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Archive for the ‘Tattoo Shop’

Weathering the COVID-19 storm: The Parlour Hair & Ink owners get back on track – Tulsa World09.21.20

Sanitation is nothing new to a tattoo artist since they work with bodily fluids. Before COVID-19, tattoo parlors constantly cleaned and disinfected work areas. Now, its even more regimented.

Everyone in the shop is required to wear a mask now and we limit the number of people we come in contact with by taking appointments only. We also regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and counter tops. Keeping our shop clean, safe and sanitized is nothing new, as we have always applied rigorous cross contamination disinfecting and sanitation standards for the safety of ourselves and our clients. This is required by law, Jamy Magee said.

During the closure, the Magee family stayed busy by leading a neighborhood clean-up, and Erica Magee made masks to supplement the familys income. They also cooked a lot and spent family time together.

Now that things are back to normal, for the most part, the hair and tattoo shop is back in business.

We are fortunate to have clients that want our services; however, we are still unable to run specials that we enjoy such as our $30 Thursdays due to being appointment-only. We will be doing our Stop the Hate in the 918 special on Friday October 23. There will be an outdoor screening area and all Covid precautions will be in place, Jamy Magee said.

The Magees said that if a closure happens again, business owners need to be prepared.

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Weathering the COVID-19 storm: The Parlour Hair & Ink owners get back on track - Tulsa World

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Unrivaled Tattoos in Cape Coral has seen a rise in business during the COVID-19 pandemic – Fox 409.21.20

CAPE CORAL, Fla. A.J. Thomas owner of Unrivaled Tattoos in Cape Coral says, his customers are loyal, and he has seen an increase in business during the pandemic.

I think a lot of it is just not having that release and not being stuck in the house or being scared to go out. I think a lot of people are showing up just to do something different, said A.J. Thomas, owner of Unrivaled Tattoos.

Thomas says hes also seen a different side to his clientele.

We deal with depression, anxiety, when you are quarantined you dont get to go to your favorite place like a bar or club, and now people are coming to tattoo shops to release that energy that they want right now. Youre seeing more people, not just young people, but older people doctors, nurses, getting tattoos so its helped out a lot, said Thomas.

One long time client of Unrivaled Tattoos says, work has slowed down for him, so he finds more time to add some ink, and is comfortable doing so amidst social distancing suggestions.

Not so busy because I own a business and I have a lot of time to where I am able to fill spots on. Its always clean, everything is sanitized to where it doesnt bring up a worry or caution, mainly because he takes procedures seriously, he makes people wait outside while someone is inside hes cautious about COVID and understands it, said David Gonzalez, a long time customer.

Thomas tells me he was personally diagnosed with Coronavirus, but he says he successfully recovered from COVID and is taking every suggested precaution.

We sanitize everything already, we do wear masks, we basically offer discretion with clients just to make sure they feel safe and stuff like that, said Thomas.

He also wants customers new and old to understand, although life might be different, you can still feel a sense of normalcy.

Just make sure when you sit in my chair and get a tattoo from me, you feel safe and you feel comfortable, said Thomas.

Thomas tells me he was forced to shut down during the beginning of the pandemic for 2 weeks, but says once reopening the increase in business felt great, and he hopes it a trend that continues.

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Unrivaled Tattoos in Cape Coral has seen a rise in business during the COVID-19 pandemic - Fox 4

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‘Choloani’ by Prayers Is a History Lesson in What It Means To Be a Cholo – Remezcla09.21.20

Its been a minute since we last heard from the original cholo goth gang Prayers. Vocalist and producer Leafar Seyer has been busy at home raising his baby with wife Kat Von D, and co-producer Dave Parley has spent time with other musical endeavors like Meldamor. But thats all about to change with the imminent release of the bands next studio album, which Seyer calls a true body of work. This time, theyre going all the way back to the dawn of what it means to be a cholo.

Once settled into family life, Seyer had a hard time creatively, he shared on a quick call with Remezcla. Writing musicespecially music about street lifewasnt a priority and every time he tried doing something, it wouldnt come out right. Then, one day Von D pushed Seyer to go hard with his art. He rediscovered his fire and penned some of his most personal work to date, which became Prayers forthcoming new album. Then, he met Teypohsweepeehltseehn.

A tattoo artist, silversmith and coppersmith living in New Mexico, Teypohsweepeehltseehn dedicates himself to the preservation of his ancestry as a Cheecheemehkahtl or Chichimeca. He and Seyer met and clicked immediately. As a gift, Teypohsweepeehltseehn allowed Prayers to include a 30,000-year-old song from his culture on the new album; Seyers only condition was to contextualize the wisdom that accompanied their encounter. The result is Choloani.

Over traditional chant song, Teypohsweepeehltseehn talks about the history of chohlohahneeh or choloani, a group of rebels that refused to let Spanish colonizers forbid them from practicing their culture, religion, language and traditions. The derogatory designation became the root of cholo but the connection doesnt end there. As seen on the new video, Teypohsweepeehltseehn wears the traditional warrior attire of the ancient Chichimecas and explains how it evolved into what we associate with cholo streetwear. Its mind-blowing, yet only a nugget of the untold history thats included here.

Choloani will be part of Cholo Goth, Prayers next full-length album slated for a February 2021 release.

'Choloani' by Prayers Is a History Lesson in What It Means To Be a Cholo - Remezcla

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Twin Cities record stores gear up for vinyl event of the year – Minnesota Daily09.21.20

The second of three drops celebrating this years annual Record Store Day is coming up this Saturday, Sept. 26.

Record players find themselves at home on dorm side tables and in apartment living rooms. Theyre best enjoyed on solemn evenings or during study hours. Whether its grandmas record of Lionel Richie or a vinyl of Harry Styles you found on sale at Urban Outfitters, listening to your favorite music on vinyl sets a mood that Spotify cant replicate.

Record Store Day (RSD), which began in 2008, is the one day a year that indie record stores get a moment in the spotlight. This years original RSD was postponed back in April and then again in June due to COVID-19 concerns. Now, RSD has been broken up into three separate days: Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24. This Saturday, Sept. 26, will be the second day of RSD special vinyl drops. To prepare for the upcoming drops, Twin Cities record stores are gearing up with hot vinyl finds and rare music couture.

Cheapo Records houses the largest selection of Minnesota music. The store is packed on RSD. Some large stores bring out live bands and food for the day, but Cheapo does things differently. The store has never used anything extravagant to draw people in on RSD, according to Pat Wheeler, manager at Cheapos Minneapolis location.

Weve never done a lot. We dont have a band playing. We dont have food, he said.

A big part of the profit for some smaller record stores comes from hosting live events.

