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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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Latest Newark ShopRite Progress Pix

Long post, over 3,500 words, with 30 pictures. I had a lot of trouble organizing these materials, and it took a long time. I have a number of much shorter items I can now address, and may backfill some of the days I couldn't upload this post, even tho backfilling can be confusing. If I do backfill, I will put a note atop whatever page visitors will see first, to direct them to the appropriate URL.

On Tuesday, January 20th, I got up very unusually early, to move the car out of the way of streetsweeping, and felt I had to run the engine for at least 15 minutes to recharge the battery against cold weather. So I decided to drive to the construction site of the Newark ShopRite. I hadn't taken any progress pix since January 5th, nor, before that, for over a month, because of cold and wet weather. I didn't want to go out in the cold and worry about my camera batteries draining, nor show dismal gray skies. Such skies depress me in person, and in pictures. I imagined this blog's visitors might have a similar reaction.

I had remembered the forecast as calling for rain, at least at the time of day I would ordinarily get up (sometime in the afternoon, in that I spent some 30+ years working on evening and graveyard shifts), but before 8am, it was brilliantly sunny, ideal weather for the background to my pictures.

The trip to where I usually park for such progress pix, 14th Avenue just west of Jones Street, takes less than 15 minutes, so I ran the car for a bit less than 10 minutes before I pulled out from my parking spot down a bit from my house. As usual, when I got to 14th Avenue, I found a parking spot only about 50 feet in from Jones Street, but was too quick to turn the engine off. When I checked how far out I was from the curb, I saw I was much too far out, over 2 feet. (I think the law requires that you park no farther than 18" out.) I dared not restart the engine for just a couple of minutes to park closer, lest I drain the battery and not be able to start when I needed to leave for home, so decided to run the engine for several minutes on 14th Avenue, then drive to Prince Street, on the eastern edge of the construction site. Besides, the last progress pix I took (January 5th) were from the western edge, including the first several pix today, so I wanted to show things from a different perspective.

Altho a sign speaks of a residential building, the main supermarket structure is low, only three stories. I doubt an apartment house in that area would be so short.

Tho the supermarket structure is low, the crane is tall.

Here you can see buildings closer to Downtown, under the structure now rising.

In the next picture appear two microwave/cellfone towers, at left, the one atop One Gateway Center, the first building in the Gateway Center complex. At right, and closer, is another, but I don't know what building it rises from. That's the last foto from January 5th that I'll show today.

The foto below depicts the view from Prince Street on January 20th, showing what appears to be a second building, the residences?

The sky, in the pictures from the 20th, was glorious.

Being readily able to see the sky is in fact one of the main reasons I live in Newark. When I lived in Manhattan, on low floors, I practically had to look straight up to see the sky much of the time. In Newark, the sky is omnipresent, like the Tristate Area's own "Big Sky Country". (I have been to Montana, by the way, twice. Beautiful, but COLD much of the year, much TOO cold for me.)

I noted something very peculiar about this building: it dips in the middle of the roof, such that at least part of it is not level, but sloped. Is it a garage rather than apartment house or supermarket building?

This new complex is being built across South Orange Avenue ("SOA") from part of Hovnanian's Society Hill housing development west of the Essex County Civic Center.

The western end of the ShopRite center is across SOA from low bleachers overlooking a soccer(?) field associated with Science Park High School, another reasonably new complex in the Central Ward. When I looked north on Jones Street, which becomes Norfolk Street north of SOA, I could see in the distance other new structures, including a dormitory for the former UMDNJ (now Rutgers medical and dental school) and the green Tyvek or other insulating material for a big building farther up Norfolk Street toward the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. I didn't take a picture of that because I wasn't using a tripod (due to the cold), which I'd have needed in order to get a clear picture of a distant building. There's a lot of new construction in Newark, and I couldn't be happier about it. Now more people will get to live, work, and study in this fine city.

In this next foto, you can see a construction worker in the basket of a 'cherrypicker'.

The following foto shows a prefabricated portion of steelwork swinging from the crane.

And this next picture shows another view of the construction worker relative to the steelwork he is helping with. I could not, alas, see, from my vantage point, anyone securing the prefab steelwork hanging from the crane to that already integrated into the overall structure.

The following picture shows concrete piers from the ground to the top of the first floor, but wooden frame construction in the upper floors (presently, second and third; I don't know if there will be more when the building is complete).

