Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

By Taylor Smith

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia, founded in 1805, is the first and oldest art museum and school in the United States. In a unique partnership with area medical schools, PAFA provides humanities-based training for medical students, nursing students, university faculty members, and practicing physicians. more

By Taylor Smith

Looking for something fresh and new to serve at your next cocktail party? Two Robbers Hard Seltzer just announced the launch of its fourth flavor, Peach Berry, due to be released in January 2020. more

By Taylor Smith

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with Hanukkah candy and chocolates from See’s Candies. Like all of See’s products, the bite-size Toffee-ettes, Pecan Buds, Almond Royals, Café Latte Little Pops, and Peanut Brittle are made from scratch. See’s Toffee-ettes are, in fact, a year-round treat and one of the company’s very best sellers. And they still use Mary See’s original recipe! more

By Taylor Smith

Located at 231 Bakers Basin Road in Lawrenceville, Camp Bow Wow is a doggy day care, boarding, and grooming facility that pet parents love. With over 160 locations, Camp Bow Wow has been providing reliable pet services since 2000. more

“Scent is mood. Scent is memory. Scent is magic.”

By Taylor Smith

Finding a unique and meaningful holiday gift for loved ones can be challenging.

“Like cooking, skincare is an art and ingredients matter. So, we use the simplest, most nourishing ingredients in all of our products. People see the difference in their skin. We’re promoting wellness and encouraging people to take advantage of that renewing experience that we get in the bath,” says Deborah Lukasik O’Shaughnessy, an art teacher, educator, and East End resident. more

Photo by Robert Benson Photography 

By Taylor Smith

Experience the season at New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) Holiday Train Show, now through Sunday, January 6, 2020. Natural materials such as fruit, seeds, pine cones, twigs, bark, stems, fungus, acorns, lotus pods, and cinnamon recreate a sweeping metropolis designed by Paul Busse of Applied Imagination. more

By Taylor Smith

Each year, Scots from around the world gather in the darkest days of winter for a traditional evening meal and celebration to commemorate the birthday of one of their favorite native sons, Robert Burns. Born on a tenant farm on January 25, 1759 in the village of Alloway, near Ayr, Burns’s early life was marked by back-breaking work on a succession of small family farms. With an ear for Scottish folk songs and traditional stories passed down by his mother, Burns grew to become a widely-respected poet and lyricist. more

High Mountain Park

By Taylor Smith

The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey is encouraging Garden State residents to stay active this winter season with the introduction of the High Mountain Challenge, inspired by New Jersey native Jessica Bagley’s running achievements. The Nature Conservancy is also hoping to raise awareness of High Mountain Park Preserve, a protected 1,260-acre tract of forested land in New Jersey’s Piedmont region (near North Haledon and Wayne). more

Image Credit: NJPAC 

By Taylor Smith

Experience two of the sharpest comedic minds onstage for one special evening as Stephen Colbert (a New Jersey resident) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus team up for the Ninth Annual Montclair Film Festival Benefit on Saturday, December 7 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall in Newark. The comedic festivities begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $79.50 and are available for purchase at www.njpac.orgmore

Images Courtesy of The Asbury 

By Taylor Smith

Learn what makes the vibrant shore town of Asbury Park unique at The Asbury’s Winter Wonderland Weekend, December 7 and 8.

The Asbury is situated just two blocks from Asbury Park’s famous beach and boardwalk and is easily accessible from several NJ Transit lines. Designed with a nod to the shore town’s rock n’ roll past and proximity to the seaside, The Asbury offers upscale lodging, dining, multiple vibrant bars, live music in the lobby, and more. more

Image Source: https://wilderchild.com

By Taylor Smith

Winter often signifies a challenging time of year for birds to find adequate food and sustenance.  Decorating an outdoor tree with edible ornaments is a way to attract winter birds, providing them with shelter and a wide range of foods. more

Dana and Christopher Reeve (Image Source: https://www.christopherreeve.org/about-us/christopher-and-dana)

By Taylor Smith

This year’s gala benefit for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation took place on Thursday, November 14 at Cipriani South Street in New York City.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation grew out of the community-driven Stifel Paralysis Research Foundation, which was founded in 1982 when Henry Stifel, a New Jersey high school student, was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed at age 17. The organization evolved into the American Paralysis Association (APA). When actor Christopher Reeve was injured in a horseback riding accident in 1995, the APA was one of the first places that Reeve and his wife, Dana, sought support. By 1999, the APA and Christopher’s foundation united as the Christopher Reeve Foundation (Dana’s name was added to the moniker after her death in 2006). more

Image Sources: The Center for Contemporary Art

By Taylor Smith

Registration is underway for winter art classes for adults, teens, and children at The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster. With more than 35 offerings to choose from, classes begin in January 2020.

New offerings for the winter session include The Power of Pastels, Food: Form and Function, iPad Drawing for Beginners, Relief Printing, Watercolor Portraits: People and Animals, and Advanced iPad Drawing and Painting. more

By Taylor Smith

November is still a fantastic time to find fresh fruits and vegetables at area farmers markets. Here are just a few to look for: more

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

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

 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

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