Not being able to host live events is really damaging. [We] had comedians set to perform, said Adam Taylor, manager of Hymies Vintage Records.

Hymies Records is located on Lake Street, near where the 3rd Precinct burnt down.

The entire neighborhood has seen a 30% to 40% decrease in sales, Taylor said.

After the first RSD drop in August, the stores numbers were down from last years, but Taylor is reluctant to be discouraged. Im still here, and Record Store Day is always fun.

Student shoppers are also ready to take on the day, even with new store restrictions, such as waiting lines and stores only allowing less than half capacity of customers in the store at a time.

My favorite is Agharta Records in St. Paul also because its right next to Black Coffin Tattoo. Its a pretty chill strip over there with fun stuff, said Caitlyn Speier, a University of Minnesota third-year studying prelaw.

Some 2020 RSD vinyls include: Coolio / Gangstas Paradise, Fleetwood Mac / The Alternate Rumors, The Notorious B.I.G. / It Was All A Dream: The Notorious B.I.G. 1994-1999.

The full list of RSD 2020 vinyls can be found on the Record Store Day website.

A&E ran around town to bring you a go-to Record Store Day list, featuring all of this years participating Twin Cities locations to help you support independently owned record stores and embrace the eclectic tradition of vinyls.

Minnesotas COVID-19 restrictions require that everyone must wear a mask inside public businesses.

Cheapo RecordsBoth locations:2600 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis71 N Snelling Ave., St. PaulRSD hours and guidelines: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Only 20 people are allowed in the store at a time.

Hymies Vintage Records3820 E Lake St., MinneapolisRSD hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Electric Fetus2000 S 4th Ave., MinneapolisRSD hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Agharta Records2512 University Ave. W, St. PaulRSD hours: opens at 10 a.m.

Extreme Noise Records407 W Lake St., MinneapolisRSD hours: opens at 1 p.m.

Roadrunner Records4534 Nicollet Ave. S, MinneapolisRSD hours and guidelines: 9 a.m.-10 a.m.Donuts will be offered to those in line starting at 8 a.m.! Five customers are allowed in the store at a time. Regular store hours begin at 10 a.m., but with a twist. They will have many new releases in stock.

Know Name Records6009 Portland Ave. S, MinneapolisRSD hours: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Rock Paper Scissors Goods2403 Lyndale Ave. S, MinneapolisRSD hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

SolSta Records4022 E 46th St., MinneapolisRSD hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Eclipse Records419 Wabasha St. N, St. PaulRSD hours: opens at 10 a.m.

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Twin Cities record stores gear up for vinyl event of the year - Minnesota Daily

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Caitlin Taylor: Ginsburgs legacy will live on – Monroe Evening News09.21.20

The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

About three weeks ago, I visit a friend for a weekend Up North.

When pursuing the downtown Petoskey shops, I noticed a section of pop culture puzzles and ones depicting various public figures. Thats when I spotted RBG.

Kyle enjoys puzzles, and while I generally dont have the patience for them, sometimes its a way to pass the time together especially if I get to pick the theme.

Nevertheless, I put it back, convincing myself I didnt have the extra money to spend on a puzzle that I didnt even know if Id actually complete.

Well, once this weekends news broke, I really wished Id gotten that puzzle.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the Notorious RBG died of metastatic pancreatic cancer, the U.S. Supreme Court announced just before 8 p.m. Friday. She was 87.

From being a young attorney convincing a panel of nine male justices to see the Constitution as a feminist document to becoming just the second woman Supreme Court justice to becoming a modern-day feminist icon, RBG will be missed by many generations of women.

Personally, Im pretty bummed.

A century since women achieved the right to vote, RBGs death brings an ironic sadness; she wasnt only a trailblazer in her field, but also a stark proponent for voting rights, particularly as a critic of the Supreme Courts decision to dismantle much of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

Throughout her career, RBG became the first person on both the Harvard and Columbia law reviews; fought for equal pay at Rutgers Law School; cofounded the first law journal on womens rights; cofounded the first womens rights project at ACLU; won five of six cases argued in front of the Supreme Court; and became the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex marriage ceremony after giving the majority court ruling in 2015.

Within recent years, shes become a beloved pop culture icon. Certainly, no other Supreme Court justices can say they have their faces on T-shirts, memes or even tattoos.

Im guessing the Notorious RBG Halloween costumes will be out in full force this year.

But its all for good reason: RBG has fought for the type of world that all people want to live in not just women. And shes always been one to say whats on her mind.

Here are some of those notorious words:

People ask me sometimes When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is: When there are nine.

My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person; be independent.

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldnt be that women are the exception.

Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.

Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.

Rest in Peace, Notorious RBG. Your legacy will live on.

Caitlin Taylor is representing Womens Vote, Womens Voice, Womens Equality, a group celebrating the 100th anniversary of womens right to vote in her column this week. Contact her at

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Caitlin Taylor: Ginsburgs legacy will live on - Monroe Evening News

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In Place of Police: The Oregon Experiment | by Krithika Varagur – The New York Review of Books09.20.20

Chris Pietsch/The Register-GuardEugene Police officer Bo Rankin talking with CAHOOTS coordinator Ben Brubaker and emergency crisis worker Matt Eads, Eugene, Oregon, October 2019

Eugene, OregonEvery call that is dispatched through the radio, twenty-four hours a day, to the CAHOOTS crisis responders is a tiny mystery, a staticky, incomplete assemblage of details. White female in her thirties, brown hair, black mid-length shirt, last seen on Sixth, yelling and running into traffic, for instance, on a recent Saturday evening in late August.

The responders in this caseMichael Williams, an emergency medical technician, and Ashley Hubbard, an EMT and mental health crisis workerpiloted their bulky white Ford Explorer van toward a likely strip of Sixth Avenue, a downtown thoroughfare, shortly before sunset. Aside from a handful of restaurants seating people outdoors, the avenue was quiet, and they soon found a woman who fit the description outside the High Priestess Tattoo Shop on Sixth and Charnelton Street. She was smoking a cigarette and crying noisily, with a crumpled bunch of papers in her other hand. When she saw the responders, she started talking.

They wont help me! she wailed, over and over. I just want my stuff!

Hubbard sat cross-legged next to her in the parking lot and asked her what was going on. She learned that the woman had been in the county jail for two days, for disorderly conduct, and she couldnt figure out how to get what had been seized at the time of her arrest. The papers she held included a pink prisoner property receipt, listing various items in bags, and a check for thirty-three dollars, equivalent to the cash on her person when she was arrested. TiffanyI am using a pseudonym to respect her privacywas very thin and had matted brown hair. She had sores on her arms and wore black track pants pushed up to her calves and gray canvas sneakers with untied laces.

