Finally, after years of being the airport drop-off driver for this very commonly repeated trip, I’m tagging along to Puerto Rico with the husband! Early December, my man Lefty will be back at it, doing a guest spot at Senzala Tattoo in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico–one of the oldest existing cities in America. I’ll be blogging along the way, hanging out at the tattoo shop, trying local delicacies and boozy beverages galore–when I’m not touring rainforests and a bioluminescent bay…..and beaches, and hiking….
Have any recommendations for stops along the way that I absolutely shouldn’t miss? Leave a comment here, on my FB page, or tweet at me on Twitter @BoozyLife 🙂
Aaaand, if you’d like to schedule a tattoo appointment with Lefty while we’re in PR, get a hold of Senzala Tattoo for any tattoo availability and booking (follow the link above)!
The last weekend in May (29-31st) was the first ever Art Tattoo Show Québec 2015, put on by the same great crew that runs Art Tattoo Show MontreaI every year, headed by industry power couple Pierre Chapelan and Valerie Emond of Studio Tattoomania in Montreal. There were artists invited from around the world, and we were lucky enough to be a part of it. The weekend was extremely enjoyable with incredible artwork on display, tattoo contests, and tattoo artists attending seminars and sharing information and ideas. It was just what we needed to gain some perspective from fellow shop owners and artists, in this crazy industry that we all love and respect so much.
Québec city is an old town, very reminiscent of Edinburgh, Scotland. There are fortified city walls around the old city, the only remnants of these structures in the Americas. Cobblestone streets give way to the feel of old world, with stone architecture and rolling hills. Wear flats or comfy heels, walking here is a bit strenuous in places! It’s worth the hike to climb into the fort overlooks, and see the bustling city below.
The convention was located in the heart of the old city at the Centre des Congrès de Québec convention center. We were a short walk from several incredible streets, full of bars, restaurants, and all the nightlife you could ever ask for. We passed over the official convention after party to spend time with several friends that we rarely get to see, but did end up taking a few outings with them to other spots!
Our Sunday night grand finale steak dinner was at a spot named Feu Sacré, a very cozy but not overly masculine steakhouse. The tattoo artist men (and women) generally require a big celebratory meal after a successful weekend of busting their collective asses, and these folks got the surprise of the evening at eight thirty Sunday night…but I’m sure that they will remember us and plan on a full house for next year. The food was exactly what we needed, and relaxing with friends was absolutely the highlight….that, and mushrooms cooked in black truffle infused butter.
I ordered a bottle of 2012 Norton Barrel Select Malbec from Argentina to pair, and it it went over well with our tables-nothing overly fancy, but drinkable and delicious with our steaks. A good meal with many friends to cap off the weekend!
Monday we checked out of the hotel and met up with friends for a pub lunch before we all hit the road (or skies). Pub St. Alexandre was one of the oldest establishments in the area, with hundreds of international beers, as well as a menu of over fifty plus scotch single malts! The smell of the smoked meat wafting through the air the day prior had made this the ‘gotta go’ spot. Our pals Rob and Karen Hoskins, tattooer extraordinaire and his lovely wife (who also works in the booze industry) met us at the pub-because she doesn’t spend enough time in the one at home while working! At least we felt at home! A lunch of smoked meat, fish and chips, and burgers were happily consumed, along with a few Caesars and pints. We parted ways full, tired, and looking forward to our next meal together. Perfect ending!
If you get the chance, Québec City is a beautiful old historical area to visit. So much to see and do, this will definitely be on our list of annual shows. Highly recommended by this boozy wife, and we can’t wait to start planning for next year!
Today is the last day that I will be touring around with the husband! We’re on the train from Rotterdam headed towards Amsterdam, and I’m really excited to check out the city, the canals, and of course have a couple of drinks. Absinthe IS green, after all 🙂 It really looks like a romantic little city, and the perfect way to end this adventure. Flying tomorrow, but you’ll hear from this BoozyWife soon 🙂
My first journey overseas has been one hell of a trip! Some dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower and the city of lights, but I was more interested in attending the Mondial du Tatouage 2015, one of the greatest tattoo shows on earth.
Tin-Tin (of Tin-Tin Tatouages, Paris) and his incredible team of minions put on the show with the highest attendance record ever for a show in 2014, so I went in expecting this one would be another crazy weekend. I had no idea. This is a show like no other, anywhere. There is no way to cover everything in one post…but I’ll add the boozy stuff later on!
Mondial is heavily promoted and sponsored – MTV, Fender guitars, commercial promotions- and it shows. The que for the first day entrance was one of the longest lines I’ve ever seen, and I worked for Disney World…I know long ass lines. I actually got a little nervous waiting for the incoming herd of bodies to hit the open doors and flood the aisles. The line was that long every single morning of the three day show. Clients had come in from all over the European Union to get tattooed by world renowned artists.
