Why New Orleans Matters


The author's passion for his adopted hometown is clearly evident, although Piazza's lists of the restaurants and musicians he loves is unlikely to inspire the uninitiated. To his credit, Piazza doesn't romanticize New Orleans, exploring, if briefly, the complicated city's dysfunctions as well as its appeal. The book is a little uneven and repetitive (did we really need *two* anecdotes about how a stranger fixed his glasses as evidence of the city's humanity?) but there is genuine emotion here. The book ends shortly after Hurricane Katrina, so I'm curious to see what Piazza has since written about New Orleans and its recovery. A quick but important read.