Shameless Self-Promotion: Wallpaper* City Guide to New Orleans

Room 220 editor Nathan C. Martin spent a good chunk of last spring selecting locations and writing the first edition of the recently released Wallpaper* City Guide to New Orleans, published by Phaidon Press. Wallpaper* is a magazine based in the U.K. that covers design, architecture, interiors, fashion, and art, and their series of travel guides aims to “offer the design-savvy traveller a pared-down, need-to-know checklist of a city’s most sophisticated venues and inspiring architecture.” Chris Waddington recently wrote about the guide on

Martin, a 29-year-old Wyoming native, directs Room 220, a website and reading series that is one of the best forums for tracking the New Orleans literary scene. A tart stylist, he casts a keen, newcomer’s eye on our venerable, multi-layered city, and while it would be unfair to make him a spokesman for all the young and talented people who have poured into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, it’s hard not to see him as part of the trend he elucidates in a brief introduction to his book: “The renewal of New Orleans following the floods triggered by Hurricane Katrina is a great, ongoing, American success story,” Martin writes. “The task has been messy and frequently heartbreaking, but it’s hard to argue that the city is not an enthralling place to be right now. Awash with an influx of bright-eyed, educated young people, it has lately become a hotbed for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to escape the high rents in cities such as New York and San Francisco.

Photographer Wade Griffith, who shot the New Orleans locations for the book, posted the images on his Flickr account (including a portrait of Room 220 friend and MelaNated writer L. Kasimu Harris, who Martin tapped for the “Insider’s Guide” section). You can pick up the Wallpaper* City Guide to New Orleans—which makes a great holiday gift!—at the Bayou St. John location of Maple Street Book Shop, as well as other fine local book retailers.