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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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Men at Work: NuPru

I got Downtown this past Sunday, the 14th, and took more progress pix of the construction of the annex to Prudential Financial's World Headquarters. Today I show three of the four pix that include men at work, even tho it was Sunday. The two pix at the top of this post and just below, show the view from Halsey and Linden Streets.

You may be able to see from the second and third fotos today that the workforce on this project is racially diverse. Gone are the bad old days when good, highly paid jobs in construction were held tightly by white men whose connections with union officials secured them from competition by nonwhites.

I have added these three fotos and 17 more to my Picasa Online NuPru album, which now contains 166 pix.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NJTV's OCD, Move to Newark

The program NJTV News on WNET Channel 13 from 6:00-6:25pm, Monday-Friday, has a mental problem, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It plays the same eight-musical-tone sequence over and over and over again during at least the following program segments, totaling something like 7 minutes, and possibly more. If one run of this tedious 8-note sequence takes 2½ seconds, and the program segments in which it is run over and over endlessly total 7 or 8 minutes, NJTV plays this sequence something like 168 or 192 times per show. That is INSANE, and whoever is responsible for it needs to be forced to seek professional help. It is so maddening that I have to mute the program every time that infuriating noise comes on, and I frequently miss a second or two when regular programming returns.
This is a list of the segments in which those insane 8 notes are played over and over, sometimes at full volume, sometimes less loudly behind speech in the foreground.

Program opening.

"Garden State Express" (short news items).

Between major stories or program segments as above and below.

The stock-market report (of which I do not have a foto).

Weather forecast.

Ads mid-program — and why are ads allowed on PBS?

Question of the day posed for Facebook and Twitter responses.

Spoken closing of the show and closing credits.

That list reflects the smallest number of places where those 8 notes are played over and over and over and over. Are the producers insane? Apparently so. This OCD attack on viewers has become so infuriating to me that I might just stop watching the program altogether. Ah, for the good old days, when we had mental hospitals (e.g. Marlboro) in which insane people could be committed against their will and receive the attention they needed.

Moving to Newark. NJTV is moving its operations from Montclair State University to Gateway Center in Downtown Newark. But for some reason, rather than just stay put until the studios and offices are ready at Gateway, NJTV shut down its Montclair operations after last Friday's show, and will be moving everything to WNET studios in Manhattan. So the theft of what used to be the New Jersey Network, given to New Yorkers by the hideous beast Chris Christie, is now just about complete. All HQ operations are to be located in Manhattan until the Gateway space is ready, sometime in March or so. NJ.com describes that space as "a 10,645 square-foot second floor concourse space at 2 Gateway Center for its anchor studio. The new studio is connected to an enclosed pedestrian walkway leading to Newark Penn Station." Why didn't they just stay at Montclair State, in New Jersey? I wondered if office space is also included in the deal, and found an NJTV source that says: "NJTV’s new space will house its NJTV News studio and office space as well as a community room for hosting public events and program productions." That press release gives info about NJTV's offerings, but I can't watch the bulk of them, because I have been unable to receive channel 50-1 since WNET took it over and apparently cut the power of its broadcast signal.
Tho it will be good for Newark that NJTV will set up in Gateway Center, I resent the removal, even temporarily, of NJTV's studios and offices from New Jersey (and Essex County more particularly). Manhattan doesn't need more offices. Essex County does.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Faint Paint

I have spotted some faint designs on sidewalks and such in various parts of Downtown Newark over several years. There are currently two large, faint artworks in the area of the new annex to the Prudential Financial World HQ and Military Park opposing. I took fotos of one of those faint-paint areas, by the marble, former drinking fountain in Military Park near two vacant pavilions, in late August, which I now show above and below this paragraf.

