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Newark USA

A fotojournal about LIVING in Newark USA, New Jersey's largest and most cultured city, by the author of the foto-essay website RESURGENCE CITY: Newark USA.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Last 'Sounds of the City' Outdoor Concert TONITE


Long post, some 3,000 words, with 21 fotos. This post was originally put up in temporary form, without fotos, just to alert people to an event that evening. Few people may rely upon this blog for notification of breaking news, but on the off-chance that some readers had NOT yet heard about the last of this summer's free, open-air concerts outside NJPAC, I wanted to alert them.


Fotos today are from August 21st of last year, when I met my friend Jerry in Downtown Newark, who came in from Manhattan — tho I don't remember why. This particular foto shows what seemed a sparse crowd as we rounded the corner from Center Street onto NJPAC Plaza.

Some background information about the SOTC concert series appears at the Rutgers-Newark website and NorthJersey.com. The NJPAC webpage also includes a playlist of songs you can listen to thru Spotify.


There were vendors of various goods on premises, which gave the concert the air of a street fair (but without closing down any street)
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Apparently the developers of NJPAC envisioned outdoor events in an elegant mix of red brick (appropriate for "Brick City") and greenery (trees, grass — yup, lawns in Downtown Newark — with flowers and coleuses of many colors in confined beds. It's quite a complex.


Altho there are benches built into the Plaza, many people brought their own lawn chair.


Altho you certainly could as well bring your own food or beverages, you need not, because there were several food vendors nearby.


This Steak-n-Take food truck is britely painted. I don't know if the food is tasty, but the truck is tasteful. (The shadow on the left shows me taking a picture. The shadow on the right is Jerry, waiting for me to finish taking pictures.)


Most food vendors offered entrees, including this Sabrett food cart. Note the generator on the ground in front of it, preparatory to liting up the cart at nitefall.


There were long lines at some food vendors' tables.


Diverse crowd waiting for food service.

This next truck offered dessert, in the form of "World Famous Italian Ices". Hm. "World Famous"? Really? "OP[EN]". Oops. (By the way, "oops" is a perfect example of why we need spelling reform, because the vowel can be said as either short-OO, as in "good", or long-OO, as in "food". There are actually people in education in English-speaking countries who defend the indefensible STUPIDITY of traditional spelling, and thus consign generation after generation of schoolchildren to the ordeal of mastering that hodgepodge of mutually-contradicting patterns. Tens of millions never do master it, but remain almost illiterate their entire lives, not because they are too stupid to learn inconsistent spellings but because they are too smart to put up with spelling madness. You should always know how to pronounce any word by its spelling. You can in Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, and other major languages. Why not in English? Does English glory in being inferior to those other international languages? You'd think we would prefer to be better than other languages, wouldn't you?)


Some people were so bold/foolish as to get up close to the stage and, alas, the array of loudspeakers that made my clothing shake as I passed. If the blast of sound could make my clothes bounce, what could it do to my ears (and everybody else's ears)? We need local government to ban excessively loud noise from loudspeakers in concerts, outdoors and in, because the typical person has no idea (a) how loud the noise they are subjected to is and (b) whether that sound level is hazardous to hearing.


In case you didn't spot the loudspeakers, this is a zoomed-in closeup of the double array.


You might be able to spot one of the musicians in this view. For some reason, the liting under the canvas pavilion was poor. You'd think there would be spotlites to show the performers plainly to the crowd.


Here's another view, in fading daylite, of the loudspeaker array, in the foreground, and the annex to the Prudential Financial World Headquarters (which I call "NuPru"), then still under construction, in the distance.


While the venue of these concerts is parklike, the wider setting is plainly urban, with the towers of a major American city adding a certain excitement in revealing handsome views of (literally) "Beautiful Downtown Newark".


Unfortunately, it is that very urban nature of the setting of NJPAC that makes it hard for many people to attend SOTC concerts, because free parking is scarce, and paid parking is expensive. There's not much point to a free concert if parking costs $16.


