“This is a show about a very special place. A very special time. And some very special people. So much happened -- so much began -- on New York’s Lower East Side,” Anthony Bourdain wrote in the field notes for the final episode of his beloved television show, Parts Unknown -- sentiment betraying his tough guy exterior.
For Bourdain, it seemed, eating could unlock nostalgia. And New York -- a city taken with its own past -- is a fitting, though bittersweet location for his series’ end. It’s here where he began an ascent into the food world that took him all over the globe, and back home again.
In the last episode Bourdain completed before his premature death earlier this year, he samples plates of red sauce and pierogies with the local artists, writers, and musicians who transformed the neighborhood into the nucleus of culture that it became. He holds court at Max Fish, and sips egg creams outside Ray’s Candy Store. He dines with Debbie Harry and Fab 5 Freddy. He does it all while traversing the city that fueled the early stages of what became a lifetime of culinary exploration. “Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often,” Bourdain asks in another episode. “The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is I do -- at least this time out.”
Here are all the places you can follow him to this last time out.