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Old 08-21-2012, 06:21 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
48 posts, read 70,598 times
Reputation: 17

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I posted a couple months ago looking for advice on which areas of New Orleans would be good to live in and got a lot of useful advice. Ultimately, I wasn't able to find a place before moving so I just took the risk and drove out without a home waiting for me, hoping that I could find one in the 6 days before school starts after my arrival. This actually worked. I showed up 2 days early, instantly made 8-9 appointments, and tomorrow morning (day 3) I'm moving into a what appears to be a nice apartment in the Garden District. Also, a heads up for anyone in a similar situation, meaning you need a place to live but can't visit beforehand, don't sign a lease before moving. It was a bit stressful thinking that I might not get a place but it turned out to be easier than expecting and some of the places I did see were real s**tholes. Seriously, I saw 7 places before having an application accepted and 2 of them were clearly livable, 1 was possibly livable but was clearly had at least one leak, and the others were scarily falling apart. Just stay in a hotel a couple nights and call like 20 people. I would've been so upset if I had gotten stuck with a year lease at one of those probably pest ridden broken down apartments.

Now that I'm here, I have a few basic questions that I can't seem to Google.

1) Do pedestrians have the right of way? I know I shouldn't expect cars to stop at crosswalks where no stop sign exists but it seems like no one wants to wait for me even when a stop sign or a traffic signal exists. For instance, I waited at a light to walk across the street today and when it turned green I started walking but the car that was also waiting for the light seemed like they wanted to run me over to turn right. What's the etiquette here? I have right away at traffic signals and stop signs or cars do?

2) What's a good bank? (As in free checking)

3) For bicyclers, what kind of tires do you use? I just have a mountain bike which I was planning on replacing with something more suited to roads but the roads here are so crazily out of whack that it seems like a mountain bike might be required. Do you just blow tires all the time if you use a bike made for roads?

4) Where are the laundromats? Most the places I looked at had washer and dryer access somewhere but the one I took doesn't. I've searched and searched but I found like 2 laundromats in all of Uptown. If that's really all there is, that's fine, I'm just used to living in cities where there's a laundromat every 4 or 5 blocks.

5) How does crossing the streetcar tracks work for cars? I've already gotten used to the U turn thing but it's a bit more confusing at traffic lights. For instance, I tried to do a U turn going down St Charles at a light and it went red before I could get all the way around. Am I supposed to just wait on the tracks for the next green or what? What about the cars the line up side by side going the same way on the tracks? Who goes first once it clears?

6) What other little tidbits should I know? This is the 3rd major city I've moved in, all in different parts of the country, and I always find that there are little codes of conduct that are different in each one. It's never obvious until you end up doing something annoying so any tips that I may need would be appreciated.

Thanks for any responses. This forum has been a great resource for planning my move. Loving the look and feel of the place so far!

Ps. What are those cool bugs that sit in the trees doing these crescendos of chirping all the time? They're really cool. Actually, are there things that need to be done to keep bugs out of one's apartment here? It seems like they'd be hard to avoid in this place.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Metairie, LA
1,087 posts, read 2,000,383 times
Reputation: 1448
1.) Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, drivers just don't like to acknowledge it. If you have a green light, they are supposed to stop. Same thing happens in Manhattan, the cab drivers want to take that right turn so they just inch into the crowd until people stop walking.

2.) Capital One.

3.) Just swap the knobby tires for some smooth ones and buy the kevlar liners to put between the tube and the tire. I think they're called Tuffy's. These things are the real deal. You can pick them up at any bike shop for around $15 and they'll prevent flats, period. I have had the same tubes for the last 3 years and have rolled over all kinds of debris, not one flat.

4.) That sounds about right. There's only 3 in Mid-City that I know of. I know there's one on Magazine near St. Mary or Felicity.

5.) Not sure what you mean about side by side. They have been doing construction on the St Charles tracks, so the streetcar isn't running the entire route. You might have seen the temporary "end of the line" where they reverse direction using a switchback.

6.) Find out how to pronounce places and street names correctly. New Orleans is pronounced 'New-or-luns'. Do not say 'New-or-leeens' or 'Nawlins'

Last edited by rburnett; 08-21-2012 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:05 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
48 posts, read 70,598 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rburnett View Post
5.) Not sure what you mean about side by side. They have been doing construction on the St Charles tracks, so the streetcar isn't running the entire route. You might have seen the temporary "end of the line" where they reverse direction using a switchback.
This was where I had seen streetcars running earlier with no construction going on. Basically, the street was busy and two people going the same direction wanted to do a U turn. The first one pulled onto the tracks and waited then the car that was driving behind it pulled up to the right side of the first to do the same thing. I figured it was to avoid blocking traffic. I've seen it a couple times already but I don't get who goes first or if this should always be done, etc.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:43 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
797 posts, read 1,221,058 times
Reputation: 631
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshisanonymous View Post
This was where I had seen streetcars running earlier with no construction going on. Basically, the street was busy and two people going the same direction wanted to do a U turn. The first one pulled onto the tracks and waited then the car that was driving behind it pulled up to the right side of the first to do the same thing. I figured it was to avoid blocking traffic. I've seen it a couple times already but I don't get who goes first or if this should always be done, etc.
Alot of times cars just block the left lane traffic and sit there instead of turing wide to avoid blocking traffic. But you should always try to make the wide turn so you dont block traffic. The car that turned first into the U turn area goes first. Also this doesnt only happen on St. Charles but on most main streets of the city that have medians.

Last edited by Jimbo_1; 08-23-2012 at 12:04 AM..
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:55 AM
 
268 posts, read 666,351 times
Reputation: 247
Do a search for Laundrymat too, since a lot of people down south don't know how to properly say or spell the word.

As for Right of Way, behave as if you have NO rights whatsoever and you will likely survive. You weigh about 150-200
pounds total with a bike, cars weigh well over a ton. When you are dead its hard to argue about who had the right of
way.

The insects you hear are certainly cool the first times that you hear them, but later on as you get accustomed to life
in New Orleans, you will just think HOT when you hear that crescendo and try to put your mind in the happy times to
come in your 4 months of tolerable weather. The bugs themselves are cicadas.

I agree that you need to say New OR-luns to blend in. Local yats say a version of New AWL-ins that you will begin
to realize is NOT from any Tennessee Williams texts, more like Jersey Shore.

Most of all congratulations for now being a resident of the nation's most cosmopolitan city. There is simply not
another place like it. And once you figure it all out, you will have accomplished something for sure. Lucky ba5tard.
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