Dr. Richard Besser, head of New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is making a difference

By Wendy Greenberg | Photo courtesy of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Dr. Richard Besser, a pediatrician and head of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), has volunteered in a clinic in every place he has lived.

Seeing children once a week at the Henry J. Austin Center in Trenton brings health inequity into focus. There, in Trenton, the life expectancy for children is 73 years. In Princeton, the life expectancy for the same-age child is 87 years.

The clinic grants a window, he said, “into the lives of children, many of whom have profound barriers to health, children growing up in very different circumstances than the children in my hometown of Princeton.”

At a New York City health center, Besser met a grandmother who knows her grandchildren needs daily physical exercise, but was concerned about the safety of playing outdoors. He met a youngster whose asthma attacks were triggered by environmental contaminants in the family’s apartment. At the Trenton clinic, he met a mother of a son with significant developmental disabilities who has been waiting two years for services that would help him.  more

The 99th Running of the Race Meeting Steeplechase

By Taylor Smith | Photos courtesy of Far Hills Race Meeting 

This October 19 marks the 99th running of the Far Hills Race Meeting, an annual event held at Moorland Farm in Somerset Hills, New Jersey. Based on a fox hunt organized by the Essex Hunt in Montclair circa 1870, the modern-day event involves legal wagering and has grown to be one of the richest purses in America. Guy Torsilieri, president of the National Steeplechase Association and co-chair of the Far Hills Race, assures newcomers that “there’s something for everyone.”  more

Fall is a great time to visit the many area wineries. Mark your calendar for these upcoming events…

By Laurie Pellichero

Alba Vineyard
269 Riegelsville Warren Glen Road, Milford
www.albavineyard.com

Alba Vineyard’s 93-acre estate is set in the hills of Warren County on the north side of the Musconetcong River Valley, a tributary of the Delaware River. The farm, originally a dairy farm, dates back to the late 1700s. The vineyards are the first cultivation of the land, so the soils were never subject to years of other farming and depletion of nutrients. Alba believes in sustainably farming premium grapes and crafting them into exceptional wines of great value.

Tastings are available daily from 11am to 5pm, 6pm on Saturday. The Arbor at Alba Vineyard features wood-fired pizza and estate and reserve wine tastings every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm through mid-November. Music is featured from 1:30 to 5pm on Saturday, and 1 to 4:30pm on Sunday. Upcoming acts include BC Combo on October 26, the Kathy Phillips Trio on October 27, Last Thursday Band on November 2, 6th Street Trio on November 3, Frank DiBussolo Trio on November 9, and the Eric Mintel Quartet on November 10. more

Morris Canal and Smith’s General Store at Waterloo Village, New Jersey. (Photo by Zeete, Wikimedia Commons)

By William Uhl

MORRIS

Morris County is making old new again, starting with the Morris Canal. A relic of its time, the historic commercial waterway fell into disrepair over a century ago. Recently, however, the canal has found a new life in bits and pieces: passionate volunteers are restoring sections as hiking trails and bike routes for public use, a project known as the Morris Canal Greenway. Currently stretching just over 4 miles, it will eventually extend between the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Museum and Waterloo Village, a historic canal town.

On the eastern edge of Morristown, the Schuyler-Hamilton House preserves another important part of history — the wartime romance between Alexander Hamilton and his wife Betsy Schuyler. In the late 1700s, General Washington sent Hamilton to Morristown to prepare the townspeople for the second winter encampment. Within the walls of the house, Hamilton and Schuyler met, and later courted, before marrying in Albany in 1780. Though its outside appearance is everyday, the interior is filled with historical artifacts such as portraits, furniture, and tools from centuries ago. more

By Stuart Mitchner

This Book Scene began with lunch at cookbook legends Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer’s newly opened Canal House Station restaurant in Milford, N.J.

At the time, all I knew about the Canal House series was what I heard from my wife on the drive up. According to an August 12 article in Food and Wine, the “meticulous restoration” of the Milford station took about two years, with the result evoking “the warmth of a dear friend’s home…. Even the entrance, past the small garden and through a back door, contributes to the familiar sensibility the brand new restaurant has already managed to create.”

I understood “familiar sensibility” as a way of describing the quality that has made the Canal House books so popular, an idea that accords with the Cambridge English Dictionary definition of sensibility as “an understanding of or ability to decide about what is good or valuable, especially in connection with social activities.”

Poetry Up Front

I found the “familiar sensibility” in evidence as soon as I opened my wife’s prized copy of Canal House Cooks Every Day (Andrews McMeel $45) to a photograph and a poem that would seem to have more to do with what is “good and valuable” than with cooking. The first image you see after turning the title and dedication pages is a blurry vision of blue sky and cloud mass photographed through the window of a plane en route to Istanbul; taking up the facing page is C.P. Cavafy’s poem “Ithaca,” which begins, “When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,/pray that the road is long,/full of adventure, full of knowledge” and ends “Wise as you have become, with so much experience,/you must already have understood what these Ithacas mean.”

