Proud to be on the Bowery

Posted by Jennifer DeSantis on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 05:17 PM

     Area's are constantly changing in the city. The poet James Merrill once wrote "As usual in New York, everything is torn down before you have had time to care for it." These words ring true for so many parts of this ever changing city and The Bowery, New York City's oldest thoroughfare is no different. The Bowery has seen many changes through it's rich and diverse history. In the early 18 century, before there was even a Broadway or a Lafayette, there was the Bowery and it was the very symbol of wealth and elegance. From the Bowery Theater and it's neighbor the Bowery Amphitheater, to it's strip of mansions and opulently designed banks, (like the Bowery Savings Bank and the Domed Citizens Savings Bank which still stand today,) the Bowery catered to the rich and powerful. In a city that would become the gateway to the world, the Bowery was it's crown jewel.

      It wasn't until the Civil War that the Bowery began it's transformation. The expensive shops and opulent mansions were replaced with common man concert halls, brothels, bars and flophouses. The Bowery was beginning to look and feel more like the area it would be known for, all the way into the late 1990's. It was becoming a home for the counter culture and less fortunate. In 1880 the Bowery Mission was founded, and in 1909 it moved to it's new location on 227-229 Bowery were it stands today. It was also at this time that the Third Avenue El ran above the Bowery, darkening the streets and making it a perfect home for it's prostitutes, gambling houses, tattoo studios and the sailors that flocked to them (many of which would stay for good). The Century Magazine wrote in 1919 "Here, too, by the thousands come sailors on shore leave, notice the studios of the tattoo artists, and here most in evidence are the down and outs."

The Bow’ry, The Bow’ry!
They say such things, and they do strange things on the Bow’ry

—Harry Conor, from the musical A Trip to Chinatown, 1891

     As time went on from the 1900s all the way into the 70's the Bowery was New York's skid row, but it was not just the impoverished that lived here. The Bowery was also home to a growing art culture. Miner's Bowery theater often featured performers like Harry Houdini, Al Jolson and W.C. Fields. Modern artists, Roy Lichtenste and Mark Rothko called the Bowery home. Poet Walt Whitman often said he loved what he called "Bowery slang" and would often use it in his work and Allen Ginsberg's masterpiece Howl was partly inspired by life on the Bowery, the words as raw as the streets themselves. In the 70's the Bowery would also be home to the legendary CBGBs which saw the beginnings of rock greats, like the Ramones, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads. With such a spirit of originality it only makes sense that tattooing also was a large part of the Bowery's history. Legends and innovators in the field such as Samuel J. O'Reiley, Charlie Wagner, Bill "Jonsey" Jones and Willy Moskowitz all called the Bowery home. O'Reilly opened up Black Eye Barbershop at 11 Chatham Square and it is where he first patented the "modern-day" electric tattoo machine. He worked there with his apprentice Charlie Wagner, who after O'Reilly's death in 1908 purchased the shop and along with his good friend Bill Jones carried on the legacy, and they were not alone. Another good friend of Charlie Wagner's was Willie Moskowitz and they quickly learned that they could make a living in tattooing. Charlie taught his friend what he knew and shortly after Willie opened up his own tattoo studio in the basement of his barbershop at 4 Bowery. These men were pioneers in our industry and their stories remain things of legend to this day. The late night fights, drunken brawls and rough and ready clientèle were at the very essence of the Bowery. It was these men's dedication, innovation and exploits that helped to make our industry, art form and livelihood what it is today and it was the Bowery that provided the perfect backdrop. For this we are forever grateful.

     Things continue to change all over this great city and the Bowery is no different. All of us at Kings Avenue Tattoo are proud to be on such a legendary street. We feel it everyday when we walk down the street and see the history just outside our window. We are glad to be here doing what we love, and following in the foot steps of the great men that have come before us. So things may change but if we continue to respect history and those who made it, we can keep the very soul of the Bowery alive and well. It is not just a skid, a row, it was not just a home for the homeless, it was a place for people who wanted to be free, take chances and think outside of societies norm. It is at the very core of what made this city great and for that matter tattooing also. For a city that sets the bar and makes the trends, at it's heart is the Bowery and we can think of no better place to call home.

