Here’s what Socrates said: “To be is to do.”
Here’s what Sartre said: “To do is to be.”
Here’s what Sinatra said: “Do be do be do.”
Here’s what I have to say: “We have a new website.” Whoop-de-doo.
Everybody has a website nowadays. Today inaugurates the third version of La Belle Esplanade’s website. It’s new and improved. More modern, with cascading style sheets. Written with WordPress, the way all the cool kids are doing it these days. This is our first blog post installment on our new website. We hope you enjoy it. Now, let’s cut to a picture of your humble narrator’s feet:The camera slipped.
I was going to take a picture of our house, but my camera slipped. Now you know I was wearing faded red espadrilles when I took the recycling boxes out to the curb this morning. For new visitors who are stumbling onto our blog for the first time, this is the kind of hard-hitting New Orleans news long time readers have come to expect from our old blog. If you are new here, I recommend clicking that link to the old blog. You can waste a lot of time trawling the archives there. It’s four years’ worth. It’s four years of solid fool’s gold.
If you’ve never been to New Orleans, you should visit. Don’t just do it because I’m recommending it. If you read travel magazines and websites, you already know that New Orleans is a top tourist destination. The city’s economy runs on tourism. We have a very busy port, but, really, since 7.89 million visitors came to New Orleans last year, and not all of them came for Mardi Gras, hospitality is our Number One industry.
It pays the bills.
There is southern hospitality, and then there is New Orleans hospitality. Don’t confuse the two. Southern hospitality is charming, don’t get me wrong, but when you are in a southern (U.S.) city, you always get the feeling you don’t belong there no matter how accommodating and polite everyone is. Remember, I say this as someone who is obviously a Connecticut Yankee as soon as he opens his mouth. I’ve never been treated ill in the American South, but I’ve always been reminded that I’m from up north, which is true. I just don’t feel I need constant reminders of that fact. I know it already. It’s not like I try to pass as a cousin of Bo and Luke Duke.
I couldn’t do it if I tried.
Apart from southern hospitality, there is New Orleans hospitality. Everyone in New Orleans is friendly and welcoming. We live in a very cosmopolitan city. Go anywhere in the world and mention New Orleans. People will know where you are talking about. You can’t say that about Hattiesburg, Mississippi, or Chattanooga, Tennessee, or Mobile or Birmingham, Alabama, or St. Petersburg, Florida, or Burleson, Texas, or Raleigh, North Carolina.
I know this because I’ve tried it. Frau Schmitt and I were in Thailand a few years ago for reasons that are unimportant to this story. Since no one in Thailand can recognize a Connecticut accent, I experimented. I said, “I’m from Raleigh,” and I received a quizzical look in return. “I’m from Birmingham. I got the same reaction but some British people overheard the conversation and thought I was from England until I talked some more. “You’re a Yank, you are.” I told my Thai friends that I was from New Orleans though, and their faces lit up. “That’s Jazz!” they said.
In New Orleans, everyone is a friend you are just about to meet.
There is a certain brand of hospitality that is unique in the city. It’s the kind of hospitality you’ll find when you stay at La Belle Esplanade. We are a small boutique experience inn of five personalized suites. Not everyone can stay with us. Those who do get a taste of what it is like to live in New Orleans like a convert to everything this great city has to offer. We live on a beautiful street. For a short time, you can live here, too. It’s a wonderful world in New Orleans.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.
—June 15, 2016. New Orleans, Louisiana.