Monday, March 30, 2015

Boy, was her face red!

Mother-in-Law Lounge, Claiborne Ave., New Orleans, LA
I was going to write about the Mother-in-Law Lounge today, officially known as Kermit's Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge, formerly known as Ernie K-Doe's Mother-in-Law Lounge.  The place has a storied history and you can't miss it when you're walking down Claiborne Avenue.  Frau Schmitt and I like to go to catch a show there a couple times a month.  I have plenty of pictures of the outside, which is covered with murals.  Then, something happened to change the topic of today's entry.  Let us begin:

Rather than reinvent the wheel to set the scene, I'm going to start with a quote from Wikipedia: "Woman's World is an American supermarket weekly magazine with a circulation of 1.6 million readers.  Generally marketed with other tabloid papers, it concentrates on short stories about popular woman-focused subjects."  And so, with that tidbit of information put into place, fasten your seatbelts, folks, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Only 5% of the magazine's readership is male and I'm happy to count myself amongst them.  When I'm in the check out line at Rouses, I pick up a copy and I like to read it before everyone shows up for breakfast.  This week, I learned how I can lose 70 lbs. drinking Get-Slim Detox Tea, the kind that whisks away "obesogens."  For some reason, spellcheck disapproves of the word obesogens.  I also learned that the University of Oxford, yes, that Oxford University, has made a breakthrough discovery: Triscuits stop stress! 

My favorite department in each issue of Woman's World is the one called, "Boy, Was My Face Red!"  In it, some unassuming hausfrau tells the story of an embarrassing moment that happened to her recently, usually based on something she said.  It's a cute feature that gently reminds the reader never to make assumptions.  

Well, this morning something happened that made me type up a story to submit to Woman's World Magazine.  What follows is the abbreviated version.
You're wishing this was about the Mother-in-Law Lounge, aren't you?
As usual, I am changing the names of all our guests.  We respect and protect everyone's privacy.  

Tracey (not her real name), who is one sharp cookie, let me tell you, asked me when Tammie the Housekeeper was due to show up for work today.  She and her husband are staying with us for a week.  Tracey asked yesterday, too, but Tammie the Housekeeper has Sundays off.  Frau Schmitt and I take care of housekeeping duties when Tammie isn't around.  I answered that Tammie usually comes around 11:30.

Tracey and her husband lingered in their suite for a long time this morning.  When 11:30 arrived, they came out and made some idle chitchat with me while I was finishing up this week's issue of Woman's World.  I was doing the word search puzzle, which was themed around "Mesoamerican Mythology."  I was stuck because I couldn't find the last word on the list, which was QUETZALCOATL

Tracey and her husband had to get to a tour that started at 12:30 so I walked them to the front door.  "I'll lock up after you," I offered.  

Tracey turned and she had a sly smile on her face, "Can I meet Tammie the Housekeeper?" she asked me.

"I'm afraid Tammie isn't here yet.  She always runs late.  It's always something with her, I'm afraid.  She'll show up in a little bit with some harebrained excuse that usually involves her mother or one of her daughters."

"I don't think Tammie exists," Tracey told me.  "I think you made her up.  That's why you never have a picture of her on your blog.  I think she's an imaginary foil you use to make your blog more interesting.  I think Tammie the Housekeeper is a figment of your imagination."  

Tracey (I should reiterate that this is not her real name) said this last part while pointing her finger straight at my honest heart.  I was astonished.  Nobody has ever accused your humble narrator of making this blog more interesting.

Just then, the front door opened.  "I'm sorry I'm late, Mr. King," Tammie the Housekeeper said in a state of dishabille.  "My daughter, Trisha, burned the eggs and she took so long to clean the pan that she missed the bus so I had to give her a lift to Dorignac's. She just got promoted so she can't be late."

"That's okay," I said.  "Tammie, this is Tracey and her husband, we were just talking about you."  

"It's nice to meet you," Tammie the Housekeeper said to Tracey, extending her hand to offer a firm and steady handshake, the kind that's a reliable indicator of a person's upright character.  Tammie the Housekeeper has a solid grip.  It comes from all the sweeping and mopping she does.
Tammie the Housekeeper
Tammie doesn't like to have her picture taken.  She doesn't like the picture I use whenever her name is mentioned either, but she's shy about her appearance.  She doesn't smoke a pipe, but she does have a birthmark on her cheek.  She's very self-conscious about that birthmark.

