New Orleans : Indie City

New Orleans is not a great city because it has the fanciest malls, the most popular chain restaurants or easy access to big box stores – because it doesn’t. It’s a great city for what sets it apart.

A new study now proves that New Orleanians do more of their shopping with local merchants than other cities of the same size.

With Wal-Mart being the only national big-box retailer in town, some people feel choices can be limited. But the unique layout of the city’s streets, the deep neighborhood roots of locals and the staunchly-local bias shared by many residents keeps small businesses alive and flourishing.

Surrounding campus there are a few major corridors with tons of local businesses and the sprinkling of major drug and grocery stores. Magazine Street is Uptown’s most popular business address. From bars to boutiques, visitors won’t recognize many national retailer names – but they’ll find shopping that rivals any major city. Oak Street has recently been renovated with new pavement, sidewalks and benches and now hosts the annual Po-Boy Fest. Tree-lined Carrollton Avenue is home to New Orleans treasures like Camellia Grill and great local ethnic restaurants. A few miles from Tulane, the French Quarter is one of America’s oldest shopping districts with much more to buy than just strong drinks. If you really need some chain retail – downtown’s Shops at Canal Place mall holds the region’s only Saks Fifth Avenue and other upscale stores.

Anyone seriously considering Tulane knows that New Orleans is different – and that’s why most of us come here.