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Rethink of accommodation for family?

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Adelaide, Australia
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408 posts
6 reviews
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Rethink of accommodation for family?

Feeling a little concerned about my accommodation plans for our family trip in September. We will be in NOLA for 3 nights, arriving fairly late on the 1st night. We chose to stay in the FQ because we like to be in the thick of everything and not spend precious time travelling between sights, where possible. If it were just me and my husband, I wouldn't worry too much, but as we are travelling with children 12 and 14, would you recommend staying out of the FQ nowadays?

I'm not as worried about the shootings (although of course my heart goes out to the local community and all involved) as I do believe that something like that can happen anywhere. We had a very tragic incident happen here in Australia at a very peaceful Tasmanian tourist spot a few years ago and many people died at the hands of just one very sick man, it just proved to me that terrible things can happen anywhere, anytime, some people are just walking time bombs...no one can know that anyplace is safe. But one can not stop living life because they might be hurt.

Having said that, balance is the key and as a parent it is my duty to do everything I can to protect my children and keep them out of harms way where possible. With children, our latest night (apart from the 1st night) would be walking back to he hotel after dinner, possibly a ghost tour? (Think my family will be too chicken for that though haha) should I stick with my choice accommodation at Hotel Provincial? I did research this months ago, but have to admit I didn't hear much about the pan handlers and homeless people. Won't be going to bourbon st, although previously had planned to have a look early evening, around dinner time, but now happy to stay away from there now, if this is suggested?

Please don't get me wrong, I don't mean to sound like an alarmist. And we won't be avoiding NO all together at all, I realise there is much more to it than just the FQ, just wondering if we should re think our accommodation options. Is the FQ an adults only destination?

Cheers

Linda :)

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

Fellow Aussie here. I would not rethink your decision. In my experience, you're MORE likely to encounter pan-handlers, homeless, druggos, outside of the FQ - we stayed at the Hyatt 20 min walk from FQ. not doing that that again.

While you don't SEE many police in the FQ, it is actually very heavily policed by plain clothed policemen. It's probably safer in that respect. FQ is easy to navigate so you will easily be able to keep the kiddos away from drunks on Bourbon St.

The USA (visited 4 times) in general will "feel" and is less safe than Australia. Shootings happen everywhere is the US, even LAX a year ago, so recent events really shouldn't be a deterrent for you now if they weren't a few months ago! You just have to be aware of your surroundings, know your route home etc. But this is the case anywhere, even in Australia.

Two tips: don't engage panhandlers at all, not even a "sorry, I don't have any change". Also don't go using the Aussie sense of humour with locals where you insult people in an attempt to be friendly - they usually don't get it. :)

Phoenix, Arizona
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37,556 posts
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2. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

Linda,

I feel your pain. It is tough to sing the praises of a place, when things seem to be going wrong.

Not sure what the answer is, for you, or the community. However, someone needs to step up and do the right thing.

Good luck,

Hunt

Adelaide, Australia
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408 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

Thanks for the feedback there del678, may I ask if you travelled with kids? And did you enjoy your trip despite your accommodation being a little out of the FQ?

It's very hard to be non responsive to homeless people though isn't it? Especially with the kids there. We encourage them to be giving, tolerant and to seek social justice rights for all and yet to simply walk by with out acknowledgment feels unkind, but I agree necessary in order to prevent further harassment. I guess?

Have travelled to USA prekids and I agree, us Aussies have our own 'unique' style of humour ;)

Thankyou hunt, we are very excited to be travelling with our children and have been planning this trip, really, for many, many years. We have our own business so time off is not easy, but we have finally bitten the bullet and are off for 5 WEEKS! Can hardly believe it, we are the masters of the the 10 day holiday, so this will be a wonderful break together as a family, let's hope we survive each other, never mind the streets of the French quarter NO ;) but seriously , I'm not put off NO, just questioning my original choice of accommodation, as I want to leave New Orleans with a smile and feel glad we made time for it, in a jam packed, whirl wind tour of USA. Thankyou for your kind thoughts

Cheers

Linda :)

santa cruz
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2,313 posts
44 reviews
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4. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

The FQ is where you want to stay. The recent events are very disturbing and sad, and I didn't like being out on Bourbon after about 12:30 which won't be an issue for you anyway with your kids.

I expected the homeless or gutter punk situation to be much worse then it actually was. I'm not saying it isn't an issue, but we never saw large groups hanging out nor we were harassed in any way. Well except for a brief encounter on Bourbon while walking back to our hotel, but it wasn't a big deal.

The town where I live in California has much more aggressive pan handlers and druggies, so I wasn't shocked by what we saw in N.O. at all.

In my opinion what makes N.O. and the FQ different then other big cities as far as safety goes, is that so many people are condensed in a small area trying to have a really good time at all cost. Every one has a different version of what a good time is, for us it was a really good dinner and a few drinks listening to music. For others getting really drunk and causing mayhem is good time.

You can easily stay away from the late night drunks and enjoy your stay I'm sure.

Birmingham, AL
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5. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

First of all, Lindann I'm sorry to hear about that shooting in Tasmania. I definitely think you should stay in the French Quarter, I think you really enjoy the Hotel Provincial. My rule for giving people money in New Orleans is this: If you do something that impresses me you get money, otherwise NO. Sing, play an instrument, write a poem, dance, even stand like a statue. If they don't have a talent they should get a job.

Please have a wonderful time visiting New Orleans with your family.

New Orleans...
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6. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

And you can use your Aussie sense of humor on me anytime. I love it.

Adelaide, Australia
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408 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

Thankyou all for your comments, advice and reassurance. Staying put in the FQ I think, have been reading old trip reports today and am starting to feel very excited. New Orleans was my destination of choice when planning our trip, we all picked one 'must see' destination, so I'm very eager to show the family a good time.

Bobbyvegas21, glad you don't mind a bit of Aussie humour, we have actually found every American we have met to be so hospitable and welcoming, I am so looking forward to our trip of a life time.

Cheers

Linda :)

Ps anyone know where I could try a hurricane somewhere nice, good atmosphere, maybe with some quiet jazz playing but with the kids in tow? I understand you can't have children in bars in America? We're not out to get sizzled or anything, just wanted to try one

Toronto, Ontario...
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8. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

"If they don't have a talent they should get a job." LOVE IT!!!

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

Linda--The absolute best place to have a hurricane is at Pat O'Brien's. They have a court yard with a fountain (that also lights up and flames at night). You can't beat sitting in the sun, listening to the splashing fountain, and sucking back a hurricane. Great atmosphere! ...I would love to be there right now :)

Edited: 01 July 2014, 14:44
Mitchell, South...
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10. Re: Rethink of accommodation for family?

Two other places come to mind for outside drinks and music where kids are allowed. The Gazebo Cafe at the French Market and Legends Park/ Cafe Beignet three hundred block of Bourbon across from the Royal Sonesta. Lots of children in both these spots.