Why are there so few SOTC concerts? Eight weeks is substantially less than a summer, which is three full months. Even if you trim back the first and last Thursdays for their being too cold for an outdoor concert — which they probably would not be, in Newark — in most years, including this one, that still leaves 11 Thursdays on which SOTC concerts could be held. I mentioned here July 17th that I tried to attend a gay dance party that was part of one SOTC concert but couldn't find (free) parking anywhere within a half mile in resurgent Downtown Newark. I was irritated that I couldn't attend (because ungenerous Social Security does not permit me to spend on parking), but heartened by the crowds of diverse pedestrians, including a lot more white people than I might have expected, more than just cars in the vicinity of the Performing Arts Center. It became plain to me that if I wanted to attend any of this year's Sounds of the City Thursday-evening concerts, I would have to either park a very long distance from NJPAC and 'take a hike' (a lot of people have wanted me to take a hike in my 70 (and a half) years, but I haven't always accommodated them) or leave my car at home, and take a bus or two, to as near as I could get to NJPAC. Altho Newark has splendid public transportation, there are always delays in waiting for a bus or lite-rail train, and some locations, like NJPAC, may require most riders to take two (or even more) buses/trains. Suburbanites have two regular (heavy-)railroad stations within an easy walk of NJPAC, Newark Penn and Broad Street. There is a lite-rail station at the base of the hill down from NJPAC that can take you from either heavy-rail station. But if I leave my car at home, I can't go elsewhere on the way back, but would have to go directly home before I could go anywhere else, whereas I almost always have other things to do, going out and/or coming back from this or that. I'm a very busy man, and also pretty old, so I can't count on being able to do everything I want to do if I don't do it today. I feel fine, but have heard of too many people who also seemed to feel fine but dropped DEAD when nobody expected that.





Sidebar on Unexpected Sudden Death

I don't want to be morbid, but, as I mentioned above, at my age I cannot simply expect to go on and on, but must make the most of the time I seem to have, because you never know when your time will come — or, more the point, end. That applies to everyone, of course, not just the elderly, given traffic accidents, heart attacks, and criminal assaults, deliberate or mistaken, such as drive-by shootings that miss the intended target and hit strangers.
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The most striking case for me occurred when I was in my twenties (I think), working in Midtown Manhattan as a secretaary and word processor for the trial lawyer Howard (Franklin) Cerny, whose clients included the former bank robber Willie Sutton (known in popular culture for having answered the question, why he robbed banks, as "Because that's where the money is." A more questionable source of his fame is "Sutton's law", which states that doctors ought to check out the obvious before looking for more exotic conditions. That 'law' is sometimes stated as "When you hear hoofbeats behind you, think horses, not zebras.". Sutton was also known as "Slick Willie", a term we now associate with the disgraceful former President Bill Clinton, whom I want never again to be anywhere near the Presidency. Hillary "Rodham" Clinton needs to pledge never to ask advice from nor give any cabinet or other high government job to her (present) husband if she wants any chance of being elected President (which seems to me extremely unlikely, in any event: this is not a Radical Feminist country. Remember the "Equal Rights Amendment", which many people expected to sweep into the Constitution in a breeze? Didn't happen.)
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When I encountered Willie Sutton, he seemed a pretty ordinary older man. No way would I have perceived him as a career criminal who escaped from prison three times. But, then, I'm not always a very good judge of character, being inclined to give a person the benefit of the doubt unless something raises my suspicions.
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Getting back to my narrative about old people dying unexpectedly, a sweet old lawyer (67 years of age) in Cerny's office whom I really liked, started to fall asleep at his desk. The receptionist (Marilyn Mohr, who had worked briefly as a TV weathergirl) closed his door when she saw him asleep, so no one would complain. What a sweet guy he was, whom everyone would want to protect.
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One Good Friday, when Mr. Cerny let much of the staff go home early, we got a call from the NYPD. An elderly man had died in Grand Central Station, and they wanted Mr. Cerny to go down to identify him (or, sadly, "the body"). I was very glad that I was not asked to do that.



When I was first contemplating a move out of cram-jammed and crazy Manhattan to Newark, I contacted the Newark Public Library to ask for information about public transportation, since I did not anticipate being able to buy a car right away, and I was comfortable with public transportation from almost 35 years of living in Manhattan. One "Heidi Cramer" sent me a particularized transit map of Newark that NJTransit used to publish but, for reasons beyond my ken, no longer does. The main side ("obverse", in coin-collector terms) showed a stylized geograffic rendering of the City of Newark with all bus lines and the City Subway shown, in distinctive colors and unique numbers. The reverse side showed a guide to service, keyed to route number, with hours of operation; plus fare information.
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NJTransit is a remarkable public agency, serving every part of this state of 8,722.58 square miles and population of over 8,938,000 (very nearly 9 million, up, surprisingly, from 2010, despite our oppressive recent winters).


