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

Celebrating the release of his latest album, Raise Vibration, the GRAMMY® Museum Experience™ Prudential Center in association with NJPAC, will welcome four-time GRAMMY winner Lenny Kravitz to NJPAC’s Victoria Theater on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 8:00 PM.

Moderated by five-time GRAMMY winner Questlove, a musical force all his own, Kravitz will discuss the creation of, and inspiration behind his latest work. Regarded as one of the preeminent rock musicians of our time, Kravitz has transcended genre, style, race and class over the course of a 20-year musical career. Reveling in the soul, rock and funk influences of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist has won four consecutive GRAMMY Awards, as well as set a record for the most wins in the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance category. more

By Taylor Smith 

Photography by Tom Grimes

The youngest son of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and Virginia Joan Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy has put down roots in Brigantine, New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and four children, Harper, Owen, Nora, and Nell. Amy is expecting their fifth child in May. A New Jersey native, Amy has more than 15 years’ experience working in New Jersey public schools and is the education director of The Kennedy Forum. Patrick lovingly refers to Amy as his “Jersey girl,” who grew up in a neighboring shore town. Located on the bayside of the Jersey Shore, a stone’s throw from Atlantic City, the Kennedy’s waterfront home is centered around family and the beauty of the natural setting. On the day of Urban Agenda Magazine’s visit, seagulls were dive-bombing around Patrick’s boat and fine grains of sand blew across the roadway. more

The Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins Centennials

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Legendary American composer, conductor, pianist, educator, and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) once said, “I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it.” Audiences and museum visitors are having multiple opportunities this year to hear Bernstein’s music and think about it. In March, Princeton University’s Richardson Chamber Players presented “Bernstein and Friends: A Centennial Celebration.” Institutions such as Symphony Space and the National Museum of American Jewish History also will celebrate the maestro’s centennial. Aficionados of the work of choreographer Jerome Robbins (1918-1998) will have similar opportunities. more

Taylor Smith

A rare joint appearance by two old friends at the 92nd Street Y in New York on Monday, April 23 at 8 p.m. at the Kaufmann Concert Hall. Julian Barnes’s new novel, a poignant tale of first love and long memory, is The Only Story. “He reveals crystalline truths that have taken a lifetime to harden,” wrote The New York Times.  more

Biden was the guest of the Thomas H. Kean Visiting Lectureship at Drew University in Madison, NJ.

Written by Drew University’s Office of Communications

On the presidency: ‘I’m not sure I’m ready to go, (if) my family is ready to go.’

Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at Drew University, described a breakdown in the American political system that has given rise to what he described as “naked nationalism” and “senseless populism.”

The former frames the world as us versus them while the latter places majority rule above liberty, individual rights and due process, according to Biden. The remedy, he said, is nothing short of active participation in democracy—be it voting, protesting, running for office or demanding accountability from political leaders. In short, stand up for the “moral fabric” of America. more

The “Gilded Cage” at the 60th Street and 5th Avenue entrance to Central Park is one of the major installations in Ai Weiwei’s “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” (Photo by Phil Roeder, via Flickr)

By Doug Wallack

Acclaimed artist and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei unveiled a multi-site, multi-media project entitled “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” this fall, in conjunction with the Public Art Fund. The work — which consists of 300 site-specific pieces scattered throughout the five boroughs of New York City — explores the issues of resurgent nationalism and populism that have been the subjects of so much public debate this year, playing on the central visual motif of the border fence. more

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

Off-Broadway debuting star Doreen Taylor (Photo by Michael Pearson)

By Doug Wallack

On Friday, October 27, recording artist and off-Broadway debuting star Doreen Taylor launches her “docu-musical” show An Enchanted Evening with Oscar Hammerstein II at Highland Farm in Doylestown, Pa. The show, the proceeds from which will go to the Hammerstein Center, is part of a larger effort to save the former home of Oscar Hammerstein II at Highland Farm, and to repurpose it as a museum and theater education center.

 more

Saturday, October 28 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at NJPAC in Newark

This unforgettable concert will feature the full-length film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™, projected in high-definition on a giant screen, with composer John Williams’ thrilling score performed live by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Performances will take place at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 28 at NJPAC in Newark. more

By Doug Wallack

Quoted in the December 1963 Life article in which she famously coined the “Camelot” epithet for her late husband’s presidency, Jacqueline Kennedy says, “Once, the more I read of history, the more bitter I got. For a while I thought history was something that bitter old men wrote. But then I realized history made Jack what he was.” She goes on to outline a vision of a young John F. Kennedy for whom history was a great repository of heroes and role models—a catalyst for his own idealism. more

Princeton’s new poet laureate, Tracy K. Smith. Princeton University, Office of Communications, photography by Denise Applewhite.

