Thursday, May 31, 2012

B.D. Lenz at Salt Creek Grille on Friday

Contemporary jazz guitarist B.D. Lenz and his band will be performing at Salt Creek Grille in Princeton Forrestal Village on Friday, June 1, from 7 pm to 11 pm.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

June Recycling Dates

The recycling dates in Princeton Landing for June are the 4th and the 18th. There is also a link to these dates in the right-hand column under Popular Posts.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Remembering . . .


and Joe

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Rest Soldiers, Rest"

Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking:
Dream of battled fields no more
Days of danger, nights of waking.

— Sir Walter Scott

Friday, May 25, 2012

Question of the Week

Why would we have our landscape crew butcher healthy plants when there are things that look like this in Princeton Landing?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

2012 Princeton Landing Pool Schedules

The pool at The Smith House will open on Saturday, May 26, 2012, for the Memorial Day weekend. It will be open on weekends until Sunday, June 18, when it will open daily. Hours are from 10 am to 8 pm.

The Commons pool in Parcel 1 will be open daily beginning Saturday, June 30, 2012. Hours are Monday through Friday from 2 pm to 8 pm. On weekends and holidays, hours are 1 pm to 7 pm. PL residents may use either of the pools.

The Parcel 1 pool will close for the season on Labor Day, Monday, September 3. Weekday hours for the Smith House pool also end on Labor Day, but the pool will be open on the weekends of September 8–9 and September 15–16.

Recreation badges for 2012 are required for admission to the pools. Badges can be picked up at The Smith House during office hours or when a monitor is on duty. A 2012 FVCSA census form must be submitted to the office prior to picking up badges. Click here for a 2012 census form. (To print a copy of the form, click on the printer icon in the upper left corner of the document.)

There are also links to the 2012 census form and pool hours in the right-hand column under Popular Posts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ruining the Investment of the Homeowner . . . and the Community

Yesterday morning many of the viburnum shrubs that we have taken care of for over ten years were butchered by workers from Brickman, Princeton Landing's landscape contractor. By the time we realized what was happening, it was too late. Crew members had already hacked up the plants on the berm next to our home. The frustration and anger that ensued is probably not unfamiliar to many Princeton Landing homeowners who care about their homes. Yet pruning like this goes on year after year.

The workers were apparently carrying out a work ticket issued by the Loop Road Committee. Just to be clear, the shrubs are not even in the Loop Road Committee's jurisdiction. In fact, these shrubs had just been mulched using funds from the Parcel 6 landscape budget and were originally purchased by us and by Parcel 6.

There are many homes in Princeton Landing located along the Loop Road. In order to maintain privacy, homeowners like us have elected to put in plantings at their own expense, with their Parcel's permission. In our case we not only put in many of the plants, but we feed, water—yes, that's us up there watering during the summer—and prune these shrubs, even though the Association is supposed to maintain the landscape. But the truth is the community doesn't take care of the plantings. Plants that aren't tended by homeowners die every summer because they aren't watered. In the past, the community wasted funds replacing plants that died each year because of our own neglect. Now we simply don't replace them. So homeowners who care about their surroundings must take it upon themselves to put in new plantings.

It makes financial—and aesthetic—sense for a large community like ours to rely on the homeowners who are willing to take some responsibility for the property around their homes. But what could be more frustrating than spending all year caring for plants only to have Brickman—responding to a work ticket issued by a Committee that doesn't know what it's setting in motion—hack your plants and set their growth back several years, which even Brickman admits is the case. Frustration. Aggravation. And it's all unnecessary.

Who is responsible? Is it the Association for allowing this to happen? Is it our management company for not supervising the work properly? Or is it the homeowners who care a lot about what the property looks like around their homes? Some might say that this is the deal we signed up for when we moved to Princeton Landing. But who could know what combination of incompetence and neglect would transpire as time went on. Are we not supposed to care about what our community looks like and simply leave it up to the management company? If the answer is yes, that's probably something we all need to know. Then we can ask what it is that we're paying for every month.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Françoise Gilot on Charlie Rose

On Thursday night I had the good fortune to stumble upon a very special television program. Charlie Rose interviewed the writer and artist Françoise Gilot and the art historian and author John Richardson. The three discussed "Picasso and Françoise Gilot: Paris-Vallauris, 1943–1953," the show on exhibit at Gagosian Gallery in New York City until June 30, 2012.

Françoise Gilot met Picasso when she was 21 years old. She became his companion and muse, and the mother of their children Claude and Paloma. In addition to her major art exhibitions, Madame Gilot's books include Matisse & Picasso, A Friendship in Art and her memoir Life with Picasso. Picasso's biographer John Richardson collaborated with her to produce this exhibition which includes drawings, paintings, lithographs, sculptures and pottery by Picasso, and drawings and paintings by Madame Gilot. It is the first time that works created by both artists during their ten years together have been presented in a single show.

