Like Venice, New Orleans is one of the few great cities of the world that admits it is living on borrowed time, with rising waters certain to one day call in that overdue loan. And perhaps no city integrates this inevitability as enthusiastically as the Big Easy. Here, those supposedly polar opposites of Death and Life promenade arms linked, while New Orleanians—far from avoiding that Dark Priestess and her underage paramour—sashay into their arms for a full-tilt ménage à trois, as drunk on Her promise of absolute care-lessness as they are determined to celebrate whatever time’s left. And after that fling? Who gives a hoot! Because here God’s the moment you’re in and Satan each tick-tock. Night and day, death hangs draped over this riotous corpse-to-be of a town not like a shroud but like the cape of a carnival king, a cape that flutters and flaps along thronged parade routes in time with music that won’t ever give up the ghost, for long after New Orleans has joined Atlantis under the waves the African heartbeat of those tunes will still pound.