Monday, June 28, 2010

Popular tattoos

When you walk around Boston, you see three popular tattoo designs.  One is the iconic 'B' that represents the Red Sox and, by extension in this baseball-obsessed city, the B that spells out Boston itself.  Secondly, there is that pair of red socks that are the Red Sox logo.  Thirdly, there is the shamrock, a symbol of solidarity for the many Bostonians who are of Irish descent.

Here and there you see a Celtics mascot tattooed to somebody's skin.  I can't recall seeing a Patriots logo or a Bruins logo.  If they are there, devotion to Boston's football and hockey teams pales compared to the display inscribed on biceps for Boston's beloved Sox.

In New Orleans, the most common tattoo is the fleur-de-lis.  You can see it on bodies everywhere.  While New Orleans' football team claims the fleur-de-lis as their symbol, that abstract flower is trademarked in black and gold.  Tattooed fleurs-de-lis come in all colors, from simple black on flesh to the official colors of Mardi Gras: purple, green and gold.

The fleur-de-lis is the symbol of New Orleans itself, not just its most popular sports franchise.  When most people decide to put ink and needle to skin for a permanent mark of their devotion, they are doing it declare love for this city rather than an NFL team.  Bostonians do the same thing, but you won't find any red socks on the Boston flag.  You'll see an antiquated portrait of the city's skyline.  It may be Red Sox Nation but the city doesn't acknowledge it on its seal.

In New Orleans, the fleur-de-lis came first and the Saints adopted it.  You can see fleurs-de-lis everywhere, not just on football helmets or incorporated in tattoos.   This is a regal city with a regal symbol.  I've been tempted to get my own fleur-de-lis tattoo  myself but I'm not quite ready to commit.  I see it in my future though, I just haven't found the right artist.

I was never tempted to make the Red Sox logo a permanent part of my anatomy.  Geaux Saints!

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