NEW ORLEANS: BIG EASY LIVING #5 in Z’Scoop’s analysis of best cities for starting your life by Kim Coston

NEW ORLEANS: BIG EASY LIVING #5 in Z’Scoop’s analysis of best cities for starting your life

If you thought the Big Easy was underwater, think again. Charismatic New Orleans — or NOLA as it’s affectionately known — is the “comeback kid.” Just twelve years after Hurricane Katrina, Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., Habitat for Humanity and the infamous music and vibrant arts scene helped generate $7 billion in 2015 tourism revenues. And along with lots of start-ups, the city is open to fresh creativity and new thinking.

A non-stop celebration, NOLA attracts a hip, young, creative demographic with uniqueness, haute culture, killer Creole + Cajun cuisine, historic architecture, “joie de vivre,” live music, plentiful art, seafood, affordable housing, multi-cultural stimulation and friendly people.

According to the Musician’s Village website: “You hear music here that you can’t hear anywhere else.” It’s an observation that carries over a host of music and non-music categories.

Careers
With destruction comes opportunity in several fields: food, hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, IT and technology, energy, and education. Examples of successful firms:

Solomon Group, specializing in entertainment, design and production, is on Inc Magazine’s Top 5000 list for the past three years.  With 231 employees, Solomon Group creates live events, themed attractions, broadcast environments, brand activations and archi-tainment projects.

Allied PR is notable for high-quality services: events, conferences, incentives, and major corporate group meetings. Current sales: $3.3 million, from 2012: $1.4 million.

MaxHome specializes in remodeling services and sales. Ranked in Inc’s 5000 with 2016 sales topping $16 million and 99 employees.

SC Interactive is a leading service provider for online and marketing, SEO, social media tactics. Fast-growing, the company recorded 2015 sales of $2.5 million.

Gas-Oil Hub
New Orleans is the headquarters of Chevron-Texaco, Cimarex Energy and many more …

Maritime Hub
The Big Easy’s location on the Mississippi River and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico make it home port for Ingalls Shipbuilding and Avon Shipyards, employing 4,800 and having a $1 billion impact on the state economy.

Big Easy Living
Unique contemporary urban vibe emanates from the commitment to historic preservation and heavy arts influence. Housing costs for homes and condos as well as rents rival urban hubs like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The $37 million Bell Artspace Campus construction began in April 2016 and in June, plans were unveiled for 7,500 affordable units, including “workforce housing” units for “service workers, artists, culture bearers.”

 

Transportation
NOLA’s streetcar system hits most neighborhoods and WalkScore gives most areas of the city a score of 87 for walkability.

Food
Gumbo, jambalaya, po’boys, you don’t have to be rich to eat well here, but if you hunger for haute, award-winning chefs are everywhere …

Cochon Butcher, a James Bread award-winner is at 930 Tchoupitoulas Street, cochonbutcher.com.

Alan Shaya’s restaurant Shaya was named Best U.S. Restaurant 2016.

Not to be overlooked: Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme.

Rouse’s is locally owned and has the best selection and the best prices. They carry all of the local seasonal favorites — King Cake during Mardi Gras, and boiled crawfish in the Spring.

Festivals and Music
Mardi Gras just ended but more great celebrations are coming, such as:

Jazz and Heritage Festival: April 28- 30,May 4-7

Treme Threaudown: April 29th

French Quarter Festival: April 6-9

So as the Creole saying goes, “Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler” or “Let the Good Times Roll.” It’s a phrase that aptly sums up NOLA city spirit as a great place to live!

Information
New Orleans.com

Books
Available at amazon.com. Click on title for more information.
Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper
by Dr. John
The Feast of All Saints
by Anne Rice
Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana
by Donald Link (James Beard award-winning chef and owner of Herbsaint Restaurant) and Paula Disbrowe


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