We can help you, said Williams, calmly. They convinced her to get into the back of their van, which is fitted with two passenger seats behind a plastic partition, and drove a couple minutes to the Lane County Jail. Williams took her papers and set out for the property retrieval office. Meanwhile, Hubbard continued talking to Tiffany in soothing tones.

Where have you been sleeping?

I have a house on Madison Avenue.

Will you go back there after this?

I dont know.

Hubbard offered some Ritz crackers and a carton of almond milk, which Tiffany accepted. Then Williams came back with Tiffanys thingsa garbage bag filled with bedsheets, clothes, and more sneakers.

This is a very easy solution to a bureaucratic problem, Williams said, for my benefit. It could be blown up into a bigger thing, but it doesnt have to be.

Tiffany seemed momentarily placated, but then became upset again after rifling through the bag, from which she suspected some key items had been omitted, including her notebooks. Their discussion of what had been lost went on for a few minutes until Williams asked her: Can we give you a cigarette and go for a drive? Lets not catastrophize. Were going to think this through, okay? Instead, she lay prone on the sidewalk, within eyesight of the county jail, wrapped in a fleece blanket from the plastic bag.

Where do you want to go? asked Hubbard. She told Tiffany about a drop-in facility called the Hourglass Community Crisis Center. I dont want counseling, I dont want to talk to anybody, Tiffany moaned. She stubbed out her cigarette on the curb and curled up.

Hubbard reiterated the offer and handed Tiffany a card with the CAHOOTS phone number on it. Can you stay safe or call us?

Williams and Hubbard got back in the van, and Williams logged the case, including Tiffanys name and birthday, into a Panasonic Toughbook. They drove away after dedicating a full half hour to her case.

I think this is not a bad outcome actually, he mused to Hubbard. It seemed like that suicidal ideation was more out of frustration than anything. They had just solved one pressing problem for her at the jail, and on top of that, by the time they left her, she was dozing off and thus no longer agitated in a public place.

The first time I witnessed this deliberately circumscribed approach in action, I found it to be counterintuitive, and almost callous. But over the course of several weeks, I came to see why it is integral to CAHOOTS: the programs narrowly defined scope and its responders practiced lack of attachment to any particular outcome, either short- or long-term, are essential to their effectiveness.

When I asked Williams later where he thought Tiffany would end up after this, let alone how she would cash that check, he gently parried my question with one of his.

Whats the best outcome for today? he asked, rhetorically. CAHOOTS members can transport people to staffed services and hospitals, or counsel them, or give them food or shelter supplies, but the list is not much longer than that. Were an intervention team, Williams explained, with deliberate limits, honed over decades of operation, as to the degree and duration of that intervention.

Were trying to meet people where theyre at, Hubbard added, a refrain I heard from nearly a dozen other people involved with CAHOOTS.

And that builds trust between us and our clients, picked up Williams. We might actually have multiple contacts with Tiffany. And each of those times, were not going to force her to do anything. So there will be more trust there.


The need for trust, in place of force, has been a recurrent theme of police reforms discussed across the country over the long summer that followed George Floyds murder in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. The idea is that armed police officers are simply called to address too many situations, often ones in which trained mental health or social workers would be more effective and more humane. CAHOOTS has been in operation since 1989, administered by a local nonprofit, the White Bird Clinic, and publicly funded by municipal government, making it one of the oldest such organizations in the country. And the service it providesresponding to crises that would elsewhere, by default, become police mattershas lately drawn national attention.

White Bird was founded in 1969, in part to respond to the fallout of that decades radical upheavals, which had left a lot of runaways and unhoused young people in countercultural hubs like Eugene. The clinic was formed by an ad hoc collective of graduate students, medical workers, and concerned citizens who wanted to help people they knew would be unlikely to seek help from the police or enroll in regular treatment for their problems. It eventually evolved into a more formal, official programat the request of the Eugene Police Department itself.

This wasnt as radical a shift as it might sound, according to David Zeiss, one of the clinics earliest members, who retired in 2014 but remains on its board of directors. Throughout the 1970s, some Eugene policemen would informally call on us for help, he said. The police recognized the value of their unique service, and that interest only grew during the 1980s, when the concept of community policing enjoyed one of its cyclical periods of currency. But in the years leading up to the announcement of a formal collaboration between the clinic and the police department, there was a vigorous debate on both sides about how closely the crisis responders and law enforcement officers could be allies.

Zeiss himself was a holdout. I had a cluster of concerns, he said, including how well the police would maintain patient confidentiality, and whether the alliance would violate the public trust from the point of view of their most vulnerable client populations. What changed his mind, finally, was the promise of relatively abundant, consistent funding for crisis intervention.

On the other side, the decisive swing vote on the city council to approve a pilot program in 1989 came from a conservative councilman who was not politically aligned with White Bird, but who had had family members helped by CAHOOTS, according to the Clinics coordinator Ben Brubaker. One of the concessions negotiated in this early phase by Zeiss was that the police would not force CAHOOTS responders to take down anyones last nameso a crisis call would not trigger a warrant check and possible arrest. And Zeiss found that his initial misgivings evaporated as the decades went by. Now, there is much less mistrust in both directions, because we have literally waited out a whole generation of Eugene police, he said. Theres essentially no one left in the force who doesnt know about CAHOOTS; we have become sort of a background assumption.

Despite the passage of time, White Birds radical founding ethos lives on. Its charter stipulates that no member can make more than 25 percent more than the lowest-paid employees wage. Today, CAHOOTS responders earn eighteen dollars an hour, though a growing number of employees are pressing to raise the hourly wage to twenty-five dollars. But it remains a consensus-based organization, which holds regular, and sometimes intense, all-hands meetings, so staff members first have to persuade all their colleagues that their jobs merit higher compensation and then have to succeed in renegotiating the organizations contracts with the Eugene and Springfield police departments.

I think twenty-five dollars is highly, highly feasible, said Robert Parrish, who joined CAHOOTS in 2004 and is the currently longest-serving responder. It reflects the fact that our jobs have elements of risk and require a degree of training that is just a little different from other programs at the centerand a higher wage would help people think of this as a long-term career, rather than a waystation. For a CAHOOTS worker who takes four twelve-hour shifts a week, their salary works out to about $43,000 a year. The starting wage for a Eugene police officer is $64,542.40 (at an hourly wage of $31.03) and can go up to over $82,000.

I feel like were presented as a low-cost model to save money, said Williams, who is in favor of renegotiating wages sooner. We are an alternative to the police, sure, but were also a mental health first-responders organization on our own. Its not as though the police are just allowing us to use their radios for fun.

