A Street in New Orleans Where Dreams Come True
Dreams do come true, it can happen to you. Welcome to the New Orleans state of mind. There is a street in New Orleans where dreams come true more often than on others. That street is Esplanade Avenue.
I know you've heard of Bourbon Street. Tell someone that you're going to New Orleans and they're gonna say, "You have to go to Bourbon Street." You should, at least to say that you've been there. When you tell someone that you're going to New Orleans, they'll be full of other recommendations, too. Everyone has a list of places where they had a good time in New Orleans. Your friends will want you to relive their vacation for them.
There is more to New Orleans than Bourbon Street. There is more to New Orleans than the French Quarter. How do I know? I live here and I don't live on Bourbon Street. I live near the French Quarter, but not in it. There's a whole wide New Orleans outside the French Quarter that tourists rarely see. There is Esplanade Avenue, one of the magical streets in all of New Orleans.
Esplanade Avenue is about 3 miles long. It runs from the Mississippi River to Bayou St. John in New Orleans. It separates the 6th Ward from the 7th Ward. If you ask people in New Orleans where the 6th Ward is, most people know that Tremé is also called the 6th Ward. If you ask people where the 7th Ward is, most people will refer you to the neighborhood that is called the 7th Ward.
The 6th Ward is bigger than Tremé. It includes the French Quarter and Bayou St. John (also known as Faubourg St. John, the same way Tremé is also known as Faubourg Tremé). The 6th Ward's boundaries are Esplanade Avenue on the downtown side and St. Philip Street on the uptown side (that one 'l' in 'Philip' isn't a typo), and the river on the riverside and Bayou St. John on the lakeside.
The 7th Ward's boundaries are the Mississippi River on its riverside all the way to Lake Pontchartrain on its lakeside. It's breadth runs between Esplanade Avenue and Elysian Fields Avenue. There are a number of neighborhoods included in the 7th Ward, aside from the one that is actually called the 7th Ward.
Esplanade Avenue is often considered a neighborhood unto itself. It is unlike most of the streets that surround it. Esplanade is officially part of the French Quarter, of Faubourg Marigny, of the 7th Ward, of Historic Tremé, of Greater Tremé, of Esplanade Ridge/Lafitte, of Faubourg St. John, of Fairgrounds, but not necessarily of the Fairgrounds Triangle, of Mid-City, and probably of other neighborhoods, too. If I tell someone from New Orleans, they tell me I really live on Esplanade Avenue, and they're right. Esplanade Avenue is a place of shifting jurisdictions that maintains its own identity along its whole length.
I live right in the middle of Esplanade Avenue, equidistant from the river and City Park.
Who am I? My name is Matthew King. I've lived in New Orleans 7 years. My wife and I moved here five years after Katrina. We are in love this magical city we call home. Mrs. King and I are innkeepers. We spend a lot of time on Esplanade Avenue and its surroundings. We see a lot when we're walking our dog or zipping around on errands on our motor scooters, or just strolling around chatting with our neighbors. When we first opened our inn, people told us we are located too far from the French Quarter. We'd never make a go of it. My answer was, and continues to be, that I love our neighborhood and I would much rather be here than in the French Quarter.
Come explore and discover Esplanade Avenue and its dreams with me as I write about what I come across in a New Orleans state of mind. There are a lot of stories that unfold in this part of New Orleans. Some of them are tender, some of them are leathery. Some are sweet, some are bitter, some are bittersweet. You never know what you'll find when you turn a corner in New Orleans. I know. I never know what I'll find even if I'm standing still. There is a street in New Orleans where dreams come true. It's called Esplanade Avenue. Welcome to my world.
I love the part of New Orleans in which I live. Spend some time on this site and I trust you'll be intrigued by this part of New Orleans, too. If, after spending enough time reading these stories and you're not from New Orleans, I hope you'll be tempted to visit our fair city. If so, I hope you'll consider staying at La Belle Esplanade and that you'll make our humble inn your personalized New Orleans lifestyle headquarters for the duration of your stay. We only have five boutique suites and we only accept reservations directly through La Belle Esplanade's website. Plan ahead and we'll be happy to share all we know about New Orleans in general, and about Esplanade Avenue in particular.
With a handshake, your man on Esplanade ---Matthew King. April 9, 2017.