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Old 12-05-2012, 04:59 PM
 
2,426 posts, read 3,776,536 times
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First of all, what an amazing, cool and beautiful city! NOLA is now in my top 5 U.S. favorite cities, after Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego. Solid #4 spot for U.S. cities. (beating DC, Boston, NYC and Miami!)

I had an amazing trip to New Orleans and will definitely be back one day! Like always, I talk about the pros and cons.

Pros:

1. The architecture. What beautiful architecture. Just not in the French Quarter, but in the Garden District and the area by Frenchman Street. Even some of the ghettos had really beautiful architecture. New Orleans is definitely Top 5 for architecture in this country. I loved the colonial feel (reminded me a ton of San Juan, PR). I also think that the older buildings are very well maintained.

2. Food. Went to so many places! Loved the Cajun and Creole food. I made sure that every meal that I had was unique to the area. Some places I went to were: Johnny's, Napoleon House, Gumbo Shop, Cafe Du Monde, Cafe Beignet, Stella's, Crescent City, Krystal's, Rum House, Louisana Pizza Kitchen, the restaurant at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, and few other places I can't quite remember the names of them.

3. The people were so nice in NOLA. Everyone was kind, warm and very helpful. It feels more sincere than in the Midwest. I mean people in the Midwest are very nice, but I feel they are nice just to be nice. In NOLA it just felt very natural. Also, people seemed very happy. It's a very celebratory city. I also love the pride people have. Again, Top 5 city with the most prideful residents I have ever seen comparable to Chicago, Boston, NYC and SF.

4. The culture. There really is no othe place in the country like NOLA. It is just so southern and colonial and has such a unique vibe. Between the music, food, architecture, people and street life, it truly is an amazing city. It really is a nice escape!

Cons:

1. Downtown and the Riverwalk were so underwhelming. I really think that there is so much potential in improving both downtown and the riverwalk. It would be nice if downtown and the Riverwalk became just as vibrant as the French Quarter. Also, this is quite possibly the most BORING skyline I have seen in my life. Mostly nothing but big boxes. I know that this isn't what NOLA is known for, but why not continue the great architecture when constructing highrises? Continue the beauty of architecture in the CBD too!

2. Bourbon Street. What a disappointment. While it was ok during the day, when I went there Saturday night, I had no idea what the heck I just walked into. So trashy, dirty and honestly (no offense) some of the trashiest and ugliest people I have ever seen. I would truly be embarrassed if this was a foreigner's first night outing in the U.S. Not gonna lie, I actually had nightmares that night as did my best friend who went to NOLA with me. Also, I know the south had overweight people, but wow, they were a dime a dozen in NOLA!

3. The smell and dirtiness. While I was well aware that New Orleans was known to be dirty and smelly, it was more than I thought it would be. Smelly dirty city.Either it was vomit, pee, sewer or BO from musicians/bums that I smelled on a daily basis. It was also nice to see the horses just urinating on the streets freely on Bourbon.

4. Too laid back. Now some people could argue that this is a pro. The problem is that I come from the north from a hustle and bustle city Chicago. So it is easy to get impatient. So I was not used to the slow paced behavior, especially in restaurants. My friend and I would actually get anxious wondering why it was taking the waiter so long (like 10 minutes) to just get as a menu after we sat down! It's purely cultural differences, in which it takes time to get used to. But not a fan of that. It's a northener thing I guess. Can't hold it against NOLA.

Really it's an amazing city! The beautiful thing is that while other favorite cities of mine like SF, DC and Boston are amazing they IMO have reached somewhat their peak. I feel there is so much more potential for NOLA to become even more amazing that it already is!
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:49 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,311 posts, read 4,400,541 times
Reputation: 1442
Bourbon Street is for frat boys too drunk to figure out they're standing in horse ****.

