Surprise the college graduate in your life with something fabulous and functional. 

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1943 portrait of Beatrix Farrand. Courtesy of the Beatrix Farrand Society. Portrait by The Gledhills Portraits, Santa Barbara, CA.

By Wendy Plump

It is possible to be cowed by Beatrix Farrand even now, over 100 years since her first landscape commission at Princeton University and half a century since her death. There is much to be thankful for in the sylvan, living landscape she put in place to give an austere campus a greener aspect.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

Home design begins the first time we draw the face of a house. For me, this was a clumsy but legible two-story square with windows where the eyes would be and a door for the mouth, a rooftop for hair or headpiece, and a chimney for Santa. more

By Wendy Plump

It turns out that surfers and philosophers have a lot in common. To be any good at what they do, they have to be hard-core realists. Good surf or bad, decent people or vile, the approach is the same: if you don’t want to be mullered, then deal effectively with conditions as you find them. As both a surfer and a philosopher, this is practically Peter Singer’s calling card. more

Photo Credit: @CristinaMittermeier | @natgeo

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, shop these green gifts, which are globally-minded in perspective. 

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The Library Book (Aperture, 2017)

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

If you love to get lost in a library, you’ll surely get lost in this book.

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Photo Credit: @eatdrinkerie in Rutherford, NJ

Monday, March 20

 3:30 p.m.: Open Bounce at Bounce U in Paramus, NJ. www.bounceu.com/paramus-nj/

Tuesday, March 21

7 p.m.: NHL Hockey: NJ Devils vs. NY Rangers at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. www.prucenter.com
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The scoop on standing desks, active sitting, and more.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert more

Photo Credit: @nyantiquarianbookfair

From March 9 – 12, 2017 the Park Avenue Armory will be a mecca of rare and historical books

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Bibliophiles rejoice – as of March 9, 2017 the Park Avenue Armory in NYC will be converted into the distinguished New York Antiquarian Book Fair. This year’s event, presented by The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), will feature over 200 international exhibitors of rare books, maps, illuminated manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and more. With items ranging from Albert Einstein’s toys to the First Edition copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the fair will interest everyone from a seasoned collector to a literary novice. Preview tickets are $50 and include a return visit. Daily tickets range from $10-$25, both of which can be purchased here. The Preview Night is Thursday, March 9, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Open Hours are Friday, March 10, noon – 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 11, noon – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 12, noon – 5 p.m. Discovery Day will be held from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, where guests can bring up to five items of their own for free appraisals and expert advice. Below, are highlights from this year’s fair. 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

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

Photo Credit: @smittenkitchen

Ice Cream Cook Books, Taco Cook Books, Smoothie Cook Books Galore!

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Signed Limited Edition Photographic Prints at Grand Summit Hotel Benefit Reeves-Reed Arboretum

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Trippy, colorful, and intriguing photographs of vinyl records are lining the walls of The HAT Tavern at The Grand Summit Hotel for the month of January. Three times a year, the historic hotel partners with Reeves-Reed Arboretum to display and sell artwork from a curated exhibition, with 30% of every sale benefitting the Arboretum. more

 

Image courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Caz Hildebrand, author of “HERBARIUM,” recommends herbs to keep you well throughout the winter months.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Have a cough or achy joints from the cold? As the prime time for harsh weather and even harsher sicknesses, winter can wreak havoc on the body. Our aches and pains usually take us to the drugstore to buy medicines, creams, and the like, but there are natural ways to promote wellness during the winter months. In her newest book, Herbarium, Caz Hildebrand provides a directory of 100 herbs along with a colorful illustration of each that includes facts like its botanical name and place of origin. more

Bergen Performing Arts Center located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey presents Disney’s Frozen Sing Along Costume Party on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 1PM. Purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling bergenPAC’s Box Office at (201) 227-1030. more

Photos courtesy of Cranford Millburn Camera Club

Send us your best shots of NJ by January 20, 2017 for the chance to be in the next issue of Urban Agenda Magazine!

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

You might have photographed your favorite Jersey diner. Perhaps you’ve snapped a picture of a secret trail in the Garden State. Maybe, you’ve taken an image of a historical location in NJ, or better yet, a historic moment in your life. If you’ve shot a picture of New Jersey that represents your personal vision of the state, we want to see it! more

Acorn Hall

Birthplace of the telegraph and home to NJ’s best meatballs.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Morristown, New Jersey has the conveniences of a city and the charm of suburbia. Along with access to mass transit and a walkable downtown, the Morris County town boasts Victorian-era homes, respected public schools, and historic sites. Among its estimated 18,594 residents are young professionals happy to find a culturally vibrant area where they can raise their families and arrive at Penn Station in an hour’s time. more

By Ilene Dube

If you missed the MetLife concert or any of his four-hour, sold-out stadium performances, there’s still a chance. If you were not among the thousands who waited all night to be in line for one of his recent book signings, you can see The Boss in Princeton. Morven Museum & Garden is now exhibiting Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journeymore

Photo Credit: @therealgracecoddington

Find the purr-fect gift for your cat-loving friends. 

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Photo Credit: @papersource

Stationary, pens, and notebooks, oh my! 

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Sebastian Clarke is a favorite appraiser on TV’s Antiques Roadshow, giving people the good, or bad, news about their treasures.

Sebastian Clarke is the Affable Auctioneer

By Anne Levin

If you attended a charity auction to benefit McCarter Theatre, Trinity Counseling Service, Princeton Charter School, or any number of other organizations in town last spring, you probably encountered Sebastian Clarke. He’s the lanky, personable guy who runs the show, rattling off the numbers and “filler words” to coax bidders higher and higher—but always with a light touch. more

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“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”  — George Eliot

By Ellen Gilbert 

Reader advisory:  This article will not provide the last word in what to wear, cook, or how to decorate your house this fall.  It. turns out that there are many, many opinions about what is au courant for every aspect of our lives (all year round, actually).  This may be a disappointment for those needing guidance, but free spirits may consider this conclusion a boon. more

the-pot-book

By Stuart Mitchner 

Edmund De Waal’s The Pot Book is the most recent in a long marriage’s succession of birthday, Christmas, and anniversary gifts inspired by my wife’s fondness for all things Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Arts and Crafts, with ceramics at the top of the list. Another book I’ve got my eye on is related to the recent Princeton University Art Museum exhibit Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise, which my wife  enthused about after a visit a few months back.  more

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Starting tomorrow, the 8th Annual Architecture and Design Film Festival will be screening 33 fascinating films from around the world.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

The 8th Annual Architecture and Design Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, September 28 at Cinépolis Chelsea in NYC. Over the course of five days, 33 films from eight countries will screen at the festival along with a series of panel discussions, speakers, and director Q&As. Tickets are available online at www.adfilmfest.com. Here, we outlined a few of the fascinating films screening this year.  more

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These gorgeous books are full of style and substance.

 

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North Jersey foodies Anne Constance & Natalie Lewis share their tips for taking a savory snapshot

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

In the age of Instagram, people are sharing “foodstagrams” with their social media networks in unprecedented numbers. Perfectly plated veggie dishes and artfully designed acai bowls seem to be taking over the Internet, and we’re not complaining about it. This is particularly true when a photo from Fish.Eye Design (@fisheyedesign) pops-up on our Instagram newsfeed. more

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Your morning coffee will taste even sweeter in one of these fun mugs. 

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