Sixteen years ago, the city was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and it was a certain togetherness. This can be best imagined as the hive mentality that facilitates its rise from submersion
Without further ado, let’s tell you the 10 top reasons to move to New Orleans this year.
New Orleans is an exotic American city precipitating from the traditions and culture of the Creoles, French, Spanish, Irish, Italian, and former sub-Saharan slaves, and people of color.
Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, the city has become a fast-growing city post-recession, with a regular inflow of professionals, musicians, chefs, artists, and creators from all over the country.
Residents and tourists can find a spot to enjoy the tunes of talented artists every night of the week at The Big Easy.
1. Rich Heritage
Established in 1718 under French colonial rule as Nouvelle Orleans, New Orleans spurns historical landmarks such as French Quarter, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, for the new arrivals’ viewing delight. These sites magnetize millions of tourists every year.
One aspect of this city that makes it an enchanting relocation destination is its riveting history. European imperialists infiltrated the region and occupied even before the occupation of a large part of the rest of North America. This places New Orleans’ communities as one of the oldest in North America.
Today, the rest of New Orleans is populated by hundreds of museums, historic edifices, structures, landmarks, and works of art spanning thousands of years from when the ancient dwellers and native Americans lived there. No American city comes close to NOLA when it comes to food, culture, historic architecture, and hospitality options.
Fix your gaze at beautiful architecture colorizing the city on the back of its 300-year existence. Living in one of these houses might even connect you with ancient Egyptian influences.
The life of New Orleanians is influenced by a blend of inputs from whites and blacks. White American heritage stems primarily from the French-speaking Cajun community. It manifests itself in the commerce of the city. Immigrant heritage comprises German Oktober Fests, Irish Communities, Italian St. Joseph’s Day altars, all which spices up the urban mix. African American heritage is marked by dignified professions, particularly in the antebellum period, where free persons of color were poets, musicians, journalists, entrepreneurs, and landowners.
Both slaves and black freemen were famed for being industrious in businesses such as ironworks, carpentry, bricklaying. The efforts of African American music artists resulted in the emergence of Jazz.
2. It celebrates Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is the last Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, marking the end of Carnival which begins on January 6. Major parades and heavy feasting are its main undertones before things slip into the somberness of lent. Every year, the event draws nearly 1.5 million people. Sadly, the city council canceled Mardi Gras celebrations for 2021 due to the pandemic.
The activities make for a family-friendly experience. You can check out popular family parade-viewing spots at St. Charles and Napoleon Streets.
To be sure you don’t get confused during carnival, here are some terms associated with the festivity:
Krewes are the companies charged with the responsibility of planning and coordinating Mardi Gras parades and masquerade parties. In line with Carnival traditions, several krewes refrain from mentioning the theme of their parades until the night of festivities. Krewes wear masks to conceal their identities. The Rex Organization, one of the oldest Mardi Gras Krewes in the city stipulated that green, purple, and gold were the official colors of Mardi Gras celebrations in 1892. The three hues signify faith, justice, and power.
In this city, it is absolutely normal to go about with alcoholic beverages in plastic cups, Mardi Gra aside. Go cups mean that you can take your drinks from between bars or between parades.
Median strips that bifurcate streets are called neutral ground in this city. Mardi Gras attendees use this term to refer to where they will stand along parade routes between the neutral ground area and the sidewalk area.
Each Mardi Gras krewe generates its unique array of trinkets to hurl at parade attendees, who then attempt to catch throws that will serve as memorabilia. This tradition has stood for 130 years and features everything from purses to beads, toiletries, cups, and pendants.
3. The Food is unmatchable
Get hold of a napkin and familiarize yourself with famous Louisiana dishes like muffuletta, jambalaya, po’boy, beignets, red beans, and rice.
Louisiana cuisine comes in two major types (schools of thought if you may): Cajun Cuisine and Creole Cuisine.
Cajun food is recognized by tangy flavors and a seafood base and is inspired by Spanish, French, African, and Native American cuisine. Local influences such as alligator, catfish, and okra are added to the mash-up. Creole foods are more suited to regular urban folk as they are more refined.
4. Vibrant music scene
For many people, music is life. If you’re an audiophile and can’t get enough music, stretch your listening ear further by moving to New Orleans.
NOLA is full of live sounds, after all, it is the home of Jazz. Jazz Fest draws over 450,000 attendees annually.
Live theater is attended by several community theater companies. Musical events like the operas hosted by the New Orleans Opera Association, concerts organized by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Orleans Ballet Association, and concerts delivered by the New Orleans Jazz Club.
In and around Jackson Square in the French Quarter, you will hear musicians making blaring joyful sounds. We promise you’ll get a good show.
5. A bevy of Museums
Museums dot the city. Since World War II, the city has become much of an art center, showcasing many artists and galleries curating original artifacts to their visitors.
The National World War II Museum is the leader of the pack, showcasing several edifices worth of exhibits, immersive experiences, and compelling history. Across the street, the comparably modest Memorial Hall Museum – the oldest museum in Louisiana lines up an elaborate, well-preserved curation of Confederate antiques.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is a museum that showcases a wide array of collections, most notably photography and decorative arts.
Other attractions include the Aquarium of the Americas, one of the nations major aquariums.
6. Sports heads have something to rally about
Like jazz music and carnivals, sports has a hallowed position in NOLA.
New Orleanians love their sports teams. When they are not idolizing the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, they are watching the New Orleans Pelicans shoot hoops at the Smoothie King Center.
