I lived in Paterson for three years. It is truly a melting pot of cultures, allowing me to make friends from nearly every major cultural community. As third largest city in New Jersey, Paterson is a sprawling neighborhood of shops, attractions, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Although, I must admit that you will need to visit Manhattan for serious entertainment, which by the way is only about a 30-45 minute drive, depending on traffic conditions.
Last time I visited Paterson, there were mass renovations because Paterson has plenty of historic Beaux art style buildings. Apartment prices are relatively high compared to other parts of the County. Still, if you are looking for good value then find accommodation as far away from downtown Paterson, as possible. Alternately, if you have cash to spend then there can be nothing better than many historic apartment buildings which are a steal compared to other luxury accommodations in New Jersey.
Perhaps, everyone in Paterson falls in love with its famous, Great Falls. The 70 meter drop and adjacent electric power plant are one of the best attractions in New Jersey. Another interesting aspect of the city is its central location which provides easy access to night life in New York and recreational activities at Delaware River or Bear Mountain.
Due to many groups congregating in one place, crime is an issue in Paterson. Fortunately, I never faced any problems. My friends tell me that volunteers and Police Patrol have increased surveillance, which may provide incentives for people to relocate.