New Orleans, Louisiana

Magic Between The Lines

The BUZZ

What's it like to live in New Orleans

What's it like living in New Orleans?

Its really subjective and your experience may not be the same as your cousin. New Orleans is equally amazing, terrible, fun, infuriating, happy, depressed, unsafe, falling apart, magical, historic, corrupt, inspiring, and abysmal.

Your experience will be determined by a combination of factors. Where you reside in the city, the type person you are, how easily you adapt, how open or closed you are.

In general people are very friendly here. Crime is not like any other city. per capita New Orleans sees a much larger murder rate when you look at the numbers against population. New Orleans isnt very big, its more like a big town than a small city. The city government is abhorrent. New Orleans barley functions by comparison to other areas of the country. Be ready for terrible roads, a barley functioning water system, convoluted electrical grid. It's almost like living in a third world country, but in the US. There are not "bad parts" of town. You can walk by mansions and then in three blocks or less a crack house. It can be totally safe and beautiful and extremely dangerous at the same time.

There are times when I get so infuriated living here dealing with the stupidity that is never ending, and then I leave and visit friends or family somewhere in the country and I cant wait to get home. I cant fucking get the fuck out of their homogenized, culture-less, everything looks the fucking same, side eye cause I want a bloody mary with breakfast… On a Monday.

New Orleans can be intoxicating and frighting. You will love it or hate it. I dont think there is much of an in-between. Sometimes I really want to leave but I have no idea where I would go. Life here can be hard, and it can also be addicting.

New Orleans can also eat you alive. I've seen it happen to a lot of friends. Vice is on display and encouraged here. Its a balance and some are not good at handling that balance.

It's also hot as fuck most of the year.

What is it like to live in New Orleans?

I currently live in the Bywater neighborhood, but I’ve lived in the French Quarter and the Marigny (all close to the Quarter). Around here it’s lots of live music, artists and ‘hipsters’. It’s also a very gay neighborhood (great neighbors), with quite a few ‘mixed’ couples (like me and my darling wife). There are more people who were born and raised here, from families that have lived here for generations, than most any city.

As far as everyday life goes, there are neighborhoods that would be considered ‘food deserts’, where the nearest major name grocery store is two miles or more from you. It’s easy if you have a car, but once you learn your way around you’ll find that there are small independent stores that do a very good job filling that need. The suburbs have the big stores, but who cares?

I like living in a funky neighborhood, and I can’t really speak about daily life in other parts of town, but I can say that there is more weirdness here than other cities. As an example, I was walking down the street with my friend Eric one time and we met a guy coming the other way in full clown regalia, red nose, big shoes, etc. We spoke a greeting as we passed. My friend said “That guy would attract a lot of attention most places but here he’s just a man going to work.”

Real neighborhood bars where you socialize with people who live near you, parades for any reason or no reason, and neighbors who watch out for each other. I have missed lots of things, come on down and check it out. Just be yourself, unless you’re no fun.

What is it like to live in New Orleans?

I moved here in November.

I fucking love it. I haven’t lived a summer yet, so maybe in September my opinion will change some. But I think whatever inconvenience the summer brings will be the reckoning needed after such a good time so far.

Here’s the ugly:

Crime is an issue. It’s probably less of an issue than the news lets on but I definitely don’t enjoy walking alone in some places.

Gentrification - it’s creeping and may be on a lull right now because the movie industry stopped loving NOLA, but it’s there. Prices are going up and there are rumors and fears about starbucks or other terrible fucking things coming into the neighborhoods.

The weed ain’t great. I moved here from California, so I’m not enjoying having to find drug dealers instead of doing things the proper way with dispensaries and choice.

Driving on these streets is like driving on the moon. Don’t bring a low-profile vehicle, potholes will eat your bumper. Only the drunks drive straight lines in New Orleans. Everyone else is weaving around pot-holes.

The rest is good:

Music everywhere. People don’t move here for the peace and quiet. If you’re the kind of scumbag who calls the cops on a musician trying to make a dime or people celebrating…get the fuck out of New Orleans. Even the crickets and cicadas are in tune. Even on a Tuesday night at 3am you’ll find talented live music in New Orleans. The city is infected with music…and the music is infected with the city.

Nightlight. This is a 24hour party town. Things get kicking after midnight, not before. You can drink outside, unlike the rest of this god-forsaken-police-state where you fear government imposed violence and taxation over having a fucking beer outside, where God intended us to drink.

What is it like to live in New Orleans?

I have had the opportunity to live in many places in the US but New Orleans and south-Louisiana as a whole captured my heart. Why? Hard to explain. As a native NYer when I first moved to N’awlins it immediately felt like home. Some key things were “familiar” like real neighborhoods, local businesses that know you, local (as in non-franchise) bars and restaurants. Etc. It was far easier to settle in there than any other place. But that was just the beginning, the best parts were the differences. Things like cheap SHRIMP! Crabs, warm-welcoming people, festivals, weather, good public transportation, etc. all made the assimilation easy, for me at least.

This was pre-Katrina New Orleans, and as a single guy making a decent salary it was the greatest adventure of my life. Eating fresh baked french bread and drinking wine while reading the paper on Sunday mornings on the river, eating char grilled oysters at Acme, going to Record Ron’s on Decatur to look for rare vinyl, Mardi Gras, Lundi Gras, St. Josephs Day, late night beers at Igor’s on St. Charles, Zulu ball, fly fishing at Bayou St. John behind Mayor Morial’s house…..the list can go on and on.

If you can’t glean it from my words, in a nutshell New Orleans has a grit and gravitas all its own. A uniqueness, individuality and distinct identity that few cities in America have.

New Orleans is that bad girl that loves you in spite of yourself, and though your mama may not like her she makes every day fun. It’s that cheap, greasy burger you covet in the middle of the night that you know is bad for you, but tastes good enough to get you out of bed at 3:00am to get. It’s that cheap ass wine that tastes better than the expensive stuff but you are ashamed to admit it to your wine snob friends.

That’s New Orleans, and that’s why I will always love it. Enjoy!

Pros & Cons of Living in New Orleans 2022