Final Bourdain “Parts Unknown” Season to Omit One Episode

By Karen

CNN has announced they and Anthony Bourdain’s production company, Zero Point Zero, are putting together a seven-episode final season (12) of Parts Unknown, to begin airing sometime this fall. Only one episode was completed with Tony’s voiceover, and he filmed it in Kenya with W. Kamau Bell, who hosts United Shades of America, also on CNN.

The other locales are Texas, New York, Indonesia, Mexico and Spain. They will include Tony’s voice caught as he was filming, with any gaps filled in by crew from the shoots.

The finale will be two hours long, with one hour a peek behind the scenes with the ZPZ crew, and the final hour a collection of past guests and fans discussing their relationships with and feelings about Bourdain and how he affected them and the world.

What’s missing from this lineup is the episode Bourdain completed filming in late May, the week before he traveled to France and died there on June 8.

That episode is Florence, Italy. Here’s the now-infamous black-and-white photo of Bourdain and his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend, Asia Argento, sitting on a bench at the end of filming. [Note: Cats Working no longer publishes photos of Argento.]

Argento recently posted a photo of herself in a car with Tony, holding an umbrella against the sun, the last weekend of the Florence shoot.

The following weekend, Argento would be photographed in Rome by two paparazzi in the company of a 28-year-old journalist named Hugo Clement.

This “lost” Florence episode raises yet another question related to Tony’s death…

Did CNN and ZPZ scrap Florence to keep Asia out, or for some reason related to Bourdain? (I’d understand that it might be upsetting for ZPZ to deal with that footage, now knowing what Bourdain was going to face a week later.)

We may never know. Personally, I agree with CNN-ZPZ’s decision on every level.

AND: Here’s a bit more on the upcoming Bourdain biography

USA Today reported that the bio by Laurie Woolever, Bourdain’s long-time assistant and co-author of Appetites: A Cookbook, will be titled, Bourdain: The Oral Biography and released in fall 2019 by Ecco. The book will consist of interviews, according to a quote from Woolever’s statement…

“After working with and collaborating with Tony since 2004, I’m honored to now be working with his estate, and talking to the people who knew him best, in order to share the story of a life that influenced so many people, in so many ways, all across the globe”

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115 Responses to Final Bourdain “Parts Unknown” Season to Omit One Episode

  1. Francis Alan Wormald says:

    KEEP UP THE HONEST JOURNALISM…..

  2. Lynn says:

    Karen thanks for that additional info. Wow. So Florence is complete and could be aired (sans AB narration, or course) but CNN is choosing not to. Hahaha! I love it. I think the reason seems pretty clear – Ashtray Cooch featured heavily in it. Did she direct it as well? Even if not, why give her more free publicity and air time? I’m sure AB’s family, not to mention the Riperts would have raised hell if CNN tried to air that episode. It would be so unseemly. Too many know the truth of their final days as a couple.

    I wonder if this will prompt another round of anger and poor me-ism from Asia and her cult. ‘They’re deliberately cutting me out! CNN is so sexist!”

    Speaking of, I assume/hope AA will also be cut from the finale with “past guests and fans discussing their relationships with and feelings about Bourdain and how he affected them.”

    There is justice in this.

  3. bamboo.skewer says:

    As a Tony Bourdain fan, I do not want to see Asia in any PU episodes ever again. THANK YOU, CNN, for not airing Florence, for not repeating Hong Kong, for not playing Rome any more.

    She sucked the life out of Rome – the depressing Mussolini architecture, Fascism fetishism, and her self-absorption with taking care of her own family and neighborhood only was so NOT what I thought PU and Anthony Bourdain were about. There was only tiredness and low energy in her gravel voice; not a tone that engages the viewer, makes us curious and interested. It was confounding to me. I’ve been to Florence, I know the visual and culinary delights there. I know the light – how the sunlight looks there, when it rises and falls, how it makes you feel. I don’t ever want to know how Asia could cast her sad spell over Florence and put out the light there.

    Please, ZPZ, do not include her in the finale. The shade thrown by silence and exclusion is noticed without saying a word.

    I wish Netflix would do the same! Not play episodes she appears in or helped direct. We don’t have cable anymore so I only see short snippets of PU on CNN online. I wait for seasons to show on Netflix. Is PU on Amazon, Hulu, etc? I’ll have to look …

    Thank you Karen, always, for the updates.

  4. Dingobeast says:

    I think that rank old hooker burned her bridge with CNN. They will never air this, I wonder if they will ‘lose’ the Hong Kong ep as well? They don’t want her to get a penny. I am guessing quite a bit of bad blood there.

  5. catsworking says:

    Lynn, I haven’t seen any mention of what involvement AA had in the Florence episode. After the turmoil in Hong Kong with her on the crew, Bourdain would have been pushing the envelope to involve her again in any meaningful way.

    I would be very surprised to see her in the final-final episode of Parts Unknown. By the time they film that, she’ll probably be saying Tony raped her in Rome and she went on to date him for two years against her will. Being seen chumming around with Hugo was really a silent cry for help.

  6. Chris says:

    Tony did say the Florence episode was the best work he had done, so one would assume CNN and film crew would run it even against their own personal feelings. My guess is either someone in the crew deleted all the files, or in that last week when Tony was so hurt he said were not running that show. That said, it is likely his Wife has control of what ever Anthony had in his contract and may of had the power to axe it.

    A relationship with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often leaves the victims with PTSD. The Narc. Will literally create a character that appears to be your soulmate, they gaslight you and lie so easily. When the truth comes out it a horrible place to be. I know cause I was in a NPD relationship. I was crushed by it, it is not your normal break up. Not only do you find out she (or he) have been seeing others and lying from the day you met. You have to face up to the fact that the person you were in love with never existed. To have to deal with it in such a public manner just pours gasoline on an already raging fire. It is profoundly painful and I can easily see it pushing anyone over the edge.

    If you had suicidal tendencies to begin with that compounds it……I don’t want to give the impression I can diagnose his GF, I am not in the mental health field and it can take months for a good Dr to correctly diagnose NPD, but his relationship ticks all the right boxes. It makes the suicide understandable, but not warranted or any less of a tragedy. In the end the choice was his. If she is truly NPD, keep in mind she is empowered by negative attention as much as positive. There is no crime in the legal sense here, the best thing you can do is let the anger go and learn to forget she exists, all while remembering Chef Bourdain for all the beautiful things he shared and created.

  7. catsworking says:

    Dingobeast, I would assume there’s been a lot of communication between the ZPZ crew and CNN about what went down whenever AA was around, because CNN, of all networks, would want to get to the bottom of what happened to their biggest talent.

    CNN is wise to steer clear, if not from a payback perspective, then to avoid liability because she’s known to be litigious. She can’t sue them for NOT giving her screen time, but she could very well lawyer up if they DID air something and it caused some sort of backlash against her.

  8. Dingobeast says:

    Catsworking, I think there was some gossip that she was harassing CNN powers that be to get her shows played and who knows what else. I would imagine that they are under no obligation to play anything she was in, as long as she got paid for it. It can be deservedly shitcanned. I really do feel that there is a concerted effort from Tony’s family and friends to starve the air from the repellent harridan, and it is probably the best strategy. She would love to have someone to fight with on this, and she isn’t getting it.

  9. Lynn says:

    I wonder why she has stopped posting on Instagram? I’m thrilled, don’t get me wrong, but why now? Don’t tell me her lawyers just got around to advising her that posting odd, narcissistic selfies and pics of her with AB might not be the best idea.

  10. feijicha says:

    She may well have consulted with one of those crisis consultants- -the ones who advise clients who are caught in sex scandals, or who send dick picks, or get caught in financial scandals or whatnot. Usually they either advise someone to get out in front of a scandal and get their spin on it in the public domain first, before newspapers, other parties etc… or, they advise laying low and letting things die down. Obviously the pouty teenager behavior precluded the first strategy from working, so she may have been advised to shut up and lay low for a while. Think Louis CK. He’s not been seen or heard from since his scandal statement. But given her impulsiveness and insatiable need for attention, let’s see how long she can sustain a low profile.

  11. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Chris. I haven’t seen anything where Bourdain mentioned the Florence shoot. Could you possibly have it mixed up with Hong Kong? AA worked on that one as well, and it did air. They had just wrapped Florence the week before he went to France and no one probably had time to do any refining of what they shot, so it seems unlikely anyone would have had an opinion on its quality.

