Wanna know how to get ripped off in New Orleans? Abandon all common sense.
Drink a half dozen hand grenades on Bourbon Street and then go down an alley with someone promising you a good time. Stand in line for a meal where your Uber driver told you is where all the locals go to eat. Take it from someone who lives here (I know your Uber driver said he or she lives here, too), no one in New Orleans stands in line to eat warmed-over jambalaya with a gaggle of strangers from out of town. If everyone in line with you isn’t from New Orleans, this isn’t a place where the locals go. Find a place with no line. That place hasn’t hired a good PR person to work the tourist trade because that place doesn’t rely on tourist walk-in traffic. The place with no line of tourists around the block is the real place New Orleanians go to have a good time. Do you like to hang out in a crowd of rowdy drunks in your home town? We don’t either.
Wanna know how to be shortchanged in New Orleans?
There are some basic rules that are easy to master if you really do want to learn how get ripped off in New Orleans. Stick to your regular guide book recommendations, what Yelp recommends, retrace all your friends’ French Quarter Marriott/Sheraton/Holiday Inn vacations, and wear Mardi Gras beads everywhere you go—-especially when it isn’t Mardi Gras season.
People who live in New Orleans wear Mardi Gras beads when they walk home from a Mardi Gras parade. They don’t wear them in May or during any other month not connected to Mardi Gras. Anyone who wears Mardi Gras beads when it isn’t Mardi Gras is marked as being from out of town and they are marking themselves as a target for a scam. Welcome to New Orleans, sucker. Stock up on two-for-one novelty tee shirts while you’re enjoying our city, wear them around town with your Mardi Gras beads, and chug down a couple of Huge Ass Beers while you’re at it.
10.5 million visitors came to New Orleans last year. A lot of those visitors got drunk and disoriented, as well as disorderly. New Orleanians know how to hold their liquor and they know how NOT to be nuisances to other people on the street or to people trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Wanna know how to get ripped off in New Orleans? Do things that New Orleanians don’t do. No New Orleanian is lifting her shirt on Bourbon Street and no New Orleanian is dropping his pants in the middle of the street. No New Orleanian is sleeping in on a French Quarter doorstep. You will find New Orleanians on Bourbon Street, but that’s because they work there. You won’t find them carrying on and making fools of themselves.
Be a New Orleanian when you are in New Orleans.
You won’t regret slipping into the natural native ambience and lackadaisical pace of The City That Care Forgot. New Orleans will treat you right if you immerse and embed yourself in the New Orleans state of mind. A lot of visitors don’t understand the New Orleans state of mind. They come with preconceptions that New Orleans is party-town central, anything goes, a Girls Trip.
Anything does go in New Orleans. Ours is a very tolerant city. New Orleanians will put up with a lot nonsense to vacuum dollars out of a tourist’s wallet. It gives some of the people employed in the tourism industry a certain sly and fulfilling satisfaction to rip you off if you act like a rude and bumptious yahoo.
Be respectful of your surroundings. For Heaven’s sake, don’t think that a trip to New Orleans should be like what you see in some movies (watch the clip above). Don’t plan your trip expecting that at least one member of your party will contract a venereal disease. Go to Oklahoma City for that. The good people of Oklahoma City will love you for it.
New Orleans shouldn’t be confused with Las Vegas. New Orleans is much older than Las Vegas and it is more dignified. Keep a sharp eye open to find evidence of the latter on Bourbon Street. Outside the French Quarter, New Orleanians go about their lives and make the most of their natural advantages living in one the most charming cities on earth. Life is better than good most of the time in New Orleans. Ask anyone who lives here.
Avoid the pitfalls of how to get ripped off in New Orleans.
La Belle Esplanade is unlike any other hotel. Ours is a boutique concierge operation. Frau Schmitt, who is the better half of this operation, and myself, your humble narrator, consider ourselves lucky to be goodwill ambassadors for this wonderful city we call home.
New Orleans really is amazing, astounding, astonishing, and breathtaking. You can get lost in the friendliness and in the rich, deeply rooted, and variously-textured culture of New Orleans. There is more to New Orleans than what you read about in the guidebooks and on travel websites. A lot more. The things outside the guidebooks and the movies are why so many people choose to call New Orleans home. Our city really is amazing for those with open eyes and an open heart. There are few places in this globalized world like New Orleans. As New Orleanians, we all count ourselves lucky to live here.
Get off the tourist grid, off the tourist radar. Discover a different side of New Orleans. Learn what it means to be a part of New Orleans. If you are interested, you’re on the right website.
Poke around this website to learn what we have to offer our guests. Good memories are made at La Belle Esplanade. Good memories are made on our street. The only way to make a reservation is through this website. We aren’t on Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz, or whatnot. We are not affiliated with Capt. Obvious or any other message the online travel agents are trying to sell you. La Belle Esplanade is all about experiencing New Orleans like you should.
I don’t even know what that Hotels.com ad is supposed to be about. I know that I’m not ever going to visit the Hotels.com website. Your mileage may vary. If you want to fall in love with the real New Orleans, well, you’ve found the right place. Unlock instant good memories as soon as you set foot on Esplanade Avenue.
The people who choose to stay at La Belle Esplanade choose our small boutique hotel because they want to live an authentic New Orleans experience, close to the tourist action but in a genuine and vibrant neighborhood. Don’t just visit New Orleans like a tourist. Live New Orleans like you mean it. When you love New Orleans, it will love you back. Play poker with New Orleans and you’ll be dealt a royal flush in the suit of hearts. Winner, winner, barbecue shrimp dinner!
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every day blossoms fresh surprises over good food and good conversations.
Wednesday, September 20, 2107: In a New Orleans state of mind, even the angels dream of spending a week on Esplanade Avenue. Good memories are made on our street.