829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Where Einstein Sailed and Tillerman Ran

Carnegie Lake in Princeton New Jersey where, among other
places such as Peconic Bay, LI, Saranac Lake, NY, and
Zurich, Switzerland, Albert Einstein sailed.  And I thought to 
give Tillerman credit for the photo until I found it on the Google.
Thanks anyway, Tillerman.

112 Mercer Street, where Einstein lived.  Long after his death
the house continues to generate garbage, apparently.

Down Mercer Street, which somewhere turns into Princeton Pike,
is the Institute for Advanced Study.  Albert thought and postulated
and theorized here.  I would have driven down the road but.........

Back to town, where Einstein often ate.  But when he ate there,
there were less horses and more cars.  Same building though.

Albert Einstein's framed picture on the end of the glass case
separating the two halves of the main dining room.  It hung
directly over the two-top where he preferred to dine.

Directly behind that wheelbarrow is where the picture used to hang,
and where the two-top was pushed up against.  This was about a 
month and a half ago.  I know that the ceiling and 3rd floor above are
now gone, as well as the old roof.  You can look in through the front
windows and see blue sky.  It's just not right.

Back down Mercer Street, south of the IAS, is Princeton 
Battlefield. A photo of the 300 year old Mercer Oak, before a 
storm brought the old girl down in 2000.  After having worked in the 
town for 15 years to that point, even to me it felt like 
a member of the family had died.  

The new Mercer Oak.

Across Princeton Pike from the Mercer Oak is the other half
of the Battlefield.  That structure was not originally there, but
moved from an existing mansion somewhere else and re-erected.
It still looks cool.

The Princeton University boathouse on Carnegie Lake.  This might
have been one of the scenes the Tillerman saw while jogging that
particular section of the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath , 
stretching right across the much-maligned state of New Jersey
from the Pennsylvania border to the ocean.  

He may have gazed upon this stretch of canal during his woozy
jog.  It was unusually warm for March 14th, and his run would
end sooner than he had planned.

He never mentioned seeing any turtles sunning themselves...

There were no rowers that day, just a couple of guys fishing
and two women in a canoe.

Nope, none of these guys either.

I wonder if he made it as far north as the Heathcote Brook Spillway

directly across the towpath from the Kingston Dam.

This is in my estimation, the widest part of Carnegie Lake, where
the finish line for the rowing regattas is located.  It's also where
most of the minimal sailing is done.  There was a small Laser fleet
here at one point, and one of the sailors was a customer at the 
restaurant.  Back in the seventies, the Region II Penguin fleet
held an annual Fall regatta here called the Gobbler Bowl, 
sometime before Thanksgiving.  The wind was always really
shifty and unpredictable, and I think the sailors attended for the
beer, comradery, and the Princeton home game at Palmer 
Stadium in the afternoon.  The last regatta I remember sailing in
ended with a Colgate game.  I thought it was weird that they
named a college after toothpaste.

I'd be surprised if  Tillerman saw this sight as I did today.
It's a little south of where he was sweating profusely.
It's a strange activity with which I am not familiar.  If you
participate in this, you clearly do not sail a boat.


  1. On that inauspicious day I ran from Rocky Hill Road to the Washington Road bridge and back to the car, then north for 4 miles or so and back. So, yes, I would have passed that dam twice.

  2. I want to venture a comment on that activity you illustrate in the last photo, the name of which sounds like something caught in ones throat. Not long ago a venerated but retired Star sailor challenged me to some tennis (at that time, my game). He was humiliated. He could have retaliated by challenging me in Lasers. He would have beaten me soundly. However, at that point in our lives, going at it in Lasers would have humiliated both of us. Much to my relief, he returned to his pastime as depicted in your last illustration. I just mention this to make a point that some people who participate in the leisurely activity depicted above were once sailors, even great sailors, and as well as Corinthians in their daily lives.

  3. I may have told this story before. When I first moved to the USA, many of my colleagues had that hobby you show in the last photo , the one where they ride around in little carts and swing sticks occasionally. I guess they were just being friendly because they were always inviting me to take up that hobby and go and ride carts and swing sticks with them. I told them I was a Laser sailor and that I might take up their hobby when I was too old for a real sport. For some reason I didn't make many friends at that job.

    1. I was frequently invited to join the cart riders & stick swingers. My line used to be "I'm not old enough to take it up." Now, I am no longer invited. But if I were, I'd have to say, "I'm too old to take it up."

  4. Imagine how many races you can sail in the time it takes to play one round of this hobby on a sunny summer day.

  5. Exactly. Actually I felt quite a kinship to the stick swingers. I think their hobby and my sport have a lot in common. They are both totally absorbing pastimes that require a lot of time and practice if you want to do them well. I figured that it would be impossible to commit the time to do both as well as I would like and so it would be better to stick with one. And I am just naturally perverse.

    1. I have often reflected on differences of cart riders' & stick swingers' field of dreams and yacht racing. Too often, I concluded, the latter was as slow as the former. However, HOWEVER, every day you sail out, the water is different. You can't say that about the grass.

  6. Maybe so. But every time you push the tiller to the left, the boat goes to the right. However, every time you swing one of those sticks there's no telling which way or how far the little ball will go. I think that's why they like it?

  7. Also, they have those little carts all over the place so you can always have a cold beer in hand.

  8. Are you allowed to take your dog with you In those nice green fields they play on? I've never seen a dog in those places. Don't those people like dogs? I would have thought it would be handy to have a dog with you when you lose your balls.

  9. Einstein discovered that if you drove your car at night at the speed of light and turned on your headlights, nothing would happen.

    Ah, time honored Scottish game called "where did it go?" It was better before electric carts. They started requiring those to make people play faster so the courses could make more money.

  10. As everyone knows (or to put it another way, I read it on the Internet) Einstein once said, "In golf as in life it is the follow through that makes the difference."

  11. I don't golf often, but when I do - it's more for the company than the sport. My dad, brothers, and brothers-in-law all go on a fall retreat weekend to a sweet place on Lake Michigan - and I usually golf 1 or 2 rounds with them that weekend. We also mix in running on the sand dunes, jumping off the pier (10 or 12 foot drop) in the cold waters of Lake Michigan, occasionally sailing if I trailer up my Sunfish, eating delicious food at the camp, and drinking some cold beers.

    For me, the golf we fit into this weekend is more the time to enjoy a few hours with the guys in my family.

    As for Colgate, at least the college wasn't named after a Beaver.

  12. The best way to approach that hole is hit to hit a nice little fade off tee, compensating for that slight dogleg right, Placing your ball about 175 yards out and giving you beautifully approach shot. Now take out your six or seven iron and think "birdie"! This is important. Now line up, check stance, position and grip. Your ready, swing away hitting the ball thin and sending straight into the water trap. No worries all frustration can be alleviated by repeatedly smashing your iron against the golf cart, ball cleaner and your golf partner. Tillerman, you Golf?