Newark might be one of few the places where the politics is tougher than even Brooklyn.
The Best Thing About Newark?
Next To But Not New York
Chances are if you’ve heard of Newark and you're from the Midwest or West Coast, it’s in relation to the airport -- a global transportation hub and one of the most common ways folks fly to the New York metropolitan area. But Newark has a lot more to offer than just an easy way into the city. In fact, it has all of the benefits of living in a smaller community, while only being a hop, skip and jump from the Big Apple.
Here's a point of view on Newark from a recent transplant:
I moved into my girlfriend's Ironbound apartment about two months ago after living in the Linden/Rahway area for 5+ years. It's been fantastic. There are a lot of good restaurants/bars/clubs and the neighborhood is great for walking (99% of drivers respect the numerous crosswalks). I work in Avenel and my commute from Newark has only increased 5-10min from when I was in Linden due to the easy access to the Turnpike.
For more reviews of Newark from locals check out: The Buzz
The Worst Thing About Newark?
Newark has a historical reputation for crime that they've made remarkable progress on in recent years. Where they still struggle is with the quality of the public schools. Zuckerberg gave $100 million a few years back to try to whip them into shape but as with most attempts to fix things from the outside with a giant bag of money those who actually live in Newark played little role in the fix and it appears to have failed. Continued progress in this area would truly elevate Newark.
Here's a pov on school system in Newark from a local:
Here's the deal: School's are ranked based on how well students do on standardized testing. Low income students on average do worse than middle and upper class students on standardized tests for a variety of reasons. Therefore, school rankings are largely a measure of the poverty of school districts rather than an assessment of if a school is actually serving its students. As long as Newark remains a poor city, its schools won't rank very high on official lists. That doesn't mean that there aren't good schools in Newark. A school can be great and still have students who do poorly on standardized tests. I don't think there is a way to actually rank or score schools that will give you an accurate picture. The only way to know if a school is "good" is to visit it in person.
How You Living?
Under the Radar
Newark offers much of the same of any typical city -- with the added benefit of being so close to major cities, sports teams and transportation hubs. The danger is real, but there are neighborhoods and suburbs that are safer than others and families have lots of the types of activities you’d expect in a city this size.
Let's talk about three distinct Newark neighborhoods:
University Heights gets its name from the four advanced schools in the neighborhood including Rutgers. Living here means you are surrounded by 32,000 students which gives the area big youthful energy. As is always the case, this energy and reasonable housing prices is pulling in droves of young professionals.
Downtown Newark is at the center of the business, culture and entertainment scene and for those commuting to NYC you have instant access to the New Light Rail.
Finally, if you're looking from an escape from the NYC or Newark city scene then look at Forest Hill. This is suburbia at its finest but within the city limits. The neighborhood includes Branch Brook Park, beautiful walking trails, and pre-World War II mansions in Georgian and Tudor styles.
If you want to see what locals do in Newark check out the calendar of events: https://www.newarkhappening.com/events/
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Newark is a lot more diverse than other cities. There’s a good nightlife and lots of things to do. And, of course, it has very easy access to New York and a great airport to get in and out of town from. The city is currently redeveloping its downtown, so it’s a great time to check it out.