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Old 02-10-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
3 posts, read 5,543 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi NOLA readers,

I posted earlier and got feedback that maybe my post was a bit general. So I'm re-posting hopefully with more specificity and really hoping to hear from natives and transplants alike. Weighing a move to New Orleans. Visited the city and was profoundly moved by what I encountered there (and I'm not just talking about take-away cups). Now, just trying to get an additional sense of what it's really like to live there. Would like to know from people currently living there:

*If you're a transplant, how long did it take to make friends? And from transplants and natives alike, what's the sense of community like down there? (I live in L.A. where it's possible to live in a building or a street and rarely, if ever, talk to your neighbors.)

*What's the market like for professionals? I've heard a lot about opportunities in the hospitality industry but what about for those with mid-level careers?

*How bad is the crime, really? One of these organizations that ranks crime in metropolitan areas listed New Orlean's 6th on its list of most dangerous cities. That was disheartening to hear. Is it that bad? I've lived in Philadelphia and DC - both notorious for crime - and didn't have any problems. Just curious what the reality was.

*What, in your opinion, makes New Orleans better than anyplace else in the country?

Thanks City-Data readers for taking the time to read my post and chiming in if you can!
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,418 posts, read 20,897,649 times
Reputation: 9325
You really should have kept it in the same thread. Crime isn't any worse than any major city, just use common sense.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:01 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
151 posts, read 258,905 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Pat East Coast Mutt View Post
Hi NOLA readers,

I posted earlier and got feedback that maybe my post was a bit general. So I'm re-posting hopefully with more specificity and really hoping to hear from natives and transplants alike. Weighing a move to New Orleans. Visited the city and was profoundly moved by what I encountered there (and I'm not just talking about take-away cups). Now, just trying to get an additional sense of what it's really like to live there. Would like to know from people currently living there:

*If you're a transplant, how long did it take to make friends? And from transplants and natives alike, what's the sense of community like down there? (I live in L.A. where it's possible to live in a building or a street and rarely, if ever, talk to your neighbors.)

*What's the market like for professionals? I've heard a lot about opportunities in the hospitality industry but what about for those with mid-level careers?

*How bad is the crime, really? One of these organizations that ranks crime in metropolitan areas listed New Orlean's 6th on its list of most dangerous cities. That was disheartening to hear. Is it that bad? I've lived in Philadelphia and DC - both notorious for crime - and didn't have any problems. Just curious what the reality was.

*What, in your opinion, makes New Orleans better than anyplace else in the country?

Thanks City-Data readers for taking the time to read my post and chiming in if you can!
I'm a transplant from Canada. I've been here 5 years and I work in the hotel industry. I will try to answer your questions.

1. To be honest, the friends that I have are my husbands friends. I've come close to making friends of my own a few times but circumstances meant it just didn't work out. But that is probably just me. I've always had a hard time making friends. I'm very good with people which is why I'm great at customer service, but making friends is something I've always found difficult. Its a very long story that I'd rather not go in to here. Not to mention, I've always found NOLA to be kind of cliquish.

2. The market for hospitality is a joke. If you don't know someone, you will get your foot in the door at the bottom rung and have to claw your way up. Even then, it could take you years, and you will have to put up with alot to get there. This is not an easy industry in this city. And good luck breaking into the big boxes, especially as anything more than the lowest level without having decades of experience behind you. I've been in the industry for ten years, and have experience in front desk, reservations, banguets, and in sales as well as a bit of training in revenue management, third party extranets, and a good relationship with the FIT's, and I couldn't get an interview at the Hilton to be a silver roller. I applied for no less than 6 positions with Marriott and couldn't get an interview with any of them even with letters of recommendation from three previous employers. Or you may end up like a former boss of my who made his entire staff miserable because he went up the chain wayyyy too fast for his own good and went nuts. To the point where complaint after complaint was going to HR and they did nothing because one of the higher ups liked him since he was a good butt kiss. And he didn't have a clue what he was doing either, which meant that all of us employees had to make it up for him.

