City of Newark announces land sale for lovers: Lots for $1,000 on Valentine’s Day

In a bid to entice couples to invest in the city with their residency, the City of Newark has announced that it will be selling 100 lots on a first-come, first-serve basis to couples for $1,000 apiece on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The effort comes on the heels of their announcement of the “Live Newark” program, which will incentivize municipal employees and public school teachers to purchase residences in the city, and a call for city artists to develop proposals for neighborhood colonies — particularly in West and South Ward neighborhoods included in the model neighborhood initiative.

In their website notice, the city underscores that the sale is for aspiring residents who want to build new homes on the lots — not for investors or developers. The city plans to enforce this rule by making all sales subject to final approval by the Municipal Council, requiring purchasers to live on the lot for five years after closing, and making site plans subject to approval by the City Planning Board.

Visit the city’s website for a map and list of the lots for sale.

Stevie Wonder announces “Songs in the Key of Life” tour to play Newark

Legendary singer, songwriter, musician and producer Stevie Wonder has announced an extended run of dates for his “Songs in the Key of Life” tour due to popular demand. Wonder will bring the critically-acclaimed performance, which is a live adaptation of the iconic Songs in the Key of Life album, to Prudential Center on April 14th.

Rolling Stone declared that “the show is possibly 2014’s greatest testament to the limitless potential of American music itself,” while Billboard stated that “the music still resonates” and that Wonder provides an “electrifying concert… and had the audience roaring and standing on its feet.”

The tour’s initial run kicked off November 6, 2014 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden and concluded on December 5, 2014 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, after stops in cities such as Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Seattle.

Throughout his career, the celebrated singer has amassed 49 Top 40 singles, 32 #1 singles and worldwide album sales of more than 100 million units. He has received 25 Grammy Awards, an Oscar, and a Golden Globe; is an inductee into the Rock and Roll, Songwriters’ and NAACP Halls of Fame; and is the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

General tickets will be available beginning Saturday, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

Is your neighborhood in one of Newark’s redevelopment zones? Check out city’s interactive zoning map to find out

The Newark Planning Office has announced the beta version of its interactive map that shows proposed zoning and land use regulations for the city, with color-coded tracts marking zones for residences, commercial space, industrial space, institutional space, parks and green space, and other categories. The office defines the zones in a partially completed key linked from the map.

The map enables users to search Newark addresses (only the street address is necessary), which will zoom them in directly on the searched lot and neighborhood to find out what is currently planned for their area.

While many of those plans will closely resemble the status quo in terms of land use, the map also identifies nine “redevelopment districts” – colored gray on the map – which are subject to comprehensive redevelopment plans “that supercede general zoning,” according to the planning office’s website. Residents who are curious about whether major changes are on the books for near where they live should check there first. The plans for each of those nine redevelopment zones – which were approved by the Municipal Council mostly within the past seven years  (the version of the plan provided for the downtown district is dated 2004 – are included beneath the map.

A call for public art proposals: Gateway Project’s “You Are Now Here”

From The Gateway Project:

“You Are Now Here” is a public art exhibition that calls for artists to produce work based on their interactions with a city’s current character and culture. The work prompts artists to publicaly actualize dialogue on the city among the diverse constituents that travel Newark’s Gateway Center concourse.

By orchestrating a hypothetical global roundtable, the 30,000 people that walk through the concourse each day are asked to consider “Now” and “Here” while making their way through the mile-long exhibition. The world created by You Are Now Here presents a variety of issues and questions from different perspectives. Its purpose is to embrace the diversity that makes the city of Newark so unique. Consequently, this show, which is a public art exhibition, is meant to embrace and explore the idea of “publicness” in all of its forms.

