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Old 11-19-2010, 09:39 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
2 posts, read 3,798 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello everyone,
Well I need some help. I have originally lived most of my life in the North East; preferably most of my life in New Jersey (please no Jersey Shore a comment, with the exception of Bayonne or Staten Island NY, no one in NJ is like those idiots).

Recently in April, I was sent on a business trip to New Orleans and needless to say I fell in love with the city, the people, and everything else about it. Upon coming home, I never felt this strongly about any other place because as hard as it is to admit this I have always loved NJ/NY area. I had to confirm it with a second trip, so I took one in August and I felt even stronger.

So now I have made up my mind that I want to prepare to live within the New Orleans. I have been doing research and I see mixed reviews. I have heard of the issue with crime, but I have survived the meanest streets of NJ/NY and dealt with many hardships. I am a single father and my son has never had to experience that so I am lucky, so I wish to continue that. I am working on my Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration and have always been a hard worker. I am a Latino male of 32 years of age, so I can speak English and Spanish fluently with no accent what so ever.

So my questions are:
1. What are the decent neighborhoods to live in?

2. Where can I get the best, if not decent education for my son?

3. Are there jobs for what I am getting a degree in? (I also have an abundance of job experience and one hell of a work ethic. I currently work 2 jobs, juggle school and parenting)

4. What do I need to be aware of such as certain laws or customs that I do not want to impeach on?

5. What things socially that I may have to deal with that I am not dealing with now? ( I ask because my son is a mixed raced child….Half Latino/White)

My plans will not happen till after January 2012, because I want to save enough money to really settle in. So there is no rush but I am trying to think ahead and be 100% certain that this is right (although I feel in my heart it is the best thing). I am open to all comments and even some questions because I know the more informed I am the better I will be at making the transition from New Jersey to New Orleans.

P.S. I visted some areas such as the Algiers, West Bank, and Gretna. Not bad, but not great though I know I can handle anything I am more concerned for my son
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:38 AM
 
1,113 posts, read 2,008,109 times
Reputation: 831
I'd suggest Uptown. Very nice area to live... priority one, imho.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:43 PM
 
65 posts, read 139,879 times
Reputation: 65
Answers:

1. I would suggest Mandeville or Covington because you don't have to worry about the hurricanes as much there.
2. Private: Jesuit, Holy Cross, Brother Martin, or some other Catholic school. Public: I'm not too familiar. I hear charter schools are good.
3. Yes. New Orleans is expanding its health care capabilities from what I am hearing.
4. Don't go roaming around the French Quarter at night by yourself. There are many other New Orleans-only things that you will pick up along the way: neutral ground = median, y'all = you guys, and many others.
5. Not too many issues there.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:46 PM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,911,380 times
Reputation: 829
1. It depends on the type of neighborhood you are looking for and how much you are going to spend on housing; urban, suburban, walkable, close to downtown, expensive, cheaper. et cetera.
2. Some people will say private schools only, there are a number of good public schools also -- some are hard to get into, though. Public schools are run either through the Recovery School District (State-run, most charter schools are included in the RSD system) or the Orleans Parish School Board (which was left with most the generally better performing school in the city after Katrina, although both boards have good and bad schools). I would advise you to find a neighborhood first before looking into schools.
3. I can't say either way. LSU and the VA are both building billion dollar hospitals in N.O., though.
4. Not necessarily -- most people will spot someone who is from out of town, but I find that things are relatively easy to pick up on. This isn't the type of place that holds grudges against outsiders, almost everyone is happy to see new people in the city.
5. Alot of New Orleanians have olive complexion, and alot have an accent that isn't too dissimilar from a New Yorker's. I wouldn't foresee a problem there.
I moved here not too long ago. I have found it to be an surprisingly easy transition, but I also did a tremendous amount of homework before I got here. Do what you can to understand the history, geography and current events that have made this city what it is.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2 posts, read 3,798 times
Reputation: 10
Well I want to thank you all for your advice, it is becoming rather useful
SacalaitWhisperer: I want a little bit more insight on why you state Uptown? What makes it stand out the best? Can you be a little more in depth, please?

DooWap: Thank you very much on the Hurricane Safe Areas, my son is actually terrified about that one thing. I have also ventured the French Quarter at night alone and no problems, but I wouldn’t always chance it. I know though from experience if you look like a person who doesn’t belong….you will get messed with. (Many nights in the Bronx and Newark showed me that lesson at the expense of others)

Minnehahapolitan: Where are you originally from, if you don’t mind me asking?

I do know that they are expanding the Healthcare system, which would make my life so much better professionally. I do thank you for answering my questions so I have more.

  1. Are there a lot of activities a young man can do that will keep him from getting in trouble when too much idle time is apparent? Activities like YMCA, Sports, or anything productive?
  1. I am a great at making new friends, but as embarrassed as I am to ask about this…..I still will ask this question. How are the women of that area? Are they nice or stuck up? Here in NJ, women are snotty and materialistic. Which is why I am a happily single man, it would be nice to meet someone down to Earth. Can anyone give me a general synopsis?
  2. What are the negatives about New Orleans other than crime, which I heard mixed reviews about? I hear traffic is bad, but can it really be on par with NYC or LA?
  3. What are some of the positives you have with personal experience with when regarding living in New Orleans?
  4. What foreseeable major changes can be seen coming in the near future that can have a dramatic impact on the city? (I don’t mean another bad storm, more like economic, social, or political standards) I do know the Oil Spill did a number over there and it really sucked to see what was being done.
Thanks again guys, I really am trying soak this all in.

