Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our Neighborhood

We live in Uptown. Or rather, we live uptown.

When the judges were here, I was a bit annoyed with myself for not having a better understanding of how to describe where we live. Geographies of New Orleans has a good discussion of the history of the use of the terms "uptown" and "downtown" to describe parts of New Orleans. We indisputably live in the part of the city identified as uptown. There are two meanings of updown that I really see used today: hydrological (ie, updown is upriver from downtown), and socioeconomic (example: Ray Nagin's infamous "chocolate speech"). We fit both.

But in that context, saying that we live uptown is about as useful as saying that used to live on the south side of Chicago: both terms cover a substantial fraction of the city. Where uptown do we live?

Like Chicago, New Orleans has a system of neighborhoods that the city defines and recognizes. According to that listing, we live on the border of East Carrollton and Fontainbleu. The map I found says that the border runs down our street, with us on the Fontainbleu side of the street. That doesn't make any sense to me. The mental dividing line I maintain between Carrollton and Fontainbleu is Claiborne Avenue. The city also designates a neighborhood called Leonidas/West Carrollton. The boundary between West Carrollton and East Carrollton is Carrollton Avenue, which makes sense to me. The neighborhood to the east of East Carrollton is Audubon/Universities (which, as you might guess, includes Audubon Park, Tulane, and Loyola).

In addition, there are a few neighborhood associations:

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