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Old 12-28-2010, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Nowheresville, Louisiana
4 posts, read 13,962 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi, I am a single, 31 year old teacher looking to relocate from my current area. I am having a really difficult time making a decision about where to go bc I want to make the RIGHT decision.
I am looking for a friendly city that has many opportunities to see live music and is pet and (somewhat) vegetarian friendly. I have ALWAYS lived in a very, VERY small community and I am preparing for a culture shock, but I don't want a crazy what-in-the-world-have-I-gotten-myself-into shock. I have narrowed my search down to New Orleans, LA or Austin, TX.
First, I LOVE NOLA! I go there at least 5 times a year for visits/festivals/concerts and things like that and I tend to stay away from the more "touristy" parts of the city. (I am WAY over Bourbon St and I learned long ago that the French Quarter is not the only thing NOLA has to offer.)
I visited Austin only once last summer to scope it out. I loved it though and it seems like every band I love plays there on every tour. I also love that it seems more vegetarian friendly than any city I have ever been in.
So I would love to know what people that have lived in these areas think. It would be freaking awesome to get in touch with someone that has lived in both areas.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
62 posts, read 119,281 times
Reputation: 16
If you want to know anything specifically about Austin, fire away. My wife and I have been here for the better part of two decades.

Austin is still friendly, but far less so than it once was. There are folks that have moved here from around the country, and that brings a wonderful mix of folks, as well as some retained bad habits.

I agree that outside of the PNW, you won't find a much more pet and veggie friendly place than Austin. I believe there are even at least three dedicated raw food restaurants now.

Live music is certainly available here, but the city is schizophrenic about noise enforcement versus the marketing of music, and many of the larger festivals have turned away from the local/regional acts in favor of larger touring acts. That's fine, as long as you don't expect to find local culture at such gargantuan affairs as SXSW or ACL Festival. That being said, there is still plenty of local and regional action at more sedate locations.

Anything else I can answer, I will honestly from my own POV.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,213 posts, read 2,127,270 times
Reputation: 1325
They're both great places... I think in different ways you can get a lot of what you're looking for in both cities, just manifested in different ways. This is my opinion..

Austin: Definitely more to do outdoors than in New Orleans. While New Orleans is generally very pedestrian-friendly and has its share of parks and other things, we have no answer to things such as swimming in a spring-fed lake or hiking in foothills. The schools will be better in Austin, salaries better relative to cost of living as well. I don't know how demand stacks up compared to New Orleans for teachers, since "everyone and their momma" is trying to move to Austin I don't know if the job hunt for education is competitive or not.. but New Orleans is always addding schools since the storm so demand is high. It's cheaper to live in Austin than New Orleans (for now)...

New Orleans: We're a very very old city.. we're not going to transform the way Austin continues to do so. I'm afraid that in the coming decades people in Austin will turn into pretenious pr*cks like Dallas and that driving will be as miserable as Houston. I feel like our culture is so old and rich that we will always march to our own beat and our people will always be open and fun. New Orleans in many regards would be more welcoming to outsiders since we are still getting our population stats back up since the storm. There isn't quite the same "rage" to move here as Austin (though it's still a coveted place), which I think makes outsiders feel very welcome here. Like I said the schools are a mess here.. that's all I'm going to say.. if you're a true professional who loves to educate you'll be okay, but the average public school here is not for the faint of heart. We are still vulnerable to storms. The humidity here is much worse than central Texas.

Both cities are wonderful for music, but I guess it depends on what you're after. Austin is "indy rock" mostly.. that can be found a lot of places.. New Orleans is New Orleans Music, period. Hate it or love it.

Hope that gives an idea..
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Nowheresville, Louisiana
4 posts, read 13,962 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks so much for the info. I have made myself a promise to have a final decision by the end of the month! Yikes!

aab7855 - Are you currently living in NOLA? What neioghborhoods would be the most suitable for someone like me. I LOVE the Garden District and the Magazine Area, but I want to be able to still afford electricity and stuff like that! (HA!)

Eric - What parts of Austin would be better to live in? I love the downtown area, but I know it's really expensive. The thing I like about New Orleans is it's pedestrian friendly neigborhoods. Are there any areas like that? When we went there this summer, we mostly stayed downtown and in the area near the river. (Around the Shady Grove Restaurant.)
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
62 posts, read 119,281 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokey71325 View Post
Eric - What parts of Austin would be better to live in? I love the downtown area, but I know it's really expensive. The thing I like about New Orleans is it's pedestrian friendly neigborhoods. Are there any areas like that? When we went there this summer, we mostly stayed downtown and in the area near the river. (Around the Shady Grove Restaurant.)
As far as what parts are best, it's hard to say for you.

What's your monthly housing budget and will you rent or buy? If you have that info, I can at least set you off with a list of 'hoods that *I'd* recommend. Others may think differently.

Since you're single, and you didn't mention kids (I'm assuming you don't have any coming with you?), you have a LOT of options (depending on budget) without having to worry about school districts, kid-friendly parks, etc.

Barton Hills and Zilker are the closest neighborhoods to the Barton Creek strip there that you might look into. It's not TOO bad of a walk, and an easy bike ride up to the 6th/Lamar area from there, either.

There's are a lot of amenities in midtown, too (from the University to The Triangle), especially along Lamar.

If you're looking for ped friendly 'hoods that aren't quite as close to amenities, there are even more choices.

