Heading Up North

Editor’s Note
Kimberley Singletary
Illustration by Paddy Mills

I’m up on the Northshore every week to visit my mom in Mandeville. We have a standing date where I get to hang with her, she gets to hang with her youngest granddaughter, and we both get to enjoy a lunch out and about.

Sometimes we also take a walk along the lake — other times it’s the Tammany Trace. We may grab a lunch out on the back porch of The Chimes and see if we can catch a glimpse of a goat, or maybe wander downtown Covington and window shop. A few times we’ve met my dad (who runs the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville — the only maritime museum in the state) for lunch at the nearby Abita Roasting Co., where we can sit by the water and watch the boats. No matter what we do, it feels peaceful, tranquil.

It’s been eight years since my parents moved to the Northshore (following us here from Nebraska) and I have always enjoyed my trips across the lake. I feel more relaxed up there.

There’s only one hiccup: the traffic.

Interstate 12 — man if you hit that at the wrong time (which is a lot more likely now than eight years ago) you might as well settle in and find a good podcast (I recommend BizTalks!) I’ve learned how to take surface streets to get around some of it, but even those can get crazy, and I’m not even around during peak times!

I’ve lived in a few big cities that had major traffic issues — including Seattle and San Diego — and both were cases of the population growing much faster than infrastructure could keep up. The difference, I think, is that you expect it in a big city. On the Northshore, where you’re surrounded by trees, not buildings, most of the time, it doesn’t seem right.

But the Northshore is growing — and growing fast, with St. Tammany the second-fastest growing parish in the state. In last year’s inaugural Northshore issue (when St. Tammany was the fourth-fastest growing parish) I had a great conversation with Chris Masingill — CEO of St. Tammany Corporation, the parish’s economic development organization — and we talked about the “balancing act” that the Northshore is facing between continuing to grow and doing it in a way that preserves the quality of life that draws people to the area.

In this, our second-ever Northshore issue of Biz New Orleans magazine, I was honored to have spoken with Amy Ybarzabal about how the Northshore HBA fits into this “balancing act.” She, and so many of the 700-plus members she represents, believes the Northshore is very capable of finding the balance they seek. The key is to work together and remember that everyone wants the same thing: a balanced, healthy, thriving region.

As always, thanks for reading,

Kimberley Singletary
Managing Editor