tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN March 18, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
>> anthony: over. >> eric: okay, done. hey, we have a problem with chocolate, i tell you that. >> anthony: getting into the coffee business. >> how does the joke begin? three men in a bar. but it's not a bar. imagine the bronx. imagine the bronx -- a corner bodega, or maybe a luncheonette, a diner, three men, strictly by coincidence, find themselves in the same place at the same time. sitting at the counter is afrika bambaataa. across the room is melle mel. door opens, and who walks in? dj kool herc. three men who created the musical style that's become the soundtrack to, well, the whole wide world.
do they all nod at each other? lament how all of them got screwed over, cut out of the big money? or just laugh at the absurdity of it all? hip-hop -- it came from nowhere else. it could have come from nowhere else but the bronx. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la ♪
>> anthony: this is the bronx. you've probably heard about it. you may even have a pretty solid image in your head of what it looks like, what it is like. or, maybe, you can't picture it at all. the south bronx sounds familiar, as a bad thing. and the bronx, at one time, was said to be "burning," wasn't it? for the most part, the bronx is overlooked, the never visited borough in new york city, which is a shame because the bronx is a magical place with its own energy, its own food, vibe, and rhythm. you've been to brooklyn. maybe it's time you took a look at the bronx. >> lloyd: in august of 1973, the sister of dj kool herc was holding a birthday party for herself in the basement of 1520 sedgwick avenue. as kool herc was playing the
music on his two-disc turntable, he began to slow the music down, slow the record. people stood up and took notice and then began asking him to do it again. he did it again. they asked him to do it again, and again. he did it again. he attracted more and more people to his performances and people began to imitate him. and that is the beginning of hip-hop music. it started in the bronx. >> anthony: moodies records. inside rummaging for records just like he used to do is the man, the legend, one of the very select few who started it all. who created the sound that hundreds of millions of people now claim as their own. google "who created hip-hop?" go ahead. you get dj kool herc. >> anthony: it's a national landmark now, isn't it? sedgwick? >> kool herc: no, it's not. we're working on it. >> anthony: working on it. >> kool herc: we're working on it. >> anthony: matter of time. >> kool herc: it's still the birthplace of hip-hop, undisputed, because i didn't
start it with four guys in a club. i started it inside a residential building. at the time it wasn't really received in the building. we had a watchful eye over the recreation room, so she was watching for any disturbance. it never happened. and that's how it survived because good music sells itself. good drugs sells itself. >> anthony: yeah. >> kool herc: good anything sells itself. and this was something good. >> anthony: was there a moment when you realized, "whoa, this is big. this is gonna be -- this is gonna spread." >> kool herc: i never -- >> anthony: "-- way beyond my neighborhood." >> kool herc: i never -- i never look at it. i saw the spreading. but no, when i see barney rubble and fred flintstone dressed up like jam master jay, you know, the, the d, the dmc fellas, when i see that, to sell commercial on madison avenue, i know it was, it was going. it was going. it's gonna take a big lift. so let's say i don't have money and all that now. i'm rich in other ways. when "time" magazine said, "what music would you credit to the united states?" you got, you got louis armstrong for jazz, you got elvis presley
for rock and roll, which, that could be between him and chuck berry, and you got kool herc for hip hop. >> anthony: feel good? >> kool herc: very good. >> lloyd: historically, from the last third of the 19th century into about 1920, the second language spoken in the bronx was german. from about 1930 to about 1960, the second language spoken in the bronx was yiddish. from about 1965 onward, the second language spoken in the bronx is spanish, and that's the way it is today. >> anthony: it's got a reputation as a tough place. crime, street gangs, a lot of which goes back to the way it was, and some of which, well, like i said, it's got a reputation as being tough. the bronx is, let's face it, a big blank space in a lot of people's minds. even people like me who live what, ten minutes away?
we don't know anything about that big area between yankee stadium and the bronx zoo. what you should know is that the bronx is big, really big, and that it's a patchwork of ethnic enclaves. a cross-section of the whole world. every immigrant group you could think of. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: justin fornal, aka baron ambrosia, has taken it upon himself to serve as the bronx's culinary ambassador. >> baron ambrosia: let the dinner begin! >> baron ambrosia: this is the porcupine. >> woman: ah! >> anthony: an evangelist for the cause of introducing the manifold splendiferous delights of this mighty borough to the ignorant, well, like me. he's got a show on the tv and he throws parties where he serves creatures that would make andrew zimmern turn grey and slump unconscious to the floor.
