Prepare yourself for the most shocking exposé you never knew you’d ever read! As you know, New Orleans was founded by French speakers. For forty years after that it was ruled by Spanish speakers who never imposed their language on the populace except for street names and the names of the major civic buildings. Everyone in New Orleans spoke French for a long, long time. Then, along came the Americans and that changed. It was soon after that the Kings of New Orleans appeared. Before then, the kings would have been referred to as les rois.
It’s been a little less than a hundred years since French has died out in New Orleans. There are few rois. There are plenty of Kings. My last name is King, for instance, but I’m a transplant.
A few installments ago, I mentioned King’s Specialty Meats:
Up the street from King’s Specialty Meats, that street being South Broad Avenue, there is a favorite sign of mine.
It’s not the greatest picture, not only because I didn’t capture the whole sign, but I believe that’s a bit of my thumb in the upper corner. Let’s try again:
Whoops! Too far in the other direction. You get the idea. It’s Hub Cap King, a business that has been defunct for longer than I’ve lived in New Orleans. Through thick and thin, though, someone has the perseverance to preserve the lettering on this sign. Hub Cap King may be dead, but, “Long Live Hub Cap King!” The building was a garden supply store for a short while but it’s empty again. I doubt anyone will ever sell hubcaps out of the building again, but one can wish. One also wishes that sign remains the same.
Let’s say I get injured in an automobile accident and I’m looking to lawyer up, what do you think I should do? I should ring the King.
Sing it when you say it: “504-909-K-I-N-G.” It’s none other than the King [Law] Firm on Canal Street.
Who’s Norman Robinson? I had no idea until I Googled him. He’s a retired TV reporter for WDSU, Channel 6, the New Orleans NBC affiliate. I don’t watch television, so I have no reason to know him. He endorses ringing the King.
That’s all I have for today, except a brief remark about our headline image, the old Gem Theater, which is on a side street off South Broad Avenue between King’s Specialty Meats and Hub Cap King. The Gem is being restored but it’s not going to be a theater. I’m told it’s going to be a brewery.
I think this will be the fourth active brewery in New Orleans. I’m not counting Crescent City Brewhouse, on Decatur Street. That place is just a tourist trap. If you’re thinking of going there, I’m going to egg you on to go all in with the tourist experience and go to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. next door. It’s totally authentic. The breweries I’m counting are NOLA Brewing Co., Urban South Brewery, and Second Line Brewing. If I’m forgetting one, email me.
Second Line is reasonably close to our inn. They hold events in their courtyard on weekends. I’m using the word courtyard generously. It is anything but picturesque, but it is convivial and it attracts a nice local crowd. Second Line Brewing is hard to locate, but if you’re interested I can tell you how to get there. Tell them the King of Esplanade Avenue sent you.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning brings a curated selection of fresh foods and a freewheeling selection of fresh conversations.
August 26, 2016: It rained buckets this morning but it was over by 7:00AM. Sunny and pleasantly breezy since then.