Monday, October 1, 2007

3rd Avenue Festival, Bay Ridge

On Sunday, September 30, the community of Bay Ridge held its annual Third Avenue Festival. Every Fall, there's a street fair on 3rd and every Spring, one on 5th Avenue.

The weather was beautiful and there was a plethora of tattoos, as I had anticipated. I had kids in tow, however, and despite their appreciation of body art, I have found myself less inclined to approach people when they are around.

Nonetheless, as people familiar with New York street fairs know, the kids love the big, inflatable bouncy rides. You know, when they jump around with a bunch of other kids on a huge inflatable pad, surrounded by netting and inflatable walls.

Thanks to their love of such attractions and the leniency of the operator, the kids had unlimited fun in the hour or two we spent at the festival, and I got to talk tattoo.

I am proud to report that I met and spoke with seven different folks who agreed to let me photograph their ink and get a little history of the work gracing their flesh.

In fact, until post-street fair, when I asked a guy in Foodtown about his shoulder piece, and was rebuffed, I was batting a thousand, 7 for 7.

So, thanks to all my inked volunteers. Due to space constraints and time as well, I'm going to roll them out gradually, a day at a time. Unless, I find more cool tattoos this week and start to further backlog. Oh, to have such problems!

Enough of the talk, here we go.....

The first piece is a classic koi tattoo, done on the front of the calf. There is a dragon on the back of the leg but it is not finished yet, as color still needs to be added.

The host, John, is from the Bay Ridge area and had his koi inked at Body Art Studios on 3rd Avenue. We know the artist, Peter Cavorsi, who also runs the shop, because he is responsible for one of mine and three of my wife's pieces. I strongly recommend his shop if you live in southwest Brooklyn. His shop is clean and he does very nice work, as you can see from John's koi.

Koi are a traditional part of Japanese tattoo, and are very common subjects n body art because they represent good fortune. Despite their being regular subjects, they seldom are ever one in the same. Like snowflakes, they tend to differ from body to body, and unlike tribal pieces, I don't think I could ever get bored of koi tattoos.

John estimated that this large leg piece, including the dragon on the back of the leg, not pictured and not yet colored, took 13 hours so far. A lot of people don't realize how much time goes into elaborate pieces like these. On shows like Miami Ink, a ten-hour project can be compressed to five minutes of screen time.

Thanks to John for getting me off to a great start at the Third Avenue Festival! Tune back throughout the week to see the tattoos on Tracy, another guy named John, Jaimie, Helen, Chris and Lolita Ford.

Happy October!

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