3. Crime isn't any worse than any other city. Just remember to keep your wits about you, be alert and aware.

4. Quite honestly? It isn't. Quality jobs are hard to find, and the weather is absolute torture with 100% humidity or higher for about 4 months. I've seen it be 110 degrees with 100% humidity and no wind. And this will last months. Locals stay inside at all possible times starting around June or so until October. Your AC will probably go out at least once during the summer because it's working so hard. Nighttime won't be much better than daytime. You will spend 6 months waiting for hurricane season and 6 months hoping you won't get hit. You will need to save money every year just in case you have to run (I recommend a minimum of $2000). Remember not to get a house or apartment built on a slab or on the first floor due to flooding possibility. Always always have at least two weeks emergency supplies set aside. Water, medical supplies, food, batteries, lights, etc. If you have to run, take them with you. Trust me, you will probably need them on the road. If you choose to stay, an emergency generator is a great idea, but keep in mind that the city will order an evac if it's a cat 3 and they will boot you out even if you want to stay because they don't want another Katrina.

I don't hate NOLA, I really don't, but there are some serious problems living here, especially if you come from some place like LA with such gorgeous weather. I came from Canada and I was not prepared for the intensity of the weather here in spite of several years travelling back and forth in the past. The first hurricane I had to run from was the scariest experience I have ever had, especially since (in spite of government claims) contraflow did NOT work and sometimes resulted in gridlock of up to two hours where we had no choice but to shut down the car engine so we had to lose the air conditioning.

NOLA is a great place. If you're a tourist. There's more to do here in a small area than any place else in the world. And it has a fascinating and deep history that makes it feel like you have stepped back in time. It's also an incredible amount of fun with the parades, and Bourbon Street.

For the locals? Not so much.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Bywater
45 posts, read 151,623 times
Reputation: 42
I see things differently than the above poster. I'm not in the hospitality industry though. I officially moved here 4 years ago, although prior, I visited often. People are very friendly and you can make friends very easy. Crime, just don't get into the drug trade, and use common sense, you will be fine. There are good jobs to be had here, just takes some work and networking to find them. Personally, I love it here and don't want to live anywhere else. Yes it is hot in the summer, but its cold up north in the winter, I'll take heat any day.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:40 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,311 posts, read 4,401,604 times
Reputation: 1442
Quote:
Originally Posted by debbiemh View Post
I see things differently than the above poster. I'm not in the hospitality industry though. I officially moved here 4 years ago, although prior, I visited often. People are very friendly and you can make friends very easy. Crime, just don't get into the drug trade, and use common sense, you will be fine. There are good jobs to be had here, just takes some work and networking to find them. Personally, I love it here and don't want to live anywhere else. Yes it is hot in the summer, but its cold up north in the winter, I'll take heat any day.
Not to mention that 110 degree heat would actually be 7 or 8 degrees higher than our record. It gets really hot here, but not 110 degrees hot.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Metairie, LA
1,087 posts, read 2,000,829 times
Reputation: 1448
Quote:
Originally Posted by moiraesfate View Post
Not to mention, I've always found NOLA to be kind of cliquish.
Maybe in the suburbs. However, the older neighborhoods in the city are filled with transplants and are quite welcoming. If you're a social person, you will make friends quickly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moiraesfate View Post
You will spend 6 months waiting for hurricane season and 6 months hoping you won't get hit. You will need to save money every year just in case you have to run (I recommend a minimum of $2000). Remember not to get a house or apartment built on a slab or on the first floor due to flooding possibility. Always always have at least two weeks emergency supplies set aside. Water, medical supplies, food, batteries, lights, etc. If you have to run, take them with you. Trust me, you will probably need them on the road. If you choose to stay, an emergency generator is a great idea, but keep in mind that the city will order an evac if it's a cat 3 and they will boot you out even if you want to stay because they don't want another Katrina.
Full scale evacuations are very rare, but it is wise to be prepared for them. There is more than one route out of the city and evacuation traffic can easliy be avoided by leaving early. Hurricane Issac hit last year and most of the city was without power for a few days, but that kind of outage can happen in any city. A tornado or snowstorm can have the same effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neworleansisprettygood View Post
Not to mention that 110 degree heat would actually be 7 or 8 degrees higher than our record. It gets really hot here, but not 110 degrees hot.
The normal summer highs are in the low 90s. Highs above 95 are few and far between. Freezing temperatures are extremely rare as well. There is an abundance of water adjacent to the city that helps moderate the temperature. However, if you're one of those people who sweats whenever the temperature climbs past 70 degrees, then this might not be the best place for you.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:43 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
151 posts, read 258,905 times
Reputation: 110
I'm not sure where "a few days without power" came from with Isaac. Our power in Metairie was out for over a week. Glad we had evac'd to Tennessee because I don't think I could live without power in the middle of summer here. 95 degrees is a heck of alot different when you have 100% humidity (or higher).
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:59 PM
 
