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Newark is a center of finance, commercialism, transportation and culture for New Jersey. That's why it's often called "Gateway of New Jersey." Located on the Passaic River in Essex County, Newark is the county seat. Nearby cities include East Newark, East Orange, Harrison, Irvington and Kearny. Newark's population was estimated at 277,911 as of 2003.
There are a couple of theories about how Newark got its name. One states that it's the name of a town in England. Another is that the name Newark comes from the Biblical term "New Ark." Early settlers of Newark were Puritans. The city was founded in 1966, and the leather industry was a major part of the city's earlier years. Newark became a transportation center during the early 19th century. The city grew, but then began a decline during the 1950s.
Newark and Higher Education
Newark offers five major educational facilities, each being noted for specialized areas of study. They include Essex County College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers-Newark (State University of New Jersey), Seton Hall Law School and University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.
Famous Faces from Newark
Newark has been home to Jerry Lewis, one of the most well-known comedians and actors, singer Whitney Houston, screenwriter/director Brian De Palma and songwriter/singer Paul Simon. Several movies were filmed there as well such as Outrageous Fortune, Garden State and Imaginary Heroes.
Things to Do in Newark
Newark has much to offer the traveler or local residents - from art and history to lovely parks and fine dining. There are several museums for those who want to explore and learn during their visit.
The Newark Museum (http://www.newarkmuseum.org) features 80 galleries, a planetarium, a sculpture garden, the Ballantine House (Historic Landmark), and even a mini-zoo! Visitors can also stop in for a bite at the museum's cafe or take a break at a gift shop. Other museums include the Richardson Gallery, Robeson Gallery, New Jersey Historical Society and City without Walls.
On a clear day, tourists can enjoy a stroll in the park. Newark offers several: Jesse Allen Park, Military Park, Lincoln Park, Washington Park and several others.
Shopping in Newark
Newark also offers abundant shopping, especially when it comes to books and antiques. There are five major antique stores and almost 20 bookstores in the area.
Festivals and Events in Newark
The City of Newark hosts several fun festivals annually. In winter, there's the Columbus Day Parade and Sarah Vaughan Jazz Festival. In spring, Newark hosts the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the African-American Heritage Day Parade. Summer always brings some fun events such as the Newark Festival of People, the Puerto Rican Statewide Parade and Festival and the Gospel Festival. For fall, the Brazilian Independence Day Festival brings cheer to the city.
Newark is a great place to stop in while visiting New Jersey. For more information about Newark, New Jersey, USA visit the city's official Web site. (http://www.ci.newark.nj.us/)
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