Tracey stammered, "It's nice to meet you Tammie.  I have to admit I'm speechless.  You look just like Marilyn Monroe."

Tammie the Housekeeper does look a bit like Marilyn Monroe.  They have the same birthmark.  In fact, when she was younger, before she was a housekeeper, Tammie worked part time delivering singing telegrams dressed like Marilyn Monroe.  This picture will give you an idea of what Tammie the Housekeeper looks like in person:
Marilyn Monroe
Of course, Tammie the Housekeeper sounds nothing like Marilyn Monroe.  Tammie's pure Cajun.  Her accent is thick as a roux.

We all had a good laugh, but, boy, was Tracey's face red!

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hard Luck in New Orleans

The young lady's name is Marianne
Today's post hasn't been vetted or approved by the French Consul headquartered in New Orleans.  I'm a big fan of Marianne.  We sometimes work with the French consulate to provide lodging for visitors and they sent us an email today that had that image available to download onto my virtual desktop, and, as always, her profile captivated me, so I cut and pasted it here for you to see so that I could write a long run-on sentence contrary to all the rules of good blog-writing that say that I should deliver short descriptive sentences to hold your attention and keep the text moving along, adding to the narrative, staying on topic, and being generally informative to attract search engine traffic and keep the reader entertained by providing the illusion that he or she is learning something about the city they are planning to visit.  So far so good.  Let's continue from here.

Our use of this image should not be considered an endorsement from the French government to stay with us.  Quite the opposite, it should be considered a swipe that I took to lead off this post.  We met the consul once.  He's very handsome and charming.  We made idle chitchat over champagne.  He probably doesn't remember us, nor should he.  We are as dull as dishwater.  Aside from that chance meeting and talk about the weather, we have no relationship with him, his office, or anything else really.  I just like Marianne.  As a New Orleanian, I find everything French fascinating.  Don't you?

Is there a single woman who symbolizes New Orleans?  There is, but it isn't Marianne and it makes me sad to say that.  I love the way her hair billows out from under her Phrygian cap.  In New Orleans, we have Margaret, who most people don't know, though she has a statue at Margaret Place, and we have Sophie Wright, who has a statue at Sophie Wright Place, and we have Oretha Castle Haley, who has a street named after her, and we have Mahalia Jackson, who has a theater named after her, and we have Joan of Arc, who also has a statue, hers at the beginning of the French Market, suitably enough.  Is there a single woman who represents the spirit of New Orleans?  No.  There a a lot of them, including every one you will pass when you walk down the street.  Say bonjour, or at least say hello.

In New Orleans, we also have a statue of Winston Churchill, of all people.  It's at the foot to Poydras Street, which few people visit unless they are trying to catch the Riverfront streetcar or they are staying at the Riverside Hilton, or they are lost.  No one ever mistook Winston Churchill for a woman.

The nice thing about writing a blog is that your humble narrator gets to write about whatever he pleases.  Being an innkeeper, your humble narrator gets to talk about whatever he pleases, too.  Sometimes, people ask a question, and I just launch off on a story that I find interesting that has more tangents than a kitten in a ball of wool.  No worries.  Nothing happens the way it is planned in New Orleans.  It's a city in which people will talk your ear off if given the chance.  I have a captive audience, so I just ramble on at breakfast, just like I do here, and nobody complains.  I know a lot of things.  If I can't explain them clearly all the time, it's because things are complicated in New Orleans.  It takes a while to sort everything out.  You need to stay for more than two nights.
It is time for a picture
It is time for a video!  Here is some film stock of New Orleans from 1940.  Things haven't changed much.  Frau Schmitt and your humble narrator recognize most of the places filmed in this old documentary.  If I may indulge in a little bit of French, "Plus ça change plus c'est la meme chose."

Life is beautiful when you live in New Orleans.  When you visit, you get a taste of what life can be like.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!    

There was never a canal on Canal Street. Don't believe everything you see on the internet.  Don't believe everything you read on the internet, either---even our reviews.  I add this last caveat because we cannot be all things to all people.  We strive to be good hosts to everyone who comes through our front door, but we aren't for everyone.  If you are looking for something comparable to a stay at the Roosevelt Hotel or the Ritz-Carlton on Canal Street, we offer a similar level of service, but not the same amenities.  We're headquartered in an old Creole mansion in Tremé, after all, not in a modern (for their time) skyscraper hotel building.  We are a boutique bed and breakfast inn in New Orleans but we can't claim to be a luxury brand hotel by any stretch of the imagination.  We do what we can.  We are located one mile from the French Quarter.  If you are thinking about staying with us, go back one sentence and read it again.  We are not in the French Quarter.  We are within walking distance, but our inn is in a different neighborhood.  

