Safety Tips in New Orleans

  • let me in!
    let me in!
    by mindcrime
  • police car at French Quarter
    police car at French Quarter
    by mindcrime
  • for adults only
    for adults only
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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in New Orleans

  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo

    Weight Gain!

    by jadedmuse Updated Aug 17, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There's nowhere in the world - not even in France - where the food is richer than in New Orleans. I weighed at least 25 lbs more (20 years ago!!) than I do now...and I owed it all to the buttery, rich cooking that goes on in every kitchen of every restaurant, whether it's a five star establishment or a hole in the wall. I cut my palate on New Orleans food, and I've never been able to look at another restaurant dish the same way, since.

    I'm sure it would have been impossible for me to have embraced vegetarianism when I lived in New Orleans; as it was, I broke my 10 year pact and had plenty of crabmeat when I was just there last year, for example.

    The only problem - my stomach. The food was so rich, and I've long since unaccustomed myself to that kind of cooking - that I had a bit of a stomach upset after each and every meal - even the Popeye's biscuits are different in New Orleans...more buttery, richer - BETTER.

    Bring the "Tums" along just in case!

    And a diet plan to get yourself back in shape when you return home!

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    use common sense

    by mindcrime Written Dec 24, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here is my collection of tips about some real dangers but also some other warnings/tourist traps:

    -We felt safe in New Orleans but we didn’t really visited weird areas during the day, usually we were strolling around the touristic French quarter, we were taking tours and we used street cars to Garden District or to the City Park.
    During the night we were always in French Quarter so we didn’t have to take a taxi back to our hotel.

    So, use common sense and accept some risk, New Orleans is a big city and yes there is a lot of crime, it’s better not to walk alone away from French Quarter after dark. French Quarter is safer just because there are always people around (locals and visitors) and we saw a lot of policemen but stay at lighted streets. Some other areas have nothing to give you at night than trouble. According to locals there are gangs and other nice people that will be tempted to approach you if you enter their territories.

    Ask at the reception of your hotel to point you some areas so to feel more comfortable, you don’t have to panic, New Orleans is a great city but it’s better to know where you are (The closer you get to Rampart Street, the seeder the neighborhoods get)

    -Take care at cemeteries, its much better to do it with a group (it’s more informative this way too)

    -if you travel with children you may want to skip Bourbon street, unless you are ok that you will meet with “nice” girls in front of xxx clubs, drunk people that throw up or pissing on a pole(tourists of course), girls that flashes their ***(tourists again) etc It’s amuzing for you but not for your kids.

    -Getting drunk and walk around on your own is a bad choice, not only in New Orleans of course. Be aware of all these hurricanes and hand grenades, you can be drunk really quick :)

    -High levels of humidity didn’t allow us to walk as we usually do. We preferred to do it early in the morning and we always carried bottles of water to stay hydrated. There was A/C in most of the places so many time we were just entering a store just for the breeze :)

    -A typical scum: a lot of people ask "I bet I know where you got your shoes", just keep on walking otherwise they tell you "You got 'dem shoes on your feet" and they’ll ask for money, so annoying…

    -People with special needs will have trouble in the city, the sidewalks aren’t wheelchair friendly (cracked etc)

    -I can understand that some people rely on tipping but when you ask for it again and again you don’t deserve one! We watched a lot of jazz gigs and when we liked someone we were buying their album.

    -Parking is a big issue at French Quarter, you have to pay a lot or take the risk and leave it on the street (if you find a free spot). If you ask me don’t use a car while here, the public transportation is good and you may use organised tours for the swamps or the plantations. Driving in the French Quarter is difficult too with all these narrow streets and the local drivers seem to be the aggressive type (fast, not respect on signs or red light).

    -The pedestrians take extra care, not only for the cars but for trams too, always check both ways. And a tip, if there are a lot of people at a stop (the tram wont stop at all if it’s already full) just walk a block or 2 back and you’ll be on board first :)

    -no need to mention that the alligators aren’t the friendliest creatures on earth :) Pic 5 shows one that wanted to come with us on the boat but had no ticket and stayed out

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    Taking Pictures Through Glass

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 9, 2005

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    There are several places in New Orleans where the photographer has to deal with reflections off of glass. One is the Aquarium, where you can't use flash without getting hot spots in the picture, and the other is from inside the street cars..

