except to the people who say it

“Real” — I hear that a lot, on my show. Any time I shoot in any city, someone’s going to say “How can you come to Mexico City and show only this and this and this, you didn’t show the real Mexico City.” It can mean a lot of things. “How come you didn’t show the real Baltimore” can mean “How come you didn’t show white Baltimore?” Or it could mean “How come you didn’t show my side of the city, the part of the city that I know and I’m proud of and I wanted the world to see? And instead you came and you made a show about my town and it was a total disappointment to me, you concentrated on a tiny pocket, a corner that interested you for some reason.” It doesn’t really mean anything, except to the people who say it, and whether they realize what it means or not, it’s a genuine expression of emotion. I mean, what is the real New York?

Anthony Bourdain (1956- ), Anthony Bourdain: The Post-Election Interview by: Helen Rosner, Eater.com, 21Dec2016

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