My chance encounter with Anthony Bourdain

My chance encounter with Anthony Bourdain

New York (CNN) — About five years back carrying out a work event in New York City, my colleague and friend Jeff Hanle and I finished up in a dive bar not definately not Columbus Circle.

I don’t remember the name of the bar, and I’m uncertain I possibly could even think it is again by myself.

But I’ll remember it since it was the night time I met Anthony Bourdain.

It was the sort or sort of place that oozed character. You can tell before stepping inside that it had been a genuine neighborhood bar, ideal for two guys from Colorado looking for an authentic NY experience around a glass or two.

Although it wasn’t very late (maybe 10 p.m.), the bar was empty pretty. A couple of huddled in a large part table together, and a guy sat at the bar alone.

Jeff and I bellied around the bar, a couple of stools from the person down, who didn’t so much as bat a watch whenever we sat down.

After ordering two beers, Jeff nudged me along with his elbow.

“I believe that’s Anthony Bourdain,” he mouthed silently.

“Impossible,” I silently back mouthed, shaking my head.

be fair to Jeff

To, it did appear to be him really. The unmistakable features — pepper and salt hair, the tall and lanky build, noticeable from his perch on the bar stool &mdash even; made me slyly look again. It sure appeared like he could possibly be an convincing Anthony Bourdain impersonator incredibly.

Maybe a good Bourdain proxy that the true Anthony Bourdain could send to events he didn’t desire to attend.

But genuine? Here? No chance.

Steve Hurlbert's chance encounter with Anthony Bourdain left a deep imprint.

Steve Hurlbert’s chance encounter with Anthony Bourdain left a deep imprint.

David Scott Holloway

Out of the a large number of bars in NEW YORK literally, I couldn’t think that we’d randomly finished up at the bar Anthony Bourdain supposedly frequented. (Later, I’d learn that Bourdain lived near Columbus Circle and the bar, The Coliseum, which includes since shuttered its doors.)

But imagine if it was him, I thought, and we devised an idea to find it out wordlessly.

Jeff struck up conversation with the bartender, asking him both concerning the bar and a nearby. “Is this considered top of the West Side?” he nonchalantly asked.

“Not necessarily, but close,” the Bourdain doppelganger interjected prior to the bartender could answer.

And we knew then. It had been him. It had been Anthony Bourdain!

And he was speaking with us!

Long-time admirers of his work, Jeff and I were floored, but we tried to play it did and cool our far better act normal, such as this was any random conversation you can have with an agreeable stranger at the bar.

We talked idly concerning the neighborhood and NY in general for approximately ten minutes before he extended an extended right arm inside our direction, rendering it official.

“Hi, I’m Tony,” he warmly said, shaking our hands while hook smile creased his face.

We introduced ourselves, missing a beat before we continued the conversation barely, which finished up going for a meandering route — as great conversations with astonishingly interesting people have a tendency to do.

We didn’t discuss food, tV or travel. Jeff and I never mentioned what big fans we made or were any mention of his fame or celebrity.

I suppose we were thinking, predicated on our limited impression of Anthony Bourdain, that he’d appreciate a genuine conversation with real people a lot more than fawning fans requesting autographs and selfies.

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Instead, the three folks discussed a few of life’s weightier themes: passion, happiness and pain. At one point, there is an extended discourse concerning the Stoics, ancient greek language philosophers who, in simplest terms, believed our happiness would depend not on external, materialistic belongings, but on our very own virtue.

We discussed the Stoics’ belief that by treating others well, it frees us from being controlled by outside pressures that manifest themselves in things such as fear and envy. (A philosopher by profession might say we barely scratched the top, and yet, it had been a remarkable discussion.)

I wasn’t surprised by Bourdain’s obvious intelligence, but I’ll admit I was impressed. But what struck me a lot more than his way with words and clear knowledge on so a lot of things was how he listened.

Tony asked us questions about our lives and what we’d learned through our very own experiences, reflected both through the prism of Stoicism and generally living. He seemed thinking about what we’d to state genuinely, despite — or possibly due to — the known proven fact that our lives were so not the same as his.

Here we were, two guys around for a meeting for Colorado ski resorts, the business enterprise we’re in, and here was Tony, an award-winning celebrity who’d probably just gotten off a plane from some exotic location where he was shooting “Parts Unknown.”

Tomorrow, Jeff and I’d fly to Denver back, and Tony, well, who knows where he was headed next. Russia? NEVADA? Thailand?

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And yet, he was thinking about us, inside our stories.

As I shared information regarding relationships, past life victories, & most importantly, defeats, I felt Tony listening and without judgment intently. He expressed an even of interest I do not get from my very own friends or family.

that night around at the bar

Tony was present, in the same way we’ve seen him be with individuals he meets along his travels. Whether with individuals of the Congo or chefs in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, you receive the sense that he’s attending to. It isn’t a routine or schtick, and we surely got to note that close and personal up.

Anthony Bourdain shares meals with chef Roy Choi and restaurant owner Roy Kim at Dong Il Jang in Los Angeles' Koreatown.

Anthony Bourdain shares meals with chef Roy Choi and restaurant owner Roy Kim at Dong Il Jang in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.

Zero Point Zero

After some time, once the conversation begun to come to an all natural conclusion, Tony got up from the stool, shook our hands and sincerely thanked us for the conversation again.

“You gave me too much to consider,” he said (a comment which astounds me even today), before dipping from the bar and in to the populous city.

Jeff and I sat speechless for a few minutes afterward, gobsmacked over this surprise encounter. Not merely had we’d this incredible interaction with a celebrity, nonetheless it felt imbued with meaning also.

When I heard that Anthony Bourdain had died, this night at the bar my mind went immediately to. Although he the feeling was left by without doubt, I was still taken by just how much the news headlines of his suicide affected me aback. I’d hung out with the guy for maybe two hours on a random Wednesday in September a half decade ago.

And yet, I’d remember it.

As time passed, I found look at our meeting as something special — not merely of Tony’s time but additionally his insight and his humanity — a testament to the type of the individual he was, and the sort or sort of person most of us desire to be.

Steve Hurlbert is Director of PR/Communications for Winter Park Resort in Colorado who, you should definitely hanging out on the ski slopes, can be an avid reader, writer and long-time admirer of Anthony Bourdain.