I saw this sign, which had apparently fallen from the post in the picture onto its side on the sidewalk. I imagine it was intended to warn drivers that irregularities in the pavement, or perhaps metal plates over construction pits, formed a tilted surface.

I don't know what the very large, wide building in the middle and on the right in the next foto, is, but the building on the left with a cupola (kyúe.pa.la) is the former synagog Oheb Shalom, now part of the Prudential Outdoor Learning Center of the Greater Newark Conservancy.

For this next picture, I needed to move around a bit, to center the top of Arts High within some structural steel.

This next foto shows a backhoe working to remove some of the contaminated "brownfield" soil that was piled up from the excavation/s for the ShopRite complex's buildings. I didn't see any dumptrucks into which that soil would be deposited, but there had to be some nearby. Where do they take soil from "brownfields"? To fill in former coal mines in Pennsylvania or West Virginia? The ground above Prince Street is, at present, still quite high. I don't know if the site, upon completion of construction, will slope gently down to Prince Street, nor how level or sloped the parking lot will be. Either the (still-open) ShopRite or closed Pathmark in Kearny had a sloping parking lot, which could cause problems with shopping carts rolling after being emptied. (I think it is the ShopRite, because it is near a Pearle Vision center I noted as having the same parking lot.)

This next foto shows either another prefab section of steelwork hanging from the crane or the same one I showed before from a different angle that had not yet been secured to the main structure.

Advance Training, Artist's Conception. My friend Gaetano from the Ironbound sent me link to a story on NJ.com about training 200, or 300, workers (number differs in different parts of the story) for employment in the Newark ShopRite. The New Community Corporation's Workforce Development Center has established a program for that purpose. (You may have passed by that building on Bergen Street but not stopped to read the banner and other identifying info on it. I showed two pix of it on March 8, 2008.) A second article, link to which appeared at the first, says that the same company that built the Courtyard by Marriott hotel next to the Prudential Center is building the new ShopRite and associated structures:
The supermarket chain has signed a lease to be the anchor tenant at the Springfield Avenue Marketplace in Newark. * * *

Wakefern Food, the parent company for ShopRite stores, signed a 20-year lease for a 67,000-square-foot supermarket on Springfield Avenue and Prince Street. The store will be part of a new development featuring 150 apartments and [a few other] stores.
Altho I provide clickable links to these two NJ.com stories, I cannot recommend that you go to them if you have bandwidth limitations, because all NJ.com stories load well over 100 extraneous ads, graffics, thumbnail fotos used for clickable links, icons for Facebook, Twitter, and on and on. During all that "Loading" time, you can't scroll down to read the story. It can take more than two minutes for a story to stabilize on my machine. If you have clicked to scroll down more than once, you can find that when the story does finally appear, you are far down in the text, not at the beginning. NJ.com is not the only extremely stupid web publisher that makes it very hard for people to read their stories, but it is one of the very worst I ever have to deal with, and when somebody sends me a link to a story on NJ.com, I dread following it.

I found an artist's conception of the "Springfield Avenue Marketplace" on Baristanet, as the second illustration of their story, "ShopRite Breaks Ground In Newark", from October 17, 2013. Unfortunately, that suburban website quotes a Brookdale ShopRite manager speaking of Newark as having been a "food desert" for 40 years. What contemptible drivel. Newark has two very large Pathmarks open 24/7, another large supermarket only about half a mile from the Bergen Street Pathmark, and a bunch of smaller stores that call themselves "supermarkets" as far apart as Clinton Avenue and South Orange Avenue. It is nothing like a "food desert".

There appears in that artist's rendering a large future building, probably an apartment house, on Jones Street just across from the Newark ShopRite. That would certainly seem a convenient place to live. Buses Downtown run on both Springfield Avenue and South Orange Avenue, and there will be a great big supermarket just across the street. That would seem an ideal place for middle-aged and elderly "empty nesters" who no longer care to rattle around in a big house in sterile suburbs. A quick hop on a bus will take them to NJPAC, the Newark Museum, Prudential Center, and the various art galleries and fine restaurants Downtown and in the Ironbound. And they won't have to shovel snow in the winter, rake leaves in the autumn, mow grass in the summer, or do their own household repairs year-round.

Note the angled steelwork at the first floor. Perhaps that marks an entryway.

