So many things have come to my attention of late that I literally don't know where to start. Ideally, I'd like to illustrate anything I write about with relevant fotos, but the alternative approach, to write about one thing and put unrelated fotos up as being independently of interest, may have to suffice.
Today's fotos are of some of the facilities of a very active, multiracial community organization in my part of town, Unified Vailsburg Services Organization. It is groups like UVSO and the New Community Corporation (NCC) that held back the barbarians and saved the city long enuf for reinforcements to arrive and turn the tide. Newarkers owe them enormous gratitude.
Office building at San(d)ford Avenue and South Orange Avenue
with a UVSO billboard atop it.
I've also struggled with whether to backfill missing dates or just try not to miss future dates going forward. I stopped a couple of days to look at old items in my ResurgenceCity@aol.com emailbox when it reached 535 items, and trimmed it down to 335 before I had to stop. Many more remain to be filed or otherwise removed. Two days later, it's up to 355, several of which relate to a single matter that, as with the five articles on the NJPAC apartment project, I would have to try to weave together into a coherent presentation, then choose illustrations to liten the resulting text. At least most of the recent items don't require any online research, which is the most time-consuming thing I do in preparing blog entries. For today, let me just mention a few short items.
The billboard is apparently quite old, because it shows a 201 area code, and Newark has had the 973 area code since November 1997. I didn't realize until I just looked it up on
Wikipedia, that parts of Bergen County and both East Newark and Harrison are included in 973, along with (apparently) all of Essex and Sussex Counties and intervening parts of Morris and Passaic Counties. When I got a cellphone, however, there were no 973 numbers available, so my number starts with 201. I have mentioned that 201 is the first area code in numerical order (area codes cannot begin with 1) because AT&T was based in New Jersey, just as the U.S. has country code 1, because the telephone was invented in the U.S.
NJHS Tour. Tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon, the New Jersey Historical Society is offering a one-hour walking tour of its headquarters on Park Place. Tho I'd like to get there, it is frankly a little early in the day for me, and street parking is hard to find and garage parking expensive. It's too cold for me to take the bus to save on parking. Moreover, Society policy is not to permit fotos inside its facility. So I may pass. But if you are in the area and available to tour, seeing the NJHS HQ might be well worth doing.
I'm annoyed with myself for not noting on my calendar, and thus missing, the NJHS guided tour of the interior of Peddie Memorial Church on January 10th. I hope they repeat that tour in warmer weather.
The UVSO logo is above the main entrance to this office building, so I guess either they own it or they have a substantial presence within it.
She's Everywhere! Newark's own Queen Latifah's 2005 comedy, Beauty Shop, was on TV this weekend, and her new film, Mad Money, debuted last week. She also hosted, for the second year in a row, the People's Choice Awards telecast on January 8th, but due to the writers' strike, that show was a ratings disaster, suffering its worst ratings ever, and by a lot. Not Latifah's fault. I saw Ted Danson on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the other nite plugging Mad Money, which he is also in. Ferguson asked how one addresses Queen Latifah when working with her, and Danson said that her friends (including, apparently, him, now) are allowed to call her "Dana". Dana Owens is her birth (and legal?) name.
With all these movie and TV program appearances, plus many commercials, Queen Latifah has become one of the best-known personalities in the Nation, and you see her all over the place. She has never disowned her origins, and continues to visit Newark and East Orange from time to time. Good for her.
Newark's own Shaquille O'Neal is also appearing in commercials, for Icy Hot Heat Therapy.
Between Latifah and Shaq, Newark would be on the Nation's mind in a positive way, a LOT — if, that is, anyone knew they were from Newark.
Refined evergreen plantings outside UVSO Child Development Center.
Essex County Mentioned. Telebrands, the Fairfield-based marketer of gadgets over television, was featured very prominently on the Dr. Phil Show last Wednesday, the 16th. Fairfield, if you don't know, is the township that forms the extreme northwest corner of Essex County.
UVSO Parent & Family Resource Center
Ironbound Mentioned. Newark was apparently mentioned on New York TV yesterday, on Channel 9, WWOR's Hispanic-oriented public-affairs program, American Latino TV. The listing for the show said that one segment would deal with "the growing population of Portuguese and Brazilians in Newark, N.J." Unfortunately, I saw that listing shortly after the show had already ended. I checked the listing for future airings, but none appeared. Drat.
UVSO has turned to good use various formerly vacant buildings, but as the neighborhood revives, some of these fine houses should be returned to the housing market.
Let UVSO take space in vacant storefronts instead.
Newark Mentioned in Classic Sitcom. More surprising to me was a Newark mention I heard recently on Sanford & Son. Did you know we were mentioned there? In an episode shown on TV Land a week ago this past Saturday, Lamont ("Son") is refused by his bride-to-be at the altar, and says to his father, 'Let's move back east [to escape the embarrassment]. We can go to Newark. They've got a black mayor there." Fred ("Sanford") says, however, that the mayor has his own problems. I had seen this episode once before but didn't notice that exchange until that showing. I imagine I was multitasking the other time, working on the computer or doing something else while the TV was on in the background, and just didn't hear that passage. Multitasking is a really bad idea, in general. You can do one thing well or two or more things really badly.
UVSO Teen Center, in what I think is a former convent on the grounds
of Sacred Heart of Vailsburg R.C. Church.
By the way, there is a laundromat in my part of town, at 825 Sandford Avenue, called "Sandford & Suds". Cute, huh? Fortunately, I haven't had to go to a laundromat since I left Manhattan, because I have a washer and dryer in my basement. I can do laundry at 3 o'clock in the morning if I want. That reminds me, I'd better move clothes out of the dryer and move the last load of wash to the dryer now. Talk to you later.