I became enamored with tattoos and tattoo history a few years ago when a friend of mine found getting a tattoo as a way to give meaning to a grave injury. Then a few months ago, I learned that tattooing had been illegal in New York City, the city that gave rise to tattoo culture in the U.S., for nearly 4 decades in recent history. The more I learned about this prohibition of ink, the more fascinated I became with the reasons behind it and the characters who played a part in it.
I considered making it a part of my secret history storytelling show, New York City’s Secrets & Lies, at Caveat. However, the more I learned, the more I realized that the topic was too big to be a segment of a show. The complex history and all of the people involved needed and deserved a standalone show.
The idea of doing this show, coupled with flash tattooing, just wouldn’t leave me alone. So I reached out to Caveat with an email titled “Is this a crazy idea? Tattoos…” Ironically, one of the co-founders of Caveat had just gotten a tattoo and was talking about the ban with her tattoo artist the day I sent the email. And so we were off to the logistical races to make this event happen.
And it’s happening with an incredible dream lineup of historians and artists who have lived in the swirl of this chapter of NYC history, along with flash tattooing at Caveat, on Sunday night, September 30th. I’d love for you to join us! Grab a ticket to the show, or a ticket that includes a tattoo.