Thursday, September 26, 2019

What To Do During a Week in New Orleans.

Six plus six equals twelve and there are twelve months in a year.  You should spend part of one of those twelve months in New Orleans.  You should spend a week.  A week is the perfect amount of time to spend in New Orleans.  A week in New Orleans will evaporate your cares and get your head screwed on straight.

Greetings from New Orleans.

A Week in New Orleans heals all wounds.

Even if you're not hurting, a week in New Orleans will make you feel better.  No one ever says their visit to New Orleans is too long. The longer you stay, the more you'll realize how much more there is to discover in this wonderful city we call home.  There are angels in the details.

Where Bayou Road crosses Bell Street, New Orleans, LA.

I live here.  What would I do with a week in New Orleans?  Here is what I did on Monday:

This past Monday, I had lunch at Café Minh after I went to the Mid-City Branch of the New Orleans Public Library across the street.  

Before I went to the Library, I went to Meyer the Hatter to see what new straw hats had arrived from Dobbs in the most recent shipment.

After lunch, I went to see the new exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art at the end of Esplanade Avenue, about a mile's picturesque stroll from La Belle Esplanade.  I lingered in the permanent collection's gallery dedicated to Romanticism and Symbolism.  

Then, Frau Schmitt and I went to the movies.  We saw Downton Abbey.  Frau Schmitt, who is the better half of this operation knows all about Downton Abbey.  I didn't know anything about it when I was buying the popcorn.  I really enjoyed the film.  I am now a confirmed Downton Abbey fan.  The movie was playing at The Broad Theater, around the corner from our inn.  How many places do you know that can say, "We have a new movie theater in our neighborhood."  New Orleans is like that.

One day in New Orleans contains the stuff from which lifetime good memories are made.  Imagine a week in this magical city.  Better yet, don't imagine it, visit New Orleans for a week.  You won't regret it.  If you are bored in New Orleans, you should see a doctor.

This house is known as The House on Bayou Road.

A word from our sponsor:  If you are going to spend a week in New Orleans, we can think of no better place to stay than La Belle Esplanade.  Ranked the #1 small hotel in New Orleans since April 2014, and #2 in the United States----AND, #16 in the world.    Check out our website and make a reservation.  La Belle only has five suites so plan ahead and choose wisely.  

Monday, September 23, 2019

Nocturnal New Orleans

I you know want to read about me picking up some strippers on Bourbon Street, and those kind of nocturnal New Orleans adventures are common if you have the money to pay for them.  Me, I like a different kind of New Orleans at night.  I live in New Orleans.  I don't need to pay money to hang out with strippers.  Some of them are my neighbors.  Everyone in New Orleans has to make a living satisfying tourists' appetites one way or another.  Our city's economy is dominated by the hospitality sector.

Full moon in the nocturnal New Orleans sky.

Even a person who is pure of heart and says their prayers by night, may become a werewolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the moon is full and bright.  Shine on Harvest Moon.

Nocturnal New Orleans is full of legends.  People in New Orleans do talk about ghosts and vampires and zombies and voodoo and headless corpses.  The people who talk about these things are the ghost tour guides and the people who take the tours.  Card-carrying citizens of New Orleans, the people who live here, aren't easily taken in by flimflam.  

Native New Orleanians are walking encyclopedias of nocturnal New Orleans facts.  They know all the daytime facts, too.  Every New Orleanian knows more about this city than is contained in a French Quarter walking tour.

Just another regular New Orleans house on a regular New Orleans street.

The people who live in New Orleans don't begrudge visitors to our fair city their flights of fancy.  We know New Orleans is Romantic with a capital 'R.'  Caspar David Friedrich would have found plenty of subject matter in New Orleans.  An introspective and ancient city, New Orleans has accrued its share of legends and lore.  There is more.  There is always more.

The real stories about nocturnal New Orleans are better and more believable than the stories you've heard.  There is a whole wide, wonderful city outside the French Quarter, off Frenchmen Street, and off Magazine Street away from the Convention Center.  Every neighborhood has a story.

In the heat of the night, stories unfold in every New Orleans neighborhood, on every New Orleans street.  You are a member of the cast of your own movie.  Nocturnal New Orleans loves you.

Flowers bloom in the dark in New Orleans.

