Sunday, May 1, 2016

Just Breathe in New Orleans

La Belle Esplanade
We just had some business cards made with that photo.

The following song is today's sound track.  You don't need to watch the video, which I find moronic, but the song encapsulates the way events unwound today as I went about my errands around our neighborhood.  It's not all brass bands and shrimp po' boys in New Orleans.

People ask what we do in our spare time.  Frau Schmitt and our dog compete in agility trials in which they navigate obstacle courses and win ribbons.  Our dog is quite the athlete, without an ounce of fat on him.  Frau Schmitt keeps in pretty good shape herself, too.

As for your humble narrator.  I breathe.  I also read old Gallup poll findings.  Let's look at the results of a poll released on December 23, 1950.

Question #1:

"Do you think that 50 years from now [in the far flung year of 2000AD] trains and airplanes will be run by atomic power?"
No opinion.....17%

Question #2:

"Do you think that a cure for cancer will be found within the next 50 years [by the far-flung future year of 2000AD]?"
No opinion.....5%

"Do you think that men in rockets will be able to reach the moon within the next 50 years?"
No opinion.....15%

So much for prognostication.  

Here's one last question from that survey:

"Do you think that 66 years from now New Orleans, Louisiana will still be the most magical city in America, better than ever, even though the city was completely evacuated after a federal levee failure in 2010 and there was a national discussion about whether there should even be an attempt to rebuild New Orleans after the biggest disaster to hit a major American city?"
No opinion.....0%

Maybe sometimes the people's intuition is right.  When you are in New Orleans, just breathe.  Let New Orleans become a part of you. You can't go wrong when you are in New Orleans.  When New Orleans breathes, the world is a good place.  Dance like nobody is watching.

Wanna know where you can stay?

You can stay at:
La Belle Esplanade
...where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.

As of today, we've ranked the #1 lodging experience on Trip Advisor in New Orleans, and in all of Louisiana, for 25 months in a row.  We're not really keeping track, but we are still counting.  Be a New Orleanian, wherever you are.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Best Place to Have Brunch in New Orleans

Would you buy a used car from this man?

If you are of a certain age, you'll recognize the man in the picture above.  He never endorsed staying at La Belle Esplanade.  He did visit New Orleans occasionally over his career, but this wasn't a city in which he felt at home.  He never stayed with us.  We're known for making people of all political stripes feel welcome, and we're also known for explaining what makes New Orleans America's Most Interesting City.  I bet if Nixon stayed with us, he would have fallen in love with New Orleans.  We've seen it happen before.

We went to the movies this afternoon...

...but we didn't see Elvis & Nixon.  It wasn't playing at a convenient time.  We're not on vacation, after all.  It only seems like we have all the time in the world.  We do work for a living.

Instead, we went to see something else.  We went to The Theaters at Canal Place for a late matinee.

On to other business---

Your humble narrator
If you follow us on Facebook, you'll recognize this picture.  It was taken a few seconds after the photo that's our profile picture on our Facebook page.  People ask why photos of Frau Schmitt so rarely surface in public.  The answer is simple: one of us is camera shy.  I don't know why:
Frau Schmitt
I think she's beautiful.  I always say Frau Schmitt is the nicest person you'll ever meet.  In this one case, and in this one case only, I am right about these things.

We were having a late lunch at La Crêpe Nanou.  As I've mentioned before, La Crêpe Nanou is a bit out of the way for our guests and the restaurant doesn't take reservations, so a lot of people are hesitant to make the trek out to Prytania Street to chance to take a table.  We've never had a problem getting a table to savor a meal over an hour or two.  Also, La Crêpe Nanou only serves lunch (brunch, really) on Sundays when most of our guests are at a second line parade.  

I'm not trying to paint it like we don't want to have lunch with our guests and that's our main reason for going to La Crêpe Nanou on Sunday afternoons.  Our guests, as Mr. Nixon would have learned had he stayed with us, are wonderful company.  We enjoy the ambience and the food at La Crêpe Nanou on its own merits, irrespective of who may or may not join us there.

Also, it's fun to say La Crêpe Nanou.  It's fun to spell, too.

Let's cover one more subject, since most of these blog installments cover three subjects per post.  I'm a trinitarian.

