Bourdain’s Field Notes

I spend a lot of my life—maybe even most of my life these days—in hotels. And it can be a grim and dispiriting feeling, waking up, at first unsure of where you are, what language they’re speaking outside. The room looks much the same as other rooms. TV. Coffee maker on the desk. Complimentary fruit basket rotting on the table. The familiar suitcase.

All too often, particularly in America, I’ll walk to the window and draw back the curtains, looking to remind myself where I might be, and it doesn’t help at all. The featureless, anonymous skyline that greets me is much the same as it was in the previous city—and the city before that.

This is not a problem in Chicago.

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