    I get all your points about NPD and how devastating it is to deal with. We’ve been discussing that since he died. Sorry to hear you got mixed up with someone like that. I’ve known some real assholes in my life, but I can’t say that any of them sank to that level.

  12. catsworking says:

    Dingobeast, somewhere, someone who was purportedly from Tony’s crew said that AA had been calling CNN in the aftermath of his death. One has to wonder what she could have possibly had to say to them. If that’s the case, it would make sense that they would not want to give her another minute of air time.

    “Starving her of air” is a good way to put it.

  13. catsworking says:

    feijicha, that’s a good theory. I don’t keep tabs on her, but people have been saying she’s gone quiet. I don’t believe it will last for too long. She can’t help herself.

    Louis CK, Charlie Rose, and Al Franken all disappeared, although I just read something where Franken hasn’t ruled out running for office again at some point. I hope he does. Of all of them, he was the one who really got railroaded IMO.

  14. I hope Zach is involved.

  15. Polly says:

    If you want to be nauseous, read the field notes for the Southern Italy Parts Unknown episode. Bourdain ends it by writing “But I will say it: Asia Argento is the most extraordinary, accomplished, intelligent, and endlessly interesting woman—make that person—I’ve ever known. Every minute working with her on this show was a great joy and a privilege.” He was in soooo deep with this charlatan. How could he fall for her after being with the delightful, life affirming Ottavia. Love is a mystery and unfortunately may be hazardous to your health.

  16. Mira says:

    Re Florence episode, I came across a local interview of a group of ladies, AWA, Women Artists, that participated in that show, they mentioned that the filming was to be continued in Autumn 2018( of course the interview predates his tragic death). So I doubt it would have been ready for release anyway.

    I also came across an interesting little interview in a local New Jersey paper, interview took place in April 2018.
    Amongst other things, he was asked, if his life was a meal, where would he be at – his answer was ‘maybe the cheese course, because he doesn’t eat dessert’.
    It’s interesting that he may have seen his life as coming to an end…
    He also commented that he was relieved the market project was not going ahead.

    from the article below:

    201) Magazine, published by his hometown paper, New Jersey’s Bergen Record in April 2018.

    Q. Speaking of business, how disappointing was it to you that the proposed food market in New York did not pan out? And have you given up on that entirely?

    “It’s a disappointment and relief. I was sort of embarrassed at the notion of having some gigantic project with my name on it. I don’t have that big an ego, frankly. It was a huge, huge enterprise. It was proposed with a lot of moving parts, and a lot of commitments, to a lot of people from all over the world. It was really important to me that whatever happened, I was able to keep those promises. If I was asking someone — a sweets vendor from Saigon — to come all the way to New York, and (start) a new life, I wanted to be damn sure that I was able to keep my side of the bargain. As that situation became cloudier, I just felt I couldn’t in good faith go on”

    Q. If we put your life in food terms, what part of the meal are you at?

    “Maybe the cheese course. I don’t eat dessert. Give me a big hunk of Stilton cheese and a glass of port wine, I’m a happy man.”

  17. Chris says:

    Hi Catsworking, Yes I got Florence mixed up with Hong Kong, sorry about that. My apologies for being off topic and writing about something already discussed, my bad. I was trying to give a personal perspective on a NPD break up. I was shocked like everyone when I heard the news, nothing about it made sense. I then found out about photos of gf with other men, and all the crazy behavior. The pieces all fit and I understood what was likely the trigger. Thank you for the informative site!

  18. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Polly! You just made me throw up in my mouth a little 😉

    They say that love is blind, but it would appear Bourdain lost ALL his senses when it came to AA, especially his sense of taste.

  19. catsworking says:

    Hob, I would be very surprised if Zach isn’t back in the fold at ZPZ, especially now that the chance of his path crossing AA’s is slim to none, unless she were to turn up to crash the Emmys.

  20. catsworking says:

    Mira, I just read that April interview myself, and it does seem odd that he brought up his death in every interview he did leading up to his suicide. Mortality was certainly on his mind, but I think it was more due to his 62nd birthday coming up than contemplating offing himself after being betrayed by love. When he said all these things, he thought he and AA were solid. Maybe he was just talking dark to impress her.

    Of all the praise he ever heaped on AA, being positive, optimistic, happy, or life-affirming were never mentioned.

    As for Bourdain Market, I thought his answer was diplomatic. I think the concept failed because of 1) Trump, leading to problems with 2) logistics and financing. Tony realized he was bringing people over from poor countries to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, where they might very well face violence daily from Trumpists and live with the possibility of incarceration and sudden deportation for no good reason. Not to mention lack of access to affordable health care.

    Bourdain couldn’t ensure their safety nor their livelihoods, so in the end couldn’t ask them to turn their lives inside out to come live in a country that’s projecting such bigotry and hostility toward other cultures.

  21. Lynn says:

    Oh gawwwd. “But I will say it: AA is the most extraordinary, accomplished, intelligent, and endlessly interesting woman—make that person—I’ve ever known.”

    Best PERSON he’s known, ever. Not woman, PERSON. I can only imagine how the ZPZ crew reacted to reading this given her drunken antics on set and lack of directing talent that was apparently obvious. Not to mention poor Ottavia, his brother or his best friend Eric R.

    It’s crap like that – the public fawning over her that he did – that I’m sure added to his humiliation at the end. And that was his choice. Maybe in some way he was trying to boost her self-esteem, especially if he thought she ‘wanted to die’. He bought into that poor me act of hers in a big way.

    Interesting he gives Zach, whom he’d later fire, a shout-out.

    Sooo he did Southern Italy solely because she said he should. Puke.

    Tony’s line in those field notes was quite prophetic. Too bad he couldn’t see it in relation to his girlfriend:

    “What lies beneath bubbles to the surface.”

  22. catsworking says:

    Lynn, when you think of all the infinitely more talented and accomplished people Bourdain knew, like Ripert, Pepin, Obama, etc., he must have been totally out of his mind (or lying in bed beside her after an especially satisfying tumble) to have written anything so fucking stupid.

    And, yes, I do believe that statements like that must have run through his head as he was looking at the pictures of AA with Hugo and that other guy she hooked up somewhere in Africa a few months earlier, while sitting alone in his room, drinking, with nobody to talk him in off the ledge, that made the weight of her vile duplicity and the public humiliation he’d surely face more than he could bear in that moment.

  23. I hope you’re right, Karen and thank you for this platform. I’ve been a fan of Bourdain’s for about 5 years but never took much interest in his personal life until I started following him on Twitter. As such, I didn’t stumble across your blog until after his passing.

    Also, I’m sorry if this has been mentioned but since hearing about Zach’s firing, I’ve been on the lookout for a statement from him. I didn’t realize he had changed his Facebook header to black the day Bourdain passed. It was previously a photo of Obama with Tony. Everything about this is so sad. I can’t believe I’m still here 2 months later trying to come to terms with the death of someone I didn’t know.

    My father passed 3 years ago and I barely shed a tear. Granted, we had a very rocky relationship and, at times, were estranged for long periods. Eh, maybe this is my subconscious trying to process those feelings… and I’m heading down a TMI rabbit hole, so I’ll hush now.

  24. catsworking says:

    Hob, glad you found us. I didn’t know what about Zach’s Facebook account. Please do keep an eye on him and let us know if you find out where he surfaces. I think we learned through someone posting on IG that Zach was fired during the Hong Kong shoot, but that’s all I know.

    Bourdain has been on my radar since about 2007, and I spent several years writing quite a bit about his doings because there was nothing else really out there and a vein of curiosity about him that I unwittingly tapped into. It led to me meeting him and several subsequent encounters. Some of my readers had them as well when he visited their cities.

    I agree that it’s weird, two months later, so many are still trying to process his death. One part of it is that it was so out of the blue and there are still a lot of unanswered questions. We’re still dealing with the psycho ex-GF putting weird stuff out there to keep herself front and center. Closure isn’t coming easy.

    Sorry about your father.

    I

  25. gettngclear says:

    I’m certain someone can correct me and if I’m wrong. Is AA given credit as producer at the end of Southern Italy? That’s the episode, I believe, that Tony’s up for a writing emee.

