Anthony Bourdain Hates on Seattle's Tech Boom in Latest 'Parts Unknown'
Seattle is a "city with a collective identity constantly in flux, always change," says Anthony Bourdain at the start of the latest episodes of Parts Unknown, Season 10. But through a history spanning everything from the gold rush to the grunge scene, he says, "What it's always been and continues to be is a magnet for creators, to come experiment and make their own."
The most recent would-be owners, Bourdain demonstrates, are those of the new tech boom, which has seen Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Expedia and Amazon rapidly altering the city's DNA. If you saw Parts Unknown's take on Pittsburgh a few weeks ago, you won't be surprised that Bourdain devotes a sizeable chunk of this episode to just how much he hates the "tech boys," who he and many locals he talks to believe are ruining Seattle.
Over fish and chips at the Pacific Inn Pub, Bourdain talks to local band The Gods Themselves, whose song "Tech Boys" he calls an "iconic hate anthem" on what the city is becoming. In the gentrifying neighborhood of Capitol Hill, artist John Criscitello shows Bourdain why his opposition isn't about disliking nerds—the neighborhood, which was once "an enclave for artists and queer people," has been overtaken by developers looking to house the influx of tech workers, which has caused the area's rents to double.
Even John Cook and Todd Bishop of tech news site Geekwire are concerned about the tech industry's domination of the city, though the lunch they share is the opposite of concerning. Cooked at Revel by Chef Rachel Yang, the Korean meal includes Cilantro Noodles with Flat Iron Steak, Kimchi Pancakes with Glazed Pork Belly and Bean Sprouts, a Marinated Short Rib Rice Bowl, and Short Rib Dumplings that will make you hungry through the screen.
And as much as Bourdain is opposed to the tech world, there is one bit he doesn't mind: former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer and author of Modernist Cuisine Nathan Myhrvold, who uses science to push food forward with, among other innovations, bread in a can. The host also spends quite a bit of time exploring Seattle's recently legalized marijuana industry, but to learn about that, you'll have to tune in this weekend.
Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown: Seattle premieres Sunday, November 19 at 9 p.m. on CNN.