Cherry Blossoms: A little known fact about the city is that it harbors the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the United States–even more than Washington DC. This fact is interesting because it seems to be buried in the public’s mind.

Equally interesting, is the basilica in the background. The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the fifth largest in North America, and has been in newark for almost half a century. Among other things, the cathedral was elevated to a basilica by Pope John Paul II, another little known fact. I find this building one of the more interesting things because not many people know the history behind it, myself included. As a resident in Newark for most of my life, I have passed the building several times in high school and not once was I taught the history behind it. I believe the same could be said for most residents of Newark, the cathedral is just there, lacking significance or social presence.

Of course, a good place to start would be, why? Why is it that some buildings are remembered, while others are forgotten? Also, what does it say about a city when it does not celebrate its history? Why do they not pass information down generations?

Above is the seal of the city of Newark. Here, is the city flag of Newark. After reading about the DC flag article, I find it interesting about a city’s way of using its symbols. I’ve seen the crest more than I have seen the flag, and the amount of time I’ve seen the crest is very limited. DC, and Chicago, use their flags for almost every official function and on almost every federal building. I’ve only seen Newark’s city seal on potholes, and I have only seen the flag recently online. As per the article, I want to understand how to make symbols prevalent and useful for not only city officials, but for everyday Newarkers.

Here is the season 1 trailer for Brick City. This show follows then Mayor Cory Booker and his attempts to mold Newark into a city of the future. The link to episode 1 of season 1 is on the front page, however, it may not work as it may require an amazon subscription. I am currently looking for other ways to get the full length video on the website for free.

Newark turns 350 (Link)

Beginning now, and spanning all of 2016, Newark will be celebrating its 350th year. Founded in 1666, some people consider Newark as the third oldest city (metropolis) in the country behind Boston and New York. As a student who studies how stories are carefully constructed, I am highly skeptical of this “fact” simply because it is very subjective and chooses to omit some of history. Regardless of this, as a Newarker, I am very excited not only about the celebrations that the city plans to throw, but I am also impressed at the longevity of the city and I’m looking forward to have the future will shape the city.

In relation to my critique, I would also like to look at dates that cities use. Above, I included the seal of Newark which uses the date of incorporation, 1836, rather than the date it was founded, 1666. Georgetown does similar things with its date as well. We like to use 1738 as our founding date, but on tours, we also focus on the date 1639 as an important date in our history. If we go around cities and institutions, there seems to be this struggle of historical identity inherent to them. Each date has significance, but more often than not, one date always becomes more pronounced than the other. The simple question is: why?

I have attached a link to the Newark Celebrates 350 Facebook page here. The page includes pictures of Newarkers participating in different events around the city. The pictures can serve as a presentation of the city of fact. This can provide a window to the city of fact because it shows the everyday happenings of people within a city, and by extension this could lead to representations of the city of feeling because both concepts influence each other. Here are a few:

1 thought on “Representations

  1. Sherry Linkon

    You’re approaching these texts with a critical eye, questioning how they represent the city and looking at the use of specific images and details. I hope you’ll keep doing that critical reading as you collect more representations and in some summary comments about how these various texts reveal the “standard image” or “standard narrative” about Newark. You’ll also want to make some notes about how you will use these representations — not just that you want to use the full-length video (which might not work well for your audience, I have to say — will they really sit and watch the whole thing while exploring your map? Perhaps a good clip would do the trick?) but for what purpose.


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