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Old 09-26-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Sandy Springs (ATL)
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So I'm in a curious mood...My business partner vacationed earlier this year in Montreal and fell in love with the place. Its the French culture, the architecture, and the overall energy of the city that he was so endeared to.

A few months ago, after city-shopping for 2 years, I decided to move our family to the city that I had always loved from "across the room" so to speak; New Orleans. My business partner could never understand my affinity for Nola until 2 weeks ago when he finally came to visit and give me a chance to really show him the city. Like so many, prior to his visit, his opinion of New Orleans was vastly shaped by misconceptions portrayed by media and even other Louisianans...sometimes other small-minded Southerners in general. His entire weekend here he kept remarking how similar the city was to Montreal, but in a more urban way replete with French, Spanish and Caribbean influences.

I've never been to Montreal, but based on what I've read and heard, it sounds as if it may be the closest city in North America to New Orleans in terms of vibe, architecture, and cultural similarity.

I want to know your thoughts. Please don't make this a bash-fest toward either city or I will request this thread be closed. I'm interested in overall comparisons between the 2 cities, New Orleans & Montreal.

Ciao
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:07 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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montreal is way bigger and more urban/sophisticated/safer/frencher/etc
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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LOL New Orleans is a prison colony compared to Montreal.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Sandy Springs (ATL)
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Anyone on CD with an intelligent, experienced perspective to give a detailed comparison of the 2 cities? So far its just vague monkey-talk...
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:17 PM
 
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The cultures are very similar. I've been to both Montreal and Quebec City and we both share the New World French culture. NOLA is obviously more Caribbean influenced though.

I'll try and come up with a better post when I have more time. But, I agree, the cities and state/province are very similar to eachother.

Don't listen to other posters who have most likely never been to either city.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:50 AM
 
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Outside of culture, Montreal is much more similar to Toronto or another Canadian city than any American city. Crime rates and other fundamental differences along those lines between Canadian cities and American cities are amplified when comparing Montreal to New Orleans given that New Orleans struggles with those problems more than most cities in America.

As long as that's understood, I think the two cities have a lot of commonality. The latent culture of locals is similar, the architecture of old Montreal has a lot in common with the French Quarter, and the general non definable feel of the two cities is more similar than anywhere else I've ever been.

I'm not sure what to speak to specifically between the two cities but I've lived in Montreal and live in New Orleans and I agree with the comparison strongly: it's one of the main reasons I moved here.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:20 AM
 
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Interesting topic. I've had the same thoughts myself after visiting both cities. There are some similarities and some differences. Aside from weather, language and landscape differences, Montreal is a much more developed city which has a stock market, industries and much more developed infrastructure like a subway system. It even hosted the Olympics in its heyday. It is a blend of North American and Euro cultures. NOLA is a much more rustic city that feels like it is kept afloat by tourism at this point. NOLA is also more Carribbean in feel with some Spanish and French influences.

Both are laid back, let and let live type places that are focused on enjoying life. Both also have a bohemian vibe, but I would give the edge to NOLA in this regard because it seems like there is really no other way to live for many people. There is no pretend "dive bar" or "hipster" feel that is present in so many big cities nowadays. Dive bars are real dives bars. There isn't much industry in NOLA so people to fall back on for many so many people are what they really are and are proud of it. Proud of their music, food, edginess, festivals, history and way of life. Both Montreal and NOLA also have very distinct cuisines compared to other North American cities. Both are also party cities with Montreal going to like 3-4am and NOLA being a little more extreme going to 24-7 with more lax liquor laws. Montreal is also known for designers and fashion and NOLA is known for locals dressing in eccentric outfits, not just in Mardi Gras but quite regularly from what I understand. Both cities also have a nice historical charm to them in many parts.

Last edited by johnathanc; 09-27-2013 at 07:32 AM..
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:28 AM
 
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Montreal has a real Frenchness to it. You know, people speak French there.

New Orleans, while interesting is not particularly French anymore.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:47 AM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcp11889 View Post
The cultures are very similar. I've been to both Montreal and Quebec City and we both share the New World French culture. NOLA is obviously more Caribbean influenced though.

I'll try and come up with a better post when I have more time. But, I agree, the cities and state/province are very similar to eachother.

Don't listen to other posters who have most likely never been to either city.
I've been to both multiple times, they don't remind me of each other.

Montreal is actually french. New Orleans is faux french, it's really a deep south southern town with flair. What is french about it really? B/c you drink coffee? It's a very small portion of current New Orleans. Montreal is the 2nd biggest francophone city in the world. People speak french, all the street signs are in french, all restaurants are in french, people address you in french, etc. The comparison is pretty silly if you ask me outside of some face value architecture only present in a small portion of New Orleans in comparison to the much much larger urban core of Montreal. That or just in a North American context.

Montreal is a much bigger, more successful, international and refined city. I mean come on, not that I take city data polls that seriously but Montreal blew San Francisco out of the water in a poll recently on here. Montreal is at or above Boston/SF level in terms of city stuff like neighborhoods, infrastructure, walkability, size, etc.. I would probably place it slightly above both of them.

New Orleans is cool, but it's just not even close to Montreal level. Despite what people say on here, Montreal is the cultural capital of an entire country, and at least it was for a few hundred years up until very recently and only in a numbers game, but still, that history is reflected in the city.

How is that for more monkey talk?

Last edited by grapico; 09-27-2013 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA/São Paulo, Brazil
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Id rather visit New Orleans, but wouldn't live in either.
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