A week ago yesterday, I drove down to Short Hills, N.J., for the opening of the public park Greenwood Gardens, a 28-acre historic garden of Italianate design. The weather was great, and, with the combination of an article describing the site in The New York Times, the place was so packed that late visitors had to be driven from a nearby parking lot to the site on a short shuttle bus.
An unexpected but thoroughly pleasant addition to the afternoon was a Princeton a cappella group, the Katzenjammers. Their repertoire ranged broadly over pop, jazz, and classical. The coed group performed behind the brick colonial manor house on the grounds to a very appreciative audience, including such songs as “But Not for Me,” “La Vie en Rose,” “Autumn Leaves” (perhaps not completely appropriate for a gorgeous spring day) and “Stoned Soul Picnic” (very appropriate for the day’s weather).
I had to keep reminding myself of the real reason I had driven all the way to the estate in the first place: not to listen to the music, but to take in the amazing landscape. (Don't worry: I intend, over the next week or so, to post photos I took on this great site.) I stood transfixed by the group’s sounds, and finally had to tear myself forcefully away to walk around the place. Fortunately, the group has released several CDs and can be found on YouTube, including this clip of them performing Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock.”