I’ve recently gotten hooked on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” series on CNN, now in its second season. So far this season, he’s been to Jerusalem, Spain, and New Mexico, with Copenhagen up next. Bourdain is a chef who has morphed into a world traveler and experience-gatherer extraordinaire. His personality is both appealingly laid-back and quirky, much like the folks he gets to know on his weekly explorations. He clearly has an insatiable passion for eating, drinking, and perhaps other drugs (at least off-screen). Given my own limited, semi-vegetarian palate, I find his willingness to eat anything occasionally nauseating, but his liberality in this respect is just a mark of his consistency. For it’s not just pleasant sensations that he craves, but unique experiences of all hedonistic tonalities. And in a world becoming increasingly homogenous and predictable, the fact that someone has dedicated themselves to luxuriating in the particular aspects of place is, well, particularly refreshing.
I would embed a preview, but the episode I found on YouTube has been taken down, and, as far as I can tell, CNN does not allow its video content to be embedded.