Anthony Bourdain’s tip for aspiring travelers

No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach (Amazon) was Bourdain's sixth book. In it, he offered this sage advice to ambitious world travelers.   

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves mark on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

Anthony Bourdain

RIP Anthony Bourdain: ‘I love having my teeth kicked in by a different perspective’

Stay hungry. Stay curious. And above all, stay interesting. That's the message I grasped from Anthony Bourdain.

Below are some of my favorite Bourdain quotes as posted on this blog throughout the years.

Don’t aspire to mediocrity. Even if you fail, try to be awesome. At something. Anything. It doesn’t matter. Just try to be awesome.

Life ain’t that simple . It IS complicated. And filled with nuance worth exploring.

Show up on time. It is the basis of everything.

We literally sit down and try to figure out, ‘What’s the most fucked-up thing we can do?'

I love having my teeth kicked in by a different perspective.

There are the type of people who are going to live up to what they said they were going to do yesterday and then there are people who are full of shit. And that’s all you really need to know. If you can’t be bothered to show up, why should anybody show up. It’s just the end of the fucking world.

Life ain’t that simple . It IS complicated. And filled with nuance worth exploring.

Newsletter #59: What Is Art For, How Magnetic Poetry Began With a Sneeze, New Tunes, and More

Arts & Culture

What Is Art For? – Lewis Hyde

Brian Eno believes that art is “everything you don’t have to do.”

But for author Lewis Hyde art is at the core of human exchange, a collection of shared ideas, things, skills and “gifts” that people pass on to each other to help create something new. Naturally, he rebuts copyright law, especially those of copyright extensions: “Mickey Mouse can’t be invented twice.” Hyde dissects the perpetual tug of war between art and commerce.

For centuries people have been speaking of talent and inspiration as gifts; Hyde’s basic argument was that this language must extend to the products of talent and inspiration too. Unlike a commodity, whose value begins to decline the moment it changes hands, an artwork gains in value from the act of being circulated—published, shown, written about, passed from generation to generation — from being, at its core, an offering.

The Past And Future Of Magnetic Poetry, The Populist Product That Began With A Sneeze

Ideas come from everywhere. For Dave Kepell, it was a sneeze that blew slips of paper everywhere that gave him the idea of Magnetic poetry. Creativity can be a happy accident. Don’t force it.

“I thought, oh, I'll stick little pieces of magnets on the back of each one and then stick 'em onto a cookie sheet. And that was the first magnetic poetry kit.”

Philosophy & Productivity

Anthony Bourdain: “Just Try to Be Awesome”

Bourdain is a household name. But he wouldn’t be where he is today without
writing Kitchen Confidential, a book he wrote for himself and his kitchen crew. He sent it The New Yorker and was lucky to get it featured. The rest is history. Lesson: Do work you love, promote it a little, and see what happens.

“I didn’t have the luxury of the time to sort of stare at the ceiling and ponder the mysteries of the universe and what is good writing. I just had a story, and I told it as quickly and entertainingly as I could, damn the torpedoes.”

Screw Finding Your Passion

If you’re looking to do something you’re passionate about, then you’ve already missed the boat. Just look more closely at what you enjoy doing right now and take it more seriously.

If you’re passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it’s not normal, that other people aren’t like that.

But as Nassim Taleb points out, be cautious of converting creative freedom into your career.

Social Media & Tech

How Emojis Find Their Way to Phones

Emojis are getting more worldly. Now there’s a mosque and synagogue in addition to a Christan church. Emojis allow choice of race.

The Unicode Consortium that designs and votes on new emojis is becoming more democratic, even more events-based. However, it’s facing critcism for including a rifle to support shooting as an Olympic sport.

In deciding which emojis to add, the Unicode Consortium considers factors including compatibility (if a pictorial symbol in broad use has not been translated into Unicode), and frequency of use (whether people will be interested in using a certain picture often enough to justify its existence).

New Music

Episode 69 | Tunes of the Week

  1. Zero T – Piano Clip
  2. Dawn Wall – Between the Sheets
  3. Rapid – Pepper Riddim
  4. Kirk Knight – Dead Friends
  5. Yellow Stripes – Hold Me Tight
  6. Stormzy – Shut Up

🎧 Listen

Thought of the Week

“not knowing” is the whole fucking point. Life is all about not knowing, and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. All of it. And it’s not going to get any easier just because you found out you love your job cleaning septic tanks or you scored a dream gig writing indie movies.” – Mark Manson

7 articles to read this weekend


DJs are fake mixing behind the decks.  While the era of automation has given DJs the ability to play a pre-recorded set, real DJs make mistakes on purpose. Welcome to “miss-mixing.”

Impulse Society

Digital has allowed us to build our own custom world where we receive the likes we want, in real-time. The physical world, meanwhile, is much slower and meaner.  Emotional muscle builds through actual experience.  The upshot:  digital customization and short-attention spans are creating a self-centered life.


Prolific blogger Anil Dash provides 15 tips on blogging from the past 25 years. He argues that blogging is an underappreciated art form, “as important an expressive medium as the novel or the zine.” I believe that the personal blog can also be considered canvass for working ideas out in public.

+ New York Times: Some bloggers are burning out. Maybe it does take a professional blogger to carry on.

Best Show on TV

It’s no surprise that in our perfectly edited Instagram world, that the best show on TV is Bourdain’s raw exploration of food and culture in the globe’s most overlooked places. New episodes of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown start up again next week.

+ NY Times: Here’s the story behind Sara Marquis who walked 10,000 miles in 3 years with no clear reason other than to suffer and feel alive.

Writing Heals

Writing helps people cope with depression and diseases. It’s a version of self-talk therapy. So maybe writing is how writers stay sane.

+ TheWalrus: Good people write bad prose because they use words that assume their normal audience knows what they're talking about.

Rick Owens' Studio

What inspires fashion designers the most is actually not the clothes themselves, but other studies like architecture. Designer Rick Owens explains what’s behind his lens.

New Yorke

Legitimacy evolves. BitTorrent, synonymous with piracy, hosts its first “pay-gated bundle” w/ Thom Yorke’s new album.

+ New Yorker:  This Nas sound-a-like drops an album on Bandcamp. Who said hip-hop died?