1459 W. Irving Park, 773-549-1594, deluxetattoo.com
I am, for the most part, a huge wimp. I try to avoid pain, heights, fast-moving vehicles, and generally uncomfortable situations at any cost. So when I decided to go against all my natural instincts and get a tattoo, I knew it would have to be somewhere that felt more like a spa than the dimly lighted places in gritty crime dramas. (Everything is the same in real life as on TV, right?) Deluxe Tattoo, which sits on a quiet edge of Lakeview, was well lit, calming, and extremely clean. The soundtrack was welcoming, akin to what you'd hear at a coffee shop, and the staff was friendly. Sure, the first sight of the needle still had me crawling out of my skin, but my tattoo artist, Troy Taylor, offered some helpful suggestions about my tattoo's placement and made a few friendly jokes to put me at ease. In no time I was getting inked without a care in the world. By the time Troy was done with the tattoo—a small ampersand on my wrist—I already had my next 50 designs planned out (sorry, Mom). It might be a little more expensive than other options around the city, but when you're dealing with the quality of something that you have to look at forever, I'd say it's well worth the cost.