I recently saw this other, enormous faint-paint artwork near the southwest corner of Broad and Cedar Streets. It spans pretty much the entire width of the new concrete in the sidewalk alongside the renovation of a low building that has been made part of the NuPru-annex project. Unlike others of these faint artworks that I have seen, starting with one at the driveway between the (former) MNBA office buildings and the adjoining Bank of America branch just northwest of the juncture of Springfield Avenue and West Market Street, this one has a clear, albeit faint, yellow fill within some of the enclosing lines of the artwork. Unfortunately, these artworks are SO faint that even tho I upped the contrast in these fotos, you may not be able to discern easily what I'm talking about.

I paced off the two areas of faint-paint art in that area. The one on Cedar Street (just above, at the southern edge of the NuPru complex) is 47½ paces long, which is to say, at an approximate 2-foot average pace, about 95 feet long(!), by the entire width of the sidewalk. I did not pace that width, but the sidewalk at that point is probably close to 15 feet wide. I guess I should have paced it. This next foto shows a closeup of part of that enormous work. I trust you can see the yellow (beige?) pigment within surrounding lines.

Within 20 minutes or so of pacing off the first concrete artwork, I made my way to the area of Military Park by the marble former drinking fountain and unoccupied pavilions, and paced off the area of that artwork: 13 by 10 paces, which approximates 26 by 20 feet. Here you see the area at issue, in case you want to check it out yourself, which I hope you will.

In the foto below, I upped the contrast in my graffics program to clarify what to both camera and in-person viewing might not otherwise be obvious. It appears from that enhanced foto that there was indeed some yellow or beige color in that extended artwork, tho my fotos from August did not show that.

This past summer, I was told by someone cleaning in our magnificently-restored Military Park that the park is watched by security guards 24 hours a day. So, absent collusion or official permission, how could someone create a faint-paint artwork 26 feet wide by 20 feet long without being detected and interrupted?
What technique does the artist (for grammatical simplicity, I assume here one artist, male) employ? Who is the artist? How does he decide upon a site? What technique does he employ to make such subtle patterns that are not just understated but almost indiscernible? Are they, indeed, superficial, or does the artist incorporate his art, undetected, within the concrete just after it is poured, as by brushing or spraying faint paint onto a surface that has not yet dried? Painting wet surfaces is a technique that muralists thru the ages have employed, and the resulting artworks cannot be separated. To move the art is to move the wall (or, here, pavement). As regards my own questions, not least in importance is what do these patterns mean? To him? And what does he intend them to mean to us who see them?
Does the artist — or, if the creator is a group, does the group — create such works elsewhere than in Newark? Is the arts district of, say, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (which some people feel has formed a special connection to Newark), filled up with such faint-paint artworks? Is anyplace whatsoever, other than Newark, New Jersey, enriched by such artworks? Or is this uniquely "a Newark thing"?
Moreover, may I ask why the artist creates such subtle patterns rather than something that demands more attention? Does he fear prosecution for vandalism if he is found out? Who on Earth would prosecute the beautification and increase of interest in a given strip of concrete in a major city not currently known for public art — altho Newark assuredly should now be known for public art, in that we hav a well-established murals project and other public art around the city.

In the foto above, I have increased the contrast, in my graffics program, to show the abstract patterns of these sidewalk subtleties, within Military Park. This portion seems not to have any yellow or beige coloration. To appreciate these extremely subtle artworks in their actual condition, you need to view them yourself. I have given you the locations. Next time you are in that vicinity, and the two are only about 600 feet apart, please do check them out yourself.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Men at Work: Newark ShopRite Construction

The three fotos today show working men more than just the striking background of Downtown Newark in afternoon sunlite.

