Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Recap: Princeton Perfection.

Despite some misgivings I had last week, The Bunny wisely advised me to go to Reunions thinking it was just what I needed to get out of my funk; he couldn't have been more right! (I tell you this man's a keeper!) I traveled to Princeton this weekend for Reunions, got back in touch with who I am and what I want to be/do, and now feel more content with my life than I have in a long time. Here's a recap of the last three days...
After too few hours of sleep and a lot of last-minute work, I hopped on NJ Transit and in a little over an hour arrived at my home away from home.

I had lunch with my former professor, dear friend, and wisest advisor, JS. After our meal at Zorba's, Princeton's favorite Greek diner, JS and I crossed the street to the Princeton University Art Museum. Several years ago when I was JS's research assistant, he received final approval and funding to curate his dream show at the museum. I had the distinct pleasure of finally seeing that show, entitled "Outside In" (coincidentally the title of my Senior Thesis), on exhibit, and was given a tour by the man himself. The New York Times' review declared the exhibition "smart, visually impressive" and "handsome...expands our understanding of Chinese art beyond the roster of experimental artists who tend to surveys." Despite this obvious praise, JS particularly prides himself on the reviewer's inadvertent compliment, wherein he called the show "overly scholarly." I have long considered JS to be one of the wisest people I know; it's reassuring to discover that the NYTimes is similarly intimidated by his brilliance. Conversing with JS always restores my confidence and reassures my belief that I belong in the field of Art History.
Afterward, I trekked to the Theatre and Dance department's Costume Shop where I caught up with my boss of four years, CC. Funny things happen when you bond over costume creation, and through a very chaotic four years, CC acted as my surrogate mom. She will always be the best boss I ever had, and is always a delight to see.

In 2007, CC and me in the Costume Shop on Class Day.
Afterward I shopped a bit, picked up a cupcake at The Bent Spoon (the best treats shop in Princeton, and now 5 years old!), and met up with MBM for a bit of pre-gaming fun with gin (CJM's spirit of choice).
For dinner, my friends indulged my desire to dine at Triumph Brewing Company. DAW's grandfather attended Princeton (class of 1954) and told me that the restaurant space was a bowling alley in his days as an undergrad. This explains the restaurant's very narrow and very deep dimensions. My quesadillas were fantastic--I was sad I could only finish half of them!

LAT enjoys her burger while BE contemplates his beer sampler at Triumph.

One of the best aspects of Reunions is the opportunity to catch up with friends in the Tents. Each celebrated class, divided into multiples of 5 (5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, etc.), has its own Reunions tent with a different theme and a different musical act each night. Though each tent offers a unique flavor of fun, "The 5th" (honoring the class of 2004 this year) is the place to be while you're young. I always run into great friends there.

With JRW '09, who just founded his own company: GoodCrush. Congrats, Joshie!

JE '07 and JRW swear they're glasses twins, but I'm simply not buying it.
(BTW, JE, I seriously might take you up on the Buenos Aires offer...)

We strolled to Palmer Square (Princeton's downtown shopping area) and had brunch at Small World Coffee. My mac & cheese was miraculous, but even more delicious was this tip jar display which aimed for the jugular: comparing the Gownies to the Townies.
(Seriously, alumni, STEP.IT.UP. This is humiliating...)

EJS and I strolled around and peeked at various shops, which were good sports and took part in the fun:
Orange and Black (and a zip code bag) abound at J. McLaughlin:

Landau's (this one's for you, DAW):

Princeton Tour Company's gimmick: For a few seconds I was Michelle Obama, class of 1985:

Ralph Lauren brought out the orange and black Pony balloons:

I also stopped at the University Store to pick up something for TAG...

Evidently the excitement there was too much for certain baby tigers to handle:

After our errands, EJS and I threw on our new sunglasses and headed to the P-RADE!