The Gateway Center concourse, an indoor street attached to Newark Pennsylvania Station, serves as a resting area for commuters on their travels throughout the The Northeast Corridor, nationally and internationally.  Several questions should be considered for this installation: how can we relay the ideas of local visionaries, leaders, and creatives? How can we address a city’s history, visually highlighting both struggles and successes in the short walk from one end of the concourse to the other, in a manner that mirrors the moment in history that we are living in? How does the city’s current culture compare to that of other cities? Is there a sense of nostalgia that is transcends all city-spaces? Is there room for chimera; moreover, is there space to make our dreams for and about a cityscape into a visual reality? Where does the whimsy of our personal interpretations, sentimentalities, and wishes situate itself within the context of ‘here’ and ‘now’?


Deadline February 1, 2015
The Gateway Center; Newark NJ
Bi – Annual Public Art Exhibition
Curated by Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Jampol


How to pay your Newark property taxes online or over the phone

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Acting Finance Director Danielle A. Smith announced today that Newark property owners can pay their property taxes on-line or by phone, starting today, and use credit cards, debit cards, or e-checks to do so.

Taxpayers can use the City website at or pay over the phone at 1-888-877-0450.

“We are determined to give our taxpayers the highest quality of services possible, making use of cutting-edge 21stcentury technology,” Mayor Baraka said. “Enabling taxpayers to pay their property taxes on-line adds to their convenience, our efficiency, and helps us transform Newark into a City we can all believe in.”

Taxpayers can use Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express, or e-checks to pay online property taxes. Taxpayers who use credit or debit cards will be assessed a 2.25 percent convenience fee (with a minimum of $3.75) for doing so, while e-check users will pay a $0.99 convenience fee.

Taxpayers using Master Card, Visa, Discover, or American Express at the cashier window in the Revenue Collections Office, Room 104, City Hall will also assess a 2.25 percent convenience fee (with a minimum of $3.75).

The on-line and phone payment systems are operational as of Wednesday, January 28.

Gallery opening: Lost Innocence: Painting

Gallery Aferro will host Lost Innocence: Paintings on  view February 20, through March 21, 2015. The exhibition features a selection of painting displayed at 85 Markets Street, part of the Activate: Market Street series.

In the exhibition, the artist merges childhood familiarity with the many realities imposed. This collection blurs the barriers between popular fantasy and reality, to invite a wider view of what “is” – celebrating the illusion of life, death and dreams, bringing them together and erasing all boundaries.

It was the NYC streets corners, the barrios, the bodegas, the housing projects, and all the stories that they spawned. Those stories, Saturday morning cartoons and the elements of Hip Hop music that guided this series. All the pieces have an individual story to tell, a lesson to be taken. From “Alpha Male” starring the cartoon character Alf, Alfalfa and others, it’s a play on words and imagery conveying a story about that aggressive male energy. The “ShoeBox Business” blurs the line between innocent sesame street characters and the cocaine business that the Dominicans in Washington Heights dubbed the shoebox business. All these pieces bring color, light and magic to a grim gloomy situation. These paintings are like tombstones for a nostalgic time that has passed.

Do Not Pass Go: Downtown Newark road closures January 26 – 28

Via Newark Downtown District, road closures at downtown intersections will be in place Monday through Wednesday of next week due to construction:

Please be advised that Rutgers Police Department has informed the Newark Downtown District that there will be construction in front of 15 Washington Street on the following dates:

  • Monday, January 26, 2015: Washington Street from 7:00 AM to approximately 4:00 PM.
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015: This construction will result in a road closure at the intersection of Washington Street and James Street from 4:30 AM to approximately 4:30 PM. Vehicular traffic will be permitted on James Street while Washington Street is closed.
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015: This  construction will result in a partial road closure on Essex Street (between James Street and the  rear of 15 Washington Street) from 5:30 AM  to approximately 5:30 PM.


Newark creative entrepreneur D’TaRelle Tullis among graduates of Rising Tide Capital’s latest Community Business Academy

Late last week, 146 entrepreneurs — including 56 from Essex County — graduated from Rising Tide Capital’s (RTC) nationally recognized 12-week Community Business Academy (CBA) with a newly-acquired business education, an expanded network, and access to the support and resources they need to start or grow a successful business. In a historic moment in the organization’s 10-year history, the 1,000th entrepreneur graduated from the program, as part of the largest CBA class to-date.

