Living, loving and loathing in New Orleans: my likes and dislikes about our city

I’m a New Orleans girl, born and bred. There are so many things I love about this city. I mentioned it before in my intro post, but Chris Rose sums it up best: “We dance when there is no music. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of those who don’t.”

8622_560814257312904_1115146812_nI have a fickle relationship with Nola. Until I left for college and traveled to other cities, I didn’t know what else was out there. I developed a love affair with Baton Rouge, LSU and its ‘stately oaks and broad magnolias.’ I honestly thought I would plant roots there upon graduation. Yet like most college grads, I had little money and big ideas. Josh (then my fiancé, now my husband of 9 years) graduated a semester before me and chose to move back home with his parents and accept a job at West Jefferson hospital. It made financial sense, so I did the same upon graduation. Everything else just fell into place. A lot of our friends followed suit, but after Katrina many of them left. We debated doing the same but our families and jobs were here, as were our hearts. So we stayed. I now have a business and am raising a child here. I need my family around me.  1186021_10101095394287876_1720576378_n

When I visit friends in other cities like Dallas, Houston, Lafayette and as far away as Seattle, I sometimes daydream about living in a city like those. Cleaner, less crime, better schools, no imminent threat of hurricanes. But then when I come home and a total stranger says “How ya doin’, baby?” I remember what makes New Orleans special. We have traditions like nowhere else; a unique culture that runs through our veins. And let’s face it: New Orleanians live to eat. I miss the food when I leave. We talk about past meals and the next meal we want to have while sharing a delicious dinner. The only place I’ve been that didn’t have me longing for our food is Italy. It seems superficial, but it’s who we are.

bEAUCOUPI watched the news two days ago and saw that yet another child was shot. In the face. It’s ridiculous and makes me want to hightail it outta here. It’s a shame that our city has so much potential yet we are in the top 15 cities in the U.S. with more than 100 murders in 2012. We recently chose to move to Plaquemines Parish so we could be only 9 miles from the city but live with very little crime (only one murder in 2011) and good public schools. I still have to deal with hurricanes (which I loathe), but I just resolved myself to take the good with the bad. All I can do is pray that I am making the best choice for family. At the end of the day, I want to raise my family to love life here, and like our poster says, “always come home.”

What do you love most about New Orleans? Does anything about living here frustrate you at times?

6 Responses to Living, loving and loathing in New Orleans: my likes and dislikes about our city

  1. Sarah October 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I’ve only had a taste of NOLA (just 4 years of being stationed there), but I learned to love it. I don’t think you really appreciate the city and all it’s charms until you leave/move away – like you said, Angelina. 🙂 I’m glad that we had our daughter, Emma, there, got to dabbled in the traditions (Mardi Gras is our FAVE!) and were able to takeaway some of the best friends ever!! It is a city like no other and we can’t wait to get back for a visit 🙂

    • Angelina October 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      It is a city like no other, you are so right!

  2. Karla Young October 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    just move away and see how fast you will mourn over coffee,food

    • Angelina October 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Very true!

  3. Lesle McClure October 7, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Angelina’s article was rather pedestrian. Certainly she expressed nothing new in terms of the unique aspects of the city and the people. There are many, many other wonderful places to live in addition to New Orleans, I am a native New Orleanian, and live in Raleigh NC now, but will always call New Orleans my home. The heart and soul of the people, the culture, and the diversity are what I miss. Great food is available everywhere these days, but New Orleans just has more of it and more people who care about it. I don’t miss the crime, the sorry state of the streets, the humidity, and the cost of living there. Would I move back if I could, absolutely.

  4. Grouchy in Uptown October 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    There is a LOT to loathe when you live in Orleans Parish. I could go on, but I am not going to move so I try to focus on the positive. I don’t think that crime and bad schools are really that unique to NOLA though, maybe corruption, racism, poverty, lack of civic pride, and the constant need to pat ourselves on the back and say how great we are, despite these major problems, I find all of those things frustrating. And here i am also saying how unique OUR problems are. It’s a bad cycle, and we are unique, but it can get old sometimes. Like, yeah if we’re so great why can’t I get due process for the speeding ticket issued to ME when it was my husband driving my car, and there is NO WAY I can appeal it?? I have no due process. Oh, and the city can’t seem to figure out the school zone blinking lights during daylight savings time and school holidays. The people who run this city are lazy and incompetent! Well I guess that about sums up what is a good reason to LOATHE Orleans Parish at least. I do feel that since I do live in Orleans, I have more room to complain than the folks in the suburbs. And w/o us folks in the city, there would be no suburbs. If all the people who fled the city because of the crime, schools, potholes, etc., moved back, it would make a difference. Don’t you think? Wow I should stop typing and chance my name to anon before I make some enemies!

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