Prepare To Be Exhausted
An insanely busy period starts tomorrow, with an afternoon preview of the Newark Arena/Prudential Center. A short item Gaetano found touts:
The FIRST opportunity to tour the new arena prior to opening day on October 25I hope to be up in time to get there with no strain. I have been trying to move my sleep cycle (to the extent I have any) to mid-morning from mid-afternoon, which I had had to be on for over 20 years, since I worked evenings. If you don't start work until 5:30pm, you don't want to be up more than a couple of hours before that, just long enuf to make yourself presentable and commute to the office. I was making good progress, too, but yesterday and today events conspired against me. So here I am still up after dawn drafting this.
Arena Week Kickoff Celebration
Saturday, October 20 - 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
See all the state-of-the-art amenities at the new home of the New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall men[']s basketball and New Jersey Ironmen
Meet the mascots, Devils Power Players, Ironmen players and much more
Visit gourmet food stands on the concourse featuring many local vendors
Enjoy free live entertainment. Schedule[d] to appear: Newark Boys Choir School, Envy Dance Group, Miss NaNa, Herman Olivera y Sus Amigos, Soul Generation featuring Cliff Perkins
Join us for this FREE event!
Please enter through the PNC Tower on the corner of Mulberry Street & Edison Place.
At 7:30am, I heard a muffled explosion, apparently off to the east some distance but powerful enuf to send a shock wave thru the floor of my hoffice (home office). Seven minutes later, I hear a distant siren, but only one. Maybe two.
In any case, the end of October is the Newark Arts Council's annual group show and available real-estate tour, which this year coincides with the opening of the Arena and the first several concerts by Bon Jovi. Matt Gosser is opening a group show at the School of Architecture at NJIT. I think Gallery Aferro has something. The Newark Museum has a symposium on India on the 27th. I won't even KNOW how many things there are until I go methodically thru my postal and email, and put everything onto a calendar. But for right now, the one thing I need to make sure you know about is tomorrow, as above.
My sleep-cycle applecart was upset. As I started to review email on all of my AOL screennames (separate addresses for different aspects of life and work), I got bogged down by one of those unexpected lifebombs that disrupt my schedule: an email from a stranger with almost 290 suggestions for another of my Internet projects, the Simpler Spelling Word of the Day website. When I first started that project, I tried to make it a group effort of various spelling reform groups and individual activists, but was rebuffed. I went ahead alone, on June 1st, 2004. Altho Britain's Simplified Spelling Society has maintained its aloofness, a bunch of other reformers, mainly from the U.S. and Japan, have come around. I am reminded of the expression, altered from a line in the baseball movie Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come." And a couple of dozen spelling reformers have come forward to collaborate in this project. The same notion ("If you build it...") has been the theory behind the creation of the Newark Arena. Let's hope it works even better than has my having overcome a boycott of my simpler-spelling website by ignoring it.
I don't need the SSS. My own radical spelling reform website, which takes an altogether different approach from the SSWD site, is among the top 10 spelling-reform sites on the Internet. People without the arrogance of the SSS have offered perhaps 1,400 suggestions for SSWD, each of which I need to evaluate, and check to see if it has already been used or was already on the list (people don't always check, even tho the future-words list is right there on the website). I recognize at once that some suggestions are terrific but others unworkable. Other offered words plainly don't fit the project, so go into Rejected.html. Still others, I have to puzzle over. I've used about 1,256 words (my own and suggestions from readers) over the past two years and more; there are over 2,060 words presently on the future-words list; and even before I got the 290-word list in today's email I had three other email lists totaling another 30 words or so awaiting inclusion, so I can't remember offhand all the words used, accepted, and rejected, but have to do electronic searches of as many as three files for every suggestion offered. I don't need any of that this week, so warned these helpful strangers that it may be several days before I will have added or rejected all their suggestions.
What I do need this week is to get up from the chair in front of my computer to get some exercise, in order to build stamina for the unusually busy period coming up in the New Newark, or I won't be able to get to more than a small fraction of events. I suppose having too much to do is better than having absolutely nothing to do in Newark.
