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Old 03-31-2009, 03:52 AM
12 posts, read 48,692 times
Reputation: 32


Originally Posted by TNRyan23 View Post
I have interest in NOLA life but no one ever answers my posts in this forum.
Well, feel free to ask any questions. I'll answer them.

As far as the main subject goes, Austin vs. New Orleans, I was a resident native of New Orleans until Katrina, and I've been in Austin most of since (six horrible months in rural Massachusetts.) I can't wait to get back to New Orleans, (unfortunately, not possible right now, something I'm quite angry about), but I also love Austin. So I can comment honestly.

They are very different places. I know that you said your husband had a degree involved with the police, and had formerly been an EMT/medic, right? I don't know if he intends to look for a job as a police officer, but I can tell you this, it would be a trade-off. I'm not sure, but I think New Orleans police officers get paid more, but the work would be harder. Being a police officer is dangerous in any city, so I wouldn't say that NOLA would be specifically more dangerous, but some might consider it so. As far as quality goes, I've been pretty impressed with both the NOPD and the APD about equally.

New Orleans Pros: New Orleans has much better food, and much more culture. Lot's of great music. Additionally, it has more history and atmosphere. It's hard to explain, a lot of the good qualities of New Orleans are intangibles that are hard to put into words. Basically, it's a much older city, and feels like it. Everything is Austin is new new new latest latest latest. Not anything wrong with that, it's a matter of taste. New Orleans has a more varied art scene, aimed in more directions. New Orleans is more laid back and relaxed. People tend to be a lot more polite or formal. It's more "southern," but it's also more urban. People who expect New Orleans to be more "country" as they say, are very disappointed. It's a fairly dense city, and very urban. There is, however, a lot of green, and it's very natural. There's trees on just about every neutral ground, (call them "medians" and everyone will know you're not from around here.) and lots of the streets are tree-lined. The zoo is fantastic, and the Aquarium was pretty good before the storm. I know it's been rebuilt, but I haven't been since. The zoo got through clean. The museum is also very good. Lot's of stuff is open 24hrs.

New Orleans Cons: New Orleans is rough town. I love the place, but I will fully admit that. It's not as dangerous as it's perceived to be, and it's mainly a function that the bad areas are *very bad*, not that overall it's more dangerous. Some people love the look of the city, considering it old world charm, but some think it looks more "run down." The weather can be pretty bad. Summers are hot and wet with a lot of thunderstorms, late winter is cold, wet, and windy. Autumn is the dry season, and warm to cool, but short. Spring is warm and wet, and very short. The weather is also very unpredictable. In the summer, it can be warm, sunny and humid in the morning, torrential thunderstorms in the afternoon, cool and sunny in the evening, and then warm and extremely humid at night. That's not uncommon. There can be freak heatwaves in the winter and fall. One year it was over 80 on Christmas eve, and the next year we had snow flurries for Christmas. Directions can be confusing until you get used to them. (Streets start out parallel, but end up perpendicular while everything still looks gridded. To go from the east bank to the west bank, you drive southeast.

Austin Pros: Very vibrant. Has a lot of tradition and some history, but much of it doesn't seem to go much past the 60's. Lot's of great music. People very friendly, but can get a bit "macho." (Hey, it *is* Texas. :-) ) Weather is better, for the most part, and much less humid. There is a lot to do, especially if you're the outdoorsy type. Much more varied landscape. Hills north of the city, and it's only a short ride to a lot more outdoorsy stuff just out of town. A lot more open space. Pretty good bus system. Much more modern. Very accepting of "weirdness." Food very varied, even if the quality is not as good. You'll find more here than NOLA if you're into health food or vegetarianism.

