Wednesday under a bright sky I biked along the levee. I was home.
New Orleans is my favorite city in this country. The plan is to live here for six months. If you didn’t expect me to stay in one place so long, I understand. But the point of my adventure is not to log as many miles as quickly as I can. I prefer lengthy pauses and fascinating sidequests. This is how I travel.
Finding an apartment here is tiring. Cost of living has skyrocketed in the last couple years. Initially I searched in the French Quarter and its sexy neighbor, the Marigny. I figured I may as well start off my search looking in my very favorite spots before broadening it more. Predictably, this neighborhood snobbery resulted in two types of choice: too pricey or too shitey.
I had to review my priorities. An absolute top priority for me is to have a place I can host guests. I’ve invited just about everyone I know to visit me in New Orleans—you’re all invited too—and I want that to be fun for them and easy for me.
Initially that was all the more incentive to find a place in the Quarter. Put guests right in the heart of the action. But a comfortable, spacious place a short ride away is better than a crowded attic with live opossums.
(We’re going to say they’re opossums.)
Plus, it’s more fun to have spare cash for hitting the hot spots than it is to live next to them completely broke.
So I’m opening my search to the lower Garden District, which is to say the pretty but inexplicably cheaper part of town that is only a 10 minute bike ride from anything.
There I hope to find a larger, more attractive apartment for a good price, making both my dreams and those of my house guests come true.
Of course, what I’d really love is none of the above. I’d adore some kind of funky, unusual space that would likely be illegal—a warehouse or old church, or the gutted upstairs of an apartment building that I have to finish myself. Something bohemian and disconcerting, that says Rogue Chapel the second you walk in the door.
I’m actively pursuing that by talking to landlords of such places; they’re reluctant to discuss with a stranger, but we’ll see. It’s potentially lucrative for them, and potentially titillating for me.
Now—and this is important—if you know anyone in New Orleans, please speak up and tell me. It could be someone 50 years old or someone only 20. I love making friends, and I want to meet your friends. I want to learn their vices and their hopes and tell them stories and hear their own. Can you introduce us? There’s the comments down below and here’s my email; who do you know in New Orleans?