This year, there were booths on the first floor as well as on the second floor balconies, which did help to split the crowd and make walking around a little more manageable. Last year I heard aboutforty five minute travel times from booth to stencil maker-this year it felt easier to navigate (I’m also short and a New Yorker, so I can usually slide through the gaps). It was a huge crowd, but very well managed.
The amount of talent at this show is staggering. Booth after booth, internationally known tattooers buzzed the weekend away.
Filip Leu, Luke Atkinson, and Bill Salmon were the tattoo contest judges the entire weekend (pimped out in fancy in suits, no less!) and the trophies were one of a kind creations by the incomparable Simone El Rana.
This show has no room for mediocrity, no scratchers, no one that can’t hang with the best of the best. Mentioning this now (but it will have its own separate blog post soon) — Henning Jorgensen released his book “The Royal Tribute” and had an exclusive signing during the last day of the show. Lefty escaped long enough to walk around and grab a copy to have signed. Always gracious, Henning’s book spans thirty years of his shop Royal Tattoo and is broken into two parts, including his flash and paintings. It is definitely worth looking into to grab a copy for yourself if you’re a collector, absolutely beautiful work.
We had a lot of friends visiting Paris, which speaks of Lefty’s level in the game, but also made for a few very entertaining evenings as well. This is a really fun show for the artists as well as fans, and in addition to all of the hype…the feeling is something special… I believe the French would say it’s own ‘je ne sais quoi.’
It’s an exclusive group I get to socialize with, but no snobbery is witnessed, no shade thrown. The VIP Sunday night after party was on a boat located on the River Seine. Music, booze, and a smoking deck we overran that faced the twinkling Eiffel Tower.
Everyone talking about ten or fifteen years ago, where they first met, at which show, and the changes in the business since then. Many of the artists brought spouses, or had family that they rarely get to see come through as well. The vibe was friendly and all around tired but jovial.
On a total side note…Tin-Tin plays a mean game of Fooz Ball…the ball is made of wood instead of plastic here, so you can do some crazy serving shit with it! I was definitely watching a very intense match of incredibly talented individuals blowing off steam after a completely successful weekend. I can’t wait for next year! Thank you to everyone that put in so much work, so that we could enjoy Paris in such a remarkable way. I can’t wait to come back and do it all again next year!
Today is the last day of the Paris show! It’s been an incredible week, from Corsica to Paris – and we have a few days in Paris before heading to the Netherlands. There will be TONS of good stuff from this trip that I can’t wait to share, from beautiful tattoo work, to local booze that I found along the journey. More soon from your newly international BoozyWife 🙂
Starting off this day on a tattoo history and knowledge kick! Loretta Leu is momma to Filip Leu – one of the most respected, talented, and revered tattoo artists in the industry. I had the pleasure of meeting Loretta in Montreal a few years back, and watched Filip work-tattooing one-sitting collaborative back pieces all weekend with Kurt Wiscombe – truly an experience I’ll always remember. I’m happy to share these videos, in the hopes that my readers will do a bit of research, and see the incredible tattoo art created by a master of the craft.
WATCH: You can check out the documentary “Perceptions & Perspectives” on YouTube, it’s a very intelligent and interesting half an hour on the tattoo world– TATTOO: Perceptions & Perspectives
Published on Dec 14, 2014
At a time in history when tattoos have never been more popular, transcending all previous demographic divisions and scaling statistical percentages of populations in the West, this documentary examines the contemporary mass proliferation of tattoos, recording current perceptions of tattoos and tattooing from a cross-generational perspective of people with and without tattoos.This documentary is submitted as partial fulfillment for the Master of Arts Creative Media in Media Studies at the University of Brighton.
Published on Sep 30, 2014 Interview with Filip Leu,Tattoo Artist, Sainte-Croix, Switzerland. Extracts from this interview also appear in the documentary TATTOOS: Perceptions & Perspectives. Produced, Filmed & Edited by Maximillian Jacobson – Gonzalez. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Creative Media, at the University of Brighton, 2014.
So, in case we haven’t met, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I get frustrated REALLY easily, have a hands-on approach to learning that borders on aggressive, and I have a tendency to throw it all out and start over–rather than try and make it work. All bad things I’m trying to work on. Life lesson alert!
On the first day of 2015, me and the man took the GoPro out for its first shoot. We had a blast driving up the lake, and excitedly got home to edit the footage. Imported the video clips, started editing….and promptly crashed the Mac due to lack of memory. I will be buying an external hard drive SOON.
In the mean time, we loaded the video clips (now a much lower resolution) onto my iPad and I’ve been playing with app editors until the needed memory upgrade. It’s not perfect, but you get the idea where I’m headed…and if I can just get over getting frustrated, I’m sure that I will get a lot further ahead in this boozy life….cheers!
CLICK ON THE LINK TO WATCH THE FIRST BOOZYLIFE VIDEO OF 2015
Well, it seems appropriate that my last tattoo sitting this year will be with my husband, in our shop, and will complete the fancy lettering above my knees–BoozyLife. Why appropriate? Lefty traveled to Europe, Korea, and Japan this year, almost exclusively known for his fancy lettering. Now, I will finally have some of it on me to show off! Plus, I’m pretty invested in my new career path of beverage aficionado, so why not? Beverage aficionado, tattooed lady, dog mom. Sweet!
