Two Arts Events Friday; Vorwaerts; 'End of Fear'; Firemen Calendar
Redsaw Gallery and Newark Art Supply are both having receptions tomorrow starting at 6pm, to open two separate art shows. I haven't yet been to Newark Art Supply (61 Halsey Street), but I did get to one event at Redsaw (585 Broad Street), the Lilliput show.
The Redsaw show is called "String Theory", and features works by Bethany Jean Fancher, Brooke Ripley, and William Oliwa. It runs thru the 30th. "Also exhibiting: Jennifer Watson and Rebecca Jampol at 27 Mix - Colleen Gutwein in Redsaw’s Reception Gallery". The gallery is up two long, steep flites of stairs just north of Aljira.
The Newark Art Supply show, at Halsey and New Streets, also runs thru the 30th. Titled "From Across the Border", it is a collaboration of The Border Collective, a group of 11 artists whose names indicate we are not talking about the Canadian border. I might have shown their names except that the store chose to put that info into a .JPG image, so I can't just lift it into this text, and I'm not typing it. You can follow the link earlier in this paragraph and read the names for yourself, if they are likely to mean something to you. I don't recognize any of the names in either show.
Today I present 3 fotos from the Ironbound. The first two are of what was once the offices of a daily, German-language, Socialist Labor Party newspaper, Vorwaerts ("Forward"), on Wilson Avenue. When the paper was being published, before World War I, the name of the road was Hamburg Place, and the area was heavily German. In this first foto, it looks at first glance as tho a shadow falls midway in the word "Vorwaerts". But if you look at the shadow on the window below the name, it becomes clear that something else is at work.
'End of Fear'? Gaetano found a commentary by (Bergen) Record columnist Lawrence Aaron last Sunday entitled, "Dawn of new era for Newark".
Before the arena's October debut, colleges and universities in downtown Newark ... were already making the city a destination instead of a transfer point or pass-through with a reputation for murder and violence.
Downtown Newark will never be mistaken for New York City. But for the past 10 days, the spirit radiating in the streets around the newly opened arena has been at times a mix of Times Square, Disney World and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
If downtown Newark is safe for the throngs of young women wandering from the train to the concert, then it must be safe for other suburbanites and metro New Yorkers venturing into it.
Here comes the suburban crowd who fled decades ago, and New Yorkers priced out of Brooklyn thinking about settling in Newark, right? Maybe not right away. But, banking on a retailing and residential development boom, Newark is poised for a metamorphosis perhaps in about five years, provided the murders stop.
Pedestrians casually strolling from Penn Station to the arena nicknamed "The Rock" seem to signal the end of fear.
This wider view shows that what had once been a unified headquarters for a newspaper is now apparently under separate owners, one of which has apparently chosen to wash its portion of the brick façade but the other not.
I sent him this note:
Fear of Downtown Newark has been hugely exaggerated for years, bearing little resemblance to the real risks, which are minimal. As most people learn over the course of years, much of what we fear turns out to be absurdly unrealistic. Dread is mostly irration, be it a kid's dread of his first trip to the dentist or a suburbanite's dread of her first trip to Newark.
Manhattanites are a different problem. They regard Newark as about two blocks short of the other side of the moon. It's not that they are afraid to come here. It's just that Newark is just too ... too ... not-Manhattan, too New JERSEY, too déclassé, as tho no self-respecting New Yorker would be caught dead in Newark. (I lived in Manhattan for 35 years. I know whereof I speak.)
We might expect to get more Brooklynites than Manhattanites, given that Brooklynites are used to traveling under a river by train, and don't have their nose in the air. Ditto Queens, Staten Island, and even the Bronx. But the main hinterland for Newark is our own 'burbs. They are the watershed. Newark is the river. If we can in-gather the young suburbanites who were taken there by their parents and just don't know Newark, we have a brilliant future. If we can in-gather the older suburbanites, now empty-nesters, who have little reason to remain in a too-big house in a too-far suburb, we have a brilliant future.
And it's not even really "provided the murders stop". The murders get the headlines -- "If it bleeds, it leads." But that's the media's fault. The whole story would be a very different story from what dominates the headlines: most of the murders, most of the violent crime, is related to the drug trade and restricted in geographic scope to the worst parts of some neighborhoods. Responsible media could publish, online for long-term reference, color-coded maps showing crime rates by neighborhood and type of crime; and show a map of New York City with the same info in the same colors to give people a basis of comparison. I suspect many people would be startled to see that areas they wouldn't hesitate to walk in, in Manhattan, aren't actually any/much safer than Downtown Newark, Vailsburg, Forest Hill, or the Ironbound. I haven't actually generated, nor found online, any such maps, but, then, that's not my job. Providing necessary information to the public is the job of media, a job they are doing woefully badly. Cheers.
Here's a view of a firehouse in the Ironbound, on Prospect Street diagonally opposite Sport Clube Português. Portuguese and Brazilians have replaced Germans as the dominant immigrant group in the area.
Calendar Boys. There was an odd event I did not get to today, the debut of a beefcake calendar featuring Newark firemen, at "the newest Newark firehouse" (360 Clinton Avenue). Sale proceeds are to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Ironbound. My older sister works for the Boys and Girls Clubs in Long Beach, California, but I regard it as socially most unwise to take resources away from boys at a time when their character is being formed, instead to direct those resources to girls. It may well be that every dollar taken from boys is two dollars — or ten — that boys who feel cheated and unvalued in childhood will take from society, by force, later in life. The bulk of people in prisons are male, which is exactly why places like the Boys Club were established to begin with.
In any case, I did not attend the calendar event but am curious to see the calendar fotos. New York firemen are much better-looking than either cops or the general run of the population. I wonder if that holds for Newark firemen. The son of the man from whom I bought my house was a Newark fireman, and much more than presentable.
Calendars may be purchased three ways: Call Capt. Danny Farrell of the Newark Fire Department, 973-733-7444, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Clinton Avenue Firehouse. Calendars are $15.00, tax free.I need several calendars each year, at least one for each of my three floors, plus, now, one to keep track of Newark events. I usually get National Geographic or kitten calendars. But maybe I'll get a Newark firemen calendar. To help the kids.