  26. gettngclear, I just checked and yes, she is. 😦

  27. paloma says:

    Yep, I saw the producer credit too at 42:06. I just scrolled to the end where the wicked witch is smoking and singing all through the credits. Sickly and sad. There’s also a scene near the end with the black widow fondling a huge spider bracelet at her left wrist while dining with AB.

    Here’s a link to the episode.

  28. catsworking says:

    Welcome, paloma. Thank you to you and Hob for confirming that she was a producer on that episode in Southern Italy. Anything to get her on the payroll whenever he could, I guess.

    I think I forgot to comment on an earlier post that the Florence episode was unfinished and another trip was planned for this fall. If not for the AA connection and the “advantage” of giving her another gig, I have a hard time believing that. I can’t think of another episode EVER where they took two passes as a place. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that.

    Just the logistics of leaving pieces of episodes half done while going on to produce others would introduce organizational and expense issues that would seem to preclude not getting all the footage for each one up front.

    I’m watching the Cajun episode as I type this.

  29. gettngclear says:

    Thanks Hob & Paloma.
    I think Tony will win best writing.
    It will be interesting to see who accepts the award.

  30. catsworking says:

    paloma, thanks so much for the link to the Southern Italy episode. I just jumped through some of it and realized I’d forgotten it was basically another extended “date” for Bourdain and Asia. No wonder she recommended the location. Clearly, he was attempting to give her maximum screen time to get American audiences to fall in love with her gravelly man-voice and love of gutting fish.

    I just heard a story on the radio this weekend about Matera making a comeback as a tourist destination with restaurants and shops in the caves on the hillside. I didn’t connect the dots to the episode at all.

  31. Scrambled says:

    Here in the U.S., it does seem there is an implicit acceptance of suicide when faced with severe financial and/or health troubles. Bourdain was most likely physically strong and healthy when he decided to end things which may be why people close to him are shocked. But he almost always made references to his mental states and even explicitly said he was in a “fragile mental state”, depressed and needed his “meds adjusted” on his show.

    On the road over 200 days a year, I doubt he invested the time it takes for others to form anchoring and supportive relationships with him. It appears that in search of true love, he spent a lot of energy defending and protecting his love who ultimately betrayed him in a most humiliatingly public manner.

    I am disappointed that the life of this great, endearing, contradictory talent who may have been still in his prime, ended in suicide. And no, I do not think it’s weird to feel sorrow when a celebrity dies. Celebrities are popular for a reason. With family members, sometimes less appealing things crop up such as senses of entitlement, survival and emotional blackmail.

    I know I am grateful for Bourdain’s les oeuvres fantastiques.

  32. catsworking says:

    Scrambled, being on the road so much would seem like it made it virtually impossible for him to forge any close friendships in the traditional sense. Sure, he could spill his guts over a meal or a night of drinking, but he didn’t have male buddies he could do things with for fun. No hobbies. There wasn’t time. Eric Ripert seemed closest to him, but even their contact was sporadic.

    The shows gave a false impression that he had an endless supply of friends to tap into all over the world. He was invited everywhere, always surrounded by people. But once the cameras stopped rolling, he was alone in a hotel room and he said it was a very lonely existence.

    What I regret most about his loss is all the books he will never write. He said somewhere that he considered himself a writer above all else, and once he found a way to hop off the travel merry-go-round, I expected him to throw himself into producing, writing, and editing others’ books for his Ecco imprint. Once he had some time to stop and really process all that he’d experienced during his adventures, he would have had many stories to tell. His name could have ended up on the same “greatest” list of the great travel writers he loved.

    Now all we’re left with are the stories that people can tell about knowing him.

  33. Morganlf says:

    Hob there would be something elegantly equitable if Zack was in the final tribute episode and not the succubus.

    Ideally I’d like to see Ottavia, Big Gay Ice Cream, The Ripper, and the Geriatric Genious Bruce Elliot interviewed.

    Argento is probably trying to claw her way in and bravo CNN for respecting the family and stonewalling her.

    Dingo and Chris I agree. Any attention good or bad fuels her narcissism and the family’s decision to “deprive her of air” will drive her to a state of even more chaotic frenzy.

    An uglier, more evil person than Argento, I can’t imagine. Her body desecration, relationship with Weinstein and Tony screams daddy issues.

    I would be happy to never see her name again, but I think we haven’t seen the last of her.

  34. Lynn says:

    Jeez I just re-watched Southern Italy. The first time succubus appears on screen it’s just her voice. I swear as I was watching and heard that voice describing the port, I expected to see an old weathered fisherman reveal himself as the speaker. I was actually shocked to see that the voice was hers.

    How could any man hear that and not be repulsed? Who finds that sexy? How could Tony or anyone voluntarily choose to listen to that for years? Even something nice like wishing you a happy birthday would sound sinister coming from her. So I can only imagine how god awful it must have sounded when she was angry, screaming, accusing, insulting – as she was to AB on those final phone calls. Nails on a chalkboard is Chopin by comparison.

    I don’t know which is more vile in that episode – her voice, the lamb’s head in the pie, or the pubes peeking over the flabby guy’s speedo. Still, I definitely want to go to Matera.

  35. catsworking says:

    Lynn, I admit I had forgotten a lot about the Southern Italy episode, thinking she only showed up in that picnic scene at the beach. Must have blocked it out. When I rewatched the bits with her today, I had the same reaction hearing her voice before they showed her walking on the dock with him. I thought he was with a man. I also flashed on how horrible it would have been for him to hear that voice over the phone, screaming shit at him. Or what it must have been like to kiss her ashtray mouth. He probably started smoking again as self-defense.

    Her suddenly jumping off the fishing boat into the water looked like an ad lib. Tony just stood there for a minute, seeming indecisive, then leaped in after her. If ever they seemed like a total mismatch, it was in that moment, the older man trying to keep up with his 42-yo-teenage girlfriend for the cameras.

    Like Morgan, I wish we could all wipe her from our memories and never hear of her again, but I’m afraid, like Trump, it’s going to get uglier before it resolves, especially as the awards ceremonies roll around or she gets wind of filming the final episode of Parts Unknown and she’s being excluded. Given how circumspect they’ve been about rerunning episodes she figures into, I feel that CNN knows its viewers (who seek facts and real news) have her number and no interest in seeing her associated with Bourdain in any way.

    That’s when she’ll go berserk on social media, screaming she’s being silenced and has every right to tell “her truth.”

    To that, I say, go ahead, Babycakes. The facts are out there. People in Tony’s camp know what they are. They will not allow you to have the last word.

  36. Lynn says:

    Sad to say it Karen but Tony just became this woman’s bitch in every way. I’m a feminist. I in no way support relationships where the man is the ‘boss’. But likewise, letting someone rule your world is a bad idea for anyone.

    “Tony just stood there for a minute, seeming indecisive, then leaped in after her.”

    Literally and figuratively. In re-watching, it seemed like Tony was intimidated by her. Like he said in the field notes, she’s the greatest, smartest, most talented human ever – (puke). Perhaps his own self esteem issues came into play, but he just deferred to her always on everything and seemed to live for pleasing her. Like a puppy following her around.

    I keep going back to does she feel any guilt at all, or is it all about her ego getting a boost from knowing this smart, talented, famous beloved man basically offed himself bc of her. I’m guessing the latter. Other than Weinstein, this is her only claim to fame outside Italy. It’s the most significant thing she’s ever done.

  37. Scrambled says:

    As much as I would like to join in on the hating of this woman, I am not sure Bourdain would have approved. I mean he was a guy who idolized Sid Vicious which is questionable in and of itself. This infantilizing of a worldly and discerning man such as Bourdain was and notions of giving into a man’s every whim as long as he generates a revenue stream seem to indicate a degeneration of values.

    Bourdain seems to have been a character who experienced some kind of inner flat-lining that constantly needed to be revived by drugs, food, women, new people, new cultures, etc. Unfortunately, he fell prey to and was attracted to her reckless abandon. I wish she could have been a muse, mother, nurse, partner-in-crime all rolled into a more lovelier being.

    Just a fan though. I find the street across from mine foreign enough. Recently, I did finally try my local Ethiopian restaurant.

  38. feijicha says:

    I found the opening lines of his voice-over an interesting– tho he is talking about southern Italy, he could have been talking about AA– “raw, alternately charming, and.. savage.”

  39. feijicha says:

    It occurs to me to wonder if AA had ever met Coppola on her own, or if she ended up being able to meet him because of Tony.

