Dear Hipsters: Please Don’t Ruin New Orleans For Me

“Thus has the once venerably countercultural, sometimes sneakily subversive concept of hip morphed into consumerism with a smart fashion sense (and a fairly conformist one at that, if everyone’s wearing bowling shoes).”

The New Orleans dilemma: Is it hip to be so very, very ‘hip’?, The Lens

I rarely agree with any “Best Cities” lists because their criteria rarely aligns with what I find important, so finding my beloved New Orleans ranked at #4 on Travel & Leisure’s “America’s Best Cities for Hipsters” was especially disappointing because the last thing NOLA needs is to be taken over by hipsters! Perhaps not coincidentally, it also ranked in the Bottom 10 for Family Vacations, at #30, just ahead of… New York City?!?!


We spent the past weekend visiting my mother down in Virginia, and when we told her we’d be spending the entire month of August down in NOLA (on the heels of last summer’s awesome one-week vacation there), she thought we were crazy, asking what we liked about it so much. It’s a long list that includes everything from its food, culture, music, and architecture, to intangibles like the steady, thrumming bass line that seems to underline everything that happens there.

My kids consider it the best vacation we’ve ever taken them on, a mix of culinary tourism and family-friendly sight-seeing that pre-fab vacation destinations like T&L’s top-rated Orlando simply cannot match.

Of course—stereotypically speaking—hipsters aren’t usually concerned about, and are even often blind to, family-friendly activities… at least until they have kids of their own and become activists who suddenly notice how bad the school systems are in the neighborhoods they’ve spent that past 5+ years helping to gentrify!

So, hipsters, if you’re eyeballing New Orleans, do so with the big picture in mind and think about the future. Their school system is a tangled mess of ill-conceived “reforms,” and since I suspect you’re going to love it there and some of you will end up living there and having kids, start paying attention now and look for ways to have a positive impact.

First step: bookmark The Lens

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