Moving to New Orleans: An East Coast girls’ perspective

So I’m one of those people who moved around a lot as a child and as a result I have no problem picking up and moving to a new city. In my twenty something years, I’ve lived in 7 states mostly in big East Coast cities. Before I committed to attending Tulane, I had been to New Orleans one time about 12 years prior. I really had no idea what to expect moving to Nola. I had never lived this far South or West in my life and had heard all of the post-Katrina horror stories. So needless to say my family was less than enthusiastic about me moving to the Big Easy, and I had some concerns myself. I came to New Orleans over Memorial Day weekend last year to start scouting out apartments and see the university that I was going to be attending in the fall. At the time I was living in Charlotte, North Carolina which in May is warm, but not New Orleans warm (described by Frommer’s as a semi-tropical climate). I stepped off the plane at 9 pm and melted, my hair turned into a frizz ball, and I wondered how in the world I was going to find my hotel in the pouring rain. The trip to my hotel that night was a little scary; I got completely lost, had my mother on the phone trying to give me directions off of MapQuest and was afraid that no one would be at the bed and breakfast that I was staying at to let me in. I don’t know about where you’re from but where I come from cities are built on grids. There are number streets and letter streets and navigating is oh so easy. In New Orleans, they do things a little bit differently, and after a 30 minute car ride that should have taken 10 minutes, I made it safely into my hotel ready to wake up and see New Orleans in a new, brighter light…..daytime. That weekend cemented my love for Nola. With the exception of my hair frizzing, the extreme humidity and the bugs I loved everything about the city, even the slower pace of how the city operates. From my perspective moving to New Orleans is an experience of where you see the best and worst of an American city. On one hand you see the devastation from Hurricane Katrina and the city’s struggle to rebuild, and on the other hand you see the spirit that is the city specifically, its inhabitants and traditions. Regardless of where you move from you’ll appreciate the mildness of the winters, the abundance of po-boys, the melody of music at every turn, and the southern hospitality that even after a horrific disaster still shines through in every New Orleanian.

Amina