A month or so ago, just after I got back to New York from a couple of months in South America, I watched the movie The Ramen Girl with my wife in our Brooklyn apartment. The movie stars Brittany Murphy, who follows here DJ boyfriend to Tokyo, and is then dumped. Heartbroken and confused, knowing nothing about Japanese culture, she walks into a late night Ramen joint and with the bowl of Ramen she experiences a deep comfort and her soul is instantly warmed. The next day she returns to the Ramen shop and pleads with the owner, a Ramen master, to teach her to make Ramen. The grumpy owner refuses but eventually gives in and Murphy becomes something of a daughter to him and he teaches her all he knows. I didn’t hear much of the film when it was released and don’t remember it even being in theaters, but it was one of the better foodie movies I had seen in a long time that wasn’t a documentary. The next day for lunch, inspired by the movie and still tired from traveling, I ventured into the cold and rainy city to Ramen Setagaya, an East Village outpost of a Tokyo mini-chain. I ordered a steamy hot bowl of Ramen and it was exactly the medicine I needed. On hearing the sad news of Murphy’s death in Los Angeles on Sunday, I thought of that bowl, seen above.
141 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009
Tel: (212) 529-2740
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.