New sunnies: EJS in Michael Kors and CJM in Chloe

The P-RADE has four important components:
1) Beer Jackets, Costumes and Blazers
2) Friends
3) The world's cutest babies
4) Dogs dressed as tigers


LILLY PULITZER tunics for all of the women in the Class of 1999! Their theme was the "TENtucky Derby"!

This Class of 1963 blazer features the names of everyone in the graduating class.

"Nassau 500" beer jacket. Pushing a stroller with a "Class of 2031" banner.

Beer Jacket from the year I was born--delightful!

The theme for the 5th Reunion was " '04 Pleads the 5th".
In the P-Rade, class members carried humorous "Wanted" signs.

A mix of jackets, blazers and costumes at the P-Rade.

A giant caterpillar, with butterfly gloves (not quite sure what this was all about...)

Fun beer jacket (not sure which class) and a Class of 1989 circus ringleader costume.

2001 beer jacket: the 00's are the tiger's eyes.

Tiger Cars:

My creeper photo of Lauren Bush '06:


'07's: CJM, AK, EJS

'08 Babies: MDH and END (because she's the Be All END All...)

With CPC '06, aka DKNY PR Girl (

AW '06, Back in the U.S. of A!

Comparing years with ESG '06.

And now comparing shoes with black Ash shoes are my without a doubt the best shoes I've ever had.

LAR's '07 pretty orange-and-black hair bow.
I love this gal and am so glad she's heading east to attend Columbia for grad school in the Autumn!

3) BABIES!!!

Here comes the baby tiger wagon...and there it goes!

Too cute for words.

Following the P-Rade, everyone visited their former Eating Clubs. I went with my friends to Terrace for some nibbles, and then gave The Bunny a tour of my former club, Tower.

AWC '07 and her FANTASTIC NEW FRINGE at Terrace // The Princeton Tower Club.

Horseshoes on the lawn at Colonial.
After a little constitutional along Prospect, and a stroll through campus, my friends and I had dinner at a local favorite, Thai Village, and then headed down to the baseball field for the
Annual Fireworks show!

Following fireworks, The Bunny and I attended a performance by Quipfire!, one of Princeton's improv groups. With a poster like this, how could I resist?

Shirley Tilghman, our university president, riding a tiger in response to "The Orange Coats are Coming!"
Instructions: One if by land. Two if by sea. Three if by Dinky.

After some much-needed laughter at Quipfire's show, we headed out for a final night of dancing in the tents:

'07 Love: MKR, an exhausted but happy CJM, and LAB.

After sleeping in, I woke up to help CHW pack up her current apartment and move into another one. We rewarded our hard work with brunch at P.J.'s Pancake House, a dive but a Princeton classic nevertheless.

Peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes--this is a HALF order!

After brunch, I met up and had a great conversation with another of my beloved professors, EAM. She gave me great advice for my career and future and is the queen of straight talk (watch out, John McCain...). She's also great for a funny story or fifty. I hope to put her good advice to use very feels so good to have some direction in my life again, especially when it's paired with the confidence and support of someone you respect.
If only...

Till next year...


JGIWC said...

This makes me SO happy! I thought of you all weekend! You look just STUNNING. I knew this would be just the pick-me-up you needed, and I can't wait to see what's in that shopping back for me!

Alison said...

I'm so sorry I missed you at reunions, Christine. What a fahhbulous blog you have...

Amy said...

An absolutely wonderful recap of a wonderful weekend - I am so honored to have made the picture cut! Ms. Murphy, you bring joy (and great blog posts!) to my heart

Megan said...


Kate said...

I am slowly catching up on all the blogs I missed on vacation (thanks google reader!). I saw this post and recognized someone! I know END-she's my neighbor in LA (we also went to the same schools but were a year apart). Small world I guess! I heard a rumor that her mom got me a signed Lilly book for graduation but I haven't been home to see it yet!

Mimi said...

Hey, I own Princeton Tour Company and am SO GLAD you loved being Michelle for a few minutes.....

I dig your blog!

Mimi O