I’ve met some interesting wine writers and professionals that are intrigued by tattoos, and wino tattoo artists that want to tour wineries and distilleries. I’m looking forward to bringing my two favorite things together for another round. Stay tuned, there should be a YouTube channel coming soon…there will be things you need to SEE, not just read about. Trust me, kids.
So, what’s on for 2015? More Finger Lakes wine and spirit recognition, lots more travel, more tattoos….and who knows…who would buy a BoozyLife wine bag? I’m thinking it’s time to start a BoozyLife revolution 😉
From the time I was young, I had an infatuation with New York City. Maybe it was the fact that my uncle had cable, and after school I would watch cartoons that were littered with commercials for magical places like Toys R Us and Macy’s, where children played with toys that came to life. So much excitement, so many things to do! I needed to go there. My first trip to NYC was with my fifth grade art history club. We went to a few major museums, the Village, the World Trade Center (still have pics from the observation windows), and Chinatown, where one of my teachers was pick pocketed in the bathroom of the buffet restaurant by a tricky woman of at least eighty. By the time we made it back to the bus, I was in tears. I didn’t want to leave-there was the feeling that I was missing something, that I was leaving something behind. I would make many trips, always wanting to stay there, missing that other piece of myself when I left.
I finished my time in Upstate NY, and spent the next twelve years moving around the east coast for my job as an event photography manager for Kodak. When the eventual management spot opened in NYC, I fought to get it-and the spot was mine. I managed the Kodak imaging area for the new World of Disney on 55th St. and Fifth Avenue. I also started researching tattoo artists-I had decided to take the next step and start a traditional Phoenix back piece. After almost a year and change, I was introduced to tattoo artist Eddie Molina through a friend of a friend. His tattoo work fit what I had in mind perfectly, and he worked all custom on large pieces, meaning the piece would be drawn on to fit my body’s natural curves.
Eddie was in a transitional period where he was trying to leave the city for a while and get perspective on what he wanted to do in his future tattooing career. I sat for him once a week, sometimes twice, in the fear that one day Eddie would leave and I would have to find him to finish my back. It was an unfounded fear, but one that I had starting such a large piece. My first sitting we lined in the entire bird; second sitting was the entire tail and feathers. Progress was fast, and I was investing most of my spare time to it as well. A back piece is a huge investment, not only financially but emotionally as well as physically. Trust in your artist is paramount.
I was paying hourly for my tattoo, every session, but I often felt like I wasn’t doing enough to compensate Eddie for what he was giving me. My Phoenix is a symbol, my own forever talisman. It reminds me that I am a strong, fierce, powerful female energy, and completion would mark my journey towards being the woman I wanted to eventually be. The divine female power, forever etched in my skin. I became Eddie’s go-to gal, driving him to JFK and saving cab fares for multiple trips. After all, I was still stubborn enough to keep a car in Queens. We became friends outside the studio, spending too many hours trapped in traffic on the Grand Central Parkway, and Eddie came to recognize that he was as much of a shaman to me as a tattooer.
We started the piece in June of 2006. We were finishing the final touch up session on my bird November 22, 2006-just six months from the start of the Sharpie sessions. I could not believe how fast Eddie accomplished the goal, and how much the entire process had meant to me as a woman growing into her own skin, to decorate it with meaning. I was over the moon with my new work…and a few weeks later, already missing our tattoo sessions, called him to say thank you again. It turned out my tattoo artist missed seeing me too, and asked me out for dinner and a movie. We went to a lovely churrasco for dinner, then saw Happy Feet in IMAX. (Yes, the penguin movie. Don’t judge, that set me up for a marriage full of animated joys! Ha!) Afterwards, we walked to the train station through Central Park, wandering in the moonlight. Looking back, I’ve never had another night like that.
So, eight years later–We moved upstate, bought a house, got married, and adopted a few fur kids. Eddie built his dream tattoo shop, and here we are, making a go of it. We’ve both lost a parent, family close to us, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Eddie travels internationally for his tattoo career, sometimes going as far as Japan or Korea. Our life together isn’t always easy, there are challenges and balances and difficulties just like anything else. We have each other, and we figure it out as we go.
As for my Phoenix? It took six months to finish the main image of the bird, and the last seven years working on background elements. No rush anymore, so we’ve taken the slow and steady path. My background is now a collaborative effort with our good friend Cory Ferguson , owner of Good Point Tattoo Oakvile ON.
The piece has been a reflection of my journey into the tattoo world, so I’m excited to also have a close friend add to it.
I’m not sure how much longer we have to go with my back. Hell, it might never truly be finished, which is now a reflection of my life in the tattoo world. Strangest thing though, whenever I leave NYC now? I never feel like I’m leaving part of myself behind anymore….I think I took him with me. <3