Grok New Orleans

Don’t be a stranger in a strange land.  Visit New Orleans like a New Orleanian.  Use your better intuition.  You can grok New Orleans.  It’s easy if you try.  Just let go.  Let your conscience be your guide.  Somewhere over the rainbow, there is New Orleans.  It’s right here.  Welcome to the New Orleans State of Mind.  You can grok New Orleans.




New Orleans is a strange city to get a handle on.  It is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever lived.  The best way to navigate New Orleans is with an open mind and an open heart, relying on intuition.  New Orleans will treat you right.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I’m talking about grokking New Orleans, you either don’t know your science fiction or your computer program hacking lingo.  You and I may travel in different circles.  Allow me to clarify….

The verb ‘to grok‘ means to understand profoundly and intuitively.  That’s not my definition.  It’s Mirriam-Webster’s.  The word ‘grok’ is the root Martian word “to drink,” among other things that are seemingly contradictory in English.

Your humble narrator’s omnivorous mind is a wastebasket full of useless facts.  Hence the inspiration for today’s blog entry.  Let’s read on, shall we….

The word comes from Robert A. Heinlein’s 1961 novel, “A Stranger in a Strange Land.”  Check it out if you have the time.  If you are young and impressionable, it will make an impression on you.  In 2012, the U.S. Library of Congress named it one of the “88 Books that Shaped America.”  It shares shelf space with an eclectic mix of titles as eclectic as America itself.



In order to understand New Orleans in a regular way, let alone to grok it, you need to spend time in this magical kaleidoscope of a city we call home.  New Orleans is a city plump full and over-bursting, overflowing with distracting details, each one more surprising and delightful than the last.  New Orleans is a city where dreams come true.  It is a city in which time getting to know the place is time well spent.  Four nights, five nights, a full week….

New Orleans is fifty pounds of mud in a five-pound bag.

There is a tourist trap New Orleans.  You’ve read all about it.  Your friends have told you where to go because that’s where they went where they were here—-and it was the best time ever!!!  You can relive your friends vacation if you want to, but I recommend following your own instincts while you are here.  There is more to New Orleans than meets the eye.

No one ever says their visit to New Orleans is too long.  The longer you are here, the more you’ll discover.  The longer you are here, the more you will grok New Orleans.  New Orleans’ happiness is infectious.  Catch it.  Invest time, not money, getting to know New Orleans off the tourist map.  Welcome New Orleans into your heart and your eyes will glint with a healthy shine.

You’ve got your guidebook New Orleans, and then you’ve got your real New Orleans.  La Belle Esplanade, a tiny personalized NOLA hotel, is outside the French Quarter.  It’s off the usual tourist grid and it is off the usual tourist radar.  There is a lot going on in our neighborhood.  Most tourists, God bless them, don’t know what they are missing.

New Orleans is more than a tourist attraction.  New Orleans is a real city.  You can grok New Orleans when you stay in an authentic New Orleans hotel that isn’t a multi-national chain, or a national chain, or even a local chain.  La Belle Esplanade is bespoke.  There is only one and we only have five suites.  New Orleans is authentic on many, many levels.

We hope you have a great New Orleans day, wherever you happen to find yourself today.  When you get up the gumption to grok New Orleans, we hope you’ll stay on Esplanade Avenue.  Good memories are made on our street.

À votre santé,

Your friends at La Belle Esplanade

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

Saturday, May 5, 2018: No illustrations for today’s blog entry.  You don’t need photos to grok New Orleans.  You just need to get into The New Orleans State of Mind.  There’s only one way to do that: to be here.  Get your good self down here.  New Orleans waits for you.