In a month, we're going to have a new website.  We like our current website, and it's gotten a lot of compliments.  It's just time to move on from big multinational corporate octopi.  One particular multinational corporate octopus bought up our website provider soon after we signed on.  We hung in for awhile, but, really, enough is enough.  We're small business people.  We prefer supporting other small business people.  We'll announce when the new website is up in this forum, which is owned by Google, and on Facebook, of course.

We're really sticking it to the Man.

We take inspiration from another local business from these parts: River Parish Disposal.

During Jazz Fest, River Parish Disposal is really cleaning up, business-wise.  Yes, I know I made a pun there.  Their portable toilets are everywhere.

Portable toilets in City Park
They've probably trademarked their slogan, which is too bad.  I'd like to use it for La Belle Esplanade.

Truer words were never written on the side of a port-o-let
They love that slogan so much that their website isn't  It's  I'm not talking trash when I say that's marketing genius.  I stand in awe, much as Elvis did when he met the president.

I am perennially awestruck in New Orleans.  We live in a magical city.  You'll see when you get here.

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

Postscript and just to be clear:

A manatee
We went to see a matinee, not to see a manatee.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Rare and Fabulous Find in New Orleans

A picture picked at random

I didn't know what our lead in photo was going to be when I inserted it at the head of today's blog installment.  I just clicked on something.  Turns out it's a good choice because, surprisesurprise! La Belle Esplanade is the subject of today's chapter.

Today's title is the title I swiped from a review written about our inn.  I'm just cutting and pasting and filling in the blanks today.  That's what most B&B blogs do.  Let me let you in on a secret....

Most B&B blogs aren't written by the innkeepers.  They are farmed out to professionals who stuff the blog entries with keywords for search engine optimization (SEO as we say in the trade) so that the blog entries will show up at the top of Google keyword searches.  Is anyone searching "rare and fabulous find in New Orleans" on Google or bing?  I don't know.  I don't particularly care.  That isn't what we're about here.  This blog is written by me, your humble narrator, in the flesh, warts and all.

I've already chosen the videos that will accompany today's installment.  Now, all I have to do is plug in the text and, believe me, nothing I'm going to talk about today has to do with Jazz Fest.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is in its second day today.  If I was a professional blog writer, I would be writing about that and linking to the schedule and trying to drum up business for us from people who want to go to Jazz Fest.  Truth be told, we've been booked since January for the next two weekends. We don't need to talk about Jazz Fest.

Neither Frau Schmitt nor your humble narrator have ever been to Jazz Fest, even though it's about a ten minute walk from our house.  We're not on vacation so we don't really have the time to partake of the festivities.  What should I tell you about instead?

I walked into a bar on St. Claude Avenue and it went something like this:

Thankfully, I soon met up with Frau Schmitt and she suggested we go to a place on N. Rampart Street.  Frau Schmitt is usually right about these things so I followed her.  That adventure went a little like this:

We were in the Bywater.  It was pretty racy.

I know what you're thinking.  Can't we talk about something besides New Orleans for a change?  We're all educated people.

Remember, Tim Robbins and I used to look a lot alike at one point in our lives.  I've referred to this in past installments if you have the time to read all our archives.  In fact, I was at Tastee Donuts the other morning and I wasn't wearing a hat.  It's very rare when you won't see me in a hat. It's not that I'm bald.  I just don't own a comb.  

Anyway, I wasn't wearing a hat and Lisa, who sees me a few times a week when Frau Schmitt and I want to serve apple fritters at breakfast, said, "You remind me of Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption.  That's one of my favorite movies."  I learned something about Lisa that day.  I also learned that, though Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994, I appear to be 22 years younger than I am.  

I like being older.  You don't hear many people say that out loud.  Frau Schmitt will tell you that I enjoy growing old.  She is usually right about these things.  Howzabout a little T.S. Elliot:

Thomas Stearns Elliot
"I grow old... I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
[From the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, 1922.]

I wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.  I don't measure out my life in coffee spoons, though.  So much for that comparison.

So, should we talk a bit about New Orleans?  Of course we should.  What else is there to talk about?

New Orleans is beautiful.  We love where we live.  If you want to learn what it's like to live in New Orleans, if only for a short time, do you know where you should stay?  You should stay at La Belle Esplanade.

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