One thing that I do not like is the amount of liquor stores and fast food restaurants in Newark. Most urban areas have many fast food restaurants and liquor stores for several reasons and can cause many different problems such as obesity and addiction. My neighborhood in Newark had a liquor store on the corner as well as several food stores per block. These types of businesses target poor areas and as a result cause a chain reaction of problems. When alcohol is available on every street, this can lead to more severe drug addiction. This downhill cycle starts with what is available in a neighborhood.
I appreciate the grocery stores on the corner of the streets because everyone has access to it. Since many neighborhoods in Newark do not have supermarkets, they rely on the “bodega’s” where they can get meat, milk and any other food items they need. Even though these stores have unhealthy snacks and drinks, it is the most convenient to have these stores so close because transportation is difficult. Another positive aspect of these stores is that these are family owned businesses that are benefiting from their community. This allows any neighborhood to have a sense of community where everyone knows each other. In addition, Most people in my neighborhood could not afford their own cars and took public transportation for everywhere they went. If supermarkets like shop rite or Wal-Mart are 20 mins away with a car, then public transportation would be a big hassle.
Downtown Newark is completely different than the residential areas of the city. Downtown consists of several skyscrapers of apartments, corporations and shopping areas. The most important and most popular areas of downtown are Penn Station, Prudential Center, City Hall and the three parks.
Downtown Newark is the one place in Newark that is changing very quickly. In the last decade, the street train, prudential center, Marriott hotel and many other projects have been developed. Most of these projects do not benefit Newark residents directly because most of them cannot afford to enjoy these things. However, it is believed that these developments help improve the economy even though residents do not feel that way.