Anthony Bourdain, Renegade Chef and Genius Storyteller, Dies in France of Apparent Suicide — He Was 61

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/08/business/media/anthony-bourdain-dead.html

One of my favourite mini-binge-watching shows was “No Reservations”, Anthony Bourdain’s first breakout show. It was different. It was fun. And it was the beginning of what is now known as food travel TV.
http://dai.ly/x2xcbf7

PIONEER

Ironically enough, the first such show I fell upon was “Bizarre Foods”, hosted by one of Bourdain’s best friends, Andrew Zimmern, who was inspired to make such a show by Bourdain. I saw Bourdain on an episode where Zimmern needed help finding strange places in a seedy part of Brooklyn. Bourdain came across as a wise guy; as someone who fit in everywhere and knew how to get in and out of almost any imaginable situation. I will always remember this episode the two travelling chefs made, mainly because it reminds me of the sheer juxtaposition of the two personas. Yet the two were good friends and had something in common — experience in the world of darkness. Zimmern asserted that Bourdain was one of the few people he could talk to about this darkness.

For Bourdain, it had been a life of addiction and, as he often overtly and covertly admitted, a search for inner piece of the soul. He had admitted to Zimmern and others that his current girlfriend may have finally, at 61, been the soulmate he’d been searching for.

Take his sensitivity, his wise guy persona, his creativity, his culinary skills, his great camera presence, and his will to travel and be a work horse, and you have the perfect recipe for the man who’d bring about a new TV genre and a different perspective on what food really is and what it can do.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE

When someone becomes a cultural force, almost everyone sees a part of themselves in him. In my case, I saw Bourdain as a renaissance man. He gave me creative ideas through the smallest things I saw in his episodes. A movement here. A flicker of the eye there. A drunken sleepless night waiting for a food stand to open in Reykjavik or somewhere like that. A political discussion while having a traditional meal with a family in Finland or Sri Lanka. Staying at a hotel in Havana waiting for the storm. You know, things that you would like to happen to you.

I read a tweet today saying Bourdain encouraged someone to quit their job and write a book. There are so many tweets showing so many ways of how this former drug addict inspired others.

APT QUOTE POST-MORTEM

“He was that uncle that came to your house and everything just seemed right and hopeful with the world again,” one of my acquaintances said.

“Once, at the peak of my depression, I accidentally saw him on TV. He was just enjoying life and appreciating everything. Now I travel on food journeys and am happy again,” another acquaintance said.

“That smile sometimes made me feel that he may have been forcing it. After all, a good soul like his has to have lived in the darkness. And once you’ve been there, you’re scarred for life,” said another.

Unfortunately, the last quote my have been the truest.

DEPRESSION

depression hotline canada

Depression is a very broad term. Was Anthony Bourdain’s suicide just a simple overburdening of depression? Friends said he wasn’t himself lately and one of his best celebrity chef friends in Paris spoke of his friend’s very bad mood the last couple of days.

Maybe there were sudden overwhelming circumstances. Who knows? Maybe we’ll find out in time, if not for anything else than to understand what could make a man who was the idol of so many and was doing what he loved become so distraught as to feel the need to kill himself.

In the meantime, thank you Mr. Bourdain for re-introducing me to the power of the written and spoken word.

Rest In Peace, Sir.

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Gordon Downie — Canadian Icon

 The song above, “Poets”, seemed to me the most fitting for today’s occasion.

Here’s the Washington Post article.

VICE article pre-mortem

Tribute pre-mortem
Last night, Gord Downie died and a country was devastated by the news, released this morning by his family. Gord represented Canada like no one else. Along with The Tragically Hip, we were taken from coast to coast to coast after over 22 years of what became our Canadian identity through sensitive and poetic lyrics and talented bluesy rock music. There was something for everyone. We all have that tune in our head today. 

Read:Gord Downie 2016 Person of the Year

Gord united the country. Athletes, politicians, entertainers, and journalists, along with us regular folk, celebrated Gord’s life and mourned his death. We know he’s in a “Gift Shop” somewhere up there. Probably spewing witticisms while making sure all the hard work is being done. For whom else has a Prime Minister cried? 

The biggest gift we received from Gord was the result of forgiveness, wherewithal, and courage. Namely, we received unity from coast to coast to coast. He was observed and celebrated by the first nations people, the very ones who needed reconciliation from what was done to them by Gord’s ancestors.

Gord, thank you. From all Canadians. And rest in peace.

Morrissey’s Sardonic New Song ‘Spent the Day in Bed’¬†

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-morrisseys-sardonic-new-song-spent-the-day-in-bed-w504169

Morrissey’s new album will be released November 17th. He just released his new single, “Spent the Day in Bed”. 
This is vintage sardonic Morrissey, acting as soothsayer and life coach. He finds the secret to self-love, and it involves playing hookie from work, “no bus, no boss, no rain, no train…no emasculation. Click on the link above for a small article and the lyric video. 

After a disappointing last album 3 years ago, the Moz comes back with a superlative jazzy meaningful poppish tune that encourages you to turn off listening to any media. Can’t wait for the album. 

Santorini from a single person’s perspective

As you come to the main Santorini port, you can no longer see the whitewashed houses. You see what looks like a big rock sliced in 2 in a very imperfect way. You look at the port and think back to how much your friends were exaggerating. Well, they weren’t.

The young lady’s name was Dimitra. She held up a sign saying Rooms to Let in English, German, and Greek. She was looking out for Greeks as I made myself more visible. They trust the Greek won’t ramshackle their cute little rooms. I approached her and got half the price she had quoted the German before me. And she also said it came with a ride.

I was well-rested from my 5-hour sleep on the boat. I felt secure in the car. I saw many tourists trying to properly climb a donkey and felt sorry for the creature as the angles to get up were almost like a straight line. 

Up on top there were more people with rooms. I guess Dimitra was privileged with a connection. I was in Chora, the main town. I was pretty unimpressed as it was full of noise and people. I went to my room to rest and take a shower.

This is one of the main beaches, Kamaria. All the beaches in Santorini have black sand and are not big. They are underpopulated compared to the people there. Needless to say, and rightfully so, Santorini is the only island I’d been to that didn’t boast their beach. And they are not right for me. They look too gothic for a Greek island. Structurally, they give me some kind of undefined phobia. 

It seems most of the swimming on the island takes place in the hotel swimming pools. Just look at the scenery.

On and on it goes. Just look at the beauty of this place. 

This is Oia, the second biggest and by far most beautiful town on the island. You need to travel these roads and bump into locals and tourists, artists, writers, see the rich and famous hiding themselves.

This was a delight. A trendy artsy acquaintance invited me up for a dip. Pure heaven. Best scenery you’ll ever be a part of.

This famous Greek celebrity didn’t want me to photograph her face.

How’s this for a dinner spot?

And the night never looked better.

Santorini is great, but must be seen either in a couple or with a group of friends. It is romantic but not sexy. It is classy yet not mundane. It is a postcard come to life.

And remember, find accommodations in Oia.