Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Elysian Bar, New Orleans

The Elysian Bar in New Orleans has been open for about a year.  The Elysian Bar is part of the Peter and Paul Hotel.  The Peter and Paul Hotel is situated in the rectory, convent, school, and church building of the former Saints Peter and Paul Parish in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana.  The hotel has about 70 rooms.  It has been named one of the top hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine.  If you want to hang out in a hotel bar, the Elysian Bar is a nice choice.  I've been there more than once.

The napkin at The Elysian Bar

I usually go to the Elysian Bar when it's slow.  Summer afternoons are a great time to visit the Elysian Bar.  The bar opens at 10:30AM and it closes at 12:00AM.  Apertivo Hour is from 3:00-6:00PM daily.  These times come from their website.  I haven't verified all of them personally. 

I don't mind talking to guests who are staying in large hotels.  I know that hotels of 70 rooms are not considered large---they are boutique.  I live in New Orleans.  

If I were visiting New Orleans, I don't think I'd go out of my way to meet people from Peoria that I'll never see again.  You can do that anywhere in the French Quarter or on Frenchmen Street or in any hotel bar.  When the first thing that someone asks you is, "So where are you folks from?" you know you are in tourist New Orleans, not in the part of the city where people live.  There is more to New Orleans than you will read in any guidebook. 

It is very nice inside The Elysian Bar.  The snug interior doesn't feel claustrophobic because of the interior architecture and design.  You'll find a lot of yellow.

The Elysian Bar.

The Elysian Bar is a cocktail bar.  Fine wines and fine cocktails.  There is a curated (small) selection of canned and bottled beer.  I'm sure you can order a rum and coke if you really want it, but it's not gonna be Capt. Morgan.  Most people at The Elysian Bar order a spritz drink or a cocktail with an arbitrary name they've never heard of.  It'll all be good.  They have a lot of ingredients.

They have celery bitters.

My favorite flavor of bitters, even better than Peychaud.

If I were staying at the Peter and Paul Hotel, I would go to The Elysian Bar more often.  As it is, I go when I'm in the neighborhood.  It's an experience.  The locks on the bathroom doors are like on airplanes.  When you slide the bolt inside the bathroom door, a wheel on the outside changes from vacant to occupied.  No one ever has to knock.

I will say that I think The Elysian Bar is in the best of its class.  Once you walk onto the premises you'll realize why there is no other bar like it, not only in New Orleans but in the world.  It is one of a kind.  The atmosphere is comfortable and cozy, classy.  The drinks are excellent.  Try it.  You'll like it.  When you've had enough of it, there is a whole wide wonderful city waiting for you.

This is not a paid endorsement.

A word from our blog's sponsor:  

A hotel with 70 rooms is a small hotel, especially in New Orleans.  There are 36,000 hotel rooms in the city of New Orleans, not counting the suburbs.  La Belle Esplanade is a microscopic in our market.  We only have five suites in a colorful mansion on a beautiful street.  Our hotel is tiny and artisanal, with hospitality on a craft level.  The best New Orleans memories are made when you make La Belle Esplanade the headquarters for your adventure.

Each of our five suites has a sitting room, a bed room, a private bath with clawfoot tub, and a private balcony.  You can't be afraid of color.  La Belle Esplanade is located close to the things tourists want to see in every direction but it is also in a real neighborhood where you can visit New Orleans like you belong here.  Make yourself at home in style.

Ranked the #1 inn in New Orleans since April 2014 by TripAdvisor, La Belle Esplanade has also been called #2 in the U.S., and #16 in the world, having won the Travelers' Choice Award twice, back-to-back.  Go to our website, see what we have to offer.  There is tourist New Orleans and there is real New Orleans.  You belong here.  

Friday, August 23, 2019

Make Good New Orleans Memories

Catch as catch can, a day in New Orleans is a plate holding a generous slice of paradise pie.  Dig in.  Get your knife and your fork.  Grab your spoon.  Hunger makes the best sauce.  Make good New Orleans memories while you are in this wonderful kaleidoscope of a city we call home.  Welcome.