    In first Aquarium picture, I tried to avoid the reflections in the glass by shooting from over the top of the tank, and I still got reflections on top of the water. In the last one, I got my own reflection in the tank.

    It was cold in December when we visited, so the streetcar windows were closed. Even in the summer, the windows would be closed to keep the air conditioning inside.

    It extremely difficult to take photographs particularly through the windows of the St. Charles Ave. streetcar, which were scratched and foggy. Flash was of course impossible because it would reflect off the window. But even without a flash the scratches in the window caught the light and created a fog.

    Even in the tour buses, where the windows are clean, on a sunny day, there are reflections on the windows from the inside of the bus.

    I've destroyed most of my bad digital photos, but I didn't have that option with the film pictures.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Photography
    • Trains

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  • Jmill42's Profile Photo

    Just Hope You Don't End Up Here!

    by Jmill42 Written Dec 10, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Charity is the oldest, continually operating hospital in the country. New Orleans boasts one of the highest uninsured populations in the country, yet there exists universal access to what is considered top-quality medical service. The facilities, however, might be the scariest visual hospital scene I have ever seen. Charity's ugly apperance dispenses the lion's share of all medical care in the city.

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  • Use Common Sense & Don't Be Rude

    by shoshimoshi Written Aug 5, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I've spent a few weeks total in N.O. and have never had a problem, even though I've wandered places I shouldn't have. My tips: Don't look like a tourist with cameras, bags and purses. Take it easy -- the pace is slow, people are actually really friendly -- rushing just points out that you are visiting. Don't walk alone, especially at night. That being said, I have walked all over by myself...during daylight. I credit my "saftey" to blending in -- I take my time, I make eye contact, and am friendly when spoken to. I get a lot of "hey baby, how you doin?", but instead of ignoring, being rude, or fleeing, I reply in kind -- and honestly, I've suprised a lot of people, and in turn, they have been really nice to me. Don't freak out if your cab is in poor condition, if the driver drives you through the "ghetto" (there are a lot of poor areas in N.O., and the French Quarter is literally surrounded by them) and happens to know people there (a previous reviewer was quite shaken by their cab experience). As I said above, people in N.O. are really friendly and actually do talk to strangers -- they aren't as guarded as the rest of us seem to be, which I think is a good thing. Lastly, and don't get all up in arms for my saying this, but if you feel threatened by African American people, and the "ghetto," maybe N.O. isn't the place for you. I'm a white woman and I've never had a bad experience in N.O. and really enjoy talking to the people I meet there. And yes, I have wandered around the "ghetto" (I got lost, but was fine -- met nice people who got me back on my way), the river front, the cemeteries alone...however, I'd advise to do this only with other people, and to use your head and be alert! And enjoy! N.O. is one of the most fantastic cities in the world!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    After the Deluge

    by hquittner Updated Oct 23, 2005

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    Flood destroyed New Orleans is not the place for a tourist and only for a perverted sort of sightseer. For various reasons it may not be safe. For us it is home. I just opened a forum on the subject wherein I have placed our initial experiences. Only by extrapolation are these warnings. This is not FUN TIME!!

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Family Travel

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    New Orleans - not seeing enough of it

    by JamalMorelli Written Sep 8, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You are scared of being shot by the kid who is selling you your weed or x or whatever it is you kids of 40+ are doing nowadays. You are scared that going into the Saint Louis cemetary without tour group will invite ghetto punks from the neighborhood to jump you while you are drawing on Marie Laveau's tomb. You are scared of travelling off Bourbon Street.
    Well, you blew it. You missed the whole city just to stay alive. What was the point?
    MY WARNING - Don't trade safety for fun. New Orleans hasn't been safe for a long time. We got over it.

