There’s a song by the early 2000’s piano-rock band Something Corporate that goes “I met a girl who kept tattoos for homes that she had loved, if I were her, I’d paint my body till all my skin was gone.” Well, if there was ever a city to prove that the girl in this song isn’t alone in her tattoo habits, it’s Pittsburgh—a home that is loved by soooo many.
Thanks to our generation, the millennial generation, tattoos are no longer a “permanent life-ruining decision” that will make your mother cry, or maybe it will, but the point is that tattoos have recently become significantly more accepted by society. A Pew Research Center study published in 2010 stated that nearly 40% of Americans aged 18-29 had at least one tattoo, and there is no way that number hasn’t gone up over the past 8 years. And given that Pittsburgh has always been a bit more of a laid-back, I-don’t-give-a-bleep kind of city than most others, the percentage of yinzers with tattoos has probably always been higher than the national average.
This is all to say that Pittsburgh is crawling with some beautiful and incredibly creative tattoos that pay homage to their hometown. So, along with the girl who kept tattoos for homes that she loved, here are some of the best Pittsburgh tattoos we’ve seen around ‘tahn.
This detailed sketch of every Pittsburgher’s favorite view—coming out of the fort pitt tunnel—Does anyone else dream about pulling an Emma Watson in Perks of Being A Wallflower and experiencing this from the back of a pickup truck?
The Pirates ‘P’ is a fairly common choice for people looking to get a permanent symbol of their love for Pittsburgh, but this spin on the traditional that adds a colorful splatter paint-esque look to the ‘P’ knocks it out of the park.
Sometimes less is more. This one could easily be interpreted as an abstract line drawing, but any yinzer will spot those merging lines immediately, calling them out for what they really are—the three rivers, of course.
This half-sleeve that beautifully combines all things quintessential to the City of Champions: The Steelers’ Diamonds, Pirates ‘P’, and cloudy skies. Aren’t we lucky to have so many silver linings!
The detail in this cityscape, with an almost 3-D Pirates ‘P’ that looks like it’s floating on top of the city is insane. The way the bridge pops is also especially eye-catching.
How about this progress on a calf-sleeve of all things Pittsburgh? The watercolor feel of the incline and the way all the images seem to merge together like the rivers do, makes this one a real piece of art.
Straying from the common theme of sports team logos and cityscapes, this Pittsburgher went for the traditional crest of the city—you’ll recognize it from the flags outside the City-County Building (among other places, of course).
How about this minimalist wrist tattoo of the skyline, which is actually not nearly as interesting as the rest of these, but is the writer’s tattoo, so she’s including it anyways.
This incredible color-piece that pays homage to Pittsburgh’s most-beloved neighbor, Mr. Rogers, written around a vibrant depiction of the incline.
Also giving a nod to the friendly neighborhood, this trolley is here to take us to the Land of Make Believe. Hey…wait a second… Have you ever noticed how similar the incline and Mr. Rogers’ Trolley look?
Check out this version of the neighborhood trolley, this time touting a message of hope and encouragement. This piece was done by Jason Simonette.
This amazing tribute is to more than just Pittsburgh – it’s to its equally incredible favorite food: pierogies. What other city has a traditional Polish dish race around their ball field at every home game? (Go Sauerkraut Saul!)
Likely the most subtle nod to Pittsburgh on the list, this delicately encased floral drawing of Pennsylvania, with one extra flower right where the city lies, is elegant and emotive.
Quite the tattoo, this full stomach silhouette of the skyline will ensure everyone at the late summer tailgate knows where he’s from.
Check out this black-and-white oval-framed portrait of the incline, complete with a keystone encased heart, awwww.
There’s more to Pittsburgh than sports and skylines, and this tattoo is the perfect example. This shout out to Pittsburgh staples like Kennywood and Heinz makes this owner’s love of Pittsburgh perfectly clear.
You need to add the form code.