I was only in New York for two days, so I decided to make the most of them. The day after my whale tattoo I went in for round two: the great white shark. The day before Thomas Hooper had said he was game to do a big ol’ shark if I was. I naively said yes, not knowing what I was getting myself into. I’m really glad I had no idea what I was getting myself into… because then I may not have it! Turns out a body doesn’t recover all too quickly from the trauma of a tattoo. It probably didn’t help that I’d had a few drinks and stayed out late and gotten up early. I arrived in good spirits and feeling pumped, but boy was that ever short lived!
He showed me a pretty fearsome shark sketch and we toyed with the idea of putting it on my thigh. I didn’t really like the idea of it being so hidden away — I really liked the sketch — so we decided to pop it up a couple feet onto my torso. Thomas Hooper found a great spot for it and off we went! Turns out there’s some sort of nerve bundle on the torso. I’d always heard that getting your ribs tattooed hurt. It hurts a bit. But it’s nothing close to the pain of getting your obliques tattooed! I felt like I was dying. But two and a half hours later the tattoo was finished and I managed to get my rattled ass off the tattoo bench and over to the mirror. This time around Hooper exclusively used “dot shading” instead of typical shading. Created a pretty badass result
With the tattooing done we decided to go out. To be more accurate, Rebecca decided to go out and I followed along in a Zombie-like way. It was a Tuesday and we had no idea what was going on, so we spent a couple hours prowling around Manhattan trying to figure out what was what. We ended up in a little bar with not too much going on, had a drink, and chatted with the bartender about where a more lively place could be found. Old McSorley’s was the answer we got. By then it was getting a bit late, so our timing was pretty perfect. We arrived and the place was packed to capacity. We managed to sneak our way to the bar and wound up jammed between a bunch of cool manhattanites at an overflowing table. We had a choice between two types of beer: light or dark. And they came in sets of two. Right on. We befriended a couple from Argentina and their hulking friend Manuel — a 6’8 friendly giant. After a few more rounds of beer we decided we should see what else was going on. They led us down a dark street to a little door guarded by a strange but intimidating man. He checked our IDs and granted us access to a rickety staircase behind him. At the top of the stairs was an old door. We opened it and were very very surprised.
The first thing we saw was the lead guitarist of the British band Bring Me the Horizon — one of our favourite bands. We’d seen them in concert a couple weeks before and Jared immediately recognized him. We chatted with him for a bit. Bit of a strange guy. Cool, though. I eventually wandered through the surprisingly crowded little venue over to a bar stool and took a seat. I was feeling pretty wiped. I took off my coat, ordered a drink and started chatting with the girl sitting next to me. She reluctantly admitted, after we’d been talking for about an hour, that she was an international supermodel. I love New York. Really rad girl, too. We’ve managed to stay the tiniest bit in touch, but I’ll definitely be giving her a shout next time we head back.
In the wee hours of the morning Jared, Rebecca and I made it back to our hotel and passed out. We spent the next day exploring with our new Argentinian behemoth friend from the night before and Jared and I headed to the bus stop to catch an overnight bus back to Toronto. Rebecca decided to stay a bit longer.
It was pouring buckets, the bus was two hours late and there was no shelter. We got on the bus soaked to the bone and shivering. Our coats were soaked through, our bags were soaked through, and WE were soaked through. To make matters worse the bus was overbooked and the staff were telling people that there was no room for their luggage. Some of the angrier folks started yelling and in an attempt to quell a riot a few people were kicked off. Jared and I spent the next 10 hours shivering and unable to dry off. We had an hour and a half long stop at border, but the office was full so most of the time was spent waiting outside in the freezing cold, still soaking wet. We eventually arrived back home, relieved that we seemed to have dodged hypothermia. We removed our coats and found out that we were both blue — but not blue from the cold. Blue because the lining of our leather jackets was over-dyed and had never been washed. It had slowly been seeping through layer after layer of clothing until 10 hours later, when we took our coats off, we were smurf coloured. So we bleached our shirts and went to bed
Some Rebecca Leach photography of Thomas Hooper and I at Saved Tattoo:
And the tattoo race?