Timelessness of Tigertown’s Prepster Chic

[caption id="attachment_6832" align="alignright" width="515" caption="Source: Teruyoshi Hayashida/PowerHouse Books, published at www.nytimes.com/style"]Source: Teruyoshi Hayashida/PowerHouse Books, published at www.nytimes.com/style[/caption]

As  we dredge hopelessly through the dog days of summer, with New York experiencing one of its hottest July weekends on record, it makes sense that we’re all getting a little back-to-school-fever.  Case in point: the front page of today’s New York Times Sunday Style section, which featured a story on the timelessness of Ivy League preppiness, complete with color picture of Princetonians in all their tiger-toned glory circa 1965.

[caption id="attachment_6833" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Nassau Steet parties like it's 1965; a spread from the newly-reissued "Take Ivy." (Photo: www.jcrew.com)"]Nassau Steet parties like it's 1965; a spread from the newly-reissued "Take Ivy." (Photo: www.jcrew.com)[/caption]

The occasion? As we announced to you back in March, Teruyoshi Hayashida’s classic book, Take Ivy, is coming to a retail store near you (as in, a short jaunt down Nassau Street) in just a few weeks.  The style classic, long worshipped by the powers-that-be at prepster labels like J.Press and Ralph Lauren, will be reissued by Powerhouse Books on August 23rd and sold by retailers like J.Crew.  What better way to spark up your post-Reunions, pre-move-in enthusiasm for Sperry Top-Siders and popped collars than to snap up a copy? Until then, you can preview the preppiness at your leisure in this NYT slide show, or read your fill about how this All-American Ivy look has taken over international men’s fashion here. Doesn’t it make you long to dash past East Pyne in a pristine letter sweater on a crisp Fall day?

How’d You Like Your History Thesis to Undergo a Supreme Court Grilling?

[caption id="attachment_6603" align="alignright" width="289" caption="Look at our little Tiger go! (source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37343.html)"]Look at our little Tiger go! (source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37343.html)[/caption]

As discussions keep going strong about last week’s Elena Kagan ’81 nomination, the White House has announced that it will publish Kagan’s undergraduate thesis from Princeton’s Department of History.  This announcement was made after the right-wing site RedState had illegally posted her “socialist thesis” last week; apparently, Kagan (and not ‘ole Nassau) holds the copyright for her undergraduate work.  Her graduate thesis from Oxford will also be released.  A White House official explained:

In addition to requesting an expedited release of the documents from the Clinton White House detailed in [White House counsel Bob] Bauer’s letter, the White House will make available copies of Kagan’s theses from Princeton and Oxford. These documents were not specifically requested by the Judiciary Committee in the questionnaire, but demonstrating our commitment to transparency, they will be made available to the committee and the public regardless.

The thesis can now be accessed online: read away, if you have a few days to spare (as we all clearly do during exam week. Duh.). Or check out the Prince’s Cliff Notes version from earlier in the month if you’re a tad short on time. Read Politico’s full story on the theses releases here. For a more sympathetic take on how college kids are supposed to write theses that are naive and inflammatory (and not meant to be read out of context), head over to Slate, where Christopher Beam wrote a great piece yesterday about how “college is all about screwing up.” Sweet music to our ears, Chris…

Weekend Arts Roundup: Music and Dance Galore

(source: http://www.princeton.edu/arts/news/archive/context-preconstructed/)

(source: http://www.princeton.edu/arts/news/archive/context-preconstructed/)

As we forge on through to Dean’s Date, I know we’re all looking for excuses to crawl out of our work-induced hibernation every now and then.  Take refuge in this week’s arts events: we’ve got a myriad of dance and music options from all over the artiness spectrum. There’s something for everyone–enjoy, and we’ll see you on the other side of Tuesday!

First up is Context Preconstructed, Sydney Schiff’s senior thesis piece with the Department of Dance.  A spread of photos from Sydney’s rehearsals was featured in this winter’s Nassau Literary Review; in it, she described the event as “simultaneously dance deconstructed and Judaism being deconstructed in dance.”  The piece combines the evolution of the Jewish identity with the evolution of dance: as Syndey, a History of Science major, explains, “the work reflects an intense period of self-reflection and personal exploration of both professional dance and Judaism that I pursued over the last four years.  This very much reflects how I, as an individual, was completely transformed by the Princeton community.”