I am a longtime admirer of Françoise Gilot, but you don't have to be a fan like me to appreciate the historical and artistic significance of this interview. The program provided a rare chance to see Madame Gilot and hear her discuss her work and life with Picasso. If you missed the broadcast or would like to watch it again, the interview is available online here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kingston Greenways Trails Day Session

The Kingston Greenways Association is holding a Trails Day Work Session on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at 2 pm. This Trails Day will focus on the boardwalk in the Cook Natural Area. The main task will be to stack the boardwalk sections that washed away during last year's floods and to pry up the ones that are embedded. This work is in preparation for major repairs that will be undertaken later this year.

Volunteers should meet in the Cook Area parking lot at the junction of Ridge Road, Heathcote Road and Division Street in Kingston. KGA provides gloves and tools. Sturdy, waterproof footwear is advised. To volunteer for this event, call David at 609-924-3399 or email tari at

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012 Princeton Landing Census Form

Princeton Landing residents must submit a 2012 FVCSA census form to the management office in order to obtain recreation badges for the year. Badges are required for admission to the Smith House pool, opening later this month, and the Parcel 1 pool, opening at the end of June. Recreation badges can be picked up at The Smith House during office hours or when a monitor is on duty.

As a service to PL residents, we have posted the 2012 FVCSA census form here. (To print a copy of the form, click on the printer icon in the upper left corner of the document.) There is also a link to this form in the right-hand column under Popular Posts.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Neuropathy Awareness Week

May 14–18, 2012, is Neuropathy Awareness Week.

Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common chronic diseases in the US—over 20 million Americans suffer from it.

Peripheral neuropathy or "nerve damage" disrupts the body's ability to communicate with its muscles, skin, joints or internal organs. Peripheral neuropathy can be compared to the body's electrical wiring system breaking down, causing numbness, pain, weakness and poor coordination. For those who struggle with it, neuropathy is a 24/7/365 battle. Increasing awareness and understanding of neuropathy—and its impact—will drive the allocation of more funding for neuropathy research and, ultimately, the discovery of more therapies and cures.

You can learn more about neuropathy and helpful resources by visiting The Neuropathy Association at

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Parcel 6 — 4:57 pm

Princeton Landing residents can tell by the stucco background that we didn't have to go far to see this Question Mark butterfly. In fact, it sat right above us on the back of our house as we grilled on the deck.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Don't Crap Up My Book!"

NPR has posted the audio from Maurice Sendak's interviews on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on their website. If you haven't heard these candid and moving conversations, don't miss this opportunity. Click here to listen to "Fresh Air Remembers Author Maurice Sendak."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak

1928 – 2012

I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more . . . . What I dread is the isolation . . . . There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

UMCPP's Open House for the Community

We've been following the progress of our new neighbor—the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro—for the last four years, including a presentation from Princeton HealthCare System's Vice President Pam Hersh at our brunch in 2009. This Saturday, May 12, UMCPP is hosting a community open house from noon to 6 pm.

Visitors will be able to get a first look at the hospital, meet the staff and go on tours. There will be screenings, entertainment and refreshments. RSVP by registering at or call 1-888-897-8979. When you pre-register, you'll be entered to win a 36" flat-screen TV.

Cars that have a visible Handicapped Parking sign will be allowed to park at the new hospital. All other guests must park at nearby lots and travel to and from the new hospital on buses, which will have door prize drawings during the ride.

Look for Event Parking signs in Plainsboro. If you are using a GPS, use 600 College Road East, Plainsboro, NJ as the address. Some GPS devices may require you to enter Princeton instead of Plainsboro. This event is free.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Nature Guide: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

During a recent walk along the D&R Canal we heard a soft, insistent call that sounded like spee repeated over and over. We looked in the branches above us and spotted a tiny bird with a long, thin tail flicking from side to side. The bird moved constantly, making it hard to identify. Then its small, thin bill and the white edges on its tail gave it away. It was one of our migratory visitors—a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Our Nature Guide Jon Latimer tells us more.

"The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) can be mistaken for a chickadee or a titmouse because of its similar bluish gray back and white underside. But the gnatcatcher is smaller and can be easily distinguished by its thin bill, white eye ring and long tail edged with white feathers. Some birders have also noted that this gnatcatcher looks like a miniature mockingbird. This comparison is even more apt when you discover that its soft, irregular song often mimics the songs of other bird species. Its call is a sharp spee spee spee or see see see.

"Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are most often seen in deciduous forests and scrublands where they feed near the tips of branches. They seem to be in constant motion, possibly as a way of flushing insects—their main food—out of hiding. Over the last century the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher has expanded its breeding range northward. In fact, it occurs farther north than any other species of gnatcatcher. Most members of its genus are residents of more tropical regions. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is also the only truly migratory gnatcatcher. It joins many birds that travel north through our area in spring. This year migration seems to be a little ahead of schedule, probably because of our mild winter. Large numbers of warblers and other migrating birds have been appearing since early April. That usually doesn't happen until mid or late May."