62 posts, read 257,351 times
Reputation: 126
1. I lived in New Orleans for 3 months last summer, and will be moving back this May. I previously lived in Boston for 2 years, and made more good friends in a single summer in New Orleans than all my time in Boston. Some of this is simply one's personal experience / luck regarding who you meet. But I do think part of it is the openness and friendliness of the people in New Orleans. Even for those not from there, I think there's a self-selection that brings friendly people to the city. The office cultures between the two cities, for example, could not have been more different: smiles, "Hellos," and frequent chit-chat in New Orleans; more avoidance, not looking or talking to other people in Boston. This is not to rag on Boston; some people prefer that culture. I'm simply saying that people in New Orleans are incredibly friendly, easy to talk to, and don't find it weird to approach you or for you to approach them and start a conversation, in general (jerks live everywhere, so there are always exceptions).

For the people who live in New Orleans and like it (everyone I know who lives there loves it) there is a strong sense of community pride. There's no city like it in the world and the people who live there love that. My friends who have houses know their neighbors and hang out with them. New Orleans is a city of neighborhoods, and each one has its own vibe and feel. If, however, you live in a big high-rise apartment building, I don't think it's uncommon not to know your neighbors too well. I think this is just the nature of big, closed-off mass housing like that.

2. This is a hard question to answer. What are you trying to do? How old are you? What types of degrees do you have and from where? Yes, hospitality is big. But there is also oil & energy; law; city government. It's no New York or DC, but without any of this info it's hard to tell you how the market for professionals in general is like. New Orleans has consistently been ranked recently as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a hot bed of entrepreneurialism, and expanding opportunities. Before relocating anywhere, you should try to attain a job. It definitely helps to know people, but I think this is true anywhere.

3. New Orleans has a high murder rate. It's too bad, but this takes place predominately in poorer, African-American communities amongst troubled individuals. Stay away from drug dealing and do your homework on neighborhoods and you should be fine. Use common city-sense and you'll be fine. Taking crime statistics all-together, New Orleans doesn't even rank among the most dangerous cities in the country.

4. This is something that's difficult to quickly put into words. I visited New Orleans for the first time 3 years ago and fell in love immediately, and knew I wanted to live there. These types of people are called "never lefts"—they visit the city and never leave (I did physically, but my heart stayed and I eventually followed it back). New Orleans is one of the oldest cities in the country, and it shows. I love this—I find the age and bit of grime that comes with it charming. I love the cracked sidewalks with the giant oak trees shading the streets. I love the old-world gaslit street lamps. I love that there are beads hanging from street signs, street lights, and trees all year-round all over the city. I love that world class music can be found and heard nearly anywhere at any time of day: on the street, in a bar or a club. I love that I may be late somewhere b/c I have to wait in my car for a parade to pass—why stress? Just sit back and enjoy it. There's a spontaneity to New Orleans and a very laid back culture that some people cannot stomach. It's a trait that contributes to how unique the city is and the people who live there. In the rest of America you merely eat; in New Orleans you dine. Sitting with friends and enjoying music, food and drink is what New Orleanians do best. And by the way, you'll enjoy some of the best food you'll ever have.

And the weather? Yeah it's hot, but I prefer humidity and will take a hot summer over a cold, long winter any day. Unlike what moiraefstate said, and despite how people may sometimes feel, locals do not stay inside all summer. I ate and drank outside all summer, with my friends who live there year-round. We went on runs outside, around the Quarter or down the streetcar tracks on St. Charles Ave. I walked to work everyday. I didn't think the summer was considerably worse than where I grew up and have lived in Virginia.

