New Orleans Sweet Spot

The sweetest spot in New Orleans is La Belle Esplanade, of course.  We live on a beautiful street on which good memories are made.  There is a New Orleans sweet spot on Esplanade Avenue.

If you don’t believe me, check out this illustrated feature that runs in our much-maligned semi-daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune. If you click that link it’s probably gonna be an ad fest before you get a chance to read what I’m pointing you to.  If you get bored closing pop-up boxes, I don’t blame you.  That’s why we get the New Orleans Advocate delivered to our inn.  You can read the hard copy and skip the ads.

The watercolor collection that is reproduced in the Times-Picayune today will be included in a book about New Orleans.  Wanna relive snippets of New Orleans or get an idea of what New Orleans is all about before you get here? There is a  hardcover art book that has recently been published that’s all about snippets of New Orleans.  Check out the houses on the front cover.  Thats the best New Orleans sweet spot if you are looking to visit New Orleans like you mean it.

Actually, there are two sweetest spots in New Orleans.  One of them, needless to say, is at 2216 Esplanade Avenue—you’re on our website.  The other one is in the new University Medical Center.  Here’s a video tour filmed at the former:


Regular readers of this blog will recognize the video above.  I think it came from this post.  I may be wrong.  The video may not be in that linked post.  I just picked an old entry at random, from the time frame where I expect it to be.  That’s the New Orleans way: Don’t try to hard, hook up to something good, and you won’t be disappointed.  Everything works out in New Orleans.  Even when the connections are puzzling, they are valid and real.  Any time spent in our blog’s archives is time well and wonderfully spent.  Welcome to the New Orleans State of Mind…

We’ll follow up our tour of Les Pêches Suite with a video shot on the down low, with hushed narration, of what is officially known as the New Orleans sweet spot in the University Medical Center.


When I shot the video above of the other New Orleans sweet spot, I wasn’t supposed to be shooting video.  It’s on state property.  The guards might have thought I was a terrorist collecting footage instead of just a humble innkeeper trying to add something interesting to his blog.  I didn’t want to get tackled while I was shooting video.  I didn’t want a broken arm and bruises in my peaceful pursuit of journalistic excellence.  I always carry a business card on me because that’s solid proof that I’m a professional innkeeper.  When I’m accosted by goons, I flash my card: “I’m the real thing.  I’m just here in the pursuit of knowledge.  Professional business.”

Forever on patrol trying to bring you, dear reader, the other side of New Orleans outside the tourist bubble, I rarely have to enter into fisticuffs because I carry the right credentials.  Besides, in some quarters of our fair city, I’m known as “The Deadliest Man on Esplanade Avenue.”  For me, my reputation is a New Orleans sweet spot.  It wasn’t easy to earn it.  Plus, I’m a snappy dresser:


New Orleans Sweet Spot
The deadliest man on Esplanade Avenue?


La Belle Esplanade is The Most Interesting Place to Stay in America’s Most Interesting City!  I didn’t make that tagline up myself and I didn’t italicize it myself, either.  A travel writer suggested it after she stayed with us.  She’s stayed at a lot of hotels and smaller boutique inns in New Orleans, and all over the world, really.  You know what she told me?  She told me we’re the best.  Frau Schmitt, who is the better half of this operation, and I, your humble narrator, don’t let this kind of praise go to our head.  We’re just two simple and humble innkeepers doing what we do however it is that we do it, making it up as we go along—like this blog post!

Some people say we don’t run a B&B and I’m inclined to agree.  I’m starting to think of what Frau Schmitt and I more as micro-hoteliers.  Staying at La Belle Esplanade is not like staying your great-grandmother’s house stuffed with antiques and run by amateurs looking for some supplementary retirement income.  It’s not an AirBnB, either, an empty apartment or house rented out either as an investment property or as supplementary income to pay our mortgage.  Frau Schmitt and I, and Frau Schmitt is, by far, the better half of this operation, are professional goodwill ambassadors, self-appointed to introduce you to what it is like to live in New Orleans off the usual tourist radar.  La Belle Esplanade is located in a New Orleans sweet spot.  Good memories are made on our street.  We care that you leave New Orleans with good memories of our street and of our city.  We love New Orleans.

Our address is sweeter than the New Orleans sweet spot located next to the information desk in the University Medical Center lobby:


A New Orleans sweet spot
The card taped to the top of the information desk at ‘the sweet spot’ in the lobby of University Medical Center New Orleans


Now you know where I got the title for today’s installment.  I read it on a laminated piece of paper that is scotch-taped on the information desk’s formica top. Notice the coffee stains.   Even the descriptive labels in The New Orleans Odditarium are more professionally made and displayed than the signature  ‘sweet spot’ at University Medical Center New Orleans.  It’s still a nice view looking up and you can figure it out without the instructions.

I did learn what the ‘art’ installation is called.  Fasten your seatbelts, folks.  When you’re standing in the lobby of the Louisiana State University hospital, looking up, you’re looking at ‘River Spirit.”


New Orleans Sweet Spot!
It’s called ‘River Spirit’ and it’s a spectacle of luminosity according to the card taped to the desk


We spend more than 1% for artwork at La Belle Esplanade.  Our favorite artist, who has provided most of the original artwork in our boutique experience inn isn’t Ray King.  Ray is okay, but how much stained glass can we hang from our ceilings?

Our favorite artist is Whalehead King (no relation to Ray).  Here are a few examples of Whalehead King’s work from our Les Fleurs Suite:

New Orleans Sweet Spot
A small painting in La Belle Esplanades Les Fleurs Suite


Here’s another:

New Orleans Sweet Spot
Another small painting in La Belle Esplanade’s Les Fleurs Suite


Here’s another:

New Orleans Sweet Spot
Yet another small painting by Whalehead King in La Belle Esplanade’s Les Fleurs Suite


There are more flower paintings by Whalehead King in Les Fleurs Suite.  His paintings, with other subject matter, are found all around our inn and in most of our suites.  He’s a painter who understands the New Orleans State of Mind.

If you want to understand the New Orleans State of Mind, stay in the New Orleans sweet spot that isn’t in the lobby of the LSU University Medical Center.  We look forward to meeting you and sharing what we know about America’s Most Interesting City!

À votre santé,

La Belle Esplanade

where every morning begins with a curated breakfast of locally sourced delicacies and lively conversation.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017:  La Belle Esplanade was featured in the pages of the Times-Picayune.  Besides that, people walked by our inn, tour buses paused, and bicycle tours stopped to take pictures of our inn.  We only have five suites.  The people who stay with us stay in a  New Orleans sweet spot.  The people who stop to take photos only get the pictures.  There is a New Orleans State of Mind in the middle of Esplanade Avenue.