During the colonial era, Newark was a relatively large city, and was known for its ciders, leather goods, and good beer. Unlike most of New England, however, Newark was remarkably loyal to the old Puritan ways. It was even very receptive to the Great Awakening, which was largely unpopular at Harvard and Yale. Newark was also the birthplace of Vice President Aaron Burr, who later founded the College of New Jersey in nearby Elizabeth.
The city of “Old Iron” is the largest neighborhood in Newark, and it is one of the city’s most historic and culturally rich. While it is smaller than nearby New York City, this area is still considered one of the nation’s most affluent and culturally diverse regions. In fact, Newark has a diverse population. The city is comprised of five distinct wards, each with a distinct personality.
While most people associate the city with its downtown core, other districts are also experiencing revitalization. The city’s overall poverty level has dropped by 20% in the past decade, while its unemployment rate has increased by 7%. While the city’s poverty level is lower than average, it still remains an issue. A large part of this decline can be traced to the riots that occurred in 1967. This, coupled with white flight, caused a substantial loss of population in the city.
Another district in the city with an eclectic cultural scene is the Lincoln Park/Coast neighbourhood. This area, formerly known as “The Coast,” is considered a cultural district by the city and features a museum dedicated to African American music, the Aljira American Dance Theatre, and a new art museum. The museum has hosted a diverse group of performers over the years, from Sting to Itzhak Perlman.
For those who are travelling by car, the city offers numerous bus and train services. The city’s extensive bus system is operated by the New Jersey Transit (NJT), and two light rail lines run through downtown. The Broad Street Line provides subway service through neighboring Bloomfield and the University Heights section. If you’re looking for an inexpensive ride in Newark, New Jersey taxis are available. Newark taxis are metered, and a taxi fare can be bargained. If you’re unsure of what taxi fare you should expect, just call or hail a taxi in the street.
While Newark is no longer the industrial colossus of the past, there is still a fair amount of industry in the city. Industrial areas in the southern part of the Ironbound, otherwise known as the Industrial Meadowlands, are home to several large factories, including the Anheuser Busch brewery. The city’s population is a mix of immigrants and natives, and diversity is evident throughout the city. In addition to manufacturing and business, Newark is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a wide cultural and ethnic diversity.
Visitors to Newark should visit the New Jersey Historical Society. The Society is located on Park Place across from Military Park. This Georgian-style building features two floors of exhibits, a lecture hall, and a library reading room. In addition to the NJ Historical Society, visitors can take part in walking tours of the city. The Society also publishes the New Jersey Historical Journal, and interactive tutorials help visitors use its collections. Its website often lists upcoming events.