We do what we can, like Joan of Arc did, and what Marianne represents.  We do what we can to make your visit to this magical city we call home an enjoyable adventure.  It isn't Disneyworld, but it isn't meant to be.  We don't provide fantasy, but we are still living our dream, in New Orleans, the way it is meant to be.

We hope you'll visit us soon.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.

Friday, March 20, 2015

We got some new artwork

We meet the most interesting people
We got a couple unexpected and unsolicited things in the mail recently, which is always nice.

The first thing we got was an award from  We don't usually offer rooms through OTAs (On-line Travel Agents) and we don't do that for a few reasons.  

Reason #1:  Most people who make a reservation through an OTA are looking for the cheapest price.  They pay more when they book through an OTA than they do when they book directly through our website.  They do it anyway.  The listed price for the suite is the same in both places, but we don't add on any "processing fees and taxes" the way OTAs do.

[I got a phone call a few minutes ago.  Q: "How much are the taxes when we check in?"  A: "They're included in the price.  Whatever our website says, that's the price.  We don't charge more than that.  We aren't here to nickel and dime you."]  

Reason #2:  Most people who make a reservation through an OTA don't visit our website so they don't really know what we are about. All they know is what the OTA people have written about our inn, which is a sparse description that isn't always as accurate as we would like.  If you want to know what kind of services we offer and what kind of personality our inn has, our website reflects that to the best of our ability, as does this blog.  Thanks for reading!

Most people who make a reservation through an OTA don't read our blog.  If you are the exception, we would like to thank you double for stopping by this page today.

Here's the award:
9.7 out of 10
The award is just a cheap piece of plastic that says that last year La Belle Esplanade received an average rating of 9.7 out of a possible 10.  We are very grateful for the compliments from our guests, don't get me wrong, but I collect enough clutter on the mantle without adding a cheap piece of plastic.  After a few days, I finally stowed the award in our storeroom.  It just does't fit with our decór.

On the other hand, our Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence from last year is displayed on the mantle in our dining room.  We are much more proud of that and it's much more attractive.  We are hoping to add another one for this year.

If you make a reservation through an OTA, they'll send you an email asking for a review after your stay.  Trip Advisor doesn't do that.  Trip Advisor doesn't know you stayed with us.  I certainly don't tell them.  All our reviews on Trip Advisor are voluntary.  

We don't email you after your stay with a link to review sites because I know I don't enjoy being spammed for the rest of my life from someone whose company I once enjoyed.  That's what hotels do.  Frau Schmitt and I are just happy you visited.  What's nice about Trip Advisor is that they won't spam you after you write a review, either.  It's a nice arrangement all around---all good memories.

With that businesslike bit out of the way, the other thing we received in the mail is a watercolor of our house from a previous guest.  It arrived unexpected, out of the blue, like a pelican soaring out over the tops of the oak trees in City Park and then landing on our front stoop.
A work of art
We had the painting framed with the note that the artist sent with the picture.  It came out very nice and we've hung it in the first stairwell off the lobby where everyone will see it.  We have an older watercolor of the house from before we moved in and repainted.  That one must be about 20 years old.  We hung the old one with the new one.
Before and after
I don't think the house was ever the very sunny yellow-yellow the way it's depicted in the older painting.  Our house's former color scheme always reminded me of Gulden's mustard.  We never repainted the shutters on the sides of the house. The shutters in the front are now sky blue while the ones on the sides remain green as a historical detail.
They call it brown mustard for a reason
We live in a very interesting house.  Everyone enjoys it.  It is full of details and none of them are cheap plastic.  Well, there are some Mardi Gras beads here and there, but aside from that there is very little cheap plastic.  

We'd like to thank Mimi for her pleasant surprise.  Your painting is in a place of honor, as it should be.  A tip of the fedora in your direction, Mimi.  Cheers!  Don't be a stranger!

If you are thinking about visiting New Orleans, you know where to find us: on our website, not through an OTA.

À votre santé.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

You meet the most interesting people in New Orleans

Your hosts
I'm not talking about us when I say you will meet the most interesting people in New Orleans.  Compared to everyone else, we are as dull as dishwater.  We have a lucky profession, however.  We get to meet the most interesting people.  If you stay with us, chances are that you'll get to meet a couple of gems.

