Recently, I took a trip to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. The purpose of this trip was to film a pilot for a television show concept called ‘Tattoo Wives’. I know…just what the world needs is another reality show. My friend Frankie Scorpion asked me to participate because of what I could bring to the table as a tattooist wife. What was she looking for that I could bring to the table? Oh boy…this would be interesting and controversial. She knew exactly what she was doing adding me to the mix of ladies. The ladies are not all wives…they are, have been or want to be wives of tattooists. Then there is the porn star…but whatever. After some research (aka lurking on Facebook), I decided I would go. You only live once…
The majority of the fun and filming took place at the Raven Lounge. This little gem is tucked away in downtown Philadelphia on Ransom Street. The layout is very Philadelphia to me…three stories, long not wide and dark due to the low lighting. The atmosphere was also what I expected…the first drink I ordered the bartender didn’t listen to me (true big city style) and I made him very aware that he didn’t AND told him to make right the next time…all with a smile. Bartenders in big cities don’t cop attitudes when you have the ‘testicular fortitude’ to tell them they messed up your drink. They respect it. We took over the back bar of the 1st floor and the room on the 2nd floor for individual interviews and the ‘socialization experiment’.
As one would imagine, instead of getting to know the ladies that we didn’t know, we gravitated to the ones we did know and could talk to. The bar was full of energy changing frequently based on the flow of the people coming in the door. We were there from 6:30pm until 2:00am so we got a firsthand look at the Philadelphians out to party on a Friday night. The owner of the Raven Lounge was a first class host, making sure we always had a drink in hand (non-alcoholic or alcoholic) and that we were enjoying his ‘home’. As a business owner, I really respected that because it makes a difference to those who patron your business. It is what packs the house with people every night and keeps people coming back.
As the night wore on the music got louder and the energy got stronger, everyone in Philadelphia was out to have a good time and it seemed like they were ALL in the Raven Lounge. When the owner wasn’t coming around checking on us, our cocktail waitress was and she was cute as a button. A song came on and while we were all trying to figure out how to do the dance to it, she starts busting out some moves. Our cocktail waitress at the Raven Lounge decided to teach us how to Dougie.
After learning how to Dougie, I was getting tired. The last interview was going on and my personal belongings were up in the room. I politely asked one of the crew if I could get my bag…he said five minutes. I waited patiently, as patiently as you can wait in the wee hours of the morning. After ten minutes, nicely, I explained that if I was not able to get my bag soon, I was going to rip his face off. I followed it with a smile. The response in his adorable British accent? “I am quite fond of my face; let me go see what I can do”. Threats of violence…it worked. I did tell him the next day that I would not have really ripped his face off; I just needed him to understand the urgency of the situation. He was a good sport.
Thank you Philadelphia and thank you Raven Lounge for hosting a group of crazy, beautiful tattooed women. I can only speak for myself and say that I enjoyed getting stares because we looked beautiful and not because we have tattoos. I enjoyed the conversations with locals not centered around tattoos or how their mother’s cousin’s uncle tattoos out of his house and does it ‘real good’ and everything else people want to talk to you about when you have tattoos. How much for this tattoo? How long does it take? Does it hurt? What does that one mean? Doesn’t it HAVE to mean something to get it on your body? Do your kids have tattoos? I could go on and on…Do not misunderstand, I love talking about my passion. I enjoy talking about tattoos if you want to be educated and learn something new that day. However, I only want to have a conversation about tattoos if you have enough gray matter between your ears to care enough to listen and think about your ink.
Educate yourself. Protect your investment and Think about your Ink.