I've been trying to keep pretty close to a day-date order with these many, many posts (the last uploaded was the 2,117th in this blog). That has often been difficult, and I have felt the need to "backfill" dates on which I was not able — for whatever reason — to put something up on time. Then I'd have to put up a redirect notation and link on the next available date, all of which became, sometimes — esp. when I put up more than one post out of sequence — complicated and confusing to me, as to my records, and possibly to readers as well, as to what they had and had not read.
I realized just today (a term that in this blog now becomes slippery) that the date of something posted here is not the main issue. (Well, duh!) The content is. So if I cannot get something online on time, I can just push back the latest uploaded post (push it back, push it back, wa-a-a-y back!), by changing the appearance date, and putting something online a day or more later in time that will seem to readers to be newer. And it will in fact be newer than what it pushed back. It just won't have much to do with the date shown by the Google Blogger software. That is to say that what you see from here on will be the most recent items I managed to put together and get online. Obviously, something tied to an actual date, such as an art show or parade, will need to be anchored to that date. But other things will be what-you-see-is-what-you-get in terms of timeline.
You will no longer need to wonder if you've missed something, then feel the need to scroll down past items you have already read, because I am no longer going to put earlier things lower in date order that I upload later. All those holes in the past, including some in the distant past (tho I will probably put up a link to any post I create that is weeks or months earlier than current), will remain open, and I will address now each issue I care to address. If that means I need to put up more than one post a day, then I'll just put up more than one a day. But I rather doubt I will want to do that, because altho I have many, many topics to address, I'd rather play them out one a day and have some in reserve than use them all up and struggle to find something else to talk about. Actually, struggling to find something to talk about could not happen unless I were to use something like five topics and their associated pictures per day, because I have SO MANY topics to address, and the pix with which to illustrate them. I mentioned that a man of about my age whom I met at some art event asked me if there was really enuf to talk about as regards Newark to keep a blog going, and I answered, if not literally, then in the sense that there was in fact much MORE about Newark than I could possibly cover, as one man with one camera.
I am not, of course, the only person online who addresses Newark matters. I might, however, be the only one who wanders around town, on foot and by car, with a camera at hand and an urgent need to show people how interesting and, for the most part, wonderful this city is. And of course I am the only one with my particular (quirky? — naa!) perspective.
For purposes of this blog, a date is now but a sweet, vegetarian treat, most happily combined in date-nut bread. There used to be canned date-nut bread. I haven't seen it in decades. Hm.

A cursory review of search results on "canned date nut bread" finds only one source, for preposterously expensive canned date-(wal)nut bread from the Vermont Country Store. Why does so much (of reasonable price) that was good disappear, and reappear, if ever, only in preposterously expensive form? Yes, we do occasionally see some local baker offering date-nut bread (best eaten with cream cheese!), but this used to be, it seemed to me, practically a staple of a civilized community. Now, however, it is a rarity. We old people often find ourselves asking, "What happened? And why?"
The actual topic "today" is men working on the construction of the new Newark ShopRite, as seen from Jones Street. All too often my foto topics are places, buildings, vistas, landscapes, etc., that do not incorporate people. Here, however, I present three fotos that show working men, at work, plainly in Newark, given the background, late in a brite, sunny day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FOTD: SciHi Mosaic / Bas Relief

On August 21st, when I was tracking down what building visible behind WBGO as seen from Military Park had missing windows (which turned out to be the Carlton Hotel), I checked to see if there has been any progress in the construction of a highrise apartment tower incorporating the exterior of the former Science High School on Rector Street that a group of investors led by Shaquille O'Neal was supposed to be putting up. Nothing. But the daylite on the bas relief or mosaic over the main entrance to the high school was good, so I took two closeup pix. This one turned out marginally better, so I am making it my Foto Of The Day.

I don't know if this artwork, which seems to combine ancient Greco-Roman figures with art deco, was part of the original building, a Ballantine brewery, that preceded the high school, or was added for the school. But it sure is striking, isn't it?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

R.I.P., Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (1930-2012)

Today I offer what I trust will be an unusual variation on my occasional "Church Sunday" feature: a "Former-Church Sunday". Today's closed building is a once-grand Roman Catholic Church, Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (tho many people do not use the "the" when referring to it). Tho I assuredly do not believe in any God, churches are institutions that form communities out of people who all too often are otherwise isolated. Many churches also do good works in many areas. Especially is that true of the Roman Catholic Church, which has maintained extensive networks of Catholic schools and hospitals for hundreds of years. When OLQotA closed, so did its school. And that is a pity.