  40. bamboo.skewer says:

    Interesting episode. Asia has so many put-downs about other people. Women in the restaurant look like hookers/Hooters. Tourists are disgusting. Making fun of the Speedos is hilarious but all the lingering shots of bulges, bellies and butts … whose idea was that? But Asia is perfectly lit, skin glowing, even her legs in the harsh sunlight. Huh. One way to make yourself look better is to make everyone else look bad. But that doesn’t mean you should do it.

  41. feijicha says:

    Wow. that episode was……odd. Not a place that I felt any desire to go to AT.ALL. But maybe that’s me. The pacing of it felt very slow and a bit tedious… like I felt that I’d been watching it for half an hour and when I checked it had only been like 11 minutes. I get that some of that was intentional, but……kinda zzzzzzzzz for me. And really his besottedness was palpable, and yet there was nothing in any of his scenes with her that made you understand what the attraction was based on…. you didn’t watch and go “aha! I see why he fell for her and this place”. I couldn’t understand the attraction for either one.

  42. shielawinona says:

    I agree with feijicha.. same sentiment with that episode. XD

  43. L Villeneuve says:

    Now its coming out of the Weinstein Supreme Court case emails from Ashtray saying she missed him and loved him, but what was found that the dates were from 2014, 2017 and 2018. She said she didn’t like being the booty call for him!! She was seeing AB then! So the whole time she been sleeping around with him and God knows who else. Pure evil trash.

  44. catsworking says:

    Lynn, those field notes read to me as if Tony was taking dictation from Asia. Just like Trump does to people. “Put in there that I’m the most amazing human being the world has ever seen and there will never be another president to come anywhere near accomplishing what I have already done in my first year and a half.”

    The hyperbole runs like raw sewage with both of them.

    And while Tony was typing, AA was probably stubbing out a cigarette on the back of his hand to speed his typing and “show him how much she loved him.”

    shielawinona, agree with you. I’ve never seen anything about AA’s presence or conversations on Parts Unknown to reveal her specialness. In fact, I found her such a nonentity, I’ve mostly forgotten what I’ve seen of her. I guess she needs to French-kiss a dog to get my attention.

    Scrambled, I do feel a tinge of guilt about “hating on” AA, but if I were to encounter her in person or on film and she had NO connection whatsoever to Bourdain, I’d still find her repugnant and pathetic. (PS: I still have my new local Thai restaurant on my to-do list.)

    feijicha, I think you hit on something with the opening voiceover, which I didn’t relisten to. Whenever AA was involved, I think he lapsed into double entendre to feed her ego. We discussed it earlier when he did it also on the Hong Kong episode saying something about falling in love in Asia, and falling in love with Asia. At the time, that one went completely over my head. When I see the word “Asia,” my first thought STILL isn’t her.

  45. Lynn says:

    LV if those emails are valid, in the words of Don piece of shit Trump Jr., “I love it”. It would be more than awesome for the world to learn that Ashtray was still in touch with and perhaps sleeping with Harvey while seeing AB and playing the victim. Her vagina is like a White Castle in Jersey – disgusting and open 24 hrs., but if you’re desperate and need it fast, you go ahead in.

    I feel no guilt bashing this woman. She’s vile. I don’t really care if AB would approve. He did and said things I didn’t approve of – her and heroin being just 2 of them. If he’d lived, would he have forgiven her humiliation of him in time or would he have held a grudge? Probably the former but that would be between them.

    I don’t think we’re infantilizing him; I just think that like many people who fall too hard and fast for someone, he gave her far too much control over his heart, mind and TV show. And people learned quickly that you did not question or disparage her around him or you paid a high price. So trying to warn him became something of a, pardon the word choice, suicide mission for his friends/colleagues.

    The only thing I liked about the Southern Italy show was the lighting. The opening shots and title credits were very similar to, I believe, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. It’s been a while but I know I’ve seen that opening sequence in one or more of Leone’s films. I didn’t like it when they paid obvious homage to a film or director like that. It seemed way too gimmicky to me.

  46. catsworking says:

    Lynn, I think the only time I “got” when they were paying homage to some film was the black-and-white Rome (Roman Holiday?) episode on No Reservations that he filmed with Ottavia. Totally got that one and thought it was one of his best shows ever.

    Got my laugh of the day thinking of AA as a White Castle. Very apt comparison. It wouldn’t surprise me if AA was seeing a lot of guys the whole time Bourdain thought they were exclusive. She’d have blamed him for not doing his homework, since she bragged about never loving and blithely cheating on every male she ever knew going back to childhood.

  47. Rachel says:

    Unfortunately, those emails being released by HW are NOT from AA. They are from an unnamed 2013 accuser. While it stands to reason that there are communications of some sort between AA and HW from years back, those are not the emails that were released by Einstein’s criminal defense team. I just want to make sure this is clarified.

    My other thoughts on the abrupt silence from AA on social media. No doubt she had to sign contracts of some sort with CNN-ZeroPointZero. I am convinced that their legal teams are investigating what went on during the filming. If AA violated some contractual terms by her behavior WHILE working as their employee or as an independent contractor (by being disruptive, threatening or whatever else she did) they might be able to invalidate any contractual obligations to her. I think her lawyers told her to stop with the wacked out posts on social media for now. She may be in some serious crisis-avoidance mode right now. I sense legal action coming soon. Just a gut feeling.

  48. Scrambled says:

    Oh no, I am not judging anyone for bashing this woman. I like reading it. I find her disgusting myself. However, I don’t care to know more about her and if I were to go down that vein, I would be doing so thinking with my privates. If she were having ongoing negative impact against his widow and child, of course, appropriate measures need to be taken.

    My thoughts mean to just place her against a context of the men Bourdain, the explorer, encountered. The fact is men around the world are oftentimes so very, unfathomably brutal and vicious to each other, to women and children and to mother nature. Maybe towards the end, disillusioned and not able to unsee things, he concluded the good did not outweigh the bad. That a two-year relationship with this woman destroyed him is not believable to me and I do not think it should be a part of his legacy.

  49. catsworking says:

    Rachel, you just made my heart skip a beat at the thought that AA could actually be in trouble with CNN. It makes sense to me. It would explain the frantic phone calls it’s been said she made to CNN after the news of Bourdain’s suicide broke.

    I had missed LV’s post about email between AA and Weinstein. I haven’t been following that case at all, but it wouldn’t surprise me if her name and RMG’s don’t come up at some point. Heaven help her if anything comes to light that she was in touch with HW in any friendly way while Tony was praising her “courage and strength” to the world and she was trashing HW at Cannes.

    She could be facing legal problems on more than one front if she’s been trying to play everybody against each other.

  50. Rachel says:

    Oh she could be in serious legal trouble on many levels. Not only for violating her contracts with CNN by being drunk or disruptive while WORKING FOR CNN! but who knows what kind of horrible communications have come to light between herself and Anthony. This also explains the almost complete silence from the ZPZ team and Eric Ripert. There are definite reasons why they have been so quiet. It will all come out at some point and it could be very shocking.

  51. catsworking says:

    Scrambled, I don’t think AA destroyed him, but she was a factor that exacerbated a lot of other things.

    Rachel, if whatever final words they had ever come to light, they are almost certainly guaranteed to be damning.

  52. feijicha says:

    well, Rachel, we have to be honest, Tony was drunk while working for CNN if we take what he’s said and what we’ve seen at face value. Indeed, watching that horribly sad and just.. yucky episode in southern Italy, Tony was hungover at one point. It was part of their conversation. I will also add separately that watching him drag on that cancer stick was massively depressing.

  53. Lynn says:

    I think the issue is AA, according to certain ZPZ sources anyway, showed up to work drunk, as in unable to perform her job adequately. No one has ever made that accusation against Tony. He may have gotten drunk the night before shooting and been hung over, but that’s not the same as showing up inebriated. He could at least function. I don’t think CNN would give a flip how hard he imbibed during the evenings as long as he could do his job.

    I wonder if her legal problem might extend to his death itself. There have been people prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter after bullying social media posts or texts led their target to commit suicide. I’d bet anything there are angry texts from her, but did they go so far as to encourage him to do the deed. Also, Tony’s family could file a civil suit against her, so that’s another angle.

  54. catsworking says:

    feijicha, I think it was always a particular point of pride with Tony that he always showed up for work on time (if not early) and ready to do the job. If he was hungover during shoots, it was because they’d shot scenes of heavy drinking. His days of getting shit-faced for the fun of it seemed long behind him. In fact, he said he didn’t drink at all at home (but he didn’t seem to think beer was “drinking,” I’ll grant you).

