Having being a tourist in Crescent City several times in recent years, and a foreign one at that, I have to say that I think you've got it right in many respects.
I have just read the letter from Jim Wisbauer and it makes me smile that having to lock the car when he goes into a shop is a concern for him. Here in UK and especially the large city of Leeds I live in, we have to have our car doors locked while we are driving round, so don't worry too much about how other people perceive Crescent City.
Yes, maybe there are still areas that need tidying, but be careful what you wish for. CC is a wonderful, friendly American small town, please don't try to turn it into a theme park to keep the visitors happy.
I'll be in town later in the year; I'll let you know how the improvements are going.