Thursday, August 27, 2015

President Obama in New Orleans

A shadow on our house
I think I can safely speak for Frau Schmitt when I say that neither of us would mind if President Obama stopped by our house, even if he didn't spend the night.  As I write this, he's behind our house right now.  He's not in our back yard holding a beer summit.  He's five or six blocks behind us.  

I was running an errand and all the streets were blocked---policemen everywhere.  I figured it was the president so when I got home, I looked it up.  Sure enough, President Obama is in Tremé.

We have some guests from England who were very interested in seeing the president.  They were planning on having lunch at Dooky Chase's today so they may have gotten their wish.  The president ate there the last time he was in town.  No one called to ask me, of course, but I would have suggested he have lunch at Cafe Dauphine in the Lower 9th Ward, where he's going to be anyway later in the day.  

Now, to get on with what I wanted to write about today.

While I am interested in New Orleans transportation system, something caught my eye just after 1:56 in the video above, something very familiar.

That's Kathleen's el Camino parked on the street.

I always say, I wish I'd get a nickel for every time somebody takes a picture of our house.  I don't know how many times images of our house have been used, I only know the times I've seen it or what people forward to us.  Nothing I can do about and I don't begrudge anyone.  It's a compliment for a paint job well done.  Not that we painted the house ourselves.  It was this guy, who is the nicest contractor you'll ever meet.

As long as we're sitting around watching Convention and Visitors Bureau videos:

City Park, of course, is at one end of our street.  The English couple I just mentioned walked up there this morning.  The weather the past couple of days has been unseasonably mild.  It's been a real joy to walk around.  

Crescent Park is at the other end of our street.  It's very new so it doesn't have as much shade as I would like.  Give it a few years to grow into itself and I'm sure I'll enjoy it more than I do now.  Unlike the narrator, I can't get all excited about seeing the Mississippi River close up.

Armstrong Park is probably about the same distance from our house as the other two.  Walk down to Rampart Street and hook a right, in the uptown (upriver) direction.  Armstrong Park is a very interesting urban space.  This is another place that we don't visit often because there usually isn't much going on.  That said, when Jazz in the Park is going on, which is weekly in season, it's a good time.  

La Belle Esplanade
So, what did I want to write about again?  Who cares?  We've covered enough ground for today.  If you haven't stayed with us before, we look forward to meeting you.  If you have stayed with us before, we're looking forward to seeing you again.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.

P.S.  I just looked at the "Most Popular Posts" in the sidebar to your right.  For the first time since I can remember, "How Much Do Cigarettes Cost in New Orleans?" isn't listed there.  That, by far, is our most popular article.  

I think it's going to be knocked down in the rankings by "Ode to Golden Flake Potato Chips."  Everyday people are tweeting and retweeting links to it.  If you haven't read that one, check it out to see what all the excitement is about.  It's solid gold, I promise. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Les Pêches Suite

Bedroom in Les Pêches Suite
I haven't mentioned it, but we've made some changes to Les Saintes Suite---so many changes that it's got a new name.  It's now called Les Pêches.  That's French for fish.  It's pretty fishy in there now.  If you're patient, maybe you'll find Nemo.

We didn't repaint the bedroom.  I've always been partial to the orange in that room and I think it makes a nice contrast with the sitting room's new color.  Wanna know what color that is?  You can either be patient or look through the door in the picture above.
Another bedroom view, Les Pêches Suite
I don't appear in the mirrors on that wardrobe because I'm standing right in the middle, where the doors meet.  I'm not a vampire.  Here's the proof:
Your humble narrator
We've put a new bed in Les Pêches Suite.  The old antique bed (all antiques are old by definition), we moved into La France Suite.  The new bed in Les Pêches is a queen bed.  We get a lot of requests for a queen bed.  The antique plantation sized beds we have in La France and Le Pelican are beautiful, but some people don't like to sleep close to each other.  In my line of work, I don't ask too many questions.
Bed in Les Pêches Suite
You'd think I could straighten out that picture over the bed before I took the picture, eh?  Just before writing this, I hung a new painting under the marlin.  I didn't hang the picture to cover up the spot you see in this photo.  That circle is a water spot on my camera lens.  I noticed it and wiped the lens with my shirt tail, just the way the pros do.  The new painting is a beauty.  It's by our favorite artist, Whalehead King.  You'll have to make a reservation to see it.

