Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Most Colorful Houses in New Orleans

A painting in a Magazine Street gallery

La Belle Esplanade, a boutique experience inn located on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, LA has been ranked the #1 place to stay not only in New Orleans, but also in all of Louisiana for 30 consecutive months.  

Frau Schmitt and I are very proud of that accomplishment.  In October, a week from now, it will be 31 months.  From my keyboard to God's ear.  

If you want to learn more about our inn, and if you want to read the latest installments of our 'sometimes informative, usually entertaining' new blog, follow the link:  

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
...where every day is a curated breakfast salon.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

La Belle Esplanade's Last Blog Post

Another night in New Orleans
Howdy, folks!  This is our last blog post in these archives.  It isn't our last blog post ever.  Surprise!  You're in for a two-fer today!  That's right, two, two, two installments in one day.  I'll provide a link to the other one later.

People ask me what makes our blog so popular.  Here is our secret: it contains Retsyn.  It's why our blog is as sweet as our smile.

If you read our blog once, will you read it again?  Well, the statistics are still out on that question.  All I have is anecdotal evidence.  We do have our cadre of regular readers, though, and for that we thank them.  Remember, you can always share these fascinating posts on your Facebook page.  Your friends' opinion of you will skyrocket.  They'll thank you.

Anyhow, I've enjoyed writing on this platform for so many years.  La Belle Esplanade's blog has a little over four years of archives here and they won't be going away.  As a person who is in love with the sound of his own voice, we'll be doing our best to preserve these fascinating chapters in La Belle's history for posterity.  There's some real solid gold in these archives.  Of course, there's plenty of the usual folderol to wade through, too.

Our blog has moved to  That's our website, if you couldn't put two and two together.  All new installments will be found there fresh as they're trucked in from the factory in our back garden.

When you visit our new website (not yet!) you'll notice we have two blogs on the navigation bar.  One of them is La Belle's Blog, which should be self-explanatory.  It's more of that candy-flavored goodness that you've become accustomed to here.  The other blog is going to be a fresh-scented number called New Orleans Men's Rooms.  That sounds interesting, doesn't it?  This will be a blog of photos I take of mens' rooms around the city.  I predict your humble narrator will be keeping commentary to a minimum.  How much can there be to say on the subject?

"Whoa!  Whoa!  Whoa!" I hear you saying.  "Pull back a minute.  What are you talking about?"  I know, it sounds crazy, doesn't it?  Who would marry a blog about mens' rooms to the #1 rated boutique experience inn in New Orleans?

You already know the answer to that question.

Your humble narrator

I saw a niche and I decided to fill it.  I think it will generate a lot of traffic.  Frau Schmitt and I go to places all over the city.  We go to more places than any of our guests will ever know.  We visit more places than most New Orleanians visit, or at least we visit different kinds of places than most New Orleanians visit.  When we go to these places, well, to put it delicately, sometimes one of us usually has to "go," if you know what I mean.  I, on the other hand, find it interesting to see how the mens' room is laid out.

This isn't to say I hang out in there.  I don't go there to make new friends.  I'm just curious about the fixtures.  When you're an innkeeper, you'll always on the lookout for bathroom ideas, too.

There are enough blogs about restaurants, and restaurants make up the majority of the places Frau Schmitt and I visit together.  Who wants to look at photos of what we're eating?  Don't you get enough of that already on Instagram?  What I'm thinking of is an exhaustive archive of what mens' rooms look like in this magical city we call home.  Who's up for it?  Are you game or are you lame?

Here's a word from our sponsor:

The mens' room blog isn't up and running yet.  I waiting for a retsyn shipment to arrive before I tackle it head-on and really start to run with it.  In the meantime, though, this will be the last post on this blog.  Everything new can be found here, at this link, go ahead, click this sentence.   What are you waiting for? 

Wait, not so fast.  I forgot to mention I am still learning the ins and outs of this unfamiliar-to-me Wordpress software.  Emily, my mentor in these things, promises me I'm gonna love it.  Wordpress and I are still in the courtship process at the moment.  I haven't decided if it deserves a second kiss, so to speak.   If the first couple of posts are ungainly, I'm still working out the kinks of my style with the new software's limitations, or horizons, as Emily prefers to call them.

Enjoy your first date with our new blog.  Here's the first installment.  Just click that link and start scrolling down.  

As always, 
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
...where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.

Now, where did I put that retsyn?  Ah, there it is:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Our Penultimate Blog Post

New statues in our garden

I always say that cigars are a rich man's habit and for the most part they are.  Not the kind of cigars I enjoy, mind you, but if you see some bloated plutocrat in a tux and a top hat digging into a plate of prime rib while smoking a cigar, chances are the cigar he's smoking is a rich man's cigar.

