5.7 out of 10

New Orleans

Ranked 1st best city in Louisiana
30.0257658518993 -89.8779651413407
Great for
  • Parking
  • Internet Access
  • Eating Out
  • Shopping Options
  • Nightlife
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Feb 27, 2016

"Still recovering yet vibrant"

NOLA is a beautiful, colorful city full of life. In the extremely conservative state of Louisiana, it is a more liberal hub with a very unique culture and history unlike anything else in the US. Compared to many other cities in the south, there’s a thriving LGBTQ community here as well. Tourism is the main industry in New Orleans, and is definitely what keeps this city running.

Much of the city is flat and walkable, thought it’s so hot and muggy in the summer that you’ll probably want to get a street car or a bus to get around. Otherwise people drive or ride bikes. Because it’s so flat you’ll see a lot of heavy cruiser bikes, some even with classic back-pedal brakes.

Water is a big part of the identity here. New Orleans is bordered in the south by the Mississippi River, in the north by Lake Pontchartrain as well as Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, and in the east by Lake Borgne and more Bbayous, which spill into the Atlantic Ocean.

Water, of course, is also what destroyed much of the city in 2005’s Hurricane Katrina when the levees broke.

HURRICANE
Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath brought out a lot of racial tension and legacy that had been underlying but had not been solved. One big issue that came out was the racialization of poverty—when the hurricane was on its way, the city had warnings to evacuate. Thousands of people left for their own safety. Those who didn’t? The people who couldn’t afford it, didn’t have a car, or didn’t have a place to stay elsewhere. And a disproportionate majority of them were black. So when the levees broke, that meant that a disproportionate amount of the people who died or were injured were also black. Now I definitely can’t do justice to this highly complex and charged issue here, but I wanted to note that for all of NOLA’s amazing characteristics, it is still struggling with how to best and most fairly support all of it’s residents. But it’s definitely not alone in that regard, it’s something than many American cities struggle with, though not on the same dramatic scale as seen with the hurricane.

As for the physical damage of Katrina, though a lot of progress has been made, the city still hasn’t recovered fully. You’ll see a lot of construction and boarded up, abandoned buildings dotting the city, even a few in the downtown core, though most are in surrounding neighborhoods. This means that construction has become the other main industry here, alongside tourism.

NEIGHBORHOODS
Speaking of neighborhoods, cost of living varies wildly depending on where you live in the city. The French Quarter is out of reach for most, as the hottest place in town. The Garden District also has a high price tag, because it’s full of gorgeous old mansions and pristine gardens. But other nearby neighborhoods begin to reach a more reasonable cost. I really like Marigny, just east of the French Quarter, which is full of colorful houses of different sizes, and is close to the famous Frenchman’s street, which boasts dozens of music venues squeezed one next to the other. Bayou St John is also a fun neighborhood, and it’s got the benefit of being close to the HUGE city park. The neighborhoods near Tulane University are also nice, and full of students.

Neighborhoods that were damaged more by Katrina, of course, are the most affordable, because in many cases they haven’t received the resources they need to properly rebuild. The most famous of which is the 9th ward, which was almost completely destroyed.

NIGHTLIFE & CULTURE
On a lighter note, this is definitely a city that knows how to party and have fun, and not just on Mardi Gras. Themed parties are a strong tradition here, so you’ll get the chance to bust out your costumes and dance more than once a year.

And do I need to say how great the music is here? Any night of the week, you can find outstanding musicians playing at dozens of venues around the city. The nightlife and party scene is how the city got the nickname the Big Easy. One of the best things about NOLA’s party culture though, is that it’s not just for college students, like in many other cities. Many of the festivals, parades, and music events here are meant to be for all types of people, all ages, all backgrounds.

This inclusive culture is also reflected in the southern hospitality that comes out in full force. It really is a special place to be a visitor, because many of the locals will go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

FOOD
I can’t finish the review without mentioning the food. The food is, of course, amazing. The city is probably best well known for seafood, and Cajun style flavors. Gumbo, Jambalaya, po-boy sandwiches, Beignets, Crawfish Étouffée…. There are so many delicious things to try. I don’t want to do the city an injustice by recommending restaurants because there are SO MANY places that have excellent food.
Pros
  • Vibrant culture
  • Lots of fun event and festivals
  • Amazing music scene
Cons
  • Still recovering from Hurricane Katrina
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"New Orleans, Lousiana--Either Like It or Hate It, But You'll Probably End Up Loving It!"

New Orleans is a gem of a city. I have lived here all of my life. It's diverse culture and laid back attitude makes it a wonderful place to visit. However, since Hurricane Katrina, there have been some noticeable changes in the atmosphere of the city. Here is my take on major life issues that should concern anyone considering living here:

1. Since the occurrance of Huricane Katrina, the school system is a mixed bag. In addition to the regular private and parochial schools, we now have a variation of public schools. Most schools ran by the Orleans Parish School Board have been rated as low performing (with the exception of a few). These schools I avoid enrolling my kids in. Charter Schools have been really showing the public how a school is properly ran. I have two sons that attend a charter school, and I am absolutely floored by the level of care and concern that the administrators show towards the curriculum as well as the children. Schools listed under the Recovery District are a little better than the Orleans Parish Public School System schools, but I don't believe they are better than the charter schools. The charter schools have received acclimations for their improved and high test scores.

2. New Orleans, before Hurricane Katrina, was a bit confusing to tourists as far as safety was concerned. Hotels were not allowed to tell patrons where to go and where to not go, but pretty much if you stayed in the French Quarter area you were relatively safe from killings (not muggings or fights). The main issue used to be that you could be in a an area that was considered "safe", but if you walked two blocks away, you could have found yourself in a very dangerous area. Now, after Hurricane Katrina, the boundaries have changed. You may not be safe anywhere anymore. I suggest that anyone that wants to live here should either travel in groups or arm themselves. Always be aware of your surroundings.

