The annual Hopewell Tour des Arts returns this fall on Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For 14 years, this event has showcased the heart and soul of Hopewell’s artist community. With the opportunity to showcase their live work, the event allows patrons to step inside artists’ studios and study them and their craft. From painting to drawing, sculpture and photography, the tour delivers a wide range of artistic skill and techniques. A self-guided tour map can be accessed at https://www.hopewelltourdesarts.com/map-2021. The tour begins at Hopewell Train Station, 2 Railroad Place in Hopewell.  more

Comte de Rochambeau from “Galerie des Batailles” in the Chateau de Versailles in France. 

On Thursday, August 12 at 6 p.m., join Morven Museum for a virtual event exploring the history of Rochambeau’s French officers and soldiers in Princeton in August 1781. The talk will be led by historian and author Robert A. Selig, PhD, as he presents this unique talk just for Morven Museum’s audience. 

Marshal Jean-Baptists Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, led the French expeditionary forces through Princeton in August 1781 to help the Continental Army capture Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Rochambeau’s army included 5,000 men stationed on the grounds of Morven between August 29-31. Leading his troops from Phillipsburg, N.Y. to central N.J. on separate routes, the allied forces united just north of Princeton, following the encampment of Rochambeau’s men at the site of Morven. 2021 marks the 240th anniversary of this march. There is also a little-known monument to Rochambeau’s encampment on the grounds of Trinity Church in Princeton.  more

Rich D’Andrea ’01 (second from right) is inducted into the NJ Lacrosse Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster on July 19. Pictured with D’Andrea is his father, Dan; mother, Darcy; and wife, Ericka Kapp ’98. 

Rich D’Andrea ’01, already a Peddie Sports Hall of Fame member (2021), was inducted into the New Jersey Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame on July 19. 

A three-year starter in goal at Peddie, D’Andrea helped the Falcons to a 44-5 record and two NJISAA Prep A Championships. He was a three-time First Team All-State Selection (’99, ’00, ’01), a two-time All-American (’00, ’01), and was twice the recipient of the Dietrich von Schwerdtner New Jersey Goalie of the Year Award (’00, ’01). In his senior campaign, the Falcons went undefeated (16-0) and earned a Top 15 national ranking.  more

Join The Watershed Institute in Pennington on Saturday, August 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 21st annual Watershed Butterfly Festival, an in-person celebration of the beauty and joy of nature. This family-friendly event is perfect for children and adults of all ages.  more

Stand up paddle boarding offers a fun way to play on the water, with the added benefit of a full-body workout. And, since you stand at full height on your board, it gives you a unique vantage point for viewing what’s down under the water and out on the horizon. Shop these amazing paddle boards from REI for a memorable summer in the sun.

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Robert Beck (b. 1950), Sunday Morning, 1996. Oil on panel. 24 x 18 inches. James A. Michener Art Museum.

The Michener Art Museum presents “It’s Personal: The Art of Robert Beck,”  opening July 30. The exhibition focuses on Robert Beck’s place in the storied world of the  New Hope-Lambertville arts community. Beck has played an important role in advancing and  expanding the region’s traditions of Impressionism and Urban Realism, with distinctive oil paintings of the people, places, and occupations of our time. He is well known for documentary paintings,  as he refers to his paintings done on site in one go. Whether single works or multi-image “visual essays,” these distinct paintings record his world much like the Pennsylvania Impressionists recorded theirs in their time. Unlike those images, Beck describes a world that contemporary audiences  recognize as their own. Viewers respond to his keen perspective on the storefronts, street corners, bars, restaurants, carnivals, basketball games, funeral homes, and parades, of their here and now. While New York, Bucks County, and the villages along the upper coast of Maine, present subjects  and contrast for his examinations, the exhibit includes work from series he created in the American West, Europe, and Africa. It is a remarkable story of a contemporary artist establishing a voice, becoming part of a community, and creating a body of work that will resonate in Bucks County and well beyond for many years. more

Image Source: https://www.facebook.com/LongwoodGardens

Now through September 26, 2021, escape the everyday routine at Longwood Gardens in Brandywine Valley. Fountain performances in the Main Fountain Garden and Open Air Theatre take place daily. Illuminated Fountain Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Live Music in the Beer Garden takes place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Admission tickets are required. more

D&R Greenway welcomes two recent graduates of Princeton University into one-year Fellowships in partnership with Princeton’s AlumniCorps Project 55 program. The program’s motto is to “Launch a life of civic leadership.” They are (from left) Ayame Whitfield and Heather Callahan, shown here at the front door to the newly acquired Gardener’s House at Point Breeze.

