Newark is generally an armpit of a place. It has depopulated; it has high crime; etc. The violent crime rate is 50% higher than Jersey City and twice as high as Union City.
However it has a really wonderful immigrant community centered around Ferry st with dozens of great restaurants in something called the Ironbound. It is the safest part of Newark by far. It also has an outpost of the famous Dinosaur BBQ. Get the ribs or the brisket there.
The Ironbound has an interesting web presence; it has the look and feel of suburbanites employed off government redevelopment grants. They sent me a free guide to the district by filling out the form at goironbound. I look forward to exploring it more; it has the feel of a Jackson Heights or Falls Church with a Portuguese slant. I have been to two Portuguese places there so far and they were slamming.