CAHOOTS has three vans available, two constantly circulating Eugene, the other in the adjacent town of Springfield, with professional in each. These responders usually log between fifty and seventy reports such as Tiffanys in every twenty-four-hour period.

Williamss and Hubbards shift runs from 5:00 PM one day to 5:00 AM the next. Together, they encounter the full gamut of urban human distress: drug overdoses, mental health crises, potential suicides, public intoxication, and first aid emergencies. Many of their dispatches come through 911 calls, but some also come through CAHOOTSs own crisis line.

The demand for CAHOOTSs interventions has ballooned, with the number of calls per year doubling from 2014 to 2018. By its own reporting, the programs statistics are impressive: last year, their staff needed to call for police backup on only 150 of about 23,000 calls. The numbers are shaping up to be roughly similar this year, though precise data has not yet been tallied, said Brubaker. And in its entire history, not a single responder has been seriously injured on a call, said Parrish, despite some intense situations.

Well before this summers historic protests against police brutality, CAHOOTS had been advising similar projects and pilot programs in cities such as Denver, Oakland, Portland, and Olympia, Washington, which voted to create an unarmed Crisis Response Unit in 2017. But the experiences of CAHOOTS and its spinoffs have gained a new, instructive pertinence as municipalities nationwide look to divest parts of their public safety apparatus from police departments.

In November 2017, Olympia residents voted for a public safety levy, a property tax to address the public safety situation in its downtown area, especially to address mental health issues. When Anne Larsen took on the task of establishing a crisis response team in Olympia, she made it her business to learn how CAHOOTS operated. Her official job title is outreach services coordinator for the Olympia police, but she had to muscle Olympias version of the program through the police department.

The city ended up contracting with a company called Recovery Innovations International to hire a small team of workers, now numbering six, who form its Crisis Response Unit. Last quarter, they handled 511 calls, said Larsen. Parrish came up from Portland in April 2019 to help train the team, riding along with CRU responders for three days.

The CRU has different priorities and constraints to CAHOOTS. It cannot involve EMTs, because in Washington State emergency medicine falls under the purview of the fire department, not the police department. And its staff, who are mainly trained as social workers, are not currently eligible for the police union, so they have much less liability protection. Limited funding also means the service is not round the clock.

I thought we would have access to more calls, Aana Sundling, a crisis responder, told me, but it turns out, even responding to suicide attempts is sort of above our pay grade.

Initially skepticalCRU members were not quick studies with radio dispatch etiquette, for one thingthe Olympia police department has quickly come to see the value of their work. When I started in policing more than twenty years ago, the approach to something like homelessness was to just arrest people constantly so that they would have no incentive to stay in the city, said Lieutenant Sam Costello, head of Community Policing. Wed get some callers ten times a night and did not have any solution that was not handcuffs. And now, we just call CRU and they handle it.

For over a year now, Tim Black, the program coordinator of CAHOOTS, Anne Larsen in Olympia, and counterparts in Oakland, Portland, and Toronto have regularly corresponded about their initiatives through email. For models seeking to emulate CAHOOTS, said Parrish, its probably most important to know that people might not immediately buy in, but that they should give people time to evolve.

I think the biggest thing that weve encountered this summer, said Black, who has been fielding hundreds of consulting requests lately, is that theres this perception that this type of model can only occur if and when police departments are reduced. [But] were not trying to make decisions around public safety funding for other communities. All were trying to do is articulate that theres a very distinct need for a behavioral-health-first response.

At first sight, employing trained crisis responders instead of police to address acute emergencies seems like a pragmatic fix that could potentially command very broad community support. Setting up such programs need not, for example, hinge on defunding the police, though they could just as easily be part of a radical overhaul of a police department and its budget. To the responders in Eugene and Olympia, though, access to police radio is not simply a necessary tool for the job, but also a guarantee of last-resort security.

Its funny because were lately presented as an alternative to the police, but we couldnt do our job without the police, said Henry Cakebread, another CAHOOTS member. They underscore our safety.

Hubbard said she has called for police backup when agitated people have run into traffic, for domestic violence situations, and even, occasionally, during suicide attempts, if verbal de-escalation doesnt do the job. All of our actions are voluntary, but if police deem someone an imminent danger, they can force them to go to the hospital, said Cakebread.

This kind of delicate and, again, sharply circumscribed alliance between police and crisis responders requires a degree of cooperation, comfort, and trust that is actively worked for over time. CAHOOTS interventions also depend on a value-neutral, nonjudgmental handling of manifestations of serious social problems that is counterintuitive and deeply unfamiliar to most US agencies currently involved in public safety. On top of that, these projects have thus far depended on recruiting, training, and retaining a large staffCAHOOTS has about forty active respondersthat is both comfortable with their intensive approach and willing to work in an intense environment at much lower salaries and with fewer benefits than police officers.


CAHOOTSs headquarters is a grey-shingled one-story house on West Seventh Avenue. Inside, there are rows of metal lockers for the responders who shuffle in and out all day, a meeting room, couches, and a kitchen with a well-worn microwave. There are mountains of first-aid supplies and food donations. The responders wear T-shirts with the White Bird logo, long pants, and heavy-duty shoes like Doc Martens and Blundstones. They sling police radios on coiled cables across their chests. I accompanied pairs of them on three of their standard twelve-hour shifts, two through the night and one in the daytime.

Their vans are stocked with water bottles, tuna packets, and Ritz crackers, as well as, since the pandemic started, boxes of plastic gloves and extra masks. A cabinet attached to one side of the van holds basic medicines and first-aid supplies, and personal hygiene items like tampons.

There is no typical shift, and the calls I observed included: bringing several people to the university hospitals emergency room, picking up used syringes whose locations were called in as tips, transporting unhoused people to shelters for the night or giving others blankets and extra shirts, dressing wounds for people living in motels and shelters, rousing a woman who had overdosed on a strangers doorstep in a residential complex, talking a young trans girl through her suicidal ideation, and counseling a man who had gotten too drunk to go to his scheduled detox program and had to make it through another night at home with his beleaguered wife.

CAHOOTS EMTs have a slightly different job description than a hospital EMT, said Williams. I dont do things like IV drips and intubation, but I do respond to chronic unmanaged conditions that traditional EMS would not. This often includes wound care and dressing, especially for chronic drug users. One man on a shift I attended had had his leg wound dressed for several days in a row by CAHOOTS; his right calf had had an inch-deep cavity that had been eaten away by maggots.

