Thursday, September 3, 2015

Top Choice in the New Orleans Lonely Planet Guide

Une belle fille de l'Avenue d'Esplanade

I have some interesting good news to share.  Before I do that though, I'll tell you about how my writing today's entry came about.

First, I cracked my knuckles and I limbered up with a few rounds of calisthenics.  Then I sauntered over to the hi-fi and picked some appropriate music to accompany today's literary endeavors.  Here's what's spinning today: Leroy Anderson.




Pretty appropriate, eh?  Leroy Anderson was born in Massachusetts but after serving in WWII, he got wise and settled down with his wife in Woodbury, CT.  Besides being a very successful composer, he served on the boards of the Hartford and the New Haven Symphonies.  I've always thought his crowning achievement (outside his many, many compositions) was his stint as the manager of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.  Waterbury is one of my favorite cities in the whole world.

In case you don't know, and it has long ceased to surprise me that some people don't know this, the CT above stands for the great state of Connecticut.  Hartford is the state capital.  New Haven is the home of Yale University.  Waterbury is known as the Brass City.  I could go on and about Connecticut, my home state, but most people aren't as interested as I think they should be and I assume you aren't, either.

So, with the Typewriter Song playing in the background, I saw on the right hand side of the YouTube screen from which I cribbed the above clip a related clip that I thought will be of interest to the kind of folks who enjoy wasting their time reading our blog.  I'd like to thank you for stopping by today.

A lot of our guests, Europeans mostly, ask if many New Orleanians speak French anymore.  I'm sorry to disappoint them, but the answer is: No.  Nobody speaks French anymore.  Graves are inscribed in French, but nobody is sitting around the breakfast table saying, "Pouvez-vous passer le miel, s'il vous plaît?"  [Can you please pass the honey?]

This disappoints some people, especially people from France.  They've heard that New Orleans is the most francophone and francophile city in the United States.  That is true, of course, but, still, nobody speaks French.  So, in an effort to make some kind of franco-centric connection, they ask me if this man is popular in New Orleans:



To which I can only reply that Jerry Lewis must have some fans somewhere in the U.S. but I have never met anyone who admitted to enjoying his particular brand of humor.  I have never met anyone.  Ever.  I found it painful to watch that clip and, as you now know, I love that song.  I don't get it.

After digressing and noodling about, I ate half a shrimp po' boy left over from lunch and I decided it was finally time to share with you some news that I find very exciting.  Frau Schmitt finds it exciting too, and she is usually right about these things.  

I was on the Lonely Planet website last night and guess what inn is a TOP CHOICE in the next edition of the Lonely Planet Guide?  If I'm writing about it, you probably don't have to guess.  Here's the link to proof.

Some people will think we paid to get that little blue ribbon in the upper left corner of the screen.  Nope.  We had no idea.  We didn't ask for it.  A few months ago, I reported that a writer from Lonely Planet had contacted me and I gave her a tour of the inn.  We chatted for a long time.  She saw every room.  She saw the kitchen, which is usually off limits, and we had a long discussion about breakfast.  She told me that how we serve breakfast is becoming, more and more, the more desirable way to go about it for people seeking an authentic destination experience.

"An authentic destination experience."  See?  I can sling the industry lingo just like the pros do, when I want to.  


La Belle Esplanade, a boutique New Orleans B&B inn
Only four bed and breakfasts made the Top Choice in the guidebook's latest addition.  We are the top choice for Tremé and Mid-City, our part of New Orleans.  We find this very flattering because there is some stiff competition, especially Ashton's Bed and Breakfast, just one block away from our house.  When we are fully booked, I always tell people to check at Ashton's.  If we're full, they usually are, too, but it never hurts to look.

Also making the Top Choice list is our friend, Nancy, at Auld Sweet Olive Bed and Breakfast.  A tip of the fedora in Nancy's direction, which I always do anyway.

This is the second guide book in which we appear.  The other one, ironically enough considering what I just wrote above, is published in French.  We love French guests.  Frau Schmitt is taking French lessons and she can speak conversationally, which is the best way, with our French-speaking guests.  

Needless to say, but I will anyway, Frau Schmitt also speaks German like a native German-speaker with our German-speaking guests.  Her English is impeccable, too; she did earn her Master's Degree in the U.S., after all ....AND, she know a smattering of Spanish!

Me?  I play charades and draw pictures to get my point across.  Sometimes it works.
The giraffe's head in our lobby
Our schtick, if I may borrow a word with which Jerry Lewis would be well familiar, is that we tend to steer people away from places that are listed in the guidebooks.  Not all the time, mind you, but often enough that we're getting a reputation for that.  Now that we are showing up in guidebooks, what will people think?

If I worried about what people think, this blog would be very different, wouldn't it?  I would have spent today telling you about the seafood festival that's going on in City Park this weekend, or about Southern Decadence, a big gay pride festival that happens in the French Quarter every Labor Day weekend.  Instead, in the middle of August, which happens to be the month in which Leroy Anderson wrote this composition, I offer you this:


Christmas and New Year's Ever are coming!  Make your reservations early!


À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade.

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