showman, iconoclast, explorer, and gourmet. >> baron ambrosia: the bronx is so multi-faceted, but for some reason, this is the first place i always take people because this just oozes and emanates, kind of, that flavor of the bronx. >> anthony: and he knows what i like -- places like this. 188 cuchifritos on 188th street and the grand concourse. old school new york puerto rican good stuff. get within 20 feet of this place and prepare to lose your freaking mind. >> baron ambrosia: cuchifrito itself is basically fried pig. the ears, the tongue, chopped up and deep-fried. >> anthony: so off-cut pig parts, deep-fried? what's not to like about that? >> baron ambrosia: right. >> anthony: what's that, the shank there? >> baron ambrosia: yeah, they're cutting meat off the shoulder. we're got to get that in there. >> anthony: oh yeah. it's -- it's amazing. >> baron ambrosia: big piece of chicharrón with the skin just chopped up. >> anthony: so, skin -- >> baron ambrosia: skin, fat. >> anthony: skin and fat? >> baron ambrosia: yeah. it's almost like a little meat
candy bar. >> anthony: it's amazing. it's amazing. >> baron ambrosia: morcilla. >> anthony: morcilla for sure. >> anthony: and then what else do we ne? some, uh, plátano? nthony: puerto rico, i . missed you. >> baron ambrosia: the bronx, to me, became a place where i could really engage my bacchanalian sensibility. >> anthony: right. >> baron ambrosia: you know, you could really just come here, eat, drink wine, women, song, and just indulge. >> anthony: this is pretty much the center of the pork universe as i've ever seen it in new york. i don't know any place porkier than what i'm looking at. >> anthony: this is exactly the kind of thing i thought we'd lost in new york, that one after the other faded away in the neighborhoods i lived in. and all along, all along it was there, right underfoot -- a gusher of porky goodness. >> baron ambrosia: i mean, there's a thing -- there's a great line, which is, uh, they say in france, switzerland, "c'est le bronx." which is, you know, "what do you think, this is the bronx?" and, you know, this idea of just, you know, "music's really loud" or "someone's making a mess." to me, i take that as a point of pride. to be the bronx -- the bronx is
where the music is loud. i mean, it's, the bronx is where the men are tough, the women are sexy, and the food is spicy. if those things weren't true, you wouldn't know what the bronx was. >> anthony: so, its bad reputation is what protects it. some of it. >> baron ambrosia: i think the perception, the perception of it being a place where the funk is alive. >> anthony: incredible, uh, incredible spread. >> baron ambrosia: yeah man, this is great. >> baron ambrosia: this is one of those places you'll just, kind of, dream about, like, "was i really there? i'm goin' back. we'll go back just to make sure that place is really there." >> anthony: oh, i can't lay off this pork. it's insane! >> anthony: i'm actually going to get a to-go order. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand. and together, we'll help you make decisions for your plan...
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>> subway pa: ladies and gentlemen -- [ armageddon ] ♪ yo love for my haters ♪ forgiveness for my enemies ♪ move, spectators ♪ i'm the deadhead that shot kennedy ♪ >> subway pa: ladies and gentlemen -- [ grandmaster caz ] ♪ i'm from the bronx, new york ♪ ♪ and i don't beg your pardon ♪ i was 12 or 13 when hip-hop was starting ♪ [ big lord ] ♪ it's going to take a minute to listen to what ♪ ♪ these fools spit ♪ it's pure uncut garbage [ armageddon ] ♪ don't touch my fader just let me bump ♪ ♪ feel my energy up [ big lord ] ♪ no logic a bunch of false prophets ♪ ♪ pushing a poisonous product ♪ [ domino player speaking spanish ] [ grandmaster caz ] ♪ i'm not hard to find i'm right by the zoo ♪ ♪ by the gorilla cage holla at me, baby ooh ooh ♪ [ laughs ] >> subway pa: ladies and
gentlemen -- >> grandmaster caz: watch it. [ mellie mel ] ♪ ♪ ♪ two more souls and minds for ransom ♪ ♪ all for the dream of the cream with dropped-off banters with thugs ♪ ♪ ample written in mansions and fluid ♪ ♪ the poorest of minds within the city crimes are truants ♪ ♪ a pledge of allegiance to the genius means ♪ ♪ that the dream of malcolm and king was an inconvenience ♪ ♪ a prelude to your black mind >> anthony: first to call himself an mc, another pioneer, melle mel. in 1982 he and grandmaster flash wrote and recorded "the message," an album that was a complete and groundbreaking departure from the kind of lyrics and content up to that point. >> melle mel: before we started doing hip-hop music, there was no hip-hop music, so we played everything. we played disco, we played reggae, we played rock. we watched "hee haw." that was, like, the favorite in our house, that was one of the favorite shows, "hee haw," you know? and all of those things, kind of, became the components of what became hip-hop music. [ melle mel ]
