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Anthony Bourdain and David Chang at the 92Y
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Anthony Bourdain and David Chang at the 92Y

It’s tough writing blog posts during the week when there’s so much stuff going on. I was just having the conversation with my office mates that there is so much going on in NYC, it’s hard to choose what to go to and what to skip. Schedules are booked out weeks in advance with parties, meetups, demos, gym dates – I’m on the verge of needing a personal assistant with everything happening (but for now, I can afford a Droid X).

One of these events that I’m particularly excited about is my Wine Buying and Tasting class at the 92Y. I’m auditing the class, taking notes, and writing blog posts about how one goes from not knowing a damn thing to being versed in the ways of wine. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a Chardonnay and a Pino Grigio if I was put to the test, but I will, soon.

Full disclosure, I was an invited guest to this talk and the wine course, but the lineup at the 92Y is worth a look – there are a lot of cool things going on here.

People are happier with less stuff and better experiences. My computer was stolen earlier this year, and I’d previously thought it was the one thing that I cared about owning. It turns out that my Time Machine backup is all I care about owning (I had a newer, faster computer the next day for $300 less than retail – woot craigslist). What I’m getting at is that New Yorkers should spend less money on shit and more money on going to see Anthony Bourdain and David Chang bullshit about life and food.

Speaking of which, did I tell you that I went to see Anthony Bourdain and David Chang bullshit about life and food? My bad for getting off on a different tack, but I’m not super pumped about regurgitating anecdotes and simply stating other people’s ideas. Guess I’d be a pretty shitty reporter.

I will comment on a few quotes:

Chang: “Wylie (Dufresne) said ‘My food comes from a farm and I serve it on a table; I don’t need to wear this on a T-Shirt.'”

Well said. Unless you own the farm and own the table, that phrase is meaningless.

Chang: “What do I miss about Spain? This little Whoppers substitute – the Malteser.”

Anyone have a line on where I can get some of these? I’m curious.

Bourdain: “I’ve got a great idea on how to keep my kid from eating McDonald’s – Get some steel wool, dip it in chocolate, put it in a McDonald’s bag and tell her ‘Now I’m going to leave, and whatever you do, do’t eat that delicious McDonald’s chocloate in that bag over there … How hard is it to scare the living shit out of a three year-old?”

No comment necessary – this is an awesome idea. Probably illegal, but awesome.

Chang: “I shouldn’t have gone to culinary school. There’s enough people in the city that will let you learn from them for free if you ask”

He convinced me that I have to get into the kitchen and get an education. This weekend, I’m going to be making a list of places at which I’d most like to work/learn. The inspiration for this was a conversation with tweep Danielle Bilton who studied under Johnny I. last year. If you want to be a pastry chef, and you’re learning from Johnny I., I think that might just be a bit better than culinary school.

Bourdain: “I’m not going to eat that armadillo unless it’s part of the day-to-day Argentinian culture.”

That’s just what he says for the cameras. Armadillos are fucking cute. They are. One thing they aren’t is tough to catch. Driving through Central America, every so often, about a quarter mile up the road, you’ll see a kid stand up, raise his arms, and proudly hang a few armadillos from their tails. I stopped once to see what they were and really empathized with the armadillo. The mommy armadillo was hanging upside-down, squirming and flailing, bubbles of mucous forming around her nose, frustrated and confused about what was happening. All she knew was that it wasn’t comfortable and she was probably in some sort of peril. If you’d seen this animal, you wouldn’t even think about eating it. If it was on your menu, you might have no problem ordering it, but that’s not how it was presented to me, and I’m sure it wasn’t presented to Anthony that way. Just because he acts tough doesn’t mean he can’t have a soft spot in his heart for cute animals.

Bourdain: “If your only agenda is to have drinks and eat with people, you’re pretty much going to get along with everyone.”

I was thinking about my “agenda,” and I realize that I could stand dialing down my own a bit and I might have more success. To this point, it has been about growing in popularity in the food media world. I’m just going to make friends with everyone for now and then figure out the rest later.

The next night at the 92Y, Tony Blair was speaking. Bourdain and Chang sold out and Blair wasn’t. Shows what people care about in this town.

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