Originally published in the NY Destinations column on Examiner.com, May 11, 2010
The world's top tattoo artists will be in New York City this weekend for the 13th annual NYC Tattoo Convention.
If you want to get a tattoo or simply appreciate good ink, head to the Roseland Ballroom in midtown.
Photo Caption: A woman proudly displays her tattoos at the NYC Tattoo Convention. Photo: Elsa Rensaa courtesy of Clayton Patterson.
The convention attracts a diverse crowd, says event organizer Clayton Patterson.
"One of the great things about tattoos is that they equalize people. It is a shared interest in art. A woman can be fat or skinny and be extremely proud to show her ink."
You never know who you might spot at this event.
"I know of TV anchors who are tattooed, and lawyers, but they do not publicly show their ink," says Patterson.
>>Click on the slideshow to see attendees with colorful tattoos
What to expect
New Yorkers come to the tattoo convention for a variety of reasons.
It's a chance to meet tattoo artists from around the word and learn more about their techniques. You can watch as a Japanese master gives irezumi tattoos to brave attendees. This traditional process does not use any electricity-- and looks especially painful.
"Some people are curious to see how tattoos are done, but would be intimidated to go inside a tattoo parlor and watch," says Patterson. The friendly atmosphere of the convention makes it easier to approach artists and other tattoo fans.
This is a family friendly event that features stage performances and contests for best tattoos.
There are many opportunities for people watching. You can photograph the amazing tattoos displayed on the men and women who attend the show-- just remember to ask first!
>>VIDEO CAPTION- See highlights of the 2006 NYC Tattoo Convention, including performances by the world's most tattooed man and Japanese irezumi tattoo artists. (Note- this contains adult language)
The 13th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention
When: Friday, May 14 through Sunday, May 16, 2010
Where: Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd Street, New York, NY
Cost: $18 for a one-day pass. Reduced price for 2- and 3- day passes. Tickets are available at the door on event dates (no advanced ticket sales)
For more info: Check the NYC Tattoo Convention website for directions and to see which artists are appearing this year.