NEW ORLEANS — Venetian Isles is a neighborhood just 25 miles from downtown New Orleans, right off of Highway 90 on the western shore of the Chef Pass.
Bayou Savage separates these waterfront homes from the bulk of New Orleans, so while the neighborhood is still within the city limits, it seems like a world away.
"It's like being at a resort but you don't have to leave. You've got everything here. You got boat access, fishing, shrimping, crabbing," long-time resident Dean Marullo said.
Venetian Isles has been there for decades. There are more than 200 homes and nearly everyone is on a canal, just miles away from the Lake of your choice.
"If you go right up here you hit Bayou Savage and you go up Bayou Savage and you hit the Chef Pass. If you go to the left then you're in Lake Ponchartrain," Marullo said. "If you go to the right then you're out into Lake Borgne which leads out to the Mississippi Sound."
There are pros and cons to living in the Venetian Isles.
"It's a little inconvenient. There are no schools, there's no grocery stores, stuff like that," Marullo said.
Marullo has marked off the major hurricanes they've lived through, including Hurricane Gustav in 2008, Isaac in 2012 and, of course, Katrina in 2005. The main floor of his house is seventeen and a half feet. The water didn't make it that far, but the family did have a lot of damage.
Residents who live in Venetian Isles go by a saying:
"It's nice when it's nice. It's not nice when it's not nice," Marullo said. "When we get a storm out here, you know we're outside the levee district. These last couple little storms that came by, we probably had 6 feet of water out here. And all the streets had 15, 16 inches of water in them. You couldn't get in and out of the neighborhood, the highway was flooded. That happens quite often."
Marullo said they saw flooding about 6 times last year. It's just something they live with.
"It's the price you pay for living in paradise," Marullo said.
WWL-TV reporter Leslie Spoon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow her on Twitter at @LeslieSpoonWWL