As regards training potential employees, ShopRite appears to have high standards, judging from the East Orange ShopRite, whose employees seem to be of high quality, tho I have noted lapses. On the plus side is one superlative young woman I want to mention. On Sunday, December 14th, I got distracted when fishing in my pockets for change for a cash purchase, and laid my wallet on the counter of Express Checkout station #2 shortly before 5pm. Once I had completed my transaction, I headed back to my car and had nearly reached the exit when the young black female cashier rushed up to me with my wallet. In my surprise, I exclaimed something dopy like "Where did that come from?" and she replied that I had left it on the counter. "Thank you very much", I said in inadequate appreciation of all the trouble she had saved me in either retracing my steps, if the wallet had been turned in to management, or replacing everything in it, if someone else had walked off with it. Now that is an employee who would be a credit to any company.

View west from Prince Street, up SOA. The tall building in this and some other fotos is the New Community Commons, a Section 8 low-income housing highrise that looks very nice from outside. I suspect it is also nice inside, in that the New Community Corporation was established by a Catholic priest concerned about social and economic justice.

Alas, there is a minus side. Around the same time last month, I bought five flannel shirts on special ($4.99 as against a usual price of $9.99, tho shirts are not usually sold in the E.O. SR) and tried them on once I got home. I found that one of them had the buttons on the wrong side, which I cannot work with, and which I believe is the usual pattern with women's clothing. So I took it back, and the young black man at Customer Service, when I mentioned that I could not work with buttons on the women's side, made the unfortunate decision to joke about that, to the effect, "You sure?", making hand gestures as to playfully suggest effeminacy. I was quite sure, yes, and indignant that he, as so many other people, even in this day and age, more than 44 years after I put forward the term "Gay Pride", still identified homosexuality with effeminacy. Yes, I am gay. No, I am not confused about gender and do not affect feminine behavior. Management of the East Orange ShopRite, should they see this, need to say a few words to employees about careless, thoughtless language and hand gestures with customers, because they never know whom they might be offending. And New Community Corporation's training of potential employees for the Newark ShopRite needs to address such attitudinal behavior, more than just the technicalities of how to operate a price scanner and cash register, how to choose which items to put into which bags, in what order, etc.

I don't mean to exaggerate behavioral problems with ShopRite employees. I have had many pleasant encounters with very helpful employees at the E.O. SR on all shifts, and I anticipate the same level of agreeable interaction with employees of the Newark ShopRite once it opens. I don't know whether I will switch all of my ShopRite trips from E.O. to Nwk, some, or none — if I don't care for the Newark store, which seems unlikely. I have not yet determined the difference in distance to the two different stores. The E.O. store is 2.1 miles from my house, according to my car's tripmeter. Prince Street and Springfield Avenue, which will be the entrance to the parking lot of the Newark ShopRite, is (according to MapQuest), 2.85 miles. But I often go to the supermarket as only one of several stops in a given day, so on different days might go to either ShopRite or one of three Pathmarks, the two in Newark and the one in South Orange. (The S.O. Pmk is the only one that recycles plastic bags. I urge management of the Newark ShopRite to do such recycling. I also urge the State of New Jersey to REQUIRE every store that employs single-use plastic bags to recycle them.) If any portion of the sales tax, on such items as are subject to sales tax in a supermarket, went to the City of Newark, I would prefer the Newark ShopRite. But there is no local sales tax, so that does not militate for the Newark store. Perhaps some portion of the sales tax collected by the state in any given municipality should go to that municipality, but that is not, as I understand, the way things now work.

Still, my friend Joe from Belleville suggests that any new supermarket is likely to be more appealing than an older market. He is familiar with other ShopRites run by the people who are opening the Newark ShopRite, and thinks highly of their management. We'll see. I'm not sure how soon the new store will open, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

All of today's fotos, plus others from earlier dates, appear in my "Newark ShopRite" Picasa Online album. I embed below a slideshow of that album in its current state, with 74 pix. You can turn captions on or off, and pause to read any caption you can't read in the time ordinarily allotted for a single foto, tho most captions speak only to the vantage point from which the foto was taken and the date.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Too Cold for Electronics

1/19/15, added a paragraf at the end.