Along with its sheer awesomeness factor, the costumer in me is totally digging the piece’s outfits, which were handmade by the Department of Theater’s costume department (with a little help from yours truly) and lean towards the American Apparel end of trendy.  “We’re gonna go global after these tunics! Ubran Outfitters has nothing on us!,” joked Keating Helfrich, The Department’s Costume Assistant. While the monks’ costumes have been cut (don’t ask), this event definitely is not to be missed.

The show is in Lewis Center’s Patricia and Ward Hagan ’48 Dance Studio. Thursday-Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2 and 8pm. Free.

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Weekend Arts Roundup: Waves of Mercy, Quipfire, and More

26842_585367371942_1111746_34068285_6197783_nWe know everyone’s getting pumped for Lawnparties (watch our complete coverage here on The Ink this weekend!), but if you’re looking for something to supplement your pastel-hued reveling, look no further than this week’s arts events.  Kick back, enjoy your blessed freedom from classes, and fear not…Dean’s Date is nothing more than a distant mirage.

First up: The Waves of Mercy Benefit Concert, sponsored by Manna Christian Fellowship.  Created in support of Whitman College’s employee Josue Lajeunesse (of The Philosopher Kings fame) and Generosity Water, the concert aims to “end the clean water crisis” in Lasource, Haiti through performances from up-and-coming groups.  Generosity Water’s mission is to “inspire people to think globally and live generously,” and they’re bringing in artists like Sho Baraka, Manifest, Time Be Told, Clara Chung, and Lyricks.  Prepare to start the weekend off with a bang!  It runs from 9-11:30pm tonight in Dillon Gym; it’s free with PUID, but a $10 donation is encouraged. Tickets for non-Princeton students are $10 apiece.

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Lewis Center Living: Day Two

[caption id="attachment_5978" align="aligncenter" width="397" caption="A fully bonded--and utterly exhausted--Troupe 185 celebrates our successful weekend with a communally-prepared dinner in Dodd basement."]A fully bonded--and utterly exhausted--Troupe 185 celebrates our successful weekend with a communally-prepared dinner in Dodd basement.[/caption]

Forty-seven hours (and one ginormous peanut butter cream pie) later, we’re officially movin’ on out of the Lewis Center at the end of our class’s communal living experiment.  It’s been a mad race to the finish line, and after a frantic midnight T-Sweets run, two fourteen-hour days, and three cockroach fatalities (from which we escaped mercifully unscathed), we’ve made it to the other side with a sizable performance piece in hand.  Our piece uses three original scenes from the 1967 script for The Serpent, with one important addition–a new scene based on our experiences with 9/11, which was compiled and written during the course of the weekend.  The experiment has definitely been an emotional roller coaster, but we all agree: it’s hands-down one of our most memorable academic experiences at Princeton thus far.  “What an amazing way to end my time here,” said Sara Shaw ’10.  “This kind of opportunity comes along once in a lifetime, and I’m so glad we made it happen.”

Talk about something to cross off your Princeton bucket list!  We’ll be performing our final piece at 2pm this Thursday in the Matthews Acting Studio at the Lewis Center; admission is free and all audiences are welcome.

Lewis Center Living: Day One

[caption id="attachment_5929" align="alignright" width="371" caption="The oh-so-lovely Troupe 185."]Photo 27[/caption]

As you might remember from yesterday’s post, AMS 332/THR 331 is living in the Lewis Center for the Arts this weekend as part of a communal living experiment for our final class project.  It’s 24 hours in, and living in 185 Nassau just keeps getting better and better.  So, without further ado, the Top Five Best Moments of the Weekend thus far:

