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Old 05-03-2012, 10:29 PM
 
7 posts, read 10,151 times
Reputation: 10

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My husband and I are in our twenties, no kids and coming down on vacation. We've done a lot of research, but we've never been down there. The details of when and where we're staying are still up in the air. We're planning on shooting for this summer or possibly early fall. Rates seem cheaper in summer because there is less going on. We also want to try to be there for the most extreme weather temperatures to make sure we're okay with it. But we both love heat, so that doesn't seem like a problem. Fall would give us more time to plan, but it seems like festivals start picking up again then, is that true? Is summer a good time to come?

Is a week long enough to get a decent feel for the city?

Since we're hoping we like it and have tentative plans to move if we do, we're looking at staying in neighborhoods we think we'd enjoy living in, mostly Marigny and the Quarter, but we're also checking out Bywater and Mid-City. The latter seem cheaper to live in, but we're having trouble finding finding a place to stay at for vacation in them. Where is good to stay in those areas? We'd prefer hotel/motels, but B&Bs will do. We're also looking for reasonably cheap.

Would living in the Quarter be unmanageable? Is it ALL tourism in that neighborhood, or is it good for year-round life too? We're from a tourist town, so we're used to it -- but it's only something we deal for three month stretches each year.

It seems like the Quarter, Marigny, and Bywater are safe, butr Mid-City gets kinda dicey. Also how are the CBD and Warehouse district? We've also got a different definition of "dicey" than most people. We've both lived in small cities that don't really have any "safe" parts. We also spend a lot of time in Atlantic City and some in Philly. Most of it is just common sense and street smarts. It's seems like down there, trouble usually only finds you if you're looking for it... which isn't the case in Philly. Is that pretty accurate?

How well are counter-culture people received there? We're both gothic (but usually too old to go to most stereotypical extremes) vegetarian, and in an open/poly relationship. Right now we live in really conservative area and we just kind of deal with it, but I don't know how it would be in New Orleans. It seems like a pretty liberal city, compared to the surrounding area -- but I know the south is generally more conservative than the north. Even in cities near us we get strange looks and a lot of distrust -- but visiting relatives in New York and even most of L.A. nobody bats an eye. It seems like a difficult place for vegetarians, but we did find a few places. Any recommendations?

I heard jobs are hard to get in New Orleans, but mostly people seem to be saying that about white-collar work. We work in the tourism industry here and a bonus of New Orleans is that the season is longer. We've both got a LOT of experience in food service. Are those types of jobs easy to find?

Is $750 to $950 a month do-able in those locations? We also have pets, will that make apartments significantly harder to find?

Are there grocery stores and pharmacies walkable in those areas? (Neighborhoods stores are fine, we don't need chains)

Thanks, guys.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,311 posts, read 4,406,188 times
Reputation: 1442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Bourne View Post
My husband and I are in our twenties, no kids and coming down on vacation. We've done a lot of research, but we've never been down there. The details of when and where we're staying are still up in the air. We're planning on shooting for this summer or possibly early fall. Rates seem cheaper in summer because there is less going on. We also want to try to be there for the most extreme weather temperatures to make sure we're okay with it. But we both love heat, so that doesn't seem like a problem. Fall would give us more time to plan, but it seems like festivals start picking up again then, is that true? Is summer a good time to come?

Is a week long enough to get a decent feel for the city?

Since we're hoping we like it and have tentative plans to move if we do, we're looking at staying in neighborhoods we think we'd enjoy living in, mostly Marigny and the Quarter, but we're also checking out Bywater and Mid-City. The latter seem cheaper to live in, but we're having trouble finding finding a place to stay at for vacation in them. Where is good to stay in those areas? We'd prefer hotel/motels, but B&Bs will do. We're also looking for reasonably cheap.

Would living in the Quarter be unmanageable? Is it ALL tourism in that neighborhood, or is it good for year-round life too? We're from a tourist town, so we're used to it -- but it's only something we deal for three month stretches each year.

It seems like the Quarter, Marigny, and Bywater are safe, butr Mid-City gets kinda dicey. Also how are the CBD and Warehouse district? We've also got a different definition of "dicey" than most people. We've both lived in small cities that don't really have any "safe" parts. We also spend a lot of time in Atlantic City and some in Philly. Most of it is just common sense and street smarts. It's seems like down there, trouble usually only finds you if you're looking for it... which isn't the case in Philly. Is that pretty accurate?