♪ from the poor man's range of the burning sand ♪ ♪ here i stand my weapon is a mic in my hand ♪ ♪ and though i strive to be the strongest man alive ♪ ♪ y'all sold out quicker than the iphone 5 ♪ >> melle mel: i started out as a break-dancer, so i used to break dance. you know, my brother used to, you know, do graffiti. he used to go out, so all -- in all of those individual elements, it wasn't really happening anywhere else. so, it was just something that could, could only have went on right in that area in the bronx. >> anthony: yeah okay, you may be thinking, "what about the sugarhill gang?" what about them? they were an industry band like the monkees or the archies, built to cash in quick on what was seen as a fad. and they did cash in. >> anthony: where were you when you suddenly realized, "holy shit there's -- there's money in this!" >> melle mel: well, that first record i ever heard was "king tim iii." the second and the most popular record was "rappers delight." i used to live on the fifth floor walkup. i walked out, somebody was playing it next door. they was playing it on the fourth floor. they was playing it on the third floor, second floor, first floor. somebody had a boom box outside
playing it. the car that drove by had it on. >> anthony: right. >> melle mel: you couldn't hear it was like a plue. it was like -- it was like a locust. it -- and that's when i realized, you know, it was -- it was something that was beyond what we was doing out in the streets. critically, it's not a great record, but if you play it right now, it's still, you know, it's still a good record. >> anthony: in this case, at least, history has come around. today, nobody looks back at the sugarhill gang as having been originals or innovators. people know who did what. >> melle mel: as far as hip-hop now, like, as far as the music now, these guys are not trying to tell the story of their time at all. okay, yeah, they popped a lot of bottles, oh yeah, they had sex with a lot of women, and they drove a lot of expensive cars, and nothing else happened. but you would never know what that there was a black president. you would never know that there was two, uh, wars. you would never know those things because it's not reflected in the music. and, at some point somebody was supposed to step up and make those songs.
twenty years from now they'll still be talking about "the message" and "planet rock" and all the classic records. you know what i mean? so that's what it is. >> anthony: robert moses has been dead over 30 years now. and people in the bronx, for the most part, still hate him. in his role as master builder he ran the cross bronx expressway and the parkway system straight through dozens of working-class neighborhoods, seemingly uncaring about the destruction of whole communities. massive housing projects conceived as utopian solutions to stacking the poor into centralized vertical ghettos were also his bright idea. he did leave some pretty impressive damn works behind, though, like the triborough bridge, flushing meadows park, the verrazano bridge -- eh. the bronx happens to be the home
of the two largest parks in new york city -- pelham bay and van cortlandt, and you see stuff here you probably ain't seeing in central park. the garifuna come from honduras, guatemala, and belize, and they trace their ethnic group back to a single slave ship that crashed off st. vincent, and whose freed rib-indianhen mixed with where is he for many othe garifuna community living in the u.s.? you guessed it, the bronx. >> baron ambrosia: living in the bronx you're able to, kind of, travel the world without leaving the borough. >> anthony: right. >> baron ambrosia: and, you know, it's like an addiction. when you go to another country, and that first day in the market -- >> anthony: yeah. >> baron ambrosia: and all your dreams, and you smell the diesel, and you're just looking around -- you're like, "where's that one thing i'm looking for?" to be able to do that, really, in your own backyard is -- >> anthony: cool. >> callita: we have a hudutu. that's coconut soup with fish. over here, we had a tapou.
