Flowers in New Orleans

A Hummingbird In Flu Season

I saw a hummingbird today.  I didn’t have my camera with me.  Why would I carry my phone around the garden?  No has called for a week, since the last reservation in April was cancelled.  We have a quiet month and a half ahead of us.  Who’s bright idea was it to open a bed and breakfast hotel in New Orleans?

It seemed like a good idea at the time and being innkeepers has brought us a lot of happiness as we have gone out of our way to share what it is like to live in the real New Orleans outside the French Quarter.  We live on a magical street in a magical city.  Every street in New Orleans has it’s charms, of course, but some are more famous than others.

On the bright side, living in an empty hotel that’s been stocked for the busy season means we have plenty of toilet paper stocked up.  We’ve had it since February.

If you have toilet paper shortages where you live, New Orleans has experienced a run on mojo bags.  There just aren’t enough ingredients available to protect people from COVID-19.  At least the voodoo shops are making money.  I don’t know many other people who are.

Even the big hotels are closed.  Why keep a 300-room hotel open for one guest? And, that’s what they’ve got.  It doesn’t make sense. The big hotels are sending guests to a central hotel, don’t ask me what it is. They can’t keep a 14-story building open for only one person.  After all, one chain hotel room is little different from any other.  If you are staying at the Sheraton, or the Marriott, or the Hilton, you’re not going to encounter any pleasant surprises.  That’s what makes La Belle Esplanade different.  Every room in our five-suite B&B hotel is a different color.

With nobody visiting New Orleans, there is a serious cashflow crunch in the city.  Our whole economy depends on people visiting.  The port is still working but the port is run by robots.  It’s all mechanized.  I don’t know anybody who works at the port.

I know plenty of people who work in bars, restaurants and hotels.  I know people who work in museums and who staff ‘unessential; businesses.  That’s pretty much everyone I know.  What most people do in New Orleans can be considered non-essential.  Who can put a price on a happy memory?

Hospitality is the industry that has defined New Orleans for at least a century.  It used to be cotton and slaves.  Now, most people in New Orleans make their livings sharing our city with people from out of town.  Good memories are our main product.  Good memories is all we’ve got to sell.  Nobody’s buying this time of year.

I saw a hummingbird today and that was the highlight of my day.  The hummingbird was poking its beak into a trumpet flower in La Belle Esplanade’s back garden.  Even when nothing is going on, something is always going on in New Orleans.  At least the weather is nice.  This has been the most pleasant couple of weeks, weather-wise, that I can remember in years.

I took our dog for a walk in the farthest reaches of City Park, as I have done every day for years.  We found a wigwam today:

I had to stop the video because during the COVID-19 self-quarantine, many more people are visiting City Park than usual during the week.  I spotted a guy up ahead with his dog on a leash, which I never see during the week any other time of year.  I had to put Simba on his leash.  Simba doesn’t care about dogs that aren’t on a leash, but, if they are are on a leash, Simba gets suspicious of their intentions.  They must be on a leash for good reason, aside from city ordinances.

Out here in the Couterie Forest part of City Park, it’s usually like the Wild West and it’s every dog for himself.  We’ve never had a problem.

The guy took a turn deeper into the forest than where we were so it was all for naught.  Simba walked the remaining length of the path tethered to me via his leash.  He didn’t mind.  That’s how we walk around our neighborhood but, I know if it was me, I’d want to be off leash at least once a day.

Simba had his name when we got him.  We didn’t him.  It’s pronounced the way it is in German: Zimba!

When everything is back to normal, we hope you’ll visit New Orleans to make some good memories here.  We’re La Belle Esplanade, the #1-ranked B&B hotel in New Orleans since April 2014.  #2 in the U.S. and #16 in the world, too, as I never get tired of saying.

Be well, friends.

À votre santé,

La Belle Esplanade