    If anything, he was a stickler for punctuality in all aspects of his life. It came up in at least one of the later interviews when he got caught in a storm or something and was about 20 minutes late.

    Now, AA, on the other hand, I could see showing up for work totally shit-faced or hungover and unable to function, and getting aggressive if anybody called her out on it. I’ve seen no indication in any interview I’ve read that she took pride in being professional. Instead, she nurtures the unstable diva persona. You never know what she’s going to do next, what will set her off, or who she’ll lash out at. She’d see throwing a tantrum and keeping a whole crew waiting as a source of pride, an indicator of how powerful she is. Again, like Trump.

    I’ll throw in here that I was nosing around on Reddit the other day. I find the navigation baffling, and I could be mistaken, but it appeared that Ottavia went suddenly silent about four weeks ago and hasn’t posted since. Her posts there were almost exclusively about MMA.

  55. Karen, reddit is a nightmare for beginners, but you’re right – her last comment was 29 days ago. They (Tony and Ottavia) posted on the jiu-jitsu subreddit. Although Tony had another account for his “AMAs” (Ask Me Anything), he used a pseudonym for the jiu-jitsu forum.

  56. Dingobeast says:

    Anthony very obviously declined physically and mentally while he was with that rank old AA. I actually felt a kind of second-hand embarrassment for him while watching the Hong Kong episode. It wasn’t that great compared with other ones, and he clearly thought it was some sort of pinnacle of greatness. He was obviously afraid of not sufficiently sucking up to that flabby skank. The southern Italy sounds like more of the same.

    The silence from all sides tells me that there is some legal stuff happening. I certainly hope so. Anthony’s family deserves some closure and protection here.

  57. catsworking says:

    Thanks for the confirmation, Hob. When I poke around sites I’m not familiar with (IG and Reddit), I’m never sure if I’m seeing all there is.

    Dingobeast, have to agree that the Hong Kong episode didn’t strike me as his best work. He seemed sad.

    Plus, the show was feeling as if it was going in circles, returning again and again to places he’d already been. I know he was trying to tackle places from different angles, but subsequent visits never had the same enthusiasm as his first discoveries. I have no doubt he knew that because he seemed increasingly disengaged, although I think he did maintain the quality of his written narration.

    I’ve still got the Bhutan episode to watch, and I’m dreading it because of the death ritual scene I know is coming.

  58. bamboo.skewer says:

    I thought of the Southern Italy episode while reading this:

    Cuz I’m a sucker for headlines that say “Can I ruin your dinner party.” It’s about the EU, migrants from Africa, Middle East, Bangladesh, and the source of frustration for Italy right now, feeling abandoned by the EU while trying to deal with its migrant population. Might it all be a fissure to eventually crack apart the EU? It’s the combo of government policy, culture, economics, injustices and human beings in need that at one time, would have created a meaty conversational dish to go along with the food on PU.

    Anyway, wasn’t boats coming ashore with migrants a huge issue around the time Tony would have been filming in Southern Italy? Yet no mention of it. We all watch his shows for different reasons, but I found them an entertaining and enjoyable way to learn about the tough issues in this world. Give me a depressing issue with good food, alcohol, some laughs, beautiful scenery and music, and it makes it a lot easier to swallow, and you still get the message.

    Instead, well, watch the episode and you see what it’s about. The tarantula is dark and foreboding. Tony was bit. Did he know it then.

  59. Lynn says:

    Karen I probably shouldn’t tell you this but I found Bhutan to be the most depressing of them all. Not because of the ‘death scene’ (that was actually nothing, just some candles and other objects at a ritual site. No ritual is performed, they just visit the site). I found it sad because AB’s exhaustion and disengagement was so obvious, at least in some scenes. He looked like he was somewhere else. And that he wanted to BE somewhere else. Still the ‘penis carvings’ scene is hilarious with Tony at his wisecracking best.

    Hong Kong he seemed happy to me, but I still hated that one because it was ugly. Hong Kong can be a really pretty place and I felt like they wallowed in squalid looking claustrophobic areas and alleys. Makes sense though, as those are symbolic of Ashtray’s vagina.

  60. L Villeneuve says:

    Lynn that’s hilarious!!!!

  61. catsworking says:

    Lynn, thanks for the warning. Maybe I’ll watch it tonight if the DVR has nothing more pressing.

    Bourdain liked to show the gritty side of everywhere. The episode he shot in Rome with AA was Mussolini grunge. When he did one in Paris, he made it a point to completely omit the Eiffel Tower. He was very proud of doing that.

    bamboo, I’m afraid the EU may be fucked. With Britian pulling out and Trump doing his utmost to smash it to please Putin, I’m afraid all those disparate cultures are going to try to reassert themselves and we’ll be back to the days that spawned the World Wars. What’s being done gratuitously to destroy peace to make a few people feel like they’ve got the biggest dicks is beyond disgusting.

  62. Scrambled says:

    Watching a “city boy” with 1st world problems, unaccustomed to the real hardships of life, undergo these remarkably foreign experiences was a big part of Bourdain’s appeal. While he was drinking on the job, I don’t think it was often to the point where seriousness of situations couldn’t sober him right up. I believe he took his job and the people who worked with him seriously. Not that this is especially relevant but he was a pretty good shot during hunting and target practice.

    I’ve had a number of Bourdain experiences when younger that did not leave much of an impression on my self-centered self. Now, I am more inclined to wonder “why can’t I do that” as I happen upon some elderly immigrant women foraging into their shopping carts at my local park. The only things I know to be edible are dandelion greens. I do find it a little more disturbing these days to be so removed from real food sources. And I really take delight in seeing my very domesticated, spoiled dog catch a squishy, juicy looking flying creature and eat it.

    At least I am a pretty good home cook and procrastinating gardener. But I do get Bourdain’s wonder and maybe feelings of inadequacy around people existing in extremely trying conditions with such incredible ingenuity. Yes all this is so, if one makes life
    only about survival. Hopefully, enjoyment of life does not become just another luxury.

  63. catsworking says:

    Scrambled, what’s been amazing to me is all the insights people are sharing in these comments about Bourdain. On other sites, he got his share of, “Oh, dude, you’re so cool. You have the best job in the world. I want to be just like you.” Or, “You’re so hot!”

    This morning I found a dead roach at least an inch long lying belly-up in the middle of the kitchen. I give Roc credit for the kill (or possibly Adele), and I’m glad nobody ate it, although I’ve seen Roc take down and devour flies like a furry Renfield.

    Watched Bhutan last night and what struck me most was how little screen time Bourdain got. The phallus tourist trap scene was closest to classic Bourdain, but it was like he was deliberately being shielded by the crew with endless shots of scenery.

    The death ritual scene was creepy in that Aronofsky mentioned that some of those little temple things sitting around were made from cremation ashes, having no idea that Bourdain himself would qualify to become one within months. The foreshadowing we all missed that seems to pop up in the most recent episodes haunts me.

    After that, I watched him in Copenhagen at Noma from Season 2 just to see him comfortable and happy.

  64. Mira says:

    The Bhutan episode, although ultimately sad and foreboding, was beautiful. I am glad he had that quality time with Aronofsky, who is such a gentle soul himself. There was a mellowing and maturity in it, not reached in previous episodes.
    I feel, that in the end, we need to respect how our dear friend chose to live and end his life.

  65. Scrambled says:

    lol. I have a house cat too. He is so meltingly adorable but he was able to catch a mouse scratching around my oven for days and shred the creature into a bloody mess on my carpet. One time, he escaped to the great outdoors and was eventually found near the tail and half eaten parts of a squirrel. He’s also killed a few birds lounging on a balcony.

    Mira I agree with you. I believe he willfully tried to desensitize himself and take a cold sobering look at life but was never able to become as ruthless as the rest.

  66. Lynn says:

    OMG you guys are skeeving me out. I have such a phobia of the bugs you mentioned Karen that I can’t even type the word. lol Luckily and shockingly I haven’t encountered one in my apt. Ditto the little mammals (had one in my last apt that was so big I thought a neighbor’s hamster had escaped).

    My mom has a cat who once scratched at her carpet in the corner. I looked and saw nothing. Then I lifted the edge of the carpet and saw a TINY bug. Amazing. How’d he hear that?! He also enjoys catching and eating dragonflies on her terrace. I pull em out of his mouth if I catch him.