I drew together information from several sources in writing this post. Rather than link to each for each piece of information, unless I quote something, I provide a list of sources at the end of this discussion, which people interested in more information and who want to know from exactly what source I drew what item of information can check at their leisure.

I knew little of this old church, located at 44 Irvine Turner Boulevard, between Springfield Avenue to the north and West Kinney Street to the south in the Central Ward. I had seen it in passing from various angles but never stopped to take pictures while it was still in operation. I read somewhere that it had closed. One day I noticed that the windows had been removed, so I resolved to get there to take pictures before the building either fell down or was demolished.

That structure is but a short walk from the construction site of the Newark ShopRite, so the last time I took progress pix there, on November 24th, I walked on to the church and took the pictures I show today. I later did some Internet research.

Here's what I found. A blogpost by Barry Carter of The Star-Ledger from February 16, 2013, says in part:
Queen of Angels Parish [was] the first African-American Catholic Church in Newark ...

This is a church the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited, that held meetings for his Poor People’s Campaign. After he was killed, Queen of Angels organized a walk of 25,000 black and white people through the Central Ward to promote racial harmony.

Known for its civil rights involvement, the parish attracted activists and entertainers, including jazz musician Mary Lou Williams. Built by German Catholics in 1861, the church was known as St. Peter’s before Queen of Angels took over. At its peak, it was so entrenched in the community that it had five priests leading Mass. ...

Queen of Angels, once the center of black Catholic worship, started out on Academy Street in 1930. It burned down in 1958, but German Catholics invited them to worship in their sanctuary, a sanctuary that Queen of Angels would eventually occupy. The German parishioners moved to Irvington in 1962.

As the years passed, members moved away, some, in part, because of the riots that scarred the city in 1967.

With each decade, the church’s numbers dropped, until it could no longer sustain itself. When the ceiling fell last year, [Queen of the Angels priest James] McConnell said it was time for them to go across town for service at St. Augustine Church. About 100 members went [to 170 Sussex Avenue]. Note here the oddity to those of us more familiar with geograffic terminology from Manhattan than from Newark, that "crosstown" in Newark refers to north-south movement, whereas in Manhattan it refers to east-west movement.]

Now, there’s 50 left, and they plan to continue their style of service with a separate Mass at the new parish.
It is not just in Newark that the Church is in deep trouble. The decline of the Catholic Church in the Northeastern quadrant of the United States has been substantial, if not quite catastrophic. Tho Catholics might hope that the revolutionary new Pope will stanch the outflow of the Church's lifeblood, not even groups that have historically been massively, faithfully Catholic, are remaining in the Church but fleeing to other denominations. This decline has in some areas approached collapse of Catholic numbers, which has led to the closure of many churches, large and small. I have mentioned that in my neighborhood, Sacred Heart of Vailsburg, which when it was dedicated in 1930 was the largest parish church in the Nation, closed several years ago. Its stained-glass windows, like those of Queen of the Angels, were also removed, but replaced by plain-glass or frosted-glass windows. The building was not left open to the elements as has been QotA.

Note the ruf rectangle of colored bricks that apparently underlie the white bricks that comprise the bulk of the façade of the church. Brick City × 2.

Barry Carter picked up the saga of Queen of [the] Angels in a Star-Ledger news story on October 19th of this year. It seems the Archdiocese had secured a permit to demolish the building entirely, but 'neglected' to point out to City authorities that the structure:
is on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The archdiocese was aware of the designations, but believed it had done everything required to get the demolition permit from the city [— except inform the City that the permit related to a landmarked place! It gets worse.]

Bill Mikesell, chairman of Newark’s Landmarks & Historic Preservation Commission, said the city's building department made a mistake when it issued the demolition permit.

He said the error occurred because city records do not list the church as having a historic designation under its current address on Irvine Turner Boulevard.

