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  1. Photograph: Courtesy Brian Faulk/Hand of Glory Tattoo/The End is Near
    Photograph: Courtesy Brian Faulk/Hand of Glory Tattoo/The End is Near

    Impressive: It’s iconic and nicely done. The downside is, we would be permanently hungry if we had this.

  2. Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@rey_ink
    Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@rey_ink

    Truly regrettable: This looks like it was scrawled on his chest by angry spiders.

  3. Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@joemagstattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@joemagstattoo

    Truly regrettable: No one wants to see a cartoon wolf licking your ginger goatee, dude.

  4. Photograph: Courtesy Iris Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Iris Tattoo

    Impressive: This is one of the most beautiful and imaginative renditions of the NYC skyline that we’ve ever seen (on a shaved forearm, at least).

  5. Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/axlotl
    Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/axlotl

    Impressive: This is a fun and faithful tribute to our favorite rickety summer hangout.

  6. Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Matt Kane
    Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Matt Kane

    Truly regrettable: See that last tattoo, guy? That was a tribute to Coney Island. This is a cop out. And what’s with that comma at the end?

  7. Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Paolo Piccinini
    Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Paolo Piccinini

    Truly regrettable: It’s terrible, but at least it’ll be completely hidden once that hair grows back.

  8. Photograph: Courtesy Tony Tatts/@yonkersink
    Photograph: Courtesy Tony Tatts/@yonkersink

    Truly regrettable: That bicep is certainly impressive, but covering it with a giant rotting apple tattoo is considerably less so.

  9. Photograph: Courtesy Erica Flannes/Red Rocket Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Erica Flannes/Red Rocket Tattoo

    Impressive: Seeing the Statue Of Liberty as a cutesy pin up makes us happy.

  10. Photograph: Instagram/@nesmariechicky
    Photograph: Instagram/@nesmariechicky

    Impressive: Another take on Lady Liberty. The colors are a little nauseating at times, but it’s a cool idea.

  11. Photograph: Courtesy Adal Hernandez
    Photograph: Courtesy Adal Hernandez

    Truly regrettable: Even if you did grow up on Yancy Street (and you didn’t, it’s fictional) we’re pretty sure The Thing wouldn’t agree with you tattooing a picture of him smoking a blunt on your shoulder.

  12. Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@jeffrolowe
    Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@jeffrolowe

    Impressive: Not sure what’s going on with the bubbles at the top and bottom, but otherwise, a solid effort.

  13. Truly regrettable: This is the cover of The Great Gatsby. If it had been drawn by a five-year-old.

  14. Photograph: Courtesy Sergio Luis/Hand of Glory Tattoo/The End is Near
    Photograph: Courtesy Sergio Luis/Hand of Glory Tattoo/The End is Near

    Impressive: This stylized rendition of the Verrazano Bridge actually makes it look beautiful instead of just, y’know…huge.

  15. Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/Carlos Reyes
    Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/Carlos Reyes

    Truly regrettable: Aye-yi-yi! The attention to detail is impressive, but the end result looks like a hallucinatory Times Square nightmare.

  16. Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@jayrez
    Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@jayrez

    Truly regrettable: Having a lazy-eyed Statue of Liberty permanently smelling your armpit? Not cool, dude.

  17. Photograph: Courtesy Billy Jordan/Red Rocket Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Billy Jordan/Red Rocket Tattoo

    Impressive: Neat, clean, simple—everything Midtown is not.

  18. Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo

    Impressive: It doesn’t get more New York than pizza. And this pizza is adorable!

  19. Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo

    Truly regrettable: We see what they were going for, but, er, no.

  20. Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/John Heil
    Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/John Heil

    Truly regrettable: Someone needs to clean up this town, starting with this messy-ass tattoo.

  21. Photograph: Courtesy Erik Rignall/Inkstop Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Erik Rignall/Inkstop Tattoo

    Impressive: Looking at it gives you the nostalgic feeling of taking a cab ride through Soho late on a summer night. Only without the smell of hot garbage.

  22. Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo

    Impressive: It’s almost twee enough to be regrettable, but screw it, it’s cute.

  23. Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Derek Martinez/Red Rocket Tattoo

    Truly regrettable: Does the “good riddance” refer to the NYC rocket being blasted off from his gun show?

  24. Photograph: Courtesy Matt Buck/@he_draws/Sacred Tattoo NYC
    Photograph: Courtesy Matt Buck/@he_draws/Sacred Tattoo NYC

    Impressive: We’re never going to not like Queens’ flying saucers. Especially when they’re about to divebomb a pigeon.

  25. Photograph: Courtesy Red Rocket Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Red Rocket Tattoo

    Truly regrettable: This looks like clown vomit.

  26. Photograph: Courtesy Kristyn Emmett
    Photograph: Courtesy Kristyn Emmett

    Truly regrettable: Could’ve been worse…could’ve been a Mets tattoo.

  27. Photograph: Courtesy Johann Florendo/Mean Street Tattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Johann Florendo/Mean Street Tattoo

    Impressive: It’s about the only time we’ve ever actually seen the 7 train in the flesh.

  28. Photograph: Courtesy Karen Glass/@karenglasstattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Karen Glass/@karenglasstattoo

    Impressive: Apart from the fact it looks like Lady Liberty is about to stomp a hole in the Brooklyn Bridge, this is lovely.

  29. Regrettable: A tattoo is there for life—that means you might want to put more thought into it than just a doodle…

  30. Photograph: Courtesy Karen Glass/@karenglasstattoo
    Photograph: Courtesy Karen Glass/@karenglasstattoo

    Impressive: Although it’s unfortunate that the cloud looks more like barbwire.

The 30 most impressive and regrettable New York tattoos

Before you get inked in tribute to your city, let’s see who got it right, and who got it really, really wrong

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It's a given that you can walk through any beard-friendly neighborhood in this city-Bushwick, Williamsburg, the Lower East Side-and see a lot of tattoos. But you can walk around virtually any part of this city and see tats-NYC gets under people's skin in the most literal way possible, and New Yorkers love getting the town's most iconic features inked on their bodies in any one of Gotham's best ink spots. Some of those tattoos are beautiful. And some...some are not. We've rounded up 30 examples that range from the impressive to the truly regrettable. Whether you're looking for inspiration or dissuasion, we've got you covered.

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