Avoiding Tourist Hazards, New Orleans
The posting by this person is simply the most irresponsible "tip" I've ever seen.
" I can't imagine any reasonable individual would want to risk their family's safety during what is supposed to be a relaxing time. "
They even say in the posting, that they've never been here. I suspect this is someone working for either Mississippi or Alabama's tourist boards. It is completely insane. First to warn away based on some phantom reviews (not sure where they were reading) saying to stay away from New Orleans. Every tourist area (French Quarter, Garden District, etc.) are perfectly fine. In fact, in the past year I can only remember 1 incident involving a tourist, that was serious... and that was some crazy frat bs. This person makes it out like tourists in New Orleans are being robbed and killed every day. I have lived all over this country. Loved living in Chicago (Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park) but their violence truly has gotten bad. Hated L.A. (when my wife's father came to visit, he actually got to catch his first high speed pursuit while we were stuck on the highway). I have lived in 10 states over the last 20 years. I have lived in two other countries (UK and Costa Rica) and visited many others. Nowhere have I found a town like New Orleans. The city truly is an original. It is the birthplace of jazz, blues, rock and roll (you wouldn't believe how many started down here). The food (if you get away from the fried food tourist traps in the Quarter) is truly amazing (I always thought Chicago's scene was great... NY was over-rated, but New Orleans beats them all). While I would rather the person that wrote that bogus post, not come to our city... the rest of you are in for a treat. Another tip... don't spend any more than 1 night on Bourbon Street (honestly, a couple of hours is all you need to experience it)... make your way over to Frenchmen Street and experience some amazing music.
Every year I scrimp and save for a vacation for my family, as many of us do. This year we wanted to see New Orleans and the area. I have always been interested in the rich and diverse culture and history of the area. When I went to research and book my trip, everyone, I mean EVERYONE I talked to warned me not to go. Every site on the internet, every trip planner, vacation guide, local, and friends and family who have been, warned me that since Katrina the whole area is too volatile to be safe for tourists. Well I have to say, "I'm listening"!! My family and I will not be spending our tourists dollars in New Orleans. I can't imagine any reasonable individual would want to risk their family's safety during what is supposed to be a relaxing time. Obviously the powers that be in Louisiana figure that tourists, and the residents are not worth the effort to insure their cities are safe. I would very much like to visit the city in the future, and I will look forward to the time when New Orleans returns to the civilized world. My only advice is, spend your tourist dollars elsewhere.
We've all heard the horror stories about New Orleans. I almost didn't go to New Orleans because of them. Gladly, I took a chance and went. It didn't take us long at all to realize most of what you read and hear is either media hype or an isolated incident. Run enough people through a city and someone is going to have a bad day - just don't let it be you. A little common sense goes a long way. Walk around any city at 3AM and you take your chances. Stay with the crowds - these three areas have so many people around that trouble is unlikely. If you aren't sure if an area is safe - ASK !! Concierges, police , shop owners - they all want to make sure you have a good safe trip and are great sources of info. I even asked the meter maid if my car was safe were I parked (it was) - she even gave me tips on what to order - Hurricanes and Hand Grenades are apparently a must when on Bourbon St.
sadly the city of new orleans is ranked 8 th in the nation for violent crime. as a result for tourists not familiar with the city there are only three areas of the city were you are unlikely to be a victim of crime. the french quarter during the day is perfectly safe for tourists. because of the economic importance of tourism to the city the french quarter has a visible police presence and you are unlikely to have any crime related problems with the exception of pickpockets and obnoxious drunks. the french quarter is bounded by n. rampart st. to the west, esplanade ave. to the north, the mississippi river to the east, and canal street to the south. at night in the french quarter you should stay in the main tourist section of the french quarter which is bounded by dauphine st. to the west, st. phillip st. to the north, decatur st. to the east, and canal street to the south.
these two beautiful residental neighborhoods are perfectly safe to visit during the day. on st. charles ave. you can see beautiful homes, audubon park, loyola and tulane universities, and the carrollton historic area. at night there is little to do or see in the garden district with the exception of the commanders palace restaurant. the small carrollton entertainment area is safe after dark. at night if you stay in the french quarter and warehouse district tourist areas you are unlikely have any crime problems. there is really no reason to venture out of these areas unless you have some local knowledge of the city.
for the most part the central business and the warehouse districts are perfectly safe for tourists during the day. the central business and warehouse districts is where most of new orleans' museums are located. during the day these districts see a lot of business activity which is a deterrent to crime. at night i suggest you stay in the tourist area of the warehouse district. there are several good bars and restaurants near the intersection of tchoupitoulas and julia streets and this area of the warehouse district is well patrolled. also the canal street area around harrah's casino is safe at night. just use common sense in this area after dark. stick to the streets where you see nightlfe activity and most likely you will not encounter any violent crime.
Because of trees growing, or the area below sea-level, or simple neglect, the sidewalks in many areas are cracked and impassable if you're in a wheelchair. I walked a lot in the garden District, and along St Charles and it was very evident there.
The city Of New Orleans is a Huge cess pool in my professional opinion and given the FACT that ive WAISTED the past 43 years of my life (or lack of) in the HEART of this huge DUMP qualifies me as being an expert.
I have had family members raped robbed and yes even killed and guess what IM WHITE ;D yesssss even white people are dying here did you know this? did you also know that the city has known how to stop the crime wave for a few years now but they dont want you knowing this!!! why? tax $$$$ sure it sounds crazy but its true the city collects HUGE taxes on all funerals as well as the medical taxes for the ones who dont expire on the scene bring in a nich lump sum for the big Sleezy, the city that forgot to care!
