15 Of The Craziest New York City-Inspired Tattoos

Photo via @needlewurks.
Social media has become a veritable treasure trove of tattoo ideas. Looking for one of Beyoncé crying on the phone? You can find it on Pinterest. But that's probably not what you're looking for. (Or maybe it is. We’re not here to judge.)

You are more likely looking for something like a beautiful New York City-inspired tattoo — at least if this Instagram trend is any indication. Few cities are as influential as New York, with its architecture and history and unique inhabitants, so it’s no surprise that you'll find hundreds of tats that nod to the Big Apple. Artists (and their clients) are posting their amazing NYC-themed ink on the reg. So not only do you get to gawk at stunning, clever, and meaningful tattoos, you’re also directly connected to the source of the work, so you can choose the artist (and the place) you might just want to visit someday.

Click through to see 15 of our favorites.
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Photo via @sergioluismesa.
“This was inspired by the client's move from Korea to New York,” artist Sergio Luis Mesa says about this intricate design, which combines traditional Eastern imagery with a mysterious-yet-hopeful view of the city.
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Created by artist Caesar Bacchus, this Statue of Liberty tattoo almost looks like a watercolor painting. We're obsessing over how he got that shade of green just so.
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Photo via @needlewurks.
"This client is creating a sleeve that marks important times in his life with the places he was during those moments; we've also done a big Golden Gate Bridge, and a nice beach scene where he proposed to his wife," artist Matt Mrowka says of this grey-scale ink. "There's more to do on this arm, and I'm looking forward to bringing the whole composition together."
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Photo via @beccagennebacon.
Another gorgeous piece from Becca Genné-Bacon proves that, for some tourists, a real snow globe just isn’t a meaningful enough souvenir.
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There’s something kind of awesomely '80s about this tattoo by Richard Smith. Just picture the action-flick scene it invokes: A hero cop throws on these shades at sunset while staring at the New York City skyline as a single saxophone wails in the background. Roll credits.
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New York means different things to different people. To Rob Banks’ droll client, it’s dead pigeons.
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Photo via @christinedavitt.
“This tattoo was heavily inspired by the 2012 flier for the Ladies, Ladies! art show, which is a consistently amazing annual exhibition which showcases work entirely by female tattoo artists,” says abortion-access activist Christine Davitt, showing off her upper-arm ink. “A born-and-bred New York state resident, I fell head over heels for NYC, and this art by Marina Inoue felt like the perfect way to commemorate that. I added a ‘Big Apple’ reference, and the words on the banner are taken from the Andrew W.K. song ‘I Love NYC.’ I read somewhere that he said he moved to New York to 'have an unreasonably awesome life,' and I completely agree with that. Isn’t that why we all moved here?”

And good news, Andrew W.K. approves! He was the first to comment on this photo, with an enthusiastic "AMAZING CHRISTINE!"
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Photo via @adamsuerte.
As Brooklyn tattoo artist Adam Suerte says, "Summer is comin', time for Coney." And what better homage to the boardwalk than putting its legendary Cyclone roller coaster in ink?
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Photo via @beccagennebacon.
Becca Genné-Bacon took a much different approach to the Statue of Liberty, turning her into a pinup girl in a tattoo for her friend Luca. Lady Liberty would totally have side-boob if she were built today, don’t you think?
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Photo via @amylynn.colson.
Just a little hometown pride, courtesy of AmyInk.
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Photo via @bangbangnyc.
When the city pulses through your veins, you know you're in it for life. Thank you, Hector Daniels, for promoting wearing our heart on our sleeve.
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Photo via @diamondtattoos.
"This client loved New York, so when he finally came to the city for the first time, he said he had to get a souvenir that would last him forever. He just couldn't figure out what it should be," tattoo artist Young Bae of Diamond Tattoos explains. "When he looked down at his MetroCard, he realized that MTA was actually his family members' initials: M for him, A for his wife, and T for their daughter. So I did it for him, and he was really happy with it. He said he was going to swipe the tattoo card on his way back to the hotel."
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Photo via @n_l_q.
What better birthday present to oneself than a leggy rendering of one of New York's most iconic structures: the Brooklyn Bridge?
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New Jersey-based tattoo artist Zoey Ramone created this elaborate homage to Coney Island for one of her regular clients, Liz Goold.

"I went to Coney Island as a kid, and then rediscovered my love for it as a teenager," Goold says of her ink. "It's my favorite place and has the perfect mix of kitsch, awesomeness, and charm. I love all of the rides (R.I.P., Astro Tower), the aquarium, the food, and the awesome history."
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Photo via @mizzlemonade.
As Carrie Bradshaw once said, "If...you only get one great love, New York may just be mine."
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