I'm not sure how moiraefstate is in a position to say that New Orleans is not a fun or enjoyable place for locals. He or she obviously does not like it, and that's fine. No city is for everyone. To me nothing beats New Orleans. The people who love it there truly love it. They live it. If you want some good books to read to further understand the city and what I've tried to describe, I'd recommend the following. They take honest looks at the city, the great, good, and bad. Nine Lives by Dan Baum; New Orleans, Mon Amour by Andrei Codrescu; Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza; and The World That Made New Orleans by Ned Sublette.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:40 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,311 posts, read 4,401,604 times
Reputation: 1442
Quote:
Originally Posted by virginia33 View Post
1. I lived in New Orleans for 3 months last summer, and will be moving back this May. I previously lived in Boston for 2 years, and made more good friends in a single summer in New Orleans than all my time in Boston. Some of this is simply one's personal experience / luck regarding who you meet. But I do think part of it is the openness and friendliness of the people in New Orleans. Even for those not from there, I think there's a self-selection that brings friendly people to the city. The office cultures between the two cities, for example, could not have been more different: smiles, "Hellos," and frequent chit-chat in New Orleans; more avoidance, not looking or talking to other people in Boston. This is not to rag on Boston; some people prefer that culture. I'm simply saying that people in New Orleans are incredibly friendly, easy to talk to, and don't find it weird to approach you or for you to approach them and start a conversation, in general (jerks live everywhere, so there are always exceptions).

For the people who live in New Orleans and like it (everyone I know who lives there loves it) there is a strong sense of community pride. There's no city like it in the world and the people who live there love that. My friends who have houses know their neighbors and hang out with them. New Orleans is a city of neighborhoods, and each one has its own vibe and feel. If, however, you live in a big high-rise apartment building, I don't think it's uncommon not to know your neighbors too well. I think this is just the nature of big, closed-off mass housing like that.

2. This is a hard question to answer. What are you trying to do? How old are you? What types of degrees do you have and from where? Yes, hospitality is big. But there is also oil & energy; law; city government. It's no New York or DC, but without any of this info it's hard to tell you how the market for professionals in general is like. New Orleans has consistently been ranked recently as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a hot bed of entrepreneurialism, and expanding opportunities. Before relocating anywhere, you should try to attain a job. It definitely helps to know people, but I think this is true anywhere.

3. New Orleans has a high murder rate. It's too bad, but this takes place predominately in poorer, African-American communities amongst troubled individuals. Stay away from drug dealing and do your homework on neighborhoods and you should be fine. Use common city-sense and you'll be fine. Taking crime statistics all-together, New Orleans doesn't even rank among the most dangerous cities in the country.

4. This is something that's difficult to quickly put into words. I visited New Orleans for the first time 3 years ago and fell in love immediately, and knew I wanted to live there. These types of people are called "never lefts"—they visit the city and never leave (I did physically, but my heart stayed and I eventually followed it back). New Orleans is one of the oldest cities in the country, and it shows. I love this—I find the age and bit of grime that comes with it charming. I love the cracked sidewalks with the giant oak trees shading the streets. I love the old-world gaslit street lamps. I love that there are beads hanging from street signs, street lights, and trees all year-round all over the city. I love that world class music can be found and heard nearly anywhere at any time of day: on the street, in a bar or a club. I love that I may be late somewhere b/c I have to wait in my car for a parade to pass—why stress? Just sit back and enjoy it. There's a spontaneity to New Orleans and a very laid back culture that some people cannot stomach. It's a trait that contributes to how unique the city is and the people who live there. In the rest of America you merely eat; in New Orleans you dine. Sitting with friends and enjoying music, food and drink is what New Orleanians do best. And by the way, you'll enjoy some of the best food you'll ever have.

And the weather? Yeah it's hot, but I prefer humidity and will take a hot summer over a cold, long winter any day. Unlike what moiraefstate said, and despite how people may sometimes feel, locals do not stay inside all summer. I ate and drank outside all summer, with my friends who live there year-round. We went on runs outside, around the Quarter or down the streetcar tracks on St. Charles Ave. I walked to work everyday. I didn't think the summer was considerably worse than where I grew up and have lived in Virginia.

I'm not sure how moiraefstate is in a position to say that New Orleans is not a fun or enjoyable place for locals. He or she obviously does not like it, and that's fine. No city is for everyone. To me nothing beats New Orleans. The people who love it there truly love it. They live it. If you want some good books to read to further understand the city and what I've tried to describe, I'd recommend the following. They take honest looks at the city, the great, good, and bad. Nine Lives by Dan Baum; New Orleans, Mon Amour by Andrei Codrescu; Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza; and The World That Made New Orleans by Ned Sublette.
Second that-I especially recommend the Dan Baum book.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Bywater
45 posts, read 151,623 times
Reputation: 42
Very well written, and I agree 100%. There is no where else in the world like New Orleans!!
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