    Mira I agree we should respect people’s choice who want to kill themselves. I’m not a religious nut who thinks it’s a ‘sin’. It’s your body, do as you will. But when you have a young kid I think it’s highly selfish, especially if it’s over a woman. How can his daughter help but think that Ashtray was more important to Tony than she was? That he’d rather not go on living without AA, even though he’d still have had his daughter. She’s gonna have a lot of psychological baggage to deal with.

    It’s an interesting dichotomy that Aronofsky seems so calm in person (and is vegetarian) given how insane or violent many of his movies are. I think his “Requiem for a Dream” is a mind-blowing achievement with one of the most intense endings I’ve ever seen. And “The Wrestler” was sadly poetic, given how much it mirrored Micky Rourke’s real-life story.

  67. catsworking says:

    Lynn, can’t say that I’ve seen any of Aronofsky’s films. From the two you mentioned, I see they are probably not my thing. The last movie I caught was Victoria & Abdul with Judi Dench.

    Yes, I was pretty freaked out to find a prehistoric roach on the floor. At least it was dead. I occasionally will see normal-sized ones. They call them “tree roaches” around here, like that somehow makes them more the outdoorsy type, but a roach is a roach to me. The other morning I woke up to find one side of my kitchen counter absolutely crawling with tiny ants. There was no food anywhere. When it gets too dry, they seem to come inside in search of water.

    In 31 years in my house, with at least 3 cats always in residence, no mouse has ever dared to venture inside, although I once saw one scurry across my outside outside storage room where they couldn’t get to it.

    I keep wondering if Bourdain was so blinded by rage and booze in his last minutes, he had no thought of his daughter or the places he would never see again, the things he would never do again, the things he would never eat again. His life was filled with more magical moments in a month than most of us get in years. But I guess the effort it took to get to those moments became no longer worth it.

  68. Scrambled says:

    Bourdain’s Field Notes for Parts Unknown are short great reads.
    Here is an excerpt from the ones for Copenhagen-

    “COPENHAGEN, October 2013—I do not, by temperament or inclination, gravitate towards Scandinavian countries. I am intimidated and made uncomfortable by safe, clean, orderly places where everything works and people seem creepily content.

    I’m a guy who tends to fall in love with hot, messy, barely functional places, where fiery arguments are common, and one is pleasantly surprised if one’s luggage arrives in good order, if at all.

    So, it comes as something of a surprise that what we came back with after a week shooting in Copenhagen—in what is said to be the “happiest country on earth”—is perhaps the finest, most technically accomplished, best looking hour of television we’ve ever made. It’s just fucking … gorgeous.”

    https://explorepartsunknown.com/copenhagen/bourdains-field-notes-copenhagen/

  69. Polly says:

    “I’m a guy who tends to fall in love with hot, messy, barely functional places, where fiery arguments are common, and one is pleasantly surprised if one’s luggage arrives in good order, if at all.”

    So who does that sound like?

  70. feijicha says:

    to be clear, I was not suggesting Tony didn’t do his job, whether he’d imbibed the night before or not. I was just making the point that someone had said ref legalities, that AA had worked under the influence, and I was pointing out that the mere fact that someone had been drinking wasn’t in and of itself sufficient, because technically, by legal definitions, Tony had worked while under the influence. My point was, as you guys clearly stated, that it didn’t impact his doing his job, hence, it’s not just the mere fact of drinking that matters. It’s how you handle it.

  71. Lenora says:

    Thank you Karen once again for the update and the space. And a general thank you to all your commenters. What an insightful and polite group of people. A rarity these days both on the internet and in real life. Maybe some day fate will bring some of us together and we can share a good meal.

    I am not a very spiritual person at all. However my thoughts of missing Bourdain still well up unexpectedly. I was shopping for cheese, looking at the selection and all of sudden sighed under my breath, “God I miss Anthony Bourdain.” I hope he is somewhere enjoying his Stilton and port.

  72. Lenora says:

    Lynn, We probably will never know why Bourdain committed suicide. And like many of life’s trials, usually it never is just one thing. However if I were to venture a guess Bourdain didn’t kill himself because he couldn’t handle the idea of life without Asia Ashtray but more of he gave up so much for her this past year. He wasn’t taking the advice of long time friends, he fired a respected employee and spent time with AA instead of his daughter. And when you have depressive suicidal tendencies you convince yourself that those that love you will better off without you. Yes from the outside its a very selfish but from the inside you come to completely different conclusion.

  73. Lynn says:

    Fejicha I think the distinction is that the whistle blower didn’t say AA was ‘hung over,’ he or she said she was literally drunk on the job. Hung over people can often function at work and seem fine. Drunk people not so much. And that is where the legal issue might come in for CNN, because they’re paying her to do something that she could not do. Perhaps unlike Tony who might imbibe the night before, AA could have decided to down a ton of booze (along with her usual cigs) in lieu of breakfast in the morning and then minutes later showed up to ‘direct’ an episode. Or perhaps she was just so crazy, erratic and incompetent, they misinterpreted it as drunk when she was actually sober lol.

    “I do not, by temperament or inclination, gravitate towards Scandinavian countries. I am intimidated and made uncomfortable by safe, clean, orderly places where everything works and people seem creepily content.”

    Yea, the first time I heard / read Tony say this I thought WTF? How can you possibly dislike or be ‘intimidated’ by cleanliness? Who wants to deal with filth and poverty? However it’s funny he says this in reference to Copenhagen, as I did not find that city clean at all. It was rather gritty. I’ll never forget a man peeing right beside a restaurant as we were walking in. The food though was surprisingly good. I need to re-watch that one.

  74. Scrambled says:

    To clarify, my very spoiled senior dog is a life long pickiest of the pickiest eater so I only feed her human grade dog food or I cook for her. She never eats crickets or other insects and is phobic toward fruit flies meaning she will get restless and snap at one flying around and then try to hide. I have no clue what these things are that she catches and eats but in Bourdain style, I do find myself wondering if I can cook’em and eat’em.

  75. catsworking says:

    Scrambled, thanks for those notes. Tony said in the episode that he usually avoids clean, tidy countries. He never visited Norway, for instance. He also said that he would NOT be showing viewers Copenhagen or Denmark (forget which), although there was lots of B-roll of the streets, the outdoors where Noma foraged for ingredients, and people just generally looking clean and happy.

    Polly, it all goes to show how his personality was drawn to the dark side in everything. He preferred “fiery arguments” to contentment. Grunge, dirt, the smell of greasy, unwashed hair on the pillow beside him.

    feijicha, I didn’t take it that you were criticizing Bourdain’s ability to do his job while drinking. Hell, we even saw him STONED more than once. He was a professional. AA, clearly, is not.

  76. catsworking says:

    Lenora, the same thing happens to me. I’ll see something that reminds me of him and have to remind myself that he’s gone. Today I actually lost track of how long it’s been and had to count the weeks on the calendar. Nine.

    I agree that he must have decided the world was better off without him. But it must have taken a seismic shift for him to push ALL the good in his life out of his mind so he could come to that conclusion.

  77. L Villeneuve says:

    Can anyone send me a link to the Parts Unknown Naxos episode 2016? I can’t seem to find it.

  78. L Villeneuve, this is the best link I could find.

  79. Morganlf says:

    I’ll never order a bowl of pho, without feeling a pang.

  80. Just read this description of Mark Lanegan’s song “Strange Religion” that was featured during the Seattle episode of Parts Unknown while Tony was in deep with you know who.

    “Bubblegum is a dark record, dealing with Lanegan’s addictions and his difficult history, but this song is all the more moving for its bruised optimism. It’s the story of two burnouts who find something to love in one another, and it’s utterly convincing.”

    From: http://flavorwire.com/425833/50-songs-that-are-guaranteed-to-make-you-cry/view-all/

    From Parts Unknown (as I’m sure you’ve all seen):

    Stating the obvious but, Bourdain seemed to move from one addiction to another. Heroin, cocaine, smoking, alcohol, traveling, AA.

  81. Forgot to add jiu-jitsu as an addiction. Bourdain even described it as “drug seeking behaviour” when he had trouble finding a place to train.

  82. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I had a bowl of ramen for lunch today and thought of our Tony.

