In the cafe society demi-monde I inhabit, some people make living in New Orleans a form of art. Art in New Orleans takes many shapes. There are all kinds of artists in New Orleans. I know. I live here. I see them all the time.
When it comes to headgear I pretty much limit myself to fedoras and berets. I don’t like to have my photo taken while wearing a wool beret because I don’t pose. The beret is usually some misshapen mass on my head. A beret requires primping to be photogenic and I do not primp. I came out of the cocoon this way.
There are all kinds of artists in New Orleans. I know a few of them.
Annie is a red-headed Welsh wisp of a woman who went to the Art Institute of Chicago for one year. She is a young oil painter, the fine arts kind not the house kind. From what I have seen on her phone, she has a talent with the brushes. She is just starting out. She has been in New Orleans three weeks. She lives in a very nice house in Broadmoor. She can draw with a ballpoint pen.
What happened is that I was doing whatever it is that I do, reading the Wall Street Journal between solving some of the world’s minor problems for regular acquaintances and passing strangers in need. All of a sudden Annie came over to show me something. She had drawn a picture of me. An artist has to do what an artist has to do on a slow day.
Here is what I look like when I know someone is taking a photo of me. I wear a fedora and I look at the camera. Like this:
Here is what I look like when I wear a beret and furrow my brow as I concentrate on reading the Wall Street Journal:
The camera doesn’t lie. Neither does a true artist’s eye.
I put on my monocle to study Annie’s line work. Not bad for a ball point pen on a blank check. Not bad at all. This is a very good drawing, especially conisdering how much I fidget and move. I know in my mind that I don’t always look like what I do when I am hamming for the camera. Annie showed me a side of myself I rarely see. That is what art does. Annie has a bright future ahead of her.
Who knows? Maybe you will meet artists in New Orleans when you are here. You can’t swing a dead cat in New Orleans without hitting some kind of eccentric.
I asked Annie where she got the ticket pad. She said, “I asked the bartender.” Sarah was tending bar when this took place.
Annie calls me a gatekeeper. I am really an innkeeper. I would never have guessed Annie was Welsh by her accent. She had to tell me she is from Wales. She doesn’t make a big deal of it.
When you are ready to meet some artists in New Orleans, I know where you should stay. La Belle Esplanade even has a real museum in our lobby.
When you are ready to visit New Orleans like you live here, you know where you should stay. La Belle Esplanade will be here for you. Making good New Orleans memories is why we do twenty-four hours a day. We look forward to meeting you. We only have five suites so we tend to fill up during busy seasons.