>> anthony: oh, that looks good. >> callita: smoked neck bone with, uh, banana, yuca, yautía, malanga, in coconut soup. >> anthony: well, that sounds good. yeah! i'll definitely have some neck bones and, uh, plantains. yeah, let's do that! >> callita: okay, so, let's put some plantain here. >> anthony: in garifuna cuisine mashed plantains come with just about every dish. >> baron ambrosia: plantains are just part of it. that's part of hudutu. you would never have this without -- without the plantains. >> anthony: right. so it's like fufu. same, uh -- >> baron ambrosia: yeah, yeah. absolutely, same method, same right hand. >> anthony: same principle. >> baron ambrosia: same everything. >> anthony: there's fish and coconut soup. what kind of fish is this? >> callita: bluefish. >> anthony: bluefish! oh, awesome! i love bluefish. and some nice smoked neck bones with bananas and yucca. that's, uh, officially awesome already. ooh, that's tasty. that's really good. an under-exploited fish, one of my favorites. you know what i've noticed already? the bronx is big. how ludicrous and shameful is it
that i can literally see my house from here, and i basically have no -- idea where i am. >> baron ambrosia: and no fault on your own, but i think that's kind of what keeps the bronx so amazing is that you have all these in-touch ethnic enclaves. >> anthony: i didn't know there were honduransere, much less, uh, 200,000 garifuna. >> bar ambrosia: right. >> anthony: no clue. >> baron ambrosia: right. >> anthony: i've been saying the neck is the next big thing for years now. still waiting. uh-- wha-- woof! eeh-- woof! wuh-- [silence] [engine roars to life] [dog howls] ♪ dramatic opera music swells from radio ♪ [howling continues] kevin, meet yourkeviner. kevin
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> anthony: the wellspring of hip-hop is right around here. a mostly jamaican community in bronx river in the south bronx. jamaicans began arriving here back in the '50s and still today jamaican food, jamaican culture, the music, is all over. sundial international headquarters, makers of traditional tonics and herbal remedies -- a bronx institution since the '70s. >> baba: this is -- this is one of the ingredients.
this is the mahogany bark. this one is used for any type of bodily weaknesses. >> anthony: baba rashan abdul hakim, or pops baba as he's called, a grass roots bush doctor, healer. he uses recipes passed down from mothers and aunties, blends of roots, spices herbs, barks, and woods. >> baba: you take the wood root in the morning and a bitter that night. i don't care what is wrong with you, you're going to show improvement. >> anthony: whatever ails, he's got a cure. wood root cure for the blood, the body, the nerves. koromantee, an intestinal cleanser, and traditional african manback. helps you get your manhood back, among other things. >> baba: it was about 1956 when i came to america. so i had to make it in the apartment in bronx river. and back then, when i'm boiling roots, the whole projects smell of these roots. they used to gibe them. "hey, what your father doing in there? what kind of hocus pocus in there doing?" you know what i mean?
and i'd bottle it, then go in a car, a then i'd sell it in the bronx. never leave the bronx. it's the best place in america, my brother. nowhere like the bronx. >> up north in west jamaica, another working class community where subway service is limited, yet people have to get up, and often make the long hump to another borough. afterwards, a person could use a drink. >> anthony: and if you're a jamaican person, you could use the everyday, go-to drink of back home. anytime of day or night, wray & nephew. >> desus: wray & nephew is a very strong jamaican white rum that we use for everything from baby fever -- >> anthony: right. >> desus: -- to drinks here in this bar. you get it with cranberry juice, with milk, or water. >> desus: what water would be in any other borough is what wray & nephew is in the bronx. >> anthony: cheers, thank you.
desus is one half of the brilliant podcast team "desus vs. kid mero." it's a very fast freeform riff diatribe on life in the bronx and what's happening in the news in hip-hop, or last night. >> desus: growing up in the bronx, you're isolated from the rest of the city. you know what i'm saying? so, the other city has like, citibike. the bronx doesn't get any of that. we're kind of abandoned up here. people get on a boat and go to staten island before they ride up to the bronx. >> anthony: i -- i got to, reluctantly, have to -- being part of that problem. >> desus: yes. people always say, you know, the bronx is eventually going to be gentrified. that's not happening anytime soon. >> anthony: it's not? >> desus: like, it's not. >> anthony: how are you doing? >> desus: you know barry? this is the owner right here. this is the man right here who provided -- who made today possible. >> anthony: well, thank you. >> desus: thank you. >> anthony: i am happy here and i will drink more of your wray & nephew, regardless of what it might be doing to my brain. but then, i will eat. >> desus: is that the uh -- what is this pork foot? >> anthony: pig -- pig tail. yeah.