  1. Stargazing from the Lewis Center roof at 2AM–with only minor vertigo.
  2. Eating healthy, non-dining hall food–with the Department of Theater picking up the tab.
  3. Watching the townies coming to and from Communiversity–and especially seeing toddlers take each other out with balloon swords (“We do not fight with our light sabers on the sidewalk, young man!”).
  4. Supporting each other as a class 24/7, which translated into driving Sara Shaw ’10 to her TFA Spanish proficiency exam, traveling en masse to see my Mahler 6 concert with the PUO, and supporting Josh Lavine ’10 in his final DiSiac show.
  5. Combining intense, round-the-clock workshops and rehearsals with relaxing bonding time.  In order for The Serpent: A Ceremony to work, we need to get painfully close to the events we’re depicting, especially the King and Kennedy assassinations, which has been pretty harrowing.  For one of our most difficult scenes, we’re creating a series of disjointed, stop-motion images of the Kennedy shooting in the style of the infamous Zapruder film. Four of us are taking on the roles of JFK, Jackie, and Governor and Mrs. Connally, and the rest have the equally difficult task of portraying lookers-on at the motorcade.  We need to trust each other completely and be utterly un-self-conscious in order to pull it off.  We’re on our way: one day to go!

Real World: Princeton; watch people live in the Lewis Center!

[caption id="attachment_5882" align="alignright" width="250" caption="The Open Theater performing "The Serpent" in 1967. (source: http://caffecino.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/serpent.jpg)"]The Open Theater performing "The Serpent" in 1967. (source: http://caffecino.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/serpent.jpg)[/caption]

If you take our advice from yesterday’s Weekend Arts Roundup and head over to see Pilar Castro Kiltz’s senior thesis, Liminal, at the Lewis Center this weekend, be warned: you may also run into a band of puffy-eyed, sweatshirt-clad theater types dragging sleeping bags behind them.

That’s right: students from AMS 332/THR 331, Performance and Politics in the 1960s, will be living in the Lewis Center for the Arts from 11pm tonight until 10pm on Sunday as part of a communal living experiment.  Over the course of the next two and a half days, ten students will sleep and eat together in the building as they prepare an authentic restaging of The Serpent: A Ceremony, which the Open Theater Troupe premiered in New York in 1967. The play is an avant-garde piece that draws from hot-button topics, including the JFK and King assassinations and the Vietnam War, to retell the story of Genesis.  Students will only be allowed to leave the building for emergencies, and will spend the weekend working intensively on creating their final product.  As class member Josh Lavine ’10 described:

The atmosphere will be one of a creative commune [to evoke the rehearsal style of the Open Theater Troupe], with no outside communication except for 2-3 designated times during the day. We will have highly structured, tightly scheduled days with designated times for guided exercises, to be led by volunteers from class.

Full confession: one of the members of this daring experiment is none other than yours truly. I’ll be providing you all with updates throughout the weekend–wish us luck as we journey back to the 1960s!

Weekend Arts Roundup: Drama, DiSiac, Mahler, and More


(source: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113321675364106&index=1)

They’re baaaaack! Descending like locusts, interrupting your life with question after question. Yes, the prefrosh have landed once again, and if you’re tempted to pack your perky pre-Princetonian off to Timbuktu so you can get some work done or just enjoy some blessed peace, look no further than this week’s arts events. There’s something for every little prefrosh, and after seeing the weekend’s offerings you might even be tempted to join in–sitting a safe distance away from the all the orange-lanyard-clad hordes to preserve your street cred, of course.

First up is the Triangle Club’s Annual Spring show, “Cornel West Side Story.” Rumor has it that the great Cornel himself will make an appearance before the weekend is up.  “He already asked us for a copy of the poster to hang up on his office wall,” said actress Carolyn Vasko ’13.  “Apparently it’s every Princeton professor’s dream to have a variety show named after them!”

Unlike the Club’s annual fall show, which is a full-fledged narrative musical, the spring show is when up-and-coming Triangle writers get to try out their best (and worst) skit ideas.  All writers have participated in a semester-long writing workshop with Andrea Grody ’11 and Willie Myers ’11, and will continue working together to create a full-length production in the fall.  This weekend’s show reads like a Tiger-infused episode of SNL–complete with insiders-only Ivy jokes, bawdy sing-alongs, and squirrel costumes (trust us, you just have to see it to believe it).  Though their legendary Triangle drag kickline is a fall-only affair, the show is the perfect prefrosh crash-course in all things Princeton; for an underclassmen, it offers sheer escapist fun and prime relief from papers and studying.

