Some Residents Dispute Magazine Readers' Claims

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It seems sometimes that Newark, N.J., just can’t catch a break.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, readers of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine voted Newark as the rudest place in the whole world – outranking Islamabad, Pakistan (No. 2); Oakland, Calif. (No. 3); Luanda, Angola (No. 4); and Kuwait City, Kuwait (No. 5).

“Newark is best known for being the site of an airport near New York, and for many of our readers, that’s the only reason to stop there,” the magazine said. “‘I visited Newark on business and would not recommend this city for anything, except a cheaper/less busy airport to fly into while visiting other cities,’ says one reader.”

But lifelong resident Angel Reynas was quick to defend his brick city.

“Travel Magazine — they don’t know what they’re talking about, because they don’t live here,” he said.

Over 38 years, Reynas said he has seen the shining stars of the people of Newark.

“They help old ladies – like me, you know, they give people passes and stuff like that. They treat people well,” he said.

Melissa Marie, who has lived all around the world, likewise told 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten that Newark had received a bum rap.

“You’ve got a lot of people who will speak to you – even the people who are homeless. There are a lot of colleges as well. I think people pretty much bump into each other and they have to say hello, goodbye, or deal with each other – but they’re usually friendly, I think, in general,” she said.

She added that there is gentrification going on in Newark, with art galleries and great restaurants in the business district.

But some newer residents such as Julianna told Smith they definitely see a nasty side.

“Maybe at the bus stops a lot, they just, like, push you out of the way so that they can get on the bus — like that kind of stuff,” she said.

One woman said she has lived in Newark for just three years and is ready to leave.

Cork, Ireland ranked as the friendliest city in the worldwide survey. Readers of the magazine called it a “very accommodating place” where residents are “friendly and helpful” on a consistent basis.

Newark also ranked at the bottom of a separate list of the friendliest and unfriendliest cities in the U.S. Branson, Mo., was ranked as the friendliest city on that list.

Being ranked at the bottom of a list compiled by a magazine has sparked protests in at least one city in the past.

In 1987, Money Magazine ranked Flint the worst place to live in America, placing that city at rock bottom among 300 municipalities nationwide. In a scene famously shown in Michael Moore’s documentary “Roger and Me,” Flint residents responded by burning Money Magazine at a public rally.

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