This week's New Yorker cover shines a spotlight on the many dichotomies one can find in Brooklyn, U.S.A.—home to hipsters, helicopter parents, and have you had that $19 cocktail at the Park Slope Food Co-op After Dark? The illustration, created by Adrian Tomine, shows a couple enjoying wine and artisanal goods plucked from their non-reusable Whole Foods shopping bags, parked on a bench at the corner of paradise and a parking lot.
Yesterday, Tomine told us that the cover was inspired by living in the area "and watching the recent evolution of the neighborhood [which has] felt a bit like watching one of those timelapse videos. I wanted to try to hint at that feeling of rapid change in a single image, and also just capture this very specific time and place." And that time and place is Gowanus in 2015—"I know New York is filled with similar scenes," Tomine told us, however, "the fact that the Gowanus Canal has been called one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country makes it even more jarring when you see people sitting on those benches eating their organic, locavore take-out or whatever."
What's missing? Tomine says, "I probably should've included a boarded-up bodega or something. And not necessarily specific to Brooklyn, but I realize I forgot to include the collapsible water dish for the dog and the cans of La Croix seltzer for the humans."
Tomine added, "I hope there's some implication in the picture that making way for the new typically means somehow doing away with the old." And that's something that played out while he was working on the cover—the original sketch included the Kentile Floors sign, "but by the time I drew the final image, it had been torn down." Perfect.
Tomine's new book Killing & Dying will debut at the Brooklyn Book Festival this September, where he will be in conversation with A.M. Homes. And La Croix is a very good sparkling water with no artificial sweeteners and only the teensiest bit of BPA.