Written by..John Foscante

Tags: kings avenue tattoo, nyc, bowery

Jason Tyler Grace Joins Kings Ave Tattoo

Posted by Jennifer DeSantis on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 @ 01:47 PM

All of us at Kings Avenue Tattoo would like to share with all our clients and friends the new addition to the Kings Avenue Tattoo family. We are happy to announce Jason Tyler Grace will be joining us full time at Kings Avenue. We are happy to have this well traveled and talented artist settle down with us and look forward to our future together. Check out Jason's write up in and to everyone interested in getting tattooed by Jason, he will be working out of both locations. To set something up feel free to call the shops
For N.Y.C. 212-431-5464
For L.I. 516-799-5464
or email

Jason Tyler Grace  treditional tattoo

Jason Tyler Grace tiger head

Jason Tyler Grace traditional

Jason Tyler Grace script

Tags: kings avenue tattoo, nyc tattoo, jason tyler grace

Kings Avenue Tattooing - Recent Work

Posted by Jennifer DeSantis on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 @ 04:21 PM

Here are some recent pieces done by the guys at Kings Avenue Tattooing. Just a couple of things from the last week. I hope you guys like them as much as we liked doing them. Once again thanks to all our loyal clients, friends and followers, without you guys we wouldn't be able to do this thing we love so much. We look forward to to a bright future filled with beautiful art, wonderful people and amazing friendships. Thanks guys.
Always feel free to call us with any questions you may have or to set up with any of our artists
N.Y.C. 212-431-5464
L.I. 516-799-5464 
or feel free to visit our website kingsavetattoo.comGrez hand tattoo 

Brian Paul Dragon
Brian Paul

Frankie Caraccioli script
Frankie Caracciole

Phil Szlosek traditional
Phil Szlosek

Matt Beckerich koi
Matt Beckerich

Tags: kings avenue tattoo, Grez, Brian Paul, matt beckerich, frankie caraccioli, Phil Szlosek, nyc

Kings Avenue Tattoo N.Y.C.-New Hours

Posted by Jennifer DeSantis on Sat, Aug 04, 2012 @ 01:52 PM

Starting this Monday, Kings Avenue Tattoo N.Y.C. will now be open 7 days a week. We will be open Mon thru Sat 12 to 9pm and Sun 1 to 7. We will be available for walk-ins as well as scheduled appointments. For any questions on setting something up and artist availabilities please call us at the shop at 212-431-5464 or feel free to visit our website at

Here are some of the recent pieces done at Kings Ave Tattoo N.Y.C.


Brian Paul 
Brian Paul

Frankie Caraccioli 
Frankie Caraccioli

Phil Szlosek 
Phil Szlosek

Dan Wysuph 
Dan Wysuph 

Tags: kings avenue tattoo, Grez, Brian Paul, frankie caraccioli, Phil Szlosek, nyc, dan wysuph

Horitomo Seminar

Posted by Jennifer DeSantis on Fri, Aug 03, 2012 @ 01:25 PM

All of us here at Kings Avenue Tattoo would like to take the time to thank State of Grace's Horitomo and Horitaka for an amazing weekend and an incredible seminar. It is a privilege to be able to spend time with such gifted artists, masters of their craft and most importantly, dear friends. We are honored to have been able to host this important event and learn from an incredibly gifted artist such as Horitomo. We want to thank you guys for making it a memorable day in N.Y.C. and we miss you all, already. We will be seeing you at the Bay Area Tattoo Convention in San Francisco Oct 26,27,28.

We would also like to thank all that came out to attend the seminar. It was a fantastic turnout and we hope all of you had as good a time as us. We were happy we got to meet all of you and share the day. You guys helped to make it a special day at Kings Avenue Tattoo N.Y.C. and we look forward to bringing you more events like this one, so stay tuned.




Tags: kings avenue tattoo, nyc, state of grace, san fran tattoo convention, Horitomo, Horitaka

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