I have mentioned that cold temperatures quickly knock out my camera's expensive Energizer Lithium batteries ($2.25 apiece at the Newark Home Depot, cheapest place I have found), so I can take pix outdoors in cold weather only if I don't have to expose the camera to frigid temps for more than a few seconds at a time, then return it to an inside pocket. That means I cannot even use my tripod for low-lite situations, because that would leave the camera in the cold all the while it takes to attach it to the tripod and then remove it.

Plainly I could not have fotos of cold temperatures affecting electrical and electronic devices, but I can show pix of snow in Newark, specifically Vailsburg. Most of these are of views out my windows. The first two fotos today are of our first recent snow, in November, BEFORE winter even started. The others are from the extraordinary snows of last February.

I have discovered that frigid temps affect more than just AA batteries. I learned some time ago that the disk battery in my electronic scale — to keep track of my weight, which I have recently managed to stabilize, after having lost a lot of weight last year (tho I don't know why) — doesn't operate the scale at all if it is cold. So I have to put the scale on my electric radiator for a couple of minutes before I weigh myself in the winter. That's not a big hassle, but if I didn't know that the problem was that the battery doesn't work when it's cold, I'd have had to keep buying batteries to replace batteries that are perfectly good if they are kept warm or rewarmed on getting cold.

On January 9th, I couldn't get my NetZero "Hotspot" wifi device to work. Altho it was plugged into an extension cord, none of the lites was on, not even the leftmost (of 3), which should always be lited when the device is plugged in, and even when it is unplugged but its internal battery has a charge. I turned the Hotspot on, and the left lite went on, steady. I held down the button, and the next lite in sequence (the rightmost) went on, flashing, as it should. But after less than two minutes, all lites went out. I turned it on again, and the same thing happened. Only then did it occur to me that the problem might be cold-related, because the Hotspot was in a cold area of the room, only about 16" from the floor.

I moved it higher, to a table 27" high, and close to the electric radiator, for a while, then tried it again. Same problem. I was beginning to think I'd have to call Customer Service and return that (not-so-)"Hot"spot for another. But I decided to see if it would work again once it achieved a reasonable temperature, so put it in my left front pants pocket and left it there to warm up. After 45 minutes or so, I turned it on again, and got some of the same problems, twice. The third time it worked, but did not let my computer connect to the Internet. I left it plugged into the wall and connected to the computer, and after another 20 minutes or so, I was able to connect to the Internet. What a relief!

The snow outside the window here and in some other pictures is piled up high on the roof over my front porch.

Two days later, I needed to do my weekly (Sunday) computer backup, so took the plastic bag containing my 500GB external hard drive off the floor, and plugged it into a USB slot. The lite went on, but my laptop did not recognize that a device had been plugged in. Ordinarily, a tone would sound and a narrow Windows Explorer window would pop up asking what I want to do about this new device. That didn't happen. I started the backup program. It seemed to start, but when I clicked on the progress balloon, I saw the progress bar turn from lite blue to red and the program report that the backup failed because it could not find the device specified for storage (F:\, the external drive).

I did more troubleshooting, mainly moving the external drive's USB cable to another slot on my laptop. Same result. Only then did it occur to me that altho the external drive appeared to be working, because the lite came on and stayed on, maybe the internal circuitry was adversely affected by the cold air at the floor where I had kept it since the prior Sunday.

I embarked upon a course of action to warm the device, putting it close to the radiator, but not ON the radiator. It was too big to put into a pocket, but I was able to place it quite close to the warm air rising from the radiator, and turned my attentions to other matters. After nearly 4¾ hours, I dared to plug it in. I had worried that the drive might have failed, since several years ago a friend said she had bought a Simple Drive external drive too, and it did fail. But I had to try to do my backup. I also wanted to move some things from my C:\ partition, which somehow in the past couple of months went from something like 30% free to less than 3% free. I have no idea what happened. If the external drive (F:\) didn't work after so long a time warming, I could still leave it to warm some more, and only if after very extended warming without working, conclude that it had failed.

Happily, when I plugged it into the USB port in my laptop that I usually do, it worked. Relief again!

Unfortunately, my Hotspot device 'chilled out' on two more days, and took some time to heat to usability, resting on a folded towel on the radiator, but once it had warmed up, it worked fine again.

