The Newark that Cory Booker is leaving behind as the state's newly elected U.S. senator is far more nuanced and complicated than could be captured in the boosterish campaign stump speeches or television sound bites for which the mayor is known.
Newark still bears the scars of the 1967 riots that cleaved it. Poverty and crime are endemic. Lately, however, parts of the city have doggedly improved. Artists, new residents and businesses have moved in. There's a palatable energy downtown. Parks are being overhauled. There's a building boom, from supermarkets to a residential high-rise to mixed-use developments.