This isn’t gonna be what you think it’s gonna be about. No Girls Trip. No New Orleans frat boy bachelor party bros stumbling down Bourbon Street, ogling the shot girls. “Heh-heh, yeah, I’ll take a jello shot from your cleavage.” No destination wedding with everyone in the wedding party marching down the street behind a brass band twirling white handkerchiefs and looking awkward as everyone takes their pictures. This New Orleans fantasy is a different kind of fantasy—one that is off the usual tourist radar. It doesn’t take place in the French Quarter.
If you are looking for boozy half-informed semi-debauchery, I’m sure a hotel in the French Quarter will be happy to take care of you. You can probably find it through booking.com:
YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO MAKE A RESERVATION AT LA BELLE ESPLANADE THROUGH BOOKING.COM.
The New Orleans fantasy I found the other day is more esoteric and literary-minded—-and I found it in Mid-City, where else? It was handmade, nothing much to look at, but plenty much to consider if you get the conceit. I don’t want to say if you get the joke. There is no joke here. New Orleans really is a mythical place on par with other places you’ve read about in literature, or other places you’ve idly daydreamed about. There is a New Orleans rooted in the ground, and then there is a New Orleans of the mind.
You never know what you’ll find when you wander around New Orleans neighborhoods.
We really do live in a magical city.
I am not implying that a reference to Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Lord of the Rings, or Superman comic books is a shout-out to high literature on the level of Shakespeare, but encountering an unexpected artifact like this sign will make a certain kind of person smile. I’m one of those people and I live in New Orleans. Maybe you’re one of those people, too.
It will make the kind of person who has read a book smile, for instance; the kind of person who prefers handmade eccentricity over mass-market ersatz glitz, the kind of person who pays attention to his or her surroundings, the kind of person who enjoys a rich interior life of the mind and the spirit, the kind of person who isn’t looking to get pass-out drunk on grain alcohol mixed with candy-colored sugar water in a plastic novelty cup. New Orleans is many things to many different kinds of people. New Orleans really is a magical place.
Then, there are people who find this commercial epically and awesomely funny:
Friends, New Orleanians, fellow travelers, lend me your ears. I am not here to besmirch booking.com, but I am certainly not here to praise it. They have their target demographic, see the videos above or waste even more time on Youtube immersed in their booking dot soup to learn more about what that company booking offers. Maximum plushosity. I don’t have much spare attention to spend on that kind of booking dot nonsense. There weren’t any sophisticated Mad Men working on these advertising campaigns.
Even if you are the kind of person who lets this kind of advertising drive your decision of where to stay, you are welcome in New Orleans. New Orleans loves you. Keep in mind, however, that you have other options. La Belle Esplanade is a boutique experience inn that is not like any other hotel you have ever stayed at, and I say that in all the best ways it can mean. It is booking dot opposite.
You are on the right New Orleans fantasy hotel website if you want to discover the real New Orleans, if you want to experience New Orleans like you live here. There is no other city like New Orleans. This is the real deal.
If you are the kind of person who enjoys booking dot pissed-my-pants-laughing-at-that-commerical, please write to me so that we can be pen pals. I’ll try to convert you to the real New Orleans state of mind. Raise the bar of your expectations. I am a New Orleans goodwill ambassador, after all. There is more to New Orleans than you are led to believe. Get outside the usual tourist algorithm of low expectations easily met by spending a lot of money. Get into the real New Orleans, where people go about their lives in small scale mythic proportions as if they live on another planet.
THIS IS PLANET ORLEANS. LIFE IS VERY GOOD HERE.
New Orleans has room for all and sundry kind of person of every stripe and color. Me? I’ve got other things to do than watch booking.com commercials—l’ve got to finish this blog post, for instance. Two booking.com commercials is enough for one day. I think that kind of stuff will rot your mind. These commercials are the opposite of a true New Orleans fantasy.
What’s real? A signpost planted on a nondescript residential block in Mid-City that points to various locations with the estimated distances from the sign and destinations known. New Orleans is on Jasoom. I didn’t need to look that up to tell you that. I already knew it. I’m not telling you this to boost my geek credentials. It just is what it is. When you appreciate New Orleans, it helps to have an open and omnivorous mind. New Orleans will spark daydreams and reveries. New Orleans will connect dots in your imagination and fill in the blank spots on any mental map. Color me New Orleans.
New Orleans will not capture your imagination. New Orleans will set your imagination free.
NEW ORLEANS IS LIKE THE SHIRE.
New Orleans is real city but it is like the biggest town you’ve ever lived in. Everyone knows everyone. Talk to a New Orleanian and you’ll soon be talking about restaurants. Talk to a New Orleanian and you’ll be talking to your new friend. There are no strangers in New Orleans. Ours is a city of friends you haven’t yet met. What are you waiting for?
Talk to a New Orleanian and you’ll know that you are home. Home is where the heart is. For a certain kind of dreamer, New Orleans is home. Every New Orleans fantasy is like the Shire. Every New Orleans day is a fantasy as full of adventure as a Tarzan novel, or a John Carter of Mars escapade. The sun always shines in New Orleans, even when it’s raining. It’s like Pellucidar.
If you want to discover the unexplored side of New Orleans, the New Orleans off the tourist radar, where New Orleanians go about their lives, there is no more authentic experience than a stay at La Belle Esplanade. Ours is a hotel unlike any place else you’ve ever stayed in, in the best of all possible ways. Make the headquarters for your New Orleans adventures on Esplanade Avenue. Good memories are made on our street.
A votre sante,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning starts with a curated breakfast salon of local New Orleans delicacies and informative lively conversations about all things New Orleans.
Monday, November 28, 2017: Another great day full of colorful and memorable four-color adventures.
Postscipt: If you want to revisit a random excerpt from our blog’s deep archives, here’s your chance. Today’s feature presentation: New Prices at the Original Bud’s Broiler.