Descriptions of Our Suites

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Blue House on Lafreniere Street in New Orleans.

For most of its length where you would visit, London Avenue has been renamed A.P. Tureaud Avenue.  There are broken splinters of London Avenue remaining, however, lakeside of North Broad Avenue, what everyone calls Broad Street.

London Avenue still exists, on both sides of the London Avenue Canal, in bits and pieces, here and there.  There is a famous blue house on Lafreniere Street where it dead-ends against the London Avenue Canal, along one these leftover scraps of London Avenue.

New Orleans can be a confusing city, especially if you go to the places that most people don't go to unless they live in those neighborhoods.  The best parts of New Orleans are the parts where people live.  Ask them.

It takes a long time to get familiar with New Orleans.  There is more to New Orleans than the French Quarter and the hotels around the Convention Center.  There are the New Orleans Saints who play in the National Football League, and, then, there are your everyday New Orleans saints who live out their lives on the streets of New Orleans, in the neighborhoods.  They are our neighbors.

The blue house on LaFreniere Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.
There is a blue house on the corner of Lafreniere Street and London Avenue.  I don't know the name of the neighborhood.  I'm sure the people who live there can tell me, and, when they do, I'll never have heard this neighborhood name before.  Why?  Because we live in a sweet onion of a city.  There are more layers than any geographer can ever uncover.  

I could tell you the story of Nicolas Chauvin de la Frenière, Jr., after whom Freniere Street is named, but, it's a long and complicated story that will just take up too much time to make sense and, when I'm finally done, you'll be wondering why I spent so much time telling a story that doesn't make any difference, anyway.  I'll spare you.

Let me tell you why London Avenue was named London Avenue:  It's because they needed a catchy name French speakers could remember.

Let me tell you why the London Avenue Canal is named the London Avenue Canal.  It's because it was originally planned to run the length of London Avenue.  It still does, but the canal is cut off at the North Broad Avenue Pumping Station #3.  After Broad Street, the canal ends and the street that used to bear its name is called A.P. Tureaud Avenue, named after Alexander Pierre Tureaud.  There is a statue of A.P. Tureaud on A.P. Tureaud Avenue.  It is one of the first things I discovered my first day in New Orleans.  It is where A.P. Tureaud Avenue intersects with St. Bernard Avenue, riverside of the abandoned Liberty Bank building, lakeside of the Autocrat Club.

You'll never see the London Avenue Canal.  It's behind a levee topped by unscalable concrete walls.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains the canal.  The Corps has beefed up the infrastructure since the federal levee failure during Hurricane Katrina.  It won't happen again.

The bright blue house on Lafreniere Street remains, rebuilt, a symbol of tenaciousness, of being comfortable in the shadow of danger.  The bright blue house on Lafreniere Street is a symbol of determination, resilience, good cheer, Mardi Gras spirit.  This is New Orleans spirit.

You never know what you'll find when you turn any corner in New Orleans.

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:  La Belle Esplanade is a five-suite personalized hotel off the usual tourist radar where you can explore and experience New Orleans like you live here.  Check out website and read out blog, there, too.  Keep yourself in a New Orleans state of mind.  When you are ready to visit this wonderful city we call home, you know where to stay:

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New Orleans State of Mind (Part II)

Be yourself.  That's the New Orleans way.  If you can't be yourself in New Orleans, who can you be?  In a city of kooks, cranks, crackpots, eccentrics, larger-than-life characters, caricatures, legends, chefs, debutantes, royalty, captains, big shots, big chiefs, and big dreams, everyone has a place in New Orleans.  Ask anyone who lives here.  Welcome to the New Orleans state of mind.

Be yourself in New Orleans.  That is all anyone expects.  Be the best self you can be.  Everyone will root you on.  

Seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels find New Orleans a pretty sweet spot.  One of the Buddha's fingernails is in a stupa in New Orleans.  Ponce de Leon was off by 600 miles.

Why do people choose to live in New Orleans?  Some psychologists will tell you that it's because they have a death wish,  ICD-10 code F43.25.  As the DSM-V defines it: "Adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct."  There is nowhere else like New Orleans.  New Orleans brings out the best in people.

