Sunday, October 15, 2017

Veronique And Miranda and Jasmine

I discovered a whole host of tattooed Occidental alumni this week, so we're spilling over into the new week.

Veronique's new ink appeared in a thread on Darin's social media post, so I reached out and asked if she minded sharing.


You are not seeing double, there are two tattoos. Veronique and her daughter, Miranda, got matching ink, Veronique on her back and her daughter on her hip.

She elaborated:
"My daughter Miranda designed it to remind her of home when she goes back to school. Those jasmine flowers are in our yard ... It was the first tattoo for both of us, so it was definitely a mother-daughter bonding experience. And if I’m going to put something permanent on my body, what better than one of my daughter’s designs? And for her, it’s hard for her to be so far away from home all year, so it was her way of staying connected to home and family."
The tattoos were done by Justin Brophy (@finkface) at Empire Tattoo in Upland, California.

The flowers, Veronique told me, are "pink jasmine to remind [Miranda] of home." She is studying in Seattle and "designed the tattoo, then Justin brought it to life with the detail color and shading."

Thanks to Veronique and Miranda for sharing their tattoos with us here on Tattoosday's Occidental Week!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Darin and Max, Together Forever

Our next Occidental tattooed alumnus is Darren, who was a senior in Pauley Hall when I entered as a freshman in 1985. Darren and I reconnected on Facebook and when he recently posted this tattoo, I quickly asked him for permission to share:


Darin got this cool piece from Brian (@bolder_brian_tattoo) at Bolder Ink (@BolderInk) in Boulder, Colorado.

Darin explained:
"Brian did a fantastic job capturing Max's character. The idea came from my friend Volkan Soylu whom I met in Mexico in August, and Max provided the inspiration. This is something I feel good about wearing for life."
This is Max, who is an Akita (and the reference for the tattoo):


When I asked Darin if Max was still around, he explained:
"Max is still with us, but it is a memorial in a sense, just the same. Divorce after 17 years - we lost the house and I was not able to provide a good home for him. So it's a very transitional time, hence that duality of the two sides of his face, and a memorial to him in the sense that he represents loss of my previous life. That being said, I'm on to bigger and better things now and couldn't be happier. Except of course for the fact that I don't have Max, but I do have visiting rights and that's good."
This is Darin checking out the stencil after Brian put it on:


And the finished product:


Note how much it lightened up after it healed.

Thanks so much to Darin for sharing his cool tattoo with us this week on Tattoosday's Occidental week!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Repost: Jennifer's Seashell, In Memory of Her Father

We're celebrating Occidental alumni this week in honor of homecoming, and I wanted to revisit this post from 2015:

I have known Jennifer for almost thirty years and was intrigued when, earlier this year, she shared a picture of a new tattoo on social media.

Of course, I had to ask what this tattoo was all about:


Jennifer explained that she got this tattoo on March 15, 2015, on the first anniversary of her father's death:
"I got this tattoo for my Dad, who passed away a year ago. It's not my first, but it is my first in a readily visible spot, on the inside of my left ankle. Dad was left handed, but when he was a kid, they didn't teach kids how to write left handed, so he had to work with his right. I thought it fitting for him to be on the left. He loved the beach and the ocean and scuba diving and had an extensive shell collection. With this conch shell, in blue ink, which was his favorite color, I can have a bit of the beach with me wherever I am. We scattered his ashes at sea, per his wishes. The ocean will always make me think of him."
She added, "amongst his things was the poem 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep' by Mary Elizabeth Frye:"


Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.


She got the seashell  in Black Heart Tattoo (@BlackHeartTattoo) in San Francisco from artist Heather Bailey (@CathedralofTears).

Thanks to Jennifer for sharing her lovely and poignant tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015, 2017 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Jesse Burch's Back o' Birds

This week we're featuring tattoos on alumni from Occidental College, in honor of homecoming and family weekend, and we'll start with this amazing set of tattoos on the back of Jesse Burch, Class of 1992:


Jesse told me that the center shape was done about six years ago, but the birds were tattooed earlier this year. All of the work is by Jeremy Swan (@mister_swan) at Broken Art Tattoo (@broken_art_tattoo) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

When I asked Jesse about the origins of the work, he replied:
"Well, the center thing is an old design by my friend Bill Dawson. Its meaning is secret. 
The birds each represent parts of me. The Western mockingbird on my right shoulder is perched on a palo verde branch. Both are native to the west, like me, and the mockingbird represents my interest in imitation and my chameleonic nature. The left shoulder has the skylark on English oak. That’s my anglophilia in a nutshell.
I bought both bird images on eBay. They’re from vintage bird prints — another thing I like: old shit.
I like them a ton, despite being somewhat atypical, I guess. But then, I reckon I am too. 
I will say that it was weird to go from being a person with a tattoo to being a 'tattooed person' overnight. Took some getting used to. And, of course, now I want more....
Also, I meant for the whole thing together to look kind of like a coat of arms. But I think the middle piece needs updating."
I've known Jesse since 1988, when he matriculated as a first year student at Occidental. I was one of his resident advisers. Jesse is a working actor in Los Angeles (see his credits here) and he also hosts a web show on YouTube called "You're Better Than Me." The episode below is his interview with Jeremy, his tattoo artist:


Thanks to Jesse for sharing his awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday's Occidental Week!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Andy Fakes Me Out

Check out this cool tattoo that I spotted at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade:


This is on the arm of Andy, from England.

