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Old 05-03-2011, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,219 posts, read 2,129,173 times
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The university has an extremely large East Asian as well as Middle Eastern community, so I would say those groups would be received relatively well. They may stand out more than in New York City but its not like we're talking about appalachia here...haha
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: deep in the south
233 posts, read 403,588 times
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Truthfully, after living here for the past 30 years I find it is probably one of the most accepting place of peoples differences. All seem to get along just fine and enjoy learning about each others cultures and traditions. The only prejudices I have personally run into is the age old rivalry of the south against the north, but that too is mostly done in more a teasing manner than a malicious manner.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,047 posts, read 4,676,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollies mom View Post
Truthfully, after living here for the past 30 years I find it is probably one of the most accepting place of peoples differences. All seem to get along just fine and enjoy learning about each others cultures and traditions. The only prejudices I have personally run into is the age old rivalry of the south against the north, but that too is mostly done in more a teasing manner than a malicious manner.
I think Lafayette is pretty accepting of people's differences in part because the Cajuns were a persecuted people and they do not want to treat others that way. Another reason might be because this area has historically been under the influence of a wide array of different cultures, from French and SPanish settlement to Creole and Cajuns, Caribbeans, Blacks, English whites, and the international festival draws people from all over the world. This past weekend I was chatting with a woman from Djibouti, East Africa, and she loves Lafayette and comes to this city often when she can. There is way too much diversity and variety in the culture here for it to exist without acceptance of peoples differences.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:47 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,180 times
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I couldn't help but respond to this thread. I see that Curious G posted their question 2 years ago... he/she should put their input in, too. I'm leaving a comment for other people that may be considering this area.

I'm a Caucasian female that moved here from the North also. First of all, expect a culture shock. It is very different down here... some good and some bad in contrast to an outside area. First of all, their is a high retention rate for Louisiana-there are a lot of deep rooted families, and individuals that move back. Many folks down here seem to be very family oriented... it's fairly common for entire families to live on the same property or just around the corner from each other. Everyone knows each other, even in Lafayette. They all grew up here, went to school together, etc. Everyone knows everything about everyone in the surrounding smaller towns.

I initially moved to the 'North' side of Lafayette, in what was supposed to be a nice area. The honest truth is there are 'pockets' of nice areas, but the North side of town is really run down... don't move in north of college, but particularly stay clear of the area north of university, and especially anything past evangeline fwy./US 90. Even if you don't live in a 'bad' area, these same people come into the neighborhoods. We had our shed broken into, and several other issues that prompted a move. My best advice is to check out the crime map on the Lafayette consolidated governments website. This map will be of great use in determining which areas are nice, and which are not.

River Ranch is a nice area with nice shops. There are also nice apartments at the Grand Point apartments and Highland apartments just down the road. There are decent apartments at the plantation apartments, but unfortunately their other property in integrated with their other apartment community that includes affordable student housing at a cost of being an eyesore. When we viewed these apartments the property manager was very eager to get someone into her apartment and said that she would knock rent down, include the washer and dryer, etc. Something didn't feel right though. Another con is the patio/walkway past your bedroom window, but a couple pro's are a gym, gift wrapping room, a nice outdoor pool, and an internet cafe... they really seemed to be trying, I'll give them that. Next door are very nice apartments in a gated community at the Lafayette Garden Apartments. The landing apartments are small, and overpriced for their size, but are also in the same area. Chateau de Lions just past the mall is nice also. Pepper ridge had terrible reviews when we were apartment hunting, so that is all I can say about that really. Another property to check out would be the Audubon Lakes apartments... I think their location would be even more ideal... only a couple minutes down the road, but in a nice area and near other main roads (pinhook, kaliste saloom, camellia, amb. caff., Hwy 90, etc.)

Lafayette's roads weren't organized very well... I think that they developed this town and it's roads as people settled. There are some areas that you'll need to drive to that will require you driving what seems to be far out of the way. Do not take this lightly. I have learned my way around very well, and it has nothing to do with not being from here originally. The roads are not laid out well.

When I moved down here I definitely noticed the racism mentioned, among other things. Not knowing how I felt about other races, most white people in 'private' use the N word very fluidly. I've even heard the N word used in public. This is also a VERYYYY blue state. A lot of people here don't share the same views as someone from the North or L.A. might have. For instance: Planned Parenthood or homosexuals. Just mention planned parenthood and you'll see. I was surprised when I moved here that the nearest Planned Parenthood was located in Baton Rouge, but for good reason. Most people that have ever gone there have done so for birth control, exams, etc... yet individuals get twisted up about p.p. being used for abortions. Yeah, for whom?? The less than 3% of the people that go there and receive that service? Try and mention any sort of sensible fact like this, and watch how abrasive people remain. Oh yeah, and every other person is going to point out that 'your OBVIOUSLY not from here' because of your accent. Lacking a cajun accent or southern accent you'll stick out like a sore thumb.

