My Anthony Bourdain Day
“There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors. Tennessee Williams
There has been a lot written about the death of Anthony Bourdain. He inspired those of us who travel, cook or are foodies. i wrote one of my earliest blogs about him. https://travelwellflysafe.com/2013/09/04/anthony-bourdain-i-love-you/ . Anthony Bourdain’s vulnerability and openness about his past struggles with drugs and depression were part of the fascination that I had with his show. He visibly carried so much darkness and yet, seemed to have the life that everyone wanted. He inspired a lot of people to cook and travel. He taught us to eat differently when we traveled. Everyone is a travel foodie now. I carry Immodium on every trip like he did, just in case a chief from a tribe offers me food and I am too polite to say no. Anthony Bourdain saw the amazing in the small everyday things that people did around the world and he shared them with us.
Bourdain worked hard, took risks, and craved authenticity. All of those traits are to be admired but it doesn’t make him a perfect person (none of us are perfect). Admiration can be a dangerous thing. Make sure you’re admiring the values while maintaining a healthy and realistic understanding that everyone has flaws, even your heroes.
We decided to have an Anthony Bourdain day in NYC. We started at the 9/11 Memorial downtown. Bourdain always included recent historical events.
We had lunch at Le Bernadin the three-star Michelin restaurant. The chef Eric Ripert, was his best friend.
Chef Ripert is talented, crafting an elegant and tasteful lunch menu. It is a seafood restaurant and the fish courses are delicious and filleted to perfection.
We laugh through lunch certain Bourdain would want us to enjoy it.
Our dinner was hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya. It was a New York hot dog chain that is down to one store on Eighth Avenue and Fortieth St. The hot dog was the original NYC street food.
It is the classic New York Sabrett hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut. We lean up on a ledge and wash it down with a Papaya drink.
Afterward, we go to the Blue Note in the village and listen to some Jazz. He often ended his shows with local music.
It turns out that travel can’t fix you. Having your dream job does not make it better. I think he fought hard to stay alive and battle his demons. In the end, he needed to stop the darkness and pain that made him so compelling to watch. If this sounds like you, get help.
Fly Safe Anthony Bourdain,