Mt. Carmel; R. Kelly at the Rock; Two Movies; Basketball
Today's "Church Day" fotos are of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, which I saw on Newarkology's walking tour of the Ironbound.
The concert appearance in Newark of the controversial R&B artist R. Kelly came off without a hitch or incident on Thanksgiving Day. So uneventful was the day that not a word of it made the news I saw that day. Today, I thought to check when it was or was yet to be, and found an article on NJ.com, that had some comments afterward. Only one was by someone who was there:
It was not a complete sell out the atmosphere was very nice...young and old alike enjoyed the performances and the sound system is hot in the arena......when R. Kelly performed 90% of the audience stood up for the entire 2 hour set there were blacks, whites, asians,arabics,spanish you name it they were in the building singing and dancing in peace and harmony.......why do people want the Arena to fail[?]The reference to people who want the Arena to fail was prompted by vicious anti-Newark propaganda in earlier comments. Hatred of Newark, as I have mentioned here before, seems to infest the comments area at NJ.com. One person claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint after a Bon Jovi concert. I did a Google search for such an incident and found nothing, so left this comment:
The claim that two women were robbed of their money and cellphones at gunpoint does not jibe with official reports that show no such incident ever occurred, unless media just failed to report that the police did acknowledge such a crime. Certainly the NJ Crime Stats page on the NJ.com website has no record of any such incident, but it may be too recent to be included. If there was any such incident, one has to ask if the (alleged) victims made out a police report. If so, I'm sure someone at the Star-Ledger, News 12 New Jersey, or other media would want to see a copy. Newspapers love to expose police coverups. Until and unless such a media exposé occurs, we must conclude that this incident is an absolute fabrication by anti-Newark propagandists.
What motivates these people? It's not hard to see. Another comment reads:
For those of you who enter negative comments about the [Prudential Center] everyday, you really are showing your true colors. You show them to people like me that can read between the lines.I know those lines! Good choice of words: "true colors".
Movies with an NJ Connection. For some reason, in this age of endless repetition on television, two movies involving New Jersey are being shown at least three times each this weekend on the Lifetime cable channel. In Miss Congeniality, Sandra Bullock plays an FBI agent placed as the Miss New Jersey contestant in a beauty — sorry: scholarship — pageant to prevent some murderous loon from blowing the pageant up. Why New Jersey? Well, it's a comedy, and New Jersey is supposed to be funny, I guess. The original contestant had to drop out due to her being found out as having starred in a porno movie, Armageddon On! I watched only enuf (of Miss Congeniality) to find out why the FBI agent was to be Miss New Jersey, since Sandra Bullock is from Virginia (tho she spent much of her childhood traveling in Europe with her mother, a German opera singer) and has no New Jersey connection.
The other oft-repeated movie this weekend, Beauty Shop, stars Newark's own Queen Latifah, as owner of an Atlanta beauty salon. Someday Miss Owens (Dana Owens is Queen Latifah's real name) may have enuf clout to set the movies she stars in, in New Jersey, and preferably Newark. This year, Newark's Queen and Englewood's John Travolta starred together in the movie Hairspray, set in Baltimore. Maybe someday someone will produce a movie set in New Jersey and starring prominent New Jerseyans. We've got lots to choose from.
Basketball Blog. Gaetano found a Sports Illustrated/CNN fotoblog entry, by Luke Winn, about Friday's Legends Classic that showed four pix, one of them of the sparse crowd after the main event. A couple of the negative comments prompted me to add my own:
The hard-luck story of one person (even if it can be believed; a desperately poor person who nonetheless has Internet access) who was laid low by a stroke has nothing to do with the Arena or the condition of the city of Newark generally.
There are two plaques about bells. I guess that means that there are at least two bells in the belltower shown, below, in the last foto today.
It will indeed take a while to build an audience for Prudential Center events that are as poorly publicized as the Legends Classic was, but over 200,000 people have visited in the Arena's first month. Only implicit in the blog writer's account and fotos is that Newark has some beautiful things, and people can attend events at the Prudential Center without being killed, maimed, or even robbed! -- so a lot of what they've been told about 'hellhole Newark' is absolutely false. It's too bad people have to divine that for themselves rather than see it stated expressly.
As for the crowd, or lack thereof, if there had been a New Jersey team in these games, Seton Hall or Rutgers, that would have been an entirely different story. Why would New Jerseyans (and New Yorkers, a quick train ride away) care about college basketball teams from New Mexico, Texas, West Virginia, and Tennessee? You put Duke against Rutgers, or Seton Hall against St. John's, and you've got a crowd.The Legends Classic was created only this year. Whether it builds in popularity or is discontinued due to lack of interest remains to be seen. If a "March Madness" late-round series of games in the Rock were to fail to get a crowd, we'd know we have a problem. But it's much too soon to worry about the viability of an Arena in which the city has invested so much money and hope. I'm sure it will be fine.
The sun is close to the right top of this foto, so the lite leak has partly ruined it. In that I could not know how soon I'd get back (all the way across the city), I'm showing this less-than-splendid picture anyway.