Anthony Bourdain is in DC this weekend to film an episode of “No Reservations.” As someone who regularly fantasizes about having Tony’s job instead of being chained to a cubicle, this is exciting stuff. I was even more titillated when I got a tip that he would be shooting at the Penn Quarter farmers’ market, a scant block from my office. And so, I began to plan.
Would Bourdain show up early, right when the market opened at 3? Would he come late, towards the end? Would he even spent time walking around with the commoners or would he rush directly into the welcoming arms of José Andrés, whose Café Atlantico and minibar are across the street? How often should I check the market? Every hour? Every half hour? Every 20 minutes? AHH!
Sadly, it was not to be. Instead of pretending that I needed to buy an iced tea from Teaism every 20 minutes, I ended up in a cold hotel conference room, listening to some men in suits yammer on for over an hour. I almost never have to leave my office to attend a conference, so this was a little soul crushing. I had even packed my digital camera and everything.
I got back to my office at 5; the Penn Quarter market closes at 7. Maybe I hadn’t missed him? I grabbed my camera and headed for the door, only to be greeted by a freak summer thunderstorm which dumped sheets of water all over downtown. When it finally let up around 6, the market was shutting down and Bourdain and Andrés were nowhere to be found. All I got was a discount on a pint of soggy black raspberries. (They were delicious, but still…)
According to a commenter at Penn Quarter Living, Bourdain was there, right when the market opened. Right when I was trapped at that conference. DCist captured a picture and José Andrés; according to the comments, he’s already hit Chadwicks in Georgetown and Busboys and Poets on U St. Next stop: Ben’s Chili Bowl, though I suspect I’ve already missed it if he was at Busboys this afternoon.
The thing is, it’s not that I haven’t seen Anthony Bourdain in person before; I went to his book talk at Olsson’s last year. I paid $36 and waited in a really long line for him to sign my book, only to get up there, utter a nervous, “Hi” and hand him a slip of paper with my name written on it. But I didn’t watch the show as much back then. I didn’t care as much/was totally distracted by all the DC toolbags that were at the book signing. It’s just that I was so close yesterday, or at least I thought I was. I guess I’ll just have to settle for watching him on tv.