Don't forget to check out our sponsor's blog after you've spent enough time steeping yourself in The Authentic New Orleans State of Mind on this blog.  When you are ready to visit nocturnal New Orleans, you know where to stay: La Belle Esplanade.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Smell New Orleans Flowers

My mother will tell you that, even as a child, I have always been one to stop to smell the flowers.  That's why I'm happy to live in New Orleans.  I smell New Orleans flowers every day.  They're everywhere.

Here is Exhibit A:

Smell this New Orleans flower.

I'm no botanist.  I don't know the names of any flowers not called roses, daffodils, or tulips.  If I knew all the kinds of flowers I see in New Orleans, I'd be an encyclopedist.  There is that many flowers.  Anyone who wants to walk down any street, any street, any, to smell New Orleans flowers can do it whenever they want to.  New Orleans air is a perfume of sweetly scented pollen---not the kind you're allergic to.

New Orleans is a city full of details, floral, arboreal, architectural, culinary, and cultural.  It is easy to get lost in a New Orleans state of mind.  There is so much to look at, so much to taste, to touch, to smell, and to hear.

People who live here love it for very good reasons.

Exhibit B: another New Orleans flower.

I don't know anyone who doesn't like to smell New Orleans flowers.  Nobody is that hard headed.  When you visit New Orleans, you should stay in a real neighborhood, a neighborhood with lots and lots and lots of flowers.  Which leads us to:

You should smell this New Orleans flower.

A Word From Our Sponsor:

La Belle Esplanade is a small artisanal hotel that offers craft New Orleans hospitality.  When you visit New Orleans, you should do it like you belong here.  You do belong at La Belle Esplanade.  You can read our other blog, over there.  It is just as full of the New Orleans state of mind, but it tends to feature more of the inn.  Written in the same sparkling style of prosody!  If you like this blog, you'll like the other one, too.  

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A Year In New Orleans

What difference does a year make?  When it's a year in New Orleans it can be your life.  New Orleans is like the fountain of youth.

This is what I looked like last year:

Your humble narrator in September 2018.

After a year in New Orleans, I look like this:

Your humble narrator today.

Always look on the bright side of life.

Even a week in New Orleans will put pep back into your step.  You are only as old as you feel.  A year in New Orleans is a tonic.  A week in New Orleans is better than a B12 shot.  Get your good self down here and be the person you were meant to be.  New Orleans is calling you.

Not everyone can spend a year in New Orleans.  We know that.  Lucky are those who live out their lives here.  Their hands are as smooth as a baby's bonbon.   You can tell a real New Orleanian as soon as they sit down at a bar.  A week in New Orleans, that's enough for you.  Increase your dosage gradually.  You know New Orleans is for you.

If you don't have a week, maybe you have five days.  Maybe you have four.  Maybe only three.  Visit for New Orleans as long as you are able.  New Orleans will give you a shot in the arm.  Wanna smile?  New Orleans is here.  

Nobody ever says their visit is too long.  Take it from someone who has lived here a decade.  After New Orleans, the next best thing is Heaven.  After New Orleans, there is nowhere else to go but up.  Welcome to the New Orleans state of mind.

If you are thinking about visiting New Orleans, we hope you'll consider staying at the small artisanal hotel that is our sponsor.  Experience New Orleans like you belong here.  You do belong here.   

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

New Orleans On Your Side

New Orleans is on your side.  Wanna make good memories that will last the rest of your life?  New Orleans is here for you.  It has been here for 301-derful years.  New Orleans will endure forever.  Welcome to the New Orleans state of mind.  It's nice here.

New Orleans is here for you.
301 years of history is nothing compared to all the things that happened on the site of New Orleans before the French founded the city.  It has always been a bourbon monarchy.  It always will be.

I stopped at the traffic light at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and N. Broad Street.  A bicycle tour pulled up next to me.  The tour guide turned around.  "After this intersection, we are about to enter what's called Esplanade Ridge.  It's a bit more well-to-do up there, as you'll see."

I asked him, "What do you call the neighborhood you're leaving now?"  

"This is Tremè," he answered loudly, looking at his tourists in tow while casting his arm at the neighborhood behind us.  

I didn't argue.  Why make a guy look bad in front of his customers?  If a person doesn't know any better, that doesn't make him a liar.  It's not like French Quarter ghost tours are known for their adherence to the facts.  What's the harm of a little know-nothingness on a bicycle tour along Esplanade Avenue.

With New Orleans on your side, anything is possible.  Most of the people on any given tour aren't going to remember every(any)thing, anyway.  They'll remember the landscape, not the fact that the tour guide didn't know what he was talking about, especially if nobody asks any questions.  