Everyone who lives in New Orleans is proud of their city.  Everyone who visits New Orleans soon gets swept up in the swim of things.  Nothing in the city ever happens on time, nothing works the way it is supposed to, always expect the unexpected.  If it might be true, it probably is.  If something is probable, it will happen---you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

Let's look at a video, shall we?

I only speak English and a smattering of vocabulary from other languages that serve me well in a pinch (à votre santé).  Frau Schmitt speaks German, her native tongue, and English, and a little bit of conversational French (she's taking lessons).  Neither of us speaks Danish, which is the language in the video above.  "Kaerlinghed" is the Danish word for love.  


5,615,715 people live in Denmark.  It is the 113th most populous country in the world.  That's a lot of people.  The population of the U.S. State of Louisiana is 4,649,676.  All of these figures are cribbed from the English version of Wikipedia.  I can't make dette eller hint (dis or dat) from the Danish version of Wikipedia.

As we say in New Orleans, Who Dat?

It doesn't matter how a man dresses.  What matters is what's in his heart.  I like to dress up for breakfast.  After all, I'm the host.  You don't pay good money to see me as I look when I roll out of bed.  As innkeepers, how you look when you come down to breakfast doesn't matter to us much.  Don't show up naked.  What matters is what you bring to the table.  If you show up looking like a bum, well, that just makes me look better.  Please do.  Just don't show up naked.

As innkeepers, we meet the most interesting people in our line of work.  We meet people from all over the world.  Celebrities sometimes stay with us.  Nobody makes a big deal out of it.  As a former small-scale celebrity myself (currently fallen into blissful anonymity), I can tell you it's a pain in the neck when people just want to talk about what you are famous for.  When you're a celebrity, you just want to be a regular Joe or Jane once in awhile.  Welcome to New Orleans.

I'll tell you something: it's great to be big in Japan.  I've never been to Japan, so I imagine that it's nice to be well known somewhere far away and still collect royalties---while all the while nobody bothers me and I can shop at the supermarket without interruption, buying my can of sardines in peace with no one caring what brand of sardines I prefer.  That's the dream life.  Here's another dream life: living in New Orleans.

Let's look at another video:

See that singer in this video from the 80s?  He's the same guy as the singer in the first one.  Time is kind.  He is a peach of a guy.  His wife is a peach of a gal.  Time has been kind to her, too, if I can say that without seeming to forward.

You'll meet the most interesting people in New Orleans.  Not necessarily at our inn, though we tend to attract a very interesting clientele, but on the streets, in the bars, and wherever you choose to go.  Even at the supermarket.  A day in New Orleans is an adventure.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.

Jazz.  Kaerlinghed.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day in New Orleans

Erin go braugh
You think I'm going to blather on for 700 words about St. Patrick's Day in New Orleans, don't you?  I'm not.  There were St. Patrick parades this weekend, and there will be another one tomorrow (St. Patrick's Day proper), but I've never found this day to be particularly interesting.  I've never felt Irish.  Please don't send any hate mail because I just said that.

Thursday is St. Joseph's Day.  I like that better.  It's a Sicilian holiday, and a New Orleans holiday.  

St. Joseph's Day is an important day for the Mardi Gras Indians, but I'm not a Mardi Gras Indian.  If I see them passing by our house on Thursday night, I'll feel privileged, but that's that.  

Frau Schmitt and I will be going to visit some St. Joseph altars on Thursday, but the documentation of that will be the subject of the subsequent post.  I'll be bringing my camera, I promise.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.  Drink some green beer for me.  We'll be going to a Pelican's game tomorrow night.  Our first basketball game.  It's being played at the Smoothie King Center in the Central Business District, known as the CBD, hereabouts.

And so, the calendar goes about its annual rounds.  Another day, another fresh round of guests at our inn.  We have continued our good luck having good company the past few weeks.  We are fortunate to be in this business.  I'm giving a walking tour of the neighborhood tomorrow morning.  This is something I always enjoy.  If you're going to stay with us, try to arrange one.  Even if you are not staying with us, send us an email and I'll see if we can pencil you in.  You'll learn a lot about what it is like to live on Esplanade Ridge.

Until next time,
Stay sober, and,
À votre santé,

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Spanish Fort in New Orleans

What we're talking about today
I thought I'd go looking for the Tomb of the Unknown Spaniard, so I headed up to the remains of Ye Olde Spanish Forte in Lakeview, which sits at the mouth of Bayou St. John.  

