Monday, July 30, 2012

Route 1 Traffic Test Set to Begin

The New Jersey Department of Transportation will soon begin its controversial traffic analysis project on Route 1. The project will affect all of the intersections south of Princeton Landing from Scudders Mill Road to Alexander Road.

Starting Saturday, August 4, and continuing for twelve weeks, drivers heading north on Route 1 will not be permitted to make left turns or U-turns at Washington Road and Harrison Street. Turns will also be restricted at Varsity Avenue and Fisher Place in Penn's Neck. Traffic lights at Washington Road and at Harrison Street will be adjusted to favor through traffic on Route 1's main north-south roadway. Northbound drivers heading into Princeton from Route 1 will have to exit at Alexander Road or continue north to Scudders Mill Road and use the U-turn ramp to reverse direction, making a right turn at Harrison Street. If the DOT concludes that the turn restrictions and traffic light adjustments improve traffic flow on Route 1, the changes will be made permanent. The DOT website provides more information, including detailed diagrams of the turn restrictions and recommended alternate routes.

For better or worse, Princeton Landing residents will be affected by these changes. Please let local and state officials know how the Route 1 project impacts your daily routine. The Plainsboro Township website lists phone numbers for the Mayor and other township officials. If you prefer to contact DOT, phone numbers for the DOT Commissioner and other senior DOT officials can be found here, along with a mailing address for DOT headquarters. DOT can also be contacted by completing an online contact form on the department's website.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Butterfly Festival at the Watershed Reserve

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association will hold the 12th annual Butterfly Festival on Saturday, August 11, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Watershed Reserve.

The festival is an event the entire family can enjoy. There will be naturalist-guided tours of the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House, nature hikes, hayrides, live entertainment, children's activities, and a variety of demonstrations and exhibits about the environment. Food from local vendors will be available.

There will be a Butterfly Costume & Hat Parade, open to both children and adults. To participate, you must sign up at the festival's information booth between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. The parade will begin at the main stage at 12:45 pm. The festival will also feature a new event, a Clothesline Art Gallery. Artwork should be submitted by August 3.

Admission is $10 per person or $25 per carload. Purchase tickets here in advance for a discount. Parking is provided across from the Watershed Association courtesy of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Shuttles will be provided from the parking area to the festival; no pedestrian travel is permitted between the parking garage and the Watershed Reserve. No pets allowed. Click here for more information.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is located at 31 Titus Mill Road in Pennington. Click here for directions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Question of the Week

Longtime residents recall a time when things like this were unheard of, but since 2010 there have been several incidents of vandalism in Princeton Landing. Just this week there were two more, one of them especially disturbing.

On Monday morning outside the Parcel 1 swimming pool and tot lot, there was chalk graffiti that included racial slurs and obscene "drawings." This "artwork" was in plain sight until residents alerted the management office to have it removed. We took some photos, but after reviewing them we thought they were too graphic—and, frankly, too shameful—to post.

An abnormal amount of trash has also been left around the community. And if litter like cups, straws and candy wrappers isn't bad enough, on Tuesday there was a broken beer bottle on top of one of the Loop Road monuments.

Princeton Landing parents, do you know what your kids are up to?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sally Ride

1951 – 2012

"Millions of little girls are going to sit by their television sets and see they can be astronauts, heroes, explorers and scientists."
— Gloria Steinem

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Barnes Foundation

To celebrate Paul's birthday, Jon invited him, Sister Rose Christine and me to visit the Barnes Foundation in downtown Philadelphia. The art collection of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, which was formerly housed in the Barnes residence in suburban Merion, was moved to its new location on the Ben Franklin Parkway this past May.

Dr. Barnes amassed one of the world's most important collections of post-impressionist and early modern paintings, with concentrations of works by Paul C├ęzanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Barnes also bought major works by Vincent van Gogh, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Rousseau and Chaim Soutine, as well as old master paintings, African sculpture, Pennsylvania German furniture, Native American ceramics, jewelry, and textiles, American paintings, antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia, and wrought iron objects from Europe and the United States.

