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Old 05-18-2007, 03:11 PM
 
5 posts, read 123,332 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello,

Next up on my "chopping block" of travel is: New Orleans!


I've never been to New Orleans, but the wife and I want to take a trip there in either mid-December or early January (second or third week).

Could somebody dispel/substantiate what I've heard about New Orleans from other people?


1. It absolutely reeks in summertime because all of the trash on the streets and the coastal location.

2. There are barely any decent hotels left to stay in.

3. Most of the neighborhoods are "dangerous" or "questionable".

4. Two full days is plenty of time to see everything New Orleans has to offer.

5. The locals are often unfriendly toward out-of-staters.


Now, I'm not saying that I believe these things. This is just what people have told me based on their own personal experiences, and as we all know, other people's personal experiences cannot be taken as absolute truth.

I'd love to know the whats and wheres to avoid in New Orleans, which hotels have historic value and won't bankrupt me (four-star is our target--I've heard the Bourbon Orleans is nice, but again, other people's personal experiences), where to get REAL Creole cuisine (neither kitschy tourist food with imitation Made In India voodoo dolls on the walls nor a location in a neighborhood where I may not be entirely welcome), what NOT TO MISS in New Orleans, and, perhaps most importantly, when is the best time to visit (spring? autumn?).

We've just returned from Milwaukee and had a fabulous time. We'd love to make our New Orleans experience great as well!


Thanks!


Dan
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Old 05-19-2007, 03:23 AM
 
16 posts, read 169,357 times
Reputation: 16
Answers;

1, - It use to stink in the summertime. Since Katrina we have a new garbage pick up company and they are doing an amazing job. Quarter has never been so clean.

2. - There are tons of great hotels. Bourbon Orleans is nice and centrally located in the middle of the FQ on Bourbon. Dauphine Orleans and LeRichelieu are both also very nice, good locations and lots of New Orleans charm. Another option you may want to consider is a B&B or Guest House. Lots of guest houses in the Marigny and Garden District area where you can get your own apartment. Nice thing about GH or B&B, more access to locals who can give you more good tips on where to go and not go.

3. - A few neighborhoods are dangerous, many are iffy. If you stay in the tourist areas, FQ, Garden District, City Park, Marigny, you should be fine. Be sure to take a devastation tour, its something everyone needs to see with their own eyes. And maybe think about doing some volunteer work one day of your vacation.

Use common sense, stay on the main streets, take cabs at night, be aware of your surroundings. New Orleans is known as a checker board neighborhood. One street is great and the next street over you can find yourself in trouble. If driving, we are still missing lots of street signs, easy to get lost if you dont know your way around. Yes, there is crime even in the tourist areas, (mostly armed robberies) but if you are aware and have some street smarts, you should be ok. Dont wear lots of jewelry, ladies should not carry big purses, keep wallet in front pocket or just take some cash and ID out with you.

4 - No 2 days is not enough time to see all New Orleans has to offer.

5 - The locals are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. A little more on edge these days, but still very friendly and helpful.

If you plan on visiting in Dec. or Jan. it can get cold here, bring a coat. Best time to visit is April, May, Sept, Oct, for the nicest weather. We really dont have seasons here to speak of. Spring and Autumn last about 2 weeks if we are lucky. But winters for the most part are mild, perhaps one really cold week and summer is enough to make you melt and cause you to shower 4 times a day. But you will get a much better rate for accomodations in Dec. and Jan. and in the summer, especially during hurricane season.

Lots of great places to eat. Jacques-Imos, Oak St. Uptown area or Brigtsens on Dante, also Uptown for Creole.
Other wonderful places but not specializing in Creole are Irenes in the FQ, Muriels right on Jackson Square, Stellas on Decatur, Bayona on Dauphine just to name a few.

Although I will be moving from here soon, I still think its a great place to visit. Enjoy your trip !!!!
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Old 05-19-2007, 04:09 AM
 
911 posts, read 3,321,948 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
Hello,

Next up on my "chopping block" of travel is: New Orleans!


