Goodbye Tony

Bourdain 01

I never met Anthony Bourdain, but from No Reservations & Parts Unknown and his books, I felt as if I did actually know him and I know I’m not alone in this feeling. He had that swagger and cool way about him that drew so many fans. He was a gifted writer, a unique and genuinely interesting person, always seeking out new adventures, people, music, and cultures. What drove him to keep moving and filming so many shows would be conjecture on my part, but it almost seemed as if he was afraid of slowing down to the kind of quiet introspective life that many people who have the means to do so crave. I never kidded myself into thinking that he was a happy-go-lucky sort – he was a former addict, school of hard knocks kind of guy and carried a world weary vibe that was easy to see but I was still completely stunned when I woke to the news he had taken his own life. I spent the day feeling heavy and sad, which surprised me having not know him – I felt like I’d lost a friend. He was so alive in every sense it seemed to me. I thought I remembered him talking about a dark time in his life after his first marriage fell apart in his book, “Medium Raw,” and when I looked again there it was…a mention of his fighting the urge to end it all, drunk and driving on a curvy island road. Maybe he’d been pushing back the urge for a long time. Maybe the ones who accomplish so much more than most will in an entire lifetime, simply get world weary and burn out of this life. Safe travels Tony…


Scenes from a Café

ScenesCafe01Café Tosca, San Francisco ©Flickr/lcrf

Café Tosca, San Francisco ©Flickr/lcrf

ScenesCafe003Café, Brighton ©Karmin Photography

scenescafe04Museum Café, Vienna ©Flickr/Clod79

scenescafe05Café, Jerusalem ©Werner Kunz

scenescafe006Cafe direkt an der Rialto-Brücke, Venice ©Flickr/AnKain_

Café Maravillas Spain ©Flickr/Monkeypainter

scenescafe07Café de Flore/Paris, France ©Flickr/DarkB4Dawn

scenescafe08Café El Gato Negro Buenos Aires, Argentina ©Paula Moya

scenescafe09Café/Hamtramck, Michigan ©MarkinDetroit

scenescafe10Café, New York City ©Flickr/phl

scenescafe11Cafe Figaro/Los Feliz, California

Ruhlman & Bourdain

ruhlman bourdain

What could be better than Bourdain? Ruhlman and Bourdain of course… My favorite “No Reservations” eps are ones where Ruhlman rides shotgun; Vegas & Cleveland. He’s the perfect foil for Tony, our favorite wise-assed intrepid traveler and general all around malcontent; who serves up a side order of yak testicles with a hearty disdain for all things Food Network (sorry Rachel).

Marguerite & Potato Leek Soup


“Very early in life it was too late. It was already too late when I was eighteen. Between eighteen and twenty-five my face took off in a new direction. I grew old at eighteen.” -Marguerite Duras, “The Lover”

I have long believed that these lines are amongst the greatest in literature. I know that kind of thing to some extent is subjective but in this case, I stand on my belief. I remember the first time I read these lines and the effect they had on me; I was slightly embarrassed I think by the truthfulness of those words – arranged as they were. They unapologetically laid bare Marguerite’s truth. Her book has the same effect on me that Lucien Freud’s painting’s do. I feel like a voyeur, as if I should look away but can’t.

I read once that when they were making the film based on her book, “India Song“ – Marguerite invited the cast to her beautiful home; Neauphle-le-Chateau. She made big pots of potato-leek soup for them, because she said that it was wonderful to make when the air turned cool. So I decided one day to make some myself, to see if she was right about that – and she was. I’m a big fan of leeks to begin with and she’s right about the lovely way it smells cooking. It’s fall here in Michigan getting ready to head into winter yet again and yesterday I took her advice again; chopping up leeks, peeling potatoes; it’s warmth against our increasingly cooler air was much like her work…wonderful.

Tony Bourdain

Tony Bourdain amuses me…. If he were a really old dude I think he’d be referred to as “crusty” – something like that. He’s cynical, has a dark sense of humor and hates all that clean livin’ shit. Like I said….he amuses me. I do think that after watching several episodes of “No Reservations” though that he’d better be getting on some list for a liver soon – just a suggestion. Anyway, he’s a good writer and his blog is worth checking out…

Link: No Reservations