There's a good amount of people that work for the oil industry, and will work a week on and a week off, or several weeks or a month on and than off. I think this explains why there are so many trailers and manufactured homes. Excluding the nicer areas, expect to see a lot of neighborhoods and communities to have trailers integrated into these areas, with a lot of areas having every other property or so having a trailer. I've seen this every once in a while in the North... but I suppose I was more used to trailers being contained in trailer parks/mobile home communities. A lot of businesses look like they're located in shed like buildings around here also, and a lot of buildings have the tin looking roofs.

I have found a couple gems in hiding... there aren't very many rental properties--but if you can find something in Broussard or Youngsville-I would highly recommend checking these areas out. If your looking for something nice, you may want to check out 'sugar mill' pond condominiums. It's a very nice area with everything being just around the corner. Rouses grocery, CVS, McDonalds, and Walgreens are only a mile away, and a number of restaurants and gyms are also nearby. As far as Lafayette or it's surrounding areas are concerned, you might want to plan on going through netflix if your into renting movies. The majority of blockbusters have closed, and the only hollywood video closed over a year ago, leaving you to choose from redboxes, library collections, or the 1 blockbuster on ambassador caffery/kaliste saloom, or the other on congress and ambassador caff.

If your looking for something near U.L., I would try one of the apartments on college between johnston and W. Bayou Parkway. There is also a loft property in this area. You can find homes for rent off of bayou parkway sometimes too... this is a very nice area. If your considering this area because of LSU, there is a really cute and quaint town 'Breaux Bridge' with a charming downtown that you might want to consider.

This area definitely enjoys it's alcoholic beverages, too. I've never seen drive through daiquiri stands until I moved here... it's unbelievable. Definitely check out the snow ball stands though... there are some really great flavors like 'wedding cake' that are really good. This area isn't as big on coffee shops as other areas around the country. There's a starbucks on amb. caff, pinhook/kaliste saloom, ridge/amb. caff., and one on 90/albertson pkwy. in Broussard. There's a few sit down cafes~ a couple downtown, a Mel's diner on johnston, another Mel's in Youngsville, and a few cafe's here and there.

This being the south, there are amazing opportunities as far as restaurants and food is concerned. There is also downtown alive in river ranch, movies at the parc (downtown), festival international (just passed), and festival acadian (one week festival). A few cajun-esque or decent places to check out would be prejeans (toward carencro), cafe des amis (breaux bridge), mulates (breaux bridge), pouparts bakery, T-coons, jolies, emas restaurant, blue moon saloon, blue dog cafe, artmosphere, vermilionvilles cafe, pamplona's tapas bar/restaurant, blue agave, dwyers cafe (cheap but good!), taco sisters (drive through taco stand but the best damned taco's you'll have in these parts outside of authentic mexican food stands), etc. Don't expect to find much variety in ethnic dishes. Masala's is pretty good, and there's an Italian restaurant downtown, etc... but you'll definitely have to go to New Orleans (or Nawlins) to find a good variety. Luckily, seafood is in abundance in this area, and at very affordable prices!!!

Expect a LOT more people to drive trucks. I understand the appeal of trucks to an extent, but if you drive a car- you might find yourself being blinded by their lights while driving more often than not. This being the 'sportsmans paradise' you'll discover that people love to hunt here. There are swamp tours, plantations homes, etc. to check out... but you may decide to make some sacrifices. I used to love kayaking, but haven't done it since moving here. I know that there are paddling trails and several shops (pack 'n paddle, etc.), but I find between all of the water being brown, and tales of alligator gar, and actual gators-I have chosen to give up that piece of happiness I used to receive from kayaking and canoeing. There also aren't any arboretums or botanical gardens in this area. There is a 'nature trail' just past the airport... but it's a joke. It's not very long, and there isn't much to it. It also is alongside what appeared to be a juvenile detention center with loud foul mouthed teenagers shouting obscenities at one another as they played basketball. If you enjoy gardens and such, you can drive to New Iberia to check out jungle gardens on avery island, or discover rip van winkle gardens... both are nice, but require a drive. Than there is also a state park past Ville Platte. There is a 1.25 mile walking track at Gerard park next to U.L. at Lafayette. There is 1 rock climbing park, an ice skating rink off rena and I-49, some bowling alleys, pool halls, and roller skating rinks. There isn't any gambling within Lafayette Parish (parish is the equivelant of a county), but expect to see off track betting and mini-casinos in abundance outside of the limits. There is a small racetrack in Opelousas about 30 miles north of Lafayette.

If you don't require moving to Lafayette for a job or school, I would highly recommend going to a more liberal area such as New Orleans, or outside of Baton Rouge. Unless you were raised here, I really don't see a long term appeal to this area.

I hope this helps!

Last edited by Constructive Criticism; 05-23-2011 at 06:00 AM..
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
302 posts, read 562,426 times
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Quote:
I know that there are paddling trails and several shops (pack 'n paddle, etc.), but I find between all of the water being brown, and tales of alligator gar, and actual gators-I have chosen to give up that piece of happiness I used to receive from kayaking and canoeing. There also aren't any arboretums or botanical gardens in this area. There is a 'nature trail' just past the airport... but it's a joke. It's not very long, and there isn't much to it.

