Playful, Fun Little-known Facts About Newark

Newark, the Brick City, a place with a gritty reputation, but a city brimming with hidden gems and surprising history. Beyond its busy airport and industrial roots, Newark offers an intriguing mix of old and new. Let’s uncover some of its lesser-known facts:

  1. Cherry Blossom Central: Branch Brook Park boasts the country’s largest collection of cherry blossom trees, rivaling even Washington D.C.‘s famous display in springtime.
  2. Birthplace of Celluloid: Newark played a crucial role in film history! Hannibal Goodwin invented celluloid film, used in early motion pictures, right here.
  3. Ballantine Beer Mansion: The Victorian Ballantine House, once home to a brewing magnate, is now part of the Newark Museum and a masterpiece of the era.
  4. Grammy Powerhouse: Newark natives Whitney Houston and Lauryn Hill are musical legends, showcasing the city’s artistic talent.
  5. Busy, Busy Airport: Newark Liberty International Airport was the nation’s first major commercial airport, and still ranks among the busiest in the US.
  6. A Cathedral of Light: The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is an architectural marvel, boasting beautiful stained glass and French Gothic design.
  7. Ironbound Eats: This neighborhood is a haven for Portuguese and Brazilian cuisine, offering authentic flavors and a vibrant atmosphere.
  8. The Gateway City: Newark has long been a transportation hub, earning its nickname from its railroads, port access, and major airport.
  9. NJPAC: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center is one of the largest in the country, attracting big-name acts and world-class performances.
  10. Burgers with a Twist: Krug’s Tavern, a Newark institution since 1932, is famous for its unique burgers, cooked exclusively using cast-iron griddles.
  11. Dinosaur Discovery: While not found in Newark itself, nearby fossil sites reveal New Jersey was once home to dinosaurs during the prehistoric era.
  12. Birthplace of the Frisbee: No, not San Francisco! The prototype for the modern Frisbee was a pie tin from the Frisbie Baking Company in nearby Bridgeport, CT, enjoyed by college students in the area, including at Yale in New Haven.
  13. Hockey Hotbed: The Prudential Center is home to the New Jersey Devils, keeping the hockey spirit alive and well.
  14. Historic Military Park: This park was once a training ground for soldiers during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
  15. Setting for Portlandia?: Jokes aside, Newark is shaking off its old image, with a burgeoning arts scene and revitalized downtown.

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