>> desus: pig tail, right? >> anthony: awesome. oh hell, i love this. oh damn, that looks good. people, sort of, stopped paying attention to the bronx when it wasn't burning anymore. when fort apache was something we didn't have to think about -- >> desus: yes. let's just say that this is the neighborhood where they perfected stop-and-frisk. >> anthony: right. did you -- you remember your first time? >> desus: i remember my first time. >> anthony: how did you feel, first -- first time stop-and-frisk? >> desus: i cried. in that summer, 15 times stopped and frisked. just thrown up against the gate, fingers through our genitals, just cops looking for guns. but you remember that, you remember your first time. when you lose your stop-and-frisk virginity. you know, you remember it. >> anthony: i've never been stopped and frisked. >> desus: you've never -- i wonder why! what is it -- is it because you have a cnn show? or is it just -- >> anthony: i've been arrested, but -- >> desus: if you hang around here long enough i can get you stopped and frisked. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: they talk about diy culture, about do-it-yourself, and you better be able to do it
your damn self in the bronx, because often nobody else is gonna do it for you. >> desus: when you go in the bronx, you're basically going back in time. there are certain problems that will happen here that are not going to happen in manhattan and brooklyn, you know? >> anthony: okay, it's an obvious concern. >> desus: we still do purse snatchings. >> anthony: really? >> desus: yes! >> anthony: okay. so there's still crackheads in new york city? >> desus: oh, still crack -- there's literally crackheads in front of that bodega over there and they are getting their cracks and they're not bothering anyone. >> anthony: man. >> desus: and you know, the thing is, they are respectable parts of this community. you see them every day. i've -- there's literally a crackhead that's been here for 25 years. >> anthony: that takes some -- determination though. >> desus: listen, if i could be a crackhead, i would be the best crackhead possible. >> anthony: i was a crackhead, and, uh -- >> desus: listen, we've all been there. no judgments! >> anthony: hey, guys. >> customer: hi, how's it going? >> desus: hey, what's up? >> anthony: all right. look, i'm thinking curry goat. desus' uncle vernon used to own this place, but that was three owners ago. now it's lammy's, and lammy took over from some people who put
too much cinnamon in their curried goat, which, as we all know, is a sin against god. lammy fixed things. curried goat and stewed oxtail, with rice and peas, collards, and, yes, mac and cheese. i can't resist. >> anthony: man, i mean, correct me if i'm wrong -- there's a lot of good food in the bronx. >> desus: there is, there is. if people would like, you know, get over their bias and come above 96th street they would find out. >> man: you learn fast. >> anthony: i mean, if the bronx were a neighborhood in manhattan, sort of shrunk-down, you'd have hipsters crawling all over this place. >> desus: oh! oh my god. if you live in the bronx, it's not necessary that you're going to ever leave the bronx, go to manhattan, 'cause everything you want, everything you need is in the bronx. so, why would you go past 149th street? >> anthony: right. >> desus: so, all that repping my neighborhood, the ethnic pride and all that stuff -- >> anthony: right. >> desus: -- people definitely hold on to that. and that's definitely true of rhinelander avenue, the italians, the doo-wops, all that stuff. even this neighborhood was all white until the '50s. it's very recent, the whole immigrant experience.
>> anthony: who lived here in the '50s? >> desus: all white people. >> anthony: what -- what kind of white people? >> desus: white-white. like, we-enjoy-milk white. like that kind of thing. >> anthony: right. >> desus: we're kissing dogs on the mouth. but it's moved forward. now you have this and there's definitely this whole -- >> anthony: right. >> desus: you know? like, "i'm from 233rd. you're from 225th." every ethnic group that lives in the bronx has that, and i think the next group that's gonna take over here is definitely mexicans. and, the thing is, it's a -- it's an immigrant neighborhood. so, it's not a matter of who owns it, it's who owns it at what, specifically the time, and they're next. and, i'm looking forward to that, 'cause i enjoy a good quesadilla. so -- >> anthony: yeah. >> desus: but i made the good decision. i came to lammy's today, so -- >> anthony: yeah, it was a good move. >> leonie: lammy's, let's big up lammy's! >> desus: big up lammy's! mmy's? no, i'm, uh, i'm here all the time, always here. i live right there so i'm always here for the curry goat, for the mac and cheese, you know. >> desus: lammy's don't play, man. announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull
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>> futura 2000: yeah, it's still here! but, you know, like even that -- i mean, that brings me back, tony. that -- that sound. >> anthony: do you remember the first time you put spray paint on a wall? >> futura 2000: yeah. >> anthony: when was that? >> futura 2000: uh, summer of '70. >> anthony: back then, seemingly overnight, they were everywhere. princes of the city, their pieces stretching across city blocks, whole trains, ever more audacious. some, like this man, were artists. >> futura 2000: in the late '70s, to be on a rooftop like this, with a brew or whatever, hanging out, we're waiting for something to come through with a cool letter. like, "oh my god! look at that 't'." and some of the kids are screaming like, "oh my god! look! oh my god!" you know, they -- "here it comes! here it comes!" and there's some -- >> anthony: "there's mine." >> futura 2000: "there's mine, there's mine!" but what if you thought the train you painted, you know, it was on the left side. and then you -- you kind of messed up. >> anthony: right. >> futura 2000: and, "oh no! it's on the right side!" and no, you're not screwed. you just wait till this train goes all the way to brooklyn.
