It’s the time of year when we begin taking stock and counting down. 2014 been a fantastic year for BrickCityLive.com. This was our first full year of operation, and we’re so grateful for every visitor who has read, commented on, and shared our content about what’s new in Newark.
In that vein, we plundered our site data to pull out the top 10 most-trafficked stories of 2014. We’d like to send a very heartfelt thank you to our incomparable editorial summer intern, Brian Pujada, and to contributors Halashon Sianipar, Ilie Mitaru and Owen Petrie (whose blog Insightful Riot you should check out), whose sharp analyses about Newark made it to the top of this list.
Without further ado, here are BrickCityLive.com’s top ten stories of 2014.
Sadly, 2014 has been another gut-wrenching year in Newark in terms of violent crime and murders. With the grim headlines about felled Newarkers being published every few days – the reported homicide count for 2014 stands at 93 people as of this publishing – we wanted to take a step back to offer readers a closer look at what crime statistics reported in the news actually mean, and what questions you should ask when encountering crime statistics about Newark, or any other place. Read full story.
Newarkers were proud to learn that local entrepreneur Taseen Peterson and his partners won a pitch competition at South by Southwest this spring for their productivity app Notefuly. At the time we posted the article, Peterson, who moved to Newark from Elizabeth at age 13 and subsequently attended Seton Hall University, was looking to move back to Newark in order to live closer to its burgeoning tech community. We’re happy to report that he’s since made that move. Read full story.
The temporary coworking space launched at SEED Gallery downtown, and was open on Thursdays for current and aspiring entrepreneurs to work on their businesses. The launch of the coworking space was indicative of a need to find centralized places for enterprising Newarkers to share knowledge, collaborate on projects, and learn from more seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals. This fall, =Space (pronounced “Equal Space”) launched further up Market Street to offer similar services on a daily basis. Read full story.
The sudden passing of Rutgers professor Dr. Clement Price came as a shock to many, both in town and in the broader academic community. In this piece, we gathered reactions to Dr. Price’s passing in the hours and days after the initial reports. Money quote: “We won’t need to ‘wait and see’ to know that Dr. Price’s passing is a profound loss not only for his loved ones and those he touched within the classroom and his professional orbit, but for the city of Newark, and the way we understand the city’s past and its application to our present and future. Dr. Price was incredibly generous about transmitting his knowledge and insight – it was his life’s work – but he was nonetheless a font of knowledge and experience that will never be replicated.” Read full story.
6. Black like…? In a largely black city, the mayor’s race is being cast along very blurred racial lines
Remember the election? If you’re like us, it seems like it was decided a lot longer ago than just this past May. In this op-ed piece published in the thick of the race, writer Owen Petrie discusses the racial politics in an election between two Newark-born black men. And the piece has legs — we think the themes explored here will be worth revisiting as Mayor Baraka’s term in office unfolds: how will his actions and policies measure up to the preconceptions and assumptions noted in this piece a year, two years, and a full term after it was published? Read full story, and read more from Petrie at his website, Insightful Riot.
How does a piece that clocks in at a mere 44 words make it to the top half of our top ten list? Because it’s about Bey-Z. Actually, it’s about Jayonce’s mother/in-law, who opened a restaurant in Newark this year named Diamondz N Da Rough. The restaurant seems tucked away in its location on Clay Street, but it’s actually a pretty straight shot from Route 21/McCarter Highway. Read full (44-word) story.
Prompted by what some might see as a throwaway caption in a Bloomberg article about Mayor Ras Baraka, BrickCityLive.com editor Andaiye Taylor had had enough. In this open letter to her fellow journalists, she urges them to stop reporting on the city using worn out clichés and, more nefariously, by purposefully framing the city in ways that adhere to played out narratives. The article struck a nerve with readers — even Senator Cory Booker weighed in to cosign the sentiment. Read full story.
In this video by journalist Ilie Mitaru, we accompany a New York executive who lives in Harlem as he tours a Market Street loft, and talk to a Fidelco Realty executive about why the time seems to be ripe for a residential comeback downtown Newark. What does downtown Newark offer in the way of residential life that New York doesn’t? Watch above to find out!
In his thoughtful piece, former Newark public school educator Halashon Sianipar reacts to Cami Anderson’s education plan. The piece foreshadows an impassioned challenge from some of Newark’s parents, politicians, and community members to the plan: some of them filed state and federal civil rights complaints just before the 2014-2015 school year began. Read full story.
Sianipar was the only author to top himself when he penned another open letter later in the year – this time to Ras Baraka, who had been his choice for mayor. In this piece, Sianipar offers points of praise and of constructive critique, including of some of the vagueness in the Newark Promise plan Baraka endorsed (though Sianipar agreed with the spirit of the plan), the anti-loitering proposal in Baraka’s crime plan, and Baraka’s aversion to “Brick City” as a nickname for Newark (we. did. not. put. him. up. to. that…but we agree!). He was also curious about Baraka’s musical proclivities: “What hip-hop do you still bump?” Sianipar asked. (We’re still waiting for an answer.) Read full story.