Rest in Peace, Tony

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This one hits close to home. I’m not sure when I started watching No Reservations, but it had to be like 15 years ago off and on and then more regularly (re: religiously) in college. Then came Parts Unknown, which merged my love for food and wine with my love of geopolitics. I have watched every episode multiple times, some I’ve watched probably 20 or more times (you can ask my husband). I still argue that the Jerusalem episode of Parts Unknown is one of the best episodes of television of all time and is one of the few sources that portrays the Israeli/Palestinian conflict fairly and respectfully. Am I surprised his life ended like this? Not entirely. Having lost my brother to suicide, I wouldn’t wish the existential pain he experienced on anyone. However, I can see it in others, typically creative empaths who are unable to create boundaries for what and how strongly they feel. Not only did I admire Tony for his food, storytelling and humor, I admired his advocacy for issues like women’s rights. He was beyond outspoken about Weinstein and the like recently, even getting himself into trouble with other male celebrities. I loved that he didn’t care who he would piss off by defending what was right. Tony introduced me to places I’ve never been, amazing chefs I may never have known and encouraged me to speak my mind, even if it would piss some people off. For all of that, I am thankful. He is so much more than how he died. I will remember how he lived, which is something we should all aspire to, as well as his love for his friends and family, especially his daughter. His memory will truly be a blessing in my life and the lives of countless others.