Or, I should say, this was on his arm.

When I asked him about it, he snickered and told me it was a fake tattoo.

I'm still not convinced, but I guess if you really look at this, it doesn't quite look like a "real" tattoo.

Nonetheless, it's still notable that this is one of the finest temporary tattoos I have ever seen, as it fooled this veteran inkspotter.

Thanks, Andy, for sharing this body art with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Jasmine With Beautiful Flowers and Designs (at the Mermaid Parade)

Back in June, at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade (@MermaidParade), I met Jasmine, who had some stunning tattoos, including these beautiful flowers on her shoulder and arm:


Jasmine also shared this tattoo from her other arm:


Jasmine explained that she had studied design, and she loved textiles. Her tattoo artist, the incomparable Tim Kern (@ymonster), drew up this great tattoo that recalls fishnet and lace.
Tim, formerly of Tribulation Tattoo in NYC, now calls No Hope No Fear Tattoo Art Studio (@nohopenofeartattoo) in Portland, Oregon, his home.

Thanks to Jasmine for sharing her lovely tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Lovely Citrus on Kristina (at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade)

Back in June, at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade (@mermaidparade), I met Kristina, who shared this lovely tattoo on her inner arm:


Kristina explained that this is a stylized cross section of an orange, a satsuma mandarin orange, to be exact. She told me that this is her favorite fruit and that, when she worked in a juice bar, she and her colleagues all got fruit tattoos.

Kristina credited Julia Hayes (@JHayesTattoos) with inking this piece when she was at Evil & Love Tattoo (@EvilandLove) in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Julia is now working out of Trinity Tattoo Collective (@Trinity_Tattoo_Collective) in Ridgewood, Queens.

Thanks to Kristina for sharing this beautiful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Jackie's Amazing Work by Boff Konkerz

Summer may be officially over but I still have lots of goodies to share, including this lovely work on Jackie, who I met at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade (@MermaidParade) in June:


Jackie (@jackattack101) is a tattoo artist and piercer in the United Kingdom, working out of Nutz Tattoo (@NutzTattoo) in Hertfordshire.

She credits the work to Boff Konkerz, a travelling machine-free artist who, according to his website, is currently working at The Icelandic Tattoo Corp in Reykjavik.

Thanks to Jackie for sharing her lovely tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ending with a Little Luck on the R Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

After the Q, I knew, alas, I was throwing in the towel. I could potentially finish out the Alphabet Game, but I would be battling commuters during rush hour on the R, S, W and Z trains, and I was, to be honest beat after having ridden the rails for eight-plus hours.

So, here's the final chapter of the first annual Alphabet Game on the MTA:

4:39 P.M. Off at 57th Street in Manhattan with the intent to catch a southbound R train.

4:45 P.M.  Board the R, southbound.

4:58 P.M.  At Prince Street, I decide to drop by my office to get some things, take a bathroom break, recharge the phone. I can still ride the R home and hopefully get one last tattoo.

5:07 P.M.  Exit the R train at Rector.

5:45 P.M.  Back on the R at Rector.

This is the final train of the day. For fun, I map my route:

R->A->B->C->C->D->D->E->[Break]->E->F->G->F->J->J->N->L->L->M->N->N->Q->Q->R->R 

That's 24 different trains between 8:15 A.M. and 5:45 P.M.

Just shy of 6:00 P.M., on the R between Union and 9th Street in Brooklyn, I introduce myself to Mita, who shares the 12th tattoo of the day from the subways (13th, if you count Adrien on the F train, who shared two almost five hours earlier).

This is Mita's tattoo:



Mita tells me she got this from Brooklyn tattoo legend Michael Angelo, who has been working out of his basement in a residential neighborhood in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, since 1976. He doesn't take appointments. You just show up and he gets to you when he gets to you. She says she camped out for it to guarantee she got the tattoo.

This lucky horseshoe has Taíno colors for her Puerto Rican heritage.

Thanks to Mita (and to all my the subway riders who shared their tattoos) for helping make the Alphabet Game a successful endeavor. We'll be sure to play again some time in the future!

To see the whole sequence of tattoos, from A to R, check out the main post here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hebrew on the Q Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

After the N train, next up was the Q train (no O or P in the MTAlphabet).

3:55 P.M. Off of the N train at Canal Street.

3:57 P.M. On a northbound Q train at Canal Street.

4:15 P.M. Doubts creeping in, just about decided that this may be it. Do the Q train and then take the R train all the way home and hope for a tattoo. I would fall short of the last three lettered trains (S, w and Z).

