Pet lovers are well and truly out of the closet – and spending

lavishly on their beloved companions. Pups strapped into front

carriers are becoming a common sight on Nassau Street, and if those

new, specially-designed dog strollers haven’t hit Princeton’s main

drag, it’s a good bet that they will soon be seen in the Pawtisserie,

the town’s thriving pet bakery.

With one of our editors the proud new owner of an adorable baby beagle

and another the door-person for a demanding pack of cats, we noticed

that pets suddenly are everywhere. The Medical Center at Princeton has

added pet CPR to its schedule of classes; the Bent Spoon is turning

out all-natural ice cream for dogs, which is for sale at Pawtisserie,

and Picky Paws, the Lambertville pet store, is holding BYOB, Bring

Your Own Breed, mixers on Lambertville-New Hope Second Saturdays (the

street and art festival held Second Saturdays).

We had been mulling a pet issue for some time, when Mark Sherman, a

long-time Trenton Times photographer, called to say that, recently

downsized from the paper, he had just opened a pets-and-their-people

photography business. This call came soon after we had gotten an

invitation to Picky Paws’ Halloween-themed pet masquerade on Saturday,

October 14.

The time for a pet issue had come. Meanwhile, we had just received a

well-crafted pitch for a story on the trend toward holistic medical

care for animals from another U.S. 1 contributor, Jean Cervi. The

barks and meows had become too loud to ignore. The dogs (and cats),

slotted into the editorial calendar, were scheduled to have their day.

If dogs had been allowed to cavort at the outdoor sculpture park,

Grounds for Sculpture last Sunday, October 8, they would have had a

deliriously happy good time. Alas the park does not host pets. It did,

however, host cavorting dancers, because Jamuna Desi’s Outlet Dance

Project presented a showcase for emerging women choreographers from

New Jersey, previewed in U.S. 1 by Anne Levin in our October 4 issue.

The concert drew more than twice the anticipated number, says Lynn

DeClemente, the park’s event coordinator, who expected to sell 100

tickets for the dance concert, but more than 220 of the park’s 1,150

visitors for that day came specifically to see the dance.

They were wowed. They went from sculpture to sculpture to see

innovative choreography ranging from "just for fun" dances to

political commentary.

At Red Maple Alley, the site for the most exotic piece of the day, the

afternoon sun shone through a narrow row of trees. Tanya Calamoneri’s

dancers, dressed in Japanese Butoh style (draped in white with scarlet

sleeve linings and with faces whitened) moved ever so slowly in and

among the trees. Then, to the spirited beat of the Figgy Pudding band,

they paraded up and down the tree corridor, followed by the awestruck

crowd.

U.S. 1’s Residential Real Estate issue, originally set for this week,

will be published next week in stead. And our thanks go to William

Vandegrift, Marie Rendine, Bob Innella, and T.J. Lee, who drove up and

down Route 1 during rush hour to conduct this year’s traffic survey.

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