Barnes purchased the Merion property, the original site of the Barnes Foundation, in 1922 and commissioned Paul Philippe Cret to design a gallery. Barnes's unusual ideas about education shaped the way his collection is presented. To show the universality of the creative impulse and the connection between modern art and the art of the past, he arranged his paintings, metalwork, sculpture and decorative arts in "ensembles" that brought together different periods, cultures, styles and genres. As Barnes added to the collection, he rearranged the ensembles. The ensembles seen in the gallery today show his collection the way it was arranged when he died in 1951.

The decision to move the Barnes Collection from Merion to Center City Philadelphia was controversial. Ada Louise Huxtable's review in The Wall Street Journal explains the history and gives her positive take on the new venue. We were fortunate to have seen the collection a few years ago in Merion. We were also impressed with the stunning new building, designed by the architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, which replicates the scale, proportion and configuration of the original galleries in Merion. So if you're up for a serious case of Stendhal syndrome but can't make it to Florence this summer, take the ride down to see the overwhelming collection of Dr. Barnes in its new home.

As part of the PBS Arts Summer Festival, "The Barnes Collection" will re-air on Friday, August 3, at 9 pm on most PBS stations. Here's the preview.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Swallowtail Butterflies Visit the Garden

Black Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Downton Abbey Receives 16 Emmy Nominations

The nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced in Los Angeles this morning and our favorite, Downton Abbey, received 16 nominations—including three in major categories. This year the show is nominated for outstanding drama series as opposed to outstanding miniseries or movie, which it won last year. Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley, and Hugh Bonneville, who plays Robert, Earl of Grantham, are up for lead actress and lead actor in a drama series. In addition, Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, and Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna, are both nominees in the category of supporting actress in a drama series. Brendan Coyle, who plays John Bates, and Jim Carter, who plays Mr. Carson, are up for supporting actor in a drama series. Vying for outstanding drama series with Downton are Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Games Of Thrones, Homeland and Mad Men.

Downton Abbey is also nominated in the categories of outstanding directing, writing, art direction, casting, costumes, editing, hairstyling, music composition, and sound mixing. Last year Downton took home six awards for outstanding directing, writing, cinematography, costumes, and miniseries or movie; Maggie Smith won supporting actress.

Season 3 began filming in February and is set to be broadcast in September in the UK and in January 2013 in the US. It will follow the characters during the first 18 months of the Roaring Twenties. We eagerly await the return of Downton Abbey and hope it fares well at the Emmy Awards, which will be handed out on September 23.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Le 14 Juillet

Photo by Yann Caradec

Thursday, July 12, 2012

B.D. Lenz at Salt Creek Grille on Saturday

Contemporary jazz guitarist B.D. Lenz and his band will be performing at Salt Creek Grille in Princeton Forrestal Village on Saturday, July 14, from 7 to 11 pm.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cookie Monster Parodies "Call Me Maybe"

This might be the best cover yet of Carly Rae Jepsen's hit "Call Me Maybe." Here is Sesame Street's Cookie Monster singing "Share It Maybe."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Family Exploration on the Stony Brook

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and D&R Greenway Land Trust are co-sponsoring the 2nd annual Family Exploration on the Stony Brook at Greenway Meadows on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Jeff Hoagland, Naturalist and Education Director at the Watershed Association, will lead a family-friendly guided exploration of the Stony Brook. Participants will be able to explore the shallows of the brook, learn how to find stream life, and use small nets to meet some creatures up close. Old sneakers (or boots) are ideal for this ambling exploration.

The program will be held at the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton (not on the Watershed Reserve). Click here for directions. Space is available for picnicking on the terrace at the center beginning at 5:30 pm. Bring your own picnic dinner—drinks and dessert will be provided. The family exploration of the brook begins at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration is required and a $5 per person donation is requested to support the education programs of the Watershed Association. Register through the Watershed Association at or by calling 609-737-7592.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday's Storm Damage

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sad News From Terhune Orchards

Yesterday afternoon Terhune Orchards shared the sad news of the loss of another of their beloved labs, Strawberry Rhubarb. Ruby was 14 1/2 years old and loved by everyone at Terhune Orchards and by the many friends and visitors to the farm. Ruby greeted customers on the porch of the farm store and participated in the children's reading programs. And she loved eating apples. The Mount family thanks everyone "for making her life one filled with joy, pats and hugs." Ruby will be deeply missed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith

1926 – 2012

White House Photo by Paul Morse