In 2010, the saints won their first Super Bowl. It was a significant event in their road to recovery from Hurricane Katrina. In early January, the Superdome hosts the Sugar Bowl, a collegiate football championship. This is where other sports are showcased such as Horse racing, held at the local Fair Grounds race course. Golfers, also, throng to the Compaq Classic of New Orleans in a local golf club every year. Boating and fishing are popular leisure time activities on the city’s vast waterways. The Southern Yacht Club on Lake Pontchartrain is the second-oldest yacht club in the United States. In addition to this lakeside attraction is the city’s two largest parks, namely Audubon and City.
7. So many inviting neighborhoods to choose from
Most newcomers to the city only ever get to see the French Quarter. But emerge from this famous touristy area and stumble upon diverse unearthed gems that’ll make you feel right at home instantly.
Named after Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville – its first plantation owner – Marigny is an original Creole neighborhood. Marigny gambled away his plantation, but his loss was the city’s gain.
Alive, with eye-popping Creole cottages, indie stores, unique restaurants, and live music, Marigny is a place you should consider making your own.
● Lower Garden District
Once the base of a sizable population of working-class immigrants, LGD has morphed to become a sizzling neighborhood with hip coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and other delights on parade.
Renowned as the oldest black neighborhood in the country, Treme reveals all you need to know about the New Orleans black community. This neighborhood holds a compendium of jazz clubs, soul food spots, and cultural hubs.
Endeavor to visit Old Road Coffee, Fatma’s Cozy Corner, for a happy morning breakfast.
Find museums like the New Orleans African-American Museum, and don’t miss the Backstreet Cultural Museum where you can learn about Carnival and Mardi Gras.
This is a peaceful neighborhood located on the West Bank of River Mississippi. It paves way to downtown via one of America’s oldest ferry lines, which has been operating for over three centuries. Algiers Point is a neighborhood noted for its Creole cottages, well-decorated lumber-based homes, art galleries, and bars. Titillate your senses with handcrafted glassworks, and homeware at Rosetree Blown Glass studio. Catch some live jazz at Old Point Bar or some local delicacies like barbecued shrimp, seafood gumbo, and muffuletta, Dry Dock Cafe.
St. Claude Avenue
This area welcomes you to Nola’s bohemian side. Sitting on the St. Claude Corridor, St. Claude Avenue has grown to become an entertainment and dining hub. Watch improvised comedy at New Movement, or visit contemporary artworks at the Front. You can also discover a slew of affordable meals in local restaurants like unique vegetarian dishes like broccoli toast with tofu cheese served at Sneaky Pickie. Or, you can enjoy Chinese fare with a Southern edge at Red’s Chinese. Anyone would enjoy their kung pao pastrami, craw rangoon, and cheese burger fried rice.
Despite being the hardest-hit neighborhood when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Lakeview bounced back in style. The layout and architecture of the neighborhood’s houses and streets is reminiscent of old-fashioned charm. Discover a wide range of local shops, restaurants, and grocery stores along the busy lane at Harrison Avenue.
8. Decent job market
Overall, job growth in New Orleans has been positive. It has 5.8% less unemployment than Austin, TX. Economic activity is diverse and includes energy, manufacturing, foreign trade, hospitality, tourism, and healthcare. According to US News and World Report, the hospitality sector is the most developed, providing over 86,000 jobs every year.
9. Thriving education system
Kids love New Orleans’ schools. It’s only natural that the friendliness of the people rubs off on the educational system. Unlike the other locations in the country, NOLA is the first city where virtually all public schools are charter schools, with each wielding the authority to develop its own culture. The charter system allows students and families to choose whichever school they want while demanding accountability from school administrators, tutors, and staff. The high school graduation rate rose from 54% in 2004 to 78% in 2018, and more students are qualifying for state scholarships and gaining admission into colleges.
The Orleans Parish School System (OPSB) oversees the public school system in the city. Directly, it oversees 6 schools and has granted charter to 18 others. The Orleans Public School Board has maintained control of the assets of the New Orleans Public System.
10. Let’s you navigate easily
New Orleans’ streetcar and bus system is an exciting way to traverse the city. It is controlled by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority who Charges $1.25 per trip. Add cheap and effective public transportation to the city’s rank as the most expensive state for car insurance and you will see why you don’t need to own a car to get to where you need to be.
The iconic streetcar, for long, has been a favorite way to move in this city. It comprises main lines that extend through the city’s major neighborhoods. Many newcomers to the city appreciate that St. Charles streetcar line is a destination of its own because it takes riders to a historic your through the mansions and oaks of Loyola, St. Charles Avenue, Tulane university and Audubon in uptown.
Riding the bus in Nola is also common. Fielding 34 bus lines that runs for almost 24 hours, RTA buses are a convenient method for accessing the neighborhood. It stretches farther than the limits of the streetcar routes. Buses typically run every 30 minutes with briefier wait times at busy spots. The airport express bus operates from 3:45 am to 7:45 pm. Other departure times may vary. Buses on the busy areas like Claiborne Avenue can operate all night, especially in touristy neighborhoods like Marigny, Garden District, and CBD.
If you want to hitch a ferry, there are two major ferry services in this city. One which connects Algiers and Chalmette. But since there’s a traffic bridge link to the West Bank, it is improbable that you’ll be needing this service unless you’ve got a lot going on in the eastern areas of NOLA.
Pedicabs and bikes are commonplace throughout the French Quarter, Warehouse District, and CBD. They are a great option for short-distrance trips and high-traffic spots. Pedicab drivers are known to be mild-mannered and can be somewhat of a city tour guide as they are information purveyors.
Ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber are also a common sight across the city. They are even more affordable and convenient than renting a car.
Let’s not forget the city’s flat landscape, which allows for easy biking. The city comes in at #10 for the city with the highest number of cycle commuters.
Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has blossomed into a desirable city filled with activity and high-personality neighborhoods.
Before long, you would agree with the “no-place-like-New-Orleans,” mantra chorused by realtors and property managers in the area. Let the good times roll!