eL's Musical tattoo

Last month, much to my surprise, our old friend Paul (see his most recent work here) told me there was a tattoo shop nearby.

I was surprised, to say the least. "New?" I asked him. "Been open over a year," he replied.

I was puzzled. How had I missed a tattoo shop within walking distance of work? Was I blind?

Not quite. I was just too busy looking around me, and not looking up.

Because Fort Apache Tattoo Studio is just a stone's throw away from my regular inkspotting stomping ground, at West 31st Street near the corner of 8th Avenue.

How I missed it was the fact that it peers out over the southwest corner of Madison Square Garden from the 4th floor. Four flights of old-style New York City stairs.

But once I made it up there, I was pleasantly surprised by the layout of the shop. Four artists have separate work areas separated by low walls.

While there, I met Freak, who specializes in custom designs with a comics influence.

Do check out the website to see everyone's work.

But another question arose, how had I gone for over a year with this shop in my backyard and never met anyone who had been tattooed there? Of the hundreds of people I have met, no one had shared any work from Fort Apache!

Until the next day.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

The following day I stopped to talk to a guy sitting on a bench at the corner of 7th Avenue and 33rd Street.

He had this cool tattoo on his upper right arm:

"And where did you have this done?" I asked.

Yup, Fort Apache.

(And thank you for sharing your post with my story about finally finding the shop, by the way.)

The owner of this tattoo is named eL. He is an artist and a guitarist.

The tattoo represents a scar from a bad break-up. Because of the central role of music in eL's life, it only made sense to represent the heartbreak with symbolism near and dear to eL's heart.

I asked if the notes actually made up a tune, but they do not. For aesthetic reasons, they are musical symbols inked in flesh, nothing more, nothing less.

This tattoo was done by Hexx.

Thanks to eL for sharing this tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Also a thank you to Freak for welcoming us with open arms as we checked out the shop!

Here's hoping we'll see more work from Fort Apache in the future!