Located approximately midway between New York City and Philadelphia, New Brunswick has been called, rather unkindly, the 'armpit of New Jersey'. It does not quite deserve the name, although the nearby Edgeboro Landfill does give the city a suggestive odour in a south-easterly wind. Luckily, the prevailing wind is westerly.
New Brunswick is home to Johnson & Johnson Inc1 and Rutgers University2. As one might expect of a college town, there is a wide selection of good bars and, as one might expect of a town with a major medical supplier, the hospitals are quite good, too.
Cultural points of interest include the State Theatre, the George Street Playhouse, and the Crossroads Theatre. Both the George Street Playhouse and Crossroads have received Tony Awards3 for regional theatre at one time or another, no small feat when you are only 35 miles from Broadway4. On the Rutgers University campus you will also find the Levin Theatre and the Nicolas Music Centre, with regularly scheduled performances of both student and professional work. The Rutgers Film Co-op holds regular screenings of rare, unusual, and classic films almost every Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Dining provides a wide selection of good to excellent choices, from traditional American cuisine at Tumulty's Pub or Old Man Rafferty's, to Ethiopian at the Makeda, Japanese at Sapporo, Cajun at Old Bay, Italian at Teresa's and Church St Trattoria, Lebanese at Evelyn's and Headquarters, and - for more expensive tastes - The Frog and the Peach and Stage Left... among many others.
Harvest Moon is an excellent micro-brewery which has quickly become one of the most popular night spots in New Brunswick.
Unfortunately, there is only one hotel worth mentioning in New Brunswick, the Hyatt Regency. There are other decent hotels nearby; but they are located near major highways, and are not much use, unless you are driving.
In general, when visiting New Brunswick, you should stick to the area of George Street, generally north of Livingston Avenue, and to Easton Avenue. It's not that there is anything particularly wrong with the rest of the town, but this is where the concentration of restaurants, bars, and theatres are. French Street is good for a more Latino experience, Hamilton Street is good for the remnants of a Hungarian heritage, but wandering will not prove interesting. New Brunswick is like any other small city, so it is always safer to stay in the economically vibrant areas.