Friday, March 12, 2021

Jolee's Ghost Light Shines Through the Pandemic

Yesterday, when the world was acknowledging the first anniversary of the delcaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was thinking about today, the anniversary of the lights going out on Broadway and in theaters across New York City. 

This was a particularly big deal in our home, as my daughter Jolee is an actor and worked front of house at The Public Theater.

This made me think of an amazing tattoo she got back in 2018, a "ghost light" on her thigh:


Jolee explains:
"A ghost light is an electric light that is left lit on the stage of a theater when the theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. The light stands on a wheeled mount, and the bulb sits within a wire cage, and is placed center stage. Ghost lights also have superstitious justifications, as there are countless stories from centuries of theater about ghost lights being left lit to either appease the ghosts of a theater or to scare them away while no one is there to do that themselves."
She adds:
"I chose a ghost light for a variety of reasons. I wanted a commemorative tattoo for the art in which I've dedicated most of my life's work, but also had a sort of ambiguous nature. A deeply personal tattoo, yet also has a universal understanding amongst other artists. I like to think that the light for my love of theater remains lit throughout my life, no matter what happens."

As we look forward to the future, I like to think that the "light at the end of the tunnel" that is just out of reach is a ghost light, illuminating our way to a day when theaters will be open and vibrant again, as actors re-take their stages and bring their art back to life. 

This super cool tattoo was designed and crafted by the incomparable Alex McWatt (@alexthreekings) at Three Kings Tattoo (@threekingstattoo) in Manhattan. Alex has tattooed everyone in our family and his work has appeared numerous times on Tattoosday previously (click here to see what else we've featured).

Thanks to Jolee for sharing her tattoo and words with us here on Tattoosday! I look forward to seeing her on stage in the future, emanating her own light as an actor, and continuing to make me proud.

This entry is ©2021 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, March 9, 2021

Kristin's Disneyana Sleeve

We're clearing out our pre-pandemic backlog and today featuring some Disney-themed tattoos spotted at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade back in June 2018.

I met Kristin pre-parade at the Coney Island Brewing Company and talked to her about her arm.


In addition to the piece at the top of the arm,


but also features Cinderella and Prince Eric.

She also has this Ariel piece:


She credited the work to artist Joe Budds at Monarch Tattoo in New Jersey.

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

This entry is ©2021 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, March 7, 2021

Amina's Gypsy Wolf Tattoo (from the Archives)

Tattoosday recently came off hiatus and we're posting all those goodies that never made it to the blogosphere.

Below is another tattoo I spotted at the 2018 Summer Vibe convention out on Long Island:


Amina credited Macho (@tattoos_by_macho) with the work.

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

This entry is ©2021 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, March 6, 2021

Hugo's Back (from the Archives)

Working through some old posts, I stumbled across a few from 2018's United Ink Summer Vibe show out on Long Island.

Check out this work on Hugo, featuring a Mayan theme, crafted by Roberto Castillo (@roberto_castillo1) from Sacred Tattoo (@sacredtattoonyc) in Manhattan:



Thanks to Hugo for sharing his cool back piece with us here on Tattooday!

This entry is ©2021 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, March 4, 2021

Jennie's Rabbit (from the Archives)

Way back in 2018, Jennie, a friend of my daughter's, came back to New York from Chicago, rocking this leporine tattoo:

I photographed it - it was maybe Jennie's third or fourth tattoo - and never posted it, but let’s just say I figured I'd let it "age." Jennie has gone on to fill her arm with some great work, but I thought it was time to give this rabbit it's due. Check out another one of Jennie's cool tattoos (also from '18) here.

Jennie credited the work to a tattoo artist she remembers as "Wolfy." The four stars recall the flag of Chicago, where Jennie was finishing up school. 

She notes: “The stars are for Chicago, but he thought the actual Chicago flag stars were ugly, so he made them normal stars instead and I was too meek to correct him.” 

And why the rabbit? 

Jennie explains: 
“I got the rabbit because, on my walk at the ass crack of dawn every day, I would see a million rabbits! They’re a leftover product of Chicago’s meatpacking history! I think there are more of them than there are squirrels. 