  83. catsworking says:

    Hob, I do agree that Tony seemed to drift from one addiction to the next, and sometimes indulged in multiple ones simultaneously. A life lived always in the extreme, which is maybe why he burned out too soon.

    Thanks for the link to the song. I am in awe of anyone who can sit through it and get anything out of it. For me, it sets the bar for what qualifies as “music” so low, it doesn’t even register, but I’m extremely old-school. I know Bourdain loved that stuff. I’ve just gotten to where I can tolerate the opening theme to Parts Unknown.

  84. Mira says:

    Karen, I was just checking your twitter feed, and came across the now three month old blog from Moses Farrow, re his mother and the terrible lies she spinned. Thank you for posting it. I completely missed this story of Moses, at the time it was reported ( having suffered personal tragedy at the time, and not following any news).
    It is gut wrenching, his account of the terrible abuse he and the rest of the adopted children suffered.
    What is most hurtful, is the power of a lie, and the havoc and destruction that people with such personality disorders can cause to others.
    It makes one question Ronan Farrow’s reporting on anything, if he can be so blinded and manipulated by his mother.
    A very very sad case indeed. Some people are just emotional monsters. It is said ‘sticks and stones can break my bones…’ but I never bought that proverb, – words, therefore lies, are so much more destructive.

  85. catsworking says:

    Mira, I never thought Woody Allen was a child molester (neither did Diane Keaton). Falling in love with Soon Yi was weird, but he’d never made any secret that he was obsessed with much younger women. Woody himself also wrote a powerful rebuttal to the charges some time ago and it all made perfect sense to me.

    Mia, on the other hand, always has been a nut job. I remember her as far back as her role as Allison on Peyton Place. I thought she made a brilliant Daisy Buchanan in the film The Great Gatsby because she’s a ditz to the core. I also remember her marrying Sinatra and going into a restaurant bathroom one night and chopping off all her hair because they were fighting about something. Sinatra was lucky to get out of that marriage alive.

    What Moses described as her brainwashing the kids has the ring of truth. She was a woman scorned in favor of a much younger one, an adopted daughter no less, and she made it her mission to ruin Woody’s and Soon-Yi’s lives, and she didn’t care who she had to fuck up to do it.

    As a result, her career has fizzled (can’t remember last time I’ve seen her), yet Woody has gone on doing a movie a year, some better than others, and remained married to Soon-Yi since 1997.

    It also helps to explain how Ronan Farrow got manipulated by AA and RMG in his New Yorker article. AA, with her over-the-top histrionics, was able to convince him that what Weinstein did to her was as traumatic and invasive as rape.

    It will be a miracle if Ronan ever settles down with anyone. I should think he would be utterly terrified of trusting any woman by now.

  86. Mira says:

    Yes, I agree. Woody did no favours to himself with his cringe worthy choices. Although he did try his best not to pour oil on fire. I personally did not really want to engage with that story, I thought he rather got himself into that mess, but it is horrifying to hear from one of the adopted kids what really went on. I was always suspect of women who try to fill their void of some sort by dragging children away from their native countries, and boosting their fragile egos with as many orphans they can collect. If they were truly altruistic, they would try and support the disadvantaged kids in their own communities, and let them stay with their own people.
    Regarding child abuse – unfortunately, false accusations happen all the time; people who work in social services and mental health are very aware of it, and try their best to ascertain the truth, but with the whole ‘he says she says’ and often no witnesses other than the manipulated children, it is sometimes almost impossible to figure it out.
    My commiserations to anyone who has to work within child protection services, it is a thankless job.

  87. L Villeneuve says:

    I am starting to get a little worried about Zamir Gotta. He usually has daily entries in his Twitter account and there’s been nothing for 2 weeks. Hope he’s ok.

  88. catsworking says:

    Mira, Mia and Angelina are crazy cat ladies. They just substitute cats for kids, picking up strays in underdeveloped countries where the barriers to adoption are lower.

    The only thing that makes real cat ladies better is that they don’t weaponize the cats the way these two have weaponized their kids to get back at the men who they think did them wrong.

  89. catsworking says:

    LV, keep an eye on Zamir and keep us informed. I follow him on Twitter and didn’t realize he’d gone silent. On the other hand, he may have been brought into whatever may be going on around Bourdain. He would be considered one of the closer friends, I would think.

    On the THIRD hand, he had been tweeting about totally unrelated things, as has Eric Ripert, who also just lost his mentor, Joel Robuchon.

    OK, now I’m worried about Zamir.

  90. Mira says:

    That is very suspicious, Zamir going quiet. Surely someone who reads this blog is able to find out.
    Some of his last tweets were worrying ( like ‘his autobiography will not have a happy ending’). He usually replies to his followers, but no response since July 31st.

  91. Mira says:

    I tweeted him directly, Zamir responded, he is OK.

  92. Rachel says:

    I’ve been worried about Zamir too, but he does occasionally answer people’s tweets to say he’s okay. I think he might need to take a break. He went to Moscow for the World Cup shortly after Bourdain’s death, and I think having that going on offered him a distraction that he now no longer has. And talking about his deceased friend all the time on social media might have been getting to him.

    As far as Bourdain seeming disengaged during the Bhutan episode, that wasn’t my impression (and I thought the ep was great), but if he was, I believe it was during that shoot that the news about Mario Batali broke. Bourdain had been a friend and longtime admirer of Batali’s and was clearly shaken and dismayed by the news (as he expressed on Twitter). If he was disengaged during the shoot, that could have been part of the problem.

  93. Rachel says:

    I just saw Zamir’s response to you Mira, about how knowing people are thinking of him “keeps [him] away from wrong decisions.” Am I being paranoid by finding that a bit concerning?

  94. Mira says:

    Thanks for alerting me to that response, I am actually never on twitter or any social media, but I did want to check on him, as it was a concern.
    At least he is engaging with people on twitter, he is a good guy, I hope he is kind enough to himself and asks for help. He is taking this really hard.

  95. Rachel says:

    I left him a message that I hope wasn’t too bungled or weird. It’s hard to know what to say or even if I should say anything. I’m torn between genuinely wanting him to know people are thinking of him and not wanting to come off as an annoying fan who won’t leave him alone with his grief. I don’t know whether or how much engagement from strangers like me is really appreciated.

  96. Mira says:

    I think its good that we keep him engaged in the conversation, I have a feeling he is on his own. He has been reaching out to people online, so I am sure he does not see us as annoying, he is seeing it as genuinely supportive.

  97. Rachel says:

    I do think he might be more isolated than some of Tony’s other friends. We’ve all been concerned about how Eric Ripert has been doing (for obvious reasons), but at least he’s part of a broader community of chefs and other culinary people who to some extent share his loss (though I do still worry about him too). I don’t think Zamir has that same level of connection with other people who were in Tony’s orbit, and I’d imagine that would make things extra hard.

  98. catsworking says:

    Mira, that is SUCH good news! I’ve been sidelined of the day trying to deal with waking up this morning to find a big nail in one of my tires, but I’ve been worrying about Zamir. He was one of the most vocal friends of Tony to express his feelings on Twitter. So glad to hear that he is all right.

  99. catsworking says:

    Isn’t Zamir living here permanently now? If so, he probably lost whatever network of friends he had back in Russia and may be feeling a bit like a fish out of water. I’m going to tweet him myself.

  100. Rachel says:

    My understanding is he lives in Buffalo now, but travels often. He does have a wife and at least one child (who they named Anton), so he’s not completely alone.

  101. quietforest says:

    Thank you for this blog, Karen! That’s good news about Zamir. Rachel’s insightful points make me think about grieving and the importance of support networks. While my heart goes out to Ariane and Ottavia, I’m grateful that they have the Riperts and others to turn to. Also, since Ottavia and Zamir have social media accounts, at least people can express their condolences to them via these media. What about Nancy, though? I’ve been thinking of her over the last two months and wonder how she is doing. As far as I know, she doesn’t have much of a web presence, and I don’t recall any mention of people reaching out to her during this difficult time. I’m sure she is grieving too, after having spent so many years with Tony. I still believe that she represented the most significant relationship in his life, and that she remained the love of his life.

