It Captures His Dreams

A lovely day this past Tat-Tuesday, and at the tail end of my lunch hour I spotted black ink darting out from the leg of someone's jeans:

I was intrigued. I'll call it a "tat-tease," because you only get a glimpse and have no idea what the fragmented piece is linked to. You have an inkling, but the only way to find out what the whole thing looks like is to ask.

I was guessing a serpent, or something tribal. The possessor of said tattoo was stopping to smoke outside of Borders on the Plaza. Our subject, Nick, was happy to share his tattoo. He raised the fabric of his jeans up over his calf to reveal (drum roll please.....):

This is what I love about Tattoosday. What first appears to be merely a tail of ink turns into something so much more interesting.

Nick explained the piece. He found the design on a site called I think I remember hearing about the site, so I checked it out when I got home. No luck finding the art in question (there's tens of thousands of images).

Nick said this piece of art spoke to him, reminding him of being young again. Young meaning, childhood. "It captures my dreams," he explained, adding that, as I understood him to mean, the art opened up a whole world of possibilities to his imagination.

What's great, in my opinion, about tattooing a work of art onto oneself, is that the meaning can change over time, and can evolve along with the individual. This piece is very simple, yet its context is cool. The clouds, as well, add texture to the overall piece, and develop the landscape of the flesh.

This piece was inked in 2007 and was Nick's second tattoo. He has since had two more added. This was the only one visible. He resides in Brooklyn but got this piece at Marc's Tattooing and Body Piercing in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Dani was the tattooist who inked the piece.

Thanks to Nick for sharing his cool tattoo with the rest of us here on Tattoosday!

On deck: An amazing back piece from Texas!
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Petersen Automotive Museum/ Car Show

Here are a few fliks of the Carshow over at the Petersen Automotive Museum. We raffled of some boards to the Kids. Big Thanks to Supreme for the donations.

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Chalk it Up to Teenage Angst

Sunday morning I was leaving Rite-Aid when a woman walked in. She had several visible tattoos so I turned around and walked back into the store. I introduced myself, Tattoosday, etc., and Courtney was happy to share her tattoo stories with me, offering up one of her seven tattoos:

All of her work is in black and gray. This piece is a tribal design, and is Satanic in origin. Courtney explained. She was a lapsed Roman Catholic who became involved in the Church of Satan. This piece is about 5 years old and was inked by Richie at Tattooing by Richie in Elmont, Long Island.

Incidentally, Courtney is no longer affiliated with that lifestyle and has returned to the Catholic Church. She says she was going through a phase and was experiencing teenage angst.

I had a nice chat with her about tattoos and how she is finding it challenging because she has a corporate job now, and finding attire that covers her ink appropriately can be tough. This almost limits her in her choice to get any more work done.

From what I can recall from our conversation and from seeing what was visible, she has three or four pieces in all on her legs, a tribal design on the lower part of her neck, an ankh on her lower back, and another piece on her right biceps. She did not show the biceps or lower back tattoos.

I explained to Courtney my policy is generally not to ask people, who are generally women, if I can photograph their lower backs. If they offer (like this woman did), I will snap away.

Thanks to Courtney for being so cool, talking tattoos with me, and sharing her Satanic piece with Tattoosday! Here's hoping she'll make a return visit here in the future!
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Katherine's Symbol of Change

When I went to my wife Melanie's twentieth high school reunion last weekend, I wasn't expecting to come away with a story and a photo for Tattoosday.

But I did.

In fact, as I had to arrive a little late, Melanie had the camera with her, so I was only travelling with a few fliers, just in case I ran into a tattoo or two en route to the Upper West Side. It's usually when I have no fliers that I wish I'd had the foresight to bring them.

I arrived an hour late, and so was a bit behind the curve on introductions. I recognized names on name tags, but there were also many people untagged. And when the call came out for the reunion class to assemble for a photo, I was left behind with a trio of women. "Spouses?" I asked. Close. One spouse, one fiancée, one girlfriend.

I chatted with them for a bit while we waited for the alumni to return. The fiancée was talking to one of the other women about the tattoo on her wrist. The class returned and Melanie came over and commented, "Oh, you should get her picture," or something like that. There was a quizzical look. I introduced Tattoosday. And here we have the unusual tattoo:

Yes, Katherine Pushkar has a tattoo of a lobster on the inside of her forearm, just below the wrist. It was inked circa 2000 in one of the many lower East Side tattoo shops, the name of which, along with the tattooist, is lost to memory.

Katherine, who is currently an editor at the New York Post, used to be an editor at The Village Voice.

As she tells it, the editorial job oversaw, among other things, the food critic. She occasionally would go out to dinner with the reviewer and the menu would inevitably feature seafood. The problem was, Katherine didn't like and didn't eat seafood.

Now I am totally with her on this. Aside from tuna salad, I abhored seafood growing up. And I grew up in Hawai'i. Even now I admit that I missed out due to my pickiness. I have gradually evolved into the occasional sushi eater, a taster of Melanie's dishes, but I still largely remain a non-seafood kind of guy.

Katherine, on the other hand, understood that her distaste for creatures of the sea was an issue she had to deal with and so she took the plunge.

She realized she needed to learn to like seafood and she chose to take the first step in Nantucket and ate her first lobster. The rest is history. From that point on, she no longer suffered from the menu laden with fish dishes.

Fast forward to a tattoo shop in the East Village. She and her friend were getting their first tattoos. Her friend was the driving force, looking to get a lower back tattoo. Her friend was set but Katherine was still trying to decide what was best.

Still proud of her expansion of her palate's horizons, she explained the concept to the tattooist who found the lobster in a book of flash art. The rest is history.

And, Katherine concluded, while her friend's affection for her back tattoo has waned over the years, she still wears her lobster ink proudly on her wrist. It serves as a constant reminder, Katherine beamed, that "I can change if I want to."

Thanks to Katherine for her sharing this story, along with her tattoo!
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