How well are counter-culture people received there? We're both gothic (but usually too old to go to most stereotypical extremes) vegetarian, and in an open/poly relationship. Right now we live in really conservative area and we just kind of deal with it, but I don't know how it would be in New Orleans. It seems like a pretty liberal city, compared to the surrounding area -- but I know the south is generally more conservative than the north. Even in cities near us we get strange looks and a lot of distrust -- but visiting relatives in New York and even most of L.A. nobody bats an eye. It seems like a difficult place for vegetarians, but we did find a few places. Any recommendations?

I heard jobs are hard to get in New Orleans, but mostly people seem to be saying that about white-collar work. We work in the tourism industry here and a bonus of New Orleans is that the season is longer. We've both got a LOT of experience in food service. Are those types of jobs easy to find?

Is $750 to $950 a month do-able in those locations? We also have pets, will that make apartments significantly harder to find?

Are there grocery stores and pharmacies walkable in those areas? (Neighborhoods stores are fine, we don't need chains)

Thanks, guys.
A week should be fine.

It would be harder to find somewhere in the Bywater or Mid-City to stay, because those are mainly residential areas. You should be able to find a fairly nice place in the upper edge of your price range in the Marigny, and yes, the Quarter does have full-time residents but it can be really expensive. You might be able to find a studio in the Quarter for what you are looking to pay.

New Orleans has long attracted bohemian/counterculture types; as far as the specifics of your lifestyle, I don't know how the goth scene is, but nobody should have a problem with your relationship.

The New Orleans job market has actually weathered the recession very well and post-K this place has become a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. The hard-to-find jobs are white collar, but they are of the "big corporation" type. Food service should be easy for you to find (though you might have issues with the dress code ).

Good luck.


edit: yes, it's true that trouble usually doesn't really find you unless you're looking for it. All of the older neighborhoods have plenty of corner (neighborhood grocery) stores.

Last edited by Neworleansisprettygood; 05-04-2012 at 09:13 AM.. Reason: add info
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:35 PM
 
7 posts, read 10,151 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks so much! :-) We'd actually prefer a studio. We live in an efficiency now, and like it so much better than the 1 and 2 bedrooms we had.

Will we need a car, or is public transportation pretty decent (particularly downtown)? The public transportation system here make abysmal look good.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Denver
14,449 posts, read 20,942,702 times
Reputation: 9377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Bourne View Post
Thanks so much! :-) We'd actually prefer a studio. We live in an efficiency now, and like it so much better than the 1 and 2 bedrooms we had.

Will we need a car, or is public transportation pretty decent (particularly downtown)? The public transportation system here make abysmal look good.
Why do you prefer a smaller studio to a 1 bedroom? Just curious.
Transit is good for daily activities. Buses are fairly reliable to my knowledge, Canal St streetcar is pretty frequent as well.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Metairie, LA
1,087 posts, read 2,003,630 times
Reputation: 1448
The Quarter has lots of hotels and B&Bs, while the Marigny will have a few B&Bs. There's also a nice hostel right off Canal St in Mid-City if you need to do it on the cheap.

The most liberal areas of the city are going to be the Quarter, Marigny and Bywater. The upper Quarter (from Iberville down to say St. Ann) is going have the most tourist traffic and can be pretty tacky. The lower Quarter, with the exception of the French Market is going to be much more residential with bars and restaurants catering more to the locals. $950 will get you a studio here. The Marigny is a little cheaper, even more so on the other side of Elysian Fields, and Bywater will be even cheaper. All of these areas have a similar vibe, vey hip/bohemian with lots of nightlife. You really won't need a car if you're working downtown, but I would reccommend you get a bike just to make things easier.

The next best thing to the downtown neighborhoods, as far as counter-culture, would be the Lower Garden District. It's just as far from the Quarter as Bywater (~1mi). I live in Mid-City. Technically its the area between Tulane and Orleans Ave from Broad out to City Park Ave. Outside of the sliver along Tulane Ave, it's not dicey at all. The crime here is similar to Bywater. It's a nice mix of blue-collar, post-grads and an occasional hipster.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:40 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,410,225 times
Reputation: 2358
I have been neighborhood shopping myself. Its hard here-- there are lots of great 'hoods, but they all feel a little different. Its like choosing your favorite child.

