It’s another cold (2ºC), grey, overcast but thankfully sunny and windless morning in Montgomery Township today. The air is a lot dryer and cooler. I was hoping to get outside to complete the roll of Rollei RPX 25, but the vertigo is still present from yesterday. I am not keen to walk or drive when my sense of balance is off-kilter, so I expect I will spend another day indoors. I took the day off from work yesterday to rest up, but nausea has subsided enough to get back to work.
It was cold and damp on Saturday was when I captured this set of images along Leigh Avenue in Princeton. The kind of wet cold that aches my ageing joints and numbs my fingers. The sky was filled with grey clouds, and the low light illumination one would expect to see in the late afternoon. I explored the homes and other buildings between Witherspoon and John Streets.
Named after Albert Leigh, a businessman who opened a slaughterhouse on the street, Leigh Avenue was laid out circa 1900. Still, by 1918, several of the slaughterhouse buildings had been taken down and replaced with housing units. Today Leigh Avenue is mainly residential, and the block between Witherspoon and John Streets is lined on either side by small early 20th century houses with flights of steps to reach the orch. Many of these single-family dwellings have a large front porch. Numbers 14-16, a four-family double house.
Leigh Avenue contains a small commercial area at John Street with buildings constructed in the first decades of the 1900s.
In the 1930s to 1960s, these buildings, at the corner of Leigh Avenue and John Street were grocery stores, candy stores and restaurants owned by black, Italian, Jewish and Greek families. The residents in this community patronized these stores because the stores on Nassau Street did not welcome black customers.
In the 1930s and 40s there was a grocery store owned by Mr Irvin Ferrar. Frederick and Doris Burrell purchased the building in 1943. Doris started a beauty parlor, and in later years she added a fashion boutique, conducted Yoga classes, and provided nutrition information for her clients. Fred opened a florist shop, where he supplied flowers and plants for weddings, funerals, dances and many events in Princeton.
This continues today. Maria’s Hair Salon at 42 Leigh Avenue offers hair styling and hair cuts preferred by the mostly black and Latinx communities in this section of Princeton. Over the years I have lived in the area, the location at 44 Leigh Avenue has been a Mexican restaurant, a coffee house, a middle eastern restaurant. It’s now the location of Mediterranean restaurant, Local Greek.