Being a New Orleans Innkeeper

It’s a quiet week here at La Belle Esplanade.  The inn is uncharacteristically empty.  As of 10:30AM, today is the first day the inn has been empty since early January.  Tomorrow, Frau Schmitt and I will have a day off, our first since early January.  We don’t mind working, if you can call innkeeping work, but we won’t mind sleeping in past 5:00 tomorrow morning.

morning sky in city park
The sunrise in City Park this morning.

I always think of work as something I don’t enjoy, as something that I just do for money.  In fact, I’ll tell you a medical secret: I’m allergic to work.  I’ve been tested.

Frau Schmitt and I are innkeepers because it pays the bills, but we really do enjoy what we do.  We enjoy it very much.  It’s a good thing we enjoy what we do because otherwise it would be drudgery, and it isn’t.  It is our sincere pleasure to meet so many people from all over the world and to serve as goodwill ambassadors for this magical city we call home.

New Orleans really is full of magic.  I’m reminded of this every day and not just as I run errands about the city.  Every morning, I have the distinctive pleasure of talking to between one and ten people about New Orleans for an hour or more.  They share their adventures from the day before.  They share their impressions of what they’ve encountered in various parts of the city.  They share what they’ve tasted, what they’ve heard, what they’ve sampled.  Good memories are made in New Orleans and our guests share those with Frau Schmitt and I every day.  Sometimes, we help our guests make good memories here.  That’s the best part of this job.  We get to see our city every day through fresh pairs of eyes.

When you love where you live and you love what you do every day passes like a feather on a zephyr.

Everyone checked out of the inn this morning.  Before Lisa and Scott left, Lisa said she didn’t know we had a blog (!??!!!???!!!!).  She said she’ll have to start reading it when she gets home.  Hi, Lisa!  This incarnation of the blog is fairly recent.  As I told you, there are four years worth of archives on our old blog site.  You can waste a lot of time by clicking on this sentence.

It’s about time we added some musical soundtrack for today’s installment, isn’t it?  I recently wrote an email to a guest who is a chicken farmer (I told you we meet people from all over the world) and I told her I was reading a book about the history of chickens.  She found this amusing.  “Matthew, I can’t believe you are reading a book about chickens!!!” she wrote back in reply.  I have an omnivorous mind.  I know a lot about New Orleans, a lot, but I also know a lot about other things, too.  We have feral chickens in our neighborhood and you can see them if you wake up early, before we serve breakfast, and wander about with your camera.  Howzabout some chicken music?

The Chicken Dance has a strong New Orleans connection.  It’s the most popular piece of music played at the Oktoberfest celebration held by the Deutsches Haus, a longstanding New Orleans German-American Society. The old Deutsches Haus headquarters used to be on South Galvez Street, about twelve blocks from where we live.  It was a great building.  It was torn down to make way for the new, enormous LSU Medical Center on the other side of Canal Street, directly behind our house.  The Deutsches Haus has temporarily moved to the outskirts of the city but they have purchased property for a new HQ at the end of Esplanade Avenue across from City Park.  That new Deutsches Haus is going to be spectacular and we can’t wait for it to open.  We’ll be doing the Chicken Dance that Oktoberfest, you can be sure of that.

There are a lot of interesting things happening in our neighborhood.  You won’t read about them in the guidebooks.  We are about a mile from the French Quarter, where most tourists spend a lot of their time.  Our guests visit the French Quarter, naturally.  We go to the Quarter from time to time, too.  We and our guests also spend a lot of time in the rest of the city.  The rest of New Orleans is as magical.  I, for one, find it more so.  There is so much more to see and to do.  You’ll see what I mean when you get here.

You know where you can stay.  You can stay here, at La Belle Esplanade.  Use your better intuition when deciding where reserve a room—reserve a suite on one of the most beautiful streets in New Orleans.  We haven’t been ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans for over two years for nothing.  Come and see why.  Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation.  She won’t be shaking her tail feathers while you’re here.  She saves that particular dance move for Oktoberfest only.

À votre santé,

La Belle Esplanade

…where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.

June 28, 2016.