New York Tattooscape: A Retrospective

Found mainly: NYU campuses, protest meetings, Union square skate parks. Jnd90745
When you tattoo a person onto your person, and you both have terrible fashion sense, well, we're just giving you a wide breadth, is all. Abrockhouse
It's amazing how he's able to afford that awesome tat when he'll be paying off his student loans from his art history degree for the rest of his life. IstoletheTV
Let's hope she doesn't hurt herself on our rough streets, because healthcare ain't free in America, honey! IstoletheTV
What's great about this kind of tattoo is that he needs that Yankee cap for us to identify him as a New Yorker. With a little Photoshopping if the brim, he could just as easily be from Boston, Jersey, or Pittsburgh. The only constant is his love of Jesus, America, sports teams, and date-rape. ElvertBarnes
She's got a kid now, lives in Park Slope and has settled into a brownstone, but she's still punk-rock as hell. And everyone at her spin class knows it. Ed Yourdon
These kids aren't old enough to remember when Gem Spa, Sounds, Paul's Boutique, and Red Door actually made the neighborhood semi-hip. Now it's a strip of tattoo parlors, over-priced faux-vintage stores, and skateboard shops. Essentially, you two are walking St. Mark's St. Adrian Miles
You can find this guy in Forbidden Planet whenever the convention isn't in town, but don't even think of asking "Why so serious?" That's a replica of the Alan Moore Joker from The Killing Joke. IstoletheTV
She makes you want to live in the now, because you know if 20 years this breastplate and sleeve combo will look like one giant blob. But for right now, she's a work of art.
When you wake up with a pounding headache, a mouth full of vomit and Jagermeister, and balls on your neck, you know your friends are dicks. IstoletheTV

New York is a melting pot of individuals, many of whom choose to express their individuality in exactly the same way…by getting large, sometimes incomprehensible tattoos that scream to the world “I am interesting!” *

And while tattoos make you as unique as a special snowflake, there are ways to identify certain types of New York specimens by their colorful ink. Take a look!

*Look, we’re not complaining: many of us have tattoos ourselves. But we also like to stand up in the office once in awhile and scream “I’m interesting!” just so people remember.

Main image via Paulo Piccinini

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