The historic designation for the 1861 church building is listed under its old address on Belmont Avenue, when it was known as St. Peter’s Catholic Church. The street name was changed to Irvine Turner Boulevard in 1977.

Note the white fretwork on the front of the (former) church.

This kind of nonsense had better not happen ever again. If there is no provision in current law to make sure that changes to street names do not endanger historic places, then we had better just stop changing street names!

Former Catholic school associated with the former church, tho it looks as tho it might have closed before the church, unless the outside is worse than the inside.

As I was reading Mr. Carter's recent article, I was thinking about adaptive reuse of myriad other old churches around the country, as for things as varied as a children's activity center and offices for the Unified Vailsburg Services Organization (see the fotos in my post of July 27th), dance clubs, and restaurants. One old Catholic church here in Newark, St. Joseph's, has been turned into The Priory, a jazz club and restaurant.

Just then I came to this passage, which concerned use of the building for Newark arts as proposed by a major Newark arts figure I have mentioned in this blog many times.
Matt Gosser, a member of the Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee, said he tried to rescue the church when he offered to purchase the building for $50,000 earlier this year. His idea was to turn it into a gallery or museum that would house Newark artifacts he has collected. [And he has assuredly collected many such items over the decades he has been pursuing "Ar+cheology", his combination of art and history.]

Gosser said the archdiocese told him his offer was too low. He said officials were seeking $500,000. ... [Maybe Matt needs to appeal to the "art+chdiocese", to remind the Roman Catholic Church of its historic role as bulwark against barbarians. The Church used to defend churches from destruction. Now it is destroying churches itself!]

"They don’t seem inclined to work with me at all," Gosser said. "They seem to be excited about knocking it down and selling it as vacant land." ...

So, Queen of Angels sits in limbo.

It also sits amid litter. I don't know if the garbage bags in this portion of the lawn were left by people responsible for the church or tossed over the fence by neighborhood slobs — perhaps even anti-Catholic slobs. One doesn't want to think that a Liberal city like Newark would have anti-Catholic Neanderthals throwing garbage over a fence into the grounds of a closed Catholic Church. So let's reject that thought out of hand.

Exactly how much more does the Archdiocese think it would get for vacant land at that location? Yes, the new ShopRite and Sonic Restaurant not far away may signal improved economic prospects for that area, but the City National Bank, much closer to both the ShopRite and Sonic, has closed. So is the Archdiocese being realistic in seeing the chance to make a small fortune from a plot of vacant land that the destruction of part of Newark's history would afford? And even if the Archdiocese could make some more money, say, thirty pieces of silver, from destroying part of our city's history, should they? It is because short-sighted and mercenary people destroyed immense amounts of history that could have been preserved thru adaptive reuse, that we created Historic Registers and landmark protections for sites and structures important in our history.
You might be able to see in the distance, beyond this trash-marred yard of Our Lady QofA, the dome of St. Rocco's Church, which, last I knew, was doing fine. Yes, there really is a St. Rocco's in Newark. You wanna make something of it?

Some guardians of the interests of the Church may argue that the money the Church could realize from destroying bricks and mortar, even historic and decorative bricks and mortar, could be better directed to education and humanitarian programs. Oh? What LASTING value could such programs offer to society? We have governmental welfare. We have student loans and grants from government and private philanthropies to deal with educational matters.

Note the DARK fretwork on the sides of the building, offsetting the white fretwork of the front.

It is also always easier to raise funds for needy and vulnerable people than for the preservation of architectural and historical structures. After all, poor kids and old folks have faces on which you can train cameras to create pitiable fotos in appeals to public generosity.

We could tear down and/or sell off every architectural and historic structure in the Nation, then use up all the money raised in such sales within five years of mostly useless efforts on behalf of the poor. At end, the poor would still be poor, but the Nation would be even poorer. Consider the demolition of New York Penn Station. The Railroad in whose name that barbarous vandalism was carried out went bankrupt anyway! [Yes, I know that "barbarian [V]andalism]" is sort of redundant.]

