By Stuart Mitchner

Among the holiday season’s crop of new books, most of which are immense, amply-illustrated volumes destined for display, some of this year’s stand-outs feature interesting women, whether photographers like Mary Caperton Morton (Aerial Geology), painters (Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900), or women of the Old West like Calamity Jane (The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary), or superstars like Wonder Woman (The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen) and culinary legend Alice Waters, whose modest-sized, compulsively readable best-selling memoir is more suited to bedside than coffee tables. more

Children and their parents experience Brandywine Christmas. Photo by Carlos Alejandro. 

By Ilene Dube

In all its starkness, winter was the favorite season of the painter Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009), one of the 20th century’s most popular American painters. Even today, exhibitions of his works draw large crowds to museums.

Wyeth described winter as a time when “you feel the bone structure in the landscape—the loneliness of it—the dead feeling…” Wyeth’s landscapes of that season are both placid in their silence and haunting in their feeling of desolation. He has the ability to capture the nuanced shades of white, even when working in watercolor. more

For Dr. Afzal-Khan’s documentary From The Melody Queen to the Muslim Madonna, she interviewed several Pakistani women, including vocalists, professors, and relatives of famous historic Pakistani singers.

By William Uhl 

A vocalist, professor, and activist, Dr. Fawzia Afzal-Khan has spent her life working to bridge gaps between people and erase misconceptions. Born in Pakistan and raised by two parents who fostered her thirst for knowledge, she has several published articles in both academic journals and newspapers, a well-reviewed memoir, and received the “Excellence in Public Life Award” by the American Muslim Alliance in 2008. Now a professor at Montclair State University, she has continued to unite the East and West through education, writing, and music. more

On The Side Spa, Photo by John Keon.

By Taylor Smith

The winter season brings heartwarming moments, like time with family and holiday traditions; however, it can also bring unneeded stress. This stress may come in the form of aches and pains, increased anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and weight gain. To combat these common winter ailments, a little self-care is in order. Thankfully, our region offers a plethora of spa services, counseling professionals, and salons where you can melt the blues away. more

By Wendy Plump 

Photography Courtesy of Nomadic Expeditions

In a dramatic re-interpretation of the notion “If you build it, they will come,” New Jersey resident and contractor Jalsa Urubshurow built a base for his adventure expedition company in Mongolia. He chose the South Gobi Province on the edge of the Gobi Desert—where the Altai Mountains rim the horizon—and put up forty Ger, the traditional felt yurts of Mongolia’s indigenous nomadic tribes. He designed the main lodge in the style of an ancient temple. He quarried local stone and installed local staffers – herders, guides, cooks – because he wanted authenticity in a world greatly in need of it, and, if truth be told, because he demanded the most breathtaking gateway for those visiting his beloved Mongolia, the home of his Kalmyk ancestors. more

Bucks County Company Mines the “True Meaning” of Christmas with One-of-a-Kind Works

By Wendy Greenberg

Michael Stumpf, who has been a photographer, banking executive, ad agency owner, and community leader, cherished his childhood F. W. Woolworth Nativity scene into adulthood. When it fell apart from age, he and his daughter built one of their own design. more

Photo Credit: Hugo Juarez

The winter season poses many potential risks to animal companions, from frigid temperatures to road trips, food, and holiday decorations. We spoke with some well-known area veterinarians to get their advice on what families can do to protect their beloved pets. 

By Taylor Smith 

Dr. Christopher Garruba of Nassau Animal Hospital, located at 3440 US-1 in Princeton, said that owners should be aware of salted sidewalks and roadways. “Dogs can slip and fall on the ice just like people and collect ‘ice balls’ between their toes,” he said. “Their paw pads may also become irritated by salt on the roads. It’s important to carefully examine your dog’s paws and paw pads after each walk.” more

By Lynn Adams Smith 

Photograph by Jeffrey E. Tryon

Back in 1968, Joanne Woodward purchased a Rolex Daytona watch for Paul Newman and had it inscribed “Drive Carefully Me.”  For the next 16 years, he wore the watch while acting in movies, fly fishing, and racing cars.

In 1984, Newman’s daughter Nell was dating James Cox.  One summer day Cox was helping to repair a treehouse on their property, when Newman casually gave him the watch. more

Gingerbread Wonderland and Craft Show, Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Jack Frost is in the air, and the “most wonderful time of the year” is about to begin…

Mark your calendar for these festive New Jersey events that celebrate the season:

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Image by Robin and Sue Photography and Styling (http://www.robinandsue.com/)

By Doug Wallack

In early September, a glowing three-star review from New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells vaulted the Jersey City pizzeria Razza Pizza Artigianale to new heights of acclaim. Dan Richer, who opened Razza in 2012, is no stranger to critical accolades; in its first five years of operation, Razza won over the Star-Ledger, and a video by food. curated highlighting Richer’s meticulous use of gently fermented butter and naturally leavened bread attracted the attention of Eater and even the New York Times itself. In August of this year, NJ.com named Razza one of the top ten pizzerias in the state. more

By William Uhl

The Millburn/Short Hills area may be best known for the Mall at Short Hills, and for good reason—it’s just as much a mall as it is a monument to prosperity. Pearl-white hallways are lined end-to-end-to-end with an endless assortment of stores and restaurants. Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton are minutes away from J.Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Gap. Food shops like Godiva, Teavana, and Forty Carrots and specialty stores like Tesla, Brookstone, and Bose pepper the halls with vibrant displays. When shopping turns tiring, attractions like the in-house photographic art gallery YellowKorner and the restaurant Legal Sea Foods provide a relaxing rest. Overnight guests even have a selection of nearby luxury hotels at which to stay. more

Photo Credit: @stewartchristie_co

Coats for men and women to keep you looking on-trend all season long. 