Esplanade Avenue is a beautiful street with plenty to see and enjoy, even without narration.  The best way to explore Esplanade Avenue is on foot, without a guide.  You'll learn more that way.  Esplanade Avenue is a beautiful historic street full of details.  It is like no other street in New Orleans, or, in the rest of the world.

New Orleans is a city of stories.  The more, the merrier.  Enjoy everything you do in New Orleans.  New Orleans is on your side.  Don't believe everything you're told unless it's from a reliable source.  New Orleans isn't just a city of true stories.  Lies abound in this city of hucksters and flim-flam.  Which brings us to:

A Word From Our Sponsor:

To get accurate insider New Orleans information when you visit this wonderful city we call home, La Belle Esplanade is a small hotel on Esplanade Avenue.  Close to the tourist "must-sees" but in a real neighborhood where people choose to live in New Orleans and add to the culture that makes this great city unique.  Visit New Orleans like you belong here.  You do.  Discover what it means to fall in love with New Orleans.  

This colorful mansion can be your New Orleans headquarters.

Ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans by TripAdvisor since April 2014.  You can get a lot of bad or disinterested advice when you stay in New Orleans, or, you can stay at La Belle Esplanade.  Our two goodwill ambassadors are here to help you make good memories that will last the rest of your life.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Hello New Orleans

I haven't been to Heaven but I suspect that living in New Orleans is a little, teensy-weensy, tiny, picayune bit like being in Heaven.  People who live in New Orleans love it here.  There is nowhere else like it.  Hello, New Orleans, you are the city I've been waiting for.

This is what houses look like in New Orleans.

New Orleans is its own world.  Hello, New Orleans!  New Orleans is calling you.

Spend a day in New Orleans and you'll be disoriented.  Spend a week in New Orleans and you'll be changed for life in the best ways.  Hello, New Orleans!  If you want to be the best that you can be, New Orleans is here to help you.  Let the New Orleans state of mind be your guide.

A dignified lion statue in City Park, New Orleans.

There is nothing wrong with being lonely.  We are all our own islands.  

No one need be alone in New Orleans.  This is a city that welcomes the stranger, accepts the eccentric, celebrates the individual, and invites everyone into the conversation.  To be in love with New Orleans is to know that you belong.  It doesn't matter what kind of a nut you are.  Welcome to the club.  Hello, New Orleans!

If you want to get your taste of the real New Orleans and the authentic New Orleans state of mind, he-e-e-e-ere's-s-s-s...

A word from our sponsor: 

La Belle Esplanade is a small artisanal hotel located on a beautiful historic street in New Orleans, close to the tourist must-sees, but also in it's own unique neighborhood, where New Orleanians live.  Visit New Orleans like you belong here.  

Good memories are made in New Orleans.  The best, most personalized real memories are made at La Belle Esplanade.  You have two friends, at least, on Esplanade Avenue.  Visit New Orleans like a New Orleanian.

Ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans since April 2014.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Les Fleurs Suite at La Belle Esplanade

Nothing is cookie-cutter here.  We don't like to call La Belle Esplanade a bed and breakfast because it isn't Grandma's house stuffed full of antiques and gewgaws and knickknacks and puffinstuff.  Life is too short to live in a shabby museum.  Les Fleurs Suite at La Belle Esplanade is unique, the way everything about La Belle Esplanade is unique.

We prefer to call La Belle Esplanade a tiny artisanal hotel.  The design and decor are unique, the service is personalized, you'll visit New Orleans like you belong here.  You do belong here.

Words to live by.

Unlike any hotel.

All this and more.  Visit New Orleans like you belong here.

Les Fleurs Suite at La Belle Esplanade is on the ground floor of the house.  It has two main rooms separated by pocket doors that slide into the walls.  It's pretty cool.  

A view of the sitting room in Les Fleurs Suite.

The private sitting room is the perfect place to look up historical things in our neighborhood and hatch plans for the day's adventures.  Both the sitting room and the bedroom have decorative fireplaces that are original to this 1883 mansion.

The private bath is equipped with an antique claw foot tub that has a shower.  There is a private porch that faces Esplanade Avenue.  Les Fleurs Suite at La Belle Esplanade is in the front of the house.  

All our suites have all the amenities you would expect from a boutique hotel.  One of the amenities that you can't get from any other hotel, though, is the authentic experience of staying in a real New Orleans neighborhood.

Privacy on the porch behind the wild ginger.