>> anthony: so -- >> futura 2000: and comes all the way back. >> anthony: this was the audience that you had in mind? >> futura 2000: well, i -- i was -- >> anthony: or the audience that mattered? >> futura 2000: i think all of us spoke to each other back then. >> anthony: other artists. >> futura 2000: yeah. you know, i mean, it was just a rush of the event and then the accolades you may or may not receive. certainly not from the public, but from your peers. >> anthony: futura 2000. his style and that of a few of his colleagues spread across the globe. i miss those trains. others? not so much. i get it, it went on and on until it seemed there wasn't an untagged, unmarked, unscrawled-upon bit of wall or window in new york. but for a while, it was a golden time. >> futura 2000: well, the whole point of being here -- >> anthony: yeah. >> futura 2000: was to me what the bronx was about. not just the music and the scene and -- and coming up here to parties with the likes of bam and herc and, you know, everyone of that era. but it's watching trains. it's what we used to call benching. share -- >> anthony: so you're watching each other's work go by. >> futura 2000: absolutely. but it was -- >> anthony: art lovers! this was his museum. where he and his fellow artists would meet and exchange ideas
and admire each other's work. and it's jarring, coming to learn all those years later that it was really all about this. about a few seconds, as their pieces rode by to be evaluated by peers. there for a moment, then gone. like, well, all of their work from that time -- long since removed or painted over. >> futura 2000: ultimately, the legacy, they're not here. here's our legacy. you know, we don't have a movement anymore. the movement has been given to the world. and if you go to trains in milan, and you know, paris, or wherever, you know, certainly not the russian system, but you know, if you go to some of these cities around the world, they're bombed. you know, their -- their rail systems are destroyed. >> futura 2000: but i mean, today, if i could have a train running -- >> anthony: it would be nice. >> futura 2000: it would be epic! and, and i think any artist, picasso, any artist from any generation, if that concept was available, like, here's some public art, guys. let it run through our countryside.
the bronx, but it kind of won't feel like it. city island is a fishing village turned what? a parking lot for pleasure boats and a long-established restaurant row for new yorkers. >> desus: you picked the perfect day to come out here. >> anthony: desus says this place. and desus is always right. >> anthony: how far from your neighborhood? by car. >> desus: um, by car? maybe 15, 20 minutes. >> anthony: 20 minutes! >> desus: it seems like a world away. >> anthony: yeah. but it's kooky. i want to buy some nautical bric-a-brac while i'm here. this is new york city? >> desus: this is, uh, cape cod in the bronx. many of my childhood memories, like, getting all excited to come out and we get there and they're like, "oh, the beach is closed because of medical waste." there's not a day that you'd go in the water and come out with like a maxi pad stuck to you. >> anthony: i've been there. so you were here, like, when? like, yesterday? >> desus: i was literally here yesterday. >> anthony: wow. >> desus: for my sister's graduation.