NJT, you need to issue an updáted version of that map, or at very least to put one online that people can download and print on their own.. (I did a search at the NJT website for a Newark transit guide but found nothing.) Potential new residents, esp. from New York City, which has become oppressively overcrowded and overpriced, need to know how much local public transportation, in both lite rail and buses, is available to them, should they decide to move to Newark long before they feel able to buy a car or SUV. People who intend to continue to work in Manhattan will need to know what is involved in getting to and from "the city" (as tho Newark is not itself a city!), either by a direct bus or by bus or lite rail to a direct bus or either of our major transit hubs, Newark Penn Station (NJTransit, PATH, and Amtrak) and the Broad Street Station.
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This sign on the plaza points out that NJPAC is now 18 years old.


This note on a short, granite pillar reminds us that NJPAC did not always exist, but was created by an act of will of former mayor Sharpe James. He also pushed thru the creation of our other great touristic draw, originally called the "Newark Arena" and now called "Prudential Center". Without Mayor James, there would be no "Sounds of the City" concerts on a grand, refined urban plaza.

Tho I never met Mayor James, I was once within a few feet of him. Here is a foto I took of him at the parade up Broad Street that was part of the Statewide African Heritage Celebration on Sunday, May 30, 2004. (I think the picture is so small because the digital camera I had at the time didn't produce larger pix. It appears online in foto gallery #2 in my Resurgence City website.) There were very few white people in evidence, which is their loss, because the parade was terrific, if a little "small-town", in the best sense. But it had some big balloons, which I would not have expected. The Mayor of this great city came by to shake hands with the crowd, something you would hardly expect in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. It's too bad he was a crook. Otherwise he could be considered one of this city's greatest mayors, without an asterisk. Alas, a crooked mayor is hardly unique in New Jersey. One reason Chris Christie is (unfortunately) Governor today is that he worked as United States Attorney from 2002 to 2008, and during that time "he emphasized prosecutions of political corruption and also obtained convictions for sexual slavery, arms trafficking, racketeering by gangs, and other federal crimes." See, he's not all bad. He was also born in Newark, the only other good thing I can think to say about him. Mayor James was convicted during Christie's tenure as U.S. Attorney, but I don't know if Christie personally handled that prosecution. In any case, Newark is much the better for Mayor James's having built both NJPAC and the Prudential Center, and we should never forget that.


P.S.: Once I moved to Newark, in June 2000, I was able to put a face to the name "Heidi Cramer". I discovered that she is, as are most people in library service, a very helpful person. (I will be addressing the announced resignation of NPL's Executive Director, Wilma Grey, at some point in the near future.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Liets Atop Old Skyscraper

I have mentioned that 15 Washington Street, the tower with a distinctive cupola or lantern at the top, is being renovated by Rutgers-Newark to house graduate students. A news story on the Rutgers website from February 15, 2012 says, in part:
Rutgers University in Newark will be expanding housing for graduate students, following approval by the University’s Board of Governors today to renovate the building at 15 Washington Street in downtown Newark. The plan for [this] building that housed Rutgers School of Law-Newark from 1978 to 1999, will provide housing for 350 graduate students in one to four-bedroom units. * * *

"We are extremely pleased to be moving forward on this project," noted Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle. "With expanding graduate student enrollment at Rutgers-Newark, we have seen increased demand for on-campus housing. This project not only answers that need but brings further economic stimulus to a critical area of downtown Newark." * * *

Rutgers-Newark’s graduate student body is 4,339 (fall 2011), with students enrolled at the School of Law-Newark, Rutgers Business School, the Graduate School, College of Nursing, School of Criminal Justice, Division of Global Affairs, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. * * *

15 Washington Street is one of the most celebrated examples of early 20th century neo-classical architecture in Newark. The 17-story structure was designed by the architectural firm John H. & Wilson C. Ely and opened in 1929 as a home of the American Insurance Company.

Hm. "A home"? Wikipedia says that it was "headquarters for the American Insurance Company" and opened in 1930, not 1929. That article also says:
The sixteen story neo-classical tower is 326 ft (99 m) tall. A main interior feature is a "great hall" with 20 ft (6.1 m) ceilings and 15 ft (4.6 m) windows. The building was designed by the father and son architectural firm, John H. & Wilson C. Ely, which also designed the National Newark Building and Newark City Hall
16 stories tall, not 17? The structure is in any case a skyscraper, not a mere highrise, because it has all the hallmarks of a skyscraper, including a monumental profile. An Advair commercial several years ago featured that building's striking top, but the commercial for some reason was not shown for very long. I'd like to see the great hall that Wikipedia mentions, someday, and take pictures to show here.


