hoffman film Quartet, starring Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay among other well-known actors, can join lovers of great singing on June 4 at 3 p.m. at Princeton’s Garden Theatre for “Quartet2,” a Princeton Festival program that will expand their enjoyment of both art forms. more

Joyce Carol Oates will read from and discuss her latest work, A Book of American Martyrs, at Labyrinth Books of Princeton on Wednesday, May 25 at 6 p.m.

Described by the Washington Post as “The most relevant book of Oates’s half-century-long career, a powerful reminder that fiction can be as timely as this morning’s tweets but infinitely more illuminating.”  more

 

Friday, May 12

6:30 to 8 p.m.: Damsel Duo, an indie-neo-folk group featuring Beth Meyers and Monica Mugan, presents a Mother’s Day concert with acoustic-based duo Helen and Molly. Molly Trueman of Helen and Molly is Mugan’s daughter; Hinds Plaza.

Saturday, May 13

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center hosts its annual Bike Safety Rodeo and Safe Kids Day. Children ages 3-12 and their families are invited to learn about safety and prevention when participating in sports and other recreational activities. Children will receive free bike helmets, have their bikes inspected, and ride a safety course. RSVP by emailing bikerodeo@slrc.orgmore

Photo Credit: Pratima Skincare

Elevate your self-care routine with these lovingly made soaps. 

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Check out some creative party venues for kids in the greater Princeton area

“You’re invited!”

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

It’s the sentence that makes children shriek with excitement. Full of presents, treats, and entertainment, birthday parties are the height of childhood fun. But as parents keep upping the birthday party anti, the yearly celebration can leave families at a loss for new and creative ideas. Alas, the days of Pin the Tail on the Donkey and ice cream cake might be ending, but luckily, our area is filled with unique birthday venues to keep you up with the Joneses. From arty parties to farm fetes, we outline party venues that will make all of your child’s birthday wishes come true. more

A Night in Old Havana 

Photography by Erica Cardenas

On Saturday, May 6, McCarter Theatre Center welcomed Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to “A Night in Old Havana” Gala 2017. The evening began with a cocktail reception and dinner on McCarter’s back lawn, which was tented and decorated with 1940’s-era old Havana flare. The musical performance was held at McCarter’s Matthews Theater. The electric after-party included more food, entertainment, and dance. All proceeds benefit McCarter’s Artistic, Education, and Engagement Programs. more

Photo Credit: @sperry

Fresh and athletic, the slip-on sneaker is the must-have shoe for summer. 

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Pops of Color and Whirls of Music

Photography by Erica Cardenas

Communiversity 2017 took place on Sunday, April 30. The streets of downtown Princeton swelled with visitors who enjoyed non-stop entertainment, food, and vendors from 1 to 6 p.m. Various stages were erected around town and performances ranged from alternative rock concerts to flamenco. Witherspoon Media Group was there, handing out the latest editions of Town Topics Newspaper, Princeton Magazine, and Urban Agenda Magazine. Witherspoon Media Group photographer Erica Cardenas made sure to capture all of the action.  more

Jana Mars is Making Some Waves with Her Stand Up Paddle Company, Aqua Vida

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

At the end of her emails, Jana Mars signs off with “make some waves.” It’s a fitting valediction for a woman whose career – and name are centered on water. more

Photo Credit: @shopzoe

Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day!

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