If you don’t think New Orleans is different from everywhere else, you haven’t been to New Orleans. How different? It is like nowhere else on God’s green Earth, my friend, like nowhere else. How do I know? I’ve been a lotta places—I know. Some days, I’ll be walking down the street and, apropos of nothing in particular, I say out loud, “I love it here.”
I’ve loved other places that I’ve lived in. New London, Connecticut has a special place in my heart. You’ve probably never been to New London. I can’t blame you. It’s a tiny little city, albeit a seductive one, in the third smallest state, geographically, and most people don’t visit Connecticut unless they’re driving between Boston and New York City, usually the other way around. There is no place else like New Orleans. It’s a real city, one that is like the biggest small town you can imagine.
We run into people we know all the time in New Orleans. All over. We are a part and a parcel of this wonderful city we call home. Frau Schmitt and your humble narrator weren’t born here, so being a New Orleanian isn’t in our DNA, but, maybe it is. Some people get New Orleans as soon as they hit the tarmac or cross the parish line. Some people suddenly get a thrilling sense of home when they get their first whiff of New Orleans air, their first taste of gumbo, their first listen of a brass band jazz cacophony. If you don’t get New Orleans, don’t worry. New Orleans will get you.
Here’s what some people think New Orleans is like. I can’t say that I’m complaining that this song isn’t on the radio every ten minutes anymore:
Yes, New Orleans is a cocktail town. Nobody will bat an eye if you walk around with a drink in your hand. It can’t be in a glass container. It has to be in plastic or metal. If you get a go-cup, it will be a plastic cup. You can’t blame the bartender; it’s much cheaper to supply a plastic cup rather than a glass one to take on the street. You can’t blame city law, either. It’s much safer for everyone concerned. Nobody has been threatened by an angry drunk with a plastic cup or a beer can—a broken bottle is the weapon of choice for drunken miscreants.
“He takes a vodka drink, he takes a whisky drink, etc., etc., etcetera.” Don’t piss the night away the way so many people do when they spend a weekend in New Orleans. Keep your cool in New Orleans and hold your liquor with style and dignity and you’ll be fine. Don’t do anything on Bourbon Street that you wouldn’t do on Main Street in your home town. New Orleans is different. New Orleans has class and it has style.
New Orleans is Different.
Who is “Victoria” at The Bombay Club?
Let me tell you about a tradition Frau Schmitt and I have every holiday season. We go to the Bombay Club either for Thanksgiving, or Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve dinner, some year’s all three. The Bombay Club is a nice restaurant and it has a nice bar. It’s a good cocktail joint, believe me you. It’s cozy in there, too, just the kind of place where you want to celebrate a holiday dinner with friends, or by yourselves. This isn’t a paid endorsement. I’m not getting any kickbacks for this testimony. We just happen to enjoy the food and the atmosphere and the drinks at the Bombay Club. Check it out if you’re interested.
Who is “Victoria?” If you’re a man, you can see her picture, which is hung over the urinal in the men’s room.
If you happen to be a woman and you are reading this, I’m sure there are other pictures to admire in the ladies’ room. I have no idea what they might be. Frau Schmitt has never told me. I’m a gentleman so the only time I’ll ever enter willingly into a ladies’ restroom is if I know someone is choking and they need the Heimlich maneuver.
You never know what you’ll find in New Orleans. Come see for yourself.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every day is full of unexpected and life-affirming surprises.
Monday, January 2, 2017: A rainy day today, but it’s over 70 degrees (F). Even when it’s raining in New Orleans, the city is warm and happy. There are worse things than being wet.