Spending some days at The Institute (when they don’t specify which institute, people whose lifepath somehow crosses this place know it is -of course- the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton / they also know this is the place where Gödel spent decades after leaving Vienna, where Einstein and Oppenheimer and Panofsky and von Neumann and Emmy Noether and André Weil and many other 20th century luminaries landed (or visited for a short period))…
I really am switching back and forth from New Brunswick – where the main Rutgers [the State University of New Jersey] campus is, and where Shelah works for two months every year and Princeton, and seeing different faces of New Jersey, of academia, getting to see two very different and very interesting avatars of academic life, along the way.
The Institute has some impressive features (especially the library, the lecture series, etc.) but another extremely inspiring aspect [in addition to the atmosphere of extreme intellectual freedom – kindled of course with a high, probably excessive, degree of purpose – I’ve come to feel during these few days] is nature.
The Institute has large woods – apparently owns them – behind, shielding it from the usual North American series of strip malls and turnpikes. The name is as simple as befits: the Institute woods.
Last Sunday morning, during a walk in those woods, I took these: