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Saturday April 1st 2023

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City Leaders to Visit Portland, Learn About Tattoos, Beards


Boulder City Council members and city staff plan to visit Portland, Oregon for three days to study that city’s approach to tattoos, piercings, and beards.


Photo by Lennart Kortman (flickr creative commons

Portland is seen as a nationwide leader in body adornment and facial hair.  Michael Lewyn, visiting scholar in the department of Personal Art at Princeton University, said Portland is a model particularly for its development of the Ukiyo-e style of tattoo art. “Lots of cities are doing great stuff now in [tattoos], in rings.  And places like Brooklyn are getting ahead in mustaches. Minneapolis, even.  But if you’re going to start learning, Portland is the place to do it.”

The planned trip has not been without controversy. Critics say it will give too much opportunity for city officials to get cozy with members of the piercing and beard-waxing industries, who are organizing the trip and will be traveling alongside decision makers. City Council member Bob Yates said he won’t participate in the trip.  “Why should inkers get exclusive time with Council?  Where’s equal time for goths and [Dungeons and Dragons] players?” Yates asked. “I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole.”

This post originally appeared in the 2016 April Fool’s issue of the Blue Line.

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