Living off-campus at Rutgers Univeristy, New Bruns - 4/11/2010
As an undergrad at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, I have lived here for 4 years -- 2 inside the University dormitories on College Ave Campus and 2 in a rented house that houses two apartments. There are a lot of things I have to say, of which are a mix of good and bad.
I'll arrange these reviews into categories so it's easier to navigate.
The weather here is just like any other Northeast city: cold winters (sometimes feels like it never ends) and hot/humid summers. However, spring and fall are usually very mild and allows you to experience nature's annual change of seasons. It's the best when winter is over and you notice a city-wide change in people's happiness level.
Cost of Living
Rent in New Brunswick is expensive. Depending whether you want to live with others or by yourself, the price can vary dramatically. I pay ~$600 a month (utilities included) for a single in my house with 7 other roommates. This is the average of what you will be paying if you live with more than 2-3 roommates. If you want an apartment with only 1-2 roommates, expect the prices to go up ~$75-250 a month. For a single apartment, you have price ranges between $600-1500. The large range is due to the stark differences between the quality and area of the apartment complex.
As for groceries, there are plenty of farmer's markets and discount stores that give you reasonable prices in addition to the usual higher prices from big chains like Shop-Rite. In general, cost of living isn't bad if you're migrating from a big city but will be a shock if you're coming from a more rural area.
Probably the worst aspect of this city, as there is a large poor population (mostly Hispanics). As usual, with impoverishment there is crime. Downtown is not a safe place for anyone to walk alone after 10 pm. Don't ever leave your bikes unlocked and get those heavy duty locks to be on the safe side. In the college student housing area (about 10 sq miles) it is not too bad but still not a safe bet for lone walkers, especially women. Our house got broken in to, as well as a couple of our friends'. This comes down to how well you lock your doors as in most cases the burglars found an open window or a door not dead-bolted.
Restaurants/Nightlife and Leisure/Recreation
If you like to eat out, there is a plethora of restaurants for every taste and price range. There are so many restaurants that you're guaranteed to find at least 2-3 that you'll love. There are also a ton of bars, ranging from the raunchy college student filled dance halls to hipster low-key hangouts to up-scale lounges and everything in between. Also, expect people to be out and about on party nights well into the morning, which makes walking home from the bars and parties safer but ruins your sleep if you live on a big street. Being in New Brunswick also puts you in a great position to visit either NYC (~50 min) or Philadelphia (~1 hr) via train, as there is a major stop right in New Brunswick and lines leading directly to either cities. The closest beach is also less than 45 minutes away. There are also a bunch of parks open to the public year-round that are within walking distance from the main campus.
NJ is the densest state in the US in terms of population. Therefore expect A LOT of traffic during rush hour. Parking is horrible and most people can't drive for their life's sake. However, you do have the NJ Transit train station within 5 minute walk from College Ave. Campus and a reliable/efficient bus system between campuses. There are some cool bike routes but they don't cover the city well as in other cities I've been.
This review is written on April 10, 2010. Although there are some very negative things about this city (the crime, in particular), it is not some crushing that it pervades your everyday life. I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay as an undergrad here and the people have been great. Hopefully this review helps you out on whatever you seek![read more...]
Horrendous Traffic - 8/27/2009
Between the entitled drivers, Jersey manners, and new student drivers, nevermind insane bus drivers and trucks speeding on narrow streets, driving around here will shorten your life by stress alone.[read more...]
NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING OVERPRICED AND RUN DOWN - 12/13/2008
It is sad to see the city that I was born in 1959 and lived until 1972 decline so.
Not only is it overpriced, perhaps because of the university or it being a suburb for NYC, but look how the zonification/code police ( IF THERE IS ONE )ignore how beat up the hoods look.
And they also do not seem to do any thing about the endemic trash on the streets.
Check out the last apt. building on hamilton street in new bruswick before crossing into franklin township... Is the back yard next to the brook still filled with junk and trash ?
( from my first visit to my hometown in june 2006 since 1988 )[read more...]
new brunswick, north and south brunswick - 12/4/2006
it is interesting that I am unable to find north brunswick and south brunswick in the list of cities. north and south brunswick are quite good. It is cold in winter and hot in summer, but the coldest days and the hotest days do not last long. like most cities in the middle and northern new jersey the price of houses are very high. the estate tax is also high. the cost of auto insurance is high. everything is high but the job opportunity is good. if you can find a good job nj is a good place to live. new brunswick is not as good as north and south brunswick, east brunswick is the best among north, south, new, east brunswicks.[read more...]