Josh Slices Up a Sturgeon on His Culinary Sleeve

At the beginning of the week, I ran into Josh, a chef at an upscale restaurant in Tribeca. He was actually showing his tattoos to a couple of people standing with him, so I felt in apropos to join in the conversation.

Josh is hard at work on a culinary sleeve on his left arm, which includes a langoustine, a Red Junglefowl, and the tattoo above, a sturgeon, complete with slicing knife and roe.

The tattoo, as well as his other work, was done by Mark Harada at East Side Ink in Manhattan.

Thanks to Josh for sharing his sturgeon with us here on Tattoosday. Here's hoping he'll return to show us more. The Red Junglefowl was not completed, otherwise I would have asked to feature that piece here. It's a sweet piece (you can see a fragment of claw above the sturgeon).

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Dylan's Tattoo Dances on Her Ankle

Earlier this week, I met Dylan as she was crossing 34th Street by Macy*s Herald Square. She had the tattoo above her right ankle.

She had been a competitive dancer as a teenager, and had this inked when she was eighteen in Santa Cruz, California.

It was merely an expression of her love for the art of dance.

Thanks to Dylan for sharing her tattoo here with us on Tattoosday!
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News Link: Tattoos Gain Even More Visibility

Published: September 24, 2008

WHO in the world gets a neck tattoo? A couple of years back you could have narrowed the answer to gang members, prison inmates, members of the Russian mob and the rapper Lil Wayne. Then something occurred.

Continued from the New York Times here

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Christopher's Ink Bridges Generations

Last Friday I met Christopher on Penn Plaza. He estimated that he had tattoos numbering in the mid-fifties.

Again, I am sometimes intimidated by folks with a lot of ink, and will usually not trouble them, but not this time.

And, of all those tattoos, Christopher lifted up his shirt to reveal one of his most meaningful pieces:

The cross with angel wings behind it is graced by a banner that reads "In Loving Memory ... Grandpa Al".

This tribute tattoo was inked at Good Times Tattoo Studio in East Islip, New York by Bill. Christopher is a tattoo artist there as well.

Grandpa Al was a tattoo artist himself, at Ace Tattoo in San Diego, one of the oldest shops in the city (founded around 1947). I acknolwedged that Al must have been busy working in San Diego, with several military bases nearby.

Christopher always knew he wanted to be an artist, and has been tattooing about 14 years.

"What about your Dad," I asked him, "is he an artist?"

Christopher shook his head and said he wasn't. "And he doesn't have a single tattoo. Not one!"

"Really?" I asked.

He shook his head and laughed "I just don't understand it."

So the ink-lination to tattoo skipped a generation in his family, but you could tell he was proud of his grandfather's legacy, and he bore it like a badge of honor.

Thanks so much to Christopher for sharing his tribute to Grandpa Al here on Tattoosday!
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Buddy's Advice about Neck Tattoos

Last Friday was a banner day for inkspotting. By day's end, I had four great Tattoosday stories to tell. This is the third of the four, although it was the first encounter of the day. It certainly set the tone.

I was walking east on 34th Street when I spotted a well-inked guy walking in my direction. I am sometimes less-inclined to talk to people with a TON of tattoos, but I stopped him anyway and asked about his work.

Buddy seemed eager to share, and quickly raised his right pant leg to reveal, in red ink, the words "Boston Sucks". Right below it was a depiction of an anatomical part that would fit the epithet. I hesitated.

"It's kind of a family blog," I joked, "my daughter reads it." He seemed disappointed, but was understanding. "How about the neck tattoo?" I suggested. He was game. I snapped the photo above.

It was inked in Austin, Texas at, according to Buddy, a shop called Red River Tattoos, circa 2003. He has approximately 32 tattoos in all. Any story behind it? "I was drunk when I got it," he said. Knowing that, and the absence of any reference to a shop called Red River Tattoos in Austin, I am more inclined to believe it might have been True Blue Tattoo, which is located on Red River Street. Work from True Blue has appeared on Tattoosday previously here.

But then he added, "If you don't get a neck tattoo before you're successful, then you shouldn't get one".

"So," I asked, "are you successful?"

"I'm in a band," he acknowledged, "I'm the singer."

This is not new to me, I have come across several musicians on Tattoosday before (here and here, for example).

"What's the name of the band?" I asked.

"Senses Fail" he replied.

"Cool," I said, "I'll link the band's page to the blog." In the back of my mind, I thought the name sounded familiar.

I thanked Buddy and we parted ways. It was only later that I realized that Buddy Nielsen wasn't just a singer from a band in New Jersey. Senses Fail is a significant act in the music scene. They're not platinum artists, yet. Their last record, Still Searching, sold 900,000 copies in the U.S. alone.

They've toured widely since they formed in 2003. I even have one of their songs in my iPod. The song, "Can't Be Saved" even refers to the tattoo on his chest (the video is below). So, Buddy's tattoo, the one that is up above (according to wikipedia has a second word "lady" below it), is the most famous tattoo I have photographed thus far for Tattoosday.

Thanks to Buddy for sharing his ink with us here!

The "Can't Be Saved" video:

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First Day of Autumn Tattoo Blues

To celebrate the end of summer (farewell, tattoos aplenty!) and welcome the beginning of fall (come out, come out, wherever you are!), I am posting this appropriate tattoo celebrating the new season.

I was fortunate enough to meet Brian on Friday, right in front of Borders on Penn Plaza.

As the last weekend of summer was upon us, it seemed bittersweet to find his tattoo above. Brian told me that it is a depiction of Sahmin, who is the god of Autumn in Irish mythology. When I went to research this further, I could not find a reference to such a deity, but I do believe that Brian was referring to Samhain, a traditional Celtic celebration after the end of summer.

As for the actual deity in question, let's just say it is perfect for the season, the arboreal face bestrewn with leaves. Perhaps my friend over at NeoPagan Ink can shed some light on this.

This piece was inked by Joe Ferzola (click for nice bio at at Inklinations in Copiague, New York. The link to Inklinations takes you to the Devil's Den in Copiague, run by a long-time associate of Joe's, Tony Lafemina.

Thanks to Brian for sharing his autumnal tattoo with us here at Tattoosday!
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A Series of Nautical Stars Guide Me to an Amazing Tattoo

I've said it before and I'll say it again: sometimes asking about a common tattoo reaps great visual rewards.

Carrie is a prime example. I spotted her nautical stars gracing her right arm near 39th Street and Broadway and I asked her about them. Had she only had one, I may have passed her by, but she had five running up the length of her inner arm, and I had to ask.

Well, like this tattoo, I knew when Carrie stood up from the chair on which she was sitting, that I would be seeing something more interesting than stars. And, well, let's say she took my breath away on Broadway:

This reminded me of this windjammer tattoo, but Carrie, who has always loved pirates, and is going to have this colored in at some point, specified that this is a pirate ship.

The detail is incredible:

and Carrie was particularly happy that the moon came out in the photo:

The brilliant piece was inked by Charles "Chuck" Denise at Revolver Tattoo in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Carrie told me he was voted one of the top 10 tattooists in the country. The stars were done at Philadelphia Eddie's Tattoo Haven by Topper in Philadelphia.

Thanks to Carrie for sharing her awesome ship on Tattoosday (and for being confident enough to reveal so much in the middle of Broadway). She works in the same building where I have a regular Friday meeting, so I hope to feature progress on her work in the future. She also mentioned that her boyfriend has some cool ink too, so we may see some from him as well in the months to come.
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