Algiers :: The Brooklyn Of New Orleans
I’m taking online French classes in my spare time because I don’t have enough commitments already (ha!). More on the reasons why in a future post.
Many of the classes I’ve taken are taught by professors in Francophone countries like Martinique, Belgium, and, my favorite, Algeria. Try explaining in broken Franglish that you too live in a place called Algiers. Then try explaining how it is South of the French Quarter, on the West Bank. So, instead, I take a line from my 11-year old and simply tell them: Algiers is the Brooklyn of New Orleans.
My native Algerine husband spent years trying to talk me into leaving my sweet, close to everything, home in Gentilly. A global pandemic finally convinced me that we needed more space. (I still love and will always love Gentilly!)
Reasons Why Algiers Is Like Brooklyn
Algiers is like Brooklyn because, to start, it is legitimately diverse. Check out the data provided by the Algiers Economic Development Foundation here.
Algiers is like Brooklyn because it is measurably less expensive than its counterparts on the East Bank. According to Redfin, median home prices in Algiers are $209,000.
Algiers is like Brooklyn because movies are filmed there on the regular. As the second oldest neighborhood in the city, Algiers Point has the all New Orleans-style cottages and shotgun doubles that art directors love to capture on film. We also have the original Mardi Gras World.
Algiers is like Brooklyn for remote workers too, who are no longer tied to an office desk. If you don’t have to cross the bridge to go to work every day, there is no barrier to Algiers living. You can still live in New Orleans, be a three-minute ferry ride away from the French Quarter and have the peace of mind and relative safety of a suburb.
Brooklyn has their bridge; we have the Crescent City Connection. If only there was a bike and/or pedestrian lane on ours. But don’t let the bridge scare you! There are lots of unique things to love about and visit in Algiers, for example:
Independent Locally Owned Restaurants: Tonti’s Hand popped up recently and I’d go back just for the wine list! Thanh Lien Kitchen is a little Vietnamese restaurant on Kabel Drive that is fantastic, Mr. B’s Bakery is fresh and delicious, and the New Orleans Gumbo Man is legendary. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Chubbies. If you know, you know.
Riding (or walking) on the Levee: Did you know it’s only about 3 miles from the Algiers ferry terminal, down the levee, to Downtown Gretna? It’s always just a little cooler up there, thanks to that Mississippi River breeze. Back when I was a runner, I used to traverse this distance on the regular. It’s also a great place for kids to practice bike riding, since it is relatively straight and flat, sans potholes. If you want an even longer workout, you can take the paved and lit levee path all the way to the Chalmette ferry terminal.
Edna Karr High School: There are many movies and streaming series about Brooklyn, but Algiers, America might be the first piece produced specifically about Algiers. It chronicles the Edna Karr football team and their coach Brice Brown, who is an inspiration in every way — from his no-nonsense approach to excellence, to his frank and honest discussions with his players. His perspective on what it takes to succeed, not just in football but in life, is as refreshing as it is inspirational. Check it out on Hulu.
Military Neighbors: Like Brooklyn, which boasts the only active duty military installation in greater New York City, in Algiers, we live side-by-side with our military neighbors in Federal City. If you take that levee bike ride, it’s likely that you will see a Marine fly past you during a training run.
Bounyful Green Market: Personally, I go for the brownies, but there are lots of other delicious treats, homemade breads, and fresh vegetables. And once in a while, the Yakimein Lady shows up and sells out. The Bounyful Fresh Market is every first and third Sunday of the month at the University of Holy Cross. You can grab snacks, bring a picnic blanket, let the kids run free, and spend a peaceful afternoon with your family. What could be more hipster or Brooklyn-like than a farmers’ market? I rest my case.
I hope you’ll come visit us to see for yourself how Algiers is as cool as Brooklyn. And, if you want that perfect photo of the city skyline, you know where to go……