New Orleans Has Streetcars. The Rest of the World is Different.

Nobody speaks French in New Orleans unless they were born and grew up in France, or Quebec, or Lafayette, LA.  English is the lingua franca in New Orleans, no matter what you’ve heard to the contrary.  That said, we do have a particular way of talking in New Orleans.  We call things by specific names.  New Orleans has streetcars.  The rest of the world is different.

Nobody calls his dog, “mon chien,” for instance, in New Orleans.  I don’t even know what I just typed.  When I talk about our dog, I call him the dog.  Actually, I call him Frau Schmitt’s dog.  Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation and our dog is really her dog.  The dog and I just coexist.  Like myself, the dog is in love with Frau Schmitt.  Once you meet her, you’ll understand why the dog and I are the way we are.

If you choose to stay at La Belle Esplanade, you’ll never see our dog.   I take the dog out for a walk twice a day, and I have shot ample videos along our walks in New Orleans City Park to proved that, but he is really Frau Schmitt’s dog.  He’ll follow her around all day long when he has the chance.  I can’t blame him.  I’m the same way.

Our dog is handsome.

A dog is just a dog in New Orleans, even when he’s not just any old dog.



Why are we talking about this dog, anyway?  I know you don’t have a dog in this race.  What this article is really about is what to call the streetcar when you are in New Orleans.  Here’s a pro tip:  Don’t call it a trolley.  Talk like a local while you’re here and you’ll fit right in.  Everyone you meet will be your pal.  Come to New Orleans and make your share of streetcar pals.

Everyone will be your pal anyway, no matter what you call the streetcar.  New Orleans is the friendliest city on Planet Earth, but a little give will bring out the best you can take from the marvelously friendly people who live here.  Talk like a local.  New Orleans has streetcars.  The rest of the world is different.

We don’t have trollies or trams or light rail in New Orleans.  Stifle your inclinations.  Talk like a local while you’re here.  You’ll make friends easily.


Get into a New Orleans state of mind.  Go with the flow.  Let New Orleans wash over you.  Take your time.  Get lost.  Don’t lose your mind.  Don’t lose your heart.  Don’t lose your moral sensibility.  Instead, lose your sense of urgency.

Everything takes care of itself in New Orleans.  New Orleans will take care of you.  Every day is easy in the Big Easy.  When you visit, every day can be lazy in the Big Easy.  When you live here, every day can be lazy, too, take it from someone who lives here.  Visit New Orleans like a New Orleanian.  Life is good here.  New Orleans has streetcars.  Visit New Orleans like a New Orleanian.

Like the Mississippi River undulating under the bridge, all’s well.  Never-ending as life itself, the river flows on and on.  No one moment is exactly like any other.  All is good.  Everything you might wish to encounter may be just the next streetcar stop away.  Where to get off?  Any stop is as good as every other.  Don’t overthink it.  Disembark.

This isn’t a trolley. It’s the City Park stop of the Canal Streetcar Line.


Lost in New Orleans, you’ll find yourself just where you want to be—you just didn’t realize it when you started out.  Once you arrive, well, everything is as dandy as candy.  Wherever you land, well, everything will be well.

Three streetcar lines cross Esplanade Avenue, a street we like to call La Belle Esplanade, which, coincidentally, en français, is the name of the #3-ranked small personalized hotel in the United States.

We just got word today that La Belle Esplanade (the hotel not the street) has been inducted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.  Whodathunkit?  I won’t say it’s an overdue recognition, but I will say that the news wasn’t a complete surprise.  With over 4 years being ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans (and our humble establishment hasn’t even been open 6 years, yet), the hall of fame is a natural fit our eccentric boutique hotel.  Life is what you make of it in New Orleans.  Everything is magic.


The three streetcar lines that cross Esplanade Avenue all have red streetcars.  Only the St. Charles Avenue line has green streetcars.  That’s one way you can tell you’re on St. Charles Avenue.

The streetcar route at the foot of Esplanade Avenue is the Riverfront Line.  I don’t recommend it unless you are allergic to walking.  The Riverfront Line runs between Esplanade Avenue and the Convention Center along the Mississippi River.  You can see the river on one side and the levee wall on the other.  Your time is better spent strolling the French Quarter and enjoying the sights and the smells (!) in the Quarter unless you are in a hurry to get to the Convention Center.

The St. Claude/Rampart Line crosses Esplanade Avenue at N. Rampart Street, the boundary of the French Quarter.  Again, I don’t really recommend this one, either unless you are in a hurry to get to the Mercede-Benz Superdome to see the Saints play, or to catch a Pelicans game at the Smoothie King Center.  I have nothing against that part of town, and I can tell you that one of our favorite restaurants in New Orleans is along that line, but it’s mostly a utilitarian streetcar line.  If there is anything that the New Orleans State of Mind abhors, it is utility in a straight line.

The third streetcar line that crosses Esplanade Avenue is the City Park branch of the Canal Streetcar Line.  Take it.  This streetcar will take you through part of Mid-City and then all the way down Canal Street to the River.  It’s a nice ride.  You’ll see things you didn’t expect to see when you decided to visit New Orleans, and that is what a memorable visit should be about, isn’t it?

Here in New Orleans, we call a bar, a bar.  Remember that.  You don’t need to memorize any fancy lingo. Just ask somebody, “Where’s the nearest bar?” It’ll be closer than you think.

A bar is more than just a bar in New Orleans, but we still call it a bar.


When you are ready to visit New Orleans, we can recommend a nice place to stay.  It’s La Belle Esplanade.  By now, you already know that, though.  You are on the right website.

Have a great New Orleans day, and a great New Orleans night, wherever you happen to be right now.  Remember: New Orleans loves you.


La Belle Esplanade

…ranked the #1 inn in New Orleans and in Louisiana, the #3 inn in the U.S., the #17 place to stay in the whole world.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018: Frau Schmitt and I spent two nights recently in Biloxi, Mississippi to get some ideas to make our hotel better.  No, we are not adding slot machines and table games—we’re not licensed for those.  We did get some good ideas, though, that we’ll be putting into play.  Make a reservation today to stay at the #1 New Orleans inn and find out what makes us that way.  —À votre santé!