I have shown many pictures of this building over the years, but I saw scarce indication that much work was being done, that I could evidence with fotos. Yes, I saw in June 2013 these notices on the glass of the closed front door about asbestos remediation, and about other construction work and building-access info.


A month later, I noted this large sign about asbestos work alongside the open front door.


But I didn't see the first really prominent indicator of progress being made until April 5th of this year. I was walking in the Military Park-NJPAC area taking pictures on one of my Sunday updating foto expeditions and wanted to show an NJPAC banner on a fancy streetlite, with 15 Washington in the distance. Glare on the monitor caused me to miss the top of the streetlite — I should have reviewed the picture in playback mode and corrected that error, but did not. I was a little distracted by the realization that something was different about 15 Washington. So I walked toward it to get a closer look.


There was scaffolding around the setback top of the building, but not the main, flat rise. And the scaffolding did not go to the very top of the building, so I couldn't know if it was going up or coming down. Later, I figured it must have been coming down, because the next time I was in that area, only a week or two later, there was no scaffolding. What had the workmen done? I found that out in July sometime, when I was driving back to Newark from Kearny and saw unexpected lites on the upper portion of the tower, which had never before had lites. I wasn't in the mood to find a place to park in order to take pix, but made mental note to check this out next time I was in that area at nite.


That turned out to be when I ventured to take pix of the britely lited "audible.com" sign on 1 Washington Park that I showed here yesterday. I got to that vicinity shortly after 5am, barely in time to take nitetime pix. I was more than a little surprised to find that that area of Downtown was not completely deserted. Rather, a number of people were walking or bicycling, or waiting on benches for the bus. As they passed me when I was taking pix or setting up my tripod, most said "Good morning"! This is Newark. Newarkers are friendly. So of course I returned the greeting. Did I even see one youngish man on a skateboard shortly before dawn? I'm not sure, since I was concentrating on finding a good vantage point, with the fewest things in the way or lite leaks (from streetlites or headlites) into the picture I was framing. The following foto is darker than the scene appears in person, because I had to use flash to prevent fuzziness from my moving the camera in handheld mode.


By the way, let me state here something that has bothered me for a long time: it is NEVER darkest [just] before the dawn, because the atmosphere refracts some of the sun's rays from below the horizon around the curvature of the Earth before the sun's disk rises above the horizon. In this next foto, I did without flash, with curious results as regards lite blotches.


In any case, I initially did not take either my tripod or my unipod out of the trunk of my car, but tried to hold the camera steady without resting it on anything. Then, when that didn't work, I looked for things I could rest it on: metal railings separating the lite rail line from the sidewalk, a fire hydrant, and a freestanding, red metal something-or-other on the southeast corner of Broad and Lombardy Streets (opposite the Verizon Building). By such means, I was able to get crisp pictures of the audible.com and Rutgers Business School sign (which I showed yesterday). But when I tried to go higher than those signs, I couldn't hold the camera steady enuf on the solid things available, so walked back to my car a block away and took my lite, aluminum tripod out of the trunk. (In this next foto, you can see the two-car lite-rail train at the left, about to turn into Lombardy Street right in front of me. I didn't see any passengers on that predawn trip, and must wonder if these lite-rail lines are paying for themselves. Maybe they are well-occupied later in the day.)


To my dismay, I found that I had somehow separated from the tripod base, the removable little platform that contains a screw by which to attach a camera, so I could not make a secure, steady connection but could only push the camera as tite to the tripod as I could without securing it with the screw. Why on Earth did I separate that crucial piece from the rest of the tripod? And where did I put it? I'll have to look in the drawer where I put cameras and accessories. If it's not there, I have no idea how to find it. How do I do these things? (I still do have my monopod, whose screw is inseparable from the base.)
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By that time, nitetime darkness was dissipating, but the tower lites were still on. Unfortunately, since I had to point the camera up at a steep angle to take a picture of the top of the tower from so close in, I couldn't hold it steady enuf for crisp pictures. The fotos I show today are as good as I could get. In this next picture, you can read the warning to motorists not to stop on the lite-rail tracks.


In the following picture, you may (or may not) see the bulk of 15 Washington looming over Washington Park. The building is just a tad darker than the sky.


The sun had not yet risen, but there was plenty of lite for my camera.


Here is a wide view that shows both 15 Washington and 1 Washington Park just before sunrise.


