Best Tattoo Parlor
Tattoos have become so commonplace lately that choosing a tattoo artist is now akin to choosing a hairdresser. And while it's hard to complain about the plethora of clean, well-lighted places to get tattooed in the Bay Area, the mainstreaming of body art has definitely hurt some of tattooing's outsider appeal. Luckily, Temple Tattoo in downtown Oakland (open by Tattoo City alum Freddy Corbin in 1998) manages to be both inviting and underground. You'll find no "image consultants" here — all of Temple's extremely talented artists are heavily inked tough guys with hearts of gold. The neon window sign, scads of religious iconography, and buzz of tattoo guns give the open studio an old-school vibe; but fret not, all the equipment's hospital clean, and customers are treated with respect. Most of the flash on the walls is fairly traditional, but looking through the artists' individual books shows off a world of talent in illustration, whether your tastes run toward Sailor Jerry or Sailor Moon.