Bywater, a once crumbling but beautiful old neighborhood east of the train tracks at Press Street, has become a magnet for wealthy newcomers seeking to make "authentic" New Orleans their home. The Mississippi River runs the length of its boundary, and the bars and coffee shops scattered around the neighborhood's gritty and shiny parts alike combine elements of its working-class roots with the more recent hipster influx to make for a lively and distinctly local experience. It doesn't have the head-turning array of sights you'll find in the French Quarter, but a visit to Bywater gives you a feel for New Orleans as it lives day to day, in a colorful, overgrown, slightly sleepy cityscape reminiscent of island communities and tinged with a sense of perpetual decay.


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