Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Orleans feer kashes

(asked of me while I was out on the Left Coast, complete with answers. And no, it didn't start out with "why is this city different from all other cities?", thank God)

Do I need a car in New Orleans?

My answer: Depends on where you live in the city and what you're doing there. After a year of not having a car here, I went a tad berserk. I could handle going to work and back on the streetcar, and hitching rides with friends to do other stuff. It was the grocery shopping without a vehicle that did me in. And the public transportation here is in a shambles, even though there are thankfully no more buses from other cities roaming the streets and both streetcar lines are running again. Get a car, but get it on the cheap, as the roads won't be kind to it.

Dan's reaction to what I said: You can get along fine here without a car, especially if you're going to college uptown. (This from a man who still holds that the streetcar runs on a schedule, when I know that the timetables for it are just a bunch of numbers as far as the streetcar operation is concerned.)

What I wanted to say: Don't toss your driver's license. We're not that European.

Such a small Jewish community there. (implication: not as big, so not as much chance of meeting other Jewish people as in, say, NYC)

My answer: It's a small community, definitely smaller since the events of 8-29, but it's a great bunch and is interdenominationally cooperative across many ages and levels of observance. There is even a good-sized Hillel house serving the Tulane and Loyola campuses, and the opportunities for Jewish people to put their social action where their halakhah (Jewish law) is are certainly all around us still, as this is a city that could still use it.

What I wanted to say: To quote Michael Caine as Nigel Powers in Goldmember: "It's not the size mate, it's how you use it." In NYC, the greater numbers of Jewish people seem to be a catalyst for further argument and separation over matters of observance. Bigger ain't necessarily better.

What's the real estate situation like? The bottom seems to have fallen out of the real estate market there.

My answer: Yeah, it wasn't all that good to begin with, but things have settled down since the days when everyone thought the answer to their property value woes was to kick people out shortly after the Federal Flood and renovate their properties as condos.

What I wanted to say: The bottom has fallen out all over this country. Go check out your own back yard, for crying out loud.

But what would I do in New Orleans?

My answer: Go after what interests you. It's not difficult to meet people here. Though things are not exactly what they could be, we are not devoid of good food, great people, and joy.

Dan's reaction to what I said: You should have just said,"Well, what are you doing now?"

What I wanted to say: That question has just shot down anything I could say. I can't plan your life out for you. If that asinine query is meant in all seriousness, this city is situated between a lake and a river. Choose which one you're gonna jump into. And if you have to ask my opinion about that decision, I wash my hands of you. Seriously.


Now is the time to intro my first-ever Rising Tide contest.

First off, the money for this is coming from me and only from me. Do not ask the Rising Tide website, blog, facebook, or Twitter accounts for sympathy if you have any beef with this little exercise - just bring it on over to me.

The rules:

Ineligible participants are: the RT organizers, panelists, and speakers. Sorry, folks, c'est la contest.

  • Register for and/or donate $10 or more to Rising Tide IV.
  • Check back on my blog each day for the next five days, August 17-21
  • There will be a new question each day for you all to answer. Leave your answer in the comments.
  • First correct answer to the question each day gets a five-note from li'l ol' me. If there's more than one correct answer each day, the first one in the chronology of comments left on this blog gets the five bucks. There can only be one winner each day.
  • If you have not registered or donated, there will be no dough for you, no matter how right the answer is.
So there you have it. Keep an eye out. Be well.


Tim said...

42! The answer is 42!

Wait, what, not yet?




Sophmom said...

Love the promotion. FWIW, my college student did fine without a car going to college & working pretty much full time Uptown. It wasn't easy. His bike helped. I can't imagine trying to do that with a child though.

Leigh C. said...

I did it for a year well before I had the little guy, and trying to get all the %!*&# groceries on the bus was a royal pain.

As for having a young 'un in tow on public transportation, even cities with good transportation systems don't make it easy. NYC, for instance, had few ramps or elevators going down into their stations, which made it difficult traveling with a stroller in tow as well as one's baby, and the kid quickly grew too big for the baby backpack carrier.

One couple I know of here has a large tricycle contraption with a big compartment in the front that can seat up to four kids. I see 'em tooling around uptown with it on occasion, and they once explained to admiring parents and curious kids at the park that they'd gotten it when they lived in Holland and then had it shipped over here when they moved here.