Sign on Barracks Street, New Orleans

Puttering Around the Inn

I did shoot a video today but I didn’t like how it came out.  I was standing on N. Dorgenois Street between Bayou Road and Bell Street talking about the neighborhood and everything we could see from that vantage point.  It was a very interesting narration, naturally.  Unfortunately, garbage trucks and pickups pulling noisy trailers ruined the audio.  It’s only two blocks from our address.  The next time you’re here, I can walk you up there and talk about everything.

We live in a very interesting neighborhood.  Our neighborhood is interesting even in a time of pandemic shutdown.

I’ve been puttering around La Belle Esplanade, making the repairs that we usually make in August when nobody usually visits New Orleans.  Let’s hope they visit in summertime this year!

As you can guess from my many portraits here on the blog, my hands are skillful at many things but I don’t have a lot of knowledge of carpentry or plumbing or wiring or anything practical.

A Legion Flight Ring!
Your humble narrator showing off his Legion Flight Ring.

Some people think I am a professional daydreamer, but that’s not accurate.  I am an innkeeper who isn’t very handy with the nuts and bolts of how physical things work.  I got my formal education from an art school.

I didn’t graduate from art school.  I joined the U.S. Navy, instead.  That is where I acquired my work ethic.  I was not, however, required to do anything mechanical.  I was a Hospital Corpsman Second Class when I was honorably discharged after ten years.  I spent nine of those years as a petty officer, which isn’t as petty as it sounds if you aren’t in the Navy or the Coast Guard.  It is an honor.

I enlisted before the first Gulf War and I was discharged after the Cold War ended.  I am not retired from the Navy.  That takes twenty years.  I don’t collect a pension.


These days, I’ve been puttering around the inn.  The last couple days I’ve been fixing the fences in the back gardens.  Today I did some weeding and I’m making up plans for new flower beds and a vegetable patch.  I see the loquats on the tree in back are almost ripe and the birds haven’t discovered them yet.  I have stocked the fountain with fresh goldfish after a heron ate them all last year.

All of these things need to be done, but I put them off for a reason.  Everyone who knows me will tell you that I enjoy talking with other people more than I enjoy doing chores.  This is not to say that I have it all that bad.  After all, I am married to Melanie and we run La Belle Esplanade together.  With no guests at the inn, we have plenty of time to talk.  I always say that Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation, and, I say that because it is true.  Melanie is much more handy than I am.

Sign on Barracks Street, New Orleans
A whole lot of living gets done over time in New Orleans, where a day is like a genie’s wish.

Even though I went to art school, I very rarely paint nowadays unless I have wall space to fill.  We are decommissioning the Cigar Box Museum in the New Orleans Odditarium in our lobby and we’re going to turn it into an art gallery.  I’m going to have the first show.  I’ve got a couple of other artists lined up if they are still in the city come June.  It is a privilege to participate in New Orleans’ cultural economy.

New Orleans has ridden out more than one storm.

I am also doing a lot of drawing, recently, which I’ve never enjoyed doing—I know, I’m an artist who doesn’t like to draw.  It’s not that I can’t do it, I just don’t enjoy it.  However, I’ve gotten a few commissions.  I’m not a good artist, but I’m good enough.

Some smaller and mostly anonymous social aid and pleasure clubs have asked me to design their logos for them.  Everyone has free time on their hands nowadays, it seems, so these clubs are meeting to buff up their image and work on their marketing.  New Orleans is a city full of associations.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to New Orleans culture but it doesn’t pay well.  It pays nothing.  The clubs can’t even buy me a beer because all the bars are closed right now.  I have a cigar box stuffed with IOUs.

I can’t show you what these logos are as I work on them, but, one of my terms of agreement was that I can share the copyright and include them in a book, if I choose to.  I have plenty of free time on my hands for the next month and a half, at least.

Have a great New Orleans day today!

À votre santé,

-La Belle Esplanade

Canal Streetcar
We have our own ways of getting around in New Orleans. Laissez les bon temps roller!