Welcome back to Ink Spotted, a feature in which Eater talks to DC's tattooed chefs and gets the stories behind their most intriguing ink.
- "Itâ€™s inspired by a Japanese watercolor. Wasps are actually very beneficial creatures at vineyards, because they feed on weird little aphids and beat up on other pests."
- "Mr. Phil was one of the crew chiefs at the 9:30 Club, where I worked for years. He kept us all on track and was a beacon and for me when I needed it. He passed away in a motorcycle accident, so this piece is a reminder to stay pointed in the right d
- "I wanted a big bumblebee, but the artist told me that it was a stupid idea and he was going to draw this mantis instead. And it was going to be softball sized, but he did a chest plate instead."
- "Itâ€™s modeled on the countryside outside Bourguignon, France, which is where the artist is from."
When CityZen sommelier Andy Myers pours you a glass of wine, keep a close eye on his cuff line and you just might catch a brief glimpse of his tattoo obsession. He won't show you any of his work while he's on the clock though. "It's just not appropriate to take your shirt off in the dining room," he says wryly. And there's one piece you’ll probably never see. "My entire right ass cheek is an octopus," he reveals. "I got the idea from a great old propaganda poster from the 1940's of a giant octopus reaching its tentacles out of Germany."
The Olney, Md. native got his first tattoo at Great Southern Tattoo in College Park when was 18 as a "screw you, Mom." When he showed the just-inked yin-yang to his mother, she snapped, "Why'd you do that? Only sailors and convicts have tattoos." Despite the parental disapproval, his inaugural trip to the chair turned out to be a revelatory experience. "The culture of tattooing got into my skin with the first drop of ink," he says.
From then on, he started hanging around the tattoo parlor and getting worked on regularly. He's now so covered ink that he sometimes gets questions on the Metro from people that probably remind him of his mother. "Sometimes people ask me, 'Why would you do that to yourself?'" he says. "I respond, "Why would you think that's an appropriate question to ask another human being?"
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