As far as the architecture, I actually like a lot of the buildings though I admit the tallest (One Shell Square) is a bit bland. I don't have a shot of it so I'll have to link to an article but this was the tallest building in Louisiana for quite a while:
Redevelopment of Hibernia Bank building nears completion | NOLA.com

The cupola is lit at night with colors befitting the season- Christmas, Mardi Gras, etc...
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:49 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,291 posts, read 1,270,183 times
Reputation: 730
Bourbon does suck. It's the running joke of the locals here. You probably saw many, many more tourists than locals on that ... street. As far as the skyline, it's no NYC or Chi-town or even Boston... but have you seen it from the ferry or one of those cruise boats? It's absolutely breathtaking especially when you can see it with the quarter right next to it. It's like on the left you have the 21st century, and on the right the late 18th, early 19th century.

And New Orleans is getting better every single day, both economically and socially.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:36 PM
 
2,426 posts, read 3,776,536 times
Reputation: 1460
Honestly, when it comes to skylines, my standards may be unrealistically high since I live in Chicago and work in downtown Chicago. So it really takes a lot for me to be impressed with a city's skyline. If you have been to Chicago and seen it's skyline you will understand. So maybe it's just my perception that is off, and not so much that NOLA has a bad skyline.

Yes, Bourbon was a disappointment. I figured most people were toursits when I was there. Regardless though, those were some of the trashiest, fattest and ugliest tourists I have seen in my life. Chicago has a Bourbon like street, Clark in Wrigleyville. It's very frat and sorority oriented with just drunk people everywhere. However, it's a lot more sophisticated. I really don't mean to offend because it seems that most people in New Orleans were pleasant and classy, but the toursits on Bourbon street look like they came straight out from the swamp. I mean in Chicago we get our 'interesting' toursits, but they are a minority. On Bourbon street it looks likes they were the majority. I was really shocked at what I saw. Thankfully, everywhere else everyone seemed normal.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:45 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,311 posts, read 4,400,541 times
Reputation: 1442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoist123 View Post
Honestly, when it comes to skylines, my standards may be unrealistically high since I live in Chicago and work in downtown Chicago. So it really takes a lot for me to be impressed with a city's skyline. If you have been to Chicago and seen it's skyline you will understand. So maybe it's just my perception that is off, and not so much that NOLA has a bad skyline.

Yes, Bourbon was a disappointment. I figured most people were toursits when I was there. Regardless though, those were some of the trashiest, fattest and ugliest tourists I have seen in my life. Chicago has a Bourbon like street, Clark in Wrigleyville. It's very frat and sorority oriented with just drunk people everywhere. However, it's a lot more sophisticated. I really don't mean to offend because it seems that most people in New Orleans were pleasant and classy, but the toursits on Bourbon street look like they came straight out from the swamp. I mean in Chicago we get our 'interesting' toursits, but they are a minority. On Bourbon street it looks likes they were the majority. I was really shocked at what I saw. Thankfully, everywhere else everyone seemed normal.
I've been to Chicago. Not just the actual skyline, but the miles of high rises going up the lake (I came from the north) are indicative of it being a city that is larger by a scale of magnitude than New Orleans- something you already know, of course, but yes, I was very impressed.

In our defense, though, New Orleans blows out a lot of skylines in similar sized cities- Richmond, Oklahoma City, Providence. San Antonio is a bigger city than New Orleans, and our skyline makes theirs look downright pathetic. And we were on the list of cities that were going to get a Trump similar (but smaller) to the one in Chicago (Katrina hit just after it was announced, and it never came to fruition).

And for the record, I only go to Bourbon Street when I want absolute debauchery. So I was there several times a month when I was 16 but even at 29 now I rarely go. I think you'd find many locals feel the same way.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,295 posts, read 2,198,136 times
Reputation: 1464
If you thought New Orleans was dirty, you should have been here years ago, geez! We've come a long way. I think our skyline is pretty good, we're lucky to have engineered a 50 story building with the ground as swampy as it is. Too laid back? Well, that's a cultural difference I guess.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:14 AM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,405,405 times
Reputation: 2358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoist123 View Post
First of all, what an amazing, cool and beautiful city! NOLA is now in my top 5 U.S. favorite cities, after Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego. Solid #4 spot for U.S. cities. (beating DC, Boston, NYC and Miami!)

I had an amazing trip to New Orleans and will definitely be back one day! Like always, I talk about the pros and cons.