I've never been to New Orleans, but the wife and I want to take a trip there in either mid-December or early January (second or third week). Nice time of year, Usually.

Could somebody dispel/substantiate what I've heard about New Orleans from other people?


1. It absolutely reeks in summertime because all of the trash on the streets and the coastal location. Yes...


2. There are barely any decent hotels left to stay in. False.
Soniat House@ 1133 Chartres St--Gorgeous, say hello to the "house Kitty".BTW--a few blocks from Brad & Angelina...& "Major Dad"...


3. Most of the neighborhoods are "dangerous" or "questionable".
Stay out of the 9th Ward!!!
Enjoy "French Quarter, Garden District, Loyola & Tulane University, St Charles Street car...


4. Two full days is plenty of time to see everything New Orleans has to offer.
Not even Close...


5. The locals are often unfriendly toward out-of-staters.
Only some of "The Natives"...

Now, I'm not saying that I believe these things. This is just what people have told me based on their own personal experiences, and as we all know, other people's personal experiences cannot be taken as absolute truth.

I'd love to know the whats and wheres to avoid in New Orleans, which hotels have historic value and won't bankrupt me (four-star is our target--I've heard the Bourbon Orleans is nice, but again, other people's personal experiences), where to get REAL Creole cuisine Commanders Palace, Any Rest owned by The Brennan Family or Emerald and lots of others OUTSIDE of the Quarter!...
(
neither kitschy tourist food with imitation Made In India voodoo dolls on the walls nor a location in a neighborhood where I may not be entirely welcome), what NOT TO MISS in New Orleans, and, perhaps most importantly, when is the best time to visit (spring? autumn?).

We've just returned from Milwaukee and had a fabulous time. We'd love to make our New Orleans experience great as well!


Thanks!


Dan
NOLA is a Great place to visit....
Be sure to use United Cabs...
Enjoy Royal Street (Antiques and Art)
Garden District--Best (one of) Architectual Representations in the World...Greek Revival, Victorian,Elizabethan, Italionate, French Colonial, Gothic(only 3 on St Charles...),Spanish Old World, etc...

Have Fun, be sure to take NPS tour of French Quarter and Garden District.

Let us know.
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:07 AM
 
Location: new orleans
182 posts, read 765,935 times
Reputation: 83
Dan,
nola.com recently had an article listing best restaurants in new orleans. It along with bestofneworleans are two good web sites for info.
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:21 AM
 
4 posts, read 18,373 times
Reputation: 13
Default New

wuts gud?!? Ummm...I'm suppose to move to Louisiana this summer from Atlanta and I'm wondering exactly how LA is now! A few of mah people moved from dere but dey always visiting!! How are the colleges, neighborhood area (*Shreveport or Fort Port*), and wat are da clubs lookin like?!?
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:25 AM
 
911 posts, read 3,321,948 times
Reputation: 178
Cool Who Dat??

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach07 View Post
wuts gud?!? Ummm...I'm suppose to move to Louisiana this summer from Atlanta and I'm wondering exactly how LA is now! A few of mah people moved from dere but dey always visiting!! How are the colleges, neighborhood area (*Shreveport or Fort Port*), and wat are da clubs lookin like?!?
Duh Clubs...?
You be going to the "Roumers"...seewhatimsaying...
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:32 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,756 posts, read 3,360,512 times
Reputation: 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
1. It absolutely reeks in summertime because all of the trash on the streets and the coastal location.
The humidity and heat in the summer are quite oppressive. The smell really depends on where you are, I suppose. You'll probably want to be inside a good part of the time in the summer anyway, due to the humidity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
2. There are barely any decent hotels left to stay in.
That's ridiculous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
3. Most of the neighborhoods are "dangerous" or "questionable".
Quite true for many areas. Use your "street sense" and don't do stupid things, and you should be fine. Ask the concierge at the hotel if you aren't sure about a particular area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
4. Two full days is plenty of time to see everything New Orleans has to offer.
I have lived here for eleven years, and I haven't seen everything New Orleans has to offer. If you only have two days, you might as well go to DisneyWorld or on a two day cruise somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
5. The locals are often unfriendly toward out-of-staters.
Not true at all. They are unfriendly towards rude, unfriendly people regardless of the state or country of origin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
where to get REAL Creole cuisine
The restaurant business in New Orleans has historically been one of the most competitive in the world. I have found that many of the "hole in the wall" restaurants serve genuine Creole cuisine that is out of this world, for lower prices than the famous restaurants like Commander's and Bayona. But of course, you can't go wrong with the pricey ones, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_johnson View Post
when is the best time to visit (spring? autumn?).
October.

