Life on Esplanade Avenue
Life goes on on Esplanade Avenue, a street that many people will tell you is the most wonderful street in New Orleans. This will be especially true if the people you talk to live on or around Esplanade Avenue. Esplanade Avenue is a wonderful street, whether you live on or around it, or not. There is no street like Esplanade Avenue. Ask anybody.
Ask somebody from out of town and they might tell you they’ve never heard of Esplanade Avenue, poor chumps. Those are people who haven’t seen Esplanade Avenue. Once traversed, it’s a hard street to forget. Walking a couple of blocks along Esplanade Avenue, it’s impossible to forget this beautiful street. After walking from one end of Esplanade Avenue, let’s say from the river end, where the old U.S. Mint is, to the other end, where City Park spreads out its luxurious garden-strewn lagoon-side pathways at the street’s lakeside end, Esplanade Avenue will be firmly imprinted on your eternal soul. Angels dream of spending time on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana.
There are few streets in New Orleans, there are very few street in America, and there are very, very, very few streets in all the known world that rival Esplanade Avenue in its beauty and conviviality. Lives change for the better along Esplanade Avenue. Take an hour to stroll the sidewalks and the neutral ground with an open eye and an open heart. Spend some time on Esplanade Avenue and you’ll discover what is best about New Orleans in the best possible way. Esplanade Avenue is a magical street.
Look at any map of New Orleans, from the city’s founding up till to today and you’ll see Esplanade Avenue clearly marked. It forms the downtown (downriver) boundary of the French Quarter, so there is that. Esplanade Avenue isn’t really a part of the French Quarter, though. Esplanade Avenue is a world all its own, laid out, sui generis, as a Creole St. Charles Avenue. Esplanade Avenue is a street chockablock with delightful surprises along its streetscape.
Esplanade Avenue is inhabited. It is lived in. It isn’t a museum piece. Esplanade Avenue doesn’t necessarily show up in tourist guidebooks. So much better for the people who live here. There aren’t any burlesque clubs on Esplanade Avenue. There aren’t any karaoke bars on Esplanade Avenue and their aren’t any bars selling huge ass beers, three-for-one beers, or sugary grain alcohol drinks in novelty plastic cups. All of that is close by, a twenty-minute walk away in the French Quarter, but none of those things are reasons people choose to call Esplanade Avenue home.
It is generally quiet on Esplanade Avenue except those few times over the course of a year when the street life erupts with joy and laughter, pomp and circumstance, happiness and more happiness, community. Love is all around on Esplanade Avenue. Still waters run deep. You don’t need to yell on Esplanade Avenue to be heard. This is a street that encourages contemplation of what the good life means in New Orleans. There may not be a parade on Esplanade Avenue every day, but, every day, life is a celebratory parade on Esplanade Avenue.
Esplanade Avenue is a street full of small-scale neighborhood-level surprises. You never know what you’ll find on Esplanade Avenue but, be assured, when you embark on your exploratory stroll, you will always find something that will make you smile. Esplanade Avenue is a place where dreams come true, and I’m not talking about nightmares. I mean reveries and daydreams made true. Welcome to the real New Orleans state of mind.