Saturday, March 6, 2021
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Pia de Jong

Pia de Jong is a Dutch writer who lives in Princeton. Her memoir, “Saving Charlotte,” was published by W.W. Norton in 2017. She can be contacted at pdejong@ias.edu.

My Brilliant Friend

He was sitting on a metal heating grid on the lawn next to the Graduate College. A squirrel. A fat squirrel, I must say. A squirrel on steroids, with a huge pot belly.

The Fall of Icarus

You don’t expect to find insights into our troubled times from the Flemish Old Masters. But on a recent trip to Brussels I found myself wandering into the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

These Vagabond Shoes

Covid stopped us for almost a year from crossing the Hudson, but now it was time for a dose of Gotham.

Lightness of Being

My news diet changed during the Trump administration. And then I found poetry.

War of the Words

The biggest surprise of this presidential election is that there is no surprise. The country turned out to be exactly as split as it was four years ago.

Storm Damage

The mob storming the Capitol plays through my mind, over and over again, like a bad ‘Game of Thrones’ episode. They have been blind-sided by a man who once looked into a pond and fell in love with himself.

Where Have All the Foxes Gone?

In April I saw my first fox trotting in front of Nassau Hall. In June I saw a coyote, playing close to a deer family. But at last, the student have returned, and the animals hide themselves again.

The Nativity Scene on Nightingale Street

This Christmas, in a year that took so many magical rituals from us, I think back to my “Grandpa and Grandma Amsterdam,” as we called them, living in their upstairs apartment on the Nachtegaalstraat — or Nightingale Street.

A Life to Dance For

‘I have only one lesson,’ Roger Berlind told a group of Prince­ton students. ‘Follow your intuition. Do what your heart says.’

A Lesson to Remember

Do a chemistry test on your mobile while you pay for toilet paper with your little brother in the supermarket. That happened to a student of Kimberly Dempsey, a chemistry teacher at East Side Community High School in New York City.