3. Food and entertainment is something New Orleans Prides itself on. You can always find good food at a reasonable prices, and you can always find a wide array of cuisine. There are always some type of festival or celebration happening in the New Orleans area, and bars stay open late into the night. We also have area casinos if you are into gambling. In these areas, New Orleans reigns supreme.

4. Children in New Orleans have many choices of activities to choose from. We have soccer leagues, neighborhood football leagues for tots, the Children's Museum, City Park (it has rides), and the New Orleans Museum of Art (they sometimes host programs for children). Our best attraction for kids, however, is the Aquarium and Audobon Zoo. These are wonderful places to plan activities for your children. In conjunction with City Park, you can easily plan a full day of educational and fun activities for your child without breaking the bank.

5. Jobs in the city, since Hurricane Katrina, have really focused on construction. While I have a Master's Degree, New Orleans is considered to be a city of low educated people. We have no fortune 500 companies, and we are not a tech city. If you have aspirations of finding a good job in New Orleans, you will eithe need to be in the construction field, in the education field (college), or related in the housing market. I do not suggest that highly skilled people move to New Orleans to look for work. Jobs are on the low end of the pay scale here unless you are an Attorney, Accountant, or government worker.

New Orleans is a wonderful city full of good food and good times. I would recommend living here because the cost of living is relatively low, and if you are considering going "Green", everything is pretty close so you don't have long commutes. Come down to New Orleans and see if you like it. I guarantee you will.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Willow Street is Friendly with Great Homeowners and it is Improving Everyday"

Willow Street has some excellent, and not so excellent blocks. The area East of Carrollton is the area towards the University and is nice but not hte focus of this post -these are two different neighborhoods. The area referenced here is on the west side of Carrollton. Records show the houses were built between 1895 and 1920, but will vary for each. The area is currently not listed locally as a historical district, but should be - the Garden District and French Quarter and other affluent areas have taken precedence for that category.

The street is very wide and within walking distance to many great restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, antique stores, yoga studio, spa, one gym, dry cleaners, daycare, pilates, ice cream shop, and more on Oak Street and Carrollton Avenue.

The street care barn is 1 block off of Carrollton Ave, on Willow Street. The store across the street to the street car barn, on Dante and Willow, is a Fatal Flaw of this street and really brings down the neighborhood, reduces quality of life of residents, reduces property values and promotes litter, noise drug sales, loitering and violence. The store has grandfathered in status and primarily sells booze to old drunks nad cigarrettes to thugs who loiter nad sit on milk crates. The patrons of the store, Stop and Go, loiter and litter up the entire neighborhood and no immediate neighbors shop at the store. Avoid the store - there is only canned food expired in 2005 and some other stinky smelly junk food. Police do not monitor the store regularly and the store owners do not care about the neighborhood or neighbors at all and do nothing to promote a healthy neighborhood or that respects neighbors. This store also contribues to a high amount of traffic that does not live in the neighborhood. The neighbors are trying to get officials to control and monitor the store - check for updates.

The rest of Willow Street is great except once you get past Leonides towards the River. The area has been neglected and unmaintained by the property owners and here are several blighted properties that the city has failed to address. That portion of willow had a reputation of having high crime, however, check the current records. Realistically in New Orleans all areas are "high crime" so it is unclear on whether this western section of Willow St. differs much from the rest of New Orleans.

Other than that the neighborhood really is friendly and quiet, the neighbors know each other and talk often/daily, and they keep their homes very clean and neat. The general area has undergone several transitions since its origin and is mostly filled with traditional shotgun, double shotgun and camelback architecture. Since there is no Historical Preservation status locally there are currently no regulations on upgrading with untraditional (and unsustainable products) materials such as Vinyl Siding, but it is still rare to see this type of product in the area. Several FEMA trailers remain in some blocks still 2 years after Hurricane Katrina.

The neighborhood is currently culturally diverse, pet walking friendly, musician friendly, and minimally art-friendly and gay/lesbian friendly, and is also historically predominately African American. African Americans began moving into the Willow Street portion of the neighborhood around the 1960's. The area appears to have a high percentage of homeownership, and some rentals. Houses are well maintained bwtween Carrollton and aroudn Leonides - patchy after that to the river with some abandoned neglected blighted properties. The area is considered Flood Zone B, which is very good - very "high" for New Orleans. Do not know of any houses that acutally took water in on Willow on the west side of Carrollton, during/after Katrina - please update this info if you have a block that did on the west side of Carrollton.

The street is very wide (for New Orleans) and often used as bike route for people who ride their bikes - please use caution and a helmet as people do speed in New Orleans and no bike awareness adnn education has been promoted to many drivers.

Unparented children/youth do walk and run around parentless and shout interesting sterotypes. In general, many children in New Orleans run around parentless and lack play ground facilities and parents and any guidance or protection or authority.

The closing of a store around Joliet Street was an imporvement to the neighborhood. It improved the neighborhood drastically to have the business closed down becuase of the high drug trafficking associated with the store. The neighborhood has since made a huge turn for the better with increased property values and increased quality of life ofr neighbors.

The Pigeontown Steppers grace Willow Street for an Easter parade. Oak Street, just two blocks away has many locally owned one-of-a-kind famous businesses.


The Street Car will be back up and running Soon! Check the RTA website for updates. The area falls under the CRRA Carrolton Riverend Neighborhood Association and there website can give you information on events, updates, local volunteering, local crime, local activities and historical information.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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