Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Finds: All Seasons Chamber Orchestra

By Kathy Shaskan

A who's who of New Jersey corporations and philanthropic organizations, including Nordstrom, Target, Bank of America, the Verizon Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, provided funds so that the popular All Seasons Chamber Players could put on a series of 15 free concerts throughout the state. There are 8 performances left between now and May, so you still have time to catch a show. Check their site for the schedule.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Book Beat: Delightfully Unusual Fruits & Vegetables

By Kimberly Baldwin

Eminently beautiful fruits and vegetables are profiled in the charming book 75 Exciting Vegetables for Your Garden by expert gardener and garden designer Jack Staub. Discover produce you'll likely not see in your supermarket, including Asparagus Bean (a tropical cousin to the black-eyed pea), Green Zebra Tomato (a handsome yellow, amber, and deep green striped variety), Turkish Orange Eggplant (an ornamental heirloom), and many more. Staub seeks not only to infuse our backyard gardens with color and variety, but to enlighten and amuse with amiable text, surprising history, scraps of unexpected lore, and tidbits of culinary insight.

His stunning follow up, 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden, provides a rich history of each plant, thoughts and tips on growing it, and ends with a simple recipe for serving up these mouth-watering fruits in salads, side dishes, breads, and desserts. Grab these books now -- it's the perfect time to start thinking about your summer garden!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fashion Forward: Man Love

By Leigh Boriskin

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but it really is! This year, forego the predictability of a terrycloth bathrobe, or a DVD in favor of something a bit more stylish for your fashion-forward man.

Paul Stuart is known for elegant simplicity for both men and women. From clean and classic shirts, to dapper shoes, and weekend essentials, a gift from here will surely have your honey smiling.

Bring the love out in him with either the handmade 7-fold tie in silk satin ($197.50), or a handsome pair of Angel & Devil 14kt gold cufflinks ($347), pictured above. Both a little sassy, but surely sweet, on the 14th, show him some fashionable adoration.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New & Noteworthy: Simon Pearce "Barre" Collection

By Kathy Shaskan

If you're a fan of Simon Pearce's hand-blown glass and handmade pottery, you'll love the company's new line called 'Barre.' It's notable for its soft curves, muted colors, and matte finishes. Simon Pearce products are carried by a number of retailers in New Jersey.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Monday Muse: Robert Mahon

By Kimberly Baldwin

Photographic artist Robert Mahon has spent nearly three decades incorporating chance into the process of creating conceptual multi-image portraits. When using even a single element of chance in or out of the darkroom -- from determining which lens is used, the shutter speed, or the printing techniques -- an apparently ordinary image is rendered into something unforseen. Mahon says, "I keep in mind Robert Frost's remarks about making poetry ... 'If there's no surprise for the writer, then there's no surprise for the reader.'"

Mahon's latest work -- Merce Cunningham at 88 -- combines photos of Merce Cunningham, moonflowers, and text fragments from the writings of John Cage, who was Cunningham's life partner and Musical Director of the Cunningham Dance Company for over 50 years until his death in 1992.

Mahon photographed Cunningham, who is often referred to as America's greatest living dancer and choreographer, in 2006 after a long morning of teaching. Shown in a wheelchair, Cunningham appears serious and introspective, and still very much a force of nature.

While watching Cunningham's dancers, Mahon was reminded of moonflowers he had photographed in his garden the previous year. "After a night of being in full bloom, the delicate white flower slowly contorts and folds in on itself under the morning light. The movement stops when the moonflower finally curls into a taut irregular sphere and falls from the vine." Paired with Cunningham, the association of movement is exquisitely conveyed.

Merce Cunningham at 88
, photocollages by Robert Mahon, are on view in the gallery at Holsome Teas, 27 Witherspoon St., Princeton, through Feb. 29. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.