And here is my camera's best effort at showing the top of 15 Washington clearly. Note that there are several windows with lites in them, on upper floors. Is the building occupied? Are people working in those areas before 6am? Or did people just leave lites on when they went home for the day?


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Audible.com in Newark


Screenprint from the company's website.

Among the companies headquartered in Newark is Audible Inc., better known as audible.com, an Amazon company. Wikipedia says that Audible:
is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet. Audible sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Through its production arm, Audible Studios, Audible has also become the world's largest producer of downloadable audiobooks. ... The company is based in Newark, New Jersey's 1 Washington Park high rise office building. Audible is the United States' largest audio book producer and retailer.
In case you are unclear about which building 1 Washington Park is, here's a picture. I thought I had a nitetime picture on hand, showing the brite "audible.com" sign atop the building, but didn't find one in searching thru thousands of fotos going back to the beginning of 2012. So I took a new one.


1 Washington Park is not really the street address, because there is no "Washington Park Street" in Newark. It's more like 1 Washington Street, across from the northern tip of the Park. Remember that in Newark, numbers get higher as you go SOUTH, the opposite of the pattern in Manhattan.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fearless Baby Raccoons

Around 8:15 this evening, I went out to harvest some tomatoes from the big red planter in my front yard,. When I opened the door, I saw a raccoon near the door with his (her?) hand in a bowl of dry cat food. Ordinarily, a raccoon surprised by a person stepping out a nearby door will rear up and/or retreat pronto. This one didn't, but continued to take food out to eat by hand. Odd, I thought.


You can see in this foto the thick rope of twisted wisteria vines that raccoons can climb past my porch onto the porch roof, as well as the black handle of a push broom that I should use to sweep the porch again.

I returned indoors and went back upstairs to get my camera. I didn't know if the raccoon would still be there when I got back downstairs. It was, and I took the picture above.
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I thought that raccoon was full-grown, because it looked pretty big. I returned indoors after taking that first picture to tend to things in the kitchen and dining room. Then I returned to the front door and opened it to see if the raccoon was still there.


This time there were TWO raccoons, but they weren't the pair of giant raccoons I was used to. There have been three raccoons that visit my porch to eat the dry food and drink the water that I put down for outdoor ("alley") cats. Ordinarily, they appear as either two together or one by itself, all big, and all skittish. One of today's two raccoons was not only not skittish but even made a move past the end of my storm door toward entering the house. I actually had to dissuade it by moving my foot toward its face.
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A week or so ago, I spotted three raccoons, one great big one and two about half that size. Well, I guess I can say half "her" size, because they were obviously her babies. So the fewest raccoons now in my neighborhood is presumably five, a 40% increase. Newark's human population is increasing too, but not by so much. The songbird population seems to have decreased, tho I do hear the occasional cardinal's call. The main song I hear sounds like "Birdie, birdie, birdie!"


Another wild population that seems to have decreased is that of rats, thanks primarily to outdoor cats (like those I feed), and perhaps also due to raccoons, which are predators. They're OK with cats, but can be very dangerous to dogs, and eat rabbits and other small animals. This next foto shows about half a rat on the bottom step of my front stairs.


In addition to the two new raccoons in my area, there are also two little kittens, one blond, the other black-and-white. About a month ago, one of the grown outdoor cats, a beautiful dark, smoky-gray tom, decided to let me pet him. Now he hangs around my porch more than before, and plainly likes to be petted even a little more than being fed. I can't bring him into my house right now, however, because I have two girl kitties (one blonde, the other tortoiseshell), neither of which has been spayed. If he is still hanging around to be petted when it starts to get cold, I may have to see if I can get him into a cat carrier and take him to be "fixed", so he can come indoors during the worst of the winter. Of course, I would like to be able to overwinter in Costa Rica this year, tho I may not be able to swing it financially. But maybe I can have a neighbor take care of my cats (all three) — and put out food and water on my porch — during my absence.
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After I returned indoors today and went up to my bedroom, on the second floor, I was watching TV when I heard snarling and fiting out the window. I muted the TV, and determined that the noises were coming not from the porch or farther afield, but from the roof over the porch, just outside my window! I knew that cats have never gotten up that high, so knew it had to be raccoons, which can climb a stout twist of many wisteria vines from the ground past the porch and up to the porch roof. When I looked outside, I saw one little raccoon face looking back at me. I shone a lite out the window to see if I could spy the second party to the fite, but could not. It was around the corner, out of sight. A few minutes later, they were fiting again, and I shouted at them, in hopes of scaring them into separating. It didn't work right away, but they did go away after several minutes.


