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Archive for the ‘Brick City’ Category

Brick City #2 – Crush the Suburbs

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Today I trekked out of the Ironbound and into Downtown Newark in search of a cafe I found online called The Coffee Cave.

I crossed over McCarter Highway (which is only sort of a highway) and onto Broad St., which is a street I’ve driven down plenty of times to get to Newark Penn Station, but have only once before actually set foot on. It was a clear change from the decidedly European aesthetic of the Ironbound only a few blocks away; the people around me stopped being primarily Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian and it quickly became apparent this was a predominantly Black neighborhood.

It felt a lot more like a bustling city, too, as everything was a lot more hectic and noisy and walking around required zig-zagging and circumnavigating other pedestrians. But it also, quite frankly, felt more like a ghetto with giant, colorful, somehow cheap-looking signs over 99-cent and clothing stores and nail salons. I think if you have a picture of what an American ghetto (or at least an East Coast American ghetto) looks like in your mind, it looks like Broad Street in Newark.


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Written by Joe

September 7th, 2012 at 1:23 am

Brick City #1 – I Just Moved to Newark

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My first real day in Newark was ADORABLE. I went into a shoppe known as “Walgreen’s” and the young lady in there seemed very exasperated and said, “Man, it’s so busy today…” I said, “How much longer do you have to work?” She said, “Till 12:30 tonight.” I said, “Oh, I’m sorry.” She said, “It’s okay.”

I sojourned to another shoppe that sold things all at the price of 99 cents! There I purchased a garbage pail for the kitchen. I asked the shopkeep if there might be a bigger pail anywhere? She said that if I did not see one back there, one did not exist, then added, “The truck is supposed to come and deliver more tomorrow. I HOPE it comes.” I chuckled good-naturedly.

On my way back to my apartment, I came upon an older woman having trouble attempting to shutter the windows of her shoppe. She appealed to me for assistance, I believe in Spanish, but it might have been Portuguese. I closed the shutter for her and she, realizing I was an English-speaker, said “Thank you.” “You’re welcome,” I said, then added, “De nada.” She said something or another that I think meant I’d chosen the right language. I think.

All in all, I felt like a right ’50s gadabout of the town, friendly to all, helpful to some!

Written by Joe

September 6th, 2012 at 7:54 pm