because every time you have an event of note in the bronx, you have to come celebrate at city island. >> anthony: i noticed all the big catering halls. >> desus: yeah. ifou get married, ifou get arraigd, if the baby's not yours, you come here. >> anthony: sea shore restaurant -- a massive fish factory on the water of a type i'm very familiar with, having started my cooking career in one just like it. >> anthony: oh, now, see this -- this -- yeah. i'm also a sentimental fool, and i love this kind of thing. steamers -- a true taste of childhood. boiled striper and some snow crab and a nice cold beer? yes, thank you, desus. >> desus: it's like a -- a knighting ceremony. just kind of sit up, and you just like, ah. you just take it all in. >> waiter: enjoy, guys. >> desus: thank you. >> waiter: you got it. >> desus: you know, i could have done that myself, but to have someone else do it -- >> anthony: that's part of it. yeah. >> desus: it's part of the ambiance. this is the perfect place for a date, but it's the worst food
for a date. it's either a huge turn-off or a huge turn-on. like, it might give a lady a preview of what they're about to get into. >> anthony: right. >> desus: you know, a little -- a little bib, a little sucking action. just let 'em know, you know, in an hour, this could be you. >> anthony: wow. what have i been missing all my life? this is -- this is pretty awesome. saturday night, city island, that's where people are going. t-mobile one save you hundreds a year. right now get two lines of data for $100 dollars. with taxes and fees included. that's right 2 unlimited lines for just $100 bucks. all in. and right now, pair up those two wilines wo free saung galaxy s7 when you switch. yup! free. so switch and save hundreds when you go all unlimited with t-mobile. "how to win at business." step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses. abracadabra. the stage is yours.
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>> lloyd: the first european settler to come to the bronx came in 1639. his name was jonas bronck. b-r-o-n-c-k. in 1874, all the area west of the bronx river was annexed to the city. and in 1895, all the areas east of the bronx river was annexed to the city. then in 1898, the city then decided that the two areas previously annexed should also become a borough. but what to call it, since it never had a name before? they looked at the map and right smack through the middle of the territory ran the bronx river, so they named it after the river -- the borough of the bronx. and that's why it is called the bronx, and not just plain bronx. if you have a question about the bronx, chances are lloyd ultan has the answer.
born and raised here, he's never really left for over seven decades. this is a disappearing aspect of new york, for sure. the real thing jewish deli. liebman's is one of the last. there used to be dozens of places where you could get your brisket, chopped liver, a good pastrami, some pickles, with a black cherry soda or a cel-ray of course to drink. >> lloyd: the world series is going on. howard cosell is on the air. suddenly you see a tongue of flame ricking up into the, uh, up into the sky. and he says, "this is the kind of thing that jimmy carter saw, ladies and gentlemen. the bronx is burning." the old image of the bronx as middle class, upwardly mobile, healthy area had survived up until 1977. this shattered it. >> anthony: right. the bronx was burning like the story, and that stuck. politicians making the south bronx a poster child for what
was hopelessly wrong. would always be wrong. would never, we were told, get any better. so we now have what you call a slumlord, essentially. >> lloyd: yes, right. >> anthony: who's snapping up large numbers of buildings. >> lloyd: yeah. first of all, he takes out a huge fire insurance policy. so as he goes to these junkies, and he says, "listen, you see that empty apartment on the top floor? i'm going to turn my back. you take all of the lead pipes that are in there, but i have one request please. before you leave turn on the water." and the water comes down, and the water comes down, driving evybody else out. they then hire an arsonist, and sets fire to the building, they collect all the money, and they leave. >> anthony: i remember it well. i remember those few years. things were bad. are things, borough-wide, are things getting better? >> lloyd: is the bronx better? absolutely. there is more home ownership in
the south bronx than had ever existed in history. that doesn't mean that we have reached utopia. we have not. how long it will take? i'm a historian. i look in the other direction. uh, i would say my crystal ball is cracked. >> white castle employee: i got four cheeseburgers coming up! >> anthony: is it the best hamburger in the world? far from it, my friends. is it even, strictly speaking, a burger? i mean, it's small and square and steamed. it can be, especially when you eat a lot of them, as one tends to, a "hate yourself in the morning" experience. but if you grew up with white castle like i did, and like handsome dick manitoba did, this connects with some deep, dinosaur part of the brain, evoking a powerful emotional response. >> handsome dick: these are a great cultural part of my childhood. we'd come here 24 hours a day. there were guys on their dates. there was a bunch of punk rock kids. so along with that potpourri of
humanity i just described, you had these guys from the mental institution. >> anthony: ah, that's community for ya. >> handsome dick: that was the bronx. that was the bronx, man. >> anthony: maybe you know handsome dick from such pre-punk legeary bands t diators. dick grew up, where else? the athens, the cultural geyser, the font of art and music that is the bronx. and back in the day, like me, this was his special warm and happy place. >> handsome dick: i can go by and eat a full, two-and-a-half-hour meal, be stuffed, i see someone eating a white castle, i still want one. you can forget mickey d's, you can forget burger king, you forget all those places. if you need a white castle scratch, none of the cheap places will do. i can't stop eating these. setting hearts a blaze... doing next to nothing for days weekenders. even when a weekend's not enough, there's a hilton for you. book your break direct with hilton.com
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♪ >> anthony: the bronx academy of letters is something of a cause for me. an institution whose mission i see as absolutely vital if kids, like these kids, from a tough neighborhood, often coming from tough family situations, are going to do the things that they're capable of. of having the things they want. i believe that there is no way to realize your dreams if you can't articulate them. if you can't with words convince others to give you the opportunities, the chances you need to grasp.