    Related to:
    • Casino and Gambling
    • Road Trip
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • BuickMackane's Profile Photo

    This section was a real...

    by BuickMackane Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This section was a real eye-opener for me. I had read so many things about crime in New Orleans and how you've got to be really vigilant all the time. I saw many strange-looking street people and panhandlers and I would avert my eyes from them, afraid they would ask me for money. Oddly enough, every single time I had a negative feeling about one of these people, I turned out to be wrong! The first time I saw an elderly, decrepit-looking man with a large go-cup in his hand, I thought he was a panhandler and I tensed up when I saw him talking to my daughter. However, to my complete astonishment, he handed *me* some cash and told me to buy my little girl some beads! I said, 'Um, isn't it supposed to be the other way around, sir??' but he insisted. I quickly ducked back to the Tropical Isle go-cup stand and bought her a strand that had a large badge of her beloved 'Mr. Hand Grenade' and the elderly man was thrilled. And that was just the first time; it kept happening throughout our stay. When our Creole airport driver took us back on our last day, he gave me a full explanation. 'We now have 28 million tourists coming through here each year. Do you think we're going to let anything happen to that? They won't come if they won't be safe. It's not like it was 10-15 years ago; everything has changed. Those men you met in the street were most likely undercover police detectives.' Wow, I was astonished!

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  • gussymons's Profile Photo

    Smoking baby dolphins bad for health

    by gussymons Written Jun 30, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gentle browsers of the internet, may I alert you to a health danger, specifically, smoking baby dolphins.

    Apart from the mental pain caused to the mother dolphin by smoking her son or daughter who may or may not be called 'Flipper', smoking dolphins causes respiratory complications later in life.

    I suggest that you stick to Cuban smokes, or other cancer-inducing brands of tobacco sticks.

    Also, you look ridiculous wearing an Indiana Jones hat. Only certified archeologists may wear those kind of hats.

    Note Ally McBeal in the background. I said 'Hi - hows it going?' but she blanked me. ***.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • gussymons's Profile Photo

    Nipples

    by gussymons Written Jul 1, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ladies, may I address a discreet problem which you may encounter in New Orleans should you choose to walk about without wearing a brassiere or top to cover your chest?

    Stiff nipples, as I know from running, are a painful condition, and my recommendation is that you do wear clothes, unlike many of the ladies who were in New Orleans.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • Razorart's Profile Photo

    Like huge cockroaches? You'll...

    by Razorart Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like huge cockroaches? You'll find plenty here if you travel between May and late September! I can't go on enough about how horrific those bugs are.
    By the way, they are *not* afraid of people.
    They own the streets.
    Beware.

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    J. J. Audubon Boat Trip

    by grandmaR Written May 5, 2008

    When we were in New Orleans, there was a boat called the J. J. Audubon which ran between the Aquarium of the Americas and the Zoo.

    Unfortunately I think the boat to the zoo isn't running right now. It looks like they plan to have it back in operation in 2009

    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Zoo
    • Cruise

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  • Don't be stupid and you will be fine

    by ace1413 Written Jan 7, 2013

    Other people have already given good advice and warnings about what to avoid and what not to do in New Orleans, but I will follow quickly. If you are unfamiliar with the city, stick to the tourist spots like the French Quarter, Frenchmen St, Garden District, and Magazine St. If you must venture out of those places and you don't have a rental car, Take the streetcars. Take a bathroom break before you party in the Quarter. Do not walk around the Quarter if you are too drunk because you don't want to *** off the other drunk/high people or the NOPD who are just waiting for someone stupid to do something stupid. Avoid dark side streets on Bourbon, especially at night, unless you are with a group of people. If a fight breaks out on Bourbon, just walk away from it; there have been innocent bystanders that have been shot on Bourbon. Avoid going north of Rampart St. unless you have to as that area is known for criminal activity. Definitely avoid walking around Claiborne Ave near downtown, that area is well known for troublemakers looking for stupid tourists.

    Don't let the crime in the city scare you, if you aren't looking for trouble then trouble will more than likely not find you. Have fun and enjoy NOLA!

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    New Orleans - not seeing enough of it

    by JamalMorelli Written Sep 8, 2006

    You are scared of being shot by the kid who is selling you your weed or x or whatever it is you kids of 40+ are doing nowadays. You are scared that going into the Saint Louis cemetary without tour group will invite ghetto punks from the neighborhood to jump you while you are drawing on Marie Laveau's tomb. You are scared of travelling off Bourbon Street.
    Well, you blew it. You missed the whole city just to stay alive. What was the point?
    MY WARNING - Don't trade safety for fun. New Orleans hasn't been safe for a long time. We got over it.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Casino and Gambling
    • Road Trip

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    Dress for Weather

    by grandmaR Written Apr 23, 2005

    I know that when you get onto a boat, the wind will be greater and it will be colder than it is in the city. So if you take this boat tour, be sure to bring at least one more layer than you need for roaming around in the French Quarter.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Cruise

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