Once upon a time, tattoos were the kind of life-affirming mistake you could afford to make. It was practically a rite of passage for rebellious teens and nihilistic adults alike to walk themselves into a tattoo parlor after a drunken, debaucherous night out and get inked, or at least widespread enough to inspire those verboten signs you see in most parlor shop windows today.
Not so anymore. Nowadays, tattoos are a luxury you’ve got to be especially conscious and sober to make in New York City, and the results of a new study by video marketing app Yeay confirm it. According to their Global Tattoo Trend Index, New York ranks as the third most expensive place in the world to get a tattoo, at an average cost of $224/hour to go under the needle. The only cities more expensive than ours are San Francisco ($280/hour) and Tokyo ($253/hour). We’re so expensive, in fact, that we don’t even make it onto Yeay’s index for “tattoo tourism” — top city for that is Denpasar, Indonesia, fyi — presumably because even the dumb tourists slow-walking through the city know they have it better elsewhere.
Yeay’s index is fun to browse if you count yourself among the tattoo-curious — it tells you the most popular cities for getting tattoos as gifts from parents (s/o to the lucky citizens of Delhi, India) and giving them as gifts, as well as some fun stats on the 5,000 people they surveyed for the study (for example, 9.3 percent regret getting one).
Tattoos, like open-heart surgery or bed-bug extermination, fall into that category of something you shouldn’t be hunting for discounts on if want them done right. There are ways to cut back on costs, like waiting until the next Friday the 13th tattoo deals come around (which isn’t until May), but you’re probably going to want to invest a lot of money in that permanent body art to make sure it’s done well and safely.
Still, you could pay for a roundtrip flight to Toronto and get inked at $67/hour, and still fall below the amount you’d pay in NYC. Guess we can just add that to the trash pile that is America, and flee to Canada like we planned.
You should ink about following Sam on Twitter: @ahoysamantha