Two recent graduates of Princeton University were welcomed into one-year Fellowhips by D&R Greenway, beginning this summer. These Fellowships are provided in partnership with Princeton’s AlumniCorps Project 55 program. This program offers opportunities for exceptional recent graduates to connect with and work with nonprofits. The AlumniCorps Project 55’s motto is “Launch a life of civic leadership.” more

Crosswicks Creek in Bordentown, NJ

Take a self-guided walking tour through the nooks and crannies of New Jersey’s local history! Authored by acclaimed local favorite Bordentown Walking Tours, Tour Takers hear from Mark Neurohr-Pierpaoli, owner and Tour Guide, via engaging videos at each Tour Stop. The app delivers the content and guides Tour Takers with walking directions along the route. more

Image Credit: https://wonderbarasburypark.com

Open seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m., Asbury Park’s famous Wonder Bar at 1213 Ocean Avenue hosts “Yappy Hour” where owners can mix and mingle while their dogs run free. Yappy Hour was founded 12 years ago by Debbie DeLisa, a former Eastern Airlines flight attendant and current manager of the Wonder Bar. 

DeLisa wanted to recreate a “Cheers” feeling, where “everybody knows your name and everybody knows your dog’s name,” says DeLisa. Asbury Park has already earned the moniker of one of the most pet-friendly towns on the Jersey Shore, and this summer event seems to confirm it.  more

Image Sources: https://www.facebook.com/njtubing/

Delaware River Tubing, the region’s No. 1 River Outfitter, resumes tubing, rafting, canoeing, and kayaking services on July 21. The 2021 season will run through September 19 at 778 Frenchtown Road in Milford. For daily hours of operation, visit www.delawarerivertubing.com. 

Tubing at Delaware River Tubing enables visitors to cool off, relax, and enjoy the scenic and historic landscape of the Delaware River and accompanying River Towns. 

Float down the river in a tube over a 5-6 mile stretch (approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete) and get a free BBQ meal at Adventure Island with the Famous Hot Dog River Man. Enjoy your lunch at a picnic table before returning to your tubing adventure.  more

Image Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RVRoadRunners/

Raritan Valley Road Runners will host its 5K Summer Series on July 27, August 10, and August 24. 

Registration for this 37th edition of the race series opens at 5:30 p.m. on the evening of each race day. 2.5K run/walk options are also available. All race registration will be held near the boat launch in Donaldson Park in Highland Park. 

Races are cross country style, meaning that the terrain will include mostly grass and dirt following the path of the scenic Raritan River.  more

Image Sources: http://sesameplace.com

Join Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., on Friday, July 30 for the 41st celebration of the popular children’s theme park and water park. 

The day’s events include a birthday character meet and greet and photo opportunities with some of Sesame Street’s most popular personalities. All the Sesame Street friends will be dressed in festive birthday party attire. There will also be a Birthday Bash Dance Party on Oscar’s Wacky Taxi Stage. Dance, sing, and groove along with the furry friends of Sesame Place. The dance parties will take place at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 6 p.m.  more

Henry Moore’s Oval with Points.

The campus art collection is always open — no tickets required

By Ilene Dube | Photography by Weronika A. Plohn and Charles R. Plohn

While the Princeton University Art Museum will be closed for the next several years as construction on the new Sir David Adjaye-designed building is underway, there are still plenty of ways to experience its offerings.

As part of its commitment to maintaining a presence on campus, the museum opened Art@Bainbridge at Nassau and Vandeventer streets in 2019. Closed during the pandemic, Art@Bainbridge is expected to reopen this summer.