4:18 P.M. Got off the Q at 72nd Street. Will head back on a southbound Q. This is one of the new stations on the Second Avenue subway line and they have charging docks for cell phones. My battery is at 23%.

4:35 P.M. After a brief recharge I am back on a Q headed south toward Brooklyn. I meet Joram, who piqued my interest with this tattoo in Hebrew on his forearm:


Despite my basic rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew, I couldn't quite place what this tattoo says, so I asked.

Joram told me that it means "Jesus is my Saviour," but that he left some elements off.

Had this been any other day, I may have deferred on this tattoo, but it is part of the alphabet game experiment.

It is also a perfect example of why I don't often feature tattoos in other languages. I don't know what this actually says, if anything, in Hebrew, but the name of Jesus, as far as I can tell, doesn't even appear correctly in the tattoo. In fact, this is Jesus' name in Hebrew:
In the tattoo, the closest thing to that is the word on the far left. However, it is missing a letter and, to make matters worse, is written backwards, from left to right, when, in fact Hebrew is read from right to left..

Nonetheless, the tattoo holds the meaning for Joram, and, ultimately, that is what is most important.

Thanks to Joram for sharing his work tattoo with us on Tattoosday.

The full Alphabet game can be revisited in the original post here.

Check out the next post to see if I threw in the towel after the R train, or if I persevered and finished the alphabet!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Video Ink on the N Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

After dispatching on the M train in mere moments, I turned my sights to the N. I got off the M at 34th Street.

3:08 P.M. Waiting for southbound N at 34th Street/Herald Square.

3:15 P.M. On southbound N.

3:23 P.M. On Manhattan Bridge. Picky Bill is back, balking on several people. Just not a big fan of what I'm seeing.

3:36 P.M. I decide to switch back at Barclay's Center/Atlantic, to a northbound N train back to Manhattan.

3:44 P.M. On an N train and I meet Tiffany, who shared this tattoo:


Tiffany explained this is a tribute to her dad, who ran the family's Mom & Pop video store in Brooklyn over 20 years ago.

She credited this work to Angel at Puncture Tattoo (@puncturetattoostudio) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Angel gained national attention several years ago after appearing on Ink Master (@spikeinkmaster).

Thanks to Tiffany for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

See the full "Alphabet Game" experience recapped on the main post here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Monday, September 18, 2017

A Musician on the M Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

The Alphabet Game continues...

2:41 P.M. Off the L train at Bedford, headed back to Manhattan.

2:47 P.M.  On the L to Manhattan.

After a rough morning, the afternoon is proving kinder: A,B,C,D before noon, E,F,G,J,L after Noon.
Technically, seven trains to go, and I begin thinking this is not likely to happen, but I feel that I am honestly doing better than I expected..

Taking the L to the M train on the 6th Avenue line and heading toward Queens.

2:57 P.M. Waiting for the M uptown.

3:02 P.M. On a northbound M.

Within a few minutes I meet Adam, from Asheville, North Carolina. He gets off at 23rd Street, but not before I snap a picture of his tattoo:


Adam is a musician, and that was all I learned. He said he would email me details, but I never received them. So all we have is this bizarre, yet cool tattoo to remember the experience with.

Thanks to Adam for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

See the whole Alphabet game played out here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Blow-Up Doll on the L Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

I had exited the J train to talk to Luke in our last post, so I had to wait for another one to come and get me closer to the L train (no K in the MTA).

2:24 P.M. On the J train toward Broad Street.

2:27 P.M. I get off at Canal and switch to an N train toward 14th Street/Union Square.

2:35 P.M. On the L train to Brooklyn.

2:39 P.M.  I meet Thiago, who is visiting from Italy, and he has a lot of tattoos to choose from.

Our conversation comes between 1st Avenue in Manhattan and Bedford in Brooklyn.

Thiago shared this hilarious tattoo:


This tattoo is on Thiago's inner thigh and, if you're wondering why this woman's mouth looks a little odd, it's because this is the head of a blow-up sex doll, appropriately positioned on his inner thigh.

He credited Silvie Bovary (@sylviebovary) from Holy Ink Tattoo (@holy_ink_firenze)in Florence, Italy.

Thanks to Thiago for sharing this awesome tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Check out the previous subway posts on the master post here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Luke's Burning Tree for L.A. (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

The Alphabet Game continues....

I was off the G train by 1:37 and had to pull a U-turn and head back into Manhattan.

1:38 P.M.  Just missed a northbound F train

1:50 P.M.  On F train back to Manhattan. Going to transfer to a J train at Delancey (There’s no “I” in Team or the MTA!)

2:08 P.M.  I catch a J train and almost immediately meet Luke, who is covered with tattoos. I point out this one on his leg:


Turns out this tattoo was done by Shon Lindauer (@shonlindauer) at High SeasTattoo Parlor (@highseastattooparlor) in Los Angeles.  I was excited to hear it was by Shon, as he did my tiger tattoo (revisit it here) and does great solid traditional work.

