Skip to comments.I'm Not Angry -Anthony Bourdain on San Francisco
Posted on 08/10/2009 8:59:02 PM PDT by Artemis Webb
Let me come right out and say it. I love San Francisco. I am helpless and unwavering in my affection--in spite of every effort over the years to find fault, to dismiss, to sneer. And there's surely lots to sneer at, San Francisco and the Bay being pretty much the epicenter of so many of my most cherished aversions: political correctness, veganism, rich hippies, sanctimoniousness about food, food fetishism, animal rights terrorists, gastro-dogma, and loud locavores who actually get their produce flown in from Chino Farms in San Diego. But at this point, I bore even myself railing against the above. Hell, I'm not even bitter about San Francisco taking the lead in banning smoking anymore. They won that battle long ago. Game over. I guess it's like any love that's true--sooner or later you learn to accept the good, bad and silly all together. It's all part of the package when you know, without any question, that you want the package. It doesn't even matter if one's love is returned. Okay ... it does still drive me berserko watching a blissed out St. Alice, burning up a few cords of firewood (in Berkeley no less!) to cook two eggs for an unusually credulous Lesley Stahl. But in general, I got it all wrong, didn't I? It may be the town of Alice Waters but it's also home to Dirty Harry. The Grateful Dead? Yes. But also the Dead Kennedys. The excrutiating and treacherous lite FM sounds of the Jefferson Starship? True enough. But also Blue Cheer, the Count Five, Big Brother, Sly and Family Stone and the greatest band that never was: the Brian Jonestown Massacre. None of these entities could have come from--or taken root--anywhere else.
I don't think you could have one San Francisco without the other. If the San Francisco area weren't the perceived headquarters of anti-foie gras forces, I doubt very much there'd be an opposing force doing something as crazy as developing a foie gras vodka. I don't know that a less crunchy community would require a stuck-joyously-in-time museum of beef like House of Prime Rib. It's like a yin and yang thing ... a balance, man, one thing creates a need for another. San Francisco, underneath a gossamer thin veneer of granola is in fact, a two-fisted drinking town, a place of oversized martinis, silver zeppelins overloaded with bleeding slabs of meat, restaurants you could call "institutions" that defiantly refuse to suck, and in an ever tidier, cleaner, Disneyfied world--where even New York's Times Square looks like a theme park, still, a delightfully nasty, dirty, beautiful, carnivorous, vice-filled town.
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Oh sweet, I love him. I think I fell in love when he described the odor of a sulpher spring in the Azores as “if you’ve ever scraped a taint”...I thought he’d be pretentious and phony but he’s about as genuinely cool as they come. And nice, despite the crusty exterior.
I’m glad I’m not the only Tony fan here. His hatred of hippies, yet appreciation of all things Americana and his Jersey attitude and bluntness are a welcome relief from the politically correct TV.
I watch very little TV, but I never miss No Reservations, Andrew Zimern and Man vs. Food.
I won’t pretend that, I’m sorry to disagree with you; but he is a pretentious, self-absorbed, drunkard. There aren’t enough enticements in the world, to drag me to that filthy hole of iniquity, that is San Francisco today; and I loved that town when I was a kid, half a century ago!
Bourdain is a trashy survivor of the seventies lifestyle.
Bourdain’s writing however is brilliant and his travelogues are not to be missed.
Most importantly: don’t be a tourist, be a traveler.
I have to agree with his assessment of SF - As much as you want to love it, there are a million knuckleheads that keep you from doing it!
Yeah. If I could get into and out of SF with just a few good meals and the booze that goes with them, and not otherwise contribute to the local economy I would. But since I can’t, I won’t.
Love him ...
But he hates vegetarians. Loves "street food". And I would seriously enjoy getting drunk with him.
I watching him on Top Chef. I can’t stand his own show on the Travel Channel or wherever it was. I also saw him being effusive in his praise for Chef Ramsay, who could use it right about now.
I have a customer down near the zoo. I sneeak in to see him, grab a little Chinese food and sneak back out. That money ends up in China as sure as if I went to Walmart!
Which I believe describes half of us FReepers. :->
Bourdain’s almost obsessive dislike of Rachael Ray helped win me over, I must admit.
Ya...what I meant to say was that I like Bourdain on Top Chef.
And yes apparently Gordon Ramsay considered filing bankruptcy but they restructured and supposedly they're doing better.
Oh and I read he's still not making money in NY.
Bourdain is I guess a non PC lib.
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