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Getting Tattooed In NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - From celebrity style to reality television, tattoos have infiltrated American culture.

More and more young people are embracing body art.

According to a 2016 Harris Poll, nearly half of American Millennials and over a third of Generation X say they have at least one tattoo, compared to just 13 percent of Baby Boomers.

"I think up until the late 60s, 70s, the notion of a tattooed person was either a criminal, or a sailor, or a biker, or something like that, which wasn't necessarily untrue," said Mehai Bakaty, who owns Fineline Tattoo in the East Village. "Now, it seems to be this kind of sterile, commercial kind of endeavor."

Despite its newfound prominence, the tattoo is hardly new to New York.

People in New York City sounded off on their feelings about them to CBS2's Elle McLogan.

"I hate 'em!" one woman told Elle. "I think they're absolutely horrible. And I told my children: Never a motorcycle and never a tattoo."

"I'm a big canvas. I love it," a woman named Miranda said. "It feels like a sunburn. It hurts to be beautiful, right?"

"I've researched Martin Hildebrandt, and he was actually listed as tattooing in the New York City directory in 1859, pre-Civil War," said Michelle Myles, who owns Daredevil Tattoo in the Lower East Side.

"The first electric tattoo machine patent was based off of a Thomas Edison engraving pen, and it was actually the first patent for a mechanical device in the United States."

Having stood the test of time, what is the future of the tattoo?

Bakaty isn't sure. "I think tattooing is more popular than it ever has been in history. Where it'll end, who knows?"

Daredevil Tattoo Shop and Museum
141 Division Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 533-8303

Fineline Tattoo
21 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 673-5154

What's something few people know about but everybody should? Whatever it is, Elle McLogan is tracking it down on The DigJoin her hunt for treasures hidden across our area. Follow Elle on Twitter and Instagram.

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