Here's a crisper view of the tattoo from Shon's instagram:

Via @shonlindauer on Instagram
Luke tells me that this palm tree ablaze represents his hatred of Los Angeles.

Luke also sent me a photo of his bodysuit, which will appear in a future installment of Tattoosday.

Thanks to Luke for sharing his cool tattoo with us on Tattoosday!


Check out previous posts from the Alphabet game here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Hello Kitty on the G Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

Having succeeded on the F train rather quickly, I was feeling optimistic, and I headed to Brooklyn for the second time, aiming for the Carroll Street station, where I could switch to a G train.

1:27 P.M. Realizing after G (God willing), I will need to backtrack to get to a J (no H or I on the subway map), so the total fluidity of the exercise will be disrupted. Either that, or get off train, walk, and pay again.

1:30 P.M.  Off F train.

1:32 P.M.  On G train.

Less than five minutes pass and I am talking to Katie about her tattoos:



Katie has, as you can see, a plethora of Hello Kitty tattoos, but with variations. In the top photo there's a Franken-kitty and the middle tattoo is a Kitty done up in the Day of the Dead sugar skull style. The bottom photo has a pirate Kitty and a Kitty as a Maneki-neko cat.

Katie explained she was born in South Korea and that her Hello Kitty toys were her favorite toys growing up. All of her tattoos remind her of her early childhood home.

These cool tattoos were inked by Matt Bivetto (@mattbivetto) at Three Kings Tattoo (@threekingstattoo) in Brooklyn. Matt is now working out of Greenpoint Tattoo Company (@greenpointtattooco).

Thanks to Katie for sharing her cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

If you're just joining us, you can go back and see the tattoos from the A through F trains here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Moth and a Rose on the F Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

And the Alphabet Game continues...

1:05 P.M.  After a bathroom and pizza break at Penn Station, I'm back on an E train to catch an F at West 4th Street.

1:13 P.M. On an F train at West 4th, southbound.

1:16 P.M.  I meet Adrien, who shares a couple of great tattoos from Kings Avenue Tattoo (@kingsavetattoo) on the Bowery in Manhattan.

First is this cool moth:


Adrien told me that this tattoo by Grez matches one that is also on another Kings Ave artist, Becca Genne-Bacon (@beccagennebacon) who, incidentally, tattooed this awesome black rose on Adrien, as well:


Thanks to Adrien for sharing these cool tattoos with us on Tattoosday!

Remember, you can check out the whole Alphabet Game experience here.


This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Snakes on a Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

The Alphabet Game continues....

After  just over an hour on the D train, I finally found a cool tattoo (here) and now had to go all the way back into Manhattan to connect to an E train.

The plan was to catch an uptown E at West 4th Street. My phone was at 33% battery so I used the hour it took to get back into the city to recharge.

At 12:38 P.M., as the E pulled in at West 4th, I spotted a woman with some incredible work. What luck! After 2 hours on the D, back and forth, I met Eva in under a minute, and she shared this amazing cobra tattoo:



This cool snake was done in three sittings by Jon Clue (@jonclue) at Sacred Tattoo (@sacredtattoonyc) in Manhattan. “I love snakes,” Eva told me, “and I love what he [Clue] does.”

I hadn’t expected to catch anything this great on my subway journey, so I considered myself very lucky.

I featured another piece by Jon earlier this year here.

At 12:40, the E pulled into 34th Street/Penn Station and I decided to take a break for lunch.

Thanks to Eva for sharing her amazing tattoo on Tattoosday!

Check out the whole Alphabet Game experience here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Jessica's Spyglass on the D Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

The Alphabet Game continues....

What comes after C? That would be D.

10:10 A.M.  For the sake of continuity, instead of getting off at 81st and hitting a southbound B or C, I will go to 125th Street and get a southbound D train.

10:20 A.M. Switch to southbound D at 125th Street.

10:48 A.M. Still on the D train, Brooklyn-bound, crossing the Manhattan Bridge.

11:16 A.M.  Just moved through the D to the front car. Not a lot of luck. May ride to the end of the line in Coney Island and switch back, unless a chance occurs before then.

11:35 A.M. On the D, approaching Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue. A couple of times I had considered switching back, but was glad I didn’t, because I met Jessica right before the last stop on the D. She shared this tattoo of a spyglass, or hand-held telescope:


Jessica got this spyglass done by Rob Genovese (@robgenoveseart) at Brooklyn Made Tattoo (@brooklynmadetattoo) in Bay Ridge. She explained that she goes to school in upstate New York and the stars always have a calming effect on her. One doesn’t see as many stars in Brooklyn, but with her telescope, now she can always see the stars.

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday, as we play the Alphabet Game!

To see the full experience, head to the original post here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Brooklyn Rat on the C Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

Things were going great! Within twenty minutes, I had handled the A and the B. Next up, the C train. I was just a couple of stops from 59th Street/Columbus Circle, where I planned to hop on a southbound C.

9:16 A.M. Just missed a C. A guy in the subway car I almost made had ink too!

9:21 A.M. On a C train.

