So for the rest of us/the majority who are not scary monstors there are many areas that will fit your criteria:
1) Fauburg Marigny: a mix of artsy folks and everybody else and then some more artsy.
2) Midcity - rapidly changing, a mix of professionals, regular working class..covers the whole spectrum
3) Uptown - a wide area of another mix with more college students in the mix.
New Orleans is not Bourbon Street. Most of New Orleans has neighborhood bars and restaurants, and sometimes world class restaurants and bars featuring some of the best musicians in the world..who often play in these places for free.
New Orleans is not "vast" as is Memphis, or LA or so many other US cities.. New Orleans with 300 yrs of all kinds of people from everywhere tends to have more of a sense of place. It is within this sense of place one discovers while walking a neighborhood that best appeals to you.
I would suggest:
1. The Irish Channel
2. Mid City
3. The Warehouse District
Hope that helps! Enjoy our great city!