After a recent gig at The Continental in the East Village of New York City, my girlfriend and I decided to take a walk down to Saint Marks Place to find a tobacco pipe for….well, tobacco! What else? Anyway, we found a smoke shop that was also a tattoo and body piercing shop on Saint Marks called Addiction Ink. Our original intention was to take a look at their pipes, but like always, once I step into a tattoo shop, it was only natural for the questions to start pouring out of my mouth.
First of all, Addiction Ink was extremely clean for a New York City shop. No offense to other New York City shops, but this one was immaculate. We were greeted by a guy at the front desk named Albert, whom we were told was the shop manager. Albert was extremely friendly and informative. He told us that Addiction Ink was established in 2002, and has become a well-known name around NYC for their quality of tattoos and body piercings, as well as their extensive selection of body jewelry and tobacco accessories, which was actually the real reason we stopped in there.
Albert also told me that his friendly and professional staff of four artists (H.S., Oskar, Ben, and Rene) and one piercer named Jade, quickly attracted clients from all over, and in 2007, Addiction Ink was able to open two other shops with the Saint Marks shop being the cleanest and most modern. When you walk into Addiction Ink, you walk right into a glass casing with all of the body jewelry and tobacco accessories, which are also stored on the left wall in another glass casing. In the back of the shop you’ll find small private rooms where all of the tattooing is done by artists using autoclave sterilized machines. The walls are adorned with flash artwork, but also framed artwork by local NYC artists that the shop sells on consignment. We thought that was pretty cool! Albert said that they were a body art shop and why shouldn’t they showcase some of the best artists in the area.
When I asked Albert if they only did flash art, he gave me a weird look and said, “No way!” He told me that Addiction Ink was a custom tattoo shop. Their process includes a custom-made sketch before every tattoo, whether the piece is inspired by the shop’s extensive flash library or it was specifically selected prior to a consultation in the shop. Addiction Ink’s artists are well-versed in a variety of styles including traditional, Japanese, tribal, portraits, black and grey, shading, and most recently the use of Ultra-Violet Ink, which is done by appointment only! Albert says, “You name it, we do it!” Addiction Ink also does all professional body modifications like piercing, implants, and micro-dermal. Their whole staff is licensed by New York State and each artist and piercer has received a Blood Borne Pathogens certificate after completing the required coursework. Addiction Ink is maintained under the most sanitary conditions to keep the safety of their clients and artists alike.
At Addiction Ink, it is a New York State law that you must be 18 years of age with a valid photo ID to get tattooed or pierced. As far as prices go, the shop minimum is $70. For large pieces that would include a lot of detail, they would charge $125 an hour. As for body piercing, prices start at $25 with jewelry included. Addiction Ink does welcome all walk-in clients since they are in New York City, but if an appointment is needed, the shop requires a non-refundable $50 deposit that will be subtracted from the final price. If you need to cancel your appointment, a 24-hour cancellation notice is required, and if you miss that, you will also lose your deposit. That is pretty standard in most shops.
We walked out of Addiction Ink without a tobacco pipe, but feeling that we might’ve found a goldmine in the East Village. The shop is open Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. till midnight, Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. till 2 a.m., and on Sunday from 12 p.m. till midnight. Addiction Ink is located at 120 Saint Marks Place between First Avenue and Avenue A in New York City. You can also take a look at the shop online at addictioninknyc.com. For more info on Addiction Ink, you can call them at (212) 420-1-INK or (1465). Trust me! You need to stop in the shop if you’re in the East Village! It’s a must-see shop!
Well, I’m off to check out my next tattoo place! If you have a tattoo shop that you want to suggest to me please e-mail me the name of the place and whom I should ask for!