Bourdain on Pekar and Cleveland

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  07.13.10 | 12:19 PM ET

Anthony Bourdain offers an eloquent tribute to Harvey Pekar, who died yesterday—a writer “whose life and works will surely remain an enduring reference point of late 20th and early 21st century cultural history.”

More on Pekar:

He was famed as a “curmudgeon”, a “crank” and a “misanthrope” yet found beauty and heroism where few others even bothered to look. In a post-ironic and post-Seinfeldian universe he was the last romantic—his work sincere, heartfelt, alternately dead serious and wryly affectionate.

And on Cleveland:

“What went wrong here?” is an unpopular question with the type of city fathers and civic boosters for whom convention centers and pedestrian malls are the answers to all society’s ills but Harvey captured and chronicled every day what was—and will always be—beautiful about Cleveland: the still majestic gorgeousness of what once was—the uniquely quirky charm of what remains, the delightfully offbeat attitude of those who struggle to go on in a city they love and would never dream of leaving.

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