I have been doing what you are looking to do. I have mixed results but I always shoot with a tripod at night and will shoot with manual focus as required.
There are a few more tips I can give you and most require some off camera flash, light painting and editing techniques.
Depending on if you like my results or not I can always show you how
If you feel like driving up to NJ.
Bring the car and gear. I will bring mine and we can shoot around Philly near where I live.
You can see my stuff here.