Walking Downtown Halsey Street

Taking a walk down to Halsey Street through the campuses of NJIT and Rutgers University was very enjoyable. This may have been due to the fact that I decided to walk downtown on Friday around 4 pm- the beginning of golden hour. The sun provided a gradient on all the buildings, signage, windows and vehicles. This was an ideal time to come because people were getting off
work and being out and about. It also showed me Halsey street with plenty of activity transitioning between the morning program to the evening program.

Both schools are naturally less dense on Fridays, so walking to Halsey Street through the
university grounds did allow for a sudden contrast to be experienced. Halsey Street introduced
itself with residences in the form of apartments with commerce beneath them.
From the pedestrian level, Halsey Street resembles the board game of monopoly. Some of the
buildings had “passed go and collected $200” because they were renovated homes with newer
designs and contemporary materials. While other properties were in complete disarray and most
likely the owners had financial difficulty. This, in my opinion, is the most revealing reality of
Halsey Street. It is a modern downtown that is redeveloping itself like a domino effect. The
original two story buildings are being replaced by the newer three story ones. Residences are
giving up their first floors for revenue making establishments.The change in scale and function
of the newer buildings points to the idea that bigger is better; bigger is more square feet and
more square feet is more money to collect on rent.

While walking through Halsey Street, I encountered two separate groups of people celebrating a
birthday together. This leads me to believe that the main users of Halsey Street are not families
with young children, but rather working professionals who have potentially bought into the idea
of recreating a trendy downtown, like that of Hoboken or Brooklyn. During this time there was a
sense that the adults were going home to the suburbs after work while the young and hip were
getting ready for the evening functions of Halsey Street. I observed bars with live music, clothing
outlets, boutiques, an arts center, an Italian, Chinese, Hispanic and American restaurant in a

As the backdrop of Halsey Street is Broad street. This helps paint the streetscape of Halsey
Street. Although the street is filled with restaurants and other businesses, the main traffic piles
on Broad street because that is a street that connects all of Newark, NJ. Most of the people on
Halsey street that drive in are more concerned about finding parking spots than zipping through
Newark efficiently

The above except is a response of an assignment at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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