What got my attention was the Yelp rating. Five stars. If I know anything about the internet, it's that people love to get on Yelp and complain. But the Charmed Life tattoo parlor in northeast Baltimore has five stars, with reviewers citing the friendliness and efficiency of the tattoo artists working there. I had to find out more.
Via Charmed Life Gallery's Facebook
I went to the site and found Mike Kohler's portfolio
. For the Route One customer, whose hunger for Maryland swag never goes away, it was a dream. Utz girl? Check. Maryland flag? Check. Huge piece of all the Maryland symbols? Check, check and check.
Mike's done a lot of Maryland tattoos that he says have the same basic elements. "Flag, crab, black-eyed Susans, O's and/or Ravens." So if your taste leans towards the classics, Mike's your man. You can also come to him if you want something a little different.
"I really enjoy doing ones that are personal for people," he said. "I have done pieces of someone's childhood neighborhood, or ones that tell the history of Maryland. I'm currently working on one that shows the bombardment of Fort McHenry. I think when someone sacrifices a large portion of their body strictly for Baltimore or Maryland that shows true dedication."
Mike says he loves the good vibe of Baltimore, where he meets all kinds of people. He also said that Maryland is the right place to be if you're in the market for some new body art.
"A lot of Marylanders like to get tattooed," he said. "And they like to get a lot of them. " Just ask Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte or Zack Merrick of All Time Low, all of whom hail from the Old Line State. But Mike warns not to get a tattoo just because your favorite rock star or actor has one.
"Make it personal to yourself," Mike said. "Don't let trends dictate what you're putting on your body. Stay away from the celebrity and Pinterest tattoos." That infinity sign might look cool now, but if it's not meaningful, it won't give you any joy after the trend has passed.
He also advises researching your tattoo artist--so be sure to look at both his and the Charmed Life Gallery's Instagram pages to see if this the style matches your own aesthetic. I would hazard a guess that a lover of Route One Apparel--and all the fantastic Maryland symbology--is going to like it just fine.
Mike bleeds Maryland colors just like us. He says he can't even narrow his favorite part of living in Maryland to one thing. He describes himself as a history nerd and loves the richness of Maryland's past, but the food and sports aren't to be ignored either. Sounds like we need to book at date with him at Charmed Life, pronto.
Ready to do just that? Call 443-449-7630
, or visit Charmed Life on 4505 Harford Road in Baltimore.
This post was written by Route One Apparel blogger, Eva Niessner.