By Taylor Smith 

From stocking stuffers to wedding favors, try Whimsy & Spice for a memorable holiday treat.

Husband and wife duo Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park began their baking company Whimsy & Spice at the launch of the Brooklyn Flea in the spring of 2008. In the years since, Whimsy & Spice has grown, thrived, and expanded. A trained pastry chef influenced by the flavors of international travel, Sopchak handles the baking-side of the company’s operation, while Park manages the graphic design and marketing end, shooting much of the photography for the brand. Viewers will be struck by the New York design sensibility combined with unusual flavors. more

By Taylor Smith 

Companies like One Peloton (www.onepeloton.com) have engineered some of the most attractive and effective workout machines in recent years. Equipment like the Peloton Cycle and Peloton Tread enable users all over the world to get a boutique indoor cycling and running studio experience from the convenience of their own homes, day or night. For a lot of working people and parents, the opportunity to get a solid sweat session at any time of day (and no car travel required) is a huge relief. more

By Taylor Smith 

With locations on the Upper West Side and in the West Village in New York City, RedFarm is a collaboration between Joe Ng and restauranteur Ed Schoenfeld. Chinese by birth, Ng was raised by a Jewish family in Brooklyn. As an adult, he was drawn to Chinese food flavors and developed the idea of bringing “Chinese cuisine with a greenmarket sensibility” to the New York population. more

By Taylor Smith 

Looking for a holiday getaway? Makeup mogul Bobbi Brown and her husband, entrepreneur Steven Plofker, have opened a stately and fashionable 32-room inn in the New York City suburb of Montclair. A 35-minute train ride from Midtown Manhattan, The George is the perfect weekend destination for tri-state area residents. more

See your favorite Broadway stars perform classics to benefit the Food, Health, and Hope diabetes initiative! 

By Taylor Smith 

Summit Medical Group Foundation welcomes a host of Broadway stars to the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn on Monday, December 10. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $50 and VIP admission is $100 (VIP includes prime seating and admission to a behind-the-scenes reception. Tickets can be purchased at www.smg-foundation.org.  more

By Taylor Smith 

The mecca for all objects by designer John Derian is located across three distinct shopfront spaces at 6 East Second Street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery in New York City. Derian’s signature découpage glassware is accompanied by hand-selected French and American antiques, home decor, linens, fine art, and accent pieces from around the world. A must-register destination for those who crave charming whimsy combined with craftsmen-like artisanship, customers can direct all inquiries to 212.677.1003.  more

Ford Mansion, winter (Courtesy of MNHP)

Historical and Cultural Sites in Morristown and Morris County

by Laurie Pellichero | photos courtesy of the MCTB

Located about 25 miles west of New York City, Morris County and its county seat, Morristown, are home to many venues that helped shape American history and culture. Here are just a few to visit…

Morristown has been called the “Military Capital of the American Revolution” because of its strategic role in the war for independence from Great Britain. It hosted General George Washington and the Continental Army during two New Jersey winter encampments, in 1777 and 1779-80, when Washington plotted the colonies’ rebellion against England. According to Morristourism.org, during these two winters the army rested, repaired its artillery, and restocked its munitions. Local iron mines, furnaces, and forges fabricated guns and musket balls for the Army. The soldiers were drilled and the generals planned their spring campaigns. Historians feel that the Continental Army benefited greatly from its two winter stays in Morristown, where the safety of the surrounding mountains provided a haven from the British for the Army to strengthen itself. And it was rich in natural resources like water and forests, and came with a patriotic population that helped feed and provide clothing for the Army.

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Q&A with Sagri Frieber, ASID Associate, Owner of Accents By Design of Bedminster

Interview by Laurie Pellichero

How long have you been in business, and what is your design background?
Thirty years ago, while a diplomat at the United Nations, I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology at night. I supplemented my income by decorating the residences of UN dignitaries. I moved to Bedminster to raise my family and pursue my passion for interior decorating. I started the business in 1991 and 10 years later opened our store in the heart of Bedminster. Accents By Design offers full service interior design, accessories, and high-end window treatments.

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Local hospitals offer state-of-the-art care

by Anne Levin

Despite its small size, New Jersey boasts more than 75 hospitals and medical centers. An impressive group of them are located in the Central and Northern counties, offering state-of-the-art care in increasingly comfortable, even architecturally distinctive, surroundings. Following is a sampling:

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Norbert Leo Butz and the company in Lincoln Center Theater’s “My Fair Lady.” Photo by Joan Marcus.


The My Fair Lady Lyricist’s Centennial

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Lyricist, librettist, and screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) writes in his autobiography The Street Where I Live, “Lyrics, no less than music, are written to be heard. A lyric without its musical clothes is a scrawny creature and should never be allowed to parade naked across the printed page.” In his centennial year, his lyrics are being heard and read. Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of My Fair Lady, the masterpiece musical he wrote with composer Frederick Loewe, began previews last March.

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Rube Goldberg, Rube Goldberg Inventions United States Postal Service Stamp (included on sheet of “Comic Classics” stamps), date unknown. Sheet of USPS stamps.