As the previous poster said, the Quarter has sort of a tourist/hotel end and a residential end. Prices really seem to fluctuate. You can get "deals" but they are often either close to somewhere really noisy or not well maintained. Many of the apartments you will see advertised, esp on CL and the like, are owned by real estate companies and designed to bring in max rental income. Others are condos owned privately, often furnished, and the owners want to rent to film crews who only stay for a short while but pay through the nose. The neighborhood feels like a step back in time-- the architecture is quite different than what you will find in other parts of the city. There are less trees than say, Uptown, and most of the gardens are hidden behind gates and in courtyards--you can peek at them as you walk by some of the buildings. The atmosphere is typically manically festive or eerily quiet, and that can be in the radius of a few blocks. I doubt that anyone will bat an eye if you walk through the Quarter in full on goth gear or buck naked for that matter.

Mid City is variable. I like it a lot as it seems one of the most egalitarian neighborhoods. Much of it was flooded by Katrina, especially towards Gentilly, so you will find a mix of completely renovated places as well as vacant houses. Before I moved here, I never spent much time in Mid City, but I love it, mostly because of the friendly vibe, the diversity, and the affordability. I live currently one block of Bayou St John (check it out when you come! Beautiful.) in a very working class residential area. We definitely have a few hipsters, but also have lots of families and single parents, multigenerational households and a few who are passing through. IMHO, if you are a good neighbor, people here don't give a fig what you look like or wear. There are quite a few cottages and shotguns, and some which have been done up fantastically, but you won't find a lot of the townhouses or French Colonial buildings. Many of the places in my current area were built by and for workers at American Can (which is now a loft apartment building), so you will see lots of shotgun doubles. You can get a lot for your money. Areas which may not look pristine are usually not unsafe, they are just full of people who don't have the bucks to redo their place. And Mid City lost many of its oak trees to Katrina, so you don't get the leafy green feel here on many streets.

The Marigny feels more dense population-wise than Mid City-- its definitely got a younger, more creative demographic. Great music on Frenchmen St just across Esplanade from the Quarter and almost a circus atmosphere on the weekends when food vendors, street performers and music lovers congregate. The rest of the Marigny is quieter and more residental, lots of cottages and shotgun doubles, many of which have been renovated and are cute as a button. Nice mix of local businesses and coffee shops, lots of heavily tattooed, dreadlocked artists but less racial diversity (my observation-- no data to back this up). I ALMOST moved there, but I found a place that I couldn't pass up.

I still haven't figured out where the boundaries in the different areas of Uptown are, so I will lump it all together (which is probably not fair.) In general, its very peaceful and lovely-- most of Uptown didn't flood, and people remind you of that when they want to rent you a place (this often means that the stove and refrigerator will be 30 yrs old because they never had a reason to renovate.) Great big leafy trees on a lot of streets-- they didn't lose them during Katrina. Rents can run the gamut-- what you have to remember is landlords are often looking for students, and therefore a lot of places will be geared toward short term stays and rent increases (bad paint, lots of things that need repairs, etc.) To find a nice place, you will probably pay more than what you would in Mid City. Landlords can be picky, and many places all over the city are owner occupied, but especially in Uptown. I have a finch who barely makes any noise at all and stays caged and one guy wanted to charge a $500 deposit for a pet at a place in Uptown because he was worried about "damage." Its quiet, probably the safest part of the city, and home to two Starbucks if that gives you an idea of the demographic (MidCity 0 Sbux, FQ 0 Sbux-- one in a Marriot on Canal St, the Marigny 0 Sbux-- Don't get me wrong, nothing bad about Starbucks, but it does attract a certain crowd). Lots of younger people and established families. If you want quiet and peaceful, I would look there.

Just about every neighborhood has some little corner store that is walkable, and its easy to get to most places on a bike or on foot. Depending on where you work, you probably will need a car. I work over in East New Orleans and though the bus is reliable, its a little sloooww. If you work downtown, you may do just fine without one.

New Orleans is deceptive in that it feels a lot smaller than it is. Its actually pretty big, area-wise, and though I wouldn't say traffic is bad from my DC standards, there can be backups. People drive drunk here (shock) and there are accidents. Parades, festivals and conventions can also put a negative spin on traffic and parking. With that in mind, I would probably pick somewhere to live that is pretty central at first and then refine the choice as you determine your work and life needs more permanently.

Last edited by confusedasusual; 05-10-2012 at 04:49 PM..
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