When you sit on your suite's private front porch, tucked behind the wild ginger bushes, you'll live what it's like to be in love with New Orleans.  When people walk by, they'll say hello.  They'll compliment your house.  You don't have to tell them it isn't your house.  La Belle Esplanade is the headquarters for your New Orleans adventures.  Be a New Orleanian.

Everyone thinks we speak French in New Orleans.  "Les Fleurs Suite" at La Belle Esplanade means The Flower Suite.  We try to make our suites as interesting as this wonderful city we call home.  You never know what pleasant surprise you'll find if you pay attention.  Good memories are made every day in New Orleans.  The best memories are made at La Belle Esplanade.  

Back-to-back winner of the TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Award, La Belle Esplanade has been named the #2 small inn in the United States and #16 in the world.  Go to our website to read more about Les Fleurs Suite and more about La Belle, itself.  We live in a beautiful mansion in a very, very interesting part of New Orleans. 

A typical breakfast at La Belle Esplanade.  Good food and good conversation.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Le Pelican Suite at La Belle Esplanade

Louisiana's state bird is the pelican.  If you've ever seen a Louisiana state flag, you know it features a bit of heraldry known as "A Pelican In Its Piety."  Underneath the image of a mother pelican piercing her breast to feed her three young fledglings is a banner that reads the Louisiana state motto:  "Union.  Justice.  Confidence."  These are words by which every Louisianan, native or adopted, strives to live.

The sitting room in Le Pelican Suite at La Belle Esplanade, New Orleans, Louisiana.

New Orleans is in Louisiana, of course.  You'll find pelicans here.  I see them in City Park, at the end of our street, all the time.  They are majestic.

Le Pelican Suite at La Belle Esplanade is not full of stuffed pelicans, either taxidermy or plush toys.  While there are pelican motifs throughout the suite, the name, like the Louisiana state motto is more an aspirational guide to the decor.

The symbol for the 1984 New Orleans World Fair was a cartoon pelican but you won't find any evidence of that at La Belle Esplanade.  Our suite is all about romance and comfort.  

The entrance to Le Pelican Suite, which is located on the second floor of this colorful mansion, is a short vestibule with the private bath's entrance on one side.  After the vestibule is a sitting room, a comfortable place for two people to hatch plans for the day ahead, and an equally comfortable place for one person to read this blog while his or her partner is taking a private bath.

There is also a bedroom, of course, that features an antique plantation-sized bed.  To call a bed "plantation-sized" is bed and breakfast talk for "slightly larger than a full-sized bed."  No one ever complains the bed is too small.  You have never slept in a bed this well made in your life, unless you happen to live in a museum.

A capacious antique plantation-sized bed with all the trimmings.
Besides a sitting room, a bedroom, and a private bath, Le Pelican Suite also has a private balcony that overlooks the neighborhood, surrounded by oleander.  Oleander is the tree and flower that official represents New Orleans.  It smells sweet as ambrosia when in bloom.

All the usual amenities one would expect from a five-star, five-suite hotel are available.  If you have any questions, please write to us at  We'll be happy to answer any question.  That is what we're here for.  Tailored recommendations are our reason for being.  We are New Orleans goodwill ambassadors.

You can stay in a bland hotel room on an unnamed floor, Room 128, 239, whatever, or you can stay in a quirky colorful suite with room to move around and things to study: fine art, fine antiques, and that certain je ne c'est quoi that makes New Orleans such a special place where good memories are made.

La Belle Esplanade has been ranked the #1 inn in New Orleans since April 2014, according to TripAdvisor, and the #2 inn in the U.S., AND #16 in the world.  639 5-star reviews as of this writing, 12 4-star reviews, 651 reviews total. 

That's not bad for a small artisanal hotel with only five suites.  Personalized service and recommendations are the bedrock of our reputation.

The ceilings are twelve-and-a-half feet tall.

When you visit New Orleans, you should get off the usual tourist radar.  Good memories are made in New Orleans.  The best memories are made on Esplanade Avenue.  You belong at La Belle Esplanade.  Check our website, see what we offer.  Price is what you pay; value is what you get.  You pick a lot worse places as the headquarters for your New Orleans adventures.  Believe me.  I live here.  I know.

Here is a video of your humble narrator talking about some very granular New Orleans culture in Le Pelican Suite's sitting room:

Have a great New Orleans day today, wherever you may find yourself.  When you're ready to visit this wonderful city we call home remember five words: La Belle Esplanade dot com.  

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