Milwaukee forever: People with Brew City tattoos
The grand city of Milwaukee leaves an indelible imprint on many people, but for most, it's an invisible mark. Some, however, take it a step further with an observable stamp in the form of a Brew City tattoo.
Nicole Henzel is one of those people. About two-and-a-half years ago, Henzel went to Adambomb, 2028 N. Martin Luther King Dr., and got a quarter-sleeve tattoo on her right arm of the Milwaukee skyline, consisting of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Hoan Bridge, the U.S. Bank building, Cudahy Towers and the Northwestern Mutual Building.
"I got this tattoo because it represents my hometown, and where I grew up and learned a lot about life," says Henzel, 23, who is currently traveling in England and Scotland, and plans to move to New Zealand to teach for two years.
Marisa Lange, owner of Classic Slice Pizza, 2797 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., has a tattoo on her upper left arm that's a black map of Wisconsin with a red heart over Milwaukee. The tat is a cover-up over an old tattoo, but Lange won't divulge what it was.
"I wanted a Milwaukee tattoo because I grew up here," says Lange. "Home is where your heart is. No matter where I go or what I do, Milwaukee is my home base."
Speaking of home base, Jon Piontek, a tattoo artist at Body Ritual, 1459 N. Farwell Ave., says sports logos are some of the most commonly requested "Milwaukee" tattoos.
"I do a lot of team logos -- Badgers, Packers, Brewers," says Piontek.
Eron Laber, co-owner of Front Room Photography, 2637 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., sports the old ball-and-glove Brewers logo on his upper left arm. Labor got the ink 10 years ago at Body Ritual.
"After thinking about it for four years, I decided the Brewers were something I would never not love, and there was a certain nostalgia to the old logo that deemed it untaintable," says Laber. "I also really love Milwaukee and knew that would never change."
Corey Baumann also has an old-school Brewers' logo tattoo. He got his three years ago as a college graduation gift to himself. "I grew up a huge Brewers fan, along with my dad, my grandpa and my uncle," says Baumann. "This season it has been both awesome and heartbreaking to have this tattoo."
Piontek estimates his shop cranks out three to five Brew City-inspired tattoos every week.
"We do lots of city backdrops, the Milwaukee Tool logo and tons of beer-related tattoos," he says. "Especially the Miller High Life girl sitting on the moon ... Milwaukee tattoos are awesome; it's not like you're going to regret it."
Indeed, not one of the subjects of this article say they felt regret after choosing a Milwaukee tattoo.
"I've never once had one inkling that I made a mistake. Now, even when stripped bare, I'm still representin' my boys and my town," says Laber.
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