3 Perfect Days in Newark

NJPAC’s Kitab Rollins takes United travelers on a video tour of his home city.


Newarker Kitab Rollins is literally floating on air as a tourism ambassador for his hometown.

Travelers flying United Airlines into Newark Liberty International Airport need only tune their seat-back screens or personal devices to the cabin channel to watch Rollins, who is NJPAC’s Director of Performance and Broadcast Rentals, waving the flag for Brick City. He appears as a guest host on the Hemispheres Travel Show, which highlights must-see destinations around the world, in a series titled “3 Perfect Days.”

(Rollins was selected by producers after they viewed a 30-second audition video, and likely because he nails it with the optimistic conclusion, “A good day in Newark is a good day of eatin’!”)

A live-work-play resident, Rollins was assigned to Day 3 (“Historical Newark”) and took viewers into institutions he always wanted to know better as a local. That included visits to Hobby’s Deli, the Newark Museum, GlassRoots glassblowing studios, T.M. Ward Coffee, Jimenez Tobacco, and All Points West Distillery.

His big takeaways? Rollins said he was “gobsmacked” to find a self-portrait of former classmate Ayana V. Jackson hanging in the Newark Museum’s African galleries, and never before had a Hobby’s signature pastrami sandwich served hot. “And glassblowing is NOT a dying art,” he says emphatically.

NJPAC has another big moment in the Day 1 episode (“Modern Newark”) hosted by Christina Bright, who interviews President and CEO John Schreiber and Dance Advisor Savion Glover at the Arts Center.

Newark Happening, the marketing arm of the Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau, was the liaison for the United project, which also included a cover story in Hemispheres magazine – a Newark first – and video availability on some 560 daily flights coming into EWR on United.

Rollins says he believes the film crew from Ink Global was impressed by what they discovered about Newark on a single cold day in January. “And then, after they left, they went to Aruba.”


March 8, 2019