It's very easy to find lots of guides on the Internet to choosing a tattooist. Hygienic blah blah friendly blah blah make sure you etc etc. Thing is, I'm lazy, and I don't want to go around dozens of tattoo parlors trying to work out which one is the best. I want Gothamist to do that for me! Or, failing that, just tell me which places have the best reputation. What is the cleanest, most fabulous place to get inked in New York?
Not having a tattoo (Our moms would kill us!) Ask Gothamist turned to our friend Laren who not too long ago got herself inked. Her advice:
Before I got my tattoo, I went to about a dozen different places, primarily in the East Village. I'd go in, ask a litany of stupid questions about hygiene and design, take a look around the shop, and move on. The thing about tattoo parlors is that they very often display their art on the walls, and although this makes sense from a marketing perspective, from the perspective of someone looking for a super-clean, super-hygienic parlor, it always made the places seem cluttered and sort of dirty. They all felt this way to varying degrees, until I walked into Inkline. Stark, white, clean, simple. Anil Gupta is their primary artist, and he's amazing, but since I was walking in with a design, I saved some money by working with an apprentice. I showed him where I wanted it, and he suggested several reasons why I might want to adjust the placement somewhat. He even let someone hold my hand and distract me the entire time. I highly recommend them.
Thanks, Laren. No need to tell the world where the tattoo is or how exactly the apprentice suggested different placement. FYI, Anil's site features some pretty impressive artwork and testimonials from celebrities including Jenna Jameson, Rosie O'Donnell and Christian Slater (pictured).
One word of advice. If you are the type of person who doesn't wear the same shirt twice, has an entire closet devoted to shoes, has had more hairstyles than Jennifer Anniston and changes over your entire wardrobe after each Barney's Warehouse Sale, you might want to think twice about getting a tattoo. Laser removal surgery can be expensive.