Top tattoo parlors
Mon May 9 2011
With the NYC Tattoo Convention starting Friday 13, we rounded up the best places to get inked.
Three Kings Tattoo
Williamsburg and Greenpoint have become hotbeds of high-end tattoo studios, and chief among them is this three-year-old shop, owned by artists Matty No Times, Alex McWatt and Myles Karr (the three kings of its name). You'll find no high-and-mighty rock & roll airs here, however: Crimson walls lined with paintings and book cases make the joint feel more like your neighbor's living room. The 12 artists on staff produce varied designs, ranging from Tim Burton--esque portraits to classic roses and skulls. Starting at $60 a pop, the tats are a deal for the quality of the work (some of the artists have a three-month-long waiting list). 572 Manhattan Ave between Driggs and Nassau Aves, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-349-7755, threekingstattoo.com). Daily noon--8pm.
Like the name implies, anything goes at this joint on the St. Marks strip. Those looking for a deal will find superior quality compared with other pick-a-design-off-the-wall parlors. As it's a street shop, walk-ins are the norm, and the staff of five artists means you won't have to wait long. While the $60 minimum might not make Whatever the cheapest parlor on the block, it's a steal compared with other high-end joints in the city. Plus, the 2am closing time on the weekend means your late-night whims can be easily realized—for better or worse. 17 St. Marks Pl between 3rd and 4th Sts (212-777-2430). Mon--Thu, Sun noon--11pm; Fri, Sat noon--2am.
Celebs like Courtney Love, Marc Jacobs and the late Heath Ledger have flocked to tattoo artist Scott Campbell, one half of the duo that owns this seven-year-old Williamsburg shop (the other half is artist Chris O'Donnell, an 18-year veteran of the trade). Between them and the handful of artists in residence, customers can choose from Japanese style (O'Donnell), new Americana (Seth Wood), tribal-inspired ink (Thomas Hooper) and more, with pieces starting at $100. While the price tag might be hefty, the spalike environment (exposed wood beams, Japanese screens) will make the cost a distant memory once the needle starts buzzing. 426 Union Ave at Devoe St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-0850, savedtattoo.com). Daily noon--8pm.
Once you find out that this Queens shop is an all-girl tattoo parlor, the name should click. Cheeky titles aside, this tiny, checker-floored store is all business. The six women artists excel at black-and-gray realism and quirky tats, including a rendition of the Brooklyn Bridge and kitschy designs like a cassette tape and a dress form. Of course, gentlemen are also welcome—the skill of the work will convince any antiquated nonbelievers that ladies can work a needle. On top of the bitchin' tats, the $40 starting price should seal the deal. 94--02 Jamaica Ave at 94th St, entrance on 94th St, Woodhaven, Queens (718-441-1328, beavertattoo.com). Mon--Thu 1--9pm; Fri, Sat 1--11pm; Sun 2--6pm.
New York Adorned
This 15-year-old institution has earned a reputation as a destination for serious tattoo aficionados. The eight artists present a smorgasbord of styles, including black-and-gray, portraits, Americana and traditional Japanese tebori (a hand-poked method), the latter courtesy of resident artist Shinji Horizakura (all pieces start at $100). Currently taking up space in its retail sister store, Love Adorned (269 Elizabeth St between E Houston and Prince Sts; 212-431-5683, loveadorned.com; Mon--Thu 1--8pm; Fri, Sat 1--9pm), as the flagship undergoes renovation, the shop is expected to move into its improved digs near the end of May. 47 Second Ave between 2nd and 3rd Sts (212-437-0007, nyadorned.com). Mon--Thu, Sun 1--9pm; Fri, Sat 1--10pm.