People who live in New Orleans have nothing but good memories.  It's one danged lucky thing after another in New Orleans.  The sun shines even when it is raining in New Orleans.  The best things in life are free in New Orleans.

Open up your heart to the New Orleans State of Mind.

Twenty years from now, no matter where I find myself, I'm going to wake up after having a dream about my time in New Orleans, a sweet dream.  I am going to wake up smiling.  You don't even have to try to make good New Orleans memories.  The good memories will take care of themselves.  If you are smiling now, you must be thinking of New Orleans.  Lucky you.

It's Tuesday and I'm grooving on a sunny New Orleans afternoon.  Where are you?  What are you doing?  You belong in New Orleans.

 Today, I was in Lakeview, Mid-City, Tremé, the 7th Ward, the French Quarter, the Central Business District, and the Lower Garden District.  I had only skimmed the surface of today's many New Orleans delights.  With open eyes and an open heart, New Orleans will treat you right.

Some kids were putting on a puppet show today in their front yard on Marshall Foch Street.  That was fun.

This can be your New Orleans headquarters.  Make it so.

A few words from our sponsor:  

You can make good New Orleans memories, most people do, or, you can make great New Orleans memories.  Get out of the French Quarter and visit a bar or a restaurant in a real neighborhood that isn't in the guidebooks.  There is much, much more to New Orleans than what you'll read in the guidebooks.  That's why people live here.  Home is where the heart is.  The #1 place to stay in New Orleans is La Belle Esplanade.  It's a small hotel that may not be fore everyone.  It's for people who want to visit New Orleans like they belong here.  You belong here.  

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
You have two friends on Esplanade Avenue.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Enchanting New Orleans

New Orleans is beautiful during the day but I wouldn't say this is enchanting New Orleans.  During the day, the sun rains down and everything is bright with technicolor.  Living in New Orleans is like  being in a movie that always has a happy ending.  People are happy in New Orleans.  Why wouldn't they be?  They live in America's most interesting city.  Home is where the heart is.

Every house is inviting in enchanting New Orleans. 

New Orleans is enchanting at night.  A city of mysteries out in the open, after evening, New Orleans is where dreams are hatched and take flight.  A New Orleans night is a taste of paradise.  Keep your wits about you and follow your heart.  New Orleans is calling you.  Be wise.  Answer. 

New Orleans is peacefully enchanting when you're not on Bourbon Street.

I was walking around our neighborhood, Tremé, last night.  It was quiet as it always is.  While Tremé is right outside the French Quarter, the neighborhood is relatively untouched by tourists.  Families have inhabited Tremé for generations.  Tremé has it's own culture.  Some people say that Tremé, itself, is the birthplace of Jazz.  There is a case to be made for that.

Our neighborhood is enchanting at night.  New Orleans is enchanting everywhere but our part of Mid-City is where enchanting New Orleans really shines.  You'll see.  There is magic everywhere, behind every curtain.

A colorful city, even at night, New Orleans is enchanting.

There is enchantment around every corner in New Orleans.  Keep your eyes open.  Keep your heart open.  New Orleans loves you.

A link to our sponsor:

La Belle Esplanade

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Best Things In New Orleans Are Free.

The best things in New Orleans are free.  New Orleans is the greatest free show on earth, and not just during Mardi Gras season.  Every New Orleans day is a parade of sweet humanity in all its shapes and guises.  Get your good self down to New Orleans and you'll know what it means to fall in love with New Orleans.  Everything rhymes in Orleans parish.

Your humble narrator is a dreamy-eyed poet but he doesn't know it.

The best things in life are free.  The best things in New Orleans are free.  Life is what you make it.  Love cannot be bartered or sold in  installments.  Real love, true love, passion, is either all out or it is all in.  You can lust for New Orleans but it takes commitment and deep familiarity to truly fall deeply in love with this wonderful city we call home.  

