If you asked me last week what New Orleans’ best hotel is, I would have given you one answer. After yesterday, I have a different answer.
Remember, “What is New Orleans’ best hotel?” is not the same as, “Where is the best place to stay when visiting New Orleans?” The answer to the latter is obvious. The best place to stay in New Orleans is La Belle Esplanade.
An old hotel reopened in New Orleans this past weekend on St. Charles Avenue. It’s beautiful. It is exactly what a hotel should be. Like La Belle Esplanade, it is the opposite of every hotel on Canal Street. It has a lot of things in common with La Belle Esplanade, but, let’s face it, La Belle only has five suites. This other hotel, the one I think is the best hotel in New Orleans, has 109 rooms. Notice that I said rooms not suites. When you stay with us you get a heck of a lot more space and you get a private balcony, too. And, breakfast is included. And, you get to talk to your humble narrator for an hour or so every morning. It’s hard to put a price tag on that last part.
I’m not trying to be coy about naming what I think is New Orleans’ best hotel. I’m just not naming it, yet. What’s your hurry?
Let’s listen to some Cab Calloway while we wait for the big reveal. I’ve always liked this song and it fits the mood here at La Belle Esplanade. I couldn’t find any video of Cab performing it live, unfortunately, and the clips I found with movement were painful to watch. Let’s just listen, shall we?
I’ve always wanted a zoot suit but my tailors have always dissuaded me.
I’ve never known anyone named Plato or Mandrake but I sure would like to. “Have a tomato, Plato.” It doesn’t work if you pronounce tomato ‘toe-MAH-toe.’ Let’s call the whole thing off.
You don’t know this but it always gives me great pleasure to write a brief paragraph like the one that just proceeded this paragraph, something with an obscure allusion and sly humor that I don’t expect anyone to understand, but it reads well and it will make you smile even if you don’t know exactly to what I’m referring. If you got the reference, I know you just laughed out loud. I’m chuckling right along with you. It’s a dry chuckle.
I also enjoy long sentences that are not run-on sentences. Run-on sentences are sentences that can be split into distinct and complete thoughts while the kind of long sentences to which I’m referring, and that I enjoy so much, are sentences that can go on and on and on, like something out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel or like something out of a Faulkner opus, for that matter, or half a poem by Walt Whitman, a sentence in which the punctuation serves a useful purpose, providing pauses and changes of narrative rhythm between related thoughts that are strung like Hungarian glass Mardi Gras beads on a thread spun of gold into a coherent whole that is more than the sum of its parts, and, when you get to the sentence’s end, no matter how long it takes, you know that you have ridden a wave of words from beginning to end and when you reach the conclusion you say to yourself, “I know exactly what the writer was getting at and it was important that he (or she) put it that way, and, now that I think of it, he (or she) didn’t even use a semi-colon because there was no need for a semi-colon. That was some fine grammatically correct construction of one complex description of a single multi-facted idea that couldn’t be broken down any other way even though he (or she) used periods in an internal dialogue contained in this super-long sentence, which is kind of like cheating, but it’s not. It’s really a talent that some would call genius, though none of the English professors I had in college would call it that but regular Joes and Janes like me, who enjoy a good blog entry and being entertained and learning a little something about New Orleans, no matter how slight or frivolous it may seem at the time that we’re reading it, regular folk, like me, we call it genius and that’s enough for us, I think, and I’m satisfied, at least.” This is an example of the kind of sentence I like to drop into the text once in a while; I could do it more often if I chose. I choose not to unless it’s absolutely necessary to get a point across.
My spiffy new SEO writing widget, the one that is guiding how I style these posts on my spiffy new WordPress blog, frowns on long sentences like the ones I’m writing now. To hell with SEO, I say, making the sign of the cross when I say this. The SEO widget also recommends more ‘transition words’ which means it wants me to write more long sentences rather than short declarative and easy to follow statements. It likes me to write sentences that connect two, two, two thoughts in one line in a style that is as dull as dishwater and that reads like all the other SEO-attractive chum that clogs up the internet, the kind of style that says little while making the reader feel like he or she is learning something, like what the 10 best places to stay in New Orleans are, or why New Orleans is bad for your sex life, or 5 reasons to stay at La Belle Esplanade, or, etc, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum like everything else you ever read everywhere else on the internet in those innkeeper blogs where the innkeeper doesn’t write the blog but, instead, has some hired gun do it, and the hired gun uses the SEO widget to generate content. Content. Oh, sweet content, the meat and the grist of the internet!
I’m being encouraged to toss click-bait out into the vast and deep digital ocean to attract finicky search engine robots and spiders that trawl these infinite seas so that I can appear toward the top of the list, just under the paid ads, that appears when people enter into their search engine: “New Orleans’ Best Hotel.” My humble blog is destined to join the schools of digital krill, 10101000100100101, that get swooped on and scooped up and filtered through the baleen of Google and Bing and, to a much lesser extent, Yahoo! and Duck Duck Go. Call me Ishmael.
My spiffy new SEO widget tells me that I write too much in a passive voice. Since this blog is written in the first person singular (that’s me, your humble narrator) I find this algorithm-genearated opinion hard to swallow. Color me aggressively passive. These posts are also way too long for the widget. Apparently, my target audience can only pay attention for 300 words. Whoops! We’re over a thousand words over the limit today. Are you still here?
If you’re wondering how I’m enjoying the transition to writing our blog on WordPress, I hate it. Thanks for asking. I needed to get that off my spleen. Now, let’s get onto a little more keyword placement and learn what’s New Orleans’ best hotel.
New Orleans’ best hotel is The Pontchartrain. Hands down. No competition. No other hotel even comes close. If we don’t have any occupancy, you should stay there. Heck, I think we’re going to take a night off and stay there just to experience it as a guest. It’s really, really, really, really, really nice.
If we do have room available, please, make a reservation with us. We only have five suites so we tend to fill up early during the busier times of year. We aren’t ranked the #1 place to stay in all of Louisiana for nuttin’, honey. We serve neither cereal nor pancakes at our boutique inn, even if your name is Mandrake. If we don’t have any room at this inn, though, go to the Pontchartrain Hotel. You can thank me later.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.
June 24, 2016.