Rambles Around New Orleans
On Sale: February 1, 2005
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â€śBetcha I can tell ya / Where ya / Got them shoooes. /
Betchadollar, / Betchadollar, / Where ya / Got them
shoooes. / Got your shoes on your feet, / Got your feet on
the street, / And the streetâ€™s in Noo / Awlins, Loo- / Eez-
ee-anna. Where I, for my part, first ate a live oyster and
first saw a naked woman with the lights on. . . . Every
time I go to New Orleans I am startled by something.â€ť
So writes Roy Blount Jr. in this exuberant, character-
filled saunter through a place he has loved almost his
entire lifeâ€”a city â€ślike no other place in America, and yet
(or therefore) the cradle of American culture.â€ť Here we
experience it all through his eyes, ears, and taste buds:
the architecture, music, romance (yes, sex too), historical
characters, and all that glorious food.
The book is divided into eight Rambles through different
parts of the city. Each closes with lagniappeâ€”a little bit
extra, a special treat for the reader: here a brief riff on
Gennifer Flowers, there a meditation on naked dancing. Roy
Blount knows New Orleans like the inside of an oyster shell
and is only too glad to take us to both the famous and the
infamous sights. He captures all the wonderful and rich
historyâ€”culinary, literary, and politicalâ€”of a city that
figured prominently in the lives of Jefferson Davis (who
died there), Truman Capote (who was conceived there), Zora
Neale Hurston (who studied voodoo there), and countless
others, including Andrew Jackson, Lee Harvey Oswald,
William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Jelly Roll Morton,
NapolĂ©on, Walt Whitman, O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, Earl Long,
Randy Newman, Edgar Degas, Lillian Hellman, the Boswell
Sisters, and the Dixie Cups.
Above all, though, Feet on the Street is a celebration of
friendship and joie de vivre in one of Americaâ€™s greatest
and most colorful cities, written by one of Americaâ€™s most
Talk of the Nation - October 22, 2008
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