Jordan M

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

Jordan sent in some photos of his epic Chicago-themed sleeve and when I sent him a few followup questions he replied with this great essay:

Jordan: Chicago is my favorite place in the entire world. No other city offers the total package like Chicago does. We have the most stunning architecture, an incredible restaurant scene, nationally recognized craft beer makers, unbeatable music venues and festivals, the world’s best comedy, a tremendous sports and recreation scene, incomparable artwork, an ocean-sized lake with sunny beaches, world-class higher education, convenient public transportation (that is, until Ventra came along), and best of all, the people are as kind as they are beautiful! I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Chicago. I truly feel bad for people who miss out on the opportunity to live here.

I am not originally from Chicago. I was born and raised near Lincoln, Nebraska (Go Big Red!) and have lived here for seven years. I visited Chicago with my family for the first time roughly around junior high. I remember being captivated by the size and beauty of Chicago’s skyline and telling myself that it was just a matter of time before I would be living there myself. That was really the extent of my experience with Chicago before actually moving here in 2007 after college. Since moving here, I have lived in Evanston, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview (twice) and hope to move to Bucktown, Wicker Park, or the West Loop this summer. I plan to live in Chicago for the rest of my life without question.

I got my tattoo at Deluxe Tattoo at 1459 W Irving Park Road in Lakeview. Miles Maniaci was my artist and I’m very happy with the work he did. The tattoo required four visits to the shop plus a quick touch-up session after I was fully healed to see if anything needed to be darkened. It is my first tattoo but not my last. I spent several months sketching my ideas over and over before setting up an appointment and running my ideas by Miles. Miles was very easy to work with and being the professional artist that he is, he was able to take my sketches to an entirely different level. He made sure that the placement of the various elements made sense and that there was a nice balance of color throughout the entire piece.

My tattoo is basically a collage of all of my favorite things about the city of Chicago. It includes a portion of the city’s famous skyline (anchored by Willis Tower, the CNA Center, and The John Hancock Center), the vertical Chicago Theatre sign, the Art Institute lion statue, the Chicago Marathon, the Flag of Chicago (which serves as the marathon finish line), the Andersonville water tower, and the Lollapalooza logo. The underside of my arm includes the Kuma’s Corner logo and a glimpse of a passing “L” train.

I already touched on my love for the Chicago skyline above. I chose the Chicago Theatre sign for its flash and color and because it’s a recognizable symbol of the city’s entertainment history. The Art Institute lion (in addition to being my favorite part of my tattoo) is just so majestic and the Institute itself so breathtaking that I couldn’t not include it. I decided to include the Chicago Marathon scene after watching my mom run the race (and qualify for Boston) in 2011. Including the Flag of Chicago was a no-brainer but it was Miles’ idea to incorporate it into the marathon finish line. The Andersonville Water Tower is important to me because not only because Andersonville is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city (great food, festivals, and people), it’s also the Swedish capital of Chicago and I have strong Swedish roots in my blood. The Lollapalooza logo was included for obvious reasons - it’s the greatest weekend of the year in Chicago! The single most fun I’ve ever had in Chicago was on August 7, 2011 when I saw my favorite band, Foo Fighters, play “My Hero” through a tsunami in front of about 50,000 people. I was practically front and center for a performance that will never be topped in my lifetime. People that were there know what I am talking about. YouTube it. Kuma’s Corner is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Chicago and the heavy metal burger bar’s logo, for the purpose of my tattoo, serves as a symbol of Chicago’s mouthwatering food scene. I’m a die-hard foodie and want to visit every restaurant in the city before I croak. Kuma’s is so outstanding that it’s one of the few places in the city that has earned my repeat business (and by repeat, I mean 20+) despite the insane amount of competition. Finally, my Chicago tattoo wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include some kind of nod to the “L”. Ventra headaches aside, the “L” is a fantastic way to quickly explore the various neighborhoods of the city without blowing all your beer money. People that complain about the “L” should really spend some time in other major U.S. cities to see just how good we have it. This city is a piece of cake to navigate on the “L” and it’s one of the city’s most iconic images.

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

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This page contains a single entry by Fuzzy published on February 25, 2014 11:00 AM.

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