Newark - Reviving or Dying City?

It's been my second encounter with Newark, the biggest city in New Jersey, and I don't think I ever want to come back again. It'...

It's been my second encounter with Newark, the biggest city in New Jersey, and I don't think I ever want to come back again. It's very neglected, dirty and dangerous city which I would even compare with Detroit when it comes to my overall experience. Newark is probably hated by most of its residents despite being a short subway ride from Manhattan, New York which, in my humble opinion, gives people an unprecedented access to countless of opportunities that New York offers in terms of work and leisure. I however promise not to impose my own opinion much, and let you draw your own conclusion as you see my pictures and figure out whether Newark is a reviving or a dying city.

A small disclaimer: I was not specifically looking for bad or wrong things in Newark, and was honestly trying to be unbiased when taking pictures. I obviously saw only a part of Newark, and I believe there must be better neighbourhoods than the downtown area I have visited.
What struck me most is that Newark is one of the oldest European cities in North America and dates back to mid-17th century.
It is also a major economical centre. Quite a few large corporations are headquartered in Newark.
Port Newark is among the busiest in the world, while Newark Liberty International Airport serves passengers all over the world. 
Surprisingly, Newark is a major cultural hub that hosts one of the largest performing arts centres in the US. 
World famous artists often give concerts in Newark's Prudential Centre.
So my question is - where all the wealth is going to? It does not seem to be used toward regular people and their wellbeing. 
Or maybe it is? For instance, luxury and sport cars are abundant in Newark. So is the number of auto body shops that make a car clean and shiny.
I like the irony of the picture below: a luxury Mercedes and a pharmacy with metal grills and barbed wire to keep drug addicts away.
Metal grills seem to be a norm in Newark - they are almost everywhere.
Stores (still closed at 9:30 am on a weekday) located on the main street facing the city hall.
By the way, I found that the majority of stores in downtown offer jewelry and watches, beauty services such as nails and hair making (or even hair sale), electronics and cash services.
Immigration services shop at Prudential Center looks like a prison.
Newark has seen a period of a fast and furious growth preceding the Great Depression. Many monumental buildings in downtown still echo that era of wealth and splendour.
Look at how many police cars are at the old hotel.
Many of the old buildings are too shabby to invoke anything but pity. 
Those buildings desperately need restoration, but they will probably be demolished instead.
Some of those buildings are a pure masterpiece. 
This architectural mess is happening right downtown.
The period of a steep decline started in the second half of the 20th century. Racial tension between a growing African American population and conservative white Americans including police resulted in the Newark riot of 1967 that caused 26 deaths and many injuries.
That single event and many other smaller ones drove most of middle class represented mainly by white Americans and jews back then away from Newark who feared for their lives. They settled in other suburbs of New York often taking their jobs with them. I don't dare to judge, but it was not the first case when something like that happened in the US (look at Detroit). And the solution is always to get away from a problem instead of fixing it. Needless to say, loss of middle class resulted in a deep recession that is still going on in Newark. 
A former jewish synagogue has been converted to a baptists church.
By the way, another observation about Newark: a number of churches per capita is unbelievably high, yet Newark is among the most dangerous cities in the US. Shouldn't a crime rate be low in such a religious community? I've also found (and it's true for any country, not just the US) that the poorer the place / country is, the more churches/mosques/temples etc. it has. Why is it like that? 
But for someone who grew up in a pretty harsh environment comparing to where I live now, I can say that what we think, what we say, what we do, what we read and watch, who we talk to often defines where and how we live. 
For me, a great indicator of how people threat others and a place they live in is littering. And Newark broke all the records.
A bank of the Passaic River in downtown Newark.
This boat (right) is supposed to clean the river.
Poor does not mean littering, but it's always true other way around.
Chained garbage bin.
Chained bike.
Broken windows in a car.
I felt that the only safe place in Newark was at the government buildings. 
Many workers coming to Newark probably feel the same way, that's why this ugly bridge connecting Newark Penn Station and office buildings was built, so that people don't have to go outside at all. Newark Penn Station is an excellent example of art deco that was popular in the US before the Great Depression which started in 1929.
On a bright note, I saw a couple of promising new developments in Newark and neighbouring Harrison (across the Passaic River).
Harrison train and subway station is also being renovated.
The old bridge connecting Newark and Harrison is really creepy.
As a conclusion, I hope Newark and its residents overcome challenges that they've faced in the past, and leverage the many benefits of it being next to New York to revitalize the city.

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