February 16, 2018

"Salt Bae lives for weeks at a time at the Plaza Hotel. He commutes to his restaurant using a self-balancing board."

Caption — at "How Salt Bae, Restaurateur, Spends His Sundays/Nusret Gokce has moved into the Plaza Hotel in order to be close to his new restaurant, Nusr-Et, where he spends most of the day" (NYT) — on a photograph that shows Nusret Gokce (AKA Salt Bae) walking down the steps at the Plaza. There are 6 photographs at the article. We also see him working out at the gym, posing with steaks, serving steaks doing his signature salt-throwing move, posing with a baby, posing with 2 women, and lighting a cigar. But we do not see that "balancing board," let alone get any explanation about what it is and how you can commute to work on it.

I have an item I'd call a balancing board — it's this thing — and you cannot travel anywhere on it. I see that mine is rated #1 at "10 Best Balance Boards Reviewed." None of these boards are designed to take you anywhere. You just teeter back and forth on it. Is there a different item called a "balancing board"? After much googling, I arrive at the conclusion that the NYT must be talking about a hoverboard, like the SWAGTRON T580 Bluetooth Hoverboard w/ Speaker Smart Self-Balancing Wheel. I'm seeing hoverboards with the term "self-balancing." I guess "self" is key. My understanding of English says that means the board balances itself, but maybe the rider is the self. Who knows?

Anyway, with 6 photographs, including a pointless shot of Salt Bae holding up a baby that isn't even cute, I can't imagine why there's no picture of him on the damned hoverboard tooling around in Manhattan traffic. Actually, I do see the point of the baby picture, and the non-cuteness of the baby is part of the point. Salt Bae displays his his slab-o-meat attractiveness in a restaurant full of unglamorous people. Lots of kids (that shot with the baby has, in the background, a not-that-young kid with a pacifier in his mouth). A man in a teal-colored hoodie staring into his cellphone. The baby's dad in schlumpy bluejeans and mom beaming and wielding her cellphone camera. The more I stare at this photo, the more details I see — grease stains along the back of mom's chair — and I'm now sure the message is: People of New York, stay away from this tourist trap.

41 comments:

David Begley said...

What’s the monthly rental rate at the Plaza?

Quaestor said...

Isn't a Segway self-balancing?

David Begley said...

1. Althouse proves again that the NYT has NO editors. Balance boards are not hover boards.

2. This guy is a complete phony. His name is Nusret Gokce.

Oso Negro said...

“Salt Bae”? Really.

Mary & Peter said...

It's this stupid thing. https://onewheel.com

Quaestor said...

There are motorized skateboards which, due to the gyroscopic inertia of the spinning wheels, are also self-balancing to a degree

Ralph L said...

Would you eat food cooked by a man who shaves his pits?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

I have a balance board. I use it to improve my balance before I go on my very rare surfing trips. It works surprisingly well for this purpose.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Someone needs to set up a GoFundMe page to buy these women out of their NDA agreements.

David Begley said...

Yelp review from 17 hours ago. One star, $275 for salt bae Tomahawk steak . Says it was rare; like chewing rubber. Blah oysters.

The Drover in Omaha is better and cheaper. Four stars and 532 Yelp reviews. Come visit. Warren Buffett prefers Gorat’s. Warren and I differ on this topic.

The restaurant in NYC is called Nusr-Et.

traditionalguy said...

The writer notes that he has 13 kids but spends none of his time being a father. Is he a Mongolian like Ghengis Khan?

The NYT has a male role model for Turks




Quaestor said...

RE: Onewheel

The site only takes pre-orders. If that's what the Luis [insert stupid hyphenated name here] intends by "self-balancing board" then this Salt Bae shmoe (schmoe - noun, one who wears sunglasses indoors while doing calisthenics) must be using a prototype.

Rob said...

An entire article without one slam on Trump. Are you sure this was in the New York Times?

LordSomber said...

Aren't these just glorified bongo boards?

gilbar said...

it does seem like the point of the article was to show this place as a tourist trap. The Only non tourist in any of the pix is the guy doing the floorshow.

Again, it's interesting that when people go to SEE something (a guy throwing salt, a solar eclipse); rather than watching it, they capture it on their phones. So they call post the pix, and tell their friends: Oh this was So Cool! You have to go too, so You can take a pic of it Too!

MadisonMan said...

So a chef has a shtick, and it's working at the moment. And he (ahem) garners publicity enough that the NYTimes notices.

Underwhelmed.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...
Someone needs to set up a GoFundMe page to buy these women out of their NDA agreements.

2/16/18, 7:26 AM


I hope you aren't sitting up late at night thinking "if only people knew that Donald Trump acted like a playboy, THEN they would vote for Hillary". It's not happening, man. Move on, so to speak.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

He looks like a dirty person.

rhhardin said...

Gyroscopes can't balance anything but can sense falling for something else to correct, like a motor.

tcrosse said...

Ann knows perfectly well that Salt Bae represents an artistic, educated and cosmopolitan world that's threatening to her aggrieved, angry and baffled readers, and has posted the item to elicit her desired result: an outburst of disgusting personal invective that reveals more about the writers, and Ann, who inspires them, than it does about about Salt Bae. /sarc


Quaestor said...

Gyroscopes can't balance anything...

The wheels of a bike are gyroscopes, and a bike can resist going out of balance without a motor or even a rider.

SeanF said...

