Sunday, October 5, 2014

Anthony Bourdain in the Bronx

One word to describe Anthony Bourdain in the Bronx: insufferable. Bourdain insists again and again that he is ignorant of the borough, “ridiculously, shamefully ignorant.” He sits in a Bronx park from which he can see his Manhattan “house” and marvels that he has no idea where he is. (Hint: turn on Location Services.) He describes the borough as a “blank space,” “the great unknown.” The Bronx is also for him, I daresay, the Dark Borough, land of colorful ethnic peoples. Most embarrassing moment: “I didn’t know there were Hondurans here.”

At least Bourdain — or his native informant — had the good sense to include a visit to City Island. But to pass up Arthur Avenue? Where Marty Piletti butchered? Not exotic enough, I guess. Marone.

[The Addeo Bakery appears on screen for a split-second. But no visit to Arthur Avenue.]

comments: 4

Matt Thomas said...

I enjoyed it more than you did. I liked the focus on hip-hop. On the one hand, yeah, Bourdain playing up his ignorance was annoying. But looked at from a different point of view, it was not only frank self-reflection, but a way of both relating to and chastising his viewers, most of whom surely know even less about the Bronx than he does. I get what you’re saying, I just didn’t mind it.

Michael Leddy said...

I did like seeing Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, DJ Kool Herc, and Melle Mel. A little bit of a time warp there for me.

Rachel Page said...

Anthony is brilliant. I really enjoy watching No Reservations and Parts Unknown.

Michael Leddy said...

Indeed, many people do. : ) Consider this post a minority report.