New Orleans has its own set of directions

By Chapman McDaniel |

Forget everything you know about navigating.  In New Orleans, usual directions do not apply.

At the parish line, north, south, east and west are replaced by lakeside, riverside, downtown and uptown. These are the cardinal directions of New Orleans.

New Orleans neighborhood map via

New Orleans neighborhood map via

Some background:  as you have no doubt noticed, New Orleans is laid out in a big curve (S-curve, if you’re all the way in the Bywater).  They don’t call it the Crescent City for nothing!

I could tell you that Loyola is on the northeast side of St. Charles Avenue and that Tulane is just northwest of it.  We could talk about Touro being on the south side of St. Charles, and Lafayette Square being on the east side. But that’s just stupid.

The simple way is:  Closer to the lake or the river?  Upriver or downriver?  And you’re done.  Now you can buy the t-shirt.

Dirty Coast sells cardinal direction t-shirts and posters. Check them out at (image via

Dirty Coast sells cardinal direction t-shirts and posters. Check them out at (image via

Update: This post originally featured a New Orleans map from another website. As commenters have pointed out, it didn’t do the neighborhoods justice in their categorizations. We have replaced it with a better neighborhood map from It still doesn’t describe all of the neighborhoods in New Orleans, but it does a better job of helping you find your way around the city.

17 thoughts on “New Orleans has its own set of directions

  1. Patsy - Southfacin' Cook says:

    Chapman, welcome to our info spot. Nice job on the directional deal. My first time in N.O., a Times-Pic colleague offered me a ride uptown to shop, but it turns out I didn’t know any better and really wanted to go downtown. So, he had to shift directions to accommodate my lack of understanding. Live and learn.

      • You’re right. I’ve never heard it called Eastern New Orleans.

        I didn’t make this map, but I chose it because it clearly showed the lake, the river, uptown and downtown. Looks like it is causing my problems than it’s worth. Will find another one.

  2. Ronald Hepskepper says:

    Dear sir or madam, you seem to be ‘new to nola’ indeed! You have grievously mislabeled your map. It is well known that the division between Orleans parish and Metairie (that appalling gangrenous appendage) is the 17th street canal and not Marconi boulevard, as you have blithely rendered it…and with your random troglodytic smattering, you have rendered as denizens of that God-forsaken wasteland the good and healthful people of Lakeview and Mid-city, proud inhabitants of New Orleans proper. Next time, you should try, in whatever dim way you are capable of, to research things you profess knowledge of. Perhaps this blog should not even exist. Why should someone who is new to the city operate a website dedicated to explaining its particularities?

    • @Ronald – Thanks for checking out the blog. We didn’t make the map, thus the image credit in the cutline. I chose it because it clearly showed the lake, the river, uptown and downtown. But, it looks like it’s causing more problems than it’s worth. I’m replacing it with something else.

      And, all of us are not new. There are about six of us regularly writing and advising stories for this site. We started it because we couldn’t find another site that had all the info easily accessible.

      We’re always up for feedback and suggestions for ways to do things better. Feel free to contribute.

      Thanks again for reading.

    • Sherman des Allemands says:

      As my fellow cartography enthusiast above has exquisitely pointed out, there seems to be a degree (in the first) of murder regarding the description/location of New Orleans neighborhoods. To divide the Metropolitan area into 9 areas is akin to representing Manhattan as the entirety of New York City. Nevermind that the distinct boundaries are egregiously mis-placed, the author has erred in ommitting the inclusion of many unique neighborhoods. To name a few: Broadmoor, upper AND lower Garden District, The Black Pearl, Treme, upper AND lower 9th, University, algiers, Riverbend, Carrolton, Central City, Lake Vista, Old Metairie, and last but not least, The Fly. However, the list goes on. and on. and on.

      • @Sherman – I goofed and used a bad map. It’s been replaced with another one (from

        It’s still a simplified map since this post focuses on cardinal directions, but it does a better job of identifying the neighborhoods.

        My apologies for the first map.

      • Candi Robicheaux says:

        You forgot da parish hon. We’s in Arabi are sick and tired of being excluded. And don’t even think about lumpin’ us in wit dat Chalmette now.

  3. Tony Cannizzaro says:

    Ya forgot Harahan, dawl. Some uh da best seafood in town…da movies…n we got da only chipotlee in da whole of da gulf south, dawl….get wit da program, Harahan got more huey p. long bridges and walmarts den any other city, dawl…suck da hed!

  4. Pingback: New in NOLA’s most popular newcomer advice for 2013 | New in NOLA

  5. james says:

    You guys rock! I love this city and the map really helped! There may have been a few discrepancies but it did it’s job! Don’t let any bad review bring you down this map was still very useful.

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s