Tonight, Covarrubias’ bar is full of diners, and he tends to them as he has done for the last 36 years — and prior to that, another 36 years at the Sheraton in Glendale. It’s nearing the end of the month, which means diners are coming in solo to cash in on their birthday meal. Members of the Pacific Dining Car’s 1921 Club get a free entree on their birthday.
“My birthday is coming up next month,” Covarrubias says. He’ll be turning 88. “Actually, I hate birthdays. They always give me a bunch of clothes. I don’t know where to put those clothes.”
“They,” presumably are the four women he lives with: his wife, his step-daughter, his granddaughter and his great-granddaughter.
Good food, good eating, is all about blood and organs, cruelty and decay. It’s about sodium-loaded pork fat, stinky triple-cream cheeses, the tender thymus glands and distended livers of young animals. It’s about danger—risking the dark, bacterial forces of beef, chicken, cheese, and shellfish. Your first two hundred and seven Wellfleet oysters may transport you to a state of rapture, but your two hundred and eighth may send you to bed with the sweats, chills, and vomits. – Anthony Bourdain writing in The New Yorker
‘Tony Was a Symphony’: Friends and fans remember Anthony Bourdain – NY Times
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.
“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him. pic.twitter.com/orEXIaEMZM
The more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough — to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.
― Anthony Bourdain
“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
― Anthony Bourdain
He certainly left his mark on this world, and on many of us. He connected with people. He was open, honest. He respected people. People who were real. People who were open, hard working, honest people. People who cared. People who were decent. He could relate to their struggles. He spoke to their hearts. He was privileged and he knew it. But he was different from other white western people. He didn’t travel to laugh at people. He respected people, no matter their means, culture, religion. And he passionately wanted to take us all on his journey, to share with us a slice of his world. To also see and somehow taste other cultures. He will be missed. By those who knew him personally and those he touched from a distance.
For today’s coming-of-age generation, squishing themselves through the same hoops as their parents is much like deep-fisting a sleeping bag into its fire-retardant carry pouch – a misery-inducing act whose outcome is always disproportionate to energy expended.
So it should come as no surprise that the adventure travel market has boomed since the world went bust in 2008 –and it has mainly young people to thank. As the world went up in flames, more and more of Britain’s youth swaddled themselves in synthetic polymers, turning their backs on responsibility and waving hello to the great, wide unknown.