Lake views and recreational opportunities abound
Written by Jenny Peterson
Lake Pontchartrain is just two blocks from the Edgelake neighborhood in New Orleans East, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the view. A walking trail on the levee runs along Hayne Boulevard from the Seabrook Bridge to Paris Road and draws many walkers, runners, and bikers. Lake views are stunning no matter the time of day. There are plenty of boating and fishing opportunities right from the shore or from the nearby South Shore Harbor Marina, which also offers boat docking facilities. David Terrie has lived in the Edgelake neighborhood since 2003 after he and his wife decided to build a house on an available lot in the neighborhood. He’s an advocate of the community and actively works to make the East a family-friendly place to live.
Moving to New Orleans East to raise a family was a natural choice; his wife’s family lived there, and although he grew up in Gentilly, Terrie regularly traveled to New Orleans East throughout his childhood.“I remember as a child going to New Orleans East just when it was being developed in the late 1970s and 80s; it was the promised land,” Terrie said. “We went there as a family on a regular basis, and I had friends who lived there. Later on, I had friends who I’d go out and play tennis with there. The East was part of my lifestyle.” The Edgelake neighborhood had everything the Terries were looking for, including a large number of homeowners, a family-oriented atmosphere and popular restaurants nearby, such as Castnet Seafood and Walker’s BBQ restaurant.
“It just so happens there was an empty lot in the neighborhood on the same street where my sister-in-law and brother-in-law lived,” Terrie said. After Hurricane Katrina, Terrie and members of the Edgelake neighborhood formed a neighborhood group to get residents involved and get to know each other. “We started meeting on a regular basis, and there was kind of a social aspect to it—we would meet at local restaurants like Deanie’s Restaurant and Castnet Seafood. We also started our ‘Night Out Against Crime’ program.”
Today, there is still a very active Edgelake Neighborhood Association and neighborhood watch association. Terrie is now raising his 14-year-old daughter in the Edgelake community and is a tireless proponent of bringing more quality businesses to New Orleans East. He works for a financial services company and does a full spectrum of investments for individuals. Terrie also trains new agents in the field.
“Our focus is families,” he said. “There are significant opportunities in the East and lots of dollars.” The family-centered neighborhoods in New Orleans East allow for relaxation away from traffic and congestion. “It is mostly residential out here, so vehicle traffic is confined only to the major corridors that intersect I-10,” Terrie said. He’s excited about post-Katrina updates to the East, including the Joe Brown Park with a full slate of park amenities, including a walking trail, shelters for picnicking, baseball fields, tennis courts, an indoor pool, gym and football stadium. “The best feature the park offers is access to the Audubon Nature Center, which is an outstanding nature preserve in the middle of an urban area,” Terrie said. “It has walking trails as well. The entire park and nature preserve is great for bird watching.” Another standout is Southern Oaks Plantation, a wedding and reception venue with an Antebellum mansion surrounded by stately oak trees. The plantation is known as one of the most romantic places for a wedding in New Orleans. Southern Oaks Plantation is adjacent to the Edgelake neighborhood. Terrie said he’s happy when he sees new younger families moving to the neighborhood and investing in the community. He continues to advocate for more quality businesses and commercial opportunities in the area. “My hope is that the East will be restored to the bright, shiny Mecca of middle-class living that I (saw) often when I visited as a child,” he said. “New Orleans East is a community for all.”