Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Bikes: Surly LHT, and 3 others
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The entire city is good for cycling in my opinion. And the message board you referred me to is generally accurate. Like any city in the USofA, if you are buying or selling drugs as a full time career, odd are your life will end tragically. Our murder statistics are padded with drug sellers. Regular law abiding citizens have less of a chance of being murdered by a stranger than being struck by lightning several times. HOWEVER, there are things you can do to almost assure you are a victim of crime. Wander around staggering drunk with expensive camera equipment around your neck, jewelry, etc and you will increase the odds of being victimized most likely after dark. Live in a any hood and leave your windows/doors wide open or unlocked. If you unwittingly invite crime, it will visit you in NOLA.
Where you live should be a function of where you work. If you take a job in the suburbs, why bike all the way across town twice a day, unless you like to do it. The opposite is true as well. If you have little money, you will be living in rundown hoods with the drug sellers/users. The sellers will leave you alone. The buyers will mug you. Maybe. I have many friends who live in hoods I will not bike to after dark. They bike all the time and have no issues. Likely they are smart about how they go about it, and my fear is somewhat unjustified.
If you want to be 100 percent absorbed into the New Orleans "scene" like the show "Treme", the Bywater area is ideal. Treme is becoming gentrified slowly. The French Quarter is OK but noisy if you like to sleep at night. You can be happy here just about anywhere, and relatively safe if you are not clueless or stupid. You have to act like a gazelle on the Serengeti - always alert and aware of where the predators hang out. Or if you are an action freak, get a carry permit and pack some heat.
Remember...most of us got flooded out of here recently. It was a lot of work and expense to return. Would have been easier to just move somewhere else, but we mostly returned if we could afford to do it. So that tells you something right there. BTW...if you move here, you need an evacuation plan during hurricane season. You could evacuate by bicycle, but renting/borrowing/buying a dependable vehicle is an option. Many people own two cars but want to evacuate together as a family. That means leaving one or more spare cars home to get flooded. If you know people in that pickle, offer to evacuate their car and even a load of their stuff in the trunk.
Hope this helps. Shoot me a PM or email if you move to NOLA. Maybe I can get you hooked up with some locals with like interests.