Esplanade Avenue, the street we live on, crosses Bayou St. John more towards the bayou's tail end.  The Spanish Fort is at the bayou's mouth, at the Lake Pontchartrain end.  The whole reason New Orleans is here is because of Bayou St. John.  I could tell you all about it, but I'm going to eschew my usual digressions to stick with the topic at hand.  Let's see how well that works, shall we?

It was a picture postcard kind of a day when I headed up to Spanish Fort so I took a picture.
Battlements at Spanish Fort, New Orleans
Then, I said to myself, Waitaminnit!  There's a better view!  Here's a picture with the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the background:
Another view
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral belongs to the oldest Greek Orthodox congregation in the Americas.  That's both North and South America.  It turned 150 years old in 2014.  I would have thought the oldest Greek Orthodox Church in America would be in New York, but then I would be wrong.  It's right here in New Orleans, of all places.  In fact, the original location is three blocks from our house, on North Dorgenois Street.  That building is still standing, if you want directions.  It's an Episcopalian Church now, i.e. Church of England.  It's a predominantly African-American congregation, St. Luke's.  

We live in a very interesting city full of layers and nuances.  New Orleans has a very dense texture.

It's very shady on the batture where the Spanish Fort is located.  It attracts some occasional visitors, mostly people from the adjacent neighborhood who walk their dogs or let their children gambol over the fort's decayed ramparts.  A few antiquarians go there.  I don't know if I would recommend it to you if you were our guest, but if I determined you would be interested in this sort of thing, I would.  It's a very pretty situation, close by Shelter No. 2 on the scenic shores of Lake Pontchartrain.  
Oak trees at the Spanish Fort, New Orleans
I wandered around looking for the Tomb of the Unknown Spaniard that I've heard so many legends about.  I found it, or, at least, I think I did.  It's an unmarked grave that's been fenced off for the protection of his (or her) hallowed remains.
Tomb of the Unknown Spaniard, New Orleans, LA
Once a year there's a low-key ceremony and people lay wreaths outside the fence.  I don't remember when it is every year and I'm too lazy to look it up right now.  If you're in town when it's happening, I'll tell you.  My innkeeper instinct tells me that not too many people who aren't from New Orleans are terribly interested in this.  I've been known to be wrong before, though.  Maybe I'm wrong this time, too.

As I was wandering around, a little dog walked by on the top of the levee.  Waitaminnit!  That's our dog!  Of course.  He rode shotgun on my motor scooter to keep me company on this bivouac.
A dog enjoying a dog's life in New Orleans
You'll never meet him.  Many people don't know he exists.  Unlike his master, Frau Schmitt, our dog isn't exceptionally friendly.  If he had his druthers, he would never be separated from Frau Schmitt.  The dog and I have that much in common.  He has learned to tolerate me and he and I get along well enough because I take him to the most interesting places.  As far as I can tell, he doesn't read this blog.

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

We Live on a Beautiful Street in New Orleans

The park across the street from our house
I was looking over the list of all the B&Bs in New Orleans.  The vast majority of them list Bed & Breakfast in their names.  Second-most popular is Inn.  Then there is House, Maison, and Courtyard.  There is one Quarters, and one Row.  Ours is the only one that is just a name without reference to the property itself: La Belle Esplanade.

I never noticed this before.  Our boutique New Orleans inn [a little keyword stuffing there] is named after our street.  We aren't selling  rooms, even if that's what you think you are buying when you make a reservation.  We are selling our neighborhood.  We love where we live.  It always makes me happy when our guests stroll around the neighborhood.

Mind you, I am going to say it again, just as I try to say it as frankly as I can on our website, we are not in the French Quarter.  If you want to stay in the French Quarter, there are places a scant mile from our house where you can stay.  If you do stay in the French Quarter, we hope you'll take a stroll up Esplanade Avenue.  Make sure you take a picture of our house.  Everyone else does.

Esplanade Avenue is known as the Creole St. Charles Avenue.  It isn't as long as St. Charles Avenue, and there isn't as much to do, commercially speaking, as in the neighborhoods around St. Charles Avenue, but Esplanade Avenue, and Tremé, have their own delights.
A house on Esplanade Avenue
An esplanade, according to Webster's, as they say, is a level open stretch of paved or grassy ground, especially one designed for walking.  Everywhere else in the world, esplanade is pronounced 'ess-plah-NAHD."  In New Orleans, where everything is different, it is pronounced 'ess-plan-AID."  If you are looking to pronounce our name correctly, we are La Belle Esplanade on Esplanade Avenue.