In a New Orleans state of mind you'll still have to pay for a bed and roof over your head.  You'll still have to pay for meals.  Those are good things, true, but the best things in New Orleans are free.  The whole city of New Orleans is a factory of craftspeople who spend all their days and nights making the stuff of good memories.  The cure to a hard heart is to dream a New Orleans dream.

The sitting room in the Clio Suite at La Belle Esplanade.

The best things in New Orleans are free.  Who can put a price on a week that will make you smile for the rest of your life?  The first visit is only an appetizer.  The more time you spend in New Orleans, the more you'll find yourself wanting more.  New Orleans is that kind of a city.  You should see for yourself.  The best things in New Orleans are free-----the best things in New Orleans are everywhere here.  When you have open eyes and an open heart, New Orleans will treat you right.

Now a word from our sponsor:  

In a city full of pleasant surprises, you can't get caught up in FOMO.  Follow your instinct.  Use your better intuition when you are in New Orleans.  Stay at La Belle Esplanade a small artisanal hotel on one of the most beautiful streets in the city.  Centrally located to tourist destinations but in the real city, the most beautiful part.  Visit New Orleans like you live here.  It'll be better than getting pass-out drunk on Bourbon Street.

When New Orleans calls, you have to answer.

La Belle Esplanade only has five luxury suites so we tend to fill up early.  Book today and make sure you can explore this wonderful city we call home like you belong here.  You do belong here.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Happiness is New Orleans

You never know what you'll see around any corner in New Orleans.

Since I've moved to New Orleans, I don't find many reasons to travel outside the city's limits.  When you live in New Orleans the sky is the limit, of course, but that's only when you're looking up.  When you live in New Orleans there are very few reasons to visit other cities?  Why?  When you live in New Orleans and you visit another city, maybe on vacation or business, after two days you want to be home again.  That's how I feel.  I hate to travel.  In a New Orleans state of mind, why leave New Orleans unless there is a wedding or a funeral? 

An inviting way to start the day on Ursulines Avenue, New Orleans.

It's been a long time since I last said that I would walk a mile for a Camel cigarette but I wouldn't mind riding my bicycle three miles up St. Bernard Avenue, headed lakeside, to see a statue of a camel in somebody's from yard---right where you'd least expect it.

He is a handsome camel:

Lakeview royalty, New Orleans-style.

I've been riding my bicycle around the great city of New Orleans every morning for the past couple of weeks.  It is flat here and the city is compact.  New Orleans is a real city.  Is is densely full of details, both historic and evolving.  I have lived in New Orleans nine years.  Not a day goes by when I am not astounded.  Happiness is New Orleans.

If you've never been to New Orleans, you should come down for a visit.  

Longer is always better.  No one ever says their visit is too long.  It is always too short.  The longer you are here, the more you'll realize how much more there is to discover and appreciate.  There are treats around every corner.  New Orleans is Candyland with a long francophile pedigree.  

Now a word from our sponsor:  

In a city full of pleasant surprises, you can't get caught up in FOMO.  Follow your instinct.  Use your better intuition when you are in New Orleans.  Stay at La Belle Esplanade a small artisanal hotel on one of the most beautiful streets in the city.  Centrally located to tourist New Orleans and in the rest of New Orleans, where this enchanted city's culture is born, nurtured, and set free.

If your spirit bucket has a hole in it, you better plug that hole with good New Orleans memories.  Put visiting New Orleans on your list of things to do before you die.  When you want to explore and enjoy the authentic New Orleans, stay at La Belle Esplanade.  We live in a city full of happy surprises.

We only have five luxury suites so we tend to fill up early.  Book today and make sure you can explore this wonderful city we call home like you belong here.  You do belong here.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade

Monday, August 5, 2019

Be Ready to Catch New Orleans' Spirit

Every New Orleans day is full of surprises.  Close your eyes and open your heart, you'll be ready to catch New Orleans spirit.  Just ask your humble narrator:

Your New Orleans Answer Man pondering the city's most difficult questions.