Last edited by Poet414; 11-22-2010 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:58 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
239 posts, read 555,115 times
Reputation: 178
I can't answer many of your questions because I have been here for only five months. However, I moved here from Long Island, so I feel your transition might be similar.

Many of those things you don't like about the metro NYC area are not present here. For one thing, people are generally kinder and more down to earth. Making conversation at the check out at the grocery store is at first unnerving for a person who has been raised in a culture where you're in a hurry for no particular reason and have blinders on when it comes to the people around you, but once you adapt to the slower pace, those 'stop and chats' are very welcome. This is going to sound weird, but I'll say it anyway: A woman at the bank was so kind to me today that I literally got the "warm fuzzies." When a person can give you the same sensation you get when receiving a foot massage, simply by being kind, you know it's sincere. I feel like people in the NY/NJ area are wary of one another -- not necessarily mean, but aloof. It's different here. I'm engaged, so I can't comment on dating, but coming from Long Island, which is known for its shallowness, I am pretty confident you'd be more successful here if it's materialism that bothers you about the women in your area.

There is definitely traffic, but it's not as bad as NY and, more importantly, people don't lean on their horns and curse at you when there's obviously nowhere for the person in front of them to go. I'm sure you're familiar with that. Here, people just listen turn on the radio and wait.

Research schools. There is a lot of reform going on, particularly with the charter movement. Many charters are having great success, but some are failing. Do your research. NOLA.com (the website for the local paper) has an education section that can be very enlightening, especially if you read the comments below the articles.

Another point I'd like to make, and many will disagree, is that you don't have to live in the city of New Orleans to really experience it (especially if you work there). It's much more accessible than Manhattan is from NJ or Long Island. You don't need to save a whole bunch of money and make plan ahead; you just get in the car and go. Many people seem to be more comfortable with the schools in the surrounding parishes too.

There are plenty of activities to keep a kid occupied. Athletics, arts, music, etc. are valued in the schools here and you also have your karate studios, gymnastics, private music lessons and so on. How old is your son?

The thing that I find most fascinating coming from NY are the similarities between New Orleans and the NY metro area. I've learned from research and other posters on City-Data that NY and New Orleans have the same immigrant base. The accents are very similar -- to the point where other transplants think I'm a New Orleans native! -- and there's a lot of diversity. No one will look at you sideways if you're a Catholic or Italian or Latino or purple or whatever. Stereotypes of the South don't really apply here. New Orleans is unique.

Negatives: I can't seem to find a good bagel. That's about it.

I hope that helps. Good luck!
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:09 AM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,911,380 times
Reputation: 829
I'm from Minneapolis.
1. There are alot of activities here. There are YMCA type things pretty much any city you would go, but the city's parks are a great place to kill an afternoon -- Audubon, City Park, even the little city squares. I also like how quickly you can find yourself in nature. If you live in the center of most cities, you can drive for dozens of miles before you get to a natural area. That is not the case here.
2. I am probably not the best person to answer this. I get the sense that some people here marry younger than in other parts of the country, but there are also a lot of young people -- both locals and transplants.
3. Traffic can be bad if you are trying to cross the lake or river. On the east bank, it can get bad sometimes during rush hour -- but there are alot of alternative options in the way of side streets. City government is notoriously difficult to work with -- you learn the arts of patience and persistence quickly.
4. The people never cease to amaze me. I am truly astonished how quickly I have met many of my neighbors. They have gone out of their way to make me feel welcomed. I also love the little things that happen on a daily basis, things that people in other cities would pick up on if they slowed down and took notice. Some are great, some are a little horrifying -- I embrace them all and always have a New Orleans story for friends from out of town.
5. I feel there are alot of things that will have an impact on N.O.. Some are good and some are bad. It is almost like two steps forward and one back. I think Landrieu is taking the city in the generally right direction, but then Jindal cuts university funding statewide. They make progress in public schools, then this weekend the city water pumps lost pressure and the city was supposed to boil their water for three days. Stuff like that. Some of the problems aren't necessarily unique to New Orleans, but they influence us none the less. I think being in N.O today is akin to living with a drunk Rhodes scholar coming off a bender. He hit rock bottom. It scared him in to taking action to correct his situation. Even though it may be hard for him, he has everything he needs to succeed again. Sometimes he does something that gives you a scare, but he has yet to relapse. He'll always be a drunk, but he'll also always be a Rhodes Scholar. Most people would rather live with an accountant who makes a predictable living and offers endless stability (and banality); but conversations with him are much less interesting. That may sound harsher to some people than I intended it to, but I am honestly quite bullish about this city. I wouldn't be here otherwise.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:12 AM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,911,380 times
Reputation: 829
Meg,
I haven't had a bagel that didn't come out of the freezer aisle at Rouse's since I left Minneapolis. What's up with that? The two of us should go get a small business loan.
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