Sources for this post: Barry Carter blogpost of February&nbs;16, 2013, from The Star-Ledger, "Newark's Queen of Angels leaves legacy of praise and justice".
Barry Carter October 29, 2014 article in The Star-Ledger, "Queen of Angels: Beloved Catholic church in Newark remains in limbo". These items are on nj.com, which is inexcusably slow because it loads dozens, perhaps even hundreds of ads, logos (Facebook, Twitter), links and other bandwidth-grasping crap before it presents the reader with stable text. I think we may have to pass laws against such maddening clutter, which is subject to regulation as commercial speech, not political nor private speech.
"Demographics" section of Wikipedia article on the Catholic Church. Note that NJ has the third-highest proportion of Catholics (39%) in its population.

Barry Carter also, on 12/2/14, did a story on bike lanes that local businesspeople don't want, a subject I discussed here on November 25th.

I wondered what the two outliers (architectural outriggers, as it were) flanking the central tower of the church looked like up close, so zoomed in within my graffics program to see. Now you can see too.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Time to Boycott WNET Again; Free Museums Saturday and Sunday

WNET, the station assigned, as channel 13, to Newark by the FCC but stolen by New Yorkers and moved to Manhattan, is in the middle of one of its begathons ("pledge breaks") again. Part of that begathon consists in urging Newarkers to subsidize the theft of our TV station, which now pays almost no attention to its "city of license". Don't fall for that! Rather than rewrite a prior discussion of this issue, let me just link to my post of August 13th.

When first today I checked 13, I saw that it was broadcasting a Tribute to Bruce Springsteen, in an apparent sop to New Jerseyans to fool them into thinking channel 13 cares even the tiniest bit about New Jersey and the concerns of New Jerseyans. Don't be fooled. The New Yorkers who control WNET and NJTV don't give a da...rn about this state, nor, most particularly, Newark, from which they stole channel 13. What happens when something of concern to Newarkers, specifically, such as Mayor Baraka's community meeting on public safety, occurs? Nothing, as far as channel 13 is concerned. You won't find one word about it in a dedicated broadcast on WNET. NJTV News at 6pm might mention something about Newark, but only in passing, because it has to cover the entire state. Were 13 still a Newark station, it would focus first and foremost on Newark, and give Newarkers all the information and attention they need. Why does the FCC permit outsiders to steal stations away from the people of the city of license that the FCC designated for the good and sufficient reason that every area needs television that speaks to the concerns of the people of that area?
I tried to find out, from the WNET website, how long the current begathon will drag on, but the "schedule" page did not work right. It gave some info, but then froze when I tried to go back to an earlier timeframe. With all the money they are raking in, they can't put up their schedule in usable form? What is wrong with them? I was able to get parts of the listings for today from the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) that all OTA (Over The Air) stations are supposed to broadcast to digital converter boxes. Here is one timespan.

The list above, of programs from 12:00-6:30pm, shows, as usual, nothing specific to channel 13's city of license, Newark.

The following listing of primetime offerings not only shows, again, nothing specific to Newark but also doesn't even give specifics about what is on for 45 minutes (from 9:45 to 10:30pm), but says only "WNET HD-TV Program". That does NOT meet the FCC's requirement that an EPG give detailed information about what program, and what content within that program, is on offer. WNET would seem to be a scofflaw, and the FCC needs to crack down on all the scofflaws who refuse to provide a correct and detailed EPG at all hours during which broadcasts are offered.