9:24 A.M.  Spotted someone with a tattoo made of musical notes forming a heart. She has earbuds in, so I will hold out for something better.

9:34 A.M.  Is it okay to switch cars? Still deciding if that's within the rules of the game.

9:37 A.M. The musical clef tattoo just got off. Regret not talking to her.

9:40 A.M. Switched cars, moved into one with no A/C. Bad idea.

9:42 A.M.  Switched again. First rejection. Woman with snake tattoo on forearm politely declines. Still takes flier. Exits at Chambers.

9:46 A.M.  After 25 minutes on the C, I switch at Fulton Street to a C running northbound, in the opposite direction.

I see a woman with "passing through" tattooed on her forearm, but she is wedged between two people...

Another woman with a half sleeve, but it looks like it was drawn and inked by an eight-year old. She also has a heart on her middle finger.

The rule of procrastination: if you don't move, or if you hesitate, consider the opportunity lost - not meant to be. "Passing through" exited at 14th Street.

Switched cars at 23rd Street.

I see a guy with not-so-good tattoos. So much for not being picky. I've done this for ten years without an altercation. Spider sense tingles. I pass.

I caught two tattoos in the first twenty minutes and got cocky. Approaching one hour since my last success.

Finally, at 10:08, I meet Michelle from Brooklyn when she gets on the C train at 59th Street/Columbus Circle. She shares this tattoo on her forearm:

        
Michelle credits her solid Brooklyn tattoo to Fernando Lions (@lions_nyc) at Flyrite Tattoo (@flyrite_tattoo) in the same borough.

Thanks to Michelle for sharing her tattoo with us on Tattoosday!

All prior installments of Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game are here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Samantha's Cool Cat on the B Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

After my initial success on the A train (here), the game continued:

Next stop, I switched at West 4th Street for a northbound B train.

9:04 on Northbound B.

At 9:12 A.M., between 42nd Street and 47th-50th/Rockefeller Plaza, I met Samantha, who shared this cool tattoo:


When she told me this was by New York artist Betty Rose (@BettyRoseTattoos), I acknowledged that this made sense, as Betty Rose is no stranger to Tattoosday, and has made a name for herself as a quality artist who loves to do cat tattoos (or "cattoos," as she calls them). Betty Rose currently works out of Eight of Swords Tattoo (@8ofSwordsTattoo) in Brooklyn.

Next up, I'm headed to the C train...

Thanks to Samantha for sharing her cool tattoo with us on Tattoosday!

Prior installments of Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game are here.

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

St. Jude on the "A" Train (Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game)

As discussed in the introductory post here, I decided to play the alphabet game with the MTA one day last month.

So, let's begin...

8:16 AM, R train leaving 95th Street, Brooklyn: So, after years talking about it, I'm finally going to try the alphabet [game].

The concept: start with the A train. Find and photograph ink on a tattooed passenger. Switch to a B train. Rinse, repeat. Do it in a day.

That's, if you're not familiar with the NYC subways, A,B,C,D,E,F,G,J,L,M,N,Q,R,S,W, and Z. 16 trains in all. If super successful, and motivated, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7  - the Magnificent Seven to follow.

I honestly don't know how successful I'll be. But I'm going to try. Train inkspotting is more challenging than open air inkspotting. People are more guarded, more locked into their ear buds, more suspicious. I have a good 20 minutes to psych myself up - at Jay Street in Brooklyn, I will switch from the R to the A. And the game will be afoot.

First conundrum: do I try to talk to the woman next to me on the R? She has some interesting linework tattoos, but she is earbudded and the train is crowded.

I'm also superstitious. If I try to go out of sequence, will that jinx the project? If she rejects me, will it start me off on the wrong foot, dinging my confidence?

I've decided to let her be. If the ink was better, I might try, but it won't haunt me if I pass.

There's a point there, however. The quality of the work. This is a quantity not quality challenge. I also get to explore the subways a little.

8:50 AM, Switch to the A at Jay Street/Metrotech

At 8:58  A.M., I sit down next to Lucas who shares this tattoo:


Lucas explains that this is a representation of his St. Jude medal, which he used to wear on a chain. Now, he carries it with him wherever he goes, tattooed on his wrist.

Under normal circumstances, this isn't a tattoo that would have necessarily drawn me into a conversation on the train, but, remember, I'm playing the alphabet game, and this was the first step in the journey.

Thanks to Lucas for sharing his tattoo with me on the A train. Come back tomorrow to see if I met any success on the B train!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tattoosday Plays the Alphabet Game with the MTA

For several years, I had an idea that was pretty crazy, but I promised myself I would do ... one of these days.

The idea was this: Spend a day inkspotting, but follow specific guidelines. Namely, get on the New York City subways, get to an "A" train, and find someone with a tattoo, and interview them. Once that task was accomplished, switch to a "B" train. Repeat and follow the same pattern, until I got through the alphabet. Go A through Z. Make a day of it!

Considering a "good" day of inkspotting is interviewing 2 or 3 people, and the most I have ever done was 13 at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, this seemed like an impossible task. Not to mention, I have found subway riders tend to be a little more reluctant to talk to people about their tattoos than those above ground.