Althouse: I'm seeing hoverboards with the term "self-balancing." I guess "self" is key. My understanding of English says that means the board balances itself, but maybe the rider is the self. Who knows?

Um, yes, the "self-" is important. Yes, it means that the board balances itself. No, the rider is not the self.

Segways and their progeny have been around for nearly two decades now. Is this really new to you, Ann?

Triangle Man said...

@MadisonMan

He throws salt! Are you not intrigued?

It is interesting in the sense that fame of any sort is. Why him and why now?

SeanF said...

Quaestor: The wheels of a bike are gyroscopes, and a bike can resist going out of balance without a motor or even a rider.

The scientific term is "angular momentum". :)

However - with neither a motor nor a rider, the bike will fall over in short order, because friction will stop the wheels from turning.

Lyssa said...

This is such an Althouse post.
(I love it.)

rhhardin said...

The wheels of a bike are gyroscopes, and a bike can resist going out of balance without a motor or even a rider.

It does it by precession and steering. Lock the front wheel straight ahead and the bike will fall over the same way it does without spinning wheels.

Otherwise, falling left precesses the front wheel to turn left and that recovers the balance by steering the wheels back under the center of gravity.

You balance by steering the wheels under the center of gravity.

Sally327 said...

Why attack the baby? It's probably scared, being picked up by this creepy looking guy, and didn't have a chance to put on a cute baby expression. Babies of the world, unite against Althouse. Take her down!!

Michael said...

Apparently the food served in this man's restaurants is uninspired, shitty one might say. He will be gone from the scene in a year or so.

ARM. What is stopping you from crowdfunding these poor voiceless women other than like Salt your signature is simply to make a show of sprinkling stupid

richlb said...

I think it's what the kids call a "hoverboard".

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

“An entire article without one slam on Trump. Are you sure this was in the New York Times?”

What immediately struck me was that the article read like a paean to Trumpian self-promotion. Good for Mr. Bae for working hard and enjoying whatever time in the limelight he can eke out. And the baby was cute. All babies are cute.

William said...

The fact that he's not married and has thirteen kids is the most significant fact about his life. No matter how good you are at throwing salt or slicing steaks, that does not compensate for his deficits as a parent........The baby looks reasonably cute and the steak looks reasonably edible. I'm not picky about such things. I do believe, however, that a man should allow himself no more than four illegitimate children. In all things moderation.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

But a truly great steak is the rarest of things and you’ll never know if you’ve had one until you do.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's this stupid thing. https://onewheel.com"

Do we know that?

That does look cooler than the usual hoverboard, but why didn't the NYT say it was a onewheel? And can Salt Bae really ride that thing? Seems like a dangerous way to commute in NYC even if you're a big expert. It's combining a balance board with one wheel in the middle?

Ann Althouse said...

"Segways and their progeny have been around for nearly two decades now. Is this really new to you, Ann?"

I'm familiar with Segways, and you could have answered your own question by doing an easy archive search on this blog.

I'm familiar with a balance board and I have and use one.

What I hadn't heard of was a self-balancing board.

I mean, my balance board is a place where I balance myself. The idea of an object with a self seems a little wacky to me, and I was riffing on that. You may not share my sense of humor, and you sound cranky.

Ann Althouse said...

I just looked up the use of the word "self" in relation to things and found some old uses in the context of mining and manufacturing:

From the OED:

"3. Mining. Designating a rock, lump of ore, etc., occurring in a vein of different material (now rare). †Also: designating a large block of stone lying at or near the surface of the earth, esp. one that has not been worn smooth by natural erosion (obs.).

"1747 W. Hooson Miners Dict. sig. Q4 Many times a Vein will carry two Ribbs, and softness between them, and often self Lumps."

Also, in the whisky context:

"1887 Morning Post 23 Apr. 2/2 (advt.) The products of the distilleries are well known on the market, and are largely used for blending and as self whiskies."

And in archery:
"5. Archery. Of a bow: made all of one piece. Opposed to backed.

1801 T. Roberts Eng. Bowman 135 Back'd bows..were deemed so much preferable to self-bows, that [etc.]."

dbp said...

I think the baby is cute. It is doing that thing, which good babies do and I always find affecting: It is not fussing, but rather trying to make eye contact with the stranger who is holding him up.

It is like the baby is saying, "I reserve judgement on this stranger, but I would like to have us look into each other's eyes to be sure. He is looking at my dad in a friendly way, so I feel okay, for now".

SeanF said...

The Cracker Emcee Activist: But a truly great steak is the rarest of things...

And a truly rare steak is the greatest of things. :)

dbp said...

From reading the article, it sounds like "self-balancing board" is Salt Bae's term for what we call a hover board and for him, English is a 2nd language--so we may be over-thinking this. Personally, I find hover board worse--it isn't hovering at all!

SeanF said...

Ann Althouse: I mean, my balance board is a place where I balance myself. The idea of an object with a self seems a little wacky to me, and I was riffing on that. You may not share my sense of humor, and you sound cranky.

I didn't pick up on the humor, I'll admit. Your comments seemed sincere, at least to me.

And if I was cranky, I'd have hit you with a "hinterlands" jibe.

Todd said...

Don't know if you are familiar with Casey Neistat, he is a vlogger in NYC, here he is in the streets of NYC on a One Wheel (start at the 6:30) mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6owNyhj12A

Earnest Prole said...

He's the Turkish Donald Trump, living the American Dream. No wonder the Times hates him.