Destinations

Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’ Episode 2: Searching for Sanity in Sin City

@SamShankman

Apr 21, 2014 2:00 pm

Skift Take

Nobody wants to think of Las Vegas as the cultural center of the country, but Bourdain’s exploration of the decadent to the dreary suggests it’s a better snapshot of the country than most want to admit.

— Samantha Shankman

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 / CNN

Anthony Bourdain eats in a high-roller resort. / CNN


“One of our roles here has always been to take away excess money from people who don’t know what to do with it, who can’t think of a better idea about how to spend their money.”

These are the revealing first words heard in the second episode of Parts Unkown‘s third season. And there are few other places where a local would talk about their home this way besides Las Vegas.

Anthony Bourdain arrives in Vegas in search of two worlds: one where “knuckleheads” spend more than $200,000 for an oversized bottle of champagne and another where locals persist despite seeing some of the worst human behavior.

For the journey, Bourdain teams up with chef and author Michael Ruhlman.

Their first stop is a local bar where a third-generation Vegas citizens admits that only about half the people she meets are bad eggs.

But its the locals’ cynicism that Bourdain is most drawn to and seems to revel in throughout the show.

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