But before I dismissed the idea entirely, the reality was this: although there are twenty-six letters in the alphabet, on weekdays there are only sixteen lettered trains. Currently, there are no H, I, K, O, P, T, U, V, Y, or X trains. So, really, the target is 16, which, though daunting, is still more doable than 26.

This summer, the time seemed ripe. I had a lot of available time off from work. I decided I had to do this on a weekday because a) the trains are more crowded and thus there would be more potential interviewees; b) there are also more trains to accommodate the ridership and c) the B, M, and Z trains are weekday only, so doing this on the weekend would seem a bit of a cop-out. And yes, I realize, I am not even talking about the trains numbered 1 through 7, but I just wanted to see if I could do the alphabet first.

Timing is everything, as well, and I had to pick a day when the temperature was in the upper 80's or 90's. The warmer it gets, the more ink you see. That's just a general rule.

So, as part of our 10-year anniversary celebration, I tried it on a warm day in August.

Did I accomplish it? You'll have to read to the end of the post to know for sure.

I am posting this introduction, and I will follow it with individual posts until I am finished, but I will add the new post to this one each day. The end result will be this very long, complete (or incomplete post), followed by individual posts documenting the experiment.

Thank you for indulging me, dear readers! Enjoy the journey!

8:16 AM, R train leaving 95th Street, Brooklyn: So, after years talking about it, I'm finally going to try the alphabet [game].

The concept: start with the A train. Find and photograph ink on a tattooed passenger. Switch to a B train. Rinse, repeat. Do it in a day.

That's, if you're not familiar with the NYC subways, A,B,C,D,E,F,G,J,L,M,N,Q,R,S,W, and Z. 16 trains in all. If super successful, and motivated, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7  - the Magnificent Seven to follow.

I honestly don't know how successful I'll be. But I'm going to try. Train inkspotting is more challenging than open air inkspotting. People are more guarded, more locked into their ear buds, more suspicious. I have a good 20 minutes to psych myself up - at Jay Street in Brooklyn, I will switch from the R to the A. And the game will be afoot.

First conundrum: do I try to talk to the woman next to me on the R? She has some interesting linework tattoos, but she is earbudded and the train is crowded.

I'm also superstitious. If I try to go out of sequence, will that jinx the project? If she rejects me, will it start me off on the wrong foot, dinging my confidence?

I've decided to let her be. If the ink was better, I might try, but it won't haunt me if I pass.

There's a point there, however. The quality of the work. This is a quantity not quality challenge. I also get to explore the subways a little.

8:50 AM, Switch to the A at Jay Street/Metrotech

At 8:58  A.M., I sit down next to Lucas who shares this tattoo:


Lucas explains that this is a representation of his St. Jude medal, which he used to wear on a chain. Now, he carries it with him wherever he goes, tattooed on his wrist.

Under normal circumstances, this isn't a tattoo that would have necessarily drawn me into a conversation on the train, but, remember, I'm playing the alphabet game, and this was the first step in the journey.

Thanks to Lucas for sharing his tattoo with me on the A train.

After my initial success on the A train (here), the game continued:

Next stop, I switched at West 4th Street for a northbound B train.

9:04 on Northbound B.

At 9:12 A.M., between 42nd Street and 47th-50th/Rockefeller Plaza, I met Samantha, who shared this cool tattoo:


When she told me this was by New York artist Betty Rose (@BettyRoseTattoos), I acknowledged that this made sense, as Betty Rose is no stranger to Tattoosday, and has made a name for herself as a quality artist who loves to do cat tattoos (or "cattoos," as she calls them). Betty Rose currently works out of Eight of Swords Tattoo (@8ofSwordsTattoo) in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Samantha for sharing her cool tattoo with us on Tattoosday!

Next up, I'm headed to the C train...

Things were going great! Within twenty minutes, I had handled the A and the B. Next up, the C train. I was just a couple of stops from 59th Street/Columbus Circle, where I planned to hop on a southbound C.

9:16 A.M. Just missed a C. A guy in the subway car I almost made had ink too!

9:21 A.M. On a C train.

9:24 A.M.  Spotted someone with a tattoo made of musical notes forming a heart. She has earbuds in, so I will hold out for something better.

9:34 A.M.  Is it okay to switch cars? Still deciding if that's within the rules of the game.

9:37 A.M. The musical clef tattoo just got off. Regret not talking to her.

9:40 A.M. Switched cars, moved into one with no A/C. Bad idea.

9:42 A.M.  Switched again. First rejection. Woman with snake tattoo on forearm politely declines. Still takes flier. Exits at Chambers.

9:46 A.M.  After 25 minutes on the C, I switch at Fulton Street to a C running northbound, in the opposite direction.

I see a woman with "passing through" tattooed on her forearm, but she is wedged between two people...

Another woman with a half sleeve, but it looks like it was drawn and inked by an eight-year old. She also has a heart on her middle finger.

