Living on the Edge (of our neighborhood)

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  October 5, 2012 — 5 Comments

Nick and I live in a great neighborhood. In fact, it was recently named one of the American Planning Association’s 10 Great Neighborhoods. We’ve loved this area ever since we rented a house nearby while I was in grad school, but unfortunately homes around here don’t come cheap. Like many urban neighborhoods, the Garden District is a rather well-to-do community nestled right next to an area of abject poverty. And, since Nick and I aren’t all that rich, guess where our house is? Right on the fault line. We’re smack dab in the middle between buildings like this:

I don’t know what it used to be, but it’s an eyesore now.

And homes like this:


So yes, there’s a bit of unsavory foot traffic on our block and our alarm system has scared off at least one burglar that we know of (and probably deterred countless more), but to us it’s worth it.

Jack and I have been taking Juliet for a walk every afternoon lately. I used to pop him in the stroller, but the old sidewalks are rather treacherous to navigate on four wheels so now I strap him into a front carrier instead. Bonus: the Baby Bjorn hides my muffin top! And if we’ve been struggling with naps that day I can almost guarantee he’ll get some much-needed rest. It’s not much of a break for me, but at least he wakes up happy!


My favorite part of where we live is that we’re only half a mile away from City Park. I love to hang out under these trees.


And when Jack gets bigger there’s a really nice playground we can visit.

There’s another one for smaller kids, but it was riddled with children and I didn’t want to look like a creep taking pictures of them.

So there’s a tradeoff between living in the middle of everything and bearing witness to the realities of urban crime and poverty, but as a social worker I actually kind of like it. I think that when you never see people who are different from you you lose the ability to relate to them. I used to go walking around all kinds of unsavory neighborhoods to visit clients. Now that I’m home with my baby most days it would be easy for me to settle into my little bubble of bliss and forget all about how the less fortunate live.

When Jack gets older we probably will move back to the parish where Nick and I grew up to be closer to our parents and good public schools, but for now we really do love where we live.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


5 responses to Living on the Edge (of our neighborhood)

  1. I live in a very similar area, but in a much smaller city (I think, I’m pretty sure 90k to 100k is smaller than Baton Rouge) Tyler TX, so even the ‘bad’ areas that look terrible, don’t have enormously dangerous crime.

    I like to look at ‘eyesores’ like that first building and imagine what they could be rather than what they are right now–hmm… Cafe, noodle hut, thrift shop, candy store? It’s an interesting building architecturally. I’m always a little sad to see buildings like it empty.

  2. *smiles* Your favorite oak/magnolia alley is mine, too. In fact I have a whole 40 minute walk mapped out over there, and my dog has learned to cross only on the zebra crossings! Maybe we’ll see you there one day.

  3. the neighborhood we moved to definitely has a reputation of being in the “ghetto.” But we love it, we can afford it, and i’ve never once felt unsafe.

  4. I too live in the ” grey area” of nice and ghetto. And personally I’m sick and tired of unsavory foot traffic. I’m torn because I absolutely love love love our little house but I hate hate hate our neighborhood. What’s a gal to do? :(

  5. Oh, and I used to live across the street from that eyesore of a building, on Myrtle. That was the view from my window. .. Yuck.

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