But look first in Barton Hills, Zilker, University, Rosedale, Hyde Park, Hyde Park Annex, Crestview, Enfield. I can come up with more, but if you can give me some more ballpark info, I'll help all I can...
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,213 posts, read 2,127,270 times
Reputation: 1325
My parents live here but I live in Puerto Rico (probably something you don't expect to hear haha). Well the Garden District is of course very fancy but the lower Garden District, on the other side of Magazine, is up and coming and affordable. What is your budget? $1,000 should get you something very nice either Uptown or certainly in Mid-City. A lot of people love the Faubourg Maringy since its right next to the French Quarter and is very bohemian.. it would be behind Mid-City and Uptown on my list but still its a nice place. Good luck to you.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
11,535 posts, read 10,205,400 times
Reputation: 6706
Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
They're both great places... I think in different ways you can get a lot of what you're looking for in both cities, just manifested in different ways. This is my opinion..

Austin: Definitely more to do outdoors than in New Orleans. While New Orleans is generally very pedestrian-friendly and has its share of parks and other things, we have no answer to things such as swimming in a spring-fed lake or hiking in foothills. The schools will be better in Austin, salaries better relative to cost of living as well. I don't know how demand stacks up compared to New Orleans for teachers, since "everyone and their momma" is trying to move to Austin I don't know if the job hunt for education is competitive or not.. but New Orleans is always addding schools since the storm so demand is high. It's cheaper to live in Austin than New Orleans (for now)...

New Orleans: We're a very very old city.. we're not going to transform the way Austin continues to do so. I'm afraid that in the coming decades people in Austin will turn into pretenious pr*cks like Dallas and that driving will be as miserable as Houston. I feel like our culture is so old and rich that we will always march to our own beat and our people will always be open and fun. New Orleans in many regards would be more welcoming to outsiders since we are still getting our population stats back up since the storm. There isn't quite the same "rage" to move here as Austin (though it's still a coveted place), which I think makes outsiders feel very welcome here. Like I said the schools are a mess here.. that's all I'm going to say.. if you're a true professional who loves to educate you'll be okay, but the average public school here is not for the faint of heart. We are still vulnerable to storms. The humidity here is much worse than central Texas.

Both cities are wonderful for music, but I guess it depends on what you're after. Austin is "indy rock" mostly.. that can be found a lot of places.. New Orleans is New Orleans Music, period. Hate it or love it.

Hope that gives an idea..
Having lived in both areas, this post is "spot on". I couldn't have summarized it better myself. I would like to add that New Orleans is not vegetarian friendly at all. There is an African restaurant in the French Quarter that has decent vegetarian "Bennachin Restaurant " and Green Goddess is another but that's all I can think of.

Also, New Orleans is not really an outdoor type city although it is walkable downtown. It's somewhat of a contradiction, but so is most of the city (in a unique nice way). When it's 98 degrees and high humidity, many New Orleanians will be in the A/C although they will still walk where they are going around downtown if feasible. In the same situation in Austin, you'll find people outdoors eating at restaurants, swimming at Barton Springs or spending time at Lake Travis, even jogging along Town Lake/Lady Bird Lake. It's just a totally different mindset, more of a physically fit versus indulgent lifestyle. In New Orleans you live to eat and enjoy life. In Austin you live to enjoy nature and outdoors, especially eating outdoors. People in Austin are also much more health conscious, wouldn't really like New Orleans food as its too fatty for them. The two cities are really different in that aspect.

As far as music is concerned, both cities have many live music venues but Austin has more variety and again, more outdoor venues as well.

Hope this helps...
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:18 PM
 
65 posts, read 138,820 times
Reputation: 65
New Orleans and Austin are a lot alike.

New Orleans (compared to Austin, IMO):

+ Better Food
+ More unique traditions (Mardi Gras)
+ Closer to more road trip vacation desintations
-/+ Not growing fast like Austin (could be a positive, depending ...)
- More corrupt
- Higher chance of hurricanes


It really all depends on what you're looking for. There are a lot of features of New Orleans that some may like and others may dislike. I would personally make the decision based upon job opportunities and where you have family.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
62 posts, read 119,281 times
Reputation: 16
Job ops in Austin will be interesting. AISD has been cutting jobs the last few years, but perhaps only in administration. As with anywhere now, budgets are tight.

I'd also argue that it *might* be cheaper to live in Austin. It all depends on *where* you want to live. Homes near the city center in good neighborhoods can be off the charts, whereas rentals and suburban homes are going to be much more reasonable.

Most cost-of-living calcs include both Round Rock and San Marcos in the GMA (or whatever the designation is), which deflates median homes costs significantly when you look at it that way. I've noticed that city centers in comparable cities in cost-of-living are actually less expensive than Austin many times.

Either way, most of this thread has it right.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
11,535 posts, read 10,205,400 times
Reputation: 6706
By the way, one difference between New Orleans and Austin is that the suburbs around New Orleans for the most part are dumps (Metairie, West Bank, Kenner) except for the Northshore but it is so so far away. The suburbs around Austin (Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Georgetown, Pflugerville, Buda, etc...) are all pretty nice.

When comparing the downtowns, 6th Street is like a smaller version of Bourbon, 4th Street area is like the Warehouse District, Congress Ave area is like the CBD, and SoCo is like Magazine Street. Hyde Park is like Uptown, Westlake is like Lakeview (before Katrina), parts of North Central Austin look like Mid City. Hope this helps.



Not exactly but close.
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