I find myself glum in New Orleans. Being glum in New Orleans is a very rare condition. I find myself on tenterhooks. What more doldrums will the upcoming months bring?
New Orleans is called “The City That Care Forgot” for good reasons. I’m not going to say I’m unhappy. I am not unhappy. I am in New Orleans. If you are unhappy in New Orleans, you are dead from the chest up. I would like to have guests at the inn, however. Sharing everything this wonderful city has to offer off the typical tourist radar is what I do for a living. I enjoy helping people explore the authentic New Orleans outside the French Quarter. That is what we do.
Without guests, there’s no living in the city. New Orleans is a ghost town.
It’s like after Katrina but there’s no destruction to be seen, just emptiness. We’re not allowed to eat out anymore. All the bars and restaurants are closed to contain the pandemic. Without people out and about, New Orleans would be a collection of ruins. New Orleans is all about the art of being alive. People are taking walks, riding their bicycles, strolling in City Park, all while keeping distant from each other.
This is love in the time of COVID-19. New Orleans is not itself.
We’re here, of course, but New Orleanians don’t congregate they way we are used to. Everyone we meet is still as solidly friendly as they were before the quarantine, but we don’t see each other so much. That hurts. I miss seeing my friends every day. Everything is topsy-turvy.
As an innkeeper, the best part of my day is to talk with our guests over breakfast, learning about what they did the day before, seeing this wonderful city we call home through fresh eyes, and making recommendations of what to do in whatever neighborhood they plan to visit today. We live in a kaleidoscope of a city.
No guests are coming until the middle of May. They might cancel their reservations, too. Nobody is staying at La Belle Esplanade. Even the big hotels are closed, the ones on Canal Street, in the French Quarter, and around the Convention Center. They can’t keep open with no guests. There is a tremendous cash flow problem when a 300-room chain brand hotel doesn’t have any guests. The same is true of a five-suite boutique B&B hotel that nobody has heard of. Thanks for following this blog. You have a friend in New Orleans.
La Belle Esplanade will ride this out. We have to. Our vocation is to be professional New Orleans goodwill ambassadors. It’s what we do. We’ve done it since soon after we moved here. We love this city. New Orleans forever.
It will be nice when things get back to normal. This can’t go on forever. After it’s over, we’ll have something to talk about. After it’s over, we can talk about it over breakfast. If you want to hear some COVID-19 stories, I have a whole bunch of them. Everyday in New Orleans is full of adventures, even when every bar and restaurant, when stores and banks, when theaters and jazz clubs, are closed. I’ll still have stories to share. More things happen in New Orleans than anyone can glean from the outside looking in. I’ll give you the insider’s viewpoint.
Be well, everyone. When it’s time for you to visit New Orleans again, visit like you belong here. You do belong here. You know where to find us. La Belle Esplanade is the orange house with bright blue shutters. We’re here for you.
À votre santé,
—La Belle Esplanade