Enchanted Ivy Campus Tour: Stop Six
Enchanted Ivy Campus Tour Stop Six!
To recap... my new novel Enchanted Ivy is about magic at Princeton. So I've been doing a virtual tour to show you photos of the spots on campus that either appear in or inspired the novel. This is the final stop on our tour. Please step lively, and watch out for the squirrels...
Princeton divides many of its dorms into six residential colleges: Rocky, Mathey, Forbes, Butler, Wilson, and Whitman. Years ago, only freshmen and sophomores lived in the colleges, but that's changed now -- some are for all four years now.
(Ahh, change. Years ago, sophomores used to run around naked during the night of the first snowfall. This event, called the Nude Olympics, lost its luster when the university decided to improve safety by shining floodlights down on the runners. You can draw your own conclusions as to why this lead to the demise of the tradition...)
I was in Forbes College.
Forbes is this sprawling old hotel on the edge of campus. It has a golf course behind it and a distant view of the gothic spires of the grad college. In winter, we used to "borrow" cafeteria trays from the dining hall and sled on the golf course.
I met many of my closest friends at Forbes, including my husband, who was my next door neighbor in Forbes New Wing our freshman year. (Everyone say, "Awwww...")
So I show my affection for the place in Enchanted Ivy by making it the backdrop for a major battle scene. Nothing like a little blood and gore to show your love.
If you walk down Prospect Avenue (a.k.a. the Street, campus tour stop five), it will end at Washington Road. Directly across from you, you'll see 1879 Hall. It has steps leading to an arch that you can walk through to enter the main part of campus.
This is the spot where Lily first learns that her dream college might have a few nightmares in it...
"She climbed a set of steps that led to a brick archway. Above her, the arch was decorated with stone gargoyles. Little carvings of monkeys curled into rosettes. One side of the arch had a fresco carved into the shape of a tiger's head. Four stone monkeys crawled over the tiger’s face.
"One of the monkeys turned its stone head and looked at her.
"Lily lost her footing on the stone steps."
Here's the fresco that Lily sees with the monkey who looks at her:
And here's another equally-freaky carving on the opposite side of the same arch:
For some inexplicable reason, 1879 Hall is crawling with monkeys. Some of them are even looking back at you...
We end our tour at the University Chapel (to the right in the picture below).
I can't tell you what happens here in the book without giving away a dozen spoilers, but key plot stuff happens on these front steps. Also, inside the chapel. Picture a tiger pacing on the railing of the choir box:
I always loved this chapel. It has really beautiful blue stained glass windows. I used to sit in the pews after class sometimes and write really truly terrible poetry.
But the inspiration for this novel didn't come from inside the chapel. The little guy who played a big role in shaping this book lives on one of the arches outside. To end this tour, I would like to introduce you to my favorite gargoyle on the whole Princeton campus: the Chained Dragon.
Watch out. He eats people.
Thanks so much for joining me for this campus tour! If you'd like to see stops 1-5, please click below:
- Stop One (FitzRandolph Gate and Nassau Hall)
- Stop Two (East Pyne Courtyard, Unseeing Reader, and Firestone Library)
- Stop Three (En Route to Blair, Goblin With Shell, and Dorm Door)
- Stop Four (Dillon Gym and Other Gargoyles)
- Stop Five (Eating Clubs and Prospect Street)
Or click here to view all my campus tour blog posts at once.