Oh when the saints go surfing in...
January 16, 2006 10:41 PM   Subscribe

Dear NOLAfites: I have the opportunity to go to New Orleans for 2 weeks in February. The kicker is that I'll have to make it a sort of working vacation...

...which I've never attempted before. I'm looking at this trip as an experiment in whether or not I can pull it all off. I work for myself, doing webby things, and I have a laptop. I need advice about where I will be able to find a reliable high speed connection that I can hang out on for long stretches of time, and if such things are readily available in new orleans post-katrina. Here at home I occasionally putz around online in a coffee shop for an hour or two, but I've never attempted to put in a full work day at a place like that--do people actually do such things? I suspect there is some sort of protocol about this stuff.

I'm going to be staying with friends of friends--there's no certainty that they have any internet connection at all or that I'd be able to use it all day, so ideally I'll have an array of public wi-fi options to choose from. What do you think are the best options?

If you have any advice about making a working vacation "work", I'll be happy to have that as well.
posted by missmobtown to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I understand the city itself is blanketed with free wifi right now.
posted by roboto at 12:06 AM on January 17, 2006

If it goes down, the big hotels on Canal St. also have strong wifi, if you can pay a sawbuck per 24 hours and nurse a coffee in the lounge.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:57 AM on January 17, 2006

Tulane reopened for classes today, so at least there will be young people when you get here.

The city is slowly getting back on its feet. But the process isn't perfect. Everything you need to survive (lights, water, grocery stores, sex shops) is up and running, but you can't escape the fact that 80% of the city was severely damaged (work crews everywhere, piles of garbage by the streets, less "quarter characters").

WiFi is supposed to be available everywhere, but I haven't tried it myself. Coffee shops and lounges will be open (mostly in the Garden District and near Tulane and Loyola).

Keep in mind, though, the last week of February will be Mardi Gras, so don't plan on getting too much done that week. :)
posted by ColdChef at 6:10 AM on January 17, 2006

If New Orleans has blanketed WiFi, it's news to me! There are definitely coffee shops that you hang hang out in for extended periods of time. I recommend the Rue de la Course. There is one Uptown and one on Magazine St.. Both are popular with students so they're used to people staying a long time.

Also, plenty of hotels have free WiFi. I stayed at the InterContinental when I got back and it was very nice. I *think* they are supposed to have WiFi only on the second floor but it went up to the 6th where I was staying.

Keep in mind that New Orleans is a bit dysfunctional right now. It was kindof a crazy place beforehand, but now its even worse. It's hard to get food late at night because restaurants close early, and forget going grocery shopping after 8pm.
posted by radioamy at 8:33 AM on January 17, 2006

There is free city-owned WiFi in the French Quarter and the CBD -- I use it every day. I believe the plan is to extend it to other parts of the city eventually, but I'm not sure of the timeline.

I don't think you need to be too worried about hanging out in a coffee shop all day, as long as you're buying stuff. Cafe Envie, on Decatur and Barracks (I think?) is always full of people working, and I've spent 3+ hours there with no problem.

Do you know what part of the city you're going to be staying in?
posted by Siobhan at 2:37 PM on January 20, 2006

I'm reporting back because I noticed that the NOPL will soon be offering free wireless at all of their open locations -- no exact date on their website, but it's probably worth keeping tabs on.
posted by Siobhan at 10:17 AM on January 23, 2006

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