Once upon a time, this afternoon, actually, I went to the sculpture garden at the lakeside end of Esplanade Avenue.  It's only about a 20 minute walk from our front door.  

On the way, I stopped to watch a turtle eat a fish.  You can't blame me.  It's not like you see it every day, either.  You'd stop.

The Sidney and Wanda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a thing of two halves.  They expanded it maybe two-three months ago.  The original sculpture garden is world class, it includes work from everyone you expect to see in a who's who of who's a sculptor.  The paths are well laid-out, compact and shady.  Turn a corner and, like in New Orleans itself, you won't know pleasant surprise to expect in the original sculpture garden.  

The new part is, well, newer.  It's not shady---I can't blame them for that.  The trees have to grow.  Because the park hasn't matured yet, the sight lines aren't exactly as inspiring as originally planned.  The new part of the sculpture garden does have its share of pleasant surprises. I am particular to one, the most traditional of the lot, naturally:

A Word From Our Sponsor:  There is more to New Orleans than you think you know.  Go to the French Quarter.  Go to Frenchmen Street.  Go to the WWII Museum.  La Belle Esplanade is not against any of these things.  We are in favor of them.

New Orleans, though is a big, interesting, vibrant city off the usual tourist radar.  When you want to explore and enjoy the authentic New Orleans, stay at La Belle Esplanade.  We live in a city full of happy surprises.

We only have five luxury suites so we tend to fill up early.  Book today and make sure you can explore this wonderful city we call home like you belong here.  You do belong here.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade

Saturday, August 3, 2019

New Orleans Tears in the Rain

Loving New Orleans is tears in the rain.  How do you separate one joy from another?  Look in a puddle in New Orleans and you'll glimpse a vision of heaven.

Look down.  Look up.  In New Orleans they are the same.

It rains every day in New Orleans in summer, for 20 minutes, at least.  Then the rain stops.  The sun always shines in New Orleans, even when it's raining.  

In a New Orleans state of mind every day is the best day it can be. New Orleans cannot be better.  Even sinners can be winners.  Live in the moment.  New Orleans rain is both baptism and shower.  There is both fluoride and sunshine in New Orleans water.  The Mississippi River runs wide and deep.

Have you heard that New Orleans is good?  It is better than good.  New Orleans is an ideal made real.  New Orleans is how you feel when you walk around after a fresh haircut.  Everyone's birthday falls sometime in New Orleans.  Both cowboys and astronauts make New Orleans their goal.  New Orleans is The City Care Forgot.  Care couldn't have visited here.  Good memories, the kind that last a lifetime, are made in New Orleans.  

Another beautiful New Orleans day.

New Orleans can go on forever.  It will.  Ask anyone who lives here and they will tell you the same.  The world is a better place with New Orleans in it.  Your life will be better when you visit New Orleans and you take a little piece of the city home with you in your heart.  Don't keep it under lock and key.  Set it free.

There is a conjured New Orleans that exists for tourists to visit, to drain those tourists' wallets, and to make those tourists think they have been to New Orleans.  There is another New Orleans.  There is the New Orleans where people live out their lives.  It is the people who live in New Orleans that make this great city exceptionally great.

You belong in New Orleans, at least for four or five or six nights, maybe even a week.  You'll make good memories you will never forget while you are here.

The sky is beautiful.  New Orleans is beautiful.

A word from our sponsor:  You know where you should stay when you visit New Orleans.  La Belle Esplanade is a small craft hotel located on one of the most beautiful streets in this wonderful city we call home.  Don't just visit New Orleans, live it.  

Wherever you are, we hope you have a great New Orleans day today until you have the chance to get your good self down here in person.  Don't settle for the New Orleans tourist treadmill.  Stay at La Belle Esplanade.  Good memories are made in New Orleans.  The best memories are made on Esplanade Avenue.

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