The two-part moral of this story is (1) don't store your electronic devices in a cold location, and (2) try warming any cold device that doesn't work as part of your troubleshooting efforts.
"Temperature contagion". I saw an interesting item on TV news, summarized in an article from NBC's Today show, tho I did not see that story there, since I am rarely up and watching news in the early morning.
Can simply looking at somebody who is cold leave us reaching for a sweater and scarf for ourselves?

Researchers from the University of Sussex [England, I believe, not the county in northwest NJ*] found that people who watched videos of actors putting their hands in cold water saw their own body temperature drop, evidence of "temperature contagion."

You may feel, as I often do, colder just from the sight of snow and ice. We've been lucky so far this year. Snows started before winter did, but we're almost one third thru the winter and it's nowhere near as bad as last year. However, February was our bad month last year, so we're not out of the woods just yet. I hope last year's snowy inundations do not repeat.

"Climate Change" Drivel. You may have seen or heard the report that 2014 was the "hottest" year since weather records have been kept. Be not misled. If you go to the trouble to find out exactly how much "hotter" it was, you can eventually find that the alarmist headlines are GARBAGE. We're not talking about 10°, 5°, or even 1°. Check this info in the NINTH paragraf of a New York Times article from today:
John R. Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who is known for his skepticism about the seriousness of global warming, pointed out in an interview that 2014 had surpassed the other record-warm years by only a few hundredths of a degree, well within the error margin of global temperature measurements.
Did you see that? Last year was "hotter" by "only a few hundredths of a degree". Repeat: by only a few HUNDREDTHS of ONE degree (Fahrenheit or Celsius doesn't make much difference when you are talking about A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF A DEGREE.) "Man-made global warming", or its camouflaging euphemism "climate change", is a CROCK that only people who do not look into things can believe. NONE of the news stories on TV about how "hot" the Earth is getting gave that data about "a few hundredths of a degree", did they? Of course not, because that would make plain that all the alarm we are supposed to feel is NONSENSE. Even the NYT story that states that the world was "hotter" by only a few hundredths of one degree carries the headline "2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics". What irresponsible, yellow-journalistic CRAP!
The fourth paragraf of that NYT story says:
Of the large inhabited land areas, only the eastern half of the United States recorded below-average temperatures in 2014, a sort of mirror image of the unusual heat in the West. Some experts think the stuck-in-place weather pattern that produced those extremes in the United States is itself an indirect consequence of the release of greenhouse gases, though that is not proven.
Such a premise is not just not proven. It is total speculation that offers absolutely no mechanism by which greenhouse gases could have had anything to do with that pattern. Worse, it is the EASTERN United States, where half the population of the Nation resides, that was colder, in a region where weather patterns move from west to east, as does all the air pollution and CO2 pumped into the atmosphere from areas farther west. So shouldn't we be HOTTER than areas to our west if CO2 released by human activity is responsible for global warming? West of the American Southwest lies only the thousands of miles of the Pacific Ocean, with not a single factory or power plant belching CO2-laden smoke, but millions of square miles of water surface and marine plants to absorb CO2. Think about that and you might just see that all this talk about "man-made global warming" is obvious b*.
Postscript, January 19: My car battery has now failed twice in the past two or three weeks. Fortunately, I belong to the AAA, so was able to get a jumpstart. I have a small "booster pack" that had a proper charge, but it wasn't strong enuf on either of these occasions to get my car running. It has been able to restart it in the past, but not these two times. I think that these failures are also due to the cold, and that I will have to run the car for 15 minutes or more every day during cold weather — that is, if I do not have to replace the battery. It's been in the car since I inherited the snazzy, red Geo Storm from my late mother in 2003, but I don't know if it is older than that. The car is a 1992 model. Who knows? The battery might have been original equipment. AAA has a battery replacement service that will bring a battery to you and install it. It's expensive, but car batteries seem to be expensive anyway, and I wouldn't know what's involved in installing a battery I bought in a store. Naturally, I would look for instructions enclosed with the battery, or for a video on the Internet, then look at the battery in my car and note exactly the steps I'd have to take to remove the old battery, then do the same steps in reverse with the new battery. But I don't want to do this in the cold, even if I could do it right. I'd rather some knowledgeable AAA guy do it right. ("Knowledgeable" has an even more ridiculous spelling, "knowledgable". Who came up with this craziness?)