Pros:

1. The architecture. What beautiful architecture. Just not in the French Quarter, but in the Garden District and the area by Frenchman Street. Even some of the ghettos had really beautiful architecture. New Orleans is definitely Top 5 for architecture in this country. I loved the colonial feel (reminded me a ton of San Juan, PR). I also think that the older buildings are very well maintained.

2. Food. Went to so many places! Loved the Cajun and Creole food. I made sure that every meal that I had was unique to the area. Some places I went to were: Johnny's, Napoleon House, Gumbo Shop, Cafe Du Monde, Cafe Beignet, Stella's, Crescent City, Krystal's, Rum House, Louisana Pizza Kitchen, the restaurant at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, and few other places I can't quite remember the names of them.

3. The people were so nice in NOLA. Everyone was kind, warm and very helpful. It feels more sincere than in the Midwest. I mean people in the Midwest are very nice, but I feel they are nice just to be nice. In NOLA it just felt very natural. Also, people seemed very happy. It's a very celebratory city. I also love the pride people have. Again, Top 5 city with the most prideful residents I have ever seen comparable to Chicago, Boston, NYC and SF.

4. The culture. There really is no othe place in the country like NOLA. It is just so southern and colonial and has such a unique vibe. Between the music, food, architecture, people and street life, it truly is an amazing city. It really is a nice escape!

Cons:

1. Downtown and the Riverwalk were so underwhelming. I really think that there is so much potential in improving both downtown and the riverwalk. It would be nice if downtown and the Riverwalk became just as vibrant as the French Quarter. Also, this is quite possibly the most BORING skyline I have seen in my life. Mostly nothing but big boxes. I know that this isn't what NOLA is known for, but why not continue the great architecture when constructing highrises? Continue the beauty of architecture in the CBD too!

2. Bourbon Street. What a disappointment. While it was ok during the day, when I went there Saturday night, I had no idea what the heck I just walked into. So trashy, dirty and honestly (no offense) some of the trashiest and ugliest people I have ever seen. I would truly be embarrassed if this was a foreigner's first night outing in the U.S. Not gonna lie, I actually had nightmares that night as did my best friend who went to NOLA with me. Also, I know the south had overweight people, but wow, they were a dime a dozen in NOLA!

3. The smell and dirtiness. While I was well aware that New Orleans was known to be dirty and smelly, it was more than I thought it would be. Smelly dirty city.Either it was vomit, pee, sewer or BO from musicians/bums that I smelled on a daily basis. It was also nice to see the horses just urinating on the streets freely on Bourbon.

4. Too laid back. Now some people could argue that this is a pro. The problem is that I come from the north from a hustle and bustle city Chicago. So it is easy to get impatient. So I was not used to the slow paced behavior, especially in restaurants. My friend and I would actually get anxious wondering why it was taking the waiter so long (like 10 minutes) to just get as a menu after we sat down! It's purely cultural differences, in which it takes time to get used to. But not a fan of that. It's a northener thing I guess. Can't hold it against NOLA.

Really it's an amazing city! The beautiful thing is that while other favorite cities of mine like SF, DC and Boston are amazing they IMO have reached somewhat their peak. I feel there is so much more potential for NOLA to become even more amazing that it already is!

I agree with you on a lot of this. New Orleans does remind me of Old San Juan (another great place to visit), its got fabulous architecture, food and people. If you want to PM me, I wil be happy to share some more places that you might want to visit next time you are here. The inaugural visit will introduce you to some of the more touristed places, but there are a lot of hidden gems to take in next time you are in town.

As I have said often, Bourbon is somewhere you go for five minutes during the day to get an idea and say that you have been. It is very much like a nightmare, and one that most residents will tell you they avoid at all costs. The food isn't great and its pricey, the drinks are watered down, and the human component looks as though they got thrown out of David Lynch's central casting. If you want more of the Beautiful People (and New Orleans is a proudly down-to-earth place, so don't expect lots of veneered smiles and fake tans) you should spend a little time in the Warehouse District at some of the more trendy bars. New Orleans does have young professionals and attractive, well groomed, normal weight residents, but they hide from Bourbon Street.