(As to the explosion: At around 8:05, News 12 New Jersey said they had word of an incident in Irvington but weren't clear as to what it was. At 8:11am, they said that apparently there was an explosion in a house in Irvington, and some burn victims. A news crew was heading to the scene and would update the report as they got more information. Irvington is indeed east of me, so that must be what I heard and felt. If it shook my house, many blocks away, I hate to think what it did to the house that exploded. And its occupants and neighbors.
8:39, News 12 has a telephone report from the scene. Tony Caputo says there is only a lot filled with rubble where there had been new construction.
9:00am, News 12 opens the hour with pictures, at long last, of the exploded house. Apparently four people were taken to UMDNJ and are in critical condition. Tony Caputo says he believes he saw someone taken away on a stretcher, covered by a sheet (as suggested death), but they have had no confirmation of any deaths. Let's hope they don't get any such bad news. Caputo reports that the windows in houses all around were blown out. Small wonder.
9:10. One dead, five injured. Gas leak, ongoing. Search dogs and human search teams from as far as Union County (on Irvington's south edge). To give you an idea of how powerful the explosion was, Mapquest says that 19th Avenue and 22nd Street, the site of the blast, is 1.63 miles from me, with only a couple of jogs around corners. As the crow flies, that's about a mile and a half away, yet the blast shook my floor!
A witness said he saw the owner of this new, three-story house bringing his dogs back home, and as soon as he raised the garage door, a spark apparently ignited leaked gas, with catastrophic results. I'm a little upset. I don't know the people, or the dogs, affected, but you feel sad when something like this, an utterly unexpected bolt from the blue, hits so close to home that your own house shakes from it. Let's just hope there are no bodies under the rubble, and the people injured recover with no lasting disability.)
Let's move in a different direction within my general vicinity. Today's foto shows a special place about a half mile from me to the north, away from Irvington. This is Joe's Market at South Orange Avenue and Telford Street in Vailsburg.
This unprepossessing little supermarket, run by Orientals (Chinese? Koreans?), is the closest this area comes to a gourmet store. Inside, you can find food sauces of many kinds; unusual fresh vegetables; Irish soda bread; and Guyanese and other baked and other goods, all at reasonable prices. It's quite a surprise to find such items in a local market, and someday I must take the time to look carefully at the various exotic goods. I saw cooking sauces and spices for things I don't know how to make. For instance, if I remember correctly, I saw a spice mix for jerked chicken. I've heard the term but have no idea what it means.
Speaking of Orientals (and no, "Asian" is not a better term, because Asia is an enormous continent that includes over a billion and a half non-Orientals in South Asia, Southwest Asia, the Caucasus, and Arabia), two things come to mind. First, the only Orientals I have seen apparently residing in Newark were going into a Mount Prospect Avenue highrise. I saw them on last February's Newarkology walking tour* of the North Ward. Newark has many Chinese takeout restaurants, but, bizarrely, their owners and employees seem to commute in from other places. How inconvenient. Wouldn't it make better sense to live here and walk to work?
Second, Gaetano found a website called "When Newark Had a Chinatown", which is working to document the Chinese presence in Newark in prior times.
Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts CenterThe landlord of the last apartment I had in Manhattan was Chinese, from Shanghai. Very nice man. His wife and dauter, tho — yech! It's amazing that such a nice man had such a rotten wife and dauter.
is creating a permanent historical exhibition of this very important part of Newark’s Immigrant history.
Be part of Newark’s History
The Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts Center is interested in speaking with any one who may have experienced Newark’s Chinatown. Photographs, interviews and any other pertinent material will be greatly appreciated.
* It turns out, by the way, that Jeffrey Bennett did not conduct a further walking tour of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery after the tour of Fairmount Cemetery last Sunday. It was closed by the time our Fairmount Tour finished. So I didn't miss anything. I imagine he'll want to guide us thru Holy Sepulchre another time, and I'll try to make that tour.