Alexander Phimister Proctor’s Pair of Tigers.

Last year, when stores were closing, the museum partnered with merchants to create Art for the Streets, showcasing reproductions of works from the collection in shop windows in Palmer Square and the Princeton Shopping Center. QR codes link to more information about artwork by Albrecht Durer, Edward Hopper, Edouard Manet, Ana Mendieta, Mario Moore, and Zhang Hongtu, as well as works from the Qing Dynasty, a beaded African tunic, an Edo-period Japanese print, and a sculpture of a Mayan god.

The museum’s virtual offerings of lectures, workshops, and symposiums have become so popular, quintupling museum membership, that Director James Steward plans to continue making them available. “We’re not putting that genie back in the bottle,” he said.

But for year-round enjoyment, nothing beats the outdoor sculpture collection. With 47 works already in the Campus Art Collection, additional commissions are underway. (The museum plans to announce these sometime in the future.)

Not only is the campus itself an arboretum but nestled within its archways and allees are works by significant artists including Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Michele Oka Doner, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Gehry, Kate Graves, Sol LeWitt, Maya Lin, Louise Nevelson, Odili Donald Odita, Richard Serra, Ai Weiwei, Beverly Pepper, George Segal, Shahzia Sikander, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and more.

The Campus Art website (artmuseum.princeton.edu/campus-art) helps viewers navigate a self-guided tour. Walking tours can be broken down by neighborhood, and there is an audio component – curators and other experts take you behind the scenes to learn about the history of the sculpture, the artist, and the relationship of the artwork to the University.

The core was assembled for the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection, funded by an anonymous benefactor and named for the World War II fighter pilot and member of Princeton’s Class of 1945. As stipulated by the Putnam gift, the sculptures were installed outdoors so that students and the community could experience the works in the course of their daily lives.

Picasso’s Head of a Woman, between University Place and Pyne Drive, was one of the first acquisitions made by the Putnam Collection. It was executed by Carl Nesjar, from a one-foot-high study model Picasso made in 1962 from a folded and painted sheet metal, inspired in part by the paper cutouts he made for his sister as a child. To create the large sculpture we see on campus, Nesjar built wooden forms and injected them with liquid concrete. This was undertaken for an open seminar of undergraduates, in which they could observe and participate in the on-site re-creation of a master’s work.  more

Osprey Cam at South Cape May Meadows. (The Nature Conservancy)

The Jersey Shore is a Mecca for Birdwatchers

By Anne Levin

In an Osprey nest perched above South Cape May Meadows nature preserve this past spring, an ongoing drama kept birdwatchers glued to their screens. A camera focused on the nest revealed two pairs of the fish-eating birds of prey, fighting a territorial battle.

The war began when the pair that ruled the roost last year returned to find another couple had taken up residency. “There was a bit of a squabble,” said Bob Allen, assistant state director at The Nature Conservancy, which features the nest, live, on its webcam. “Just as that got settled, a Great Horned Owl started showing up at night. And they eat babies.”

The original pair eventually reclaimed the nest. But the drama was addictive while it lasted. “It’s like a soap opera,” said Allen. “We get emails from people who watch the camera all the time. It’s amazing what they see and how connected they get to the birds. It’s like reality TV.”

Birdwatchers with binoculars, cameras, and field guides at the beach searching for shorebirds in Cape May during the peak of spring migration.

Keeping up with the Ospreys is just one of the reasons birdwatchers, or “birders,” flock to the Jersey Shore. With over 465 species to boast, New Jersey is a major seasonal migration path for birds and waterfowl. South Cape May Meadows is an internationally known birders’ paradise. The five-mile barrier beach of Sandy Hook is another prime spot. And just above Atlantic City, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is a major draw, with an eight-mile, one-way loop that can be navigated by car with a good pair of binoculars, or “binos,” as birders often call them. more

Cucumber pomegranate salad. 

And the Timing Couldn’t Be Better!

By Wendy Greenberg

The food couldn’t be more different. But meals as a means to gather, to celebrate, and to connect with friends and family is the underlying theme of three newly published cookbooks by local authors.

