October 5, 2010

Tuesday’s Travel Tips – Newark

Image courtesy of joiseyshowaa on Flickr

This week’s Tuesday’s Travel Tips take us to Newark, New Jersey. Ah, New Jersey. The temptation for a native New Yorker to poke fun of the Garden (or armpit) State is almost too much to handle, but we will remain respectful of our little neighbor to the west because we have so many loyal Customers across the Hudson! And, depending on where you live and where you’re going, Newark may be your best bet for haste and affordable travel with JetBlue.

Newark is an amazing town, despite all that you may read in the news, says Ground Operations Crewmember Henry. Newark has great history and has come a long way, from the riots of 1967 to its more recent redevelopment, which helped bring in large companies such as Prudential,  IDT, Verizon and PSE&G, just to name a few. Sports has also shined on the largest city in New Jersey with the Prudential Center bringing both New Jersy Devils and New Jersey Nets, as well as Newark’s own, the Newark Bears baseball team. And if you’re going to be in Newark on Tuesday, October 12, Henry highly recommends you go see Tyler Perry Madea’s Big Happy Family at the Prudential Center.  This is a must see show!

Airport Operations Lead Wayne relays that Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) was the

Image courtesy of dougtone on Flickr

first major airport in the New York area; it opened on October 1, 1928. In 1935, Amelia Earhart dedicated the Newark Airport administration building, which is considered by many to be the world’s first commercial airline terminal. The art deco administration building served as the main terminal until the opening of the North Terminal in 1953, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

General Manager Hipolito points out that EWR is the closest airport to New York City and that the airport offers buses, trains and taxis that connect travelers easily to the city. Hipolito reminds us that although it faces New York City, the Statue of Liberty is technically on New Jersey waters in the Hudson River. Hipolito also relays that New Jersey offers a little something to everyone, with its lakes and outdoor activities in the western part of the state, beaches on the shore, gambling in Atlantic City, golfing, and sports (including the NY Jets and NY Giants).

Ground Operations Crewmember Henry says that one thing he’s noticed about working at EWR is the nice shopping area it has in Terminal C. Even though it isn’t a terminal we currently use, wandering around during down time Henry’s found himself passing time by this terminal. He always tell family and friends that when traveling JetBlue and arriving at Terminal A from your trip, after picking up your luggage, it’s always best to have your pick-up person wait downstairs by the parking lot and bus stop. Pickup in the arrival area might be a problem because the Port Authority Police will have you move and/or there’s always a parade of white cabs waiting for potential customers and there’s normally no place to wait. Keep in mind that it’s not a parking area so just pick up your traveler very quickly and be on your way.

Just five minutes away is the Ironbound Section of Newark, offers Wayne. If you love Portuguese or Spanish food you’ll be in heaven. We are also famous for The Sopranos, says Wayne, but Fuggetaboutit!

Image courtesy of dougtone on Flickr

Hands down, Henry also recommends the Ironbound Section. This would have to be one of the best places for seafood, Spanish, Brazilian and Portuguese food in Newark. Some good places are Spain Restaurant on Market Street, and along the strip of Ferry Street you will have many selections. If you’re looking for some hometown, soul food then it would have to be at one of Newark’s own Je’s Restaurant on Halsey Street (Queen Latifah’s favorite place). Make sure you try the homemade mac & cheese, BBQ chicken, the greens and the biscuits, Henry says.

Maintenance Tech Alfred says his favorite restaurant Jose Tejas in nearby Iselin, New Jersey.  It’s just a 20-25 minute drive from Newark. Alfred warns, though, that on a busy night wait times can be up to an hour. Alfred’s second favorite restaurant is Algarve in Elizabeth, only 1.5 miles from EWR. Rated #1 place to eat close to EWR by all of Alfred’s co-workers and most travel sites!

Newark, for Henry, is the art capital of New Jersey. There’s the amazing Newark Museum, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Montclair Art Museum, Symphony Hall, and the New Prudential Center. All are located in downtown Newark. Newark is also be known for its college town which is home to Rutgers, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Berkeley College, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Essex County College and Seton Hall University Law School just to name a few.

Hipolito points out one sweet fact that the M&M factory got its start in Newark in 1940. A whole lot less sweet, but significant fact is that the infamous United 93 flight departed from EWR on that most ill-fated day.

Do you have some good Newark travel tips? Leave them in the comments below, or Tweet them using the hashtag #TTEWR.

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