By Stuart Mitchner 

If you don’t count nursery rhymes, songs, and “The Night Before Christmas,” the first time poetry happened to me was at the end of the Classic Comic of Moby Dick. Each issue closed with “Highlights in the Life” of the author. Herman Melville’s ended with four couplets from a poem “published during the Civil War” that “best expresses our bewilderment of today.” I had no idea what was meant by “bewilderment.” I was 6. The Second World War was still going on. A red, white, and blue banner at the bottom of the page contained a Buy United States War Savings Bonds stamp. The lines that struck and stayed with me were these: “Can no final good be wrought?/ Over and over, again and again,/Must the fight for the Right be fought?” I had only a vague sense of the meaning beyond its being patriotic; what resonated, and still does, was the infectious play of rhyme and rhythm, especially the way it rocks the last line. more

“The best, most effective medicine my soul has yet partaken”

By Stuart Mitchner 

Sorting out his first impressions of Walt Whitman in a letter from November 1856, Henry David Thoreau admits feeling “much interested and provoked“: “Though peculiar and rough in his exterior,…he is essentially a gentleman. I am still somewhat in a quandary about him…He told us that he loved to ride up and down Broadway all day on an omnibus, sitting beside the driver, listening to the roar of the carts, and sometimes gesticulating and declaiming Homer at the top of his voice.” more

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

In the early 1800s, the southern banks of the Navesink River bustled with steamboats, sailboats, and commercial fishermen transporting shellfish and local crops to New York City. In 1908, the area was incorporated into the town of Red Bank, whose name is attributed to the clay found along its coast. Come 2017, you’ll still find sailors and fisherman along these red banks, but you’ll also find young professionals on their way to stand-up paddle yoga. Indeed, some of Red Bank’s 12,200 residents start their day floating on the Navesink River with Flow Paddle Yoga. Others grab a Rook Coffee before walking their dogs past the shops on Broad Street.  more

Tracy K. Smith, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Princeton University Professor in the Humanities and a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, has been named the 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-18.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the appointment today. Ms. Smith will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library of Congress’s annual literary season with a reading of her work at the Coolidge Auditorium. more

Crocheted Wall Street bull, pic by Olek, NYC, 2010.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Leather, move over.

Furs and leathers are surrounded by controversy for their use of animal skins. They represent the exotic, the risqué, and the fierce. Yarn, on the other hand, comes from goat farms and often suggests homespun domesticity and grandmothers. However, the typically unsexy material is undergoing a revival. Thanks to women who are using the medium in unconventional ways, yarn is becoming a means of personal expression. more

By Donald H. Sanborn III

For most Broadway musicals, the “composer” creates only the songs, usually providing vocal lines with piano accompaniment. Other musicians, including an orchestrator, prepare the score for performance. The orchestrator adjusts a composition “to fit…whatever orchestral combination has been selected,” Broadway orchestrator Don Walker writes in his autobiography. In the 1940s, Webster’s Dictionary came out with a second meaning for orchestrate: “to arrange or combine so as to achieve a maximum effect.” more

It all began in Hoboken

By Doug Wallack

In October of 1845—though historians will disagree on precisely when—the first game of baseball under the modern rules took place on the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey. The New York Base Ball Club (later known as the Knickerbockers) faced off against the Brooklyn Club, and beat them handily. It was there that the 90-foot distance between bases was established—a rule that was to be practically as fundamental to the sport as gravity itself. Today, those particular bases are long gone, as are the Elysian Fields themselves—swallowed up by the urban landscape, with only a bronze plaque to mark where they once were. more

Photo Credit: @laurasykora in K-DEER leggings.

Friday, March 31

10:30 to 11 a.m.: Wee Ones Laptime at Westwood Library in Westwood, NJ. Perfect for babies – age 2. Free to attend.

11 a.m.: Yoga class at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ.

7 p.m.: Book signing with Andrew McCarthy at Books & Greetings in Northvale, NJ. McCarthy is an actor, director, and travel writer.  more

Photo Credit: @kendrascott

Oh the possibilities!

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Meet us at the bar – The Kendra Scott Color Bar™, that is. We’ve all spent hours looking for that piece of jewelry we “had in mind,” but with Color Bar, we can get it out of our heads and into our hands. At Kendra Scott, you can build your own necklaces, earrings, rings, or bracelets either online or in store. Play jewelry designer as you select the style, stone, and metal from an array of options. Among the 18 colorful stones are of-the-moment gems like rose quartz and gold and platinum drusy. more

“UNTITLED”: This photograph is from Ricardo Barros’s exhibit “Figuring Space.” He will speak at 7:30 p.m. at the D&R Greenway Land Trust, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton on Monday April 3. The event is free and open to the public.

