Black Cat Magic Club, New Orleans, LA


In our last installment I mentioned how it’s nice to go about my errands and run into complete strangers who read this blog and tell me how much they enjoy it.  Frau Schmitt and I are proud to be New Orleans goodwill ambassadors for our city.  Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation but, unless you stay with us, you’ll never get to know her.  It is my job, as your humble narrator, to be the face of La Belle Esplanade; an icon, as someone recently called me on our Facebook page.

Some people call me a raconteur extraordinaire.  They’re not the only ones.

Let’s see how well I tell this story….

I got a letter in the mail the other day, written on the official stationary of the Black Cat Magic Club of New Orleans.  I took a picture:

The Best Written Blog in New Orleans!
Some people write real letters, by hand, and they send them through the mail.


It reads:

July 26, 2018.

Dear Mr. King,

You have come to the attention of the Black Cat Club.  We have something to give you.  Please come to our den on Friday, August 3rd.  Our address is [redacted to protect the club’s privacy]. Knock three times on the door.  The guard will recognize you and let you in.

We look forward to meeting you in person,

—The Black Cats.

As one of the best-dressed men in New Orleans, most people recognize me when I show up….

The Most Interesting Man in New Orleans.
This man knows more than his share of New Orleans secrets. He’ll be happy to share them with you.

I went to the Black Cat den and they presented me with an award.

I am humbly flattered and graciously honored.  It is always nice to be recognized by one’s peers.

The Black Cat Magic Club is a New Orleans secret society.  I can’t tell you who I met while I was at their den when they presented me with this prestigious award.  My lips are sealed.  Plumbers, congressmen, pop stars, bus drivers, bankers and bootleggers; you know the types.

I asked the club’s president who else has won this award for “Best Written Blog in New Orleans.”

“You’re the second person, Mr. King.” she told me.  “The award was founded right before Katrina but we haven’t felt a need to recognize any other blogs after the first one.  Frankly, most New Orleans blogs are garbage [her words, not mine!] so we haven’t bothered.  One of our members started to follow La Belle Esplanade’s blog, though, and I have to say, you’ve made a great many fans among our general membership.  Congratulations.”

I’m humbled.

I’ve placed our award in a niche of honor in our lobby.  When you visit New Orleans and choose to stay at the #1 small hotel in our city, you can see it.  It isn’t under glass or locked away.  You can touch it if you want to.

The Best Written Blog in New Orleans.
The Best Written Blog in New Orleans Award, awarded by the Black Cat Magic Club. 2018.

Frau Schmitt and I would like to thank the Black Cat Magic Club for recognizing this blog for what it is—an honest voice of authentic New Orleans.  A tip of my fedora to the Black Cats and all the good work they do for our city.  Thanks!

—Have a great New Orleans day today, wherever you happen to find yourself.

You have two friends at,

-La Belle Esplanade

…ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans and in Louisiana, #3 in the U.S., and the #17 place to stay in the whole world.

——-The people have spoken!——


Saturday, August 10, 2018:. If you jiggle when you giggle, you know you’re in a New Orleans state of mInd.  Welcome.  You have two friends on Esplanade Avenue.