I think I went [to get the tattoo] on a whim that day. I definitely went with my friend Lily … Wolfy called himself that because he had multiple wolf tattoos [and] kept asking if we were lesbians and then [kept] assuring me there was nothing wrong with that if we were … he had a very strong Chicago accent.” 
More about the Chicago rabbit situation here.

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

This entry is ©2021 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, March 2, 2021

Brewsday Tuesday: Coney Island Brewery Edition

I won't lie, it has been way too long since we've had an installment of Brewsday Tuesday on Tattoosday, and I am happy to be finally sharing work (and beer) featuring my good friends at Coney Island Brewery (@coneyislandbeer), in South Brooklyn!




I first met Kat, Coney Island Brewery's general manager, at a tattoo convention back in 2019. Last February (yes, February 2020), I popped in and spent some time talking to her about her tattoos, Coney Island Brewery, and the expansion of their location on Surf Avenue.

And then the pandemic started. Tattoosday took a 10-month hiatus. But over the summer and into the fall, I started riding my bike out to Coney Island on Sundays and stopping by the brewery. After closing to the public in March and April, 2020, they started selling beer for curbside pickup and, once dining restrictions lifted, they began serving food outdoors on their expanded patio, weather permitting.

In January 2021, they set up a tent with heaters to make outdoor dining in the winter a little more bearable. All along, the operation has been a safe space - sanitizer at all tables, QR codes to access food and drink menus, and very strict mask rules. 

And here we are in March 2021, things are looking up, Coney Island Brewery is releasing a spring saison later this month (more on that later), and Tattoosday is back in business!

Let's talk about Kat's tattoo first:


I'll let Kat explain:
"This is Ninkasi. She is the Sumerian goddess of beer ... the first recipe ever actually written down of beer was a poem to her, it was kind of like a love poem ... when I started working here, I fell in love with the background and history of women and beer, which kind of sometimes gets forgotten ...  
When we started doing all of the tattoo expos, I was making friends and sharing our beer and I told an artist who's based out in Ohio (Will Eagle @thebeardedeagle ) ... about this idea that I had for a tattoo to represent Ninkasi and he was like, 'please let me do it...'.  So, the next time that he was in the city [July 2018] we did this, we're going to build around it, do like a bunch of hops around her ... I shared my story and love of beer with someone and they were like, let me bring that to life ... this is definitely one of my favorite tattoos."

Coney Island Brewery is a subsidiary of Boston Beer, Co., which is most often associated with Samuel Adams, but it retains a very South Brooklyn vibe; Mermaid Pilsner and Merman IPA are hallmark brands in the borough in which I live. Longtime readers of this blog will recognize it as a favorite place to hang out and spot tattoos, especially during the summer and when the Coney Island Mermaid Parade is rolling down Surf Avenue in June. I mean, merpeople and tattoos go hand in hand!

Kat started as a bartender back in the spring of 2016 and has moved up as the brewery has sprung from a relatively small space to a huge location at MCU Park, still having not exercised its full potential due to the pandemic. "Watching it grow has been really awesome," Kat told me. The fact that they have survived throughout 2020 is an incredible testament to the strength of their brand.

This past fall, I enjoyed their version of Black is Beautiful, a stout whose recipe was shared industry-wide by Texas-based Weathered Souls Brewing, to "raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily and raise funds for police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged." 


In the fall, to promote voter registration, the brewery released a delicious doppelbock called Registrator:


January brought back a Coney Island favorite, their New York Honey Stout. It was so good, I grabbed a growler full!



If darker beers aren't your bag, fear not, there are lots of other options! I'm looking forward to this seasonal collaboration dropping later this month:


Brewed with strawberry and black pepper, there will be a can release at the brewery on Thursday, March 18! I know I'll be there!! [For more information on the release, go here.]

