Unintended Consequence of Silence RE: Bourdain’s Suicide

By Karen

CNN has eked out its last moments of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. His apartment has new tenants. His condo is on the market because his wife and daughter have moved elsewhere.

In spite of his books, reams of interviews, TV shows and movie appearances still available to read and watch, because his voice is gone on current events, he’s inexorably blurring and slipping into irrelevance, like a dream remembered.

It’s been nearly six months, and not only do I still feel no closure, but I’m troubled by how his suicide is morphing in a way he never would have intended.

On November 13, The Wall Street Journal ran an article, “The Dark Side of the Restaurant World.” It led with a Chicago restaurant manager, Charles Ford, deciding “he would no longer be silent about his three suicide attempts,” and discussed the physical and emotional toll of restaurant work — long hours, abysmal pay, never-ending physical demands.

But the sentence that got my attention was, “Through Mr. Bourdain’s literary manager, Kimberly Witherspoon, the late chef’s family declined to comment for this article.”

On one hand, that made sense because Bourdain hadn’t worked as a chef since 2000, when he began filming A Cook’s Tour for Food Network.

On the other hand, his family’s silence let his suicide be used as a consequence of what ails the restaurant industry. This is what they should have said…


I think by his count, Bourdain spent 28 years slaving in restaurant kitchens. He was proud to pull himself up the chain until he achieved head chef status at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City. He told this story across several books. If there’s someone out there with a better memory, please tell me where he ever mentioned feeling suicidal over working in a kitchen.

What I recall is his pride in having the toughness and stamina for the work. He loved hanging out with co-workers after a brutal shift. Later, when he had a platform, he became their most outspoken advocate, particularly for the immigrants and women.

I truly sympathize with Charles Ford’s struggles, but I wonder what Bourdain would have said in his snarky days about a general manager who worked in a suit everywhere but over a hot stove and couldn’t hack it.

Kitchen workers have grueling jobs, but I think they’re mistaken to make Bourdain their poster boy for suicide. It’s just like how people still insist on calling him a “celebrity chef” when he NEVER was.

Pre-Kitchen Confidential, nobody ate at Les Halles because Tony Bourdain was the chef. He’d be the first to say it. By the time he became a bona fide celebrity, he hadn’t been a chef for years.

So far, Chef Daniel Boulud has been the ONLY acquaintance to come anywhere near speaking what’s probably closer to the truth about Bourdain’s death. This month he told Us Magazine Bourdain died because “his heart was broken,” and that his death was “a shock to everyone, absolutely.”

Tony’s mother Gladys said essentially the same about his lack of suicidal tendencies when the news first broke.

In the months since, those of us seeking the truth have taken a closer look at the dark forces that began to consume Bourdain in 2016 when he fell in with Asia Argento and her friends.

This past September, Argento was still giving teary interviews about how she felt Bourdain had abandoned her and her two children (for the record, her daughter is 17 and her son now lives with his father in the U.S.), with no mention of Bourdain’s own 11-year-old daughter.

This month (November), Argento was reported to have hooked up with a paparazzi sprung earlier this year from his second jail stint, they had sex on her table, and he claimed to be besotted with her. Italian media soon reversed course, reporting it was a stunt Argento pulled for money and publicity. Whichever version is true, that’s just a peek at the woman Bourdain considered his “soulmate” until he learned three days before he died that she had cheated on him.

Tony’s family didn’t hold a public memorial service because they didn’t think he’d want one. But memorials are for the living, not the dead. Into the void have grown many pop-up homages, mostly by restaurant chefs, which is great. Bourdain was their champion. His life had become one of showing us restaurants and their menus all over the world that we’d otherwise never know.

He was restaurant workers’ biggest cheerleader, but I think he’d be the last to consider his death emblematic of how hard and hopeless kitchen work can be.

Rather, he was a SURVIVOR of it and proud to be. It was his life AFTER being a chef that killed him. We still don’t — and may never — know exactly what aspects of his life did it.

Unfortunately, this silence has left the door open to whatever spin anyone wants to put on it. I don’t think Bourdain would have approved.

170 Responses to Unintended Consequence of Silence RE: Bourdain’s Suicide

  1. Donna Pavone says:

    Karen-this is the book you have to write,it’s oozing out of your fingers. You’ve been writing about him for so many years (and he really liked you),the final chapters are yours

  2. catsworking says:

    Donna, I don’t know that he really liked me. He used to look at me like he thought I was a spider. I feel a bit more comfortable with Ottavia!

    Tony’s assistant is writing the book, and maybe finishing the manuscript of essays they were working on. She’s got all the ins with his circle.

    Besides, I feel like I’ve already written a book about him. It’s all here.

  3. bassgirl23 says:

    Karen – a spider?! That gave me visions of him backing up in horror as you approached, lol…but that’s just how I react to spiders!

    Couldn’t read the WP article as I’m not a subscriber, but agree that whatever drove him to suicide, it wasn’t kitchen work.

    His descriptions in his books reminded me so much of what my husband (also a chef) has experienced working in restaurants. There are a lot of characters, and the profession does attract some unique personalities. Substance abuse is rampant, but for the most part the staff I’ve met are survivors, who are very tough both mentally and physically. However, it can be a very dark industry, and if you’re already someone with those tendencies it may not take much to push you over the edge. I always admired Tony’s efforts to stick up for restaurant workers and bring attention to what really goes on behind the scenes. I’m glad that others are finding courage to talk about it now because of him, even if it’s not the real reason he took his life.

    I wonder if the lack of comments from the family has more to do with protecting Tony’s daughter? As she gets older she’ll probably always have people interested in her just because of who her father was…maybe they want it to be her decision whether to speak out (and when). Or maybe it’ll be revealed in one of the upcoming documentaries / books. I’m sure it’s easier for his family to move on with their lives without having yet another tidal wave of media coverage with every new revelation. Even though his fans deserve some form of closure, it’s ultimately up to his family as to when and how that will happen. Which sucks for us – but I can understand if that’s their reasoning.

  4. catsworking says:

    bassgirl23, I sensed that he got more at ease around me as time went on and he could see that I was never out to get him. In the beginning, I was just trying to fulfill the curiosity that many people shared with me about his background, and I always tried to provide the most truthful, accurate info I could find. Our first exchange was him setting the record straight on a few things, which he didn’t want traced back to him for some reason, so I had to explain how I came by the info in a somewhat circuitous way.

    The night I met Ottavia and we spent three hours talking while he was on stage, at one point he signaled to her to “button it,” but she just laughed at him and kept on talking.

    Yes, I’m sure the family has their reasons for how they’ve handled it, but I think whether it’s for the best in the long run is debatable.

  5. jsconniff says:

    Just curious, any information on why CNN is not showing the complete episode that was filmed in Florence? john

  6. dellachiara says:

    I remember that Tony often said he’d be forgotten very quickly after his death, and that he didn’t want big funerals and memorials and all that. He always had some graphic way of describing his horror at the thought, so it was always rather amusing in a macabre way. I hate to think he will be forgotten, though. Yes, the mainstream will move on to their next nano-second of focus on whatnot, but many of his dedicated fans will always appreciate and remember him for what he contributed to us and to the world. Even now, as I watch repeats of his shows, I’m struck by how insightful and thoughtful he was, how well-spoken and erudite when talking or writing about his travels and other cultures, the people he met, and so on. I for one will never forget him, not in a maudlin sense, but simply because he was one of those rare people who is unforgettable.

    Yes, there will be those who will use his name and milk his memory for everything under the sun. Another thing he abhorred and would have been appalled by. His death was a heartbreaking suicide, and I think the reasons why are pretty clear. Yes, exhaustion due to work and travel may have added to the sense of just being done with it all. But he was drinking that night. I think it was very spur of the moment, a combination of acute embarrassment and shame because of what had happened with that viper and how it all blew up in his face; heartbreak (yet another failed relationship!); and lifelong depression. I was not shocked when I heard he’d committed suicide. I’d expected it would happen that way all along. He told us, not directly but indirectly, it would for years and years, but no one heard. The succubus was just the last straw, and I have a suspicion she will go much the same way. Once her looks fade and she’s just a nasty hag with a cigarette dangling from her lips and no one wants her anymore, not even her children (I’m glad her son is away from her now…).

    My heart goes out most of all to Ariane, of course. She seems to have a future as a musician, and her day in the limelight will come. One day she will tell us, if she wants to. I think Ottavia is doing a brilliant job of protecting her from the glare of public scrutiny. She’s a class act, that woman. And although certain friends of Tony’s have subtly made their opinions known, generally-speaking they too remain mum. I’m glad because it gives AA less fodder for her drama circus. Of course, for us fans, it makes it harder. I look forward to the documentary about him. I hope it is done with love and respect. If ZPZ is involved, I’m confident it will be. Tony was by no means perfect, but he was a fascinating person in many ways, and I’d like to see some closure for his fans and friends alike. And certainly for his closest family eventually, as well, as time heals their hurt.

    Thank you, Karen, for keeping us informed. I’ve been reading along on all your Tony posts and I really appreciate your dedication to the subject.

  7. Adele Prass says:

    I’m damned if I’ll subscribe to the WSJ, but being a general manager of a resto is a hard job, I’m sure, but not one that in and of itself should make a person suicidal. Interestingly there have been two renowned Chicago chefs, who’ve committed suicide in the last 5-10 years — one, whose restaurant, Tony visited on the first No Res Chicago show. But Tony, if anything, said the discipline of the kitchen saved him. Lots of water (some of it covered in cigarette ashes) under the bridge since then.

    I wonder if we’ll hear from any Bourdain friends in Laurie Woolover(sp.?)’s book. I keep thinking that someone from ZPZ will say something at some point, but knowing AA’s litigious nature, I’m sure everyone is being very careful.

    I had a dream about Tony a few nights ago. He was with Ottavia, in an apartment that was huge, but I’m sure nothing like theirs, and I was hanging out with them. He and I were cooking dinner together, and we were all laughing and joking and drinking. When I woke up, for a little while, I thought he was still alive.

    I just know if he were still here, PU would be going to Honduras, so he could show us what the”caravan” was running from. I miss that voice.

  8. Ida says:

    Now we just KNOW she’s taking the piss. OK, it’s Google Translate, but you still get the gist of hypocrisy from this AA interview (about her latest hookup, the paparazzi dude) with an Italian publication:

    ‘I have lived my life in a private, sheltered manner. I do not go out not to be photographed, it does not give me excitement that people make speculations about my private life. The third time I saw him, the paparazzi were still there, I understood that this kind of situation could not live it. I do not recognize myself. I’m an artist, I’m interested in that “.‘


  9. Ida says:

    …And Karen – great post. You are a great writer. I’m glad I found this blog. Never followed a blog on AB before, or knew anything about his life off camera really, but after his death I was compelled to seek some kind of solace and find out more, especially what could possibly have led him to kill himself. He was so inspiring in many ways and I often find myself thinking what he might have thought of something (a song, a film, a meal), but of course I’ll never know.

  10. Rachel says:

    I was reading a very old gossipy website and one of the topics was about Anthony not long after “Kitchen Confidential” became successful and Anthony was thrust into the limelight. Someone wrote sarcastically, “This guy (Anthony) acts like he was in Seal Team 6!” And I chuckled because I kind of understand what he meant. Yes, I’m sure running a restaurant is very stressful, and I’m not trying to put restaurant work down, but let’s keep things in perspective. It’s not life and death. I can think of many other professions that are more difficult. Being a doctor. Or a soldier. Or a social worker. Or a firefighter or police officer. Anthony was great at showing the life inside a restaurant kitchen, but I am doubting that life had anything to do with why he ended his life. And we all seem to agree that it was his lifelong tendency to depression, long weeks traveling away from home and, of course, picking the wrong woman to fall for. ALSO, I do recall that Anthony’s Chicago friend Bruce Cameron Elliot was laying the blame on Ass-ia very early on in his “Geriatric Genuis” blog. Bruce also noted that Anthony’s longtime CNN producer, Michael Steed, agreed with Bruce and said it was Ass-ia’s cruelty that tipped him over the edge.

  11. Adele Prass says:

    Ida, thanks for the link; I wonder how living as a private person jives with the narcissistic videos AA is always posting on Instagram.

  12. Rachel,
    “Yes, I’m sure running a restaurant is very stressful, and I’m not trying to put restaurant work down, but let’s keep things in perspective. It’s not life and death.” As a RN, I think I can safely say that my job is more stressful than an executive chef or line cook. Close to as stressful? Yes. It’s hard to judge anyone’s job unless you’ve done it. Nobody really knows what RNs do or deal with and I don’t know what cooks deal with.

    That said, it was his life’s work and hurting/poisoning patrons was/is a real threat. Then again, I know of at least 4 RNs who have completed suicide. I don’t think Tony’s problems started after he was finished being a chef. The man had a serious drug problem that started in his teens. He admitted that he was proud when he first shot up heroin. I think his issues stem from childhood. Not to disagree with Karen, but he never really “had it together” unless he was working a shift. He drank then and never stopped. Ugh. I just miss him.

  13. Also, Tony always said that the restaurant business attracted marginalized people who couldn’t deal with real life or people. That`s what attracted him. He didn’t know how to act around “normal people”. He even reiterated that on the Buenos Aries episode. He felt like a freak for much of his life. I believe he had these issues his whole life. Asia was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was infatuation, not love. Mentioning her 10 years before his relationship with her? Christ, I can’t imagine what I’d do if a famous crush suddenly expressed (albeit fake) feelings for me.

  14. catsworking says:

    Welcome, John. Asia Argento was involved in the Florence episode, and CNN has decided not to air any episodes that she played any role in, either in front of or behind the camera, including Rome, where Bourdain first met her, Southern Italy, for which he finally won an Emmy for writing, nor Hong Kong, which she supposedly directed and he considered one of the artistic highlights of his career.

    There’s obviously some bad blood between Argento and CNN, but it’s never been revealed what it is.

  15. catsworking says:

    dellachiara, I agree with everything you’ve said except that I totally didn’t see his suicide coming. I remember the moment I heard about it as vividly as I remember 9/11 and the assassination of Kennedy. If anything, Bourdain was one of the most life-affirming people I’ve ever known. I do believe his decision to kill himself was a spur of the moment thing fueled by alcohol and whatever goading he was getting from AA. Had he just been able to make it through that night, he’d probably be joking about it today as one of the dark nights of his soul and, hopefully, AA would be a distant speck in his rearview mirror.

