Illustration for article titled Last Call: In praise of Rick Steves
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

On Valentine’s night, my wife and I celebrated our love by eating Popeye’s fried chicken and watching a Rick Steves travel show.


My admiration for Rick Steves—the guidebook writer and the man who made European travel approachable—knows no bounds. As a college sophomore, I backpacked across Europe for two months and the “Rick-tionary” was my trusty companion. He’s a fellow Washingtonian. He’s an outspoken supporter for marijuana legalization. Most importantly, Steves advocates traveling as a way of achieving empathy, and how by stepping out of our silos we can broaden perspectives.

Beyond Steves’ advocacy, his travel shows are a soothing balm in our frenetic world. I may have watched every episode he’s ever produced. There’s much to love: That “Saturday afternoon PBS” soundtrack, his accessible and erudite narration, those picturesque destinations—it’s all pumping ASMR directly into my carotid artery. Enjoy 30 minutes of Steves in Tuscany:

... in Basque Country...

... and an hour-long special in Andalucia:

Thank you, Rick, for the hundreds of hours of entertainment, guidance, and good cheer you’ve provided.


Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

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