New Orleans is a girl’s best friend. Here’s a picture you won’t find on the touristy guidebook websites:
The tourism websites and the promotional sites, and the travel writers’ blogs, and the newspapers’ travel pages, they like to show photos of St. Louis Cathedral, of orthodontists getting funky at the Spotted Cat, of empty genteel gardens in, well, in the Garden District, or of someone who has never eaten in a non-franchised restaurant being served by a professional waiter who isn’t an English major killing time as a waiter before his or her real career starts. Wow! Look! It’s a plate of food!
Granted, it is hard to have a bad meal in New Orleans and you have probably never tasted anything like a New Orleans meal, but I doubt you’ll strain both your hands outstretched along each cheek while yelping with joy at the sight of crawfish etouffé. Maybe you will. I’m not here to judge. I like it when people are enthusiastic about being in New Orleans.
That photo above is actually a picture of the garbage cans in our back yard. Welcome to New Orleans. Let the romance begin now.
New Orleans is a girl’s best friend. Everybody knows that. New Orleans weaves a spell of love through the hearts of lovers, young and old, no matter where they find themselves on the romantically named streets of this magical city. When their eyes meet on Rampart Street, or on General Pershing Street, or on Marengo Street, or on Marshall Foch Street, or on Magazine Street, or on Flood Street, or on Agriculture Street, or on Poland Avenue, or on St. Claude Avenue, or on Napoleon Avenue, or on Perrier Street, or, even, the best street of all, on Esplanade Avenue, when their eyes meet, lovers young or old may as well be on Desire Street. New Orleans is all about desires fulfilled.
Diamonds are sparkly but New Orleans shines brighter. Diamonds are hard. New Orleans is soft as a mattress overstuffed with Spanish moss. A diamond will fit in a ring and the ring can fit in your pocket. New Orleans fits in your heart. Diamonds are valuable. Who can put a price on the good memories that New Orleans midwifes into being every day in every way? New Orleans is everybody’s best friend.
Howzabout another photo?
If you ever volunteer to take out the trash and put the cans on the curb on Barracks Street on Sunday or Wednesday afternoons (the next morning is trash day), you can look over our fence at Mr. Bourne’s Muffler Shop. Its the yellow corrugated metal building in the lot next door to our back gardens. It’s not the most beautiful building in the neighborhood, that would be our inn, but it is beautiful and I like to pop in say hello to Mr. Bourne when he’s in the shop, which isn’t often, though the shop does a steady business. Mr. Bourne is older now. The last few times I saw him he walked with a cane.
On the corner of Barracks Street and N. Miro Street, there is a freshly repainted sign that says, “Over 42 Years Experience.” That sign said the same thing before they repainted it last year, and it was an old paint job then. Everybody knows Mr. Bourne. The shop does nice muffler work. New Orleans is a girl’s best friend if she’s looking for a new muffler at a good price that is expertly installed.
New Orleans is a richly diverse and finely textured city full of unexpected surprises (the best kind). You never know what you’ll find when you turn a corner here, especially if you venture even the slightest smidge off the tourist grid. That’s the part of New Orleans we live in. Ours is a city of ineffable delights. Come see for yourself.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every day is a slice of heaven topped with a dollop of sunshine.
September 12, 2016: I had some amazing adventures today while zigzagging through our neighborhood. Remind me to tell you about them when we have the chance to talk face-to-face.