Coney Island Brewery continues to be a supportive force in the New York Community. They just announced their "Hops for Hospitality" campaign, in which they "will donate $1.00 from every can, draft, 6-packs or 12-packs of CIB products sold to the NYC Hospitality Alliance at participating locations in the State of New York during the months of March through May." The hospitality industry in New York has been devastated over the past year. This is just another example of Coney Island Brewery's committment to community involvement.

Thanks to Kat for sharing her awesome tattoo with us here on Tattoosday, and to Coney Island Brewery for their awesome beer and commitment to the community in South Brooklyn and beyond!

To be entered to win a special gift from Coney Island Brewery, please be sure to comment on this post, either here or on social media where this post appears.


Coney Island does Sour beer, too!


This entry is ©2021 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, April 30, 2020

This Too... (Joolz Denby on the Tattooed Poets Project)

Our last post for the 2020 Tattooed Poets Project (in National Poetry Month, at least), comes to us from a returning contributor, Joolz Denby.

Joolz appeared in the Tattooed Poets Project in 2012 here.

Joolz sent us the following tattoo from her leg, noting she "thought it was appropriate."


Indeed, very appropraite.

The artist is Ben Stone (@benstonetattoo) in Derby, UK.

Jools also sent along the following poem:

Boy, You Need the Road      

Boy, you need the Road,
the lazy white stitch of heaven’s path leading through the
sun’s bright benediction criss-cross and mazy to some
wild-thyme scented hillside lying silvery sweet and
blood warm under high cirrus clouds embroidering
the lapis-lazuli of the southern sky like prayer flags,
far, far away from the bricks and mortar menagerie
of your home town’s crash-and-burn Saturday night circus.

Boy, you need the Road,
nights of fast-forward spirit-driven dazzling highs;
luminous surf pulse of breathing icy turquoise oceans,
you sprawled on a black beach wrapped in a ragged blanket,
a salt-green witch fire flickering cold and lighting up no earthly place
but burning in your flesh like those lost and long-gone kisses you
miss so much and crave with a junkie’s jack-up fever
in your aching and unmended heart.

Boy, you need the Road,
playing your old guitar through dawn’s blue incense
that rises over canyons of crystal sheathed skyscrapers
in a hotel room so  bleach-clean and anonymous it hurts,
the songs you pick so idly the diary of your flight,
staring into the lying whore of a mirror that shows a face you
would not have known to be your own - a face that shows everything
but tells nothing to the world you travel like a cruel angel.

Boy, you need the Road,
it will be your sweet and savage consolation, Star,
it will be your demon lover and your loving mother both,
wrapping you in webs of contradiction and razor-bright illusion,
as sinning saint and sanctified sinner you eat magic, breathe voodoo,
try everything as you search through souks and shanties, plazas
and favellas - dirt and diamond-crusted alike - for a way
into the shadow-land to find your true name and your dead love.

Boy, you need the Road,
if you don’t go, go, go - fast as those great opal wings can bear you
out of the stink and ceremony of your expected life -
if you don’t go - and this is no word of a lie, my sweetheart,
real life will get you, and a nice girl and her babies
will get you and bang-up straight-time work will get you
and you’ll choke on it all in the neat little chain-store bedroom
where you cry when you think no one hears your terrible pain.

Boy, you need the Road,
better run, baby, better run right now and don’t look back
because you mustn’t regret and you mustn’t hear the siren song
sung by the ones who stayed and lost and drank and drugged
their way to their own safe and stinking seat at the bar in Hell Town:
so run fast on those long legs and shake the clinging dust
of home from your boot heels as an offering to Holy Mother Mary,
a sacrifice for your last chance free and clear rock n’ roll great escape.

Well, that’s my prayer for you, anyhow, that’s my last blessing.
So, boy, you need the Road;
you need the Road,
you need the Road,
Boy listen, listen, listen - before it’s all too late.
You need the Road.

~ ~ ~

Joolz Denby is an artist/tattooist/writer /poet from England and can be found on Facebook here, Twitter (here), Instagram (here), YouTube (here), Amazon (here), and at https://www.joolzdenby.co.uk/.

Thanks to Joolz for contributing again to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2020 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading 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.net 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.