Bywater, a once crumbling but now rapidly gentrifying beautiful old neighborhood east of the train tracks at Press Street, has become a magnet for wealthy newcomers seeking an "authentic" New Orleans. The Mississippi River runs the length of its boundary, and the bars and coffee shops scattered around the often still gritty neighborhood combine elements of its working-class roots with the more recent hipster influx for a lively and distinctly local experience. It doesn't have the head-swiveling density of sights that 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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