    In reminiscing about Tony, I looked up some old newspaper articles about his early career, and came across some interesting comments that he made that might help shed some light into his and Nancy’s relationship. We all know that at one point he quit heroin and cocaine, but from most accounts, he made it seem as if it was from his own fortitude, however, in an interview from 2000 (The Scotsman, Aug. 5, 2000), he credits Nancy for saving his life. “She gave me a reason to live. She would get me out of bed when all I wanted to do was lie there and be ill. She would force me to march 20 blocks to a seafood restaurant where we would have a couple of powerful drinks and some medium-rare seafood every day, then back home until I got through it. Once I quit drugs I never looked back.” He acknowledges her role again in two more interviews. “It got pretty low. Christmas Eve in the snow, sitting there selling off my old comics, records and books. In the full bloom of drugs I was a lone wolf, way beyond the ability to be anybody’s friend. My wife saved my ass, dragged me out of bed, convinced me it would get better. It was as bad as it could possibly be (The Times-London, Sept. 9, 2000).” From The Express (Aug. 25, 2000), “Throughout all this, his wife of 15 years, Nancy – ‘I’m desperately in love with her all my life,’ he says – stuck by him. ‘She held out the possibility I would one day be happy again.’ But he adds sharply on seeing my face: ‘She was no angel either, y’know. She was my full-time partner in crime, we were a dangerous couple.'”

    I appreciate the love and support that she gave him over the years, which helped him to succeed and become the person whom we all admired. I think Tony felt an immense amount of guilt for ending their marriage, and, for that reason, when he had the near-death brush in Italy, he immediately wrote to Nancy to apologize for how things had turned out. I’m glad that at least she gained some sense of closure regarding their relationship. Anyway, I hope that the family has thought to include Nancy in any celebrations of Tony’s life, and that perhaps friends whom she shared with Tony (Chef Sam Goldman and Chef John Tesar come to mind) have reached out to her.

  102. Mi says:

    Ronan Farrow won’t be settling down with a woman whether or not he can trust women because he’s Gay.

    PTSD is created by a sudden, violent incident where the person believes he or she is about to die or witnesses the same for someone else. It isn’t created by a relationship with a NPD individual. Those relationships create other kinds of emotional problems and can be traumatic, but PTSD does not apply. I agree with pretty much everything else said in these comments and by catsworking.

  103. catsworking says:

    Welcome, quietforest! Yes, I think about Nancy because she and I are the same age. Since they split up, I’ve only seen her surface a few times. Tony wrote about reasons for their divorce in Medium Raw, I think (or The Nasty Bits, I can never remember which). And Nancy herself was quoted in, I believe, a New Yorker article. It may have been in that piece where she talked about him contacting her after passing out in France.

    I’ve never seen the interviews you cited because they go back to the very beginning days of his fame. You seem to have some connection to Nancy to have kept all this in your memory banks all these years.

    I have no idea what the relationship between Nancy and Tony’s family is. I hope it’s cordial and she is being included in mourning activities. She seemed to take the high road in making herself scarce as his fame grew. I have no doubt she is feeling the loss like the rest of us, but I hope she has been able to move on. I’ve always had a little soft spot for her because she must have recognized his talent and encouraged his writing when he was trying to make his first mark as an author.

  104. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Mi. It won’t surprise me if Ronan Farrow is gay; it may be a blessing so he doesn’t have to confront trust issues with women that Mia may have created for him.

    No comment on PTSD. I totally see your point about its origins. If the term has been bandied about too loosely, apologies. We’re all pretty much laymen here.

  105. Rachel says:

    Karen, there was a chapter about his divorce from Nancy in Medium Raw, but I don’t recall that he got much into the details of why it happened; it was more about how he reacted to it (very badly) and how that led to a bizarro entanglement with a spoiled rich woman in St. Barth’s. Some seriously messed up stuff in that chapter, as I recall, but it does demonstrate just how distraught he was over their split (and that he had a history of responding to romantic disaster with self-destructive behavior).

    As for the New Yorker article, I believe the stuff about him emailing Nancy after his health scare in France came from Tony himself, though Nancy was quoted briefly. (Keefe mentions near that point in the piece that Bourdain thought about death a lot, but he doesn’t elaborate beyond recounting that incident.)

  106. catsworking says:

    Rachel, he wrote about being frustrated that Nancy never held a job, and that he paid to redecorate the kitchen or something before divorcing her. It was the only time I saw him write about the divorce and it was only about 2 pages.

    The stuff about him careening around St. Martin in suicidal depression was in another chapter (or book).

    I haven’t reread the New Yorker article lately, so I’m fuzzy on that. What sticks with me is that Nancy was quoted at all, although not the specifics of what she said.

    Thanks to everyone keeping the record straight. I’ve read so much the past few months, it all runs together.

  107. Karen, I loved a lot of the music that Tony appreciated but my taste is so “eclectic”(for lack of a better work), I probably share a lot with you too. I was touched to see Trent Reznor comment on Bourdain’s passing. Bourdain once identified NiN as one of the artist they’d play in the kitchen during clean up.

    “Let’s first talk about Anthony Bourdain. I never met him. But I liked the world with him in it better. I liked knowing he was out there in some fashion, especially in these times. That’s a loss; culturally, we needed that voice.” ~ Trent Reznor

    I watched a show the other day which I’m fairly certain was from No Reservations. They went behind the scenes to talk to crew. They described a morning where Tony didn’t show up in the lobby. Totally unheard of. One crew member (producer) said “I didn’t think Tony was dead, I *knew* he was dead”. Of course he was just drunk but it was chilling. If anyone can find the clip/episode, that would be great.

  108. catsworking says:

    Hob, I totally identify with Trent. The world was a better place, and I felt a little safer, when Bourdain was in it. I don’t remember the No Res bit you mentioned, but maybe someone will dig up a link.

    On a side note, I reached out to Zamir on Twitter, and he responded (good sign for his well-being), and then he FOLLOWED CatsWorking. I feel honored. But even more exciting, he has mentioned he’s writing a book!

  109. Finally found the episode mentioned in my last comment:

    “Making of India”

  110. MJ says:

    Hello – frequent reader but infrequent commenter here. I thought I was the only one not impressed with the HK episode (or the Rome one) so I appreciated seeing I have company. I loved AB’s work, but I wasn’t as passionate a fan of his favorite music or obscure movies, so things like the Nashville episode (edgy, modern, tatted musicians) and HK didn’t do much for me.

    BUT I was eating dinner alone at home last night and wanted some entertainment, so I looked through prior seasons of No Reservations and decided on New Mexico (I love New Mexico). THAT was the AB I enjoyed so much – happier, lively, having fun, eating great food. Making phallic jokes about suggestive rock formations. I’m not just sorry that he’s gone, I’m sorry that whatever in his life/lifestyle turned him from that happier guy, out for adventure, into someone as low energy as the AB I saw in the Bhutan episode (which also didn’t totally wow me, despite the scenery, but it was good to see how much he enjoyed the momos – there was still some enthusiasm there).

  111. Sorry, I’ll shut up after this, Diane Schutz, who is featured in the video above was likely axed due to the “disastrous” Sicily episode as that was her last season on Parts Unknown. Bourdain has mentioned that there were “personnel changes” following the episode.

  112. catsworking says:

    Hi, MJ. I’m with you. I like seeing Bourdain in places I like.

    Hob, I don’t know if I ever watched that episode about the “Making of India.” Was it Kerala they went to? I have a personal antipathy to India that relates to their treatment of a ship I used to love, so I may have given that whole situation a pass, but I’ll check out the link. Thanks for finding it.

  113. Karen, yes, it was during a trip to Kerala but it was crew-centered.

  114. Elaine says:

    I remember that Greek Islands episode of PU…there was a scene where Tony was in this rented villa and he’s making himself dinner. I can’t remember the exact quote but he says something akin to: “What’s the point of doing this (traveling/enjoying life/seeing beautiful places, etc.) if you have no one to share it with?”
    At the time, he was still with Ottavia (as far as we know). I think about that episode and that quote a lot….even before he died.

  115. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Elaine! I watched that Greek Isles episode not too long ago. I think it was filmed in 2015, which would have been when his marriage was on its last legs, yet before he crossed paths with AA. I was also struck by his lonely mood, and his questioning if all the travel to beautiful places was worth it when done alone.

    Tonight I watched him in Lyon, France, with Daniel Boulud and Paul Bocuse in Season 3. He was so happy and funny and confident. They had this massive feast at Bocuse’s restaurant (had to leave the room during the whole hare preparation) and Tony declared it was the best meal of his life and he’d never have another one like it.

    So creepy that it turned out to be true.

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