The listing above is bracketed by two programs, abbreviated to "My Music Presen..." in the foto. The remainder of that program title was "...ts Motown 25". That is to say, at once, two things: first, that WNET is digging into the distant past for its programming and that it is repeating the same programming after only a short break. How tedious and annoying can WNET be? Quite, it would seem.
The last foto in the discussion of the WNET situation today shows closing credits from the Tribute to Bruce Springsteen. I didn't know where that star-spangled tribute concert was recorded. New Jersey somewhere, for one of this state's favorite sons? Nope. Checked it: Los Angeles. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? No, actually it doesn't. Monmouth County, where Springsteen was born and grew up, doesn't have a venue large enuf for such an extravaganza. I was raised in Monmouth County, and the venue I thought might be closest to being able to host such a tribute would be the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank (capacity 1,543) or, bigger, as I discovered upon investigation, Asbury Park Convention Hall (capacity 3,600), not far from the Stone Pony, where Springsteen often performed. The Stone Pony is, historically speaking, a very important place, but it fits very few people. It's more a bar than a concert hall. Newark, however, the largest city in Springsteen's native state, has a venue that is surely large enuf for such a Tribute, and was from the outset equipped with recording equipment of very high quality. Prudential Center can fit some 19,500 people for a concert. NJPAC can fit 2,800 people in Prudential Hall, its largest space. Symphony Hall can fit 3,500.

I have a similar question about where all those Prudential commercials about retirement are made. From what I see in the background of those spots, they are plainly not made in Newark. Why the he...ck not? An Advair commercial was made here. Why not ALL the retirement commercials for Prudential Financial, which enormous corporation maintains its World Headquarters in this fine city? There is plenty of room in various places in this city for those commercials where people spin out ribbons or tapes that measure how long a person's retirement funds will last; and for every other visual demonstration those commercials show.
As corporations go, Prudential is practically a saint. It stood and fought for Newark when everybody else tucked their tail between their hind legs and ran for the suburbs. But I must now ask the question everybody hates — what have you done for us lately? You are constructing a major annex to your World Headquarters, on Broad Street, yes, but it is, as against other Prudential Towers in various parts of the Nation and planet, a dwarf. Why? You could have given Newark an inspirational and aspirational great work of architectural art in a "supertall" "multiedifice". Instead, you gave us a commonplace 20-story complex with outlying low buildings. It's nice, sure. It is not, however a great building to inspire this city, the Nation, or the world. Prudential had, when it was planning this piddling tower, the wherewithal to create something astonishing. It chose to create something insignificant. Missed opportunities are sometimes more than a tad irritating. Sometimes they bounce around in the heads of the people who could have done better, and upset them every time they think of them for the rest of their lives.

Foto of NuPru annex to World HQ of Prudential Financial from October 5th. I have not yet been back Downtown on a Sunday to take more recent progress pix because of cold, dismal-gray weather (I want blue sky in my progress pix) but hope to take a few of the more important progress pix tomorrow, despite a forecast high of 39°. I will try to protect my camera's batteries from ruin by keeping the camera in an inside pocket between isolated fotos only.

Free Museums Again. This Saturday and Sunday are also the weekend during which Bank of America's "Museums on Us" offers holders of a BofA credit or debit card free general admission to over 150 museums across the Nation.

Again, rather than writing new text for this recurring event, let me simply link to my last discussion here.
I would have liked to get this post up on Friday, before the "Museums on Us" weekend, because Newark's Aljira gallery is a participant but is open only on Saturdays, not also Sundays. But I couldn't get it done. I'm old, and have had to accept that I do not always have the vigor to do everything I'd like to get done. So I couldn't get this post up until the middle of the nite Saturday into Sunday. Actually, of course, I could blame Aljira itself, for departing from the convention among museums that they are open both Saturday and Sunday, but closed Monday. It is, of course, not for me to tell Aljira when to be open and when closed. Perhaps the management of Aljira are pious Christians who feel they must close their business on the (Christian) Sabbath.
If you would like to be informed in advance of each month's "Museums on Us" event, there is a place at lower right on the home page of BofA's MoU website at which you can sign up for a monthly advance notification by email or text message. I signed up (for an email alert; I do not understand why anyone uses text messaging, which I actively dislike), when the program went from a full month (May?), once a year, to one weekend every month, so I wouldn't forget.