Repeat clientele is a pervasive phenomenon. On both of the nights I was on call, the responders addressed a seventy-two-year-old woman, Andrea, with both bipolar disorder and kidney failure, living with her daughter and son-in-law. She had gotten in the habit of calling CAHOOTS herself. When Williams and Hubbard rang their townhouses doorbell early on Thursday morning, her daughter told them with weary resignation that Andrea had taken all her clothes off and peed everywhere.

Williams and Hubbard coaxed Andrea to put on some clothes and talked to her for an hour. They project a feeling of expansive leisure in these encounters, listening patiently to her stories about her youth and letting her flip through a photo album, but returning at regular intervals to the practical matter of whether she wanted to go to the hospital. Eventually, they asked Andrea one last time and she, in a small voice, said, Yes. So they brought her to the ER, where a nurse cleaned her upshe had soiled her outfit and shoes on the ride overand set her up in a bed for the night. Andrea turned to Hubbard and said, Can I say Im going to die? and started softly crying.

Three days later, I found myself at Andreas house again, with two other responders, watching her flip through the same photo album. It was clear this time that she just wanted to talk to someone that night and once she called CAHOOTS, they were obliged to respond. Cakebread and Simone Tessler, the responders on call, indulged her for a while. Cakebread politely but firmly asked her if they could take any practical measures.

What can we do to make your night more enjoyable? he asked her.

Well, youre doing it now, Andrea said, in a girlish voice. You have smiling eyes.

When it became apparent that she didnt want any concrete action on her behalf this time, the responders said their goodbyes and left.

The constricted time frame for interventions permitted by CAHOOTS protocol can be applied quite severely. On one daytime shift I attended with Parrish and Summer Johnson, a twenty-year-old boy facing eviction the next day was looking for a place to sleep for two nights until he could get on a bus to his hometown in Ohio. Parrish listened attentively to his plight, but they couldnt book him a bed in any shelter that far in advance, so they told him to call the hotline back tomorrow. In fact, Parrish would be on the same shift the following day and would likely be the responder again, but CAHOOTSs rules permit only a response to a present crisis, as opposed to something that involves plans and forward arrangements. We meet people where they are, said Cakebread, summoning the CAHOOTS refrain to give me another example, so we will treat a lot of cuts and wounds arising from domestic violence in people who want to stay in their relationship. They would not, he said, try to counsel anyone to leave such a relationship outright.

Not everyone can work within these stringent methodological constraints. Between 30 and 60 percent of new EMTS dont complete the induction, Cakebread told me. And as dedicated as those crisis workers who complete the training are, they all made clear to me that many outcomes of their efforts are only as good as the patchwork of social services available to their clients in Eugenefor example, other staffed services like the Hourglass Community Crisis Center, a 24/7 facility with counselors on call, where people in a tough situation can stay for up to twenty-three hours. CAHOOTSs parent organization, White Bird, also offers a broad suite of more long-term social services, from housing assistance to dentistry, at its three outposts. But the responders options for cases involving high or inebriated clients, for instance, have shrunk when just a single sobering center shuttered in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tim Black said that the pandemic also compounded the chronic health problems that often manifest as CAHOOTS emergency calls: Many people [especially unhoused people, who often dont have reliable access to cell phones or laptops] couldnt figure out telemedicine, and chronic medical conditions had a chance to kind of ferment.

On top of that, Eugene has the highest per capita homeless population in the US and, anecdotally, the number of unhoused people living there has increased even more since the pandemic started. With a chronic shortage of beds in the handful of shelters in town, theres little prospect of a more comprehensive, longer-term solution.

Its clear that a CAHOOTS response is more appropriate to the immediate needs of these clients than one by an armed policeman. What is less obvious is the logical next step for clients at the receiving end of multiple emergency visits.

There will always be a need for a crisis response team in a given city, but its not really going to solve long-term problems, said Daniel Herman, a professor at Hunter Colleges Silberman School of Social Work. I think this is comparable to some of the challenges faced in healthcare, when you think about what can be done in an emergency room. People often see regulars in the ER and have to treat them every time, even if the reason theyre coming is due to a chronic condition.

Herman, who is in his sixties and has worked on mental health and crisis interventions for four decades, said that, in thinking through the structural problems underlying crisis responses, most people in my field would probably start with adequate housing. (This is sometimes referred to as a housing first approach.) As long as the US is a place where we believe that housing isnt a basic right, these other problems will be there, unfortunately, he concluded.

More than a hundred people a month become newly homeless in Lane County, which includes Eugene, according to one 2018 report, but there are still only a handful of shelters. In March, near the beginning of the pandemic, the Oregon statehouse voted down funding for a new, seventy-five-bed shelter in Eugene. The city still intends to build one, but there is no definite timeline for that as of now. This disjunction between an escalating long-term crisis and slow-moving, limited social services has put CAHOOTS, by default, in the position of bridging this unmet demand for help.

Beyond the CAHOOTS model, housing-first programs, peer support, supported employment and education, and easy and timely access to health services should all be a part of a regions public health mandate, said Amy Watson, a social work professor at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee. These are, in fact, part of the White Bird Clinics agenda, so the problems are ones of scale, funding, and political will. But absent this far more comprehensive mandate, these problems would exist with or without the crisis responders, as Larsen said in Olympia, so we have a choice how to respond at every step.

And just the first step of outreach is not the least. In Olympia, I met Larry Jefferson, a Black public defender, who lost his son Jandon, aged twenty-three, to an overdose in June. Jandon had struggled at school and was then homeless for five years. He went through so many psych wards, but I just couldnt help him, Jefferson told me. In early 2020, Jefferson had been contacted by one of Olympias crisis responders, who asked him, very simply, what Jandons favorite snacks were. Goldfish crackers, Jefferson replied instantly. For the next six months, Jefferson knew that responders were checking in on Jandon, who stabilized to a point where he was communicating with his family again. Even though that intervention could not save him from overdosing, we wouldnt have had those last six months with him without this crisis team, said Jefferson, his voice cracking. We had our best Mothers Day in ten years.

In his job, Jefferson works closely with incarcerated people and is no stranger to the shortcomings of law enforcement. I think Olympia Police Department has the same problems as every other PDbut it also has this, he said, of the crisis responders. Gosh, I just love that van.

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In Place of Police: The Oregon Experiment | by Krithika Varagur - The New York Review of Books

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From Bali to Berlin: The art of putting ink to skin – Jakarta Post09.20.20

Since he opened Kayon Tattoo Art Studio in 2014, Bhoman F. Jamhari made sure to get to know his neighbors.Hospitality is everything, he said while enjoying a cup of coffee and engaging in friendly chitchat with the people passing by his tattoo studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg, an area of the city well known for its diverse cultural life.I think at least one person in every building on this street has been tattooed by me, he laughs. Its important to be part of the community. When we organize get-togethers at Kayon, they are open to anyone.Bhoman applies the same welcoming attitude to the artists who work in his tattoo studio: instead of looking for fame and glory for himself, he envisions Kayon as a place where artists can learn and inspire one another.After all, he explains, if it had not been for the support and help of others i...

