Back in April, Anthony Bourdain visited some of his old stomping grounds (and new ones) in the East Village and Lower East Side for an episode of Parts Unknown, chatting with numerous local characters along the way. It’s unclear what will happen with this and other episodes Bourdain was filming prior to his unexpected death last week, so we spoke with some of the featured artists and business owners about their experiences with a reporter and raconteur who was known for keeping it real.
Overthrow Boxing Club
Alexander Melamid speaks in sweeping terms, which is exactly how you might expect a 70-year-old Russian émigré to see the world. “If the system sucks, everyone sucks within the system,” he boomed. “You cannot be right within the wrong system.” This can be intimidating at first. After all, Melamid is the co-founder, along with Vitaly Komar, of Sots Art, what is sometimes referred to as “Soviet Pop Art.” This is someone whose work many of us have read about in art history books, and so his declarations hold considerable weight for us comparatively smaller people.
But if it were up to Melamid, he’d have those books destroyed.