* By the way, the -sex in New Jersey's counties Sussex, Essex, and Middlesex is from Old English "Seaxe", meaning "Saxons". Sussex means South Saxons; Essex means East Saxons; and, unsurprisingly, Middlesex means Middle Saxons, originally between Essex and Wessex (West Saxons). NJ doesn't have a Wessex. Interestingly, there appears not to have been a county or kingdom of the North Saxons, just as there is no North Orange.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ArtFront Pop-Up Show

On November 6th, I discussed Newark artist Timothy Dingman's project to bring the fine arts to Near North Newark, on Lower Broadway. It started out as being one of the first events in the Newark Arts Council's "Open Doors 2014" artswhirl,* but ended up being the last, due to delays in construction of the venue.

My friend Jerry, now living in Manhattan (tho he has lived in Newark, in the guestroom of my house in Vailsburg), heard of this project before I did, in that he knew Dingman from a non-arts acquaintanceship, and Jerry got me onto Timothy's mailing list.

My post of November 6th showed fotos I took from the incomplete early version of the show on October 11th.

In that post, I anticipated that the show that was to open the following evening would remain open for some weeks. To my astonishment, it was open only one nite! This takes the expression "pop-up show" much too far. That's more like a "pop goes the weasel", jack-in-the-box show. What kind of impact can a one-nite art show have upon a new area for Newark arts? Alas, tho I happened to make it to that one-nite stand, Jerry did not, for prior plans. The creators of that new artspace should definitely have understood that, much tho they might like to, many people who would gladly attend a show of greater duration could not attend that one, particular nite.

Fortuitously, there is an ArtFront effort apart from the gallery show that will have more enduring effects, "The Gates Project".

I didn't know what that was until I attended the gallery show and spoke with Rodney Gilbert, principal of Yendor Productions ("Yendor" is "Rodney" spelled backwards), a sponsor of the ArtFront project. Rodney (whom I have met on many occasions, esp. in connection with the Newark Murals Project, which I love), drew my attention to the relatively small posters — perhaps 12" × 24", or 16" × 30" (?) — on easels stationed around the gallery, that showed two views of window gates in the Lower Broadway neighborhood, "Before" (top) and "After" (bottom). I debated very briefly with myself if I really have to say "bottom" if I've already distinguished "top", but decided that it is not exactly redundant; and even if it is redundant, many people would be uncomfortable if I didn't say it. I've done the same kind of analysis as to whether to say "right" if I've already distinguished "left"). Consider the episode of The Big Bang Theory in which "Amy Farrah Fowler", girlfriend of "Sheldon Cooper", shakes up Sheldon's world by, for instance, playing the first notes of a well-known tune but stopping before the sequence finishes (say, "All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel, all around the mulberry bush, [end]". It would be a tad unsettling NOT to say the alternative "After".

The difference between the two fotos is that ArtFront artists painted the gates "After" the "Before" fotos were taken. By "window gates" I mean the seemingly solid barriers across the entryway and display windows of storefronts that are not solid at all but segménted metal that can be retracted into a compáct receptacle above the storefront when not in use to protect the premises from invasion. They look solid, but are really like rolltop desks, composed of many sideways slats that bend into a reserve on top, but roll down into an impervious wall when pulled down.

I did not fotograf any of those posters close up, because I had already taken my camera out and put it back into my waist pouch ("fanny pack") several times that day, at the gallery and before, and just didn't want to do it again. I was a little depressed from some very bad news I had received only hours before. I should have forced myself.

You see here Dingman speaking to a visitor about one area of the show. I know that Tim's face is pointed away from the camera, but I assure you it is he. Swear!

Instead, I sent email after the event to both Tim and Rodney to ask if they could send me pix of the completed gates paint jobs and the before-and-after contrast shots, but neither of them got back to me. I went to the Yendor website and found only this description under "Past Events":
The Gates Project
Yendor Productions, La Casa de don Pedro, and Lower Broadway presented "The Gates Project," an artistic effort to beautify the Lower Broadway Neighborhood. Various artists created paintings to cover storefront gates, a project which is accompanying the City of Newark's other efforts to beautify Broadway.

Two of the posters that show storefront gates before and after artistic painting appear in this foto. I guess the posters are nowhere near as large as I thought they might be, but only perhaps 10" by 25" or so. In that I was not then carrying a tape measure (I do now) and did not think to estimate their size at the time, I cannot say how large the posters are.

