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Thread: NO is worth another look....

  1. #1
    Jul 2002
    New Orleans, LA

    NO is worth another look....

    Ask me whether I wanted to live in NO 8 years ago and I would have said hell NO.

    My family has ties to this city which go back to Bienville and I am no cajun bubba - The only bubba I know lived in the White House and hails from Arkansas. (FYI - by the way, using the term "cajun" in some parts of LA to refer to someone who is not a decendent of the Acadian people is considered a slur...)

    What's changed my opinion? This place grows on you - like spanish moss on an old oak tree (or algae on the sidewalk).

    I consider myself a creative, highly educated person who could have chosen many other places to live (including Lansing, Madison, Buffalo, etc.).

    I think that NO has made remarkable strides - but like many other large cities - we have a ways to go and I want to be part of the group which makes this change happen. Isn't that one of the biggest challenges for the creative types - finding a way to channel their time into some cause and make a difference?

    Crime rates continue to decline - significantly under the previous Mayor and from a high point reached in the early 1990's where we were dubbed the "Murder Capital of the US".

    Granted, we are not known as being highly educated. But like the Buffalo example - we have our share of higher-education institutions (public and private) and an agressive state-funded program that is keeping the best and brightest our state has to offer here to complete their higher education.

    Gentrification (a sign of hip-ness in many areas) has been riding tall since the 1984 World Fair - changing a former derlict warehousing district into a hot and happen place of night clubs, loft apartments, artist colonies, and restaurants.

    We are home to the country's oldest coffee house (Cafe DuMonde) where performance arts (poetry, reading, music, arts) are served over cups of steaming latte and wonderfully delicious donuts. We are also home to several of the country's oldest watering holes, restaurants and homes where inspiration was gathtered for Degas, Williams, Twain or gave birth to a host of wonderful musicians (too many to name here...)

    Jazzfest - need I say anything else....

    Mardi Gras - our own personal release valve...allowing us to stand the long, hot summer.

    High-tech and service industries are growing - granted we will never be the high-end first class corporate headquarters of a Houston or Atlanta - but thankfully some of the problems associated with living in those cities will pass us by!

    To the respondent who moved here from Madison and is still looking for the creative types - maybe you are hanging out with the wrong crowd or in the wrong places????

    I challenge you to keep looking (and not just in the sleezy, steamy, or out-of-the way places) and you will find what you are looking for. Give yourself the freedom to look around, enjoy all the City has to offer.

    We would love to keep you here. But if you find you are stiffled creatively and cannot get with the groove here- then feel free to leave and make room for someone else. We are an island (technically) - space is limited!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Dec 1998
    Plannerman....do you do freelance work for the Chamber or the Proud to Call it Home campaign???

  3. #3

    Well said . . .

    An excellent argument for our wonderful city. Someone ought to send this dialog to Mr. Florida.

    Just out of curiosity PlannerMan.

    What part of New Orleans do you live in?
    Where are you originally from?

  4. #4

    Jul 2002
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    I agree with PlannerMan...New Orleans is not lacking on the creativity index.

    My point is that though we may not rank high on Florida's creative index, New Orleans definitely has what Florida's touting as the ingredients for a "successful place": --- most tolerant of "...racial and ethnic diversity, and of sexual orientation" (pg. 12, Planning, July 2002). Yet, we're losing, not attracting our "creative class" as such. So, what's the deal here?

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Bump. Moved from Louisiana APA Forum.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
    Oct 2003
    A Dog in a Hat

    Re: NO is worth another look....

    Originally posted by PlannerMan
    We are home to the country's oldest coffee house (Cafe DuMonde) where performance arts (poetry, reading, music, arts) are served over cups of steaming latte and wonderfully delicious donuts.
    Hey, I actually have one of their coffee cups sitting on my desk right now! Its holding pennies

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    I enjoy my visits to NO, although I find the panhandlers, poor condition of historic buildings (much of the French 1/4), significant run-down areas throughout the city, and attitude of some to be turn-offs. As someone who has lived in a number of places, I can comment that Madison, as a percentage of its population, has a much larger group of "bohenian lifestyle" people than most cities. I don't doubt that there are these people in NO and other lower-ranking cities, but they do not make up so large a percentage of the population.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    I completely agree. New Orleans is the South's only pre-WWII large urban city that approached the size of many Northern cities at the time. It's potential has yet to be realized and it's still got an urban core that would be wonders to work with. The first step though, is to turn its economy around. New Orleans has just been sucked dry from the likes of Houston for so long.

  9. #9
    Sep 2003
    Baltimore, Maryland
    "The deal", ZonedOut, is that NO has, for now at least, more troubles and a worse reputation than, say, Madison. It also has much more potential for greatness, and a place I will visit one day (dammit!)

    As a soon-to-be Baltimoron (and I say that with pride), I'm glad and heartened to hear from another person who discovered a city, loves it, and chose to live in it. You have a good attitude, and I wish you the best of luck.

    Oh, and welcome, Plannerman and Rail!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Big Easy King's avatar
    Jul 2003
    Overlooking the Quarter
    The charm, character, and culture of the Big Easy is undeniably great and I'm proud to call it home. However, even with all that the City is and offers culturally and even though the City has made strides economically, it still has plenty of obstacles (politics, etc.) to overcome in order to compete on various levels with other major cities of similar size.

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