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FunCity Tattoo, NYC

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We're Moving E-mail
Written by Michelle   
Saturday, 11 May 2013

I moved onto Ludlow Street in 1993. I was tattooing out of a little studio apartment facing the street. I shared the space with the bar downstairs. Their giant A/C unit was in the middle of the room. I lived upstairs with my dog and a roommate in the tiniest aprtment, the tub wedged between the sink and the stove. My rent on the shop was $500. Everyone told me Ludlow was bad news, dangerous and seedy, kind of like tattooing. When tattooing was legalized In 1997 Brad and I opened Daredevil across the street from my old place. We’ve seen the neighborhood morph from the sort of area people stayed away from to one of the trendiest blocks in the city. These days there’s construction all around with high rises popping up left and right.

            I knew our days on Ludlow were numbered. For the past six years we’ve only gotten lease extensions two years at a time because our landlord was waiting to see what was going to happen with the neighborhood. I thought we would be able to squeeze out another year considering all the construction going on. The site across the street used the wrong cement so they are taking down the whole foundation to start over on building a 38 floor hotel. When my landlord called to tell me they wanted to raise the rent 50% I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. It’s funny how things work out. Now that we have a new place it’s a relief to be moving.  As stressful as it is to be spending the kind of money it takes to build a commercial space in New York City it’s so exciting to be starting over with a whole new space that’s bigger and better than anything I ever imagined we would have.

People keep asking if I’m sad to leave the old space but to me there have been so many changes around us it’s not the neighborhood we once knew. The Pink Pony is gone, Max Fish is on its way out and there are vacant stores all around. In some ways I feel like the Lower East side and tattooing have followed each other on the same path. Both used to be gritty and dangerous and now both are overrun with people that have no love or connection to the roots or history these things came from. Division street reminds me of what Ludlow was when we moved in.            

The most exciting news for the new shop is that Brad will be bringing his historical tattoo collection to be on display at Daredevil. Brad’s collection is massive. It includes a Thomas Edison engraving pen that the original electric tattoo machine patent by Samuel O’Reilly was based on. He also has an original O’Reilly sheet of tattoo flash. We love that the new space is only a few blocks from Chatham Square, which is the birthplace of modern tattooing. New York City is so important to tattooing historically we are honored to pay tribute to that history and to create a destination to share that history with others.

The other news is that we are looking for a new artist to work in the new space. This will be the first time we’ve ever publicly reached out to find an artist.  I’m a little worried about putting out a cattle call considering we already get a constant stream of artists looking for work but we are hoping to find someone really special for the new digs.

In closing, we don’t have a set date for the move but definitely by June 1st. The new space is at 141 Division Street, which is 7 blocks south of the old space at Ludlow and Canal Street. The F train stops within sight of our front door at the East Broadway stop. Our hours will continue to be noon until 10 pm seven days a week.

Comments (1)add comment

Oliver M. said:

I wish you all the best for the move and the new place!

Oliver M.
May 13, 2013

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 May 2013 )
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