As someone whose heart has never soared at the sight of a cookbook, I was more impressed by the association of cooking with a “beautiful voyage” than with any of the celebrity testimonials on the endpapers, except perhaps the tribute to “this kitchen bible” from actress Jamie Lee Curtis, a Canal House devotee who, like me, is not a “foodie” and admits to “no discernible culinary talent.” In fairness to Jamie Lee, the resemblance is strictly superficial; she cooks every day for “lots of people” and I’m a back-up cook, occasional sous chef, grater of cheese, composer of salads, and cleaner-upper. more

“…improving the value of care in the United States is one of the biggest challenges our health care system faces. We also face challenges in providing care in a way that is equitable and that addresses other drivers of health, including social factors.”

Executive Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI)

By Donald Gilpin | Photos by Hoag Levins

Rachel Werner, M.D., Ph.D., took over last May as the first female and the first physician-economist executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI). She is a professor of both medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, and health care management at the Wharton School; a member of the National Academy of Medicine; and a practicing physician at Philadelphia’s Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center. 

Werner came to Penn in 1994 after graduating from Macalester College in Minnesota. She earned her M.D. in 1998 and her Ph.D. in health economics in 2004. She joined the Penn faculty in 2005 as an assistant professor of medicine and an LDI senior fellow. A longtime member of LDI’s executive committee, Werner has played an important role in expanding LDI data services and was director of the LDI health economics data analyst pool that provides LDI fellows with statistical analysts. more

By Taylor Smith | Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Located approximately 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a compact island popular with generations of vacationers. The island was first sighted by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold of Falmouth, England, on his way to Virginia in 1602. In October 1641, William, Earl of Sterling, deeded the island to Thomas Mayhew of Watertown, Massachusetts Bay. Shares of the island were eventually sold to nine other purchasers. These 10 original owners were eager to attract tradesmen to the island, and the total number of stakeholders gradually expanded to 27 shares among 31 owners. Names like Coffin, Folger, Gardner, Macy, Starbuck, Hussey, and Swain still have a large presence on the island today.

When the Englishmen arrived, the island was already home to an estimated 1,600 Wampanoag Indians. The influence of European disease, alcohol, debt, and servitude took a toll on the native population, and it is chronicled that the last Wampanoag (Abram Quary) on the island died in 1885.

The settlers innately understood the value of the cold waters at their doorstep, and sought the guidance of established New England whaling captains to learn how to hunt whales from a boat. At the time, whale oil was used to light lamps.  more

By Taylor Smith

Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, Hunterdon County, is a passion project of Michael Beneduce Sr. and his son, Mike Beneduce Jr. As a family rooted in farming for multiple generations, the Beneduces have a distinct love and understanding of the Garden State’s soil. more

Miller Library at Colby College

By Taylor Smith

Ecology concerns the analysis and examination of the varied systems of interaction between humans and their environment. The trans-disciplinary subject matter relates to topics of anthropology, psychology, environmental management, engineering, biology, animal science, agricultural economics, geography, and sociology, among others. more

Film still from Cider House Rules

By Taylor Smith

Autumn can often induce feelings of nostalgia. As the weather turns cooler and a hint of the coming winter is detectable in the late evening air, you might be tempted to curl up with your favorite blanket and settle in for a fall movie marathon. Here are a few films that are guaranteed to send you on a journey and make for a memorable evening (or two). more

By Taylor Smith

“I wait for my mother to haunt me as she promised she would; long to wake in the night with the familiar sight of her sitting at the end of my bed, to talk to her one more time, to feel that all the pieces have been put into place, the puzzle is solved, and I can rest.” – Sally Field

The public is invited to “An Afternoon with Sally Field” at Rider University in Lawrenceville on Sunday, October 27 at 1 p.m. The talk is presented by Penn Medicine Princeton Health as part of its Community Wellness programming. Early registration is $40 per person and includes a copy of Field’s memoir, In Pieces. Purchase tickets, here: https://bit.ly/35itbFA more

Charles Addams

By Taylor Smith

Westfield, New Jersey, transforms into all things Charles Addams this October for AddamsFest — a month-long series of events including movie screenings, art exhibits, a masquerade ball, paranormal investigations, a costume contest, and a Halloween House Decorating Contest. more

By Taylor Smith

 Dogs and cats are typically considered “senior” when they reach 7 years of age. Depending on individual health, older pets may require more frequent exams to monitor any changes in health status. more

By Taylor Smith

Dr. Beverly Friedlander has been practicing the art of plastic surgery for over 25 years. Her new facility has been completely redesigned to offer patrons a serene, expansive setting that is inviting, restorative, and relaxing. more

By Taylor Smith

This year’s Oktoberfest Celebration at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten  (asburybiergarten.com) will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13. Beginning each day at noon, the tented biergarten celebration offers plenty of food, beer, live polka bands, and Oktoberfest fun. more

By Taylor Smith

 American poet Walt Whitman has been honored with a new United States stamp.