As for downtown, it really reminds me of parts of Philly. I don't mind it, as I have never much gotten the skyline thing. I know its a matter of city pride for some places, and I appreciate great architecture, but I have never been super interested in skyscrapers. That's just me. I agree that the CBD has a lot of potential and that it could use a little vibrant revival. As for the Riverwalk-- is that something that gets touted outside the city? I came here as a tourist/on business for ten years before I moved here and I don't ever remember hearing that it was even an attraction. Who knew?

I lived in Chicago for a little while and have not been back for many years-- I can't handle the weather-- so I can't speak accurately about comparison between your hometown and other places. I do think that New Orleans is picking up "buzz." I have several friends in architecture who have relocated here and are involved in some pretty exciting projects. Housing prices are rising, Young professionals are increasingly moving to the city. Its still afforable (I think, coming from DC and SF), but its picking up steam in terms of COL. Could it be the next big thing? Certainly it could grow like Austin or Seattle in the 1990s. Does it want to? This is very much up for debate.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Metairie, LA
1,087 posts, read 2,000,176 times
Reputation: 1448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoist123 View Post
Yes, Bourbon was a disappointment. I figured most people were toursits when I was there. Regardless though, those were some of the trashiest, fattest and ugliest tourists I have seen in my life. Chicago has a Bourbon like street, Clark in Wrigleyville. It's very frat and sorority oriented with just drunk people everywhere. However, it's a lot more sophisticated. I really don't mean to offend because it seems that most people in New Orleans were pleasant and classy, but the toursits on Bourbon street look like they came straight out from the swamp. I mean in Chicago we get our 'interesting' toursits, but they are a minority. On Bourbon street it looks likes they were the majority. I was really shocked at what I saw. Thankfully, everywhere else everyone seemed normal.
Most of our tourists come from Louisiana and neighboring states. Not exactly the healthiest part of the country.

Other parts of the Quarter are nicer. Its really just those first six blocks of Bourbon and maybe some of Iberville that are disgusting.

Oh and that unique smell. You will never foget that smell. It's that unatural mix of all those horrible substances brewed together that can only be found in the nasty parts of the Quarter.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:33 AM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,405,405 times
Reputation: 2358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoist123 View Post
Honestly, when it comes to skylines, my standards may be unrealistically high since I live in Chicago and work in downtown Chicago. So it really takes a lot for me to be impressed with a city's skyline. If you have been to Chicago and seen it's skyline you will understand. So maybe it's just my perception that is off, and not so much that NOLA has a bad skyline.

Yes, Bourbon was a disappointment. I figured most people were toursits when I was there. Regardless though, those were some of the trashiest, fattest and ugliest tourists I have seen in my life. Chicago has a Bourbon like street, Clark in Wrigleyville. It's very frat and sorority oriented with just drunk people everywhere. However, it's a lot more sophisticated. I really don't mean to offend because it seems that most people in New Orleans were pleasant and classy, but the toursits on Bourbon street look like they came straight out from the swamp. I mean in Chicago we get our 'interesting' toursits, but they are a minority. On Bourbon street it looks likes they were the majority. I was really shocked at what I saw. Thankfully, everywhere else everyone seemed normal.

Think about this:

New Orleans is a destination city for neighboring states like Alabama, Missisppi, Arkansas, etc. Many of the people on Bourbon, if not the majority at any given time, are vacationers from other parts of the region. If you find fault with the sophistication level of the revelers there, I would take into account that we draw a lot of tourists and families as a regional entertainment hub, and that many of those tourists have heard about Bourbon and head straight there to be "wild."

New Orleans has a small airport that can be expensive or a pain to get to if you are not living somewhere with a major airport and direct flights. Many vistors drive in with Bourbon as the end goal.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:34 AM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,405,405 times
Reputation: 2358
Quote:
Originally Posted by rburnett View Post
Most of our tourists come from Louisiana and neighboring states. Not exactly the healthiest part of the country.

Other parts of the Quarter are nicer. Its really just those first six blocks of Bourbon and maybe some of Iberville that are disgusting.

Oh and that unique smell. You will never foget that smell. It's that unatural mix of all those horrible substances brewed together that can only be found in the nasty parts of the Quarter.

Exactly!

The smell never bothered me. Its really pretty localized to certain places I generally avoid.
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