By Doug Wallack

In his most recent work, noted photographer Ricardo Barros tackles the inexpressible — the abstraction that is space itself. Barros will be giving a lecture on his portfolio “Figuring Space” on Monday, April 3 for the Princeton Photography Club at the D&R Greenway. more

Photo by Teddy Wolff

By Erica Cardenas

Every year there are hundred’s of different art fairs taking place around the world.

The NYC Armory Show is a space where gallery’s get the chance to showcase 20th and 21st contemporary art, sell to current art collectors and invite the art public into their space to share what they are about. With all the competition within the changing art market, art fairs are constantly thinking ahead. They create an environment that has the potential to thrill today’s audience. more

Hästens Beds will be at the 16th annual Architectural Digest Design Show.

From March 16-19, over 40,000 design diehards are heading to Piers 92 & 94 in NYC

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Spring is in the air and so is design inspiration. From March 16-19, the 16th annual Architectural Digest Design Show will takeover Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. The four-day fair, which is produced by The Mart, a Vornado Property, and hosted by Architectural Digest, will include design displays from over 400 luxury brands, along with talks, seminars, demonstrations, and signings. From state-of-the-art kitchen appliances to artisan-made objets d’art, the show has something for all tastes and interests. The event is divided into various themes including Furniture, Made, and Refresh. Furnish is comprised of textiles, art, rugs, furnishings, and wall coverings; Made features original art, furniture, sculpture, and lighting that are available for purchase; and Refresh showcases new innovations in appliances and building products. more

Photography by Erica Mae Cardenas

The Armory Show took place on March 2-5, 2017 on Piers 92 & 94 in Manhattan, New York welcoming over 65,000 visitors annually. The International Art Fair showcases galleries with a wide variety of 20th and 21st century artwork catering towards art collector’s and art enthusiasts.  more

Would you inject your face with blood?

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

As its name suggests, the Vampire Facelift involves blood extraction, but don’t worry, it also includes blood infusions. Let us explain. more

Director Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone on the set of La La Land.

Damien Chazelle Talks About Golden Globe Winner “La La Land” 

Interview by Kam Williams 

Filmmaker Damien Chazelle met recently with film reviewer Kam Williams to talk about his latest movie, La La Land, which swept the Golden Globes, winning a record seven awards, and has received 14 Oscar nominations. A native of Princeton, New Jersey, Chazelle wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Whiplash which landed five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle. The movie won a trio of Oscars in the Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) categories. more

By Taylor Smith

Thanks to Audible’s Donald Katz, the general population now has more time than ever to consume and enjoy books by creating a digital library on their mobile devices. A membership allows users access to more than 325,000 downloadable audiobooks, audio editions of periodicals and other programs. New members are also given complimentary subscriptions to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, making the inevitable commute or time spent at the gym, not only easier, but that much more enlightening. Below, Mr. Katz discusses his pre-Audible career as a journalist, love for Newark, and the company’s growing a-list collection of inspiring celebrity performances. more

By Donald H. Sanborn III

“Welcome to the world famous Apollo Theater. This is the real deal!” exclaims Steve Harvey, host of Showtime at the Apollo. “If you say you can sing, we’ll let you know. If you think you’re funny, we’ll let you know. If you’re not…?” “We’ll let you know!” chants the audience. “This is the only show in the world where the audience truly decides who has talent, and who doesn’t,” Harvey declares. “There are no judges, celebrity judges. It’s people. People decide. This is where stars are born. This is where legends are made!” more

Like A Trampled Daisy, Mixed-Media, 2016

By Wendy Plump 

Art courtesy of Louise Ingalls Sturges

So, you can add agility to Louise Ingalls Sturges’s list of avowed qualities. On her website, a photograph features the artist precarious on an apartment roof in the city, flanked by window frames painted all the colors of the rainbow. Sturges painted those window frames, climbed up and slathered them with lush color because she wanted to, and because, after all, who wants to live in a monochromatic building? more

By Stuart Mitchner 

In the “Amazing Grace” chapter of The Black Presidency (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $27), Michael Eric Dyson calls the last week of June 2015 Barack Obama’s greatest as president. Setting the scene at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church where Obama delivered a eulogy for the nine people slain by Dylann Roof, Dyson describes how the president “wrapped his vulnerability around the church” after the last words of the speech and “on the high wire of live television, before an audience of millions around the world,” began to sing “Amazing Grace.” more