Anthony Bourdain and Gonzo

anthony bourdain

There are times in our lives where everything going on feels like one big synthesis of cohesive thought.

During college I experienced this while exploring the writings of Hunter S. Thompson, and in a similar comparison, his contemporary in Anthony Bourdain. Thompson brought us gonzo, a brazen style of interpreting the world. His words on the page were gritty and brutal, peeling back the wallpaper of an often over privileged world he dipped his toes into. Bourdain was much of the same. And I fell on to both of their works at the same time. It pains me to write about Bourdain in a past tense. Bourdain should be present. His work, from his books, to his shows to his op-eds… they will outlive him with the same realness that Thompson’s stories do. We’ll always see our society puffing out its chest to show off the good it has done, but cut open the belly and the gizzards and rot will splatter out onto the table. They are there the entire time, they just need to be exposed. And Bourdain performed that in his essays, his books, his television and his food, with the exactness of a surgeon and the wit of a mathematician.

Bourdain talked about food and its bleed into cultures and society with a twin tone to Thompson’s exploration on sports. They both took digs at the opulence and garish leanings of the privileged world. To me, Bourdain stuck his neck out more for the marginalized. He sang praises about the miracle of the beaten and downtrodden marched on. In any underbelly and seemingly gutter of society, Bourdain could see the unbreakable human spirit. He went further than going inside the workings of a kitchen, and sometimes this kitchen wasn’t to a confined place. It was in the open aired backcountry, or in a small mud and stick hut. But the stories he gleaned from the experiences held a spiritual connectivity, to hardship, to strife, to overcoming and continuing on. To the world of those working with champagne problems, Bourdain’s work fleshed out a misunderstood and ill-reported perspective. He demonstrated there was no sense in fearing the unknown, but to go ahead and take a bite, sit down and talk about the problems. Food, whether he noshed on it at a three-star Michelin or in a shack with a dirt floor, always tasted delicious if it was prepared by people who bore their soul in creating the dish. Some created it out of the need for survival, and others created it to temper their creative thirst.

Bourdain isn’t the ‘bad-boy’ we perceived him as. Sure, he was equipped with a tough exterior and penchant for rough liquor and chain smoking. But his death, his suicide, pointed out the vulnerabilities and infallibility we all suffer through as humans. His death is the kind where you stop and think, if it could be him, it could be me. It could be my best friend. It could be my aunt, my neighbor, my bully.

There’s unfortunately a myriad of harmful information about mental health still been slung about in today’s conversations, even if there is a conversation. At the core of it, with suicide rates on the rise in nearly every state in the country, I think what we need to take away is how we are treating others. When acting out as a child, my dad would always tell me, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. Over the past few days, many friends and acquaintances have posted across their social media to reach out to them if you need help or to talk. I know this isn’t the case. You also need to actively do the reaching out. Check on all of your friends, your family. What the hurt may want is to have a real substantive conversation, but their mind and heart may be so plagued that they can’t muster the strength to reach out. Depression isn’t what the stock photo websites try to sell to you, it’s not always the sad looking woman with a weathered face, clutching a wall and looking downward. Sometimes it looks like Chester Bennington, who just hours before had been seemingly thriving playing board games with his family, or Kate Spade, who had been apparently talking about her excitement over an upcoming trip. 

Bourdain is missed. Just like the lives of all those who have taken their lives. In the wake of his death I’ve seen some pretty incredible stories of people, especially those in marginalized communities, thank him for shedding a light on their struggles, their food and their importance to our society. Be like Bourdain and be the one to reach out and uplift.

suicide prevention lifeline

Writer Tip

As a writer I am constantly researching. If you looked through my Google history you would be appalled. And sometimes the subject matters writers research raise red flags. I’ve known peers and colleagues who have gotten a knock on their door from the FBI.

The great thing about Google is it has a whole bunch of hidden features. These features help maximize your search results. The first time I learned about them was in college, when I worked on a few investigative pieces.

I came across a handy little guide that I wanted to share so you too can find all your search engine needs.

Check out this page and have fun with the newfound tricks! You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy them! There are plenty more tricks you can learn beyond that, but we’ll start you on the basics.

Adventure Continues

So I had another lovely weekend after my visit to Napoli. The only downtrodden thing was Italy losing their match against Costa Rica on Saturday. We’ll rebound against Uruguay tomorrow.

After the match, we had dinner, and then I showered. We took in a trip into Sora to see them setting up l’infiorata, which is a traditional festival before Corpus Christi (Corpus Domini). There were people creating street art with flowers and vegetables depicting biblical scenes. There was also a large stage set up in the piazza and they had little kids singing songs and it was really wonderful. I also got to try Italian frozen yogurt. I chose Nutella syrup and strawberries as toppings. Let me tell you how great of a decision that was.

On Sunday we headed back to the charming seaside town of Sperlonga. I bought a bathing suit right on the beach for 14 Euro. Not a bad price at all. The top fits perfect but the bottom is a little small. That’s okay because I like to mix and match my bathing suits anyway.