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From Bali to Berlin: The art of putting ink to skin - Jakarta Post

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Turnover chains, cult-hero kickers and a star QB? Miami’s resurgence highlights college football’s Week 3 – ESPN09.20.20

There was a time, believe it or not, when people watched TV shows one episode at a time, used telephones to call their friends and the college football world was dominated by the Miami Hurricanes. It was called the 1990s. Ask your parents.

In the two decades since, a lot has changed. We binge our TV. Our phones are for watching videos of cats and making snide comments to complete strangers about college kickers. And Miami, well, anyone can have a bad start to a millennium.

But the universe is a closed system, and time, as a wise Texas Longhorns staffer Matthew McConaughey once said, is a flat circle. So here we are, in the year 2020 -- arguably the most unusual and surreal year in our lifetimes -- and Miami is, once again, a force.

The Canes' offense, maligned and miserable just 10 months ago, was explosive in an emphatic 47-34 win over Louisville on Saturday, with QB D'Eriq King offering fair warning to the rest of the college football world that, oh yes, Miami is indeed back. Back to intimidating opponents, back to contender status, back to being a genuine, prime-time, can't-miss attraction.

Oh, sure, we could point out that last year's Miami team also hung 52 on Louisville, while former QB Jarren Williams threw six touchdowns, then scored just 41 more points the rest of the year. But what fun would that be? This is a redemption story, and Miami is back.

And yes, we've heard this story before. Miami was back in 2009 and 2013 and 2017 -- essentially every time a reboot of Spider-Man happened -- and those all proved to be false alarms. But this time is different; it has to be.

Look at our college football world today. The SEC has yet to play a game. The Big Ten won't be back for a month. Tuesday night MAC-tion has been replaced by talking to our kids.

And then a hero came along. A hero by the name of Lou Hedley, an inked-up Australian who once owned a tattoo shop in Bali and hung power lines in the backcountry, now punting for the Canes.

What will the College Football Playoff look like in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic? Worry not about the end-of-season hardware. Today, we have the Turnover Chain 4.0, a bedazzled map of Florida serving as background for a glimmering Miami logo. It's the Heart of the Ocean if it were designed by Pitbull.


Al Blades Jr. picks off Malik Cunningham and delights his teammates by putting on the turnover chain.

How long will we have to wait for an Alabama kicker to miss a critical PAT this year? Who cares. Miami has Jose Borregales booting 57-yard field goals with ease.

Worried that perhaps Rob Gronkowski won't provide the state of Florida with a truly great tight end this year? Just watch Brevin Jordan go to work at Miami. Though, admittedly, he shows up shirtless at clubs less often than Gronk does.

Is the hype real? That's the wrong question to ask. It doesn't matter if Miami is back next week or next month or whenever it runs into the Clemson juggernaut. It matters that Miami is back now, on this Saturday, when we needed it most.

Miami isn't the hero we wanted. It's the hero we needed.

Boston College kicked off the Jeff Hafley era with a dominant effort against Duke, coming away with five takeaways in a 26-6 win.

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As good as the defense was, however, the star of the show was new BC QB -- and former Notre Dame backup -- Phil Jurkovec. The one-time ESPN 300 recruit arrived from Notre Dame this spring and was given a waiver to play immediately by the NCAA. He finished the day 17-of-23 for 300 yards and two touchdowns.

The last time a BC quarterback completed 70% of his throws, had 300 yards through the air and tossed multiple TD passes? That would be Matt Ryan, way back in 2007.

And, if you're keeping score at home, Jurkovec's numbers against Duke also eclipsed his former teammate, Notre Dame's Ian Book, who was 19-of-31 for 263 yards and one TD last week against the Blue Devils.

All great stories are trilogies, and so it is that the Big Ten, for the third time this year, released a schedule for its teams on Saturday. As third installments go, it was well ahead of "Godfather III" in terms of rounding out a narrative, but not as much fun as "Return of the Jedi" overall. Should have replaced Rutgers with Ewoks.

But, for the sake of posterity, here's our inarguable ranking of the league's schedules this year:

1. The first one, with nine conference games. You can never top the original cast.2. The third one, with eight conference games. Not perfect, but at least it gave Nebraska something else to complain about.3. The second one, with 10 conference games. Like Season 2 of "Friday Night Lights," this was just a ploy for ratings with some utterly perplexing plot lines.

Remember last week, when we anointed the Sun Belt as America's conference? Well, heavy is the head that wears the crown ... or belt, as the case may be.

Last week's Sun Belt darling, Louisiana, looked like it had a New Orleans-style hangover for its game against Georgia State, falling behind 14-0 and 21-7 before mounting a late comeback. Still, the Ragin' Cajuns needed overtime to beat Georgia State 34-31 -- a narrow escape that could keep them in the top 25 for one more week.


After trailing Georgia State by 14 points in the third quarter, Louisiana rallies to force overtime where Elijah Mitchell scores a rushing touchdown to seal the 34-31 victory.

The conference's defending champs weren't so fortunate. Appalachian State struggled badly trying to run the ball against Marshall and failed to score two touchdowns in a game for the first time since 2017 against Georgia.

With Arkansas State postponing its game due to a COVID-19 outbreak, we can officially put the Sun Belt's playoff hopes on hold for at least one week. But hey, still plenty of good seats on the Troy bandwagon.

With App State's loss, one of the top contenders for what we presume will still be a New Year's Six bid can be crossed off. So, who is left as the best team in the three non-Power 5 leagues still playing?

UCF certainly checks all the boxes. Dillon Gabriel threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Georgia Tech -- the Knights' fifth victory over a Power 5 school since 2017. We can taste the claimed national title champagne already.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati -- the highest ranked team outside the Power 5 -- made its season debut and walloped Austin Peay, with head coach Luke Fickell even suggesting afterward that his team really hadn't needed spring practice. The Bearcats were ready to go.

Then there is the team that knocked off App State. Marshall has played twice and looked incredibly impressive both times. Brenden Knox went for 138 yards and a TD in the win over the Mountaineers. Meanwhile, Marshall's defense has allowed just seven points this season.

For now, we'll give the edge to the Herd, if only because we love this guy.