    I miss his voice.

  16. catsworking says:

    Adele, I read your post after I just wrote to dellachiara that I miss his voice. Great minds think alike!

    I’ve had a few dreams about him, but nothing memorable. He was just a presence, and I knew it was him. No real interaction.

    Laurie Woolever’s book is supposed to consist of interviews of people who knew him, so I hope somebody says SOMETHING. AA can sue all she wants, but if whatever’s revealed can be backed up as fact (witnesses, paper trail, electronic trail), she doesn’t have a scrawny little tatted leg to stand on.

    Yes, it would be very interesting to hear what he’d have to say about Trump gassing babies and toddlers in diapers in the caravan. Since he’s gone through persecution and torture, Trump’s next logical step is extermination, and he’s got hundreds, if not thousands, of immigrant kids sitting in tents like animals waiting for slaughter. I’m wondering if the dickless GOP scum in Congress will let it happen.

  17. catsworking says:

    Clem, I agree with you. If anything, working in a kitchen was what kept Bourdain from spiraling totally out of control with his addictions and depression. It gave him a reason to keep going, and it made him proud that he could. So, for restaurant workers to be pointing to his suicide as proof of how stressful their jobs are is just wrong. They are remembering him as the restaurant worker from Kitchen Confidential. The rest of us are more accurately remembering him as the guy from his TV and writing career.

    His problems actually got a lot better after he left the restaurant world behind. He remade himself into this amazing world traveler and writer, remarried, became a father. And for many years after that, seemed very well-grounded. But when his marriage fell apart and he was at loose ends, he met AA and took a nosedive back into his old bad habits. THAT’S when things took a fatal turn.

  18. catsworking says:

    Ida, thanks for the link. I’m going to save it for when I’m on my big computer tomorrow where I can get into it. I’m shit on a laptop. The interview sounds hilariously hypocritical.

    Adele, I was able to get into the WSJ article although I don’t subscribe, so I posted the link on the chance that others could as well. Do they allow you so many viewings per month or something?

  19. Adele Prass says:

    I’m going to try Googling the WSJ article and see if I can get in that way.

  20. dellachiara says:

    Oh yes, I miss his voice as well, Karen! I just loved his voice.

    I think perhaps I wasn’t shocked at his suicide because I’ve been in dark places as well, and I know how sometimes an impulsive moment could easily be the final one. He always had that darkness in him. The Buenos Aires episode was very revealing about a lot of things. I also agree with another writer who said he had childhood issues. I wondered for years what his relationship with his mother had been like, because he hardly ever mentioned her at all, except to say she told him at one point that she didn’t like him “right now”. I think that hurt him a lot more than he realized, deep down. Not to get all psychoanalytic, but I think his relationship with his mother, which seemed cool to cold, was what made him so vulnerable with women. AA was the worst thing that could have happened to him. When I first heard they were together, I told my sister she’d be the “death of him”. I thought more in terms of her heavy smoking and drug use influencing him and possibly tempting him back into old bad habits. And although I saw her darkness, and his attraction to that, I didn’t think it would be that psychotic darkness that would be his undoing. It just breaks my heart. He had so much more to offer, most certainly to his child. If he’d perhaps been sober that night, he’d have had the chance to think clearly and think of Ariane before doing something so final.

  21. muller says:

    NR saw him in Ireland way back when where he was to be found having irish stew in one of our most famous bars (the Crown, Belfast). He handled the political analysis adeptly. They subtitled the thick belfast accents. Fair enough!

  22. catsworking says:

    Ida, okay, got into the link you provided and AA is claiming she broke up with Fabrizio, saying…

    “It is a closure without any resentment, because in that short period in which we felt and saw Fabrizio brought me a smile. He did me good, I do not think absolutely bad about him or that he is a bad person or that he used me.”

    Well, yes, he did “use” her, like men use hookers, if he paid her for the service.

    She goes on to say…

    “We have seen each other four times in a month and do not know where the idea of romance originated. He wanted to meet me to talk about work, I had been a great friend of his father Vittorio, a great publishing, at 19 years I wrote in his magazine-tells Asia-but already from the second time we saw the thing has degenerated in the gossip. Gossip is not my concern, it makes me horror.”

    It would seem Fabrizio going to the tabloids and describing in detail how he screwed AA on a table the second time they met would be where the rumor originated. What a pathetic, lying little skank she is.

  23. catsworking says:

    dellachiara, Bourdain’s parents divorced probably when he was in his 20s. It seemed they waited for both kids to be adults and then they split. When Bourdain’s father died suddenly of a heart attack at age 57, Gladys wasn’t mentioned as a survivor in the obituary, just the two sons. So it would seem it wasn’t an amicable divorce. But at some point, Tony got back on friendly terms with his mother because she said he had called her on Mother’s Day before he died and she seemed truly shaken up about his suicide.

    Also, whenever he filmed a show in Israel (NR? PU? They’re running together for me now), he revealed for the first time, to my surprise, that he was Jewish, which came from his mother. And he mentioned it again somewhere else in one of the later Parts Unknown episodes I saw recently. I always thought he was raised Catholic on his father’s French side, and sort of remember him mentioning or writing somewhere that he’d been an altar boy. I’m fuzzy on that.

    If he was on the outs with his mother, it doesn’t seem like he would have brought it up.

  24. In the Iceland Special Edition of No Reservations Chris Collins asks “Is your mother talking to you again after you accused her of being an alcoholic?” Tony puts his hand to his face and says “yeah she keeps calling and will you stop making me a comedic device”. Chris just says “wow”.

    Also, in The New Yorker article “Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast” his mother is described as “formidable and judgmental, and often clashed with her son.” He also “joked” one time about his mother not inviting for dinner since 1972, citing that as partly the reason he was always looking for someone’s grandmother to cook for him. I don’t doubt that he loved his mother and vice versa but it doesn’t seem like they had the closest relationship.

  25. Anita says:

    Karen, I almost wonder if AA doesn’t have some “kompromat” on AB that would be embarrassing to him or his family and threatened to use it if her name was mentioned in any way regarding his suicide.

    She likely also wanted money from CNN as director or producer or whatever to air the Florence segment. I just pray one day the whole truth comes out. There is someone that knows it besides AA and I do hope they tell all.

  26. Margeaux says:


    That’s rather revealing, this question posed to Tony about his mom’s alcoholism, then (body language) “putting hands to his face.” This could indicate he was being protective, concealment.
    Then followed by some very good misdirection, “yeah she keeps calling, etc.” Notice what Chris’ response is, “wow.” – disbelief.

    “Formidable and judgmental;” yeah….that doesn’t make for a cutzy kind of relationship especially w/a parent. My mom used to fit the formidable part. She never allowed any of her kids to get too close.
    Formidable and judgmental types don’t want us to. This would undoubtedly influence Tony’s relationships with women.

  27. Margeaux,

    It seems like Tony was always attracted to strong women (like his mother). Nancy doesn’t strike me as weak or passive. He always said that though he was a mess (untrustworthy, a hustler), Nancy was “no angel”. He likened their relationship to “Drugstore Cowboy”. Ottavia is obviously a woman with a mind and life of her own (though I think she was the best thing that ever happened to him – they may even still be together if not for his job). No matter what I think of AA, she’s not passive or weak.

  28. Anita, I honestly believe that Ottavia and his family are just displaying some class unlike AA. They have Ariane to think of and making a spectacle would prove nothing. Sure, some of his friends have insinuated that AA had a huge role, but nothing substantial.

  29. To add, shutting AA out of everything (from CNN down) speaks volumes. They don’t have to directly address it.

  30. catsworking says:

    Anita, you may have hit on something about AA and the Florence episode. It would certainly explain why she would repeatedly call CNN after Tony died. They had just wrapped Florence a week or two earlier and she may not have been paid for her participation yet.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if AA thinks she’s got “kompromat” on Tony, just like we think Putin’s got it on Trump. But after the whole mess about Jimmy Bennett came out, I can’t imagine what AA could have that would be worse. He was very up-front about his vices.

    Ottavia did mention to me shortly after Tony died that she feared litigation by AA. Over what, I have no idea.

  31. catsworking says:

    I honestly don’t know anything about Tony’s mother (except that one misguided soul identified ME as his mother in a video montage), but I’ve always had the impression that she called the shots in the family. Jewish mother stereotype? Maybe that’s why he got so rebellious as a teenager.

    He followed Nancy to Vassar, even though it wasn’t co-ed at the time. And he said she was the one who would fight to keep them from getting evicted.

    Ottavia is probably bravest of all, giving up Italy and family to start from scratch in a new country when she was a very young woman.

  32. Karen, could it be the Jimmy Bennett thing? That came out months after.

  33. catsworking says:

    Clem, that could be it. This would have been before we knew about Bennett. I’m trying to remember the time frame, but I think it would have been when Ottavia was talking a lot to Tony’s lawyer to get a handle on his situation as his executor. Seems the lawyer would have told her about the Bennett situation if she wasn’t already aware because it was bound to come up, since Bennett was getting $10K a month payments and we don’t know who was making those at the time.

  34. *Nods* Thanks again, Karen, btw. This is the only place still discussing Tony. As crazy as it sounds, I’m still mourning him and need a place like this with like-minded folk.

  35. catsworking says:

    Clem, Cats Working was the first site that was covering him like a celebrity, warts and all, long before he really was recognized as one. Ottavia Googling him to see what coverage he was getting is, I think, how they found me because there wasn’t that much out there and Google was putting me high in its rankings.

    When he got over his fear of social media and started giving interviews to anyone who would listen, I let Eater.com and GrubStreet (is that site gone?) take the reins because he was talking to them and I couldn’t improve on that, but their focus was on his career. Now that that’s over, they’ve got nothing.

    From the beginning I’ve covered the whole enchilada, professional and personal. And there’s still stuff happening if you’re paying attention.

  36. Karen, I’ve been following him since No Reservations but, unfortunately, never found your blog until his death. I just watched his shows. His suicide peaked my “interest”, for lack of a better word and I found you via google. Just trying to understand it, I guess. Since then, I’ve searched IMDB and watched every episode, from A Cook’s Tour to now.

  37. catsworking says:

    In addition to what I was digging up about his background, I wrote a weekly column about his doings during the No Reservations years, I think, for several years. You can find them in the archives. It used to take the better part of every Sunday to get them done. It was grueling. As his fame grew, his activities were like octopus tentacles going in every direction and it became too much to keep up with. Besides, Eater and Grub had direct access and were scooping me on everything, so I gave up.

    For a long time after that I rarely wrote about him unless something really got my attention, like he published a book. I ran a few book clubs here where we discussed those chapter by chapter in a separate section from the blog. I wanted him to be able to see how people who “got him” were receiving his work, in more detail than a conventional book review, if he cared. But I’ve since deleted all that content.

    He outgrew me, and I hadn’t seen him in person in several years. But the morning I heard he had died, I ran straight to the computer and put out a short post because I just knew that people who’d been reading about him here years ago would come back and they’d expect me to say something. And they did. Immediately. I was actually shocked (in a flattered way) by how much they did.

  38. Anita says:

    Karen, I’m the same as Clem. Didn’t know about your blog until his death and so glad I found it. I KNEW it had something to do with AA and yours was the first place to confirm my suspicions. At some point when I am ready, I will go back through your archives and read everything you have written about AB. You are a wonderful writer so I’m certain it is very entertaining.

    Since you obviously had the foresight to see how talented AB was, can you give us your thoughts on the 2020 election? I know it’s early but I’m just not seeing a Democratic front runner yet. I don’t think the party does either.

  39. Anita & Karen, I have also gone through the archives here and read everything Bourdain related. That’s what gave me information to run with. I’m not trying to flatter you, Karen, but this is an excellent resource, so thank you. (So, that was flattering but I’m just expressing gratitude :))

  40. catsworking says:

    Clem, thank you! I do believe I have the most complete archive on Bourdain’s personal life you’ll find anywhere on the internet. I’d been feeling kind of burned out on blogging over the past few years. It’s really discouraging to publish what you think is a good post and hear crickets, which happened a lot. But one reason I kept paying for the domain was the Bourdain stuff. It would be lost.

    Covering this sad story got me interested in blogging again, although I still don’t do it as often as I did in the early days.

  41. catsworking says:

    Anita, as for 2020, the Democrats had better get their shit together and let the younger generation have a seat at the adult table. I don’t want to see Bernie or Biden or — God forbid — Hillary.

    I wouldn’t mind Biden, but he’ll be 78 in 2020. If he wants to serve one term and then step aside for his VP (who will be a younger woman) to take over, fine.

    As for those younger possibilities, I don’t have any picks yet, but I predict a woman will be on the ticket.

    I feel more sure about the Republicans. First, I don’t think Trump’s running for re-election, if he’s even still president in 2020. There’s no way he’s going to survive Mueller and all the investigations to start in January and have a sane marble left in his head. If he doesn’t have the grace to drop dead and the feds don’t nail him, the state of New York will bring him down for his decades of fraud, money laundering and tax evasion, like any common gangster, and he’ll end his life in jail or a mental hospital. He’s clearly got dementia. He’s losing his ability to reason and speak right in front of our eyes. Most of what he says is babbling nonsense and the media is finally starting to quote him verbatim so we can see it.

    If Trump does somehow manage to hang on, I think Romney will challenge him for the nomination, and Romney will get it. He’s the only Republican who hasn’t been in DC rolling around in Trump’s muck, committing treason. If he stands up as the only GOP voice of reason in the Senate, I think he’s got a good shot. But I still think a Democrat will win the presidency.

  42. Karen, I *really* like Beto O’Rourke. He almost stole Ted’s crown in Texas which is HUGE. That said, I’m not sure of his substance. Yes, he was pleasing with his inspirational speeches and reminded me of Obama. I just wonder if he has the chops for Washington.

  43. Anita says:

    Karen, I was really disappointed in 2016 when Hillary ran. I’m not a hater but just thought there was too much baggage there. Guess I was right! And honestly the Repub Congress would have ripped her to shreds and she likely would have been impeached by now for something.

    If Trump does run, I do think Biden is one of the few that could take him on, but agree he is getting old. We do not need 80 year old Presidents. And there will definitely be a woman VP on the ticket. The Dems are total idiots if there isn’t.

    Clem, I like Beto too but just wish he had a little more experience in Washington. Trump had none and it shows.

    Lord, just let me live long enough to see Trump out of the White House by any means. I am clearing my calendar right now for the whole month of November, 2020. The celebration has to last at least a full month.

  44. Also, though Canadian, my mother spent a lot of time travel nursing in the states, first in Texas. I *loved* Texas. It was the first time I really, really realized how big the civil rights movement was back in the 60’s. Our cab driver for most of our trip was African American and as a sheltered Canadian, I realized he lived through the “no blacks allowed“ era. It is easy to live and read about that kind of news until you meet someone who lived through it. Someone kind, thoughtful, etc. I really hope the US changes tracks again in 2020. So sad for the US and US (we are supposed allies) with Trump in charge.

  45. Anita, I agree, mostly. I still believe that Clinton was running on her husband’s legacy (whether she wanted to or not) AND, as some thoughtful Twitter said, that America was more sexist than racist. Clinton didn’t want to run on Bill’s presidency but that’s the baggage she carried. She was also a woman. That glass ceiling is hard to smash. She was obviously the most qualified candidate, no matter what her politics. She does lack the charisma of an Obama or Beto. I still can’t figure if that’s due to sex or personality.

  46. Babybee says:

    Karen, couldn’t agree with more on every point you’ve made. I assume that the family sees that there’s so much dirtiness and scum still surrounding the situation that they’re waiting until it all goes quiet (as it always does with trash like Asia). As for public statements, I think take comfort in the things Ottavia, Sandra Ripert, and @biggayicecream “favorite” on social media. I hope, hope being the keyword, that maybe his loved ones are just now coming to terms with everything surrounding Jimmy and the terror he suffered at her hand and are trying to formulate comments that respect AB and the situation? I have a feeling Boulud probably “slipped”, but I thank him for it. It does bring some comfort. If we’re still suffering, can you imagine what they’re going through 😦 Anyway, you aren’t alone and thank you again for a beautifully said post.

  47. Adele Prass says:

    Karen, Clem, Anita, et. al., against my better instincts, I often watch Bill Maher (he infuriated me much of the time). He keeps saying that if Trump is still president in 2020 and is defeated in the election, he just won’t leave; there’s already been a coup. Normally, i’d pooh-pooh this, but since Maher and Michael Moore were very early predictiors that Trump would defeat Hillary, the thought nags me. Honestly, I don’t see any likely Dem contenders at the moment. My views are left and less hawkish than Biden’s, but save the age thing, I think he’d have the best shot at peeling away some of Trump’s base. So like Karen, I think if he run for just one term, picking a younger, more progressive running marte, female, black or brown, I could live with that.

    Oh, and Karen, Tony was raised Catholic, but he was Bar Mitzvahed at the Wailing Wall in the Jerusalem PU Episode. The itinerant rabbi, who performed the ceremony reminded him that Judaism is handed down through the maternal line, so regardless of how he was raised, Jews would regard him as Jewish. I’m

  48. catsworking says:

    Clem, I like Beto, too, and I’m not 100% sure he lost to Ted Cruz. There were a couple of races that didn’t pass the smell test, and that was one of them.

    Like you, not sure he’s got the stuff to leap to the top and be president, especially with the colossal mess that will need to be cleaned up after Trump. That’s why Biden for four years might not be a bad idea.

  49. catsworking says:

    Clem and Anita, I think if Hillary had divorced Bill when he left the White House, and then gone on to the Senate and secretary of state, she’d have mopped the floor with Trump because she would have proven that she could do it on her own.

    But she hedged her bets and kept Bill around for whatever clout he could give her and it backfired.

  50. catsworking says:

    Babybee, thank you for the kind words. Agree that things are much harder for the family than for any of us, and they are showing miraculous restraint and class in the face of AA’s ceaseless vileness. That’s something we need right now, with an orange ape and his mail-order bride in the White House.

  51. catsworking says:

    Adele, Madam Secretary last week did an episode with just that scenario, but they used a dictator in Haiti for Trump. His successor was elected, but he refused to leave. The U.S. ended up letting him go into exile in Monaco with his ill-gotten fortune intact.

    Trump can’t stage a coup because enough of the military probably hates his guts by now that they’d mutiny rather than follow orders to illegally keep him in power. If he’s still in the WH by 2020, he’ll be such a babbling idiot that they’ll merely remove him in a straitjacket if he refuses to leave. His verbal skills have deteriorated so much since he got the job, he probably won’t be able to form a sentence in two years. Read the interview he just did with The Washington Post. A lot of it is pure gibberish.

    I’ll admit I didn’t watch the Jerusalem episode too closely and don’t remember the Bar Mitzvah at all. The way I understood it from a Jewish man I used to date, Bourdain would be considered Jewish through the blood of his mother, regardless of what faith he practiced. So even though Bourdain’s father was a French Catholic, his kids had no choice but to be Jewish because of the woman he had them with.

  52. dellachiara says:

    He HAS the chops for Washington! I believe this without a doubt! He’s super-savvy and smart, and his politics point to a great future.

  53. catsworking says:

    dellachiara, if Beto runs I’d vote for him! As a political newbie, I think he’d have a better chance of winning than Michael Avenatti, who seemed too good to be true before his various skeletons started falling out of the closet. He may be innocent on the wife-beating charge, but there seems to be some definite sleaze around his law practices.

  54. Margeaux says:


    Definitely, I also think Tony was attracted to strong women.
    I’m sure his first wife, and Ottavia are very strong each in their individual ways.

    This last unfortunate fling he ended up having, although some people may consider her to be strong, I’d have to ask how people define strong, relating to someone like this lot lizard! She’s the daughter of someone w/certain amount of notoriety in her country.
    She’s no different from some privileged and entitled children riding their parent’s coat tails. So inauthentic, parading around like some bad ass, putting her fist up. Laughable@!! O.K., I’m super tempted to say something so unflattering at this point, but I’ll restrain myself.

  55. catsworking says:

    Morgan, you missed the whole discussion of Italian words for bad women.

    Your description of AA riding on her parents’ coattails reminds me of Trump, once again. Without his daddy, he’d be nothing.

  56. Rachel says:

    I have to to disagree with the general opinion that the women Anthony picked were “strong”. None of these women are what I would define?as strong. Quite the opposite. The correct words are “manipulative and “needy”. Nancy has been described, many times here and elsewhere, as a junkie who couldn’t or wouldn’t hold a job. “Sea” lawyering to save yourself from being evicted is not a profession. Anthony was the one who had to support her. Ass-ia also pulled a “poor me” act with Anthony and played the victim of Weinstein, her parents, Jimmy, her exes, to get Anthony’s sympathy and money. Manipulative, absolutely, “strong”, no. I will not comment too much on Ottavia because she is Anthony’s widow and the mother of his child. Her MMA obsession is a bit much and it’s more of a very expensive hobby than a real profession. I don’t think Anthony really knew how to deal with a really “strong” woman with a real career. He didn’t exactly date doctors, lawyers, writers or even other chefs, did he? He gravitated towards women who were good at taking from him but I’m not sure what he really got in return.

  57. catsworking says:

    Rachel, agreed that AA is anything but strong. Conniving and manipulative, yes. She’s strong like a snake.

    Nancy, I don’t know, but she had his back for many years through thick and mostly thin, and still seems to be loyal by maintaining her silence. There was a co-dependency there that gave him what he needed until his life changed. When she wasn’t willing to change with it, even though he initiated the split, he took it very hard.

    Ottavia essentially raised their daughter as a single mother. Yes, the MMA 24/7 probably was a factor in the split, but he was always off in 50 other directions. She stayed in NYC keeping the household going while he was making TV and mostly off the hook on the boring day-to-day stuff (a situation he seemed to feel conflicted about until they separated and it was officially no longer his problem). If Ottavia does follow through and open a school, then it will make more sense. She would have to attain the highest level of proficiency she could to have the cred to make a school successful.

  58. dellachiara says:

    I find it really troubling that so many unqualified people want to run for President. Avenatti, Kid Rock, Dwayne Johnson? Kanye West?! Give me a break! I guess no one seems to realize what’s involved with being President, how complex and difficult a job it really is (if you want to do it well, at least). You are the leader of the strongest country in the free world. This is no cakewalk! trump has shown us what complete and utter failure looks like and I hope people have learned something from that, but I wonder when I hear about these actors and other absolutely inexperienced, unqualified people wanting to run. As for Beto, I don’t think he’s ready for the Presidency just yet, but in a few more years, yes. I also hope Bernie doesn’t get the nomination. He’s dedicated to his vision and a lot of that is good, but he’s not rounded enough and I think that would be an issue. The Dems best candidates are future ones – people like Beto or Ocasio Cortez (she’s one to watch!), or the new Kennedy on the block, Joe III. Then there is Kamala Harris, another strong future candidate, imo. That doesn’t solve their current need for a strong candidate, though. Perhaps if Biden chose someone like Kamala as his running mate?

    Anyway, in the end, as long as the next president isn’t a republican, especially not a Mike Pence, I’ll be happy. Btw, I too am Canadian. We have a man here, the current premier of Ontario, who is trump’s mini-me. I believe he will run for premier of the country within the next few years and he may even win. Horror of horrors! One reason I’ve been following US politics, besides that it’s interesting, is because I see the potential for a “trump problem” here in Canada as well. We have our own nationalists and racists, our own ultra-conservatives with all their skewed values, our own misogynists. It’s very frightening to think of what could happen here as well.

  59. MorganLF says:

    Karen, post spot on. Using Tony as a poster boy for suicide restaurant or other wise is shyte. He was as you say, subject to a sudden break spurred on by alcohol and a merciless cunt. You’re right, he’d not have approved.

    He was prideful that no matter what, dope sick, hung over he was never late and never missed a shift, unlike Nancy who never worked, but As Rachel correctly points out he never had a taste for successful professional women.

    Ottavia was good for him, they had the same frame of reference, she was also in the restaurant industry and Italian. Read his books he’s always fancied Italians, having grown up in north Jersey an area with a large Italian presence. He did a No Res show in Jersey with Batali and said as much years back. So the Italian thing led him to the beast….

    I saw the puttana discussion too late not much more I can add. I use the phrase a lot and it does sound like I’m saying bhutan.

    Today Trump got slapped hard by Mueller with Michael Cohen plea. Mueller circling the wagons and it’s ready to come crashing down. It’s the money trail to the Russians and Saudis. He was so greedy and transparent I think Mueller and the entire DOJ take it personally. They buttoned up this case against a dupe, a Russian asset.

    I’ve said it all along. When trump was a multiple bankrupt only the Russians would touch him, to use him as a money laundering dupe. If trump thinks he can f’ with the rule of law and Mueller he be wrong. Mad wrong.

    Remember that midget Putin hates Obama whose sanctions wrecked the Russian economy. He tampered with our elections to put his stooge in office, and that idiot trump began to believe he has divine right.

    Don’t know whose next but Biden is old and he was a shit to Anita Hill. Gavin Newsome looks good but needs more seasoning.

    I’ll tell you what has me scared, Pence. I’d vote for Romney before I’d let that evangelical creep in office.

  60. dellachiara says:

    As for Tony’s relationship with his mother, even if he was back on speaking terms with her, the damage in their relationship was done. I have no doubt there was a certain love between them, but I don’t think she ever met his emotional needs as a child. Even when he died, she was upset but seemed somehow oddly removed and cold about it all. When she said she was shocked he had killed himself, that he had never shown a tendency toward that kind of thinking, I wondered which Tony she was talking about! If a stranger like me could see it, how would his own mother not pick up on that?! I didn’t know about the accusation of alcoholism, but I just got a bad vibe off her when I finally saw her speak after his death. No wonder their relationship was emotionally distant. And that informed all his later relationships with women, of course. And I agree with Rachel. I’m not sure they are strong. Ottavia probably the most, although she has her own issues. Nancy is a survivor, but strong? Not so sure. And of course, AA is a lamprey, a leach, a psychotic narcissist, and a compulsive liar. She really does remind me of trump. Same personality disorder.

    PS: Yes, Tony was an altar boy. I remember him mentioning it once. And he was Jewish on his mother’s side. Another thing I remember was during one of his NR shows in India, he went to see an astrologer/psychic. This man told Tony not to get involved in “kinky” sex. He didn’t say it in exactly those terms, but it was what he meant. Tony just shrugged and shook his head like he didn’t know what the fellow was talking about. Of course, this was long before AA, but I imagine that’s the kind of sex she hooks men with. Just my opinion.

  61. dellachiara says:

    Sorry, one last thing… I just read an article in The Intercept about just what we were talking about re future Democrat leaders and this quote really struck home.

    “Grijalva, an Arizona representative who supported Lee (and gave Ocasio-Cortez money after her primary win), said that it was more appropriate to think of generational change as a mindset rather than a number. The party’s goal, he said, should be to embrace ideas that the younger generation supports, not merely look for younger people to push forward the same old ideas.

    He paraphrased Robert F. Kennedy to make his point. “Age is not a question of time, it’s one of mindset,” Grijalva said.”


    Good point.

  62. YouShouldKnow says:

    Ottavia had no problem leaving their daughter with the nanny so she could travel with Eddie to Brazil, Japan, etc. I’m not dissing her for having a nanny, who wouldn’t want one? But I’m saying this picture of her hunkering down the fort and single momming it while Anthony is away just doesn’t seem accurate.

    There’s parallels between Asia and Ottavia essentially rubbing their relationship with younger men who are more into their ‘hobby’ then he desperately tried to be. Hugo was more involved in ‘Me Too’ and Eddie with BJJ. A lot of rumors that went around years ago were feeding off of what she was choosing to put out their publicly. It’s easy see why that is. Anthony essentially started to take a backseat, and this was noticed by people and he was mocked for it. Even when she went to the Cayman Cookout in 2015, 2016 – she chose to post pictures of her and Eddie. Not her and husband. Now people say ‘oh there’s lots of reason a marriage falls apart’. True. It’s also an interesting coincidence that Eddie’s fell apart around the same exact time.

    Remember in 2016 when Anthony got his ass kicked in the bjj tournament and went off the France alone where he impulsively took a bunch of pills? Well he also said this in one of the his last interviews with Popula that I felt was a bit related to BJJ and how he really felt about the competition aspect.

    “Sports, fucking hated them. Always hated sports. Again, it goes back to that Sixties thing… I just wanna fucking survive. I don’t need to be number one. I don’t need to beat the fuck out of somebody. I don’t need to be ahead. I just want to still be here at the end of the fuckin’ day, doing what I’m doing, without anybody hassling me.”

    “I don’t need to beat the fuck out of somebody.” Is a bit of an odd thing to drop there context wise and also considering that’s what his wife and his wife’s boyfriend are really into.

    Anyways the point of this is that maybe Ottavia doesn’t want to say to much publicly because she doesn’t know what Asia could clapback with. Anthony thought she was his soulmate after all. Maybe he told her how he really felt about those around him. There was also that vague tweet Asia did about his mother. Maybe his family doesn’t want to be in a public war of words over who really broke his heart the most?

    Also did anyone see RainDoves latest tweets from a few nights ago? She claims that Asia showed her conversations he had where he expressed bitterness toward CNN, said he had problems with family, and how he was depressed/bored. I’m not sure what to make of it. She likes attention no doubt but she seemed tipsy and was only responding after people kept questioning her for months about it.

  63. YouShouldKnow says:

    Oh and about his mother. Two things that I thought were strange about her statement she made to the NY Times following his death.

    She said the last time she spoke to him was via email on mothers day. So the last she talked to her son was a month before he died and it wasn’t even a phone call for mothers day. Doesn’t seem like a close relationship. Most people like to keep more in touch with their parents when they’re that elderly.

    Also they asked her if she had spoken to Ottavia and she said no. A bit odd that you would be speaking to a paper before the mother of his child after your son just killed himself. On the flip side, to play devils advocate, people do weird shit when in shock so it’s not exactly the best time to judge someone.

  64. Margeaux says:

    Lets not forget that Ottavia was reportedly working a managerial position in the restaurant industry right up to almost the time of delivery of their first child. It is totally understandable, no less a new mom leave her job to tend to an infant. Anyway, I wasn’t just referring to the fact that these women hold down professions.
    Strength can be demonstrated in other ways, especially as women.

  65. catsworking says:

    dellachiara, I think the country has seen what a disaster it is to elect (Well, we didn’t elect him. He lost by nearly 3 million votes. The quirk of the Electoral College put him in office.) a totally inexperienced outsider, so the next know-nothing will have an even higher hurdle than Trump.

    I think pairing a seasoned politician like Biden with a next-gen running mate would be ideal, if the oldster agrees to bow out gracefully after one term. Today I saw that John Kerry might consider trying again. Bernie, no. He’s too old. Period.

    Who the Dems pick is very important, but I don’t think the GOP has a prayer of holding onto the presidency in 2020, no matter who they run.

    I hope Canada learns from the shitshow down here. I don’t know about your backward-thinking racist population, but my general opinion of Canada is that saner heads will prevail.

  66. Margeaux says:


    This is such a great photo of Tony, he had all that lovely curly hair!

  67. catsworking says:

    YouShouldKnow, thanks for the all the new info. I will confess I know zip about Ottavia and Eddie. I asked her about him back in the summer and she never responded, so I assumed they were a thing. When it started, I have no idea because I wasn’t following her BJJ activities. But it would have been in 2015 when things must have fallen apart in the marriage because Tony hooked up with AA in April 2016.

    I don’t think they had a full-time nanny in the beginning because they couldn’t afford it and they were living in his bachelor apartment, which I would assume was relatively small. They bought the double condo which is now on the market just a few years ago (again, I’m not near my notes), which had enough bedrooms for a live-in, but by then, Ariane was in school.

    Haven’t seen anything about Rain lately. I have a hard time believing that Bourdain was unhappy with CNN. Any bitterness about that would be coming from AA because she probably thought she had a big career as a journalist ahead of her. Problems with family, depression, boredom, OK. I’ll buy that. He did seem burned out.

    One of the things I always liked about Bourdain was that he had no interest in sports. In that, we were soulmates. The only sport I can tolerate in the least is horse racing, and that’s because the participants are animals and the game is over in about 2 minutes.

  68. Rachel says:

    Poor Gladys, Anthony’s mother. Everyone blaming her for his crappy choices in women. Well, what about his brother Christopher? He is successful and stable (I know nothing about his personal life..Is he married?). Let’s not forget, his father died when the sons were young. Anthony said he was shucking oysters and on methadone for his heroin addiction when his father passed away. Can you imagine what that was like for his mother, to be left alone with a drug addicted son seemingly going nowhere and another one even younger to raise? Let’s give Gladys a break. Drug addicts often have terrible relationships with their families, who are usually just trying to help them…
    Regarding RainDove, “they” are always getting themselves involved in Anthony’s private life. I didn’t see the tweets, and I checked her/his Twitter. Are they still there? Maybe she/he took them down..
    There are a few places that are still discussing Bourdain and you can find some interesting information in them. Reddit, Datalounge, to name a couple. The Orange Janitor IG account, which was one of the first to post the Ass-ia and Hugo photos, is much quieter lately and doesn’t get much traffic.

  69. catsworking says:

    Rachel, I think Tony was in his 20s when his father died, and Christopher is not that much younger, so Gladys was never raising kids as a widow. As far as I know, he’s married, and he has 2 kids who must be adults now. Tony once did a twisted Thanksgiving or Christmas episode of No Res and they were in it when they were teenagers.

    I don’t have a problem with Gladys. I think more mother than not are problematic. It’s complicated.

  70. catsworking says:

    Rachel, if you see anything new that seems credible in these other places, please don’t hesitate to share it here. I don’t go too far out of my way to dig up stuff on Bourdain these days. If it happens to cross my path, I assume it was meant to be. Otherwise, I leave it alone.

  71. MorganLF says:

    Tony and O had a nanny early on. He referenced her on his Travel Chanel blog about how Arianne learned philipino words for “ yum” and “I want”. I believe she is named in Tony’s will and her child is a brother to Arianne.

    I posited then where did she live, at the time they moved to a larger rental a 2 bedroom, in a posh building on the UES…rooftop pool etc.

    I honestly don’t know if O traveled without her child with Eddie as has been discussed, but I do know the second time Karen, Donna, Adele and I went to the DC FOOD FIGHT..we were in communication with Ottavia and planning on meeting up.

    Tony came over and let us know the baby was sick and O was not coming.

    Then as Donna will confirm, he bummed a Marlboro off me.

    From my observation, I have nothing bad to say about Ottavia and this place is not a forum to discuss her parenting or suitability as a wife.

  72. catsworking says:

    Morgan, to clarify one thing: the nanny’s brother is “like” a brother to Ariane. Bourdain didn’t pull a Schwarzenegger. 🙂

    And I agree with you that anyone looking for criticism or bashing of Ottavia here for her parenting skills, marriage, or relationship with Eddie will come up empty with the Cats Working core crowd. We love her like a daughter and I give her credit for keeping him grounded and functioning many years longer than he probably would have if left to his own devices, given the caliber of girlfriends we saw him pick between Nancy and Ottavia.

    PS: Tony and Ottavia were introduced to each other through the Riperts. Ottavia had worked in Eric’s restaurant and is good friends with his wife Sandra. When Ottavia met Tony, I believe she was the banquet manager for Geisha restaurant in NYC (which the Real Housewives of NYC frequented at least once on their show, so it isn’t a greasy chopstick kind of place).

  73. Adele Prass says:

    And Morgan and Karen, just to put in my two cents, the Riperts continue to be good friends with Ottavia, at least from what I glean from Twitter and Instagram. If they thought she treated Tony badly or was neglectful of Ariane, I doubt that the friendship would have continued. Although I’ve never met her, she’s always been gracious to me, sending a thank you note for the book I gave to Ariane, chit chatting on Twitter, and recently, when I posted a photo of Tony and me (I don’t know how to post on this blog) on Instagram, she was the first to like it. And Tony looked happy with Ottavia, no haunted eyes. So there.

    BTW, on the bad names for women subject, the French word for hooker, which I’m also told is used just as an expletive, is “putain.” Similar to “putana,” huh?

  74. Adele Prass says:

    And one more thing, regarding Tony’s mom, Gladys. I never had the impression that they were terribly close — I think Tony got his dreamy romantic side from his dad, who was a huge film and music buff. But Gladys was a copy editor at the New York Times, and it was she, who convinced Tony to submit the piece to the New Yorker, which was the germ of Kitchen Confidential.

  75. Margeaux says:

    Adele Prass,

    Yes, the French do use “putain,” as an expletive. When I once lived in Spain many French would visit the Canary Islands where I lived and they were always using it this way. You brought up some memories for me. Thanks.

  76. catsworking says:

    Adele, I seem to remember that at least one summer the Riperts were in the Hamptons in August with the Bourdains. I don’t know if they spent the whole month there, but they did things together as couples. Also the Cayman Cookout, I would imagine.

    Since Eric was with Tony when he died, I should think he and his wife helped Ottavia and Ariane through the aftermath.

    PS: I don’t think you can post photos in comments here. It’s never been done, and I don’t know how it would be.

  77. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, you’ve got me wondering why the French would “always” be talking about hookers on the Canary Islands. 😉

  78. Margeaux says:

    HAAH@! That’s funny Karen. In this case using it as an expletive,
    really translates to something like, Oh “eff word,” or “WTF.”
    Anyway that is what one French friend explained to me, since I knew the prostitute meaning.

  79. catsworking says:

    Oh, OK. I get ya. I’m glad they weren’t commenting on the natives!

  80. L says:

    Hi everyone, I’ve been out of the loop recently due to my hectic grad school schedule, but now that the semester is winding down I’m finally catching up! Excellent post once again, Karen! I don’t have much input to add regarding AA, but it is painful to see Tony slip into irrelevance. That said, I’m definitely buying his official biography, I know it’s in good hands. Are any of you familiar with Laurie Woolever’s podcast, Carbface? I just started listening to it, and it’s very charming. I can definitely see why she had a good rapport with Tony even if their physical interactions were kept to a minimum —-he was a guest on her podcast though earlier this year! I’m still on the fence about CNN’s documentary—-it feels, I don’t know, exploitative? If ZPZ aren’t involved, I definitely won’t be watching it. A funny tidbit regarding his religion: in an episode of NR, Tony and Ottavia crashed a wedding in Italy, and I remember him wistfully thinking about how they should have had a church wedding instead of eloping to a city hall. Then they both immediately joked how their Catholic cards were probably already rejected due to all the sins they have committed. It was hilarious!

    As for the elections, I think Beto O’ Rourke is a strong viable candidate. As a Texan, I was sad that he lost, but I wasn’t shocked that he did. I was shocked he lost in within a 3 point margin because quite frankly, I thought it’d be much larger than that. Karen, to answer your question on why he lost, it’s very simple: all of the caravan fear mongering Trump did before elections worked. The number one concern for Texans who voted was immigration so naturally, Ted Cruz’s hard stance on the border re-elected him. I’m sure Beto would have faired better if he was more moderate leaning. However, there is a blue reckoning happening! The county I grew up in my childhood is notoriously red, it’s like one of the top three most conservative counties in Texas, however, it was one of the counties that gained a significant democrat vote, and that made me incredibly proud!

  81. L says:

    Also, I’d like to add that I hope they get to interview with Nancy for the book. I know she did her best to remain out of the spotlight, and will continue to do so, but I feel like she is the only one who truly knew pre-fame Tony. Considering everything they’ve been through for 30+ years, it’d be interesting to hear from her, but I’ll doubt that happen. I hope she’s doing okay; even though they’ve been separated for well over a decade with barely any contact, they did essentially grow up together so I know his death must have been hard for her.

  82. Rachel says:

    Nancy has no social media presence on the net whatsoever. Her sister, Joan, IS on Facebook, but she is not “Facebook friends” with Nancy. I did find that Nancy is also known as “Anne Bourdain” and she seems to have been living in a house in Ft. Lee, NJ with her sister. I doubt she will consent to be interviewed for the book, and I am sure she has her reasons.

  83. catsworking says:

    L, welcome back! I didn’t realize Lauri Woolever was doing a podcast, but I love the title! I’ll have to check that out. In writing Tony’s biography, I would guess she’s casting her net to catch as many people who would be able to round out his story as possible, and that would definitely include Nancy. Since Nancy did surface to comment in that New Yorker article about when he OD’d in France, I should think she’s be willing to talk about their early days together. There’s really no reason not to now. You can’t defame the dead.

    CNN would have to work with ZPZ to do the documentary, since they were the source of almost all Bourdain film and must have oodles of unused footage from all those years. I don’t know if I’d call it exploitive, but it feels superfluous unless they’re going to go places in his life we’ve never seen before, which would mean the Nancy days. Bourdain left behind such a mountain of video and interviews and books about his life, it’s hard to figure what they could say that won’t feel like, “OK, we know that. What else you got?”

    Of course, for people who just watched the show and didn’t look beyond that, anything CNN could put together about his life would probably be a revelation.

    Now that you mention it, I DO remember the episode of Tony and Ottavia crashing the wedding. I was studious about capturing most of NR on DVD back in the day when I was writing about that, so I probably have it. When I need a Bourdain fix, that’s the series I would prefer to watch, when he was feeling good, happily married, and pre-AA. (Of course, I love anything he did with Eric Ripert on Parts Unknown. Comedy gold!)

    On politics, it is miraculous that the Democrats did as well as they did in the border states. But it just goes to show the level of disgust the country has for Trump, regardless of all the yapping about keeping his base happy. It’s not as big as he thinks, and it’s dwindling by the day. Trump is on the verge of finally being exposed as the inept mob boss wannabe with delusions of billionairehood that New Yorkers have always known he was.

    The stress of the suspense is turning him into a babbling idiot whose ability to communicate is eroding before our eyes. I see the end of Trump coming, particularly once Putin throws in the towel on him come January when Congress jerks Trump’s leash up short and Trump can’t wrangle any more favors for Russia.

  84. catsworking says:

    Rachel, you HAVE been doing your homework! Thanks for your findings on Nancy. I haven’t tried to hunt her down in years and didn’t know any of this. I think it’s classy of her to be keeping quiet, especially right now when everybody is trashing everybody (myself included, to my embarrassment). But I will be surprised if she’s omitted from the biography. I guess we’ll see.

  85. Rachel says:

    Catsworking, it was easy. Google is your friend! Btw, Eric Ripert was interviewed on CBS morning news yesterday. His wonderful and renowned restaurant, Le Bernadin, was voted the best restaurant in the world by a Paris based group called La Liste. He was so gracious and modest about his achievement. He spoke very lovingly about Anthony but did not discuss his death or the reasons behind it. I could see he was trying not to get too emotional. He’s such a lovely man.

  86. L says:

    Superfluous, that’s the word I was looking for! I am interested in seeing how far back into his life the biography and documentary will go. I personally would be interested in learning about his life pre-television. Like I know he already discussed that in Kitchen Confidential, but his pre-kitchen cook days weren’t explored that much; probably for a good reason though (this is where Nancy could help give some insight). I know he filmed a documentary chronicling him around the time Kitchen Confidential was released, I believe that was made into a NR special, so I wonder if there was any other unaired footage of him around that time. Or possibly during time of his transition from A Cook’s Tour to No Reservations? That would be interesting since we know that was a dark period in his life. I thought about that brief email Nancy sent in that interview as well, so I looked it up and it was from The New Yorker. Perhaps she would be willing to talk about him in the biography. I’ll keep my fingers crossed though because I know she’s private, and likeTony has mentioned multiple times, he’s burned down bridges from that part of his life.

    As I was glimpsing through the New Yorker interview, he mentioned how proud he was of AA and the work she was doing with the Me Too movement. I wonder what he would of thought of her (I guess I have something to say about her after all) now that she has officially renounced being a part of the movement. She said something along the lines that the activist part of her life is over, she made her “contributions” and now it was time for her to move on (it was in Italian, so the translation was spotty). I bet she’s just pissed that she can’t inflate her “importance” in the movement anymore now that her reputation in it is tarnished.

    No Reservations is my go-to Tony program as well. While I adore Parts Unknown’s cinematic grandeur, it’s tone is definitely more serious; he seemed more serious, especially in the episodes post-AA. He only showed glimpses of his goofy relaxed No Res-era self when he went on escapades with Eric. He seemed happier on PU with him which is ironic given the circumstances. I’ll always wonder how that France episode would have panned out if he had lived. Would his state of mind have shown on screen with Eric? We’ll never know.
    I saw that interview Rachel was talking about with Eric, and it was lovely!

    About Trump, you’re exactly right! People have to acknowledge that his base is incredibly niche. There’s the Republican Party and then there’s the MAGA Party; most republicans (who have decency) don’t even like his ass! There’s only so much pandering he can do before his platform runs out…

  87. bamboo.skewer says:

    I have mixed conflicting feelings. While Tony sought the spotlight and seemed comfortable with it, that doesn’t mean his family is the same. I don’t know their motivations, obviously. But maybe they don’t want the circus. Maybe they want to live their lives without cameras and phone calls and emails from media. If they start to talk, where does it stop? I can understand this. (For awhile I worked in a place that got lots of national media, and I was being pushed to be more media savvy. I would speak to print reporters and on the radio but was wary. I had NO interest in being on the big national morning TV shows. Not even local TV news. NONE. I understand.)

    On the other hand. Willing or unwilling, they ARE family, friends, ex-wife of a celebrity with a reputation that inevitably continues after death. Total silence, always, does leave you wondering. Why not just one statement? A statement in writing. Even a sentence. Celebrities do it all the time when they divorce or separate. “We’re moving on with our lives. Please let us do so privately. We will not respond to any further requests at this time.” This leaves the door open to media engagement in the future whenever a book or CNN’s movie is released. Why can’t the family savvily capture what they might want the public to know in one well-crafted sentence? Two sentences if they feel generous. There’s a writer on board. Surely she can write so you can read between the lines. Karen, your suggested sentence speaks volumes.

    So. Because they cannot even issue one sentence, in writing, I feel like an asshole now, but I feel like I want to call them pussies.


    I did it. I got what I think out of my system. I feel better. But I am selfish, and lack empathy for the family in this moment of my selfishness as a fan of a celebrity. Yeah I DO feel like I want to kick people when they’re down. I’m an ass. (Hey, at least I’m fully aware of my failings!) So, smush me to the mat with a jiu-jitsu move, I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to actively counter-act Asia’s moves anymore. Why should I waste my time of my life, when the family and friends don’t … or won’t? I still follow here, I pop in The Orange Janitor insta maybe 1x/month. But what difference does any of this make?

    Because, you know, you can always make more money, from a little to a lot, you can always make money. You can never regain time you lose. It’s just gone. That’s true for all of us stuck in this story.

  88. No Reservations was their best work, imo. I know Tony *hated* The Layover but there are some hilarious scenes in that show.

  89. Also, when I described the women Tony was attracted to as strong, I could have picked a better word. They weren’t shrinking violets is what I meant.

  90. catsworking says:

    Rachel, I retweeted the clip of where Eric talked about Tony. I haven’t watched CBS This Morning since Charlie Rose left. He was a pig, but more of a journalist than Gail or Nora. Nora seems to have aged a lot since I stopped watching.

  91. catsworking says:

    L, thanks for the correction on where Nancy appeared. I updated my earlier comment to reflect the New Yorker.

    I wonder how much there is to show of Bourdain pre-KC because he wasn’t a celebrity of any type.

    If AA wants to take up a cause, it should be to improve the conditions of downtrodden celebrity prostitutes who can’t make an (in)decent income once their john deserts them. What’s a (dis)honest working girl to do? She may have kids who aren’t in her custody to pretend to feed! She’s got booze and cigarettes to buy, else starve to death. She’s got makeup and tats and Goodwill T-shirts with slutty slogans to buy to lure the next sucker into her bed. The euros for that don’t grow on trees!

  92. catsworking says:

    bamboo, I agree with you. The time we’ve spent on Bourdain’s death is time we’ll never get back. We’ve been rehashing and wondering and trying to imagine what might have been. For what?

    If I fault the family for anything, it’s lack of providing public closure. Bourdain was an international presence. In a perfect world, they could just circle the wagons, wipe that slate clean, and pretend he was good old Tony that nobody outside his little family circle cared about, and make like he never existed. But that’s not how being a celebrity works.

    The other night I watched a movie called My Dinner with Herve, about the late Herve Villachaize, who also committed suicide. While watching, I Googled him and immediately learned that he died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting up his home and scaring the shit out of his girlfriend, was cremated, and scattered in the Pacific Ocean (the exact location was given, but I forget — the Atlantic is my ocean).

    We don’t have a fraction of that much on Bourdain, and he was MUCH more famous than some little man who was most well-known for saying, “Da plane! Da plane!”

    Maybe the book or documentary will fill in some of the blanks of his last week that caused the catastrophe we’re still stewing over. If they don’t, then I will call them out as gratuitous bullshit to milk his name one last time.

    Karma’s going to come around for AA, and it’s going to be ugly. For all the shit she’s done to people, she’s got a smack-down coming that will leave her praying it were only jiu-jitsu.

  93. catsworking says:

    Clem, I agree. I think No Reservations is going to be remembered as Bourdain’s best work, before he went over to the dark side, before he became jaded and burnt out.

  94. L says:

    Ha! As much as would like to agree Karen, having AA join the downtrodden celebrity prostitutes cause would be an insult to them!

    I still do not know what he saw in her! Yes, she has many hobbies and interests, but she’s really bad at all of them. Singing, acting, directing, art, etc. All of it’s…bad. I’ve only seen two of the movies she directed, and I felt as if I were watching terrible cheaply made student films. I guess she keeps getting all these DJ gigs because no one has to deal with seeing or hearing her!

  95. Ida says:

    Mad type. Imagine to be in a relationship with such a wandering melodrama. It’s easy to see how she could wear someone down if that person let her. How he fell – and he literally FELL – for this atrocity is beyond any comprehension. He must have been suffering from a midlife crisis to not have seen what a shitshow he entered. Still frustrated about his death whenever I think about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8EHVID9duY

  96. Ida says:

    Another thing, those texts that AA showed to the Daily Mail (dodgy decision made by a dodgy person – no decent people sell their story to the Daily Mail) that allegedly showed a conversation between her and AB where he said that the ‘Donkey situation’ (in relation to JB) was resolved. I’m not saying the messages are not from AB, maybe they are, but I noticed that he spells ‘who’s’ as ‘whose’ (‘…totured soul whose desperate…’) – classic mistake by people who can’t spell very well. But he was a writer and could definitely spell. I’m not saying he couldn’t make a mistake like that, but it looks a bit weird. Also, did he really use language like that: ‘I’m over the moon…’ ? Maybe he did. But those texts are weird. And she conveniently only showed exactly what would benefit her – why not show the whole conversation? Anyway, just something I picked up on. May not be relevant. And regardless, the texts still read as a person who’s (not ‘whose’) taken instructions from someone and is now reporting back that it has been done – but the ‘giving instructions’ part of the conversation was funnily enough not shared with the Daily Mail. Everything about this is so dodgy. Oh well… https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6203475/Asia-Argento-speaks-against-Jimmy-Bennett-Rose-McGowan.html#reader-comments

  97. Rie says:

    Thank you for still being here, Karen. Just checked in to catch up on your latest. I just finished reading Medium Raw (amidst tears here and there knowing he isn’t here anymore) and the last lines prompted me to comment re: your topic (of the restaurant industry) : “Once again. We survived. We did well. We’re still here.”

    However, can’t help but feel continued bitterness toward that venom in the form of a skank, to be polite, to have infiltrated his life. Ugh. She will continue to be tainted, OJ style, in my opinion.

  98. catsworking says:

    Ida, I agree with you. I don’t hear his voice in those little texts. In addition to “over the moon,” I choke on “terrible dark cloud.” Seems he’d have come up with a better metaphor than that trite cliche.

    And did he really call her “My A?” That rings false to me as well.

    I seem to remember another article where there was more texting between them about Jimmy. At the time those surfaced, she was desperate to exonerate herself of any responsibility for his death, so there’s no telling what she manufactured. The family has his phone. If they also have his password, they know the truth.

  99. catsworking says:

    Welcome back, Rie. I guess we can take comfort in the fact that AA is going to age more like forgotten leftovers growing fuzzy and stinky in the back of the fridge than like a fine wine.

    In hindsight she’ll realize that her life reached its peak when Bourdain fell for her. She knows she blew it. Personally, I don’t see her ever having a legitimate job again (she just sank to out-and-out prostitution with Corona) or living to see 50.

  100. Ida, catsworking,

    I don’t think those are legit Tony texts. Hell, even on reddit where he posted under a pseudonym it sounded like “his voice”.

  101. L says:

    Wow, i’ve never seen that video before Ida! I have no idea what they’re saying, but I do know my 8 year old cousin can better express herself when she’s angry rather than resorting to having a complete tantrum! She’s a woman in her forties…embarrassing.

    Okay, I KNOW she referred to him as “My A” a couple of times on Instagram, but I don’t know if he ever called her that. It’s been a while since I’ve read the comments he left on her Insta posts, but I’m not ruling out that he didn’t send those texts. While I am not completely sold that he did, the comments he’d leave for her on Instagram were nauseatingly lovey-dovey and were reminiscent of those texts “he” sent to her regarding Bennett. So that “over the moon” text wasn’t that odd; he was a man blindly in “love” after all…

  102. Ida says:

    L –
    You may very well be right. Like I wrote, I don’t know, just trying to make sense of it. Wonder why she only showed us those messages and not those in between where the decision to pay off JB is actually made. Is it because the texts show her as the instigator/decider of it all? Or something else? Again, dodgy.

  103. catsworking says:

    L, she called him “My A”? Interesting. His friends called him Tony.

    We know AA is not beyond manipulating the facts to suit her purposes, and it’s fairly obvious that the texts she DIDN’T share show something she doesn’t want the world to see. We can draw our own conclusions. I just find it impossible to believe that Bourdain would have suggested paying extortion money out of his own pocket to make Bennett go away. He KNEW where that would lead, either from being exposed for doing it or Bennett coming back for more as a condition of his silence, lawyers be damned. The whole scheme REEKS of being AA’s brainchild, which Tony went along with because he’d do anything for her. And it painted him into a corner there was no good way out of except what he did.

    Just saw this: The documentary, Always at the Carlyle, starts airing on STARZ tonight, if you get it. I just set the DVR to catch it Tuesday morning. Looks like it will be repeating a lot.

    It’s one of the last films Bourdain appeared in.

  104. L says:

    She sure did; I briefly skimmed her page to find a post she mentioned it and it read, “Safe in NYC with my A ❤️” Poor guy had eye bags so big, you could probably see them from space! I try to go through other posts to see if I can find a comment he left referring to her as my A, and will report back (unless anyone else wants to do some digging around as well).

    Oh I have no doubt in my mind that her scheming ass manipulated the whole story to him and the public to feel pity for her—-fortunately the public’s not buying it. I’m also not buying that he suggested the payoff either; he did say in “his texts” that he was with her no matter what, so I could see him respecting her wishes to remain quiet and pay JB off (at her request) rather than outing the boy—-which I wholeheartedly think he would of done if it were up to him.

    I know AA is not concerned with her image (obviously), but these accusations came out after she just came out accusing Weinstein. She had a platform now with Me Too to milk her self-importance, so she didn’t want this info being leaked to fuck it all up. Everyone was giving her support telling her how brave she was and what not inflating her ego even more, so this coming out would have ruined that. It’s so funny though considering that’s exactly what happened!

  105. catsworking says:

    L, I think you’ve forgotten some of the timeline. AA came out about Weinstein in October 2017. Jimmy Bennett saw it, became infuriated by her hypocrisy, and went after HER in November. He got his first payment the following April. We might never have known about any of it if Bourdain hadn’t died. After that, somebody (we still don’t know who) leaked the legal documents and photos to the New York Times, which exposed the whole sordid mess.

    AA would have gladly kept that story buried forever because, on top of her apparent role in Bourdain’s decision to kill himself, being outed as a sexual predator made her lose everything — her leadership role in #MeToo and her work on X Factor.

    Because of the hard-scrabble life he’d always lived, and because he was basically caving to extortion, I don’t think Bourdain ever would have thought to solve the Jimmy problem by throwing money at it. There’s no doubt in my mind that AA was the architect of that scheme, with the bonus that it gave her leverage over Bourdain, should she ever need to threaten him to keep him close. That may be exactly what she did if he told her they were finished after he saw the Hugo Clement pics. We don’t know.

    We also don’t know is WHO exposed the Jimmy story nor WHY. Was their intent to destroy AA’s reputation (the most likely motive, IMO) for revenge, or to damage Bourdain’s legacy?

  106. Margeaux says:

    Speaking of the #MeToo movement…..it feels as if they’ve gone rather quiet lately after all this Ashtray & her band of merry idiots like Rose McGowan and Rain Dove who once were onboard with all of that, well at least Rose was. But it doesn’t seem to make the news the way it did last year.

    I guess some of their participation unfortunately in that movement made it look like something the original organizers did not intend.
    That’s too bad!

  107. Margeaux says:


    So apparently from these texts it sounds as if
    Ashtray spent time in Tony’s apartment in NYC? I don’t have IG, and really didn’t follow any things going on between them during the last 2 years.
    Yeah…..he sure didn’t look his best and I agree with many here,
    since he hooked up with the lot lizard! A very exhausted man, then having to deal w/apparently tons of love drama. How embarrassing a man at his level and age. You’d think, or at least I always like to think that the older one gets, the old, “been there done that;” kicks in. Hopefully we put that part of our lives behind us, NO? O.K., even if his second marriage ended, too bad he didn’t find someone just not out to use the guy up.

    Ashtray also referred to Tony as being in his golden years, so what does that say about how she viewed him. She has a lot of dada issues don’t forget, so maybe that has something to do with this whole mess.

  108. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, finding someone who wasn’t into “using him up” was exactly why I wanted him and Nigella Lawson to end up together. Closer in age, closer in TV experience, and she had her own enterprise and didn’t need to suck him dry. If only…

    Yes, AA was in Tony’s apartment. There is at least one photo of her and Rose and some other woman in his NYC apartment, where he cooked them a meal. He wasn’t in the photo, probably in the kitchen cleaning up. It was purely AA treating all her skanky friends to a free meal courtesy of her celebrity boyfriend. Talk about elder abuse.

    We don’t seem to hear anything about #MeToo anymore. I think it was a worthy movement, but AA and Rose poisoned it with their self-serving bullshit. Now women who have been assaulted are back to square one because AA is selling sex to paparazzi and Rose is screwing God-knows-what and making up lies about Weinstein planting cocaine in her wallet. They have cheapened and discredited the whole effort.

  109. L says:

    Ah yes thank you for the clarification, Karen!

    Margeaux, yes there were multiple occasions she was in his apartment; I even remember he posted an insta story of her once in his shower singing The Godfather theme song. Ew. He really started aging towards the end of 2016. He was aging quite gracefully—-and dare I say, even entered silver fox territory, but out of nowhere his grey hair became white and his wrinkles became more deep and pronounced. He had to be dealing with a lot of shit…

    About that third woman you mentioned Karen, her name is Annabella Sciorra. Unlike AA and RM, she’s not a narcissistic bitch; I truly believe she was victimized by Weinstein. She shared her story, but didn’t milk into a giant pity party like the other two. It’s funny because around the time the JB news came out, someone pointed out on here that she unfollowed AA and followed Ottavia instead on Instagram. As of today, she’s still following her. I truly hate what AA and RM did to the Me Too movement, I wrote a paper on why it’s dangerous for social movements to have faces attached to them, and I used AA and RM as my prime examples!

    As for Tony and Nigella, they would have made a wonderful couple! She’s talented, smart, and beautiful, plus their rapport on The Taste was great! He definitely would’ve been an upgrade from her abusive ex-husband!

  110. catsworking says:

    Clem, wow! Thanks so much for that link. Amazing little vignettes of Tony’s life. I would say whenever I saw him, he came across as shy and a bit wary, which means to me that I somehow was connecting with him on a personal level, not just the celebrity.

    Interesting that Eric declined to discuss Tony’s last week in France, and AA declined to be interviewed altogether, much as it must have pained her to pass up an opportunity for ink. She would probably have had to lie her ass off, and to do it among all of his friends may have seemed too risky, even for her.

    Didn’t see anything from Ottavia or Nancy or anyone associated with Nancy. I still hope they make an appearance in the bio that Laurie Woolever is working on.

  111. bassgirl23 says:

    Clem, thank you for that link – fabulous article.

    Very interesting that AA declined. Karen I think you’re right, she would have been walking on very thin ice in saying anything at this point. Also, she probably wasn’t offered payment…..

    Can’t wait for the bio to come out. Have been slowly re-watching all of NR and PU, and decided I need to start travelling more. Life’s too short.

  112. catsworking says:

    bassgirl23, you’re right. None of the people interviewed would have gotten paid. GQ would have paid the writer for the story. He did a lot of legwork and earned every penny.

  113. Dingobeast says:

    This is a great article about Bourdain. Feels more like him that this one.

  114. L says:

    Clem, thank you for sharing! I loved this so much, so many hilarious and insightful tidbits. I’m glad AA declined, but I wonder why. I mean besides the fact his loved ones absolutaley hate her, I wonder if there’s something (ligitation wise) forcing her not mention him. Like why talk him to the trashiest gossip magazine, but not to GQ, which obviously has more prestige than the fucking Daily Mail? Perhaps it’s a money thing as you guys mentioned, but notice since that DM interview she hasn’t mentioned him at all? Cease and desist, perhaps?

  115. catsworking says:

    L, I’m thinking maybe AA has painted herself into a corner this time. After being photographed with several other men around town since his death, culminating in being outed for sleeping with Fabrizio for a quick buck, I think even the sleazy Daily Mail might choke if she crawled back to further lament how much she misses her “love, rock and protector” Bourdain.

    When she was asked about Fabrizio, what I found telling was that she mentioned how “educated” she is. Where did that come from? It was totally Trumpian, a la “very stable genius” with “good brain.”

    She may have been revealing that she realized what a stupid move she’d just made. Fabrizio robbed her of her priceless Bourdain card by announcing that AA had let another man lay claim to her fetid hole. None of the other men since Tony did that, leaving her free to continue lying and playing the bereaved girlfriend.

  116. Ida says:

    Great article. I’ve never seen a Cook’s Tour, but after having read this I’d like to see the Japan episode, followed by the Vietnam episode, to see if it’s evident that he didn’t care at first, but suddenly started to engage in Vietnam 🙂

    ‘For the first episodes of ‘A Cook’s Tour,’ a TV show with an accompanying book of the same name, Bourdain and his future ZPZ team traveled to Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
    Tenaglia: Japan was a fucking disaster……Then we flew to Vietnam. Suddenly he looked around and he had this instant cultural touchstone..’

    Other things I picked up on/liked:

    ‘In fact, he was actually a shy man.’
    ‘He was an awkward dude.;
    ‘He never complained about anything.’

    I couldn’t help noticing the ‘coupling’ of Eric declining discussing AB’s final days with AA declining being interviewed – a discreet way of pointing out the connection between AA and those final days perhaps?

    ‘On June 8, 2018, Eric Ripert discovered Bourdain dead by suicide in the bathroom of a French hotel. Ripert declined to discuss Bourdain’s final days for this story. Actor and director Asia Argento, with whom Bourdain was involved at the time of his death, politely declined to participate altogether.’

    Finall, this quote by Josh Homme is heartbreaking – this is something we have discussed on here before and I’m sure we are many who believe that if he’d just waited a little while then he would have changed his mind 😦

    ‘Homme: There’s a [New Yorker article called “Jumpers”], about people who jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. And all the survivors say the exact same thing, that as soon as their fingers left that bridge, they were like, Stop, wait, if I could just take that back…. I think with two more seconds, it wouldn’t be this way.’

  117. feijicha says:

    thank you guys for posting that link. what a beautiful article. i love that people knew he was human and loved him, warts and all. love the big gay ice cream guy saying “sometimes he needed to just shut up. and I told him.” LOL. And I love that Tony would respect that. I think the guy talking about the jumpers has it right. As so many on here have said, if just another minute to change his mind, or if he’d been more sober or if Eric had knocked on his door (not to blame Eric, and one suspects he might be wrestling with some of those thoughts himself)…he’d still be here. Hopefully one day his daughter will realize indeed how many people around the world respected and admired him. Makes you wish you could slap him, like that scene with Cher in the movie Moonstruck and yell “Snap out of it!” And of course, let’s hope ass wipe lives a miserable life forevermore.

  118. L says:

    I’m not too familiar with A Cook’s Tour either; I’ve been meaning to watch it, there are some episodes on YouTube. When I was younger (I believe I was 10) the show came on after Barefoot Contessa, and the intro to A Cook’s Tour always made me roll my eyes, so I’d always end up changing the channel. I don’t know why considering I was obsesssed with NR; I still laugh about that to this day.

    Anyways, after looking through her Instagram posts, Tony did refer to her as “My A” More specifically on a post of them in Florence with the caption, “This love kills fascists” and he replied “It does indeed, I love you my A.” 🤢

    I also noticed on Twitter, she favorited a bunch of tweets that accused her of “murdering Tony’s soul” and some other anti-AA tweets. However, she unfavorited them and liked tweets kissing her ass instead. She’s so…odd.

  119. catsworking says:

    Ida, the book, A Cook’s Tour, was how I became introduced to Bourdain’s writing. I didn’t know about Kitchen Confidential. If you can watch that series, which was 2 seasons, you see Bourdain forming into what he became. Nancy appears in two episodes (which you can find in the archives here).

    He fell in love with Vietnam, and once had a three-book deal with a publisher, where one of the books was supposed to be about him living a year in Vietnam. This was when Ariane was a baby, and he never fulfilled the book deal. I think another part of it was to write another novel, which he also never did.

    That Ripert and AA refuse to talk about Tony’s last week alive is indeed telling. They both know how it went down (AA probably more than Ripert because he may not have access to their texts or phone calls), and they don’t want the world to know the truth. Don’t know if it’s uglier for Tony or for her. I’m suspecting it’s for her, since it doesn’t matter for him now.

    And I agree, if he’d only opened his fucking hotel room door and dragged himself down the stairs to have dinner with Eric, he’d be alive today.

  120. catsworking says:

    L, the endearment, “My A” could have more aptly been, “My A-hole,” going both ways.

    A Cook’s Tour is worth watching because you see how Bourdain’s persona was formed. Nancy appears in two episodes, uncredited (you can find which ones in the archives here – I don’t remember where they were). Also, if you want to see Tony genuinely jazzed about visiting places for the first time, this is the series to watch. The episodes are only 30 minutes.

  121. L says:

    LMAO! That’s truly hilarious Karen, I’m tempted to start calling her that.

    But that’s interesting, I wasn’t aware Nancy made an appearance on there, does she talk on screen? I’d imagine she’d be on the periphery of the frame. I remember trying to rent episodes from Amazon, but for some reason it said “not available to purchase” The box set is $50 which might be worth the price based on your description.

  122. catsworking says:

    L, here’s the link to shots I got of Nancy in the San Sebastian, Spain, episode of A Cook’s Tour. I wasn’t 100% sure it was her, but it turned out to be. Apparently, she also appeared in an Portugal episode. I did tape all of both seasons, but didn’t search to see if I’d blogged about Portugal. Do a search on “Nancy Bourdain” here and you may find it.


    She doesn’t talk. In fact, he doesn’t even refer to her as his wife, but I surmised she was from his hesitant body language. She tries to stay in the background as much as possible. I think it’s all described in the post.

  123. jellyblue says:

    I must too add to the chorus that you are an excellent writer and I too appreciate this blog immensely. I discovered your blog post suicide and it has helped me process the grief of Anthony’s death.
    Grief can leave a hole of sadness but going through someones suicide I think it’s natural to be left with the feeling of “no closure” I think that is what suicide does in many instances. ABs suicide seemed violent, drastic and spur of the moment. I think that is what is so painful. We all know AA had a role in his downfall and him participating in self destructive ways.. it fucking hurts that he succumbed to that.
    If the family speaks out directly it just may be pouring salt on the wounds and then it may take the shit show to another level yet again.. I too would appreciate a morsel but its voyeurism at this point…
    AA is gonna have to engage in sleazy trashy behavior to get by she’s all too familiar with it as it is so it shouldn’t be difficult for her.
    Anyone who links Bourdain’s suicide to a “story” like what you wrote above it immediately will bring clicks and attention so perhaps that is why that connection was made. I don’t justify it at all but we humans seem to do this kind of thing all the time.

    As for the election.. my opinion is pretty much shunned at this point but god forbid they choose Biden. Nor should Bernie run, there are whispers of Cuomo (what a piece of shit).. No Dinosaurs, No corruption..

    I learn from the current condition of France; if they keep choosing folks that appear to be on the “left center” but are really pushing corpratist banking agenda and the people get taxed and taxed with a reduction in benefits (no matter the euphemism they use- Green Fuel Tax, Affordable Care Act) what is going to happen is the nazi candidate WILL WIN. This is where we are at. It is a fucking travesty of epic proportion because it is a false choice between two forms of fascism.

    I enjoy some of Chritophe Guilluy’s work on the subject which has striking parallels for us here.

    Trust me, I am not some bleeding heart socialist.. if anything I believe we need a mix of different philosophies enacted into a system..

    First things these fuckers do whether it is Macron or Trump is they cut the taxes for the rich. If they truly wanted to enact something for the environment (of course not talking Trump now) they would impose a “global” tax on the corporations that way they would have no where to hide or shelter $$. That way they couldn’t just privatize the profits and get bailouts for the failures.

  124. catsworking says:

    jellyblue, I think many fans of Bourdain took his death as a personal loss and are still processing because of the missing pieces. He was a public figure, so I think it’s natural to want the record to be complete. Maybe some day it will be.

    Since Trump took office, we in the U.S. have been living with daily coverups and lies. For me, the mystery around Bourdain feels like a straw too many.

    I agree with you that the aged Democrats need to get the fuck out of the way and let the next generation take over. Give Nancy Pelosi one more term so she can groom a successor and then RETIRE.

    Bernie and Biden, both too old. But they could do a lot to mentor someone younger.

    Trump has stoked racism and misogyny into a blaze he won’t be able to control. When all his efforts to destroy the country for his own gain begin to take hold — factories closing, people losing jobs by the millions, prices on everything rising with no money to pay, people with no health insurance sickened from poisoned air and water, roads and bridges falling apart while he still babbles about his fucking wall — even the most ignorant rubes he conned are going to feel the shaft and realize immigrants did do it to them. The politicians and fat cats sitting on their tax cuts will bet mowed down by well-armed Trumpers.

    Trump wants a revolution because he thinks it will be over race. He’ll anoint himself White Jesus and drive all the minorities from the land. But he’s wrong. It’s going to be over economics and his own defrauded base will rip him to shreds — unless he isn’t already behind bars in some nice, safe, high-security prison.

