This past Saturday was the most violent day in New Orleans in 2017. You can read about it here: 13 people were shot with guns, not with peashooters. They were injured and went to the hospital. Some of them died. People get robbed and carjacked all the time in New Orleans. New Orleans is a real city, and on overall poor one, at that. When people stay with us they ask us, “Is New Orleans safe?” I don’t have any worries and I’m gonna talk about why Frau Schmitt (who is the better half of this operation) and I don’t give the threat of violence too much thought. This isn’t going to be a rehash of our long-lived and epic “Is Esplanade Avenue Safe?” post from 2012, though you are welcome to peruse that post and everything else on our old blog website here. You can wile away a lot of time there. I like to think we are still on topic, five years later. You be the judge.
I think Esplanade Avenue is safe and I think New Orleans is safe. Why? Well, most accidents happen at home and if you are like our usual guests, you’ll be at least 100 miles, more likely 1000 miles, from your home, so you should feel pretty safe while you’re here. New Orleans is not Syria, eastern Ukraine, Libya, or any number of other global hotspots that may come to mind. It’s New Orleans, a city that celebrates life. New Orleans is not a target for bombings or poison gas bombs. So, I suppose there is that in our favor.
I’m not poo-pooing what happened in London the other day and I’m not poo-pooing any legitimate concerns, the way the 8,673,713 who live in London are keeping their wits about them but they’re still going about their regular routines and enjoying their lives; living, loving, laughing and supporting each other. Those four things are pillars of New Orleans culture.
As someone who lives in New Orleans, I don’t give much thought to threats of violence. Is New Orleans safe? I think it’s reasonably safe. Keep your wits about you. The people in the most danger are those who don’t keep their wits about them, i.e. the drunken frat boys and bachelorette parties in the French Quarter.
There is random violence in New Orleans. the newspapers don’t lie, but they tend to exaggerate the threat. I’ve never been a witness to any of it and I’ve lived here seven years. It does happen. It just doesn’t happen on Esplanade Avenue or in any of the places where our guests tend to spend most of their time. A day in New Orleans is a pleasant sojourn in a City Care Forgot. Is New Orleans safe? It’s a safe as your bathtub—and you can drown in your bathtub after slipping on a wet bar of soap. Keep your wits about you.
Here’s a snapshot of our dining room, where we have breakfast with our guests every day. I always think it looks safe.
Our lobby is home to The New Orleans Odditarium, which is a real museum, of sorts. It has it’s own website. One of the items on display in the Odditarium is a crystal ball. Let’s look into the crystal ball, shall we?
A crystal ball is gypsy magic. It isn’t voodoo. Crystal ball scrying isn’t a New Orleans tradition, no matter what the fortune tellers in Jackson Square tell you. New Orleans divination and fortune telling relies more on palm reading, tea leaves, and, nowadays, tarot cards, preferably with a Crowley deck. Don’t ask why the Crowley deck has become the preferred deck of cards for New Orleans mediums. The back story will give you the shivers.
Don’t be gullible.
Is New Orleans safe? How safe you feel depends on where you’re from. New Orleans already doesn’t look like anywhere else you’ve ever been. If you’re coming from Ottumwa, Iowa or Stonington, Connecticut or Calgary, Alberta, or Baraboo, Wisconsin, New Orleans doesn’t look like those places. Maybe you’ll be scared. Put your cares in your back pocket and stroll unencumbered by them as you wander New Orleans. New Orleans is The City Care Forgot. You are more likely to cut off your thumb with your kitchen knife than get shot in New Orleans. How do I know? I live here. I have both my thumbs and I’ve never been shot. I’ve never even heard a trigger get pulled. The only guns I ever see are worn by the professional and dedicated corps of the NOPD (New Orleans Police Department). If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about anything. That’s my usual advice.
Does this look like a block where you have to fear for your life?
I live here. I chitchat with the people who walk up and down our street in front of our boutique experience inn. “This is a bed and breakfast?” they ask. “No,” I patiently answer, “this is a boutique experience inn. Visit New Orleans like you live here.” Those of us who live in New Orleans are not afraid of catching a stray bullet. You shouldn’t be, either. More often than not, we catch a stray kiss.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning starts with a curated breakfast salon of edible treats and good conversation.
Tuesday June 5, 2017: It’s raining as I write this but it’s warm. The rain never gets anyone down. We’re wet on our insides, we may as well be wet on our outsides sometimes. All is comfortable and dry inside our boutique experience inn. Make La Belle Esplanade your New Orleans lifestyle headquarters and you’ll fall in love with this wonderful city. Our address is smack in the middle of the best part of New Orleans.