Book Review: Living on New Orleans Time: Passing Moments as Seen from Life’s Bayou by Richard Caire

  • Title: Living on New Orleans Time: Passing Moments as Seen from Life’s Bayou
  • Author: Richard Caire
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Travelogue, Photo Essay, Memoir
  • Would I recommend: If you love New Orleans, are from New Orleans, or are fascinated by New Orleans, you’ll enjoy this book.

From Amazon:

A collection of moments captured during a lifetime spent growing up and living in New Orleans. These are the fleeting minutes and seconds that make up the ‘Bright Shinies’ of our life, those moments that happen once and are forgotten never. All of us have them, but not all of us notice them when they’re taking place. I happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right equipment to capture the ones displayed in this book. They represent times and places that will always be in memory for me, and now that they’re in print, you can enjoy them, too. Life, it’s said, is either too short or too long. That, I imagine, depends on where we are at any given time. Some times are better – or worse – than others. We tend to remember only the better ones. If we’re clever, tho’, we can examine the ones that were the least enjoyable and find something worth learning from those experiences. Key word: IF. In these pages you’ll be able to share with me those times that were special precisely because of their transience. It’s the knowledge that nothing lasts forever, and that each moment is a gift, that has the power to make us view others as being more memorable than others. It’s a ‘wheat and chaff’ kinda thing. If we pay attention, we learn over time which things have value and meaning and which … don’t. Thank you for purchasing this Book of Memories. I hope you’ll enjoy the images and the stories that accompany them as much as I enjoyed reliving these times. Please recommend this to your friends, and check back often for the next edition in the series about ‘Living On New Orleans Time’ … if you have the right mindset, it’s ‘New Orleans Time’ no matter where you live. Allons!

My review:

In Living on New Orleans Time, Richard Caire uses his photos of seemingly ordinary moments in New Orleans’ past and captures pieces of the city’s history. He preserves places that “ain’t dere no mo'” (I’m a central Louisiana girl, not a New Orleans native, but I can appreciate that sometimes places ain’t dere no mo’!) so that people can remember them – fondly, wistfully, however they want to. His descriptions of the places and things in the photographs range from the serious to the chuckle-inducing and everywhere in between, and they’re peppered with a range of pop culture references that I could appreciate. Monty Python, Talking Heads, the Platonic solids (okay, that last one isn’t pop culture). There are bits of sound advice and wisdom acquired over years woven in there, too. Mr. Caire has either done a lot of research for his book or lived a varied and fascinating life. I suspect it’s the latter.

If you love New Orleans, are from New Orleans, have any kind of passing interest in New Orleans, you’ll want to pick up this book. Mr. Caire memorializes the mundane, the weird, the abandoned and forgotten in such a marvelous way that even I find myself longing to visit New Orleans that was. The book makes me want to pay more attention, to find the beauty in the small things in my own life.

Also, if you find yourself with the envie for beignets and cafe au lait after reading this book, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Louisiana, Memoir, Nonfiction, Photo Essay and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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