So, all of this is pretty mundane.  What about the sitting room?  Fasten your seatbelts, folks:
Sitting room, Les Pêches Suite
Sitting room, Les Pêches Suite
Sitting room, Les Pêches Suite
We've hung paper lanterns from the ceiling.  Yes, the ceilings are green in this suite.  I'm fancying the idea of making the decor more three dimensional and immersive, the way we did in Les Fleurs earlier this month (go back a couple of posts).  It works really well in Les Pêches.  When you turn the ceiling fan on, the lanterns spin.  I hope they stay up.
Sitting room, Les Pêches Suite
Of course, there are fish all over the walls in the sitting room, even more so than in the bedroom.  I'm very pleased with the results.  So is Frau Schmitt, who is usually right about these things.  This article gives you the slightest hint of what the suite looks like.  It doesn't smell like fish, of course.  We keep everything German-tidy; it smells like April freshness, the same as the rest of our inn.

You know what Ben Franklin said.  If you don't, he said that guests and fish stink after three days.  We don't think that about our guests.  We like people who stay for four, five, seven nights.  They really get a better idea of what it is like to live in New Orleans that way.  We know you have lives to get back to at home, but you won't regret staying for a longer time rather than a shorter.  Nobody is bored in New Orleans.

I should point out that Les Pêches Suite has it's own private bath with an antique clawfoot tub equipped with a shower head.  It has a balcony of its own that overlooks Esplanade Avenue.  The cast iron railing around the balcony is strung with white fairy lights you can plug in if you choose.  It's very romantic.

Les Saintes suite was always a favorite suite of mine, now that it's Les Pêches, it remains a favorite.  With only five to choose from, though, they are really all my favorite.  We are very proud of what we've created here at La Belle Esplanade.  I think justly so.  Frau Schmitt agrees, and she is usually right about these things.

If you are thinking of visiting New Orleans, you can do worse than staying with us.  We aren't the least expensive, but we try to provide good value for the dollar.  We're all about lagniappe and what hotel can you stay in and jawbone with the owner for an hour every morning?  None.  

If you want to see what the suite looked like before the renovations, here's the link to that.  

We look forward to meeting you.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Some updates to Les Fleurs Suite

The sitting room in Les Fleurs
I take pictures with my phone so they aren't usually very good.  They're good enough so that you get an idea of what the inn looks like, but it looks much better in person.  I happen to like this strategy, though a lot of professionals tell me I should have better pictures on our website.  I'm starting to think they're right.

One thing I don't like about my phone pictures is that it's very hard to get the color right.  The house is so saturated with color that it tends to dominate, or it just doesn't come out the way it really looks.  That's one argument to get somebody in here with a good camera.

Our opening photo is what the sitting room in Les Fleurs Suite looked like when we opened for business.  That antique couch hasn't been there for awhile.  Also, I've been making some additions to the décor this month, particularly to Les Fleurs Suite, but more extensively to Les Saintes.  Let's just discuss Les Fleurs today.

We like to name everything in the house in French.  Why?  Because visitors think that people in New Orleans still speak French.  Surprise!  Nobody speaks French here any more, but we can pretend, can't we?
Sitting room in Les Fleurs
I'm sure a professional can frame these shots better than I can.  I took this sitting in the leather arm chair in the opposite corner.  I'm trying to remember as I write this, are the walls pink or purple in that room---it's a combination of the two.  The ceiling is blue.  I know that much.

The original theme of Les Fleurs Suite was, if you don't speak French, flowers.  It still is, but we've added a bit more Mardi Gras to the mix.  We've hung some branches from the ceiling and festooned them with Mardi Gras beads.
One view
Another closeup

You see what I mean about the colors in these photos?  The walls aren't peach.  I know that because the bedroom is peach, or coral if you prefer.  

Anyhow, it's a very interesting suite and a very interesting experience.  I'm rather pleased with the effect.  Frau Schmitt isn't entirely convinced, and she is usually right about these things.  We're going to let things be for awhile and see what our guests have to say about it.  The first ones will check in this afternoon.

We have a few days when the inn will be empty (so far) in September.  I'm going to have a professional photographer come over and see what she can do.

We hired a professional photographer once, before we opened, and we couldn't use any of the pictures he took.  His pictures were all details, like this:
A detail shot

He was very proud of that picture.  It's an apple snail shell that's part of the driftwood sculpture in our dining room and it caught his eye.  Jiminy Cricket, man!  I want people to know what our inn looks like!  Leave those artsy compositions at the door!  He and I didn't get along so I started taking pictures with my phone.  That's how it began.  That's why all our online photos lack imagination---I don't have any.

I suppose the best way to see what we're up to is to make a reservation with us if you're thinking of visiting New Orleans.  We'll be happy to meet you.

In the very near future, don't hold your breath, I'll be giving you a glimpse of our newest addition.  Les Saintes Suite is no more.  It's been totally renovated.  It's now called Les Pêches.  If you don't speak French, that means fish.  It's gonna be a real ringer dinger!!

Until then,
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast

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