Saturday, July 22, 2006

Very New Orleans: A Celebration of History, Culture, and Cajun Country Charm

Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, destroying a legacy of charm and color that cannot be fully repaired. This little volume by Diana Hollingsworth Gessler is almost prescient in its elegant documentation of the distinctive food, history, and environs of New Orleans that has since been altered, perhaps forever.

Each page--every single page!--is illustrated with charming pen-and-ink drawings colored in with watercolors. Even the text is done in a hand-lettered-looking font, so the effect is of a journal kept by an exceptionally talented tourist who explored New Orleans with unmatched thoroughness.

Very New Orleans is organized by geography, with each district lovingly described and illustrated, including shops, restaurants, quaint hotels, points of interest, and bits of local color and trivia. This book, intended to be a tribute to a fascinating city, turns out to be a eulogy to the New Orleans that once was.


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