The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue
We're not including any pictures for this installment aside from a generic photo of a house in the Esplanade Avenue neighborhood. The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue dislikes having his photo captured. It's not that he thinks it will imprison his soul, he just likes to remain anonymous to those who don't know his position in the community. There is no particular reason for choosing this picture to illustrate the subject at hand:
Who is the Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue? Well, I know him and all of my neighbors know him. He's well known in other neighborhoods throughout New Orleans. He doesn't have the Mayor's ear, but the Mayor does know who he is. The Mayor of New Orleans, either in person or through one of his deputies, often consults with the Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue about subjects that concern the physical infrastructure, the financial economy, or the communal infrastructure of the people who live on the streets around Esplanade Avenue.
The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue is known to all the shopkeepers and bartenders around Esplanade Avenue. Don't be mistaken into confusing him with a mafia don. The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue has no real power beyond that invested in him by the people who inhabit this very interesting part of the city.
The viceroy does possess a power delegated to him by a higher authority, but, unless you are truly interested, it's best not to ask what that authority is. You may get an earful, yourself. The viceroy of Esplanade Avenue packs an arsenal of soft power and benign influence. Love is the primary law around Esplanade Avenue, as it is in much of New Orleans.
Esplanade Avenue, or, probably more accurately, Esplanade Ridge, or to get more granular, the 6th and 7th Wards of New Orleans, is a part of the city where most people know most everyone else who live around them. Everyone says hello. Everyone says hello on the street or from their front porch to people passing on the sidewalk in front of their house. There are no strangers on Esplanade Avenue, only friends you've met just this minute.
The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue is the only person in the 6th or 7th Wards who can wear Mardi Gras beads when it isn't Mardi Gras season and people won't look askance at him. He has his reasons.
If you are from New Orleans, you know that wearing Mardi Gras Beads outside Mardi Gras season is a faux pas: something that marks you as a tourist. The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue wears Mardi Gras beads year-round, at his pleasure, when the occasion merits this accessory to his uniform. Don't ask what the occasion may be. He knows. Other people know, too. If you don't know, you don't need to know. New Orleans, around Esplanade Avenue especially, is a city of quizzical mysteries that don't make much difference but are fun to be privy to, nonetheless.
The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue is not an enigma. He's a regular down-to-earth fellow. There has never been a female viceroy, but there aren't any rules against that. A woman just hasn't been appointed to the position for as long as it has existed. Past performance is not a prediction of the future. We could have a lady viceroy next year.
If you are curious to learn the identity of the Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue, you should spend more time in our neighborhood. It's more interesting than most people realize until they visit and wander the 6th Ward and the 7th Ward. Many, many, many interesting things happen in the peaceable viceroyalty of Esplanade Avenue and its environs. Come see for yourself. You'll be surprised. Don't be surprised if you don't get a glimpse of the viceroy. He is often occupied by official duties. The Viceroy of Esplanade Avenue isn't a tourist attraction. He is what he is.