With 30 seconds left in the football game, all this Marshall fan can do is dance to celebrate the Thundering Herd's win.

The Big Ten is coming back. The Pac-12 looks to be close on its heels. We might get something approaching a complete football season after all. That's good news.

But, let's also take a quick step back from applauding the outcome thus far.

Pick the winner of 10 college football matchups each week. Play straight up or confidence. Make Your Picks

Yes, games have been played. And no, we haven't been told anyone has caught the virus due to on-field, in-game contact. Is that success? Perhaps.

But even with an already abridged schedule in Week 3, five different games were postponed or canceled, including the Houston-Baylor matchup that was just scheduled a week earlier due to two other cancelations. Memphis went ahead and canceled a second straight game, nixing next Saturday's matchup with UTSA. Several other games were impacted as key players missed action due to COVID-19 protocols.

In fact, through three weeks, of the 62 FBS teams with a game scheduled to have been played already, 28 have already had a game impacted by the virus. That's 45%.

So yeah, it's great the Big Ten is on its way back, but with some stringent testing requirements and little wiggle room built into the schedule, it's not exactly a success story just yet.

Texas State gave SMU a game in its opener then took UTSA into overtime, losing in the most painful of fashions (college kicker problems). But Jake Spavital finally picked up a W on Saturday in impressive fashion, thumping ULM 38-17 as QB Tyler Vitt threw for two scores and ran for a third. After missing Week 1 due to COVID-19, Vitt has 602 passing yards and seven TDs in the past two weeks. Is Texas State any good? That might be a bit of an overstatement, but the Armadillos -- err, the Bobcats! -- aren't going to be an easy out for teams in 2020.

Navy's comeback from down 24-0 against Tulane was preordained. The Midshipmen are simply cover machines following a loss, according to ESPN Stats and Information research. In their past six games after a loss, Navy is 6-0 against the spread, including a 5-1 mark straight up.

Boston College was a 6-point underdog most of the week against Duke, and let's just say the team took note. After the Eagles scorched Duke 26-6, BC's official Twitter account offered a reminder of just how wrong the handicappers in Las Vegas were about them.

If you managed to snag Clemson at -50.5, you were certainly feeling pretty good as the Tigers took a 49-0 lead into halftime. It was the most Clemson had scored in the first half in the Dabo Swinney era. So, what happened in the second half? Goose egg. Clemson needed just a field goal to cover, but with the starters on the sideline, the Tigers' backups managed absolutely nothing and likely had bettors wondering why Trevor Lawrence couldn't have gotten just a few more snaps in before calling it a day.

Hugh Freeze had his guys rolling in Liberty's season opener, including new starting QB and former Auburn transfer Malik Willis, who racked up 168 yards on the ground and ran for three touchdowns. But if you're looking for a real highlight from the game, it came through the air, as CJ Yarbrough made an absolutely unbelievably one-handed catch on a back-shoulder throw to the sideline, tapping down a toe for a 21-yard gain.


Liberty WR CJ Yarbrough leaps high and catches the ball with one hand while just getting a foot down in bounds.

Clemson's easy 49-0 win over The Citadel lacked any drama, so you're forgiven if you didn't tune in. Still, you missed Trevor Lawrence doing some really good Trevor Lawrence things. If anyone ever asks why he is going to be the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft, just show them this throw.


Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence lobs a 44-yard pass into the end zone and WR Amari Rodgers secures the touchdown while falling to the ground.

The first six quarters of the season were not great for Navy. Actually, it's the worst the Navy has looked since Tom Arnold starred in the remake of "McHale's Navy." After a woeful 55-3 loss to BYU two weeks ago that coach Ken Niumatalolo blamed on a lack of contact in fall camp, the Midshipmen mustered just three first downs in the first half on Saturday and trailed Tulane 24-0.

Turns out, this was perfect strategy.

The second half was all Middies, and one week after Tulane erased a 24-6 halftime deficit, the Green Wave watched their 24-point lead dry up, with Bijan Nichols drilling a 33-yard field goal to win it as time expired.

So, to clarify Navy's novel strategy: No practicing properly is bad, and practicing properly is good.


Navy was down 24-0 at halftime then scored 27 unanswered points to take home a wild win over Tulane.

We'll wait until he plays a game before we add Justin Fields back into our Heisman watch list. For now, we'll only include players with action under their belts.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Remember when Lawrence was less than dynamic in his first few games last year and everyone wondered what went wrong? No need to worry this year. His stats through two games: 30-of-37 for 519 yards and seven total TDs.

2. Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

An open date for Oklahoma, but Rattler probably threw 12 touchdowns against some random kid from Muskogee in a game of Madden.

3. Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas

Texas also was off Saturday, which means that next week, we can officially say, Texas is back, baby!

4. Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame

Williams only got 10 carries in a blowout of USF, but he still managed 62 yards to go with 205 scrimmage yards in Week 2.

5. D'Eriq King, QB, Miami

He made plays with his legs in Miami's opener. In Game No. 2, King showed off his arm, throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns in a huge win for the Canes.

SMU's offense was on fire Saturday, putting up 710 yards and hanging 65 points in a win against North Texas. Shane Buechele was exceptional, throwing four touchdowns; but he was not the star, because the Mustangs have a running back with arguably the best name in college football, and he was absolutely electric. Ulysses Bentley IV had 19 carries against the Mean Green and took three of them to the house, racking up 227 yards in the process. It should be easy enough to remember the name, but odds are, we'll be hearing it plenty this season.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wake Forest found a star in sophomore Kenneth Walker III. Truth is, Walker also was pretty darned good last year in a limited role, averaging 7.5 yards per carry on first down, evading 20 tackles on just 98 carries and finishing behind only Travis Etienne in yards after contact per carry among ACC backs. But Walker really arrived Saturday, as he ran for 131 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Demon Deacons erase two 14-point deficits, before ultimately falling 45-42.

And anyone who thought Cam'Ron Harris' performance against UAB was a fluke should take note that the Miami tailback went over 100 yards for the second straight game, racking up 134 yards on just nine carries, including a 75-yard touchdown scamper. Harris is the first Miami back to post 100 rush yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games since Mark Walton in 2017.

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Turnover chains, cult-hero kickers and a star QB? Miami's resurgence highlights college football's Week 3 - ESPN

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Meet the Tattoo Artist Who’s Inked Adam Levine and Trippie Redd – INKED09.19.20

The human body is Sasha Masiuks canvas. When approached with a project, she assesses every person as an individual and analyzes them to create a design that is harmonious with their unique form. Her process isnt a matter of copy-and-pasting a drawing onto the clients body, but an opportunity to give them a permanent piece of art that was supposed to be there all along. We sat down with Masiuk to understand how she came to love ornamental tattooing and what she aspires to create in 2020.