My time here is beginning to wind down. I feel it. I leave on July 3rd, so I still have plenty of time to soak in the local sights and culture. But, I already feel that sadness seeping into my mind. We were driving back from the beach and I was looking at the mountains against the sunset and I got a bit teary-eyed. These sights have become so precious to me and I know I will miss getting to stare and revel at their beauty. I am envious of this life.

On the 28th, my cousin and I are going to Ponza for three days. The island of Ponza is where my moms side of the family originated from. They all moved to New York in the early 1900’s. I’ve heard varied stories as to why but the one that interests me most is the one where they were targeted by the fascist party and left to avoid capture by Mussolini’s camp. The island of Ponza and the neighboring island Ventotene served as political prisons for opponents of fascism. Mussolini himself was imprisoned on the island for several weeks after he was overthrown in 1943. But that was much after my family had left.

I’m so excited for this trip. I won’t rush through the week though because I know how short my time is running.


People assembling the flower art!
People assembling the flower art!
Some finished flower art!
Some finished flower art.
Frozen yogurt with nutella syrup and strawberries
Frozen yogurt with nutella syrup and strawberries!
And here's another picture of Sperlong in case you forgot how gorgeous it was from my post a few weeks back.
And here’s another picture of Sperlonga in case you forgot how gorgeous it was from my post a few weeks back.

The Journalism Toolbox

A funny yet cynical journalist page I follow on Facebook posted this highly useful resource list. I know about a bunch of the ones on the list but would like to share with you the completed list of media resources. I think tomorrow I will spend most of the gleaning all the good I can from these pages. This will inevitably turn into a multi-day thing, so I will be updating constantly with my new finds and my thoughts.


Here’s the page and if you have any others that are not listed there, please comment below!


P.S: I am also participating in NaNoWriMo this year! If you’d like to be friends there, contact me!

Research- What’s in a name?

I’m looking to interview people with the same name as any notable public figure. If you or someone you know shares a name with a celebrity, criminal, fictional character, or any other famous name, please do not hesitate to contact me.

My email is

Please help me find these people.

End of Summer Stretch

Hello all,

A brief reminder that my writing samples (I hate the term ‘samples’, they’re full published works!) are under the Featured Publications page. Pretty soon I’ll have a page up for self-published work.

So we find ourselves at the end of another summer. It’s a humid day here in New York, but rather than the balminess that usually accompanies this awful form of heat it’s complemented by a nice breeze. I enjoy these moments, sitting at my computer, listening to the ticking of the ceiling fan, the speeding cars on the main street I live on, and the occasional visit from my cat. Summer rolls, from heatwaves to thunderstorms, it’s a time of easy living. It reminds me of the two weeks I spent in Europe my senior year of high school. I learned more about the pleasure of a simplistic life than I have in my entire life. Summer is coming to a close, but just because we sip on pumpkin spice lattes and snuggle into wooly sweaters doesn’t mean we don’t have to stop our enjoyment and zest for life.


Hope you all enjoy the last few days of summer, autumn will be here soon. And life goes on…

I love cleverness.

And this page is full of cleverness.

It’s called ‘What Movie Posters Would Look Like If Journalists Got Their Hands On Them.’

If you’re a journo/editor/pr person you are bound to laugh at these. Not just the fake ‘lol’ but a real hearty guffaw.


My brother, the computer genius, is in town and did some tinkering on the back-end of my WordPress. Finally it is easier to use and allows me to manuever more on the site.  While my knowledge of WordPress is functional, I definitely needed a re-instruction on a few parts.

I’ve definitely been checking out different outlets to write for. There’s a story in my head that I’ve been trying to get down for weeks but every time I sit down with a pad of paper the thoughts evade me. I may have to turn to my app Dragon Dictation to get it down for me. Sometimes just speaking out loud unfilitered and unhinged is the best way to extract ideas. Dragon Dictation is a pretty good app for that. It converts speech into text, although not perfectly accurate, and you do have to speak slower (I’m a NYer it’s hard to slow down and keep my thoughts afloat), it saves time and protects artistic liberty.

I’m also working on branding myself, creating a logo and template that really describes the essence of who I am and the talent I have to offer. I have a few designs in mind but nothing has come to fruition, I’ll keep you all informed with how it comes along.


What I’ve been up too.

I’ve been busy, and then not-so-busy. I’ve been playing catch-up with personal business but am finally seeing the light of it and I’m able to balance my private and public matters better.


As of late I have been freelancing for a chain of local papers. It’s been great learning town codes and the ways towns work.

To see some of my work visit here.

On top of that I’ve just started writing for a digital music zine called Deep in the Music Media. My first album review was just posted and you can check it on on their Tumblr. This is the website and this is a direct link to my album. Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram too! I haven’t written an album review in a very long time so it was nice to stretch those muscles out!

I’ve also been scribbling some non-fiction and fiction pieces, nothing is cohesive enough to post yet but I may crack one out in a few days. This warm weather is inspiring me to write, just got to remember to write it down and not store it in my head.

Hope you are all doing well and healthy!


Paper comes out tomorrow!

I’ll have another article in the printed edition of the Long Island Press, but here’s one that I covered today.

The new Barclays Center in Brooklyn is sure to attract a lot of Long Islanders to its concerts and events. The Long Island Railroad is adding more trains to the Atlantic Avenue terminal.


Check out my coverage here!