Sunday, February 07, 2010
For those of you who went to Yale or who otherwise cannot tolerate pictures of Princeton, I promise you this will end soon. However, I did walk around town and campus again (earlier posts here and here) this morning with my camera, this time in the brilliant sun after the new fallen snow. Today, first town, then gown.
The main cemetery in town, established in 1757 by the still-extant Nassau Presbyterian Church. Grover Cleveland, among other luminaries, rests here.
The Paul Robeson Center on Paul Robeson Place. Whatever his redeeming features, the dude was a pal of Stalin.
Our tax dollars went for this. [Correction: A reader says that the Arts Council raised all the money privately, and from what little I can glean from its annual report that does seem to be true. - ed.] See what we have to put up with?
Local watering hole (although I prefer both the Triumph Brewery and the Witherspoon Grill).
Landmark businesses. The Army & Navy store has long been a great place to buy jeans and such, along with knives and other useful tools. Small World Coffee is an extraordinary money machine, operating with a faux Bohemian patina but with a ruthless efficiency, catering to the "I don't drink corporate coffee" crowd yet charging significantly more per drink across the board than the evil Starbucks around the corner. You have to admire a business that makes the liberals pay for their fashion choices.
Too much ice.
The obligatory shot of Old Nassau, this time in sunshine.
The cannon peaking out from under the snow on Cannon Green.
The University Chapel, where I have been to many a touching service. A must-see if you come to the area.
McCosh 10 to the left, the south wall of the Chapel to the right.
Firestone, and a jet.
Chancellor Green. Which used to be a fun place.
More scintillating blogging will return shortly.
The snide characterization of Small World is a mistake. The owner, a fellow Cornellian I proudly admit, has built a helluva sweat equity business. It's far more engaging a place than the sterile Starbucks around the corner, and lots of people who aren't lefties also choose to drink coffee there. The coffee isn't burned either, as it so often is at Starbucks.
On the Robeson Center I also question your claim that tax dollars funded the construction coxt. Rightly or wrongly I was under the impression the money was privately raised, so that we could celebrate the anti-semitic Stalinist. Were tax dollars really used in conscruction?
I might well be wrong about the Robeson Center, now that you say it. I'll dig around and see what I can find one way or the other, but good catch.
I think my assessment of Small World is accurate. It is a ruthlessly efficient profit machine operating disguised as one of the ridiculously inefficient artisanal coffee shops that you see in most college towns, where some dude takes 15 minutes to make a latte and the baked goods all have strange flavors. I've had coffee there plenty of times, and while I enjoy it I detect no manifest superiority over Starbucks. What I do know is this: (1) A lot of people in town go there instead of Starbucks because they are more or less ideologically opposed to the big corporate chain, and (2) Small World charges more than Starbucks across its entire line. Whether these two points are related -- and I think they are -- is obviously a matter for debate.
I'm going to take the "ruthlessly efficient profit machine" comment as a compliment to her management skills, but agree to disagree with the remainder of your view on the place. It's obviously a matter of taste, and there isn't much objective fact in either post. I prefer the taste of the coffee, because I think Starbucks burns theirs all too often. Also, I don't see the faux-ideological clientele issue you see but, in Princeton, one does get inured to the BS. The owner pushes "local", no question, but so would any marketing person looking for some way, any way, to compete against the cost advantage a large corporation brings to a problem. And, that's how I look at any kitsch in any of these stores- does it take advantage of a marketing preference the market might respond to?
I just think SW is a more comfortable place to drink the better tasting coffee I buy there. And the menu at SW is more varied and lots better tasting than SB. So there!
I go to Starbucks in town, by the way, on Sunday mornings nearly every week, because they are open early when I want coffee, and Small World is closed. So I too can say I have experience with both places. A desperate coffee addict will buy anywhere early on a Sunday morning!
Thank you for the pictures, by the way. Traveling as much as I do, I often miss the town when it's at it's best. This past weekend was one of those times, so I appreciate the high quality of those great shots.
Thanks for sharing those pictures of Princeton. Ah, if only I could be young again, and smart this time!
As to the Robson Center, I can only say, my condolences, every beautiful campus has its turd.
You know, judging from the old prints, Nassau Hall was a lot more pleasant to look at when Latrobe had finished with it but before Notman went to work on it. The tower is an offense against proper scale.
--Scurvy Oaks '84