Celebrating the Comic Art of Rube Goldberg

By Ilene Dube

Among the earliest of John George’s memories is going to the Automat with his grandfather. “There was a whole wall of windows and all these little doors, and you would open one and take out your pie, and then a hand would come place a new piece of pie in the slot where you’d taken yours from,” recounts George, 73, a Skillman-based psychologist. “The whole thing was a big Rube Goldberg, a kind of inspiration for the world he put down on paper.”

In fact, John George’s grandfather, with whom he shared the Automat experience, was Rube Goldberg. more

By Taylor Smith

For many people, sleep is elusive. You run around all day completing your to-do lists and when it’s time to shut down, you can’t. This is an all too common complaint at places like Santé Integrative Pharmacy in downtown Princeton.

Have you ever heard the term wired and tired? That’s is the state that Michael Pellegrino, a clinical nutritionist and wellness practitioner at Sante, finds most customers in when they walk into the store looking for suggestions. “The goal is to nourish and calm the nervous system,” explains Pellegrino. “This includes both a daytime and evening regimen and often an adjustment to their current lifestyle.”

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How Meditation is Changing the Lives of Adolescents Everywhere

By Taylor Smith

Healing traumatic stress and raising performance among at-risk populations doesn’t just apply to adults, it also applies to the daily lives and circumstances of many of today’s modern middle and high school students. The science and research behind the impact of meditation on highly stressed or suffering adult populations is well-documented through brain research, and has been incorporated into standard health treatment at hospitals like The Graf Center for Integrative Medicine at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, N.J.

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By Taylor Smith

Shingles is a viral infection that lays dormant in those who have had the chicken pox and is most common in those ages 50 and older, both men and women. Shingles can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common as a single stripe of extremely painful blisters around the torso, lower waist, chest and/or face. While it isn’t a life-threatening condition, the virus can be very painful, causing many people to suffer for anywhere from three to six months with severe discomfort. 

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By Taylor Smith | Photo courtesy of CKO Kickboxing

Cardio is out and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is in. Many workout enthusiasts are noticing that their spin classes and running routines aren’t cutting it anymore when it comes to building overall health. Boxing and kickboxing are growing in popularity throughout New Jersey and New York because people are seeing results. The fighter’s physique, long desired for its lean look combined with powerful muscular strength, is what people are after and requesting in many gyms. Here is the rundown of some of the gyms throughout the area that are not only offering opportunities to build muscular strength but are specializing in it, with well-trained fighters as instructors challenging both the body and the mind.  more

Find Your Way Home to Cooperstown, New York 

By Taylor Smith | Photos Courtesy of Destination Marketing Corporation of Otsego County

Cooperstown is a village that lies in the central region of New York. It was founded by William Cooper alongside Otsego Lake, which serves as the source of the Susquehanna River. The name “Otsego” derives from a Mohawk or Oneida word meaning “place of rock,” referring to the large boulder near the lake’s outlet, known today as Council Rock.

Cooperstown is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, especially during the fall and winter months. With numerous indoor and outdoor attractions, visitors can spend their days exploring the great outdoors and their evenings cozied up inside a brewery.

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By Stuart Mitchner

Amsterdam was the first stop on my first trip to Europe and the first time in my life that I’d walked into a museum on a whim, on my own, casually, without thinking of it as a prescribed learning experience. Every painting was by the same artist. At 19, I knew about Van Gogh of course. I’d seen Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life. But here was the reality, vividly, wildly, uncontainedly there in the gobs, clusters, and swirls of paint everywhere I looked, and no one else was around, no crowds to contend with; somehow some way I’d lucked out and had the place to myself, just me and Van Gogh. I could almost hear him breathing, smell the smoke from his pipe, as if he were working as I watched, no brush, I imagined him squeezing the paint between his fingers and then slapping it on. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, I’d landed all by myself on the shore of a new world of art.

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The Brick Academy 

By Taylor Smith 

Six impressive properties will be on view in Basking Ridge and Bernardsville for The Somerset Hills Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Brick Academy, an 1809 historic landmark, will serve as the hospitality center. The Brick Academy is a Federal-style architectural structure located in the center of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township. Since 1809, The Brick Academy has served as a boys’ private preparatory school, a public school, a meeting hall for different fraternal and benevolent organizations, and the Bernards Township municipal building. more

By Taylor Smith

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis sativa plant, but it contains no THC (the psychoactive constituent) and is not evident in a drug test. Also known as hemp oil, many wellness practitioners have begun to tout the many benefits of CBD oil for the treatment of everything from anxiety and/or depression to pain relief, PTSD, insomnia, skincare, digestion, and seizures.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Feature image courtesy of: Elizabeth Anne Designs

Expecting the entire family this Thanksgiving and looking for a convenient and delicious solution to your conundrum? Dine out at anyone of these New Jersey restaurants and be delighted by the tastes, flavors, and atmosphere around you. The majority of the restaurants feature a pre-set price, and reservations are required. Many of the restaurants also specialize in locally grown flavors and influences (some distinctly Italian). So hurry — don’t delay in finalizing your plans for the big day! more