The rule of procrastination: if you don't move, or if you hesitate, consider the opportunity lost - not meant to be. "Passing through" exited at 14th Street.

Switched cars at 23rd Street.

I see a guy with not-so-good tattoos. So much for not being picky. I've done this for ten years without an altercation. Spider sense tingles. I pass.

I caught two tattoos in the first twenty minutes and got cocky. Approaching one hour since my last success.

Finally, at 10:08, I meet Michelle from Brooklyn when she gets on the C train at 59th Street/Columbus Circle. She shares this tattoo on her forearm:

       
Michelle credits her solid Brooklyn tattoo to Fernando Lions (@lions_nyc) at Flyrite Tattoo (@flyrite_tattoo) in the same borough.

Thanks to Michelle for sharing her tattoo with us on Tattoosday!

What comes after C? That would be D.

10:10 A.M.  For the sake of continuity, instead of getting off at 81st and hitting a southbound B or C, I will go to 125th Street and get a southbound D train.

10:20 A.M. Switch to southbound D at 125th Street.

10:48 A.M. Still on the D train, Brooklyn-bound, crossing the Manhattan Bridge.

11:16 A.M.  Just moved through the D to the front car. Not a lot of luck. May ride to the end of the line in Coney Island and switch back, unless a chance occurs before then.

11:35 A.M. On the D, approaching Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue. A couple of times I had considered switching back, but was glad I didn’t, because I met Jessica right before the last stop on the D. She shared this tattoo of a spyglass, or hand-held telescope:


Jessica got this spyglass done by Rob Genovese (@robgenoveseart) at Brooklyn Made Tattoo (@brooklynmadetattoo) in Bay Ridge. She explained that she goes to school in upstate New York and the stars always have a calming effect on her. One doesn’t see as many stars in Brooklyn, but with her telescope, now she can always see the stars.

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday, as we play the Alphabet Game!

After  just over an hour on the D train, I finally found a cool tattoo (here) and now had to go all the way back into Manhattan to connect to an E train.

The plan was to catch an uptown E at West 4th Street. My phone was at 33% battery so I used the hour it took to get back into the city to recharge.

At 12:38 P.M., as the E pulled in at West 4th, I spotted a woman with some incredible work. What luck! After 2 hours on the D, back and forth, I met Eva in under a minute, and she shared this amazing cobra tattoo:


This cool snake was done in three sittings by Jon Clue (@jonclue) at Sacred Tattoo (@sacredtattoonyc) in Manhattan. “I love snakes,” Eva told me, “and I love what he [Clue] does.”

I hadn’t expected to catch anything this great on my subway journey, so I considered myself very lucky.

I featured another piece by Jon earlier this year here.

At 12:40, the E pulled into 34th Street/Penn Station and I decided to take a break for lunch.

Thanks to Eva for sharing her amazing tattoo on Tattoosday!

1:05 P.M.  After a bathroom and pizza break at Penn Station, I'm back on an E train to catch an F at West 4th Street.

1:13 P.M. On an F train at West 4th, southbound.

1:16 P.M.  I meet Adrien, who shares a couple of great tattoos from Kings Avenue Tattoo (@kingsavetattoo) on the Bowery in Manhattan.

First is this cool moth:


Adrien told me that this tattoo by Grez matches one that is also on another Kings Ave artist, Becca Genne-Bacon (@beccagennebacon) who, incidentally, tattooed this awesome black rose on Adrien, as well:


Thanks to Adrien for sharing these cool tattoos with us on Tattoosday!

Having succeeded on the F train rather quickly, I was feeling optimistic, and I headed to Brooklyn for the second time, aiming for the Carroll Street station, where I could switch to a G train.

1:27 P.M. Realizing after G (God willing), I will need to backtrack to get to a J (no H or I on the subway map), so the total fluidity of the exercise will be disrupted. Either that, or get off train, walk, and pay again.

1:30 P.M.  Off F train.

1:32 P.M.  On G train.

Less than five minutes pass and I am talking to Katie about her tattoos:



Katie has, as you can see, a plethora of Hello Kitty tattoos, but with variations. In the top photo there's a Franken-kitty and the middle tattoo is a Kitty done up in the Day of the Dead sugar skull style. The bottom photo has a pirate Kitty and a Kitty as a Maneki-neko cat.

Katie explained she was born in South Korea and that her Hello Kitty toys were her favorite toys growing up. All of her tattoos remind her of her early childhood home.

These cool tattoos were inked by Matt Bivetto (@mattbivetto) at Three Kings Tattoo (@threekingstattoo) in Brooklyn. Matt is now working out of Greenpoint Tattoo Company (@greenpointtattooco).

Thanks to Katie for sharing her cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

I was off the G train by 1:37 and had to pull a U-turn and head back into Manhattan.

1:38 P.M.  Just missed a northbound F train

1:50 P.M.  On F train back to Manhattan. Going to transfer to a J train at Delancey (There’s no “I” in Team or the MTA!)