Maybe, one night, you'll find yourself wandering down a lamplit street in back-a-town New Orleans.  The air will be heavily pregnant with possibilities while you whistle past the graveyard.  Do I smell ginger?  Look at the sidewalk:

The streetlight flickered off when I took this photo.
And, then it flickered on, again.
Who would paint a graffiti picture on the street of a whale chasing a paint brush?  And, who would take the time to paint it so that it looked like the sidewalk was the ocean?  This artist was a real artist.

What is the meaning of this strange sign?  Why would a whale chase a giant paint brush over the seven seas to get to New Orleans?  Ask yourself that question in a New Orleans state of mind.  The answer will be obvious.  There are many mysteries in New Orleans.  This is one of them.

Nothing is censored in New Orleans.  This is a city where Rex is King.  Misrule is the order of the day.  

When you enter the New Orleans state of mind, you enter an epic.  History unfolds in New Orleans through every one of us in a New Orleans state of mind.  There is no such thing as loving New Orleans too much.  We are all in this story forever.  When New Orleans calls, you've got to answer.

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:  When you Visit New Orleans, you should visit like you belong here.  You do belong here.  La Belle Esplanade is a five-suite craft hotel on a beautiful and historic street close to the things tourists want to see, but in a real New Orleans neighborhood where you can get a quiet night's sleep and explore the authentic New Orleans off the tourist radar.  

Famous for run-on sentences and good conversation over breakfast, your New Orleans goodwill ambassadors at La Belle Esplanade will help you learn what it means to really fall in love with our part of New Orleans.

La Belle Esplanade only has five suites so plan ahead.  We tend to fill up early during busy times of the year.  Here is our availability calendar.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Typical New Orleans Day

The breeze blew by a moment ago and I smelled the sweet, sweet waft of New Orleans oleander.  It isn't the time of year when oleander is in bloom.  It's almost December.  It's 72 degrees at the end of November.  Cajuns are getting ready to fry their turkeys for Thanksgiving Day.  Hooooo-ee, there is nothing so nice as a typical New Orleans day and today is pretty typical.

The past is always present in New Orleans.  Even autumn contains hints of spring.  Nothing is dead forever in New Orleans.  Our city is a city with tenacious grit.  Come hell or high water, New Orleans forever.  Living in a bowl below sea level in the sub-tropics, whatever happens is a typical day in New Orleans.  We never know what any day will bring.

Open up your nose in New Orleans and you'll have to open your heart.  

New Orleans smells like April freshness every time of year.  Something is always in bloom.  In November, when New England is fiery golden brown, the breeze in New Orleans carries traces of faraway pollen along the city's convoluted street grids, and the breeze picks up all sorts of other beguiling floral scents along its way.  New Orleans smells ineffable.  Somebody should figure out how to bottle New Orleans air and sell it.  

A light breeze on a November afternoon in New Orleans is a thing to take for granted only if you live here. We live in a city of small epiphanies and magical moments.  Sanctus, sanctus, NOLA.  Revelations are around every corner.   

Walk past a kitchen in New Orleans and you'll be hungry for more. Pass up the chance to win big at the race track?  No way.  Listen!  Can you hear that tuba player, that way?  Listen.  There are trumpets, too.  It's a parade.  Let's join in. 

There are horses in this parade, too.
I bumped into Jimmy at the parade.  He was using a cane but he's looking well.  He danced like he was 50 years younger than he is.  We rolled together for about three blocks but then I had to peel off because I had to write this story.

You never know what will happen on any day in New Orleans.  This is just a typical New Orleans day.  Nobody ever says their visit to New Orleans is too long.  It is always too short.  The longer you are here, the more you'll enjoy unpredictable days like today.


La Belle Esplanade is a small hotel in New Orleans that sponsors this blog.  If you are thinking of visiting New Orleans, we hope you will consider staying at La Belle Esplanade.  You belong here.  Check out our website and see what you think.  When you're ready, we're here for you.

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