Category Archives: New York

9/11: 17 years later and clearer than ever.

I remeber the morning well. I knew the world had changed that day and we would, Canada and the United States would be going to war. Which the British commonwealth did beside Americans.
Something that sadly gets overlooked these strange days.

I remember as the sky’s shut down, towns in the far east of Canada, little more than fishing villages and refueling stops for Trans-Atlantic flights welcomed hundreds of planes, thousands of people and gave them comfort regardless of country, race, religious beliefs or gender.

I remember very sadly as I saw on the noon news when my friends and I left work to watch the news as the second tower collapsed.
Thinking my Good Lord, someone used one of the planes I build with pride and turned it into a fucking bomb.

I remember sitting in Madison Square Garden a few years later talking with people who had actually witnessed their friends jumping to their deaths rather than burn alive. How these tough sons of britches, working men and women., strong people. Cried at the thought of it all years later.

I remember the calls for vengeance that I knew would come against a regime and people who were not our enemies. I remember seeing Canadian bodies coming home from a war that had to happen perhaps but in wholesale different manner and in a completely different country and way.

My High School World Politics teacher used to say that the only coin worth holding was trust. Trust was the coin of the realm, the only thing worth anything. We as a people, both political and basic were robbed that day and days since in ways both gross and sublime.
Slights of hand have happened to basic simple freedoms, taken for granted, unworked for in our generation.

The world as a whole as I look back has changed as I predicted, we went to war, crushed a region and unleashed exactly what the planners of 9 11 had hoped for all the long. Democratic common sense and reason at war with it’s self.

Rest in Peace Chef: Anthony Bourdain dead at 61.

As I write this I’m watching people share stories and thoughts on what is looking like an apparent suicide by Anthony Bourdain.

The one time chef and author/globetrotter was found dead by his friend Éric Ripert in France this morning apparently by his own hand.

Anyone who has even casually looked at this blog will know that I have been a constant fan of the man and his work. A previous girlfriend of mine used to call him my man crush and I suppose that assessment was true.

In fact this blog page is a direct result of my early ‘obsession with Bourdain’. When my girlfriend and I won a trip to New York one of the first things we did was go to eat at his old restaurant Les Halles where he had been head chef.

I can’t even begin to imagine what his ex wife and daughter are going through this morning and in all sincerity my heart goes out to them though all of this.

Bourdain has the distinction of being one of the original bad boy celebrity chefs along with Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay.

He used food as a bridge to explore different cultures. Sharing a meal and finding out what really makes the world tick. From high end dining with 3 star chefs to squatting in the sand with tribesmen in Namibia eating the less appealing parts of warthog.

He opened my mind to the world of exotic food. To the point where I will often try a new cuisine and just have the server bring me what they would want to eat.

Depression and suicide are very serious medical issues. One can never really know what demons a person is struggling with. What pain, guilt or shame they carry in their hearts. Real or imagined to the outside world those feelings are all too real to the person suffering.

Mental illness can be as debilitating as a broken bone or heart condition. But because that pain is invisible to everyone else it is misunderstood and marginalized by the outside world. I know this because I deal with depression and severe anxiety on a daily basis.

To all of Anthony’s family and friends I offer my sincere condolences. You do not grieve alone.

Bob’s Book Corner: Blood, Bones and Butter.

Finally a chance to sit down and write again for a little while, things have been a bit crazy here this last week and as such I missed my normal mid-week post.  I do apologize for that.   But on the happy side, spring is hurrying hard to get here and the melt is on.  I just hope it’s slow and steady, otherwise the flooding could get real nasty here this year.

As the title implies I have a small book review for everyone today.  Gabrielle Hamilton’s first major effort in the food writing genre.  Blood, Bones and Butter tells the tale of how she came to own a small highly regarded restaurant just outside the Bowery on Manhattans Lower East Side.

Blood, Bones and Butter.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…Finale

Looking at the playbill after Jeff Beck had left the stage I noticed that we only had two more headliners to go,  Metallica and U2.

With appropriate heavy metal bluster Metallica took the stage with ear-splitting prowess.  Originally the organizers of the event wanted Led Zeppelin to carry the hard rock part of the show and were pretty much turned down flat by the remaining members of the group.  Thus it came to be that metal’s chosen heirs came to New York representing  every thing that embodies teenage angst and rebellion.

Opening with For Whom the Bell Tolls, the heavy drumbeat thumping into my chest with some force. Then into One and Turn the Page, before bringing out New York Native Lou Reed.

By their own admission Metallica does not play well with others, and did not automatically grasp the “Jam” concept for the show.  However when they learned whom they were to be teamed up with it all made sense, claimed lead singer Lars Ulrich.  It was their job to become the backing band for their Rock and Roll Elders.

Lou Reed emerged onto the stage in a Deja Vu invoking cheer of “LOOOOO”, thinking back to the “BOOOO’s” that greeted Bruce Springsteen the night before.  He appeared totally at ease with Metallica and the crowd as he lead  off with Sweet JaneWhite Heat/White Light followed in a similar rocked up fashion.

Lou Reed leads Metallica

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Night Two

Visibly worn down and physically exhausted from everything we had experienced so far in New York, Dar and I treated ourselves to a short nap before heading out to the second night of incredible music.

The walk to Madison Square Garden seemed shorter this time our tired feet almost seemed to know the way.  Perhaps tonight’s performance would be shorter than the marathon 6 hours of music we had rocked to the night before.

The event started out in familiar fashion, Tom Hanks addressing the crowd bringing out the still incredible Jerry Lee Lewis to open the show once again.  The elderly rascal belted out Great Balls of Fire in classic form.  Even going so far as to kick over his piano bench in a display of youthful enthusiasm.

Next up a red clad Aretha Franklin, took the stage with polished precision.
She rolled though a series of show tunes and a tribute to Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, before bringing out her first guest of the evening.  Annie Lennox, bravely showing her support for Aids research wearing a black Tee emblazoned with the slogan “HIV Positive”.

Annie Lennox joins Aretha Franklin

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