The show goes up Thursday-Saturday nights at 8pm in the Whitman Theater. Tickets are $6, and the event is TigerTickets eligible.  We recommend buying ahead at the Frist Box Office–Triangle is notorious for selling out for its one-weekend-only runs.

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National Record Store Day hits Princeton

[caption id="attachment_5617" align="alignright" width="325" caption="(source: http://streetlightsc.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/rsd2010.jpg)"](source: http://streetlightsc.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/rsd2010.jpg)[/caption]

Looking for a way to flee those darn prefrosh who don’t seem to understand that Princeton Preview weekend is over by now?  Look no further than Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton’s vinyl institution, located off Nassau on South Tulane Street.  The store, which was named the #1 College Record Store in the Country by USA Today earlier this week, is kicking off its 30-year anniversary celebrations today in conjunction with the 3rd annual National Record Store Day. Live performances, cheap used CDs and vinyl, and knowledgeable music nerds abound: do you really need any more encouragement?

The store’s open till 9pm tonight, though you should head over there ASAP if you want to score any of the limited-releases that the Prex has for Record Store Day. “There was a line halfway down the block at 8:30 this morning,” said Prex employee Jim Edenbaum. “Our special albums–a bunch of 10-inch Springsteen, 12-inch REM, limited-edition Lennon records–sold out almost immediately.”

IN PRINT: University Panel Ponders Race and Obama Presidency

[caption id="attachment_5595" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Professors Douglas Massey, Daphne Brooks, Jeffrey Stout, and Imani Perry discuss Obama's 2008 campaign"]Professors Douglas Massey, Daphne Brooks, Jeffrey Stout, and Imani Perry discuss Obama's 2008 campaign[/caption]

Princeton professors in African American Studies, history, politics, public affairs, religion and sociology weighed in on President Obama’s 2008 campaign and his success in office so far at Tuesday’s symposium, “Race, American Politics, and the Presidency of Barack Obama.”  While they acknowledged the huge societal implications of his election, panelists stressed that race relations in the United States are still far from stable.

We’re not going to move into a post-racial world, but rather into a different racial world. The demographic writing is on the wall,

said Douglas Massey, professor of sociology and public affairs,

You can change political structures quickly, but it takes longer to alter racial ideologies. We’ve changed our principles as a nation, but the sentiments still linger.

Read the full story in the Princeton Packet here.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Composers, Cannabis, Improv Comedy, and More


(source: www.princeton.edu/~compose)

Prefrosh weekend is upon us! And for those of us whose hearts are too hard to be warmed by naïve little ’14ers, the upshot of the impending insanity is it brings a host of arts events to campus this weekend. While they’re designed to court impressionable newbies, these events also provide exciting entertainment (we promise!) for the more jaded upperclassmen.

First up: the spring concert from Princeton’s Undergraduate Composers Collective, which is happening at 8:30pm tonight in the Rocky Common Room. Founded in 2007 by Todd Kramer ’11 and Nick DiBerardino ’11, the Composers Collective holds weekly workshops where student composers can test out their pieces and swap ideas.

For people who associate modern music with atonal screeches and bangs, the Collective offers a refreshing surprise. “The concerts are a great way for people to find out what they like, see what their friends are up to, and learn that ‘contemporary music’ does not always mean ear-splitting dissonances that seem to go on forever,” says Kramer, a graduate of the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Program.” People are often surprised to discover that most of our composers write tonal music.”

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Weekend Arts Roundup: Snarky Femme Fatales, Trippy Costumes, and Political Standup

23561_1235634890979_1232401026_31027049_5518956_nSpring is here(!), and if you’ve tucked yourself away from campus’s rampant allergens, we recommend venturing outside your little un-air-conditioned boxes to see one of this weekend’s performing arts gems.

First up: Claire Boothe Luce’s “The Women,” put on by BAC Drama from Thursday through Saturday at Theatre Intime.  Co-Director Briyana Davis describes the play as “a really hilarious, escapist romp”: perfect for a break from finishing theses and cramming in lab reports.

“I still crack up when I see it, and I’ve been laughing since I first read the script months ago,” says Davis. “Although the show is set about half a century ago, all of the drama, gossip, and backstabbing that occurs onstage definitely happens on this campus too.”

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