I told Rodney on the nite of the gallery show that I hadn't been clear about the "Gates" project, and the term stirred memories of Christo and (the late) Jeanne-Claude's gigantic project "The Gates", "23 miles of archways draped with orange fabric that ran along Central Park's paths [in Manhattan] in 2005. The exhibition was only up for two weeks, but it drew millions of visitors and generated more than $250 million for New York's economy".

I was one of those millions of visitors. My niece Karen and her son Josh (above: Karen is wearing the blue coat) flew in from the West Coast to see it, and we wandered the paths together. I took a great many fotos, only two of which I show here. I did at one time have a website with about 70 of my fotos, but it was on America Online's webhosting area, so disappeared when AOL decided — why on Earth?? — to stop hosting member websites and closed them all down. I suppose I could put up, now, the best of my fotos as a Picasa Online album, but that might not be a good use of my time, in that the event was in 2005, and multitudinous other fotografers have doubtless posted their own fotos to the Internet. In the unlikely event that a clamor should arise for me to show those pix, I will create a Picasa album for public view.

(Me (left) and my niece (yes, right). I guess Josh took this foto with my camera.) My friends Gaetano from the Ironbound and Joe from Belleville, and I all agreed that we would love to have Christo — or whoever might assume the mantle of Christo, who is now nearly 80 years old; Jeanne-Claude was born on the exact same day in 1935 but died in 2009!; will there ever again be an artist so ambitious to create gigantic, environmental-scale works of art as Christo? — choose Newark for one of his wonderful projects. That would really put Newark on the art world's map. Newark is doubtless already on a great many fine artists' map, thanks to the efforts of people in the Newark art scene such as Rupert Ravens, Victor Davson, Matt Gosser, and the creative directors of the Newark Museum, but in a relatively minor way, not as regards their efforts but only as regards their efficacy in a world filled with demands for attention. Their efforts are like the first stage of a multistage rocket sent to explore the outermost limits of our solar system. An immense Christo project in Newark would be the second thru last stages of such a rocket.

Apart from the two pictures of Christo's "Gates", today's fotos show some of the artworks and some of the people attending the one-nite stand of ArtFront Gallery's show at 50 Broadway.

I hope that Tim, Rodney, and their partners in that ArtFront show will produce other shows of substantially greater duration, so that a great many more people can attend. I can envision programs of visual arts (two-dimensional and three-), and tasteful performing arts — say, acoustic guitar and warm voices — filling a storefront theretofore vacant, and giving both potential commercial tenants and neighbors a taste of what it could be like to have that business dependent upon walk-in customers in that area.

As I mentioned in my post about the derelict R.C. Church Our Lady, Queen of the Angels, Matt Gosser was also thinking about extending Newark arts beyond their current geograffical concentration in the Downtown, University Heights, and Lincoln Park areas to other parts of this wonderful city. Newark artists could work with the Newark Public Schools to create robust visual and performing arts programs to bring out and nurture the creative spark that in some few individuals creates an explosion of visions, sounds, and motions not previously seen, but for which the world may find it was always waiting. Along the way, however, the creative persona may need a place to be seen and heard, and an appreciative audience to keep it going thru every difficulty. For poor kids in a place like Newark, or any other anywhere on Earth, it may take mighty encouragement to bring forth the best they have to offer. Even the atom bomb took five years to produce,** despite the expenditure of the equivalent of $26 billion in 2015 terms, 90% of which went to infrastructure. Similarly, by far most of the early efforts to bring out the genius in young Newarkers would go to minimally effective scattershot education. But when you winnow away the chaff, day after day, month after month, you sometimes find the inexpressibly precious kernel of genius.
In any case, every neighborhood opened to the arts is a neighborhood from which might spring brilliance. And even if no great artistic genius should be found thru outposts of art in this neighborhood or that, the life of local people would nonetheless be enriched.

* I am still overwhelmed by all the fotos I took during OD14 (October 2014). I may have to take the approach I used in regard to the Turtle Back Zoo: create a Picasa Online album, with captions, for all the fotos I like, and deal with a descriptive blogpost later, when I'm up to it.

** I'm sure I am not the only person who finds the explosion and mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb a singularly beautiful thing. Too bad it's so destructive, so we can't explode such bombs in celebrations every year on July 4th. But we do have film of that astonishing wonder to rejoice in.