Thursday, 1 October 2009

Newark doesn't completely suck....

Newark, New Jersey has a big airport serving NYC so most people don’t stay here unless they arrive late or are actually coming to Newark for a conference because it does seem to have a lot of conference facilities. However, another reason people don’t stay is that everyone thinks Newark (and New Jersey in general) sucks! In fact the only positive reaction I got was about the great view of the NYC skyline if you are in the right place in Newark which fortunately we were!

This was sunrise over NYC from the 10th floor of the Newark Best Western and was a very nice start to the trip. A walk downtown was also very pleasant and I don’t think Newark deserves such a bad press. It has a good museum (which unfortunately doesn’t open till midday) and quite a few old and architecturally diverse churches and other buildings. Reminders of Newark's industrial past are very visible especially in some of the huge old iron railway bridges. It also has a great performing arts centre with a whole walk of fame consisting of bronze paving slabs showing everyone famous who comes from New Jersey. Everyone knows about Bruce Springsteen but Jack Nicholson, Sarah Vaughan, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Tony Bennett, Whitney Houston and too many others to remember are all from New Jersey.

Although we were up too early to see much else, we did bump into Patrick Alexander, the proprieter of the Cutting Zone....

He opened up his barbershop 11 years ago after a stint in the US army and as well as cutting hair he paints. Other members of his family paint as do several of his friends so…. he turned his barbershop into an art gallery so he could show all their work. He also has a keyboard and amp in there so he and I guess anyone who can play are welcome to come in and belt out a few tunes as well. So along with the view, the architecture, the walk of fame and the iron bridges Ther Cutting Zone is definitely another Newark highlight.


  1. Are you serious? Personally, Newark is the least attractive place I've visited, ever. Huge culture shock of sorts to those visiting outside the tri-state, and mom-of-shocks for those visiting from the GCC. You like Newark downtown? Did you actually drive on the roads - like the pot holes? :) The few times I've visted Newark, never felt safe. The airport is not bad, however, the ground view (baring NYC skline) prior to landing at Newark is an eyesore for tourists and the like. Feels another world.

  2. Though yes, I agree, Newark does have a few good spots.

  3. OMG! This is the most fascinating, eye-opening observation of people that is ever going to happen!

    Love you both, and with much envy!!!



  4. Thanks for comments! I was being kind to Newark I guess but I really did like the leafy area down by the museum and there are afew quirky little shops down there too. Also the barbershop guy told me there's a new cafe / gallery opened up near him and there are a few arty types emerging so obviously I'm interested! But ... the concrete slab with a fountain referred to as a park when you walk up from Penn station is dire and very depressing. Should be ripped up and started again without a doubt!

  5. Hi, THis is Patrick A, The Barber At The Cutting Zone, Thank you Valerie, for the nice Pictures, and just stopping by for a moment,you take very nice pictures, please come again.