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    This article appears in the December 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit

    The fleur-de-lis is all right, but hang out at any bar where 20- and 30-somethings gather and you’ll find more creative ways that Louisvillians pay tribute to their city in ink. (One regret: not getting to meet the Louisville expat living in New York City who has an image of Hunter S. Thompson inked on his upper arm.) Says Jason Baressi (1), 25, a tattoo apprentice at Twisted Images on Bardstown Road: “I hitchhiked and hopped trains around the U.S. for two years, and I always felt like Louisville was my home,” which explains why he has the city’s name inked across his midriff. Michael Hartman (2) has a tattoo of a suitcase with a tag bearing Louisville’s airport code, SDF. “I was born and raised here, and after college I’d gotten tired of the city and wanted to move west, but I got a travel job instead,” the 28-year-old says. “After about three weeks, I realized I liked Louisville better than any other place I’d been.” Tiffany Baxter (3), 32, is a stylist at Beechmont Bombshells Hair Style Shop on Woodlawn Avenue. Her colorful tattoos match the funky, rockabilly ambiance of the shop. A Louisville Slugger logo dresses up her biceps and the words “Kentucky woman” adorn her wrist. Quentin Hill (4), 23, completed his first Ironman triathlon in 11 hours and 48 minutes this year. His tattoo of the city skyline includes a fleur-de-lis and the Ironman logo. And 25-year-old Allison-Scott Pruitt (5) chose tattoos to honor her alma mater, U of L. “(The cardinal) is really just an homage to my experience at U of L,” she says. “No matter where I end up, I always get to be a Louisville Cardinal.” The tattoo on her arm is Minerva, the Roman goddess of knowledge and the name of U of L library’s card-catalog system.

    Photos: Courtesy John Nation