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Bourdain on Detroit, "Detroiters Hate Ruin Porn"

Photo Anthony Bourdain Tumblr

Prepare for Sunday's episode, prepare for the backlash and the anger and maybe some pride, but just prepare. Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown Detroit episode is coming, and everyone is getting ready. Bourdain himself is getting ready, and there are just so many feelings about it all that it's kind of overwhelming.

Bourdain took to his Tumblr to post a photo and a lot of words about Detroit, what it means to him, what he thinks it means to Detroiters, and what it means to America. The whole thing is absolutely worth reading, but here are a few quotes to do the convincing:

"The last episode of our second season of PARTS UNKNOWN.
And I'm glad it's set in Detroit. Because Detroit, for many Americans, is an abstraction—truly, if incredibly, a part unknown."

He rightly discusses "ruin porn" and why it's so upsetting:

"Detroiters hate what they call "ruin porn." And it's understandable the unease and even anger that must come with seeing tourists, gawkers, (and television crews) come to your city to pose giddily in front of abandoned factories, public buildings, the symbols of former empire."

Bourdain also professes his love for the city and its uniqueness, which is something that's been popping up all over social media as promo clips from his show have started appearing online.:

"But I love Detroit. I think it's beautiful. I think it's one of the most beautiful cities in America—still. The same incompetence and neglect that led to its current state of affairs has, at least, left us with a cityscape that even now, taunts us with the memories of our once outsized dreams. Unlike most other cities who ran into trouble when steel or textiles or industry left town, Detroit didn't (or couldn't ) go on the usual idiot building spree, tearing down old buildings and paving over city center as "pedestrian malls", ruining the city's character and stripping its center in favor of the "shopping districts", convention centers and faux "ye Olde Towne" hubs that so many places imagined would revive their fortunes and instead left their city centers empty, characterless and without heart—looking like everyplace else."

And he ends with food, and the power of a good coney:

"Oh. And before I forget. Every time I visit Detroit, somebody asks me if I've had a good Coney yet.

Apparently, I never had a great one.

I finally got one.

I understand now."

Parts Unknown season finally airs on CNN at 9:00 p.m. November 10th.
· Anthony Bourdain: Kick Out The Jams [Tumblr]
· All Anthony Bourdain Coverage [-ED-]

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