Yes, you MUST take a devastation tour, or drive throughout the whole city yourself if you cannot. The tourist areas like the French Quarter, CBD, and Uptown seem normal, but the vast stretches of the city away from the river from Lakeview through Gentilly through New Orleans East, and of course St. Bernard Parish, are still pretty bad and they are no longer shown on the news very much. You will not believe what you see.
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Old 05-19-2007, 03:23 PM
 
Location: new orleans
182 posts, read 765,935 times
Reputation: 83
yes, drive around or take a tour of the "other" part of the city. Words and pictures on TV do not begin to describe the destruction....you have to see it to believe it....
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Old 05-20-2007, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Motown
323 posts, read 1,030,397 times
Reputation: 198
Dan, two things .....
New Orleans is a place like no other. Some people "get it," and some people "don't." That said, it seems like you've gotten information from people who "don't" get it. If you're a lot like your friends, then you don't belong in New Orleans. As has been said by many before, New Orleans is a city that chooses her residents and her returning visitors, not the other way around.
Secondly, I feel very bad for tourists who never leave the French Quarter while in New Orleans. I visit at least once a year and I never go to the French Quarter. I find it to be a little like DisneyLand, and utterly lacking in soul compared to the rest of the city. Bourbon Street is ridiculous and prepare to get laughed at (and targeted for scams) by locals for partaking in it.
So, if you are up for adventure, try New Orleans. Mid-City, Lower Garden District, Uptown, Marigny, Bywater, Garden District .... all of these places have some of the coolest bars and the best food, music and hospitality of any places I've ever been.
But if you don't like New Orleans, stay away. It's better that way.
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Old 05-20-2007, 10:29 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,781 times
Reputation: 10
1. I'm not going to lie, while our new garbage pick-up service is doing a much better job, the Quarter still smells in the summer because of the heat. It is something you can either live with or not, I choose to because I love this city.

2. As for the hotel situation, I haven't stayed in too many being that I live here, however....the Ritz Carlton recently reopened, both of the W hotels are opened, the Hilton, Marriott are all open. I do agree with another member that said a B&B or a guest house may be the way to go. There are several B&Bs on St Charles and the streetcar should be up and running by the time you visit for an easy ride to the Quarter.

3.As long as you stay in populated areas, you sholuld not have a huge crime problem. Always be aware of your surroundings, and use common sense when travelling to a city you are unfamiliar with. Other fun areas....Mid City, Magazine St., Garden District, Marigny.

4. 2 Days is never enough to see it all, there are so many cool and unique things to see here. You really should take a tour of the destruction and a cemetery tour (they are beautiful). For info about the time that you are coming, you should go to nola.com or bestofneworleans.com, they also will both have restaurant guides!

5. As for the locals, we are friendly as long as you are. I was born and raised here and one thing that I have noticed is that, natives have a bond with this city more than another other in habitant, in any other city in the world. We love this city like it's a part of the family, and if someone puts it down, we don't like that. That's all. There is a local columnist here Chris Rose, you should look up some of his stuff on nola.com to really understand us before you come.

As for restaurants, I have worked at many so here are some of my favorites... Mandina's, Venezia's, Mr. B's, Joey K's.
And, finally time of year, I would go September or October. (It's a really fun place to be for Halloween!)

Hope this was helpful!
Nolagirl84
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