  125. jellyblue says:

    The racism and misogyny (basically nazis) it’s happening everywhere. There are a lot of interesting ideas as to why this is taking hold.
    Guilluy’s work shows as folks leave the cities and the immigrants come in and work for less $$, get benefits.. the wealthy get cheapER labor.. there are resentments that build up and then these nazi candidates zero in on that and exploit it… meanwhile it’s an entirely economic problem..
    It’s curious that in the last election people that voted trump would of voted bernie… it’s entirely insane but it’s where we’re at.
    The strategy the dems need to use is to pull votes away from Trump, get out the vote for the non-voters and disenchanted left..
    All the moderates are terrified so they will vote that candidate anyway… but it will not happen the other way around with many non voters, upset left utterly disgusted with the entire system.. they don’t see it as a Trump problem… they see Trump as part of the problem.
    Democrats as status quo cannot win on their own. If they pull the same shit as last time Trump will exploit that and win. I am not sure a republican will challenge Trump as it will tear the party up and split the vote which of course would be a great thing but I doubt it will happen.
    It’s up to the Dems. I fear that whatever corruption Mueller sheds to light will not matter since the Trump machine will spin it in such a way to convince people that all he did was beat the system nothing more nothing less.

  126. Margeaux says:

    I posted something earlier, and I thought it was here.
    I read the GQ article. It was so good. Finally some people are at the very least sharing who Tony was. It was so revealing to read what Tenaglia told about the very beginning, when they’d flown to Asia. Sounds as if Tony wasn’t cooperating to a certain degree, that rebel in him. Then she shared he wanted to go back to NY, because he always cooked Christmas dinner for his wife’s family, so that apparently was still the Nancy days. How sweet.

    The other things shared also by people who even knew him in school about being shy, and one guy even said that Tony was small. I could see him as being built that way, well before he grew so tall.

    Sweet, sweet article! Thank you so much to whom ever posted the link!~

    Sure miss and love you Tony, your voice everything about you.
    This Saturday marks 6 months!

    Big Hug to All of you who are feeling the grief!

  127. catsworking says:

    jellyblue, I have to disagree with a lot of what you just said. OK, the first part about the cheap labor and exploiting resentment over that, we agree.

    But the Bernie voters who switched to Trump deliberately cut off their noses to spite their faces, nothing more. They didn’t agree with Trump, and now they regret it. If Bernie’s alternative had been anyone but Hillary, Trump would have lost. Hillary had so much baggage, they would have voted for the devil before her. If the Democrats put up anybody who offers a sane, reasonable alternative to Trump and isn’t Elizabeth Warren (who has her own set of bags, unfortunately), Trump will lose.

    But what am I saying? There will be nothing for Trump to lose in 2020. He’s going down in 2019. The net is closing in on him and his family. The Republicans already smell it and people like Lindsey Graham are already breaking with him on things like Saudi Arabia. With every indictment handed down, a Trump enabler dies. Once they see Mueller weaken Trump enough, like when he indicts Junior and Trump goes into total meltdown, the Republicans in Congress will devour Trump like jackals out of self-preservation.

    And even setting his vast trove of crimes aside, the man has dementia. By this time next year, he’s probably going to be a babbling idiot in diapers, even on a good day.

    And Pence is going down with Trump because he’s been an accomplice, lying to the public to cover for Trump. He’ll never be president. He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t spend the rest of his life in jail.

    There will be plenty of challengers to Trump for the 2020 nomination. I think Romney and Kasich are first in line. Jeff Flake may be another, although his chances are nil because he’s been a gutless Trump enabler even with all his tough talk.

    By 2020, the economy is going to be so bad, and our standing in the world so low, Trump will be lucky to keep one of his own MAGA nuts from blowing his head off, let alone be running for a second term.

    Don’t believe for a moment that Trump has half or more of this country in his pocket. The majority of people are decent and HATE HIS GUTS.

    Even in the mid-terms, the only way the Republicans won any seats was by cheating how ever they could. The scandal going on in NC where people were going door-to-door stealing absentee ballots from trusting idiots and either throwing them away or filling them out for the Republican will be a wake-up call that it’s happening all over the country. If they can’t gerrymander a district, then they close polling places so people can’t vote, or kick them off the voter rolls.

    Florida just restored voting rights to over a million felons who did their time. I’d say Republicans can kiss Florida buh-bye.

    Once the Dems have the House back, all this horseshit is going to come to the forefront and be dealt with. This country is not fundamentally backward, and Trump has motivated us to stop letting the tail wag the dog.

  128. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, I realized this week that Saturday is the 6-month mark that Bourdain left us. I don’t feel any Christmas spirit this year. I haven’t decorated or done cards or gone through any of the motions. I dread it, but I’m sure I’ll finally drag myself through them. I can’t imagine how Tony’s family must be feeling on this first Christmas without him.

    I share your sentiments. I hope he’s having a grand time wherever he is, and they let him make the Christmas dinner with all the trimmings — including the stunt turkey.

  129. jellyblue says:

    I am very cynical about the political system. I hope you’re right but it is not what I am seeing 😦
    Back when Trump started his campaign I knew he’d win.
    ALL OF THEM know exactly how to spin things..
    They all engage in pay for play- that’s why Hillary used the email server it’s because we are all tracked and they too have to conceal their steps. After Clinton lost donations plummeted in the Clinton Foundation (a criminal enterprise- just read about it. Read about Haiti)
    Ivanka does the same thing as do all of them.
    People I know that admit to me they voted for Trump do not regret NOT voting for Hillary.
    I just find it bat shit ironic that people that would of voted Bernie voted Trump. It’s insanity on a level one could not imagine but really it’s a cry of desperation to the supposed status quo.
    People don’t know how this can change.
    I think Trump will have fall guys. I don’t think it matters that he has dementia all they have to do is get him camera ready.
    Most people are decent, but they are desperate.
    There was an interview with a yellow vest in France regarding the green fuel tax.. acknowledging the environment is important but said something along the lines of “they are worried about the end of the world, we are worried about the end of the month”
    That is what we are dealing with too..
    Decent, desperate people that continually get fucked over by the supposed “left”… it’s horrifying!

  130. catsworking says:

    jellyblue, you really need to stop watching so much Fox. It’s too depressing. 😉

    I didn’t say the Bernie voters who voted for Trump regretted not voting for Hillary. They weren’t going to vote for her under any circumstances. It’s called spite.

    Believe it or not, I regularly read a monthly right-wing publication (it’s a client so I won’t divulge the name) and it focuses solely on the sins of Democrats. I am sometimes shocked by what they report, and I don’t doubt there’s truth there. But even on their worst day, crime for crime, hypocrisy for hypocrisy, the Democrats are a bunch of Girl Scouts compared to the GOP.

    I was reading just this morning that even the Russians are regretting that Hillary didn’t win because whatever she did to them, they would be able to follow the logic behind it and deal with it. They’ve suddenly realized (DUH!) that Trump isn’t their friend and can’t be trusted. They’re trashing him on Russian TV for canceling two meetings with Putin (the latest in Argentina they found out about on Twitter, which pissed them off royally). And they’re saying there’s no way in HELL Putin is going to Washington to visit.

    The GOP was able to get Reagan through a second term with dementia by propping him up because there was no social media. Trump is his own worst enemy on Twitter. Apparently this morning he unleashed a series of unhinged, paranoid, screaming tweets, which show how panicky and desperate he’s getting. He’s quickly reaching the point where he won’t be able to function for even the few hours a day he pretends to work. He’s going to force their hand by behaving so crazy, any Republican who continues to pretend Trump is OK will go down in his/her next election.

    And as for the Trumpers thinking they’re getting “fucked over” by the Democrats, that’s insanity at its purest. Who has been running the ENTIRE government the past 2 years? How has that control helped the MAGA crowd? I’m not even going to try to reason with that.

  131. Margeaux says:


    I watched him at Bush’s funeral sitting there w/stone faced Melania.
    He looked so uncomfortable, and I thought that was a great place to seat his fat orange ass; at the end of the pew. HAAH@! Must not have been good for either of their full blown egos.

  132. Margeaux says:

    I haven’t really put up my Christmas decorations either.
    But I’m pushing to do so, since I didn’t do it last year. Well I did decorate my tomato wire basket in the garden. My husband is Jewish. I’ve been with him for about 15 yrs., now and I’ve never had a Christmas tree. He frowned upon it in the beginning of our union (lived together) in beginning. He said at the time, the Christmas tree belongs to Christianity. Thats how my tomato wire basket Christmas tree got started. Haven’t bought a real tree just because of the environmental reasons more than anything, but I do miss having a one. I love the smell. Well I’ll probably drag out my two Santa Boots, that I made. They’re funny, because U know where the top of boot has the white fuzzy stuff? I put some paisly fabric I had.
    Then I added some long long black fringe. Usually hang them on my big wall mirror in the dining room.

    Awww Karen do your Christmas tree! I saw pics of some of your Christmas’ for the kitties, and they’re so cute!!

    O.K., everyone have an Irish coffee, or some hot apple cider to pick up our spirits. Think of you all!

  133. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, with three kitties in the house (two of them thinking they can out-leap Tarzan) I don’t dare ever have real anything. I did put up the big fake tree last year and it took me an ENTIRE day and THREE trips to Rite-Aid because of problems with the lights. I basically ended up decorating it twice, but it did look beautiful until Roc started climbing it and bending all the branches.

    Now I’m running out of time. Only 2 weeks, really, before Christmas. The thought of it coming on a Tuesday has totally bummed me out. What a way to fuck up a week.

    So far, the only thing I’ve done is hung a wreath on the front door. Period. I guess I will get out the stockings and hang them on the chimney, but I haven’t bought any presents or sent a card. There are no clever cards anymore. I hardly get any. I’m sick of that whole chore.

    Did I forget to mention, Bah, Humbug??!

  134. Adele Prass says:

    I haven’t even put up my very classy bubble light candolier. It has nine lights, with the middle one sitting highest; since I’m a half breed; it also serves as a menorah. This is a sad year — the state of the country, Tony’s death, and in my case the death of one friend and the serious illnesses of several others. Too bad we don’t all live closer; we could meet tomorrow at the Old Town Ale House, sit under the portrait of AB and raise a glass. Isn’t there something about dedicating a tombstone (if there were one), six months after a person’s death. In Judaism, it happens any time in the first year. Margeaux is right, drinks all around!

  135. Margeaux says:

    Karen, Well if your tree is work, then Roc has a go at it maybe just a wreath is good. But I know cats (especially frisky ones) they’ll play with things.

    My husband had this beautiful cat named Vanilla. He lived for 21 yrs., passed away in 2013. Boy did that cat bring a lot of joy.
    He was gifted as a baby cat. My husband started traveling for his job, sometimes 2 mos.at a time. A woman neighbor took Vanilla in, w/agreement they had joint custody. Anytime she was out of town, we’d sit the cat. Vanilla would spend lots of time in our apartment anyway throughout the week.

    In fact that neighbor and my husband would get possessive about Vanilla, like two divorced parents. They’d argue about whether the cat needed shots, about the food he was being fed. Also, just about the fact my husband wanted the cat with us, since he originally owned him.

    Vanilla used to jump on this old telephone system with a fax machine we still have in our bedroom. He knew that if he stood on it, the system would start beeping the dial tones. So early mornings while we were still sleeping he’d invariably start dialing away so someone would wake up to feed him, the little brat. This used to make me laugh so much; not my husband because he’s not an early bird. If we didn’t wake up right away, he’d continue dialing til we did. Very smart, I’d never met a cat like that.

    I still miss my buddy Vanilla. He’d always sit on my lap and I’d give him kitty massages.

  136. Margeaux says:

    Adele Prass,

    Usually we also burn the Menorah in our household. We just haven’t done it this year it’s been rather busy right now.
    I guess I should do it before Channukah is over. Tonight I’m going to make some Latkes. Made some stuffed peppers the other night and still have two left. My guy can have those for dinner and I’ll make a salad with the Latkes. Tomorrow we’re off to Palm Springs for a wedding. Uhggggh!!! I don’t know what the hey to wear because of cold weather we’re having. My wardrobe is sad for winter!!

    I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend. Yes, the holidays seem to dredge up our lost loved ones. It’s been a year ago that I lost my sweet neighbor. We used to enjoy chardonnay or sherry. She was a beautiful Dutch woman, very European.

    Of course we’re all feeling Tony’s absence.

    I was thinking the same thing, too bad we all didn’t live closer to one another. We could have a gathering and make some of Tony’s favorite food and his drinks. We’d have a blast. If we gathered at the Ale House…..first round would be on me.

  137. catsworking says:

    Adele, if I lived in Chicago, I’d definitely meet you at Old Town Ale House. Maybe Bruce would join us. He’s an awesome tweeter. I think we’re soulmates in our hatred of Trump.

    I’m just seeing a menorah on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and wondered why it has nine candles. He’s got the middle, higher one, lit already, and 3 of the lower. But I think it was filmed on Tuesday. Is that right?

  138. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, Vanilla is a beautiful name for a cat. And the dialing trick was priceless! Cats can be so brilliant.

    Right now I have Max, who loves to slam doors. It can be very disconcerting to hear a door upstairs suddenly slam shut.

    Adele will jump into chairs on command.

    And Roc has this Jackson Galaxy toy we call “Wormy” that he drags all over the house to keep it near me. Roc is also aware of doorknobs and knows they have something to do with opening doors, but hasn’t quite figured it out. To get my attention, he likes to bite lampshades, which destroys them and always gets my attention.

    If I don’t put the tree up this weekend, it’s not going to happen. Still pondering…

  139. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, I gained a new neighbor this year myself, an 84-year-old German woman who has been delightful. I knew she would be when, first thing, she put little gnomes in her front yard and tacked fake seagulls to the front of her house.

    Her predecessor was a self-centered, rude monster I dreaded seeing. So, even though my new neighbor comes with a Doberman whose barking can drive me out of my mind, I am so grateful to have a friendly neighbor because it’s wonderful to look out the kitchen window and know there’s not a malevolent presence lurking next door.

