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Personal impressions of NO

Vienna, Austria
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for Vienna, Austria, Innsbruck
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Personal impressions of NO

I have just returned from New Orleans, where I had a wonderful time. A lot of expectations weren't fulfilled such as safety concerns or disappointing accomodation.

St. Vincent's Guesthouse is a very basic accomodation, which I would probably not recommend to a good friend, but rooms are basically clean and simple-furnished. The surroundings are not that bad and safe for sure. I often walked from St. Charles Ave. to Magazine Street and no problems at all. I could even see some expensive cars parked at the streets.

New Orleans deeply impressed me, although I faced some downsides such as very bad streets and sidewalks, sloppy service without any smiling in restaurants (I got the wrong dishes twice) and lack of good malls.

The weather sometimes wasn't almost sustainable, the humidity extreme to handle.

The tour to the Swamps and Oak Alley Plantation was fantastic.

Concluding, I had a real wonderful time there although the English spoken is often not understandable.

I also realised that the South is different in many ways! :-)

New Orleans...
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1. Re: Personal impressions of NO

In my opinion, "lack of good malls" is generally a plus, not a minus. Too many U.S. cities have way too many malls and not enough small and interesting shops. Still, I understand why a European guest would want a mall. Our best malls are in the suburbs and are hard to reach without a car.

In which restaurants did you receive the wrong meals?

Stuck in North Texas
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2. Re: Personal impressions of NO

Hi Mikey,

Glad that you had a wonderful time in New Orleans and that your worrisome expectations didn't take place at all.

New Orleans is a venue as unique in its own way as Vienna is in its. It was a good move for you to go on the tours to the Swamps and Plantation as this is something totally different from Vienna.

The only thing that caused me pause in your post was the statement "sloppy service without any smiling in restaurant". That is something that is deplorable throughout the world. As a public servant in a former life, I firmly believe that if you have contact with the public you must be positive as attitudes are extremely contagious. If people can't deal with being polite and kind that they should find another job. I do believe that people all over the world are the same in that we all may be going through earth-shattering experiences. Indeed, if one has never experienced this, just wait - it will happen.

I hope that your memories will be of the different and interesting experiences that you had in New Orleans - and not those dealing with the foibles of your fellow man!

Happy travels to you.

Cliff Island, Maine
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3. Re: Personal impressions of NO

Lack of good malls? That is one thing that I like about New Orleans. Who goes to NOLA for a mall? you go to experience 100+ year old buildings, great food, relaxed atmosphere, fantastic music and warm weather.

Vienna, Austria
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for Vienna, Austria, Innsbruck
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4. Re: Personal impressions of NO

Well, my message did not mean that waiters/waitresses are everywhere friendly with the exception of New Orleans. It was just an impression of mine, that did not encloud my general great experience. The involved restaurants were close to Jackson Square, but unfortunately I don't remember their names. Finally, it wasn't a big deal......

As you said, it can happen everywhere......

One of my intention was to shop a lot for my strong Euros, but although these small shops are doubtlessly fine, I would have been happy if there was a store of Levis and Co, stuff that is really expensive in Europe. A GAP at Riverside and Banana Republic at Canal Place isn't that much.

Again, I had a really great time there, the little critics mentioned just remained in my brain.....

Vienna, Austria
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5. Re: Personal impressions of NO

I change the "lack of good malls" expression into "lack of good shops in the existing shopping centers, as I don't wanna be named as someone who prefers an large shopping mall next or even instead of French Quarter.

Cliff Island, Maine
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6. Re: Personal impressions of NO

NOLA is known for their small shops, not large chain stores. As for the poor service I can understand. Any city has hit or miss restaurants.

New Orleans...
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7. Re: Personal impressions of NO

As a rule of thumb (and there are a couple of notable exceptions), NEVER EAT at Jackson Square or on Bourbon Street! Never!!! (Exceptions: Muriel's and Galatoires...and maybe Redfish Grill!)

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8. Re: Personal impressions of NO

I'm sure that rude people can be encountered everywhere. When my husband and I went to Europe several years ago, we were spoken to in a very rude manner in London, France, and Italy. We just laughed it off as part of the experience. I occasionally get on the New York TA forum and have already decided that the people there are so rude that I don't even want to visit! They seem to take any safety question as a personal insult to their city. Anyway, I had to laugh at your comment 'English spoken is often not understandable'. I live in the midwest and on one visit to Tennessee, I absolutely could not understand what the waitress was asking me because of her accent. I haven't noticed it in New Orleans, though.

NY
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9. Re: Personal impressions of NO

I think all of you except JNola are misunderstanding Mikey Vienna's post. He wasn't saying all of his waiters or waitress's were rude. He just found , unfortunately where he ate, it happened. He obviously didn't know where to go for the better restaurants, and stayed on the main tourist streets. I know that many Europeans love to shop here, for big name items, they are very, very expensive in Europe. He was probably hoping that his trip to the states would offer him the goods he wanted, and had no idea, that N.O. isn't known for it's big name shops, but the small trendy boutique shops. No need to laugh at his comments, or bring up rudeness that was found in other cities in other parts of the world. I'm sure he was expressing himself as best as he could with a language barrier.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Personal impressions of NO

Thanks for visiting, Mikey, and we appreciate your thoughtful report. So sorry about the sloppy service, but glad to hear you enjoyed your visit otherwise!

What I'm about to say, I say as a 56-year-old native New Orleanian who loves his home town.....

With the city struggling so mightily to rebuild after Katrina, the professionalism of hotel and restaurant employees is, quite understandably, the least of our worries.

Still, Mikey's experience is hardly anomalous. New Orleans, once known for marvelous service, has dropped the ball. This isn't a post-storm phenomenon — the decline in quality of service began years before Katrina. The city is beloved for being laid-back and fun, but our Mediterranean laissez-faire shouldn't preclude courtesy and professionalism in the hospitality industry. Tourism is vital to the local economy, and good service is the least we can offer our visitors.

Regards to beautiful Austria, Mikey. Again, we're so glad you came to New Orleans, and look forward to welcoming you back!