11 Timeless New York City Tattoos So You Can Keep This Crazy City With You Always
Given how many love letters have been written to New York City and how many movies and TV shows are set in this great, one-of-a-kind metropolis, the amount of New York City inspired tattoos people go out and get inked on their bodies forever should come as little surprise.
And why not? New York City is special. It's the most stylish city in the world, and a major hub of art, fashion, finance, and media. As Alicia Keys would say, it's where dreams are made of, and those types of romantic, special moments in your life are exactly the ones that inspire the best tattoos.
If you're thinking of getting a New York City inspired tattoo, chances are you're looking for something as unique as the city itself. You also want to show a bit of history, though; show that you understand the place you're commemorating as a real New Yorker, not just as a tourist or a passerby. If you're ready to take the plunge and willing to rep New York City forever, here are 11 ideas for timeless tattoos inspired by this concrete jungle to get you started:
1. Simple Skyline
No matter how long I've lived in New York City, I'm always blown away by the skyline. It's the perfect image to sum up the magic of the city, and it's fun to pick out the buildings from simply their outlines.
2. Water Tower
One iconic feature of the New York City skyline is the water towers, dotted across lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. But as the city develops, these tanks are slowly disappearing, so get one tattooed on your skin before they are gone for good.
3. Coney Island "Funny Face"
Coney Island is technically a neighborhood in Brooklyn, but the name has become synonymous with the amusement parks lining the boardwalk. This funny face is actually the original logo of Steeplechase Park, over 100 years ago, and though it's been updated over the years, it still screams old school New York City.
4. Statue Of Liberty
The good old Statue of Liberty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an emoji, which is how you know she's an icon. If you want something a bit more subtle than the whole statue on your body, you can opt for just the torch, which is equally recognizable.
5. Subway Token
Although the bright yellow MetroCard is now how all New Yorkers get into the subway, the card swipe is a relatively recent update to the system. Until 1993, New Yorkers used subway tokens, so getting a subway token tattoo shows your understanding of New York City history. Plus, the design is so simple and cool that it's hard not to wonder why the MTA ever got rid of them.
6. Bagel With Lox
Nowhere in the world are bagels as delicious as in New York City, and nothing makes for a more perfect Sunday morning than chilling out with your bagel with lox and schmear. For a playful take on a timeless New York tattoo, get your favorite bagel and the works.
7. Slice Of Pizza
The dollar pizza store is another New York City institution, so why not get a slice to commemorate your love for New York (and for pizza)?
8. New York Magazine Logo
The Fat Jew, also known by his real name Josh Ostrovsky, infamously had the logo of New York Magazine tattooed on his chest in 2011. Two years later, Diddy got the same logo on his arm. It might seem like cheap product placement, but the magazine's logo is actually something of a piece of art in and of itself. It was designed by Milton Glaser, the famous graphic designer who also later did the Brooklyn Brewery logo and the unmistakable "I Heart NY" campaign.
9. Keith Haring Dancing Man
One of the quintessential New York City street artists of the 1980s, Keith Haring's faceless images are instantly recognizable and perfectly encapsulate the city's energy and color.
10. Hardcore Pigeon
New York City doesn't really have swallows, a classic tattoo motif, but there are lots of pigeons. So just swap out one iconic bird for another.
11. Anything By A NYC-Based Artist
New York City is one of the most creative cities in the world, so if you want a real New York City inspired tattoo, just ask a pro at any one of the city's top tattoo shops. From New York Hardcore and Bang Bang NYC on the Lower East Side to Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn, there are dozens of great places to go with even more amazing artists. Work with them to find something that's indicative of your own love for New York City, and there's really nothing more timeless than that.