In New Orleans last week we visited an excellent exhibit at the Historic New Orleans Collection on Royal Street, “Surrounded by Water: New Orleans, the Mississippi River & Lake Pontchartrain. ” As usual with the HNOC, you get the best of archival maps and photographs of Louisiana with detailed explanations, a French Quarter-cum-Oxford University Press approach to any subject they take up. The show is introduced by a well-illustrated and thoughtful video with commentary by John Barry, author of Rising Tide, HNOC curator John Magill, and environmental historian and author Richard Campanella. These experts and others explain how the same great bodies of water that made the city’s growth possible now threaten it with eventual inundation—unless the nation takes up a serious program of coastal restoration and other protective measures. We urge everyone in New Orleans to check it out—and if you’re not close by, make a special trip. It’s free and open to the public. Check it out during Jazz Fest, and beyond: the exhibition runs through September 20, 2008.
Historic New Orleans Collection 
533 Royal Street
January 26–September 20, 2008
Free and open to the public