Austin Cons: When the weather does get bad, it gets really bad. Traffic is worse, and the highway system very chaotic. The roads overall are chaotic, and it can be difficult to get places, especially if you just got here, and you get lost. Except for the center of the city, few of the streets, except for main roads go all the way through, most are very short, and curve, so it's difficult off the main roads. Can be a bit like a giant suburb once you get out of the center part of the city, which some people find good ,but I don't particularly like. Lot's of anti-hispanic racism on the radio and such, which, even if it's not directly against you, can get very tiresome. Lot's of subtle and not-so-subtle racism as well. For example, one of my best friends is hispanic. I've had people openly refer to him as, "Your friend, the illegal," or asked me if "he's illegal." (And since I know some of you are wondering, no, he's not.) That seems to be most of Texas nowadays, though. They talk a lot about "greenspace" but it seems a bit artificial. Big blocks of green separate by big blocks of concrete. People tend to drive very agressively, and sometimes, just insanely. I've actually seen more problems with DWI here that I did in NOLA, despite more alcohol and no last call in NOLA. Very few things are 24hrs.

Speaking of racism, someone suggested Covington or Mandeville instead of New Orleans, can't quite remember which. I'd advise against either one. For one thing, both towns are hardcore "Duke Country." Lots of racism, very right wing. In this case, mixed with a lot of old-fashioned country club snobbery. (FWIW other areas around New Orleans to avoid as Duke Country, Chalmette, (thought it was getting better, recent news I heard says probably not, which was really disappointing) Mereaux, Gretna, and parts of Metairie (some parts of Metairie are not that bad, last I heard) Also, the commute across the Causeway is quite hard. Most of it is a long, featureless bridge. (The Lake is beautiful, in my opinion, but it can get dull over the bridge, which can make it seem longer.)

Some stuff that balances out: Both are progressive in their own way, and libertarian in their own way. The difference is very hard to explain. Austin is libertarian in that big, open-sky, outdoors and leave me alone sort of way. New Orleans is libertarian in that libertine artist sort of way. Both have all of the good and bad that that implies.

Also, the roaches? Yeah, New Orleans have scary, flying 3" cockroaches with no fear of humans, but you only see the a couple of times a year, and one good swat squishes them. Austin has these little tiny things that travel in packs, and and *nothing* seems to get rid of them. And they seem active all year. I think if you measure by weight, you have the same amount of total roaches per year. In New Orleans, you just get more at once.

Remember, all of the above is an opinion. (Except the climate in New Orleans and the traffic in Austin. Those are absolute facts. ) I'm not the most average guy in the world, but I am honest, and I like both places.


Old 03-31-2009, 08:26 PM
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
887 posts, read 2,723,806 times
Reputation: 539
Why on earth would anybody want to live in Austin? Really dry culture... NOLA has everything you need!!
Old 09-21-2009, 08:46 AM
239 posts, read 532,002 times
Reputation: 327
I would definitely choose Austin.


Less Crime
FAR more active population. If you're into exercise, Austin is the place
Better schools
More ethnic diversity
People don't call you "skinny", just because you're not 300 pounds.

Yeah, NOLA has better food, but one cannot ignore the poverty and crime. The city is dying, and has been for a long time. I'm moving for good in July of 2010.
Old 09-21-2009, 12:32 PM
Location: Baton Rouge
1,734 posts, read 5,186,228 times
Reputation: 655
^^I'd rather be called skinny for being under 300 pounds than be called fat for being over 200
Old 09-21-2009, 12:54 PM
1 posts, read 20,889 times
Reputation: 17
I'm in a similar situation as the starter of this thread, except my choice is between NO and San Antonio.

I saw a post indicating that TX has higher property taxes. This may be true, but TX has no state income tax and the overall tax burden is considerably lower in TX.

To refer to NO as "libertarian" would be laughable if the reality weren't so tragic. Under the "chocolate city" liberal policies of Mayor Nagin, NO's 9th ward remains one of the poorest and most crime- ridden areas in the entire country. Nagin's whining followed by panhandling after Katrina was one of the most shameful public displays by a politician that I've ever witnessed- and that's saying a lot considering all the shameful politicians around these days.