What was your upbringing like in Ukraine and how did you become a tattoo artist?

I was born and raised in Ukraine, but I developed as an artist in Russia. I was a self-learner and my path started when my husband bought me a tattoo machine. I started learning and practiced on my friends and myself. By trial and error, as it usually happens, I established my style. After the first attempts I understoodthis is it! I knew that I wanted to create something special and unique, without repetitions, with every tattoo I designed.

When you first started tattooing, who were your favorite artists?

Who are some of your favorite artists today? I started tattooing when I was 21 and drew a lot of inspiration from the Western artists, such as Thomas Hooper. His dotwork and mandalas helped me decide that this was the style I wanted to work in.

My most recent inspiration is Black Prada. We collaborated on a project and his work was such a pleasure to observe. He turns the human body into a canvas and works with large areas, creating striking designs with scale and accuracy.

What inspires you to create tattoos with delicate lines and shading?

What kind of clientele does your work appeal to? I just like how they look. I do my best for it to be natural and harmonize with the body both in shading and in form. My designs appeal mostly to young women, as they are tender and feminine, but Im always ready to try something new.

Do you prefer to work on a large or small scale?

To be honest, I prefer larger scale tattoos. Its hard when people start with something small and then want to continue filling a sleeve. I make every tattoo, even the small ones, complete, so its hard to add something to them. That is why I like working with big projects over several days.

What do you hope to tattoo more of this year?

The first thing Id like to do is to work in my own style. Thats why I love the American clientele, as they come to get tattoos specifically from me. I get the opportunity to do what I like and give them advice, change ideas and fantasize. I would also love to have the opportunity to work on more big projects.

When youre not tattooing, what do you enjoy doing?

Im usually spending time with my family. My son is 3 now and I love taking him to the ocean for long walks.

How do you hope to expand and grow your tattoo shop?

We have just moved to a big studio in downtown Los Angeles and I work there together with Nora, my colleague. We have several stations reserved for guest artists who travel around the USA. They are always welcome at our studio, we are glad to meet new people.

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Meet the Tattoo Artist Who's Inked Adam Levine and Trippie Redd - INKED

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From Bali to Berlin: The art of putting ink to skin – The Jakarta Post – Jakarta Post09.19.20

Since he opened Kayon Tattoo Art Studio in 2014, Bhoman F. Jamhari made sure to get to know his neighbors.

Hospitality is everything, he said while enjoying a cup of coffee and engaging in friendly chitchat with the people passing by his tattoo studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg, an area of the city well known for its diverse cultural life.

I think at least one person in every building on this street has been tattooed by me, he laughs. Its important to be part of the community. When we organize get-togethers at Kayon, they are open to anyone.

Bhoman applies the same welcoming attitude to the artists who work in his tattoo studio: instead of looking for fame and glory for himself, he envisions Kayon as a place where artists can learn and inspire one another.

After all, he explains, if it had not been for the support and help of others in his life, he would not be where he is today.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic that has brought life to a standstill not only in Berlin, but all over the world Bhoman said the most important thing was to help flattening the curve. He closed his studio to minimize the risk but now, as the situation improves, it is back in business.

Around the world: Bhoman F. Jamhari moved from Bali to Berlin almost 15 years ago and opened his own tattoo studio in 2014. (Courtesy of Katrin Figge/-)

Bhomans own life story is part adventure, part romance novel.

Born in Jakarta in 1978, he developed a strong passion for painting and drawing early on. However, he quickly realized that Indonesias capital was not the city he wanted to live in.

As a budding artist, he wanted to try his luck in Bali. After a detour to Yogyakarta, where he stayed for a couple of months, he finally arrived in Denpasar in 1998.

It was very hard to survive at the beginning, he recalls. I basically had nothing but the clothes on my back and Rp 75,000 (US$5.13) in my pocket.

Despite his initial struggle, Bhoman found a way to make it work. He earned money by making temporary tattoos and dedicated more time to painting again.

At a surf shop owned by his friend, Bhoman was able to set up shop and sell his works, while continuing his temporary tattoo business on the side. Gradually, he settled into life in Bali and established himself in the local art scene so much so that he opened his art shop named Sacred Spirit Fine Art Gallery.

In the meantime, he had also fallen in love with a German wedding planner working in Bali. He admits with a smile that it wasnt always smooth sailing, but in every relationship, one must be willing to compromise.

We had to overcome some difficulties, Bhoman says. We had different notions about how our future life should look like. I was content with continuing painting, selling my works here and there, and living from one day to the next without making long-term plans for the future. She was the complete opposite. I realized after a while that she was right, and since I was in love and wanted the relationship to work out, I was willing to change.

Everything seemed to be going in the right direction. That is why the Bali bombings in 2002, which claimed 202 lives, hit him hard. The tourism industry on the island suffered immensely and was just on the road to recovery when suicide bombers carried out another attack in 2005, killing 23 people.

With their financial situation in limbo, Bhomans girlfriend now his wife decided to go back to Germany.

It was not easy for me to pack my bags and follow her to a completely foreign country, he says. I didnt speak the language, and I was quite afraid of the cold weather during wintertime. But I still took the plunge and arrived here in 2006.

Bhoman immediately enrolled in German language classes and completed an apprenticeship in Berlin in stage design and as a scene painter for theaters something he thoroughly enjoyed because he could use and further hone his skills as a painter. It was not until 2007 that he rediscovered his passion for tattooing.

At a tattoo convention here in Berlin, I reconnected with an old friend from Bali, a tattoo artist, who had since relocated to Frankfurt, he recalls. Shortly afterward, Bhoman began to travel to Frankfurt on a regular basis, mostly on the weekends, to help out his friend and perfect his own skills as a tattoo artist.

In 2014, Bhoman was confident enough to open his own tattoo studio, Kayon Tattoo Atelier. With a growing clientele from all around the country he even counts football players like Gotoku Sakai and Pierre-Michel Lasogga among his customers it was the logical next step.

As a tattoo artist, Bhoman has begun to include traditional Indonesian designs in his repertoire, such as batik motifs, in recent years. That way, he says, he stays connected to his home country.

I love being part of other peoples life through my art, he says.

Once Kayon Tattoo Atelier was up and running, Bhoman welcomed other tattoo artists to join him as well. Currently, he shares his space with Jerin from Indonesia, Sam from Germany and Elina Swan from Latvia.

Helping young tattoo artists to grow is something that is important to me, he explains. It also gives me more flexibility, and I can spend time with my children. I can truly say that I am very happy right now. (ste)

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