Close up of Michael's Chicago Bike Flag tattoo

This winter, paying attention to the arms of waitstaff seems to be the most productive for this site. Hopefully I’m not too weird when I go out to eat, staring at everyone’s arms. Michael bartends at the 14 Karat Lounge, the bar connected to Ada’s Famous Deli in the Silversmith Hotel right under the Loop El tracks on Wabash.

CFT: So what’s your Chicago Flag tattoo story?

Michael: I did it for a tattoo to symbolize biking, because I’m a big biker around the city. I’ve been doing it now for seven years. It’s my favorite way, the best way to get around the city. So I saw like the gears and the chains and I thought it was something different. And I figured if we ever add another star, I can just add another gear and another chain link on the side and just kind of extend it out. So it’s like a Chicago Bike-Flag tattoo. It was a thirtieth birthday gift to myself.

CFT: Awesome.

Michael: I get a lot of complements on it at the bar. A lot of people think it’s a cop tattoo, right off the bat. Do you get that alot?

CFT: I get that every now and then.

Michael: I’m like, “No, I’m not a cop, I’m a bartender, obviously.”

CFT: But people recognize it as the flag, even though it’s got gears…

Michael: Yeah, I was in Minneapolis a few weeks ago for a Bears game when they were out there and I had a lot of people calling me out on it. So a lot of people do get it. They’re like, “Chicago Flag, I get it!”. I’ve only had like two or three people get that it’s like chains and gears and it’s a bike flag. They’re like, “is that a bike flag?” and I’m like “yeah, actually, I’ve been biking around the city forever so I wanted to get something to symbolize that.” [Points at Fuzzy’s tattoo} I thought about getting it all the way around, but I just decided to go on the forearm. Yeah, I love this city and wanted to get a tattoo.

CFT: Are you a lifelong resident?

Michael: Yeah, my whole life. Thinking about maybe moving out the city just for a few years, but I’ll always come back. That’s why I’m like, I’ll always carry the flag with me, no matter where I go.

CFT: Where did you get it done?

Michael: Oh god, I got a referral from a friend, and she doesn’t even work in that shop anymore. Her name was Crystal. I want to say it was something like Top Hat? It’s up in Jefferson Park at the time. I got referred, she was the apprentice of an awesome tattoo artist, this guy named DJ, who now owns a shop at like Western and Irving, I believe. [CFT: The Burnt Tiger] She was able to sneak me in on my birthday, so that’s why I did it.

CFT: Thanks a lot.

Michael and his Chicago Bike Flag tattoo

About CFT

We love all sorts of Chicago-related tattoos and love interviewing the people who have them. If you've got one or know someone who does, please let us know at tats@chicagoflagtattoos.com.

About the site.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Fuzzy published on January 20, 2013 5:56 PM.

Twitter was the previous entry in this blog.

Topher is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Follow CFT

Twitter RSS