Wherever there be a bridge or tunnel there shall always be B&T's, those declassé faubourgian commuters intent on coolness. It doesn't matter what city or country. In the pantheon of archetypal forces locked in furious battles—the haves and have nots, the insiders and outsiders, the Star and Plain Bellied Sneatches, the war between city dwellers and their provincial cousins shall rage eternally. Thus in New York we have guidos—usually from Long or Staten Islands—and/or B&T's from New Jersey who flood the Meatpacking District reeking of Aqua Di Gio, Drakkar Noir, self-tanner, SUVs, confidence, provincialism, testosterone and hair gel. In London, we have Essex Boys, highly self-tanned commuters to London from the nearby county of Essex. Guest of a Guest, a New York-based blog, recently published the above compilation of tanned, pouty-faced assholes as a collage of "Guidos." Interestingly the same collage is making the rounds in London as examples of Essex Boys.
But in the end, whatever the specific provenance of these pictures may be, on either side of the Atlantic, they belong to the same species. Universality aside, the sort of highly-developed aesthetic found in Bridge and Tunnelers, Essex Boys and Guidos, so specialized as to make sense only hermeneutically, in many ways reminds me of the highly-stylized and richly-textured aesthetic of the geisha. In that aesthetic tradition and in the above pictures the carrot-faced men with pouty-lips aren't going for any sort of verisimilitude. Whatever they are striving for isn't of this world. If it's of the world above or the world below or simply a world where the color register is slightly off, we may never know. My guess though is it is of a world that shall ever remain across a bridge, through a tunnel and far far away.