SHAME ON YOU NEW ORLEANS!!!!!!!
STAY SAFE-STAY HOME!!!!
I stayed in the French Quarter the second week of september 2007 for vacation. I have to say that it was a mistake to go. Although I was not robbed or a victim of crime, I observed several situations that could have turned out bad. If you plan on going, I suggest the following for your safety:
1. If you want to tour the city and surrounding area, please take a guided tour that picks you up from your hotel. I do not recommend you take a rental car and try touring around on your own. If you make a couple of wrong turns you can end up in some really bad neighborhoods. We took tours by isabel and their guide was excellent.
2. DO NOT bring or wear any expensive jewelry or watches. Leave them at home.
3. DO NOT walk the French Quarter at night. Call a taxi. Several locals told us this.
4. For your safety, stay away from the St. Louis #1 cemetery. It is located next to a housing project that is crime ridden and the tombs allow for muggers to hide.
5. If walking on and you are approached by anyone, use your common sense. Most likely it is a scam or they are trying to divert your attention while other pick your pocket.
When people think of crime in tourist spots like the French Quarter, they usually picture a pickpocket or a brazen, gun-wielding thug. But things around here aren't always so blatant -- and often occur within seemingly reputable drinking and eating establishments. One common trick is to overcharge bar tabs, because charges tend not to be itemized. When running a tab, always make sure to verify the charges. In the French Quarter, the accent is on drinking and having a good time. If you speak up or dispute something, regardless of the veracity of your dispute, there is a tendency among the staff of some of these establishments to treat you like a troublemaker in order to discourage dissention. Don't let the frivolity of the mood allow people to take advantage of you. This is a tourist zone, and beneath the laidback, fun-loving veneer are many seasoned hustlers, who will upsell and overcharge if you appear not to be on your guard. There are many decent people as well, but at the same time, don't assume that all the robberies are hold-ups on the street!
I bought tickets for the Creole Queen excursion to Chalmette to the battlefield of the Battle of New Orleans. The boat was supposed to leave at 2 and we had to be on board by 1:30.
Lunch was available on board for an additional $7@ and I thought it was too late in the day and too expensive for lunch.
What I did not realize was that they did not allow any food to be brought on board, and also I did not know that the morning City Tour would run over.
So I had to bolt my McDonalds hamburger down before I boarded. I ate it in the Plaza de Espana - the first picture was taken from the boat with Bob's sandwich from Cafe Maspero in the corner. It was taken through the railing which has a warning about keeping your feet off the rail (another picture of that in photo 2) Photo 4 has a picture of the plaque in the Plaza.
They did not try to keep us from taking photos (photo 3), but they did make us pose for a photo before we boarded. You don't have to buy it though.
The two boats the Creole Queen and the Cajun Queen are still operating in New Orleans, but at this time they only have a dinner cruise, and a harbor cruise. They aren't going to Chalmette
Just a quick tip ... but watch out for people who try to stop you while your walking to try and get you to see their hotel. We were stopped and at first were nice about it but the people were a little pushy and would not let you leave.
They try to get you to take a tour of the hotel and it will only be an hour and a half. There's something about coupon books as well (I started to tune them out). We had to make up an excuse to get away. It seems like a timeshare sort of deal to me - but I'm a highly suspicous person due to my job.
If you see someone with a pile of papers in their hand trying to stop you, this is probably why they are.
Maybe it is just that we were on vacation and people could smell it, but everyone wants and EXPECTS a tip, from waitresses (obviously) to cashiers- yes we went to several souvenier stores and the cashiers had tip jars out. And people will tell you to- I had one guy at the airport even say to me "Mam we work on gratuity". And a bartender even specify on their cup what was an appropriate tip and what wasnt. If an employee is being particulary nice to you, it is probably because they want a tip.
Stores along Canal St, especially No 707, Cash and Gold (it says New York Camera on the storefront), are a serious rip off. Unwary customers are attracted by slick sales talk of vast savings to be made with low prices and tax free shopping. In fact the prices are more than double what you would pay in a standard store. There is no redress, no refunds, no justice. Don't even go near...the sales staff stand in the street enticing the innocent. Salesman Joe D'Miko can seriously damage your wallet. Buyer beware!
People advise you not to look like a tourist. I think they mean don't wear flashy jewelry, have a bulging wallet in your back pocket, or carry a big expensive camera and don't go around reading a map. But that's crazy. There's no way I would ever be mistaken for a local, and if I don't carry a camera, I won't have any photos for VT. And I do carry and look at a map in order to know where I am and where I'm going.
But I don't wear any jewelry except a plain gold wedding ring and a Timex watch, and I don't even carry a wallet when I go out. I put a couple of dollars in a calculator, and a credit card in my camera case (or sometimes in my bra) and leave all my precious ID (drivers license etc) back in my hotel. My husband has a tiny wallet with a bunch of rubber bands on it.
NOPD tip: "Use credit cards instead of cash whenever possible. Carry the fewest items possible to reduce your burden and thief's targets. Keep your wallet or purse under your direct control at all times. When using bathrooms, don't put valuables on the floor. When at restaurants or other public places don't hang your purse on the back of a chair. Particularly when traveling out of town, keep a major credit card and a picture ID separate from your wallet or purse. If you should lose your wallet or purse you will not be stranded..Avoid wearing valuable, loose fitting jewelry..If you need information or become lost do not talk to anyone on the street... Report suspicious behavior to the police immediately."
I think though that the best hint to avoid crime is to ask what areas to stay out of and stay out of them (you might need the map for this), trust your instincts, and don't go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. If you avoid getting falling down drunk, you will not have nearly as much trouble avoiding crime.