To refer to Mandeville and Covington as "Duke Country" is incredibly insulting to thousands of hard-working, law-abiding, non-racist citizens of this area. Just because someone wants to live in a relatively safe area with good public schools and well-maintained infrastructure doesn't make them a racist follower of David Duke.

And here's a news flash: being conservative does not equal being a racist any more than being liberal equals being a communist. Good grief! If that's being honest, then I wonder what you say for an encore- perhaps that the levees were sabotaged by the Bush administration to rid NO of poor, black folks?

If you think you're helping to advance the positive aspects of your city, Pentalarc, you may want to tone it down a little bit.

Your post sits squarely in the "cons" column for me in making my decision of where to move.
Old 09-21-2009, 09:07 PM
104 posts, read 438,798 times
Reputation: 83
why do people feel the need to revive a 6-month-old thread? just trying to stir up the hornet's nest again?
Old 09-24-2009, 06:41 AM
239 posts, read 532,002 times
Reputation: 327
Originally Posted by mnr3 View Post
why do people feel the need to revive a 6-month-old thread? just trying to stir up the hornet's nest again?
Because the question is still relevant, that's why. Why do you have a problem with us members sharing information amongst ourselves?
Old 09-26-2009, 06:17 PM
Location: Hither and thither
423 posts, read 1,124,186 times
Reputation: 209
If music is your thing...

I think the Austin music scene is going to be far more innovative and interesting. Having lived in NOLA but only visited Austin, I'll probably get stoned for saying this, but New Orleans music is INCREDIBLY overrated. If the music scene of New Orleans were a political party, it would be to the right of Pat Robertson. Just lots of stale funk and brass party bands that do 20 minute jams. Everyone who moves there seems to get into it and party it up with these folks, but once they leave, do they ever really miss it? When was the last time a band from New Orleans really made it big nationally? Better than Ezra? Let's just say the New Orleans music scene has gotten quite complacent--you can still find some old-world jazz bands that are very talented, but nothing really pushes the envelope. Austin, meanwhile, has succeeded Seattle (or Chapel Hill, or Omaha, or Bloomington IN, or whatever the flash-in-the-pan indie hipster place is these days) for being the real place for great new bands to cut their teeth. At least the good bands usually swing by New Orleans when on tour.
Old 09-27-2009, 03:13 AM
Location: Downtown New Orleans, LA
12 posts, read 75,475 times
Reputation: 18
I've visited Austin and personally I'd pick it over New Orleans, but that's just my personality. Austin is kind of cool and has a good music scene and a more "typical" vibe than New Orleans. New Orleans isn't like anywhere else in America honestly. It's super eclectic and just different without even trying. I'm not a good fit with New Orleans because I'm a typical sort of person. It's the sort of place I'm happy to visit but not to live. However, if you have a "cooky" family who'd thrive on a completely different culture and wayyy laid back vibe then this might be the place for you. If your kids are young, know that the public schools aren't really all they could be, so know in advance you'd probably be going private with them (or at least charter). I don't know if I'd want my husband to work for the NOPD, because he'd probably be REALLY busy, but then again I know nothing of the Austin Police Department.
Old 01-16-2010, 10:17 PM
10 posts, read 62,902 times
Reputation: 16
I'm glad I found this thread. I recently relocated to Austin from San Francisco due to my grandma's failing health. I pretty much hate it. As a curvier woman, I never had a problem dating in SF. In Austin, I feel like a troll. Thankfully, my grandma's health has improved and I can move. However, it is too expensive for me to return to California. I'm looking into New Orleans, and from what Ive read here, it seems like a good fit. Things I like: comedy, art, diversity, architecture, great food and frankly a gritty urban environment. I am indifferent to live music, fitness and outdoorsy activities. New Orleans, here I come! Typed on iPhone; forgive typos.
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