If the raccoons at issue were siblings, why were they fiting? There is no food on the porch roof, only on the porch itself, and they didn't fite there. Puzzling.
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P.S., Thursday, 8/13/15: I saw two more kittens on the porch when I went out early in the morning, including one dark-tortoiseshell kitten that seemed unwell. It coughed a bit, and its left eye might have been swollen shut, or worse. There is some malady, carried by fleas, in this neighborhood that kills many kittens. I will keep looking for that little girl and the other kittens to see how they fare.
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Post-P.S., Friday, 8/14/15: Just before 11pm, I saw one big raccoon and THREE little ones! Hm.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Sacred Heart of Vailsburg Sold?


This "Church Sunday" I discuss what may be a big deal in my part of town, the sale (lease?) of the former Roman Catholic Church, Sacred Heart of Vailsburg ("SHV"), which, when dedicated in 1929 by the man who was to become the TV star Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, was the largest parish church in the Nation.


The Archdiocese closed SHV on July 1st, 2010. Its elementary school was taken over by North Star Academy, which in February of last year demolished the historic convent in the SHV complex of four structures (church, convent, school, and parish offices) that occupied a full city block — Sandford Avenue to South Orange Avenue to Hazelwood Avenue to Fortuna Street and back to Sandford Avenue — to build an addition to the school. I have documented various stages of that process. To see the various posts on this topic, use the Search box at top left of this blog and type in "North Star". That will present several relevant posts plus a couple of posts, at the end, starting with a discussion of North Star High, that relate to other schools.


I hadn't seen anything on the Internet about a sale or lease of that great church, and knew that something was up only when I was driving home one evening and saw a large flag draped (crooked) across the main entrance, the same flag under the U.S. flag on the flagpole out front, and white signs where there had been red or maroon signs with gilt lettering before.


There had been an earlier attempt, by a Protestant group, Positive Proof Deliverance Church, to use this large building, and I took fotos of a Positive Proof banner that was hung (also crooked) across the entrance.


But the signs out front were not changed (see next foto). And after some period unknown to me, Positive Proof abandoned its tenancy, and the church was totally vacant again. I have always thought that this wonderful building could be shared by many storefront churches in the area, or repurposed, as, for instance, an art gallery or museum about Vailsburg and even the history of Newark in general. The New Jersey Historical Society is housed in Downtown Newark, but it covers the history of the entire state, not of Newark in particular. If this new church can succeed, perhaps repurposing the building to non-ecclesiastical uses will not be necessary.


I didn't recognize the flag, perhaps in part because it is not the official flag of Ethiopia. I would have recognized one of the older flags, from the Haile Selassie era, with a lion (the "Lion of Judah") in the middle. This rendering is from Wikipedia.


I would not have recognized the present official flag, tho, which has an altogether different symbol in the middle. This rendering is also from Wikipedia.


This next foto shows the paired signs in a V in front of the church.


I don't know if the present occupant of this great religious structure will be able to maintain its occupancy and cover the costs of such a large structure. Altho Ethiopia is a populous nation, some 90 million people 62% of whom are Christian, I don't know how many Ethiopians are in this area. One website shows that no New Jersey municipality is among the top 101 cities as regards Ethiopian population. Wikipedia's article on "Ethiopian American" [sic] says there are 151,515 born in Ethiopia plus 68,001 of Ethiopian ancestry. Newark is not shown as an area of significant Ethiopian-American population, tho NYC is. Is the Newark church counting on bringing in worshippers from NYC and other parts of the Tristate Area? To attend services? Or to move close to the church?


You should be able to read the text in this closer view of one of the white signs. I looked up this church online, and found a website that says the church had been in Jersey City but moved to Newark effective June 26th-27th. There are two slideshows with many fotos at that site, but no captions (only the date the foto was taken), so you cannot know what it is you are seeing.

Viable? Chances for long-term success of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Vailsburg do not, at first glance, appear to be very good. But we can hope that they can manage to keep the building going, and maybe even bring more people to live in Newark.


Every immigrant community brings a network of contacts and business relationships that could benefit their new locale. And Newarkers inclined to do business with Africa could see this as a good opportunity to expand their vision from West Africa, from which most black Americans derive, to East Africa, and not just Kenya.


In any case, we must be relieved to see our great church given a reprieve against the possibility of demolition. Let us hope that this reprieve, unlike that which issued from the lease by Positive Proof, is permanent.