As the fetid banks of the Gowanus attract everything from a Whole Foods to an outdoor barbecue spot to very optimistic renderings for luxury buildings in a flood zone, you might be looking at all of it and experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance. How does all that bougie shit exist in the same time and space as all that…shit? New Yorker cover artist Adrian Tomine thought the same thing, and he turned that thought into a pretty picture of Gowanus’ half industrial, half artisanal existence for this week’s cover.
“It’s strange to see the recent proliferation of health-conscious and environmentally conscious restaurants and grocery stores, right next to the piles of scrap and rubble,” Tomine told the New Yorker, bringing to mind this giant pile of scrap metal that sits right across the water from the Whole Foods:
Of course, that picture is from a day that proved man can swim in the Gowanus, provided he outfits himself in tons of protective gear and has a support team right behind him in case he swallows too much of the water. You can check out a full gallery of Tomine’s other NYC-centric cover art he’s done for the New Yorker, but we hope he comes back to the Gowanus as a subject. After all, Sludgie the Whale and that poor dolphin and the genetic structure of the PCBs in there all deserve their moment of portraiture.
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