One of my criticisms of of Lafayette is the lack of museums and botanical gardens within the city. Sure, there is the one downtown but it's not really that impressive. I'd rather see land around the city used for a Beautiful Garden/park rather than another strip mall/chain restaurant/ cookie-cutter subdivision combo which is starting to become an awful blight to Lafayette.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,047 posts, read 4,676,912 times
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I definitely agree with that.
The gardens in Metairie Park are amazing and liven up the place. Lafayette could use that in some areas.
As for some of the things C.C mentioned, some of it I agree with and some I think may have just bee bad personal experiences.

For one thing, the NorthSide of town is actually very quiet and low-crime where Im talking about. Im not sure where C moved on the northside but my parents and some relatives have lived there over 25 years with no problems whatsoever. I dont mean they overlooked petty crimes, I mean they experienced nothing of the sort. If anything, you are morel ikely to get robbed or broken into on the southside because thats where the money/valuables are.

I agree about the roads. To get from Pinhook to north Ambassador requires driving a very long way first down Kaliste Saloom, then all the way up a very congested road. the layouts can be ridiculous. Cutting through back subdivisions helps out a lot if you know which ones to use.

regarding the accent thing, you WILL stick out, because the human ear can detect that difference, but generally people dont care much about it.
The only places you DONT stick out are places with close to a million people around it, where there are a large number of other people like yourself. But what is wrong with sticking out a bit? You have individuality that way. One thing I do not like about big cities is that everything is so integrated and run of them ill that it doesnt feel special anymore. In Lafayette, different cultural things are still scarce enough that experiencing them feels interesting and informative. I do not want to live where there are 30 asian markets because then the fun of doing something different gets diminished.

I dont have much of an accent despite being part Chinese and part Cajun. Coworkers and friends will poke at me for the CHinese part but its usually just messing around like friends tend to do. I havent encountered much true hatred of other cultures down here, and I think a lot of the festivals and other things that go on here would not work if that were the case. Ill concede to the fact that this state is deep south, and carries with it some of the stereotypes, but I can honestly say Louisiana is at least attempting to progress past that and become more open. Especially Lafayette in
particular. You cant fault the city for trying.

Regarding the "N' word, usually its meant to describe a very specific type of lazy person. the kind who cuts you off on the freeway and almost causes you to wreck or throws trash everywhere or lives off the govt tip. Unfortunately this word is associated with colored people but I have often heard it used to describe anyone who is trashy or thoughtless. It has pretty much come to mean a really crappy selfish person, but I would agree that its usage is a bit too carefree. However, youll also see colored people using it to describe those sorts of people and they wont hesitate to use it because nobody actually likes that kind of person. Thats the simple truth about it and Im sorry if that offends anybody. It has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with character, as MLK said. People seem to forget that.
Regarding abortion and the such, a lot of girls do get knocked up here at an earlier age. Its unfortunate but I havent heard much personally about people having one. Im sure they do but more I see the young father being forced to marry the girl and raise the baby. I do see this happening a lot though so I wish they werent so careless about it.

Regarding kayaking/canoeing, I think it would be a joy to paddle through the swamps, but thats me. I have done whitewater on the Nolichucky in Tennessee and canoeing down the Buffalo in Arkansas, but you wont find any clear water here because of the soil. Louisianians cant really help what the land is like. It is what it is. There are still some nice lakes here to canoe in although you definitely wont experience the mountain stream effect. I know exactly the kind of river you are describing. Also, dont worry about Garfish, they wont bother you. Cajuns can be crazy and go wade out waist deep into water if it will help them fish. They arent being bitten by an epidemic of garfish.

In general though, I do think Lafayette can improve in a lot of ways, but its also just recently that it has had good leadership and progress. Its still getting there. I think for the location and the small size of the city it is quite diverse and open to other cultures. It still has small town mentality, so if you are looking for a bigger city experience, Ive never suggested Lafayette for that. Its not the kind of city it is. It is more of a small town that dreams big. I think that makes it pretty unique down here. Had I not grown up here but still lived in Louisiana, I would be falling all over myself to move here. I cant really think of any other state or city that I might fit into.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,198 posts, read 20,544,383 times
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Outside of Baton Rouge is not liberal by any means, neither is the city.

Innotech, I like your ideas, just comes with time. Like you said, it has a lot of potential and you can't knock them for trying.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Southwest Louisiana
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From what I gather, RR is not all it's cracked out to be as far as living, however, it does look like good shopping trip.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:30 PM
 
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For families and friends, Acadiana - an extremely different kind of life complete with storms, seafood, casual everyday and complete compassion in difficult times and joyful sharing in happier ones - you cannot find any place to compete with Lafayette.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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As with any relocation, expect difficulties. Enjoy the differences, downplay the parts that you don't like and emphasize the exceptional pleasures that you will have.
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