  140. Adele Prass says:

    Karen, the ninth candle in the Menorah is the servant candle;(I think in Hebrew it’s called the shamus). It’s in the middle, and it’s used to light all the other candles. Candles aren’t oil lamps, and it’s not safe to burn them overnight, so you light the servant candle, first, and then you use it to light all the other candles.Tuesday was the third night of Hanukkah, so three candles would be right.I have a little tiny menorah, but I’m afraid it’s unstable, so I almost never light it, which disappoints Dorothy Rose Katz. I also don’t know the blessing for the lighting of the candles — Dorothy probably does, but she ain’t talkin’.

  141. jellyblue says:

    LOL! I watch FOX all day every day. Couldn’t live without it! 😉
    Gotta disagree.. The dems and repubs are pretty much the same at this point. I haven’t been a card carrying dem for years and thank the moment!They all just exploit a sense of morality to make them seem different but in reality it just depends on who gets the contract.
    In NYC they let the MTA and Subway get so incredibly bad (on purpose) and it is all about corruption (the last dem primary here really shed a light on this subject).. which really changes quality of life for all new yorkers. They raise prices, blame pensions and people that jump the turnstyle meanwhile by declaring a state of emergency they get all this money pumped in that they pocket.
    The way I see it- whoever is in office just makes it easier for the next one to do more heinous shit and more out in the open..
    I was so disappointed in Obama.. he too was a puppet of the banks!
    It doesn’t seem like we are capable of getting out of this choke hold.

  142. muller says:

    Doberman??!! Rather you than me. I think I’d prefer the predecessor.

  143. catsworking says:

    jellyblue, if you only watch Fox, I hope you are sitting down when reality as it pertains to Trump & Friends finally penetrates your world. Fox won’t be able to continue omitting all of it and still be considered a “news” network.

  144. jellyblue, the Democrats aren’t perfect, but don’t ever compare them to the “tea party” Republicans currently in office. Please, tell me that gay marriage would have been possible under a republican president. Obama did the best he could with the deal he was dealt. Congress blocked him at every angle. Jesus, he couldn’t even get a relatively benign gun control bill passed because of Republicans.

  145. If you even attempt to equate the two parties:


    One is *progressive*, the other is *oppress…. er sorry *traditional*.

  146. Ida says:

    My name is AA and I am such a good girl and I never do anything wrong and it’s always everyone’s else fault and everyone should feel sorry for me because my life is so much harder than everyone else’s and even though I live off other people’s money and abuse other people’s sensitivity and lie and cheat and humiliate and bully and deceive and even if someone died because of me and even if I pretended to be part of a movement I only joined for my own gain and attention and as long as I can get gullible men to fall for my ‘poor me’ narrative and help me out with their money and their dicks I just don’t care because I’m AA and I’m the only one that matters. Poor, poor MeMeMe. https://mobile.twitter.com/cliquetv/status/1071746313589526528

  147. catsworking says:

    Ida, I wondered what had set you off until I translated the tweet! 🙂 If only AA had spent a lot more time in bed staring at the wall, a lot of bad things probably wouldn’t have happened.

    Looks like she’s dyed the bottom of her hair purple. WTF?

    Clem, on the political side, I’ll add, “Children who have walked hundreds of miles, some barefoot, grabbed from their parents and thrown indefinitely in cages and tents, sleeping on cold floors under tin foil blankets, being watched over by possibly unqualified, poorly screened people who could be child molesters for all Trump cares.”

    I really don’t know how anyone who considers themselves a decent person, let alone a Christian, can support the Republicans these days.

    Will the tipping point come when Trump has seized so many children and the tents become so full that he orders his minions to quietly “thin the herd” and throw the kids in mass graves in the desert? Will that finally register with his “base” what a vicious, soulless monster he is? I hope so. He’s already gassed the refugees. Killing them is his next logical step because Hell will be hosting the Winter Olympics before he gets his unnecessary fucking wall.

    Of course, Fox will try to pass off the killings as kids just having fun with “simulated video-game-playing” until the corpses get media attention and can’t be ignored. Then the GOP will say Hillary and Obama did it.

  148. Dingobeast says:

    Jellyblue, so sad that Fox is your only news outlet. There was a study in which they found that folks who watch Fox News are more uninformed than those that do not take in any news at all. Kinda sad, I watched my evangelical family members get brainwashed over the last 25 years or so by it. They have a state TV formula, and they get it straight from other propaganda outlets like Russia Today.

    Ida, LOL! AA is a pathetic piece of trash. Her part of the truck stop must be getting pretty slow. Not enough johns to pay the hairdresser bills so she could only afford to do 1/4 of her hair.

    Speaking of Fox News, before the mid terms Rupert Murdoch and Mitch McConnell met up at the empty Senate for some reason. Since then, I have noticed a little bit of a change in their fellating of Donnie Moscow. It seems they are getting ready to turn on the guy, they are not fully turned yet, but they are starting the process. He is going to prison, and they are all looking out for their pieces of grift.

    Even his buddy Putin has realized he isn’t getting what he wants and he has had the Russian media making fun of Donnie.

  149. catsworking says:

    Dingobeast, you are definitely on to something. As the evidence piles up, the tide is slowly turning against Trump, even on Fox. Hannity still doesn’t dare stray too far because Cohen has some shit on Hannity that hasn’t been revealed yet.

    I was just reading that Adam Schiff said today there’s a distinct possibility of jail time for Trump once he’s out of office. That begs the question, why wait until he’s out of office? If they prove he was committing crimes for decades before he became president, then we put a criminal in the White House when he should have been in jail. That needs to be rectified ASAP.

    If they prove he’s committing crimes NOW, which he absolutely is, right to our faces — obstructing justice, tampering with witnesses, profiting from foreign government bribes, to name just a few — WHY would we let him stay out of jail until his term is over? So he can CONTINUE committing crimes in office? It simply makes no sense.

    As the damning evidence keeps accumulating, Congress will be faced with confronting and removing a felon president, or harboring him while he continues to break the law. If the GOP fights doing the right thing, they are accomplices and should be treated as such under the law. Mitch McConnell’s outrageous shielding of Trump should earn him a nice retirement behind bars.

  150. L says:

    I just saw a transcript of that interview and it was hilarious. The way she deflected that Jimmy Bennett question by saying she’s not answering that question and reiterating what a shit year she’s had because “[her] partner killed himself” Still going with that route I see, pathetic!

  151. Karen, I’ve found that those who are most vocal about being Christian are usually the least likely to act like one. Source: My family.

  152. catsworking says:

    Clem, the last church service I attended was at the invitation of a client, and the denomination was Protestant (I won’t get any more specific so as not to pick on anybody).

    The service was OK, although I noticed they didn’t seem to find any relevance in Mary. The congregants were cordial as I was introduced around.

    But when it was time to leave, I was trying to inch back out of my parking space, several parishioners nearly ripped the back end of my car off speeding past me to get out of there.

    It’s one of those dick/stupid moves that’s become accepted etiquette in parking lots, at least around here. See a car with backup lights on, whose driver you can’t see because an SUV is blocking their view, so they can’t see you coming. Instead of politely waiting for the driver to pull out, hit the gas and squeeze past behind the car.

  153. Karen, I was raised Protestant but now consider myself agnostic. My Mother’s 2 sisters and brother are Pentecostal. Again, not to pick on a denomination but Pentecostals aren’t supposed to drink. Well, sort of. From wikipedia: “Abstentionists believe that although alcohol consumption is not inherently sinful or necessarily to be avoided in all circumstances, it is generally not the wisest or most prudent choice. While most abstentionists do not require abstinence from alcohol for membership in their churches, they do often require it for leadership positions.”

    The thing is, my uncle is a Pentecostal minister. When my mother was sick he didn’t hesitate to join me while downing a bottle of Southern Comfort and proceed to be sexually inappropriate (verbally). I can forgive the drinking, it was a stressful time, but the man was an asshole. My mother was a month away from passing and he was asking what I was going to do after she died (ie//buy my sister out re: the house, etc.) I’m like, she’s not even dead yet, asshole. Anyway, I digress.

  154. Margeaux says:

    I think that people who only rely on listening to any news venues are in tons of trouble if it becomes their only source for information about government and politics. It’s not rocket science to search, read and have a better idea to accomplish this.

    A large part of our population is so lazy, when it comes to becoming informed, involved even at a very basic level of understanding how their government operates. How naive is it, that Bernie supporters ended up voting for Trump, because they didn’t want to give Hilary their vote. I’m not saying those voters should have voted for her.
    But would it have been better had they just abstained? I wonder about that!

  155. catsworking says:

    Agree Margaux. These days you have to cross reference with reputable sources to get as close to accurate as possible.

  156. muller says:

    From a UK perspective a good rule of thumb is to avoid the BBC.

  157. muller says:

    And of course the Guardian. Both outlets competently report on say a plane crash but when it comes to politics can’t be relied on to be impartial.

  158. MorganLF says:

    Jelly,Fox is not news it is indoctrination. Devoid of news. Don’t roll it all up as in Democrat’s are no better than Republicans…

    Trump is the single worst thing that has ever, EVER happened to America. Anyone who thinks otherwise is racist and stupid. He is a nazi. Why does he cultivate murderers? Check your portfolio that stupid fuck and his trade wars cost me a bundle. The markets are tanking. He lies about lying…he is as every New Yorker knows a cheap con, the lowest scum. No one but the Russians and Saudis would fund his bankrupt sham empire. No unions would work with him. He stiffs, sues, evades, won’t pay taxes…he is the foulest person to ever sully the office of POTUS.AND HES A NAZI!!! My Christmas wish is to see him bitch slapped by Mueller.

    There is a documentary out now on cable “Always at the Carlyle” filmed in 2018. Released in May 2018 lots of famous people and their stories about the famous hotel, Bourdain is featured. He looked great and was so well spoken. I was shocked when he popped up talking about the Bemelmans Bar and the famous murals by the illustrator of Madeline. I have my own story of that bar…but that’s for another time.

    I too am holiday taxed. I’m not decorating beyond wreaths. My family have decorated and there are new babies so I’ll soak in their decorations.

    One bother grew out his white beard and bought a beautiful Santa outfit, had it made. He looks really authentic, except that he’s not fat and is 6’5” 😉another brother is having a giant catered party complete with Clydesdales and a sleigh…so I’ll enjoy the little ones and try to not think of trump. But if I’ll be praying for his arrest, resignation, shunning, ferverently every day.

  159. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I watched Always at the Carlyle last week. I assume Bourdain never stayed there because he lived in NYC, but he popped in and out throughout with comments. Yes, he did look damn fine. I’m a big Bobby Short fan (with my outdated taste in music).

    EVERYONE I have talked to has no Christmas spirit this year and is doing the bare minimum, including me. I blame Trump. He has exhausted all of us with this never-ending circus of insanity.

    LOVED watching Pelosi and Schumer tag-team him into being proud to shut down the government and fuck all the employees trying to keep his failing government going right before Christmas.

    If Trump doesn’t end up spending the rest of his disgusting life in jail, now that the monstrous iceberg of all the criminal shit he’s been involved in for years is beginning to float to the surface, leading right up to rigging everything he could to get into the White House, there is no justice.

  160. MorganLF says:

    I loved Pelosi throwing shade on BLOTUS…then her comments that he knew nothing and she didn’t want to say it in front of everyone but said it to the cameras…oh she laid him out in lavender!

    He is so hateful and he’s ruining my retirement. Badly. I can’t get into it but I did some moving stuff around the on 10/9. The next day the market dove 800 points.Now I have to pay taxes on a sum of money that no longer exists….

    I never stayed there either but I did go to Bemelmans bar a few times….

  161. Adele Prass says:

    Karen and Morgan, where will I find Always At The Carlyle? I remember an old NR when AB had a Martini in the Bemelmans bar. I’d heard of the Carlyle, but knowing that there is a Bemelmans mural there, really made me want to visit — I loved Madeliene.

    No holiday spirit here in Chicago, either; I can’t even get it together to put up my very tasteful bubble light candolier or my collection of Three kings — for some reason I love the Three Kings. And every time I encounter Christmas music, I turn it off, if I can. Generally at this time of year, I’m playing old English and French carols and loving it.. Thank-you Donald Trump,but for me, it’s also my sister’s cancer, the cancer of a dear friend, and AB’s death, which still hurts. My year-old grandnephew is a bright spot, and it’s been fun shopping for him. Sigh.

    Morgan, someday you must tell your Bemelmans bar tale.

    Oh, and Karen, although I have extremely varied musical taste, I always loved Bobby Short.

  162. L Villeneuve says:

    Where did Ottavia and Ariane move to? I hope not with EC.

  163. catsworking says:

    Morgan, Nancy pulled a page from Trump’s own nasty playbook. And then she followed up with telling people he seemed to equate the wall with his manhood, “as if he could ever been associated with manhood” and it leaked. That probably pissed him off worse than the “he didn’t know what he was talking about” comment and caused him to spend the night cradling his tiny little mushroom of a penis in his eensy-weensy hand.

  164. catsworking says:

    Adele, Always at the Carlyle is playing all month on some channel. I want to say Starz, but I don’t know if that’s correct. Someone mentioned that it was on, I searched for it, it came up, and I DVRed it. It was airing a lot.

  165. catsworking says:

    LV, I have no idea where Ottavia and Ariane live now, but I assume they didn’t go too far so as not to disrupt Ariane’s schooling or their BJJ training. And if Ottavia is still with Eddie, I assume they’re together.

    Why do you say, “I hope not with EC”?

  166. L says:

    And there it is!

    “I think Tony died of a broken heart. I do. I think we all know it. And we saw it and we felt it very, very deeply that he was in the midst of something that was not good for him and it ultimately just crushed his heart.” -Lydia Tenaglia


  167. Mina R. says:

    This still hurt my heart. I loved watching Parts Unknown & his other series. The thing I think stood out to me the most about his suicide was that he didn’t only travel the world to eat food. He was interested in the human condition, what made people happy & how the real people of the world lived. Bourdain had been to countless places worldwide, and whatever he found… wasn’t enough to choose life. Obviously personal circumstances and brain chemistry play a role. But, that thought always stuck with me

  168. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Mina. I still haven’t fully accepted that he’s gone forever. I have several episodes of Parts Unknown on my DVR that I watch occasionally when I need a Bourdain fix. His travels with Eric Ripert are my favorites. Ripert just held his annual Cayman Cookout, which Tony used to co-host. It must have felt weird this year to do it without Bourdain, even though Eric had invited Jose Andres, Emeril and other chef friends.

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