Following last summer’s opening of Essex County Riverfront Park, Newark’s next segment of riverfront park is nearing completion between Oxford and Van Buren Streets. One of the park’s special elements is an 800-foot-long orange boardwalk built from recycled plastic planks.
Why orange? Many reasons. Here’s a few:
1. Since the boardwalk is made of recycled plastic, it didn’t need to be wood-colored.
2. It’s the color of Weequahic High School.
3. Like a giant safety edge for the city.
4. Some of Newark’s nearest neighbors are East, West, South, and just plain Orange.
5. Like the orange things you see on a construction site, Newark’s riverfront remains a work in progress.
6. Mayor Booker is often photographed wearing his orange tie.
7. Orange is used in color therapy to induce hunger, and there are many delicious things to eat in Newark, from Brazilian hamburgers to Portuguese dry soups to Southern yams & greens to to Caribbean roti to old-school Italian ice cream.
8. In Hindu tradition, orange is the color associated with the second chakra, linked with the element of water.
The Orange Boardwalk intersects with the path down from Raymond Boulevard near the Dancing Pavilion.
The Seidler Chemical building overlooking Essex County Riverfront Park is transforming into a gigantic panting.
A partnership between the wall’s owner, Seidler Chemical, and the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) nominated the wall to the Newark Public Art Program‘s annual Call for Walls, explaining that the story of community organizing behind the new park deserved to be told through public art in the park itself. As one of six selected sites for 2012, the Newark Public Art Program convened and led a team of artists headed by Kevin Sampson to work with ICC and Ironbound residents to develop the design and produce the mural.
The painting shows a fantasy steampunk version of the area’s relationship to the river, visualizing how the river, the city, and residents have mechanically grown into one another in both amazing productive and frighteningly poisonous ways. Most of all it shows how people have come together to improve this system, including creating the park that the mural overlooks. The painting team has been hard at work up and down scaffolding on dry days and expects to finish in 2013.