By Taylor Smith

Photos courtesy of The Rubin Museum of Art

Looking for a cultural day trip? Fall is a great time to visit The Rubin Museum of Art, located at 150 West 17th Street in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. With an emphasis on cross-cultural connections, the Rubin showcases the art, ideas, and culture of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions. Special exhibitions celebrate art forms that range from ancient to contemporary.  more

(And how Princeton played a role in Teach For America and Teach For All)

Photos courtesy of Teach For All

Her newest organization, Teach For All, is a global organization with the goal of eliminating educational inequity, tackling the complex challenges facing children in disadvantaged communities, and developing leaders to address the educational access problems. She has spent her adult life trying to ensure that all children are able to fulfill their potential. Kopp has written and published two books: One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way, released in 2001; and A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All, published in 2011. more

Laying the Groundwork for Future Female Tech Leaders

By Taylor Smith 

Photos courtesy of Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani six years ago with the aim of closing the gender gap in computing classes in schools across the nation. Girls Who Code is now 90,000 strong in all 50 states, building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States. Its Clubs Program, Campus Program, and Summer Immersion Program help to create accessible pathways for Girls Who Code alumni to enter into university and workforce computing programs. The organization also offers continued learning opportunities for Girls Who Code alumni to enhance their professional computer science skills.  more

Photo by Heather Bobeck

Opera Theatre of Montclair’s Educational Outreach

By Donald H. Sanborn III

New York has the Metropolitan Opera, while Pennsylvania has Opera Philadelphia. As such, it is tempting to wonder whether a company in New Jersey has a “phantom” of a chance of making a significant contribution to the scene.

Opera Theatre of Montclair, the 2018 winner of the JerseyArts.com
People’s Choice Award as Favorite Opera Company, and the first New Jersey company to be invited to join the New York Opera Alliance, chooses to answer that question by concentrating on making the art form accessible — to performers and young
audiences. more

AD Pat Hobbs and Rutgers Have Big Hopes in the Big Ten

By Donald Gilpin | Photos by Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics

Rutgers is embarking on its fifth year in the Big Ten Conference, and Athletic Director Pat Hobbs, in his third season with the Scarlet Knights, has a clearly defined goal in sight: the creation of a championship culture.

Hobbs refers to his “five-year turnaround plan,” which he adopted when he arrived in November 2015, and he looks forward to exciting developments on the field, in the classroom, and in the institution as a whole as Rutgers’ impact on the Big Ten and the Big Ten’s impact on Rutgers continue to grow in the coming years. more

View of New Brunswick across the Raritan River, Shutterstock.com. | By William Uhl

Nestled by the Raritan River in New Brunswick, Rutgers University is home to a diverse range of history and traditions. An intercollegiate rivalry with Princeton University, a real-life armored and mounted Scarlet Knight, and a romantic ritual connected to the legendary Passion Puddle are all classic traditions — and so is eating a Fat Sandwich, a sub roll packed with enough French fries, chicken fingers, and mozzarella sticks to earn the name. That mix of thoughtfulness and playfulness is everywhere in New Brunswick, and you can find plenty of both in just a day’s travel. more

By Stuart Mitchner

I never had to deal with the college search process. The Indiana University campus was five blocks away, and since my father was on the faculty, the cost was minimal. I’ve never regretted staying at home. Besides making some lifelong friends, I wrote a novel, having figured out a plot in a sophomore geology class taught by a man whose amusingly morbid mannerisms influenced my depiction of a predatory professor at a fictional Eastern college. So even though I didn’t go away to school myself, my main character did, and came home to Indiana disillusioned about love and life. When the book was published the summer before my senior year, several reviewers gave me credit for at least not imitating J.D. Salinger, while others took the patronizing tone of the notice in the New York Times snidely titled “College Capers.” The Saturday Review quoted Picasso to the effect that “it takes a very long time to become young.” more

Photo courtesy of Melick’s Hard Cider

Hard Cider is making a comeback in New Jersey and New York

By Laurie Pellichero

Hard cider has been enjoyed in the United States for hundreds of years, with its history dating back to the first English settlers. The colonists used apple seeds brought from England to cultivate orchards, and cider soon became a staple of every American table. It was consumed morning, noon, and night, and seen as a more sanitary substitute for water.

New Jersey cider was especially popular. Rumor has it that George Washington even called Newark cider “the champagne of ciders.” more

Though not a memorial, Maya Lin’s newest works pay homage to Einstein and the Dinky

By Ilene Dube | Photography courtesy of Princeton University Art Museum

At the heart of the Lewis Center for the Arts complex on the Princeton University campus — just south of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads and Cargot Brasserie, the restaurant in the repurposed cargo shed of the old Dinky train — the earth
undulates in wave-like craters.

Like quirky hillocks with straight edges, they beckon a visitor of any age to climb to the top and roll down sideways, just as a child might. And I can’t help thinking that’s just what the earthwork’s artist, Maya Lin, hopes we’ll take away — not her name and bio as one of the most important artists working today, but rather a place to honor and connect with earth and grass. more