Mary Abitanto of Mercer County, Jen Carson of Princeton, and Joy E. Stocke of Stockton take the power of shared meals a step further by giving us their advice and recipes. They are passionate about their food, and the aromas practically permeate the print. For them, preparation can be as significant as the meal itself.

The cookbooks from home cook and prolific author Abitanto; baker Carson at LiLLiPiES; and from travel and food writer Stocke extend the boundaries of the region’s reputation as a mecca for flavorsome and meaningful meals.

As we all emerge from different degrees of isolation, the timing is ripe for food that inspires us to gather together. Meet three authors who encourage us to do so. more

The Peterborough, New Hampshire. Town Hall. (Photo by Howard Sherman)

Wilder’s Timeless Classic Debuted at McCarter in 1938

By Donald H. Sanborn III

“The performance at Princeton was an undoubted success. The large theatre was sold out with standees,” wrote Thornton Wilder in a letter to his attorney and friend, J. Dwight Dana. The theater was McCarter; the performance was the premiere of Our Town on January 22, 1938.

Eight decades after that Princeton debut, Our Town — which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama — is undiminished in its popularity and resonance. In 2003, a year after the most recent Broadway revival opened, a new edition of the script was published. It featured an afterword by Tappan Wilder, the playwright’s nephew and executor of his estate, who curates his literary legacy.

The play is the subject of a new book: Another Day’s Begun: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town in the 21st Century (Methuen Drama/Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2021). Author Howard Sherman says that the purpose of the book is to “show how the play remains relevant more than 83 years after that first performance. There are very few plays that have sustained in the American repertory over that time, and none more so than Our Town.” more

Photo illustration by Jeffrey E. Tryon

By Donald Gilpin

As the United States and the world gradually, unevenly, haltingly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic after 18 months, there is ample cause for relief, joy, even celebration. People are coming out of their homes to reconnect with family and friends. Vacation spots, resorts, and recreation areas are alive again. Restaurants, shops, theaters, sports complexes, and entertainment centers are welcoming large numbers of visitors.

But there have been pandemics in the past, and COVID-19 won’t be the last. After the initial exuberance dies down, will the nation and the world be able to embrace lessons learned from this pandemic that might help humanity survive the next one and the one after that?

Jessica Metcalf, a disease ecologist and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, already has a plan that might have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the early days of COVID-19 and could save millions of lives in battles against future epidemics.

A research team, led by Metcalf and Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina, is on track to detect, define, and defeat disease outbreaks faster by testing for antibodies to infectious agents in millions of blood samples.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

I’m beginning the summer Book Scene in the spirit of the old Billie Holiday song, “Back In Your Own Backyard,” where “the bird with feathers of blue is waiting for you.” The traffic at our community of bird feeders kept us smiling during the long haul of the work from home mandate, providing a cheerful, melodious alternative to “sheltering in place.” It helped to imagine the chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and goldfinches as a microcosm of pre-pandemic society where the only masks were worn by the cardinals, with comic relief coming from the acrobatics of squirrels; even the mob scenes made by starlings and grackles were welcome signs of life.

Taking the architectural/design theme to the backyard, I see a miniature Swiss chalet favored by the goldfinches, a rustic green bungalow for the cardinals, and a suet feeder with a rust-red roof favored by the woodpeckers, and, on either end, two elegant Edwardian towers, the larger of which reminds me of Norman Foster’s London Gherkin. After checking out the possibilities in birdland, I found The Bird House Book: How To Build Fanciful Bird Houses and Feeders from the Purely Practical to the Absolutely Outrageous by Bruce Woods and David Schoonmaker; Paul Meisel’s Wild & Wacky Bird Houses and Feeders: 18 Creative and Colorful Projects That Add Fun to Your Backyard, in paperback from Fox Chapel Publishing; and 23,000 Bird Feeders: A Common Sense Guide for Crafting Success by Connie M. Thompson, which describes how the author and her husband Pat sold 23,000 of their hand-painted bird feeders at craft shows and art fairs for over 20 years, “as well as thousands of bat houses, squirrel feeders, snow gauges, walking sticks, and butterfly houses.” more