Even The New Yorker knows that the all of the best stuff in the literary scene is happening in Brooklyn now. For this week's anniversary cover, The New Yorker presents "Brooklyn's Eustace," which was rendered by "Simon Greiner, a thirty-one-year-old reader from Sydney, Australia, who submitted it through our 2013 Eustace Tilley Contest." A contest? Cool. We at Brooklyn Magazine/The L Magazine know the values of such contests, because it is how we got our new sex columnist.
Now, you might be thinking, what does "a thirty-one-year-old reader from Sydney, Australia" know about Brooklyn? How can he possibly know not to traffic solely in tired, hipster stereotypes, like beards, tattoos, and black-rimmed glasses? Well, Greiner "moved to the city a year and a half ago following his girlfriend (now wife)" and, based on reading so much about it in places like The New Yorker, decided to move to Park Slope. Lest you think that Greiner himself actually identifies with the Brooklynite he created for the cover, he is quick to assure anyone who asks that, "This is not me. I certainly move in a world where those people exist—they’re all around me—but they’re not my people. I’ve been identified as a Brooklyn hipster, but I’m sure I’m sort of at the edge of that Venn diagram.”
So, he has no identifying aspects of a Brooklyn hipster? Well, actually, he "used to have a studio in Williamsburg" and "has been known to ride his bike around Brooklyn" and even—even—has a beard. But no tattoos. So he fails the "hipster test" that all true Brooklynites must endure.
I mean, I don't really have a problem with The New Yorker trying to cash in on the popularity of that strange and beautiful beast, the Brooklyn hipster. I do it all the time. But it is a little funny, because although The New Yorker is obviously and rightfully associated with Manhattan and New York county, many of their current writers reside in Brooklyn. And none of those people look anything like "Brooklyn's Eustace."
The pictures on this page—of Ben Greenman, Meghan O'Rourke, and Tad Friend—are all of New Yorker writers who live in Brooklyn and have virtually nothing in common with "Brooklyn's Eustace." Unless, maybe, one of them has a kid named Eustace? Or Tilley? Mark my words, those names are going to be very popular on a Park Slope playground near you.
She is lovely and unbearded and is not, at least in this picture, wearing a beanie. And, yet, she still lives in Brooklyn. How odd.
You kind of have to assume that Tad Friend is just covered in tattoos under that buttoned up shirt. But you'd be wrong. Although he is known as the Adam Levine of The New Yorker, so really, who's to say? Maybe it is me who is wrong. Maybe.
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