California–Day 5 (High Voltage Tattoo!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

After such an exhausting day at Universal Studios, the next day was pretty low-key. However, my sweetie REALLY wanted to go to High Voltage Tattoo, the tattoo shop from the hip TV show L.A. Ink, with Kat Von D. We were introduced to her tattooing style in Miami Ink, when she was part of that tattoo team. Then, when she left to open her own tattoo shop, we watched that as well. If you don’t know anything about her or her tattoos, she is AMAZING. Her forte is portraits which look so real it’s crazy. Anyways, Kimm has been thinking about getting another tattoo for a while, and thought, “hey, why not try to get one while I’m in LA.” She knew that she wouldn’t be able to get one from Kat because she is wicked expensive (probably around $1000) but she was willing to spend a little extra to at least get one done by some “unknown” in her shop.

After looking up information online, we found out that the show was apparently taping during the day since the shop was only open from 9pm to 12am. Kimm called (“phone first”) to make sure that they could complete tattoos in that time period and they said yes, although it was a first come, first serve basis and it was best to be there early so as to ensure a spot. So we decided to try to get there for 8:45 pm. Frank was again gracious enough to offer to drive us there. We got there right at 8:45 pm and there were already people waiting in line. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long.

As soon as the doors opened, we went right to the desk and Kimm put in her “order.” They said that the tattoo (Team Canada for hockey–don’t worry, if you don’t know what this looks like, you’ll see shortly) would cost $400 (gulp!). But we were there…it was cool. Right away we determined that this was NOT the same shop that was used for the TV show. It looked completely different. Turns out there was a back to the shop that was used for taping. But, as I said, it was still cool. Thankfully my camera was completely charged this time and so I just went to town taking pictures.

Outside the shop

Kat Von D (front), and the rest of her tattoo team/cast on L.A. Ink (photo from inside shop)

Chandelier hanging above the reception desk when you first walk in

Posters of Kat on the wall…

Inside the shop, to the left…it’s PINK!

The back of the store…I sat in one of those chairs watching the tattoo process (the red curtain to the right is where it leads to the second shop, the one used on the TV show)

The right side of the store, toward the back is where Kimm’s tattoo was done

Row of skateboards above the door…

Kimm, pre-tattoo…look at that smile…in case you can’t tell, she’s excited!

The guy who did Kimm’s tattoo was named Khoi. He was a very down-to-earth, nice guy. Very friendly. Very intense in his work. Answered all of my questions. Took a picture with Kimm after the tattoo was done. All in all it took about an hour. I was able to watch the whole thing up close, without feeling any of the pain. Kimm said it wasn’t too bad–just a burning sensation.

Here’s the outline of the tattoo–looks pretty good under Taz (now you can see the Team Canada Hockey logo–basically a hockey player in the middle of a maple leaf, the traditional emblem of Canada, with the team colors of Team Canada–black and red–by the way, Team Canada plays internationally and in the Olympics–in case you hadn’t noticed my sweetie LOVES hockey and Canada!)

The tattoo has begun! This is the back of Khoi’s head…don’t worry you’ll see what he looks like later…

The tattoo continues…

The final tattoo!

So here is Khoi from the front; Kimm’s tattoo is all wrapped up

One last view…

After it was done, turns out the tattoo was only $350–a deal! We called for a taxi to take us back to Frank’s. That was another experience in itself. After 20 minutes of waiting, still no cab. So finally, Khoi, the tattoo artist said, “you just need to hail down a taxi, or else you’ll be standing here all night.” He in fact tried to hail one down for us, but they kept driving past. Finally I stuck my arm out, and a cab pulled over…25 feet past us. We hopped in and found out that the reason the cab had pulled up so far was because the tattoo place was right on the border of two competing cab areas and the cab driver could get arrested for stopping in an area that was not his section. He said he was arrested once for that the first year he drove a cab, was fined heavily, and has never made that mistake again. So by pulling up to his area, he was safe–and we got to go home. Of course, it did cost us $26 (isn’t that absolutely CRAZY!!–and we kind of knew how to get back to Frank’s house–I can only IMAGINE how much it would have been if we were completely clueless!)

P.S. Forgot to mention, but Frank made awesome sandwiches for dinner that night–Pesto, Tomato, and Mozzarella Panini–oh they were sooooo good. I am salivating now just thinking of them. Good thing I should be able to make them since they came from Barefoot Contessa At Home, a cookbook that I own!

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 9:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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