The stamp is intended for domestic first-class mail weighing up to 3 ounces, and is priced at 85 cents. USPS Art Director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with artwork by Sam Weber, who previously illustrated the Flannery O’Connor stamp in 2015 and the Henry David Thoreau stamp in 2017. more

Pianist Daniil Trifonov

By Taylor Smith

 Classical music is a feast for the mind and senses.

If you are a fan of 19th-century European fare, a joint recital with Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, October 16 at 8 p.m. is not to be missed. more

Mike Bloomberg 

By Taylor Smith 

“Philanthropy gives us a competitive advantage, we think, in recruiting and retaining talent. And I can tell you from personal experience, it is also good for the bottom line, as good a thing a company can do.” —Michael R. Bloomberg

Headquartered on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Bloomberg Philanthropies was founded in 2006 with the purpose of directing funding and research to five major areas: the environment, public health, the arts, government innovation, and education. By “using data in new ways,” Bloomberg Philanthropies routinely shifts policies and advances progress, legislation, and public opinion. As an example, the organization has potentially saved countless lives by creating solutions proven to curb global tobacco use. According to bloomberg.org, “If left unchecked, tobacco use will kill one billion people this century.”  more

Image Source: VisitPhilly.com

Coming November 23 & 24 

By Taylor Smith 

Ranking the nation’s top 10 in terms of large marathons, the Philadelphia Marathon typically attracts more than 30,000 runners, 60,000 spectators, and 3,000 volunteers. The fast and scenic course takes runners past historic landmarks, through urban neighborhoods, and along Philadelphia’s picturesque waterfront. Participants should keep in mind that the November race is a chilly one, with average starting line temperatures around 37 degrees F. The half marathon and 8K races will take place on Saturday, November 23.  The full marathon will begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday, November 24.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Housed in a former factory space at 240 North Union Street in Lambertville, DIG Yoga was founded in 2010 by Sue Elkind and Anime Jezzeny. DIG maintains a following among area resident who find that the architectural characteristics of the studio deepens their practice. Specifically, the light from the large windows that reverberates around the room and reflects beautifully off of the bamboo floors.  more

Image Source: The Psychoanalytic Institute of the Contemporary Freudian Society

By Taylor Smith 

Adolescents and college-age men and women are statistically at a high risk of experiencing the onset of a psychotic episode, particularly if they are genetically predisposed to mental illness.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Stepping into Daily Provisions at 103 East 19th Street in Manhattan brings to mind gourmet trick-or-treating.  more

By Taylor Smith 

New Jersey residents are lucky enough to experience four distinct seasons; however, this also means that gardeners must prepare for winter and put their gardens to bed each year. In terms of a vegetable garden, preparing your beds for winter will increase the chance that your garden stays healthy from year to year. A sure sign that winter is fast approaching is when the first frost has killed off most of your annuals. For an area that does not see frost, you can begin your cleanup after the annual plants have started to brown and die.  more

By Taylor Smith 

With children now back in school and an increased amount of time spent indoors, fall typically signals the start of cold and flu season. In reality, a person can contract the flu any time of year, but the CDC reports that influenza typically peaks between December and February. more

Image Source: www.njskylands.com

By Taylor Smith 

New Jersey offers excellent opportunities for leaf peeping throughout the autumn months. Both farmland and forest come alive during the months of October and November with vibrant, fiery hues. Scenic beauty in picnic spots abounds, so grab your hiking shoes and flannel for a fun-filled weekend.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Motorcar Manor, at 16 Arrow Road in Ramsey, was established in 2013 by New Jersey-native Matthew Maisano and his father Phillip. Both father and son have a deep respect and passion for collector vehicles and the people who can’t get enough of them.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Considered to be excellent preparation for the November TCS New York City Marathon, the Newport Liberty Half Marathon in Jersey City will take place on Sunday, September 15. Start time is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. at Newport Green Park.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Coming soon to Washington Township is Row House, a first-class indoor rowing experience that challenges your endurance, strength, and fortitude.  more

Image Source: Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute

By Taylor Smith 

Many veterinary schools are now offering education tracks in wildlife medicine, which is an interdisciplinary study that involves work in wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife medicine, and conservation medicine. Conservation medicine is concerned with looking at the interplay between environment and health.  more