177 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA
Artists: Scott Sylvia, Tim Lehi, Jeff Rassier, Nick Rodin, and Mike Lucena.
When you ask Blackheart owner Scott Sylvia what sets his studio apart from the sea of shops in the Bay Area, you are likely to hear words like “established” and “tradition” somewhere in his response. And, “We don’t suck,” he says seriously. “There are only a handful of good shops left in the area,” Sylvia says with a combination of ruefulness and pride, “and we’re one of them.” Having logged more than 14 years working in and around San Francisco, Sylvia considers himself and the members of his team to be part of an elite group of artists. “That level of experience counts for something,” Sylvia says. Opened in 2004 by Sylvia, with friends Jeff Rassier and Tom Lehi, both of whom he’s known and worked with at several locales for the past 15 years, Blackheart specializes in American Traditional and Japanese styles. But, says Sylvia, “It’s tattooing. We do what people ask us to do.”
Eat: Bodhi, 211 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA, 415-626-7750; Head to Vietnamese restaurant Bodhi for some bangin’ basil chicken.
Drink: Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA, 415-255-7505; Grab a beer from this bar’s extensive list and head to the back patio to soak up some sunshine.
Spend: Borderland Books, 866 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA, 415-824-8203; Small and funky, this is the place for new and used horror, sci-fi, and fantasy books. They even carry hard-to-find, out-of-print stuff.