As a flaneur, I always appreciate an esplanade.  According to Webster's, a flaneur is an idle man-about-town.  I don't know how much I agree with that, no matter how much I resemble that definition.  Like Charles Baudelaire, I prefer to think of a flaneur as someone who makes it his occupation to walk the city streets, getting caught up in their ephemeral scenes.
Charles Baudelaire
If you stay in our Les Fleurs Suite [see the link at the top of this page] you'll find a copy of my favorite book by Baudelaire.  It's a charmer titled, "Les Fleurs de Mal."  What's that in English?  "The Flowers of Evil."  Love poems.  

Tremé is a fascinating neighborhood, even though it isn't the ritziest in the city.  It's predominantly working class, though that is changing.  The new Lafitte Greenway will open later this year.  It's going to change a lot of things in the neighborhood, not just the demographics.  For now, though, behind our house are two famous restaurants, a lot of history, and a ton of details piled up over the centuries.  That's enough.

Up the street from us, toward City Park, there are more restaurants and coffee shops, two grocery stores, a wine bar, and a laundromat. If you need to do laundry during your stay, we have a laundry room on site.  It costs a $1.25 to wash and $1.25 to dry.  We'll provide the detergent if you need it.

Let's end with a little Baudelaire, shall we?


Nature is a temple in which living pillars 
Sometimes give voice to confused words; 
Man passes there through forests of symbols 
Which look at him with understanding eyes.

Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance 
In a deep and tenebrous unity, 
Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day, 
Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond.

There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
Sweet as oboes, green as meadows
— And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,

With power to expand into infinity,
Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin, 
That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.

-Translated by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade, a New Orleans bed and breakfast.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Doing Time in New Orleans

Life is a parade in New Orleans
I was telling Frau Schmitt that I want to have a bird in the house.  Specifically, I would like to have a sulphur-crested cockatoo.  "Why?" she asked me.

Because some days I feel like Baretta.  

I don't like to go to bed with a price on my head and I don't do any crime when I can't do the time.  I keep my eye on the sparrow when the going gets narrow and I live in a place where the cold winds don't blow.  Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well.

I don't even know what most of that means, but it always sounded good when Sammy Davis, Jr. sung it.  The song, "Eye On The Sparrow," was the number 1 song in the Netherlands in 1976.  The Dutch called it, "Baretta's Theme."  It's my theme, too.  Besides, no matter what happens, I'll always be a little rascal.

"I'll take care of the bird," I said.  Frau Schmitt snorted.  "No you won't.  I'll end up taking care of it."  She is usually right about these things.  "No bird.  Do you hear me?" she said while she looked at me sternly.  I heard her---for now.  I think a sulphur-crested cockatoo has a lovely singing voice.

Recently, one of our guests told me I reminded him of one of the Bowery Boys.  "Do you know who they were?" he asked.  I do.  Do you, gentle reader?  They were originally known as The Dead End Kids.  I assume our guest was referring to Leo Gorcey and not Huntz Hall when he made the comparison to your humble narrator.  

I'm sorry if you are too young to get any of the associations I've been tossing out in this post so far.  

Let me throw you a bone.  I have nothing in common with Daniel Tosh.  In fact, sometimes,when nobody is checking in on a particular afternoon, I go to the Parkview Tavern on North Carrollton Avenue up the street from us and I write the blog like I'm writing it now, and they have Comedy Central on the television and they're showing Tosh.0, and I think, "This is like staring into a cesspool."  I like it when Futurama is on, though.  
Life is not a cartoon
I pay more attention to Futurama, but I usually have other things to do to occupy my time.  When you live in New Orleans, you don't have a lot of need for the mainstream culture.  We don't live in Oklahoma City or East Grand Rapids or Beaver Mills, Alabama.  There is enough going on on the streets in New Orleans.  Who has time to get the corporate commodified version of what is entertaining when there is already enough to do with our neighbors?  Wanna know what it's like to live like a local in New Orleans?  You'll never be bored here, I'll tell you that.

I could write more, but Kristine just led a bicycle tour past our house.  I'm going to go out to talk to her if you don't mind.  Tune in next time and I'll have another story that is more interesting, I hope.  Until then---

À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade bed and breakfast.
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