Friday, April 20, 2007

New Orleans Journal

Have you all been reading the New Orleans Journal by Dan Baum on the New Yorker website? He reported on the city in the storm's aftermath and is back again living here for several months working on a book. The journal is a more or less daily record of his stay. It's excellent.

I've grown wary of outside reporters who, when they come to our city, often bring a suitcase full of clich├ęs and pat oversimplifications. But Dan brings genuine interest and intense curiosity, and he's digging his way into all sorts of remote corners and finding all sorts of interesting people and odd tidbits. (Raccoon meat cooked in seafood boil? It's news to me.)

He gets it, the bad and the good—all the dysfunction and very real problems but also the unique draw of this place, the thousands of little moments and details that make so many of us so fanatically devoted to it. Seeing our city through his wide open eyes is a true pleasure.


  1. Thanks for the link to this. I just read it and really loved it, so much that I sent him a photo of Zack's groom cake.

  2. Baum writes very well.
    I found him through Harry Shearer's blog.