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Dan Levy/Billy Penn

Philly ink: We asked for your best Philadelphia tattoos, here’s what you sent

Rocky, the Liberty Bell, and So. Many. Skylines. A look at people who love the city so much they wanted it on their skin forever.

Fishtown native Jess Kalup got her first Philadelphia tattoo in 2007. It was the name of the city simply tattooed down her arm that she used as a way to remember home while traveling across the country with a nonprofit. Today, she has more than a dozen Philly tats, ranging from the LOVE statue to a chicken cheesesteak to the SEPTA map to a carton of Arctic Splash, which she got inked earlier this year.

Scan this code to follow us on Snapchat and view our story of some of our favorite tats.

Scan this code to follow us on Snapchat and view our story of some of our favorite tats.

“One day I was sitting at home thinking about Arctic Splash and how important it was in Fishtown,” Kalup, 31, said, “and a week later, I was sitting in the chair.”

The Philly native who now lives in Point Breeze represents a large cohort of people who love the city to the point where they’ve gotten things that remind them of it put on their body permanently.

So we at Billy Penn put out a call for photos — we wanted to see the city’s ink first-hand. And the response on Twitter, Snapchat and via email was huge. Below are 72 of the city’s best Philadelphia-themed tattoos, broken up into categories ranging from skylines to food to, of course, sports.

skyline

Some of the most common Philadelphia tats we received are versions of the iconic skyline. Two Billy Penn employees have their own skyline ink (holla!) and many of the full sleeves sent to us featured some form of the skyline in them — so we knew this category would be popular. We received tattoos of skylines ranging from a simple outline on a foot or a back to elaborate depictions of the skyline tattooed on a man’s chest. Here are some of the coolest skyline tattoos in Philly:

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Photos from: Catherine Cuthbertson, left, and Stephanie Weaver, right, on Twitter. When she submitted her Philadelphia tattoo, Cuthbertson wrote that her ink represents that “Philly will always have my heart.”

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Photo from: Sarah Hosan.

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Photos from: Jess Kalup, left, and submitted to Billy Penn’s Snapchat, right.

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Photo from: Shana Genkin, who’s skyline tat also includes “run 26.2.”

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Photos from: Submitted to Billy Penn’s Snapchat, left, and Shannon Wink, right, who is Billy Penn‘s managing editor and has a colorful skyline tattooed on her foot.

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Photo from: Mark Miller submitted a skyline tattoo.

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Photos from: Submitted to Billy Penn’s Snapchat.

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Photos from: Submitted to Billy Penn’s Snapchat.

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Anna Orso/Billy Penn

Photo from: Cassie Owens, a Billy Penn reporter who’s the proud owner of this skyline tattoo.

landmarks

There are *a lot* of Philadelphians with Liberty Bell tattoos. There’s also a guy with the full Rocky statute tattooed on his arm, a woman with the famous “clothespin” on her a body and a dude who has the Comcast building forever inked on his calf. The most iconic Philadelphia landmark of all, though? We saved that for below. Trust us, it’s a category on its own.

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Photo from: Mindy Isser, who submitted her tattoos via Twitter.

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Photo from: Jess Kalup.

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Photo from: Jess Kalup.

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Photo from: Katherine Hanson. She said her tattoo comes from the book” Bendiner’s Phildelphia” by Alfred Bendiner, who was a writer, architect and artist in Philadelphia who was prominent from the 1930s to the 1960s. “The book is a collection of sketches and stories of Philadelphia landmarks,” she said, “and this is the one for Philadelphia row homes.”

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Photos from: Frank Durso. Durso has the Philadelphia skyline tattooed around his forearm. At the bottom near his wrist is LOVE park, the SEPTA map and the Drexel Dