2 tips about going to New Orleans:
1. Don't call it Nawlins, only tourists do this and it's a cheap shot at our accent. If you want to use a legit nickname for the city just say "nola"
2. You don't have to go to the poor neighborhoods; not much to see there anyway. However, these neighborhoods were also where most of the culture of New Orleans originated, so at least offer some respect
Anyway, avoid lodging in these neighborhoods: Upper 9th Ward, Lower 9th Ward, 7th Ward, Central City, Hollygrove, Treme. You can easily reference the street boundaries of these neighborhoods with a google search.
You'll be naturally drawn to the French Quarter, and you should be; it's the city's historic core. It's easy to figure out the well-known things with a google search. However, I can give a couple recommendations off the beaten path:>R&O Restaurant: 15 minutes from downtown, in the suburb of Metairie. I grew up in NOLA and it was always my family's go-to po-boy place. It's a local staple and you won't find any tourists there>Chickie Wah Wah: laid back venue that has jazz, funk, rock, and other stuff depending on the night. Great place to have several drinks in a row. It's a local dive but has a diverse crowd; you won't stick out>Audubon Park: just walk around the park; it's gorgeous