The People's Guide is Curbed NOLA's tour of neighborhoods, led by our most loyal readers, neighborhood experts, and other luminaries of our choosing. Have a piece to say? We'll be happy to hand over the megaphone. This time around, we have two contributors: welcome Leighton Barrett Strong, the co-owner of Barrett & Berger, an organization that specializes in the historical renovations in Algiers Point and Michael Verderosa, an architectural historian and Algiers Point resident. The two collaborated together, and with neighbors in Algiers Point, to create a comprehensive list of amazing things about their neighborhood.
It’s also worth to note that Algiers Point won the 2016 Curbed Cup, and was named Neighborhood of the Year.
1. Tell us something we don't know about Algiers Point.
Our crime is really low, second only to English Turn.
2. Local customs of note:
Algiers Point is rich in outstanding events and customs. From the Wednesday night concert series on the levee, to Confetti Kid’s sold out Candyland Ball, we know how to have a great time over here! Jump on the ferry and check it out. Whether you’re catching a concert on the levee or just watching the sunset and grabbing a drink, you will not be disappointed.
Other customs of note:
Gathering at Confetti and Delcazal Parks, Meeting at the pub or the old point for a drink, Beach parties when the river permits, Levee swings on the batture, Biking, Walking, Running on the levee, Monthly Wednesday night author night at the Hubbell Library, Treasures on the Point, Historic churches, Movies on the Point, and Annual Home Tours.
3. Hidden gems in Algiers Point:
Mini Art Center - Mini Art center’s goal is to be a place where every artist feels welcome, and to inspire the kid in all of us. They were founded on the belief that art can bring neighbors together. With arts budgets waning in schools, we have our own little artist incubator. They offer holiday camps, summer camps, movie nights, open studio, flubber fridays for the littlest artists and independent studies for the oldest. Our children are sculptors, animators, and painters.
Calliope Puppets - When world renowned puppeteer Karen Konnerth is not bringing her puppets to the children of the world, she hosts the occasional friday evening puppet show in her studio at 623 Vallete Street.
Rostetree Blown Glass Studio - In neighbor Mark Rosenbaum’s Rosetree Blown Glass Studio, large glass windows allow you to watch the studio in action. But, if you need to get even closer, sign up for a glass blowing class and blow your own masterpiece. Watch for the children that gather at the side door for a peek of the action.
4. Do you need a car to get around?
Definitely not! This is why the fight to save the ferries has been personal for our community. Many of our residents rely on it as transportation to and from work. You are always a short walk in Algiers Point to the library, church, a park, a bar, a restaurant or two or a coffee shop. And a short ferry ride to the French Quarter and CBD.
5. Good for kids?
The children’s community is supported by Confetti Kids. Confetti Kids is a grassroots nonprofit organization formed by Kristin Gisleson Palmer and a host of other hard working mommas. It’s mission was to build Confetti Park and improve the quality of life of children in Algiers Point. We now maintain the parks in our neighborhood, and work to foster a sense of community by bringing neighbors together for child-centered programming. Confetti kids hosts a number of annual and special events for the children of Algiers Point. Our children’s mardi gras parade, Krewe of Confetti Kids, rolls on February 5, come and march with us! Confetti Kids has also secured a lot and is working to raise funding to build a new park in our community.
Our beautiful, little neighborhood library, Hubbell Library, also contributes greatly to the children’s community in Algiers Point. Whether they are hosting a Saturday morning yoga session, or a drum class, or for weekly storytime, It’s a favorite among the children of Algiers Point.
6. Beloved neighborhood joint?
My beloved neighborhood joint is the Crown & Anchor Pub. When pub owners Neil and Albena Timms opened The Crown & Anchor, they brought to our little enclave an authentic English Pub, complete with a host of characters at the bar. But, if you spend a couple of nights at the pub and The Old Point Bar, and a couple of mornings having coffee at Tout de Suite….you will have met everybody!
7. Best park?
Confetti Park! All of our parks are great, but Confetti is the heart of our community. Delcazal is popular with the older children and Confetti is loved by the littles. We hope to strike a balance in our new park at Homer and Elmira, “The Lot” named for Algiers Point resident Russell Blanchard’s award winning short film about the immediate need for play in what is currently a park desert. Our hope for “The Lot” is that it not only provides an innovative place for play and community in our neighborhood, but that it bridges a gap in our community. That it expands the boundaries of our parks and provides play close and accessible to all of our children. The Lot would provide play space for three elementary schools, all located just a few blocks away.
8. Inflate the bubble or burst it: What's not-so-swell about your "perfect" neighborhood?
Inflate it! This is the best kept secret in New Orleans! Our houses are affordable and significant, our residents are diverse and unique, and there is no better place to raise a family. If you need a village, this is the neighborhood for you! I lived uptown for three years before I moved to Algiers Point. I spent many afternoons in Audubon Park, and I never met another parent or neighbor. I walked into Confetti Park the first time, and I walked out with three great friends that I raised my children with.
9. What's the neighborhood housing stock like?
Incredible! Algiers Point is the second oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. The craftsmanship put into the construction of our homes is outstanding! Besides building community, my passion is finding the treasures left behind and restoring them to their former glory. If you love old homes and beautiful architecture, do not miss the Algiers Point Association’s Home Tour in October. And, if you prefer a new home, there are a handful of new construction listings as well as the gated, new construction Riverpoint community. There is also a new construction development coming soon to Patterson Street. Best of all, prices are great!
10. Better for buyers or renters?
Both, and there’s a healthy balance
11. Best-kept secret?
Halloween. This neighborhood knows how to do Halloween. It is the greatest neighborhood in the world for trick or treating. Everybody gets involved, the adults dress up and hand out candy. Facebook groups emerge mapping out the pop up haunted houses throughout the neighborhood. Everybody is out, everybody is hosting. It’s definitely one of the best days to be a Pointe Algerine.
12. Stereotypical residents?
Imagine a character…they probably live here. There is no stereotypical point resident, that’s what makes it the point.
13. Most common sight?
Children playing, neighbors gathering, people walking their dogs
The final word on Algiers Point:
Algiers Point is a community like all others strive to be. An enigma in the country we live in today.We are a socioeconomically diverse community. Our residents are artists, chefs, musicians, attorneys, doctors, teachers and bankers, and they all gather in our parks, our pubs and our shops. A short walk across our little neighborhood could fill a day if you stop and catch up along the way with your neighbors and friends.