Relocating to New Orleans
I had a long conversation with a friend recently. She moved from the West Coast to the East Coast last year and is feeling a little like a fish out of water in her new city. The culture is completely different from what she is used to and, in her opinion, the people just aren’t as friendly.
That’s not to say that everyone on the East Coast is unfriendly. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, my friend hasn’t found those like minded people yet that will allow her to feel more at home and less like a transplant.
As we were talking, she told me that she has had several job offers in southeast Louisiana, but that she’s not ready to make another move quite so soon. Although I tried to cajole her with tales of diversity and our love of the eccentric, she’s not budging. But, it got me thinking about how accepting New Orleanians are of those who others might consider “different” and how welcoming we are to everyone who moves here.
In many ways, we are a typical American city. We have artists and musicians. Bankers and soccer moms. Entrepreneurs and successful business owners. Parks and playgrounds. Potholes and problems.
In so many ways, we are much, much more.
We celebrate like no other city….living life to its fullest, even turning what is just another Tuesday in any other part of America into the greatest free show on earth. Whether you are a native who is part of the old line Carnival organizations or you are experiencing Mardi Gras for the first time, there is fun to be had by all.
Meals are more than nourishment…they are an event, a gathering and sometimes even a contest for who is the best. While some of my friends that have moved away are paying outrageous prices for frozen seafood, I’m taking a quick run over to Westwego to buy it fresh, directly from the guy who was out on his boat this morning.
Art is celebrated…with multiple, diverse mediums used to communicate vision. Glass, paintings, sculptures, even graffiti can send a message here. There is a vibrant artistic community that has an open door for anyone who wants to join in.
Music drifts through the city…from the sounds of practicing marching bands, the opera, the local dive bar band and the symphony to the DJ playing at a backyard crawfish boil. No event in New Orleans is complete without music, from a family birthday party to the second lines that end a jazz funeral.
We are connected…once you’ve lived here for any length of time, I dare you to go shopping or to the movies or even just make a quick stop for milk without either running into someone you know or having someone new strike up a conversation with you. It can’t be done.
My resolution for the new year is to spend more time exploring my hometown, my city, my New Orleans. To become more involved on a local level. To spend more of my dollars in locally owned businesses. To embrace the diversity of this most unique of American cities. To venture beyond my little neighborhood and take myself, and hopefully you, on a tour of the real New Orleans.
For years, one of my favorite ways to describe this place has been that it’s where strangers become acquaintances, acquaintances become friends and friends become family. Despite the fact that I lay my head to rest at night on the West Bank, I’m still a part of this city.
No matter who you are, or where you are from, there’s a place for you in New Orleans.
For more information about living in New Orleans feel free to call us at 504-327-5303. We live, work and play here and would love to welcome you to our community.
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