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Ring in the Holidays at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank

The iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and three-time Grammy-Award winner Brian Setzer and his 19-piece orchestra whip up a huge dose of retro holiday cheer with their Christmas Rocks! Tour presented by SiriusXM at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank on Tuesday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m.  more

Photo Credit: Sur La Table 

Get ready for Thanksgiving with these festive food items!

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Red Mill Museum Village

By William Uhl 

A symbol of early American industry, Clinton’s iconic Red Mill still sits aside the Raritan River. Since its construction two centuries ago, the mill’s sleepy water wheel has worked with cloth, minerals, food, and electricity. Now, the mill is home to an array of galleries. Some house historical reproductions, some display pieces from international artists, and others hold fragments of local Clinton history. more

Lawrence Charles B. Samuel Stanhope Smith 1750–1819, Class of 1769, President 1795–1812.

By Doug Wallack

On Monday, November 6, the Princeton & Slavery Project—an initiative of Princeton University—launched its website as a means of publicizing its ongoing research into the University’s relationship with the institution of slavery. Visitors to the site can find over 80 articles that, for instance, tease out the links between the fortunes of the University’s early benefactors and slavery, or examine the slave holdings of University presidents, trustees, and other affiliates. Also included online are hundreds of primary documents, data visualizations and maps that track the proportional enrollment of southern students at Princeton, and video documentaries in which students and alumni reflect on their own families’ relationships to slavery.  more

Blairsden, Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center—Mansion in May Designer Showhouse 2014. Photography courtesy of Turpin Real Estate, Inc

By Ilene Dube

In the decades following the Civil War, the United States experienced a period of tremendous economic growth. The railroad industry, mining, and finance gave new wealth to those who built them. Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon, J.P Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Henry Flagler, and others—the robber barons—built the core of the American industrial economy, as well as the nonprofit sector through their generous philanthropy, on the backs of the working class. more

FIFTY FINGERS: The 5 Browns, the acclaimed piano quintet of Julliard-trained siblings, comes to Drew University on November 18. (Photo by Giuseppe1925, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Doug Wallack

On Saturday, November 18, The 5 Browns will take to the stage at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at Drew University. The piano quintet, composed of Julliard-trained siblings Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra, and Desirae Brown, first came to prominence in 2002, and in the ensuing decade and a half they’ve enjoyed generous critical and popular acclaim. more

Amedeo Modigliani, Lunia Czechowska, 1919. Oil on canvas. Museu de Arte de São Paulo. Photograph by João Musa.

By Ellen Gilbert

“The exquisite-looking artist was often overshadowed by his Bohemian legend,” observed Jewish Museum Senior Curator Mason Klein at a recent press preview of the new Modigliani exhibit, “Modigliani Unmasked,” at the Jewish Museum in New York City through February 4, 2018. Images of Amedeo Modigliani’s movie star quality looks and accounts of his tempestuous and brief (1884-1920) life have indeed tended to overshadow his accomplishments, though sales of his later paintings in recent years do not seem troubled by these considerations: his Nu Couché fetched a whopping $170.4 million (with fees) at a Christie’s auction in 2015. more

By Ellen Gilbert 

Recent strides in the field of genetic engineering are generating tremendous excitement. Long in the works at university and company laboratories, the implications of this treatment are far-reaching.

The rapidly emerging immunotherapy approach is called adoptive cell transfer (ACT); it collects and uses patients’ own immune cells to treat their cancer. There are several types of ACT, but the star of the show right now is CAR T-cell therapy, which made medical history this last August when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetic therapy for widespread use. Called Kymriah, it is being marketed by Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland. more

The NJ Audubon Montclair Hawk Watch 

By Laurie Pellichero 

It’s an incredible sight to see each fall, flocks of birds making their way down south for the winter. One of the best places to witness the yearly pilgrimage of a variety of hawks and other birds of prey is the NJ Audubon Montclair Hawk Watch Lookout, a crushed stone-filled platform that sits on a basalt ledge high on a ridge known as First Watchung Mountain in Montclair, New Jersey. more

By Anne Levin

With a mother and two paternal aunts who died of breast cancer, the two sisters knew it was important to get tested to see if they carried the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Should the test come back positive, their risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer would be higher than average. And preventive measures—most likely mastectomy and/or hysterectomy—could be in order. more

By Stuart Mitchner

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous line, “The very rich are different from you and me,” in his story “The Rich Boy,” inspired Ernest Hemingway’s sarcastic retort in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro, “Yes, they have more money.”

In The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us (Delphinium $25.95), novelist Alison Lurie begins by stating “A building is an inanimate object, but it is not an inarticulate one. Even the simplest house always makes a statement, one expressed in brick and stone and plaster, in wood and metal and glass, rather than in words—but no less loud and obvious.” more