Reviews & Comments
Alexandria, LABadly Divided City
Alexandria suffers from sitting at the crossroads of the northern and southern Louisiana cultures. It is badly divided along racial, religious, and political lines - to such a degree that there can be no compromise. Crime is a huge issue and has become even more of an issue since Katrina's refugees arrived. Live close enough to Alexandria to take advantage of world class medical care, but not close enough to get involved in the mess it is making of the quality of life there.
Pleasant Hill, LADown But Not Out
Pleasant Hill is one of those magical villages that has, generation after generation, produced some of the finest minds in all of the nation. Sadly, there have never been enough career opportunities in this tiny town and almost all of the young people have moved to other places. However, there has never been a heart born or raised in Pleasant Hill that doesn't long to return home. As it is now, Pleasant Hill is best suited as a retirement destination for those with roots in the area, for hunters and fishermen, and for those who want a safe, slow style of life. What it could be is a Mecca for cottage industries and any number of "green" businesses. With luck, this once thriving town will soon be rediscovered and it will have the future it so richly deserves.
Arnaudville, LAArnaudville, LA
There is probably no better place on Earth to retire than in Arnaudville, LA. This is a town that sits on the parish (county) line that divides St. Landry and St. Martin Parishes. The intersection of Bayou Teche and Bayou Fuselier is in the middle of town and is the location of "the light." All directions are given "from the light." There are Cajun French lessons available and the most wonderful grocery store (Russell's) is the place to practice one's new language skills. There is a thriving artistic community in Arnaudville and it is within easy reach of excellent health care. Two major interstate highways are only minutes away, but are not close enough to damage the quality of life in this wonderful Cajun town.
Shreveport, LAShreveport: Crime
The only thing that concerns me about Shreveport is the crime rate. Shreveport retains its "small town" mentality but, when no one was looking, it grew into a big city and has never adjusted to the "bad things" that come with that kind of growth. This is a city where the elderly have to be taught how to go to their own mailbox without getting mugged and where gangs pretty much do as they please. The smaller towns around Shreveport are wonderful. It is just probably not a good idea to live too far inside the city itself. Shreveport's health care system can hold its own against any health care community in the world, so this is a huge plus for living and retiring in the Shreveport area.
Evergreen, LAEvergreen, LA: Overall Quality of Life
Evergreen is probably not a best destination, especially for retirees and families with children. It is in Avoyelles Parish, where at least 1/3 of the people fall below the poverty line, there are no jobs and education is rapidly falling apart. Health care in Avoyelles Parish has never been good and shows no sign of improvement. Evergreen is not within the "golden hour" of any major hospital, so it is not a safe place to live for anyone who suffers from chronic diseases, such as coronary disease. There is only one tiny "old fashioned" (wood floor), cash only, convenience store in Evergreen. It is at least 10 miles to the nearest town in any direction, and even those towns do not have major grocery stores. ...and yet, for sheer beauty - the bayous and small towns in this section of Avoyelles Parish are beyond wonderful. Evergreen is the kind of place where lawns are measured in terms of acres, rather than sq. ft. One flowering wave gives way to another and it is all pretty enough to take your breath away.