I was wearing my straw top hat today, but mine was not a rich man's cigar.  I had red beans and rice, even though it's Friday.  I'm feeling pleasantly full after lunch, but I wouldn't say I'm bloated.

Your humble narrator, just a regular joe

Today is our penultimate post.  I'm not trying to insult your vocabulary when I say: Don't cry.  This is not our last post.  You, dear dedicated readers, tend to be hyper-literate, but I have to type a little bit extra here to reach my word count.  So, to innocently not offend anyone's sensibilities, let me be clear and say unequivocally that this is our second-to-last post.  The last post will be the next one.

Do I mean our blog is going to end after four years of providing so much joy?  No.  Don't cry.  We're just going to be moving to another platform: Wordpress.  After our last installment here on Blogger, La Belle Esplanade's blog will, phoenix-like, rise again, this time on our own brand spanking new website.  I'm getting the vapors just thinking about it and it's not because of all the beans.

We aren't going to delete the archives here.  These posts will stand for as long as Google lets them stay for the study of future scholars researching whatever they find of interest in these annals.  Good luck to them.  We've established a foundation trust to keep paying the server storage fees into perpetuity.

It's taken a long time to get the new website up and running.  During that time, this blog has slackened off a bit.  Fear not.  We've got some big plans for the new blog.  New features, in fact.  It's not just going to be me rambling on and on ad infinitum about whatever catches my fancy.

Correction:  It's still going to be your humble narrator rambling on and on but it's going to be a bit more channeled.  By channeled, I mean that we will have posts like this, to which you've become accustomed, the kind that have won us a worldwide following, but, we're going to have another channel of posts, in addition.  More specific subject matter.  I don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet.  Let's just say it's gonna be a real whiz-bang addition to our regular material.  

Remember when I quoted Richard Armor back in March?  The new blog is going to be like my favorite poem of his.  To whit:

Shake and shake 
the catsup bottle;
None'll come---
And then a lot'll.

That's what the new blog is going to be like; none's been coming, and now a lot will. 

There are other projects in the works, too.  Lots and lots of them, in fact.  La Belle Esplanade is going to be sponsoring a new website.  Oh, do not ask, what is it?  Soon enough, you'll be able to click a link to make a visit.  Hunger, like ketchup, makes the best sauce.

Our garden yesterday, before we put the new statues up
I got a cold call email this morning that linked to this: How To Write an Effective Bed and Breakfast Blog Post.  Someone wants to write our blog for us.  If we won't let them do the actual writing, they'd like to advise us how to go about it.

I don't think so.

Tell me, gentle reader, old friend or new friend, do you think we need an automated blog topic generator?  Do we need a useful app that assigns a readability score and provides recommendations to improve the writing style?  Should we use more stock photos rather than the ones I take while I'm sitting in my garden or wandering the city?  

Do you enjoy reading blogs in which every sentence scans smooth and rubbery like it was squeezed out of a tube?  I know I don't.  

We don't allow comments on this blog because, frankly, it generates too much spam that I have to delete when it shows up.  If you want to tell us how much you enjoy the blog as is, unadulterated, or if we should take some bland Search Engine Optimization tips from the pros, let us know via email.  You can reach us at  No link.  Copy and paste.  It's not gonna kill you.  Or---you can always tell us on our Facebook page after you like it.

Your humble narrator writes the kind of blog he likes to read, warts and all.  It's not always informative for the potential visitor, but the bar is set pretty low on that count.  You won't learn that the Creole Tomato Festival is this weekend (which it is) but you will learn how Frau Schmitt and I enjoy our city and our profession.  You'll learn about our inn.  I've been reading a lot of innkeeper blogs during this slack period while I've been waiting for the new website to launch.  Let me recommend the ones I've liked:

So much for that.

This blog may not be perfect, but it has served us well.  The new blog will have some changes but it will stay true to the spirit of this one.  If you are looking for an eccentric eye's view of New Orleans and what goes on in this city, keep following us and keep reading.  We don't talk much about Bourbon Street or Frenchmen Street or the Garden District.  You can read about them anywhere.  If you are looking to learn what goes on in the fuzzy areas of New Orleans that are outside the tourism industry's lens, well, this is our home.

Tune in for our last post coming on Monday or Tuesday.  We'll reveal more then.  In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone who reads this blog regularly.  I would also like to thank those who read this blog occasionally.  To those of you have just stumbled in, welcome aboard.  Stick with us as long as you can stomach it.  It can be a lazily wild ride but that's the way it is in a New Orleans state of mind.

We live in an amazing city like none other.  We like to share what we know.  It's not always jazz.  Equally often, it's heartfelt and stumblin' in.  

Fun Fact:  Before we opened, we briefly considered naming La Belle Esplanade, The Stumbling Inn.  Instead, we adopted the name  as the title for our business plan.  

So far, so good.  We look forward to meeting you soon.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
...where every morning is a curated breakfast salon. 

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