The new RTC entrepreneurs joined an alumni network of 968 CBA graduates across Northern New Jersey in a graduation ceremony held at Saint Peter’s University. Featured speakers included Virginia Bender of Saint Peter’s University, Rising Tide Capital’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Doug Forrester, cofounders Alex Forrester and Alfa Demmellash as well as representatives from the eight sessions of the CBA. During the ceremony, graduates received a Community Business Academy completion certificate and free membership into the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

Among the graduating class was Newark native D’TaRelle Tullis, who is making a difference in her local community. With a mission to fight childhood obesity and provide affordable dance classes to surrounding communities, Tullis started her mobile dance studio Pitter Patter Feet in 1993. Starting with schools in urban cities like Newark, Maplewood and Irvington—she teaches ballet, hip hop, jazz and tap to youth combining dance with classroom instruction.

“Most families in my hometown lack the funds to offer their children professional dance classes; my business allows me to provide that opportunity. While my parents were unable to afford dance classes while I was growing up, I hope to infuse physical activity into the everyday curriculum to ensure the optimal development of youth,” she said.

With clients ranging from childcare facilities to public schools, Tullis uses her expertise as a New Jersey State approved consultant and trainer in early childhood development to create classes that provide physical and social development. While she started her business 22 years ago, Tullis took the Community Business Academy to gain the business and financial management acumen to sustain her business.

“I been in business for a really long time, however while I enjoyed the artistic side of teaching the dance classes I needed help with actually running the business. The CBA was extremely valuable. I learned that I needed to create a system to my everyday work to ensure I deliver excellent quality services. I also learned a lot about myself and built lasting relationships with my classmates and instructors.”

Since taking the Community Business Academy, Tulis has won $3,000 for Pitter Patter Feet after pitching her business in the Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge.  She says her participation in the CBA gave her the additional boost of confidence needed to present her business and talk about pricing and book keeping. Tullis plans to explore options for creating online classes to expand her reach to more students.

The CBA, offered in locations throughout Hudson and Essex Counties, teaches entrepreneurs business fundamentals including budgeting, marketing, bookkeeping and financing.  Each CBA student receives a full-tuition waiver—covered by Rising Tide Capital’s funding partners—and continued business support through the Business Acceleration Services Program.

See a special screening of Selma on MLK Day for less than $5

Newark’s CityPlex 12 movie theater is offering a special screening of Ava Duvernay’s Selma, a film about the pivotal 1965 march. Hailed for its performances, for underscoring the severe threats braved by marchers, and for elevating civil rights heroes who have heretofore been unsung, the movie is also incredibly timely in the wake of present-day protest movements in the wake of grand juries’ failure to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.

CityPlex12 is offering the screening at the discounted price of $4.95 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, January 19 at 9AM. See the flyer below for more information about the special screening.


Newark Winterfest schedule through Christmas Day

Here is the latest schedule of events for Newark Winterfest, which kicked off last Monday, December 8. See the dates below for Winterfest events through Christmas.

The holiday festival is across the street from the Prudential Center at Championship Plaza, located at Mulberry Street between Market Street and Edison Place. All festival events take place between 3:00 p.m. and 7 :00p.m.

Tuesday, December 16

  • 3 p.m.: Winterfest Marketplace
  • 5 p.m.: Hypnotist Comedian

Wednesday, December 17

  • 5 p.m.: NJ Devils FanFest

Thursday, December 18

  • 3 p.m. Horse and carriage rides
  • 5 p.m. Holiday Carolers

Friday, December 19

  • 5 p.m.: NJ Devils FanFest

Saturday, December 20

  • 5 p.m.: NJ Devils FanFest

Monday, December 22

  • 3 p.m.: Live music by Christopher Dean Band

Tuesday, December 23

  • 5 p.m.: NJ Devils FanFest

Be sure to tag your #Winterfest photos – perhaps they’ll turn up in our “Best of” recap!