so i want to talk today, really, i'm going to tell you in a short period of time, everything i know about writing. today i'm dropping by in my role as substitute teacher. i'm from manhattan. and i don't know anything about the bronx, really. i'm -- i'm rid -- ridiculously, shamefully ignorant. do you think people know about the bronx? what it's like to grow up in the bronx? >> male student: everybody perceives the bronx as the emergence of hip-hop and all that, the culture. but, apart from that, the bronx is actually lively at all times. at night, at -- in the morning, you hear people screaming from outside your window. >> female student: i've grown up with them since i was what, like -- >> second female student: like seven. >> female student: yeah. you know? and it just happened that way. so i feel like the sense of community is like the biggest thing. >> teacher: i've been teaching here for eight years. and i think that what people forget is, a lot of time we've talked about this in class, they focus on lots of diseas, health issues, lack of education, but, i can be out with them, just walking to the train to go to a field trip. and they say hi to at least 30 people.
they know everyone. >> anthony: what's -- what other bronx specialties should i be paying attention to? >> second male student: well, i don't know, i'm a big fan of mcdonald's. >> anthony: mm-hmm. >> second male student: i like this -- >> anthony: that works for you. >> second male student: yes. >> anthony: all right. >> second male student: their bacon tastes pretty good. >> male student: i like bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. >> anthony: yeah. well, that's a classic. that's a new york classic. that sort of bodega classic, the egg and cheese. love that. >> female student: now you walk outside and they have, like, the italian ices. >> anthony: mm-hmm. >> female student: so, but as soon as like the weather gets nice, and you hear, "coquito, dollar!" they got -- that's the best thing. >> anthony: so uh, what -- what is it you're eating? what is chopped cheese? >> male student: chopped cheese. >> anthony: what is chopped cheese? i have to -- i have to see. >> anthony: where does this come from, this mutant uh, cheeseburger? this thing, whatever it is, it'll do just fine as long as you're reading orwell's essays while you're eating it, kid. >> second female student: i think it was somebody who just experimented in their house because it's like, it's such a simple thing, but it tastes so
different than, like a cheeseburger, which is what it kind of is actually. >> female student: but it's really people from way, the way uptown, or like, downtown, if you say, can i get a chopped cheese? and they're like, "what?" >> second female student: right. >> female student: like, but if you get it here, like, "all right! coming right up." >> anthony: so this a regional, indigenous, uh, specialty. >> teacher: and it's newer too. >> anthony: right. >> teacher: right? it hasn't been around that long. >> anthony: i've been everywhere in the world, and i mean, just about everywhere in the world that you can think of. as beautiful as many cities around the world are, it's really in your blood, up to you if you grew up here, you're living in paris, you're gonna want a -- you're gonna want a chopped cheese sandwich. and you'll be angry that you can't get one. so there it is, a peek, a narrow slice of an old deep and noble subject. >> armageddon: causing your poor existence, the morph into a vicious remorse that's lost relentless logical comp -- >> anthony: sitting right there, relatively unexplored, a cross-section of the tasty original good stuffs. >> big lord: i'm so gritty.
i'm grimy, got my city behind me. >> anthony: a petri dish for talent, for culture. the great unknown. go look. >> armageddon: bx, armageddon. ♪ >> anthony: somebody asks you where you're from and you answer, "i'm from chicago," nobody's going to give you a patronizing response like, "oh, chicago's charming." >> pedestrian: hey, chicago! >> anthony: more likely it'll be "wow, chicago" or "oh, chicago." they'll be impressed. chicago's a town, a city that doesn't ever have to measure itself against any other city. other places have to measure themselves against it. it's big, it's outgoing, it's tough, it's opinionated, and