Taking Notes in New Orleans

Some people think I just dash off these blog posts willy-nilly, writing down the first thing that pops into my mind.  Okay, I do that sometimes, but not all the time.  I like to wander this wonderful city I call home and I am always taking notes in New Orleans.  I think I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago.  A coupla weeks?  I wrote about that on March 10!!!  I’ve filled up a lot of notebooks since then.

Here is a look at my two current notebooks.  I use the Field Notes for jotting down memoranda during the day.  I use the bigger one to plot out blog posts and to work on longer form essays.  I keep the Field Notes in my back pocket for a quick grab.  I keep the bigger one under the seat of my scooter.  I wrote our recent newsletter in the bigger one.  If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, the form is at the bottom of this page.  Sign up to find out what you’ve been missing!


Taking Notes in New Orleans.
My two current notebooks in which I keep track of my daily New Orleans adventures. Those are my eyeglasses, too.



I am always taking notes in New Orleans because I am always looking around, soaking in the ambience and paying attention to all the myriad details that make up my days.  I thought it would be interesting for our regular readers to dip into these two notebooks to see what I’ve been thinking about and what I’ve been working on.  Here is the smallest glimpse of what goes on in your humble narrator’s head.

Warning: when I am taking notes in New Orleans, it is usually for promoting La Belle.  I spend a lot of time thinking about marketing La Belle Esplanade to potential guests and expressing what our brand is about.  Some of what follows may not interest you but, as a micro-hotelier who lives by his wits with the help of Frau Schmitt, I need to be thinking about business all the time.  Luckily, my business is introducing people to The New Orleans State of Mind.  I live in a perennial and perpetual New Orleans state of mind.  It is very nice where Frau Schmitt and I live.  Esplanade Avenue is for winners.

Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation.

This is me:


Let’s look at some notebook excerpts.  These are originally written in pencil.  This isn’t because I do a lot of erasing.  It’s because I want to go totally old school, analogue and acoustic.

Let’s start with some specifically La Belle-centric thought’s I’ve jotted down:

No expense has been spared.  No questionable decorating idea has been refused.  Welcome to the “winnerful” world of New Orleans at a small intimate hotel like no other.

Not bad.  What else have I got?  Well, I wrote down a recent review:

“Visiting New Orleans without staying at La Belle?  I wouldn’t think of it!”  -Mrs. A.J. Penniepacker, North Islip, NY.

Thanks Mrs. Penniepacker!

And, now, some poetry:

A red club.

A black heart.

A red spade.

A black diamond.

Real New Orleans.

Esplanade Avenue.

Real New Orleans.

La Belle Esplanade.

If I was reading this at an open mike poetry reading there would be bongos and everyone would be snapping their fingers after that.  Join in…


And, now, just a closing note about New Orleans, itself.  My notebooks are full of musings about this wonderful city that Frau Schmitt and I are fortunate and blessed enough to call home.  Here is how I feel about New Orleans, according to my notebook:

It is foolish to say that all of New Orleans’ important moments happen in barrooms, though it may seem that way to the person making that statement.  Epiphanies unfold day and night.  This is a 24-hour city and the city is more than just music clubs and bars.  New Orleans is a safari park.  New Orleans is a hothouse botanical garden in which the plants grow big and lush and lizards scamper at the slightest sound.  

Important things begin in New Orleans bars but they only take on greater importance after the fact, outside the swinging door, away from the bar.  Like a sno-ball, ideas in New Orleans get stronger in flavor the further you get from the stand and the the closer you get to the bottom of the cup.

For this to make sense to you, I should probably tell you what a sno-ball is.

Pandora’s Sno-Balls is in our neighborhood, across the street from Toups’ Meatery in one direction, which has the best charcuterie in the city, and across the street from Blue Oak Barbecue in another direction, which has the best barbecue in the city.  Tell Caitlyn and Sal, the bartenders at Blue Oak that we say hello.

If you want to visit New Orleans like a New Orleanian and get out of the tourist bubble, I know where you should stay.  It’s the place where the owner is always taking notes in New Orleans to share with you.

Have a great New Orleans day, today, wherever you happen to find yourself!

-La Belle Esplanade

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018: Frau Schmitt is out of town this weekend with our dog so I’m running the show myself at our tiny boutique hotel.  Our guests get the pleasure of my uninterrupted attention.  I prefer it when Frau Schmitt is here.  She is the better half of this operation.

Taking notes in New Orleans.
With or without seasoning, cook with excitement!  That’s the New Orleans way!!