2:08 P.M.  I catch a J train and almost immediately meet Luke, who is covered with tattoos. I point out this one on his leg:


Turns out this tattoo was done by Shon Lindauer (@shonlindauer) at High SeasTattoo Parlor (@highseastattooparlor) in Los Angeles.  I was excited to hear it was by Shon, as he did my tiger tattoo (revisit it here) and does great solid traditional work.

Here's a crisper view of the tattoo from Shon's instagram:

Via @shonlindauer on Instagram
Luke tells me that this palm tree ablaze represents his hatred of Los Angeles.

Luke also sent me a photo of his bodysuit, which will appear in a future installment of Tattoosday.

Thanks to Luke for sharing his cool tattoo with us on Tattoosday!

I had exited the J train to talk to Luke, so I had to wait for another one to come and get me closer to the L train (no K in the MTA). 2:24 P.M. On the J train toward Broad Street.
2:27 P.M.
I get off at Canal and switch to an N train toward 14th Street/Union Square.
2:35 P.M.
On the L train to Brooklyn.
2:39 P.M.  I meet Thiago, who is visiting from Italy, and he has a lot of tattoos to choose from.
Our conversation comes between 1st Avenue in Manhattan and Bedford in Brooklyn.
Thiago shared this hilarious tattoo:


This tattoo is on Thiago's inner thigh and, if you're wondering why this woman's mouth looks a little odd, it's because this is the head of a blow-up sex doll, appropriately positioned on his inner thigh.
He credited Silvie Bovary (@sylviebovary) from Holy Ink Tattoo (@holy_ink_firenze)in Florence, Italy.
Thanks to Thiago for sharing this awesome tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!


2:41 P.M. Off the L train at Bedford, headed back to Manhattan.

2:47 P.M.  On the L to Manhattan.

After a rough morning, the afternoon is proving kinder: A,B,C,D before noon, E,F,G,J,L after Noon.
Technically, seven trains to go, and I begin thinking this is not likely to happen, but I feel that I am honestly doing better than I expected..

Taking the L to the M train on the 6th Avenue line and heading toward Queens.

2:57 P.M. Waiting for the M uptown.

3:02 P.M. On a northbound M.

Within a few minutes I meet Adam, from Asheville, North Carolina. He gets off at 23rd Street, but not before I snap a picture of his tattoo:


Adam is a musician, and that was all I learned. He said he would email me details, but I never received them. So all we have is this bizarre, yet cool tattoo to remember the experience with.

Thanks to Adam for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

After dispatching on the M train in mere moments, I turned my sights to the N. I got off the M at 34th Street.

3:08 P.M. Waiting for southbound N at 34th Street/Herald Square.

3:15 P.M. On southbound N.

3:23 P.M. On Manhattan Bridge. Picky Bill is back, balking on several people. Just not a big fan of what I'm seeing.

3:36 P.M. I decide to switch back at Barclay's Center/Atlantic, to a northbound N train back to Manhattan.

3:44 P.M. On an N train and I meet Tiffany, who shared this tattoo:


Tiffany explained this is a tribute to her dad, who ran the family's Mom & Pop video store in Brooklyn over 20 years ago.

She credited this work to Angel at Puncture Tattoo (@puncturetattoostudio) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Angel gained national attention several years ago after appearing on Ink Master (@spikeinkmaster).

Thanks to Tiffany for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

After the Q, I knew, alas, I was throwing in the towel. I could potentially finish out the Alphabet Game, but I would be battling commuters during rush hour on the R, S, W and Z trains, and I was, to be honest beat after having ridden the rails for eight-plus hours.

So, here's the final chapter of the first annual Alphabet Game on the MTA:

4:39 P.M. Off at 57th Street in Manhattan with the intent to catch a southbound R train.

4:45 P.M.  Board the R, southbound.

4:58 P.M.  At Prince Street, I decide to drop by my office to get some things, take a bathroom break, recharge the phone. I can still ride the R home and hopefully get one last tattoo.

5:07 P.M.  Exit the R train at Rector.

5:45 P.M.  Back on the R at Rector.

This is the final train of the day. For fun, I map my route:

R->A->B->C->C->D->D->E->[Break]->E->F->G->F->J->J->N->L->L->M->N->N->Q->Q->R->R 

That's 24 different trains between 8:15 A.M. and 5:45 P.M.

Just shy of 6:00 P.M., on the R between Union and 9th Street in Brooklyn, I introduce myself to Mita, who shares the 12th tattoo of the day from the subways (13th, if you count Adrien on the F train, who shared two almost five hours earlier).

This is Mita's tattoo:


Mita tells me she got this from Brooklyn tattoo legend Michael Angelo, who has been working out of his basement in a residential neighborhood in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, since 1976. He doesn't take appointments. You just show up and he gets to you when he gets to you. She says she camped out for it to guarantee she got the tattoo.

This lucky horseshoe has Taíno colors for her Puerto Rican heritage.

Thanks to Mita (and to all my the subway riders who shared their tattoos) for helping make the Alphabet Game a successful endeavor. We'll be sure to play again some time in the future!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.