Get to know Newark, NJ

26 Aug

Since many of you will be traveling to Newark for our wedding, I figured it would be helpful to list some interesting facts about “Brick City”:

Newark Skyline

  • With a population of 277,140, Newark is the largest city in New Jersey and the 68th largest city in the US. It is also the 13th most densely populated city in the country, at 11,494 people per square mile.
  • Lots of people know about current Newark mayor Cory Booker, a political superstar who is known for responding to peoples’ Tweets in a matter of minutes. But did you know that five of the city’s last seven mayors have been indicted on criminal charges?  Talk about consistency!
  • Newark has the second highest percentage of renters of any city in the US (76.2%). Number one? That’s nearby Union, NJ (81.8%), which is a mere hop, skip and a jump from where Danielle and I grew up.
  • The city is home to many a sports team, including the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and my favorite NBA team, the New Jersey Nets (though they will be the Brooklyn Nets by the time Danielle and I get married). But I think we can agree that the best Newark sports team is the minor league Newark Bears, which boasts the likes of Ricky Henderson (Hall of Famer), Jose Lima (dead), Jose Canseco (admitted steroids abuser) and Jim Leyrtiz (drunk driver) as alumni.

The following celebrities have all lived in Newark:

  • Jason Alexander – Born in Newark in 1959, Alexander grew up in Livingston, NJ – a neighboring town to where Danielle and I grew up (much nicer than Union).
  • Joe Pesci – One of only two people in the world to be in both the Sticky and Wet Bandits (Home Alone joke, people), Pesci was born in Newark in 1943.
  • Paul Simon – He was born in Newark in 1941 under the name Pinchas Ziman. Wow, that is a super Jewish name. Also, I am told he held me when I was a baby.
  • Max Weinberg – Mighty Max was born in Newark in 1951 before 1) going to high school with Danielle’s mom and 2) going to my temple.
  • Aaron Burr – The noted dueler was born in Newark in 1756, long before starring in one of my favorite commercials of all time.
  • Moe Berg – He moved to Newark in 1910. Never heard of him? Check our his resume – Jewish, Major League Baseball player and World War II spy! Not too shabby.

Finally, some facts on the National Newark Building, which is where our wedding will take place:

National Newark Building

  • It was built in 1931 and underwent a $68 million renovation in 2002
  • Until 1997, it was owned by Leona Helmsley, who famously left her dog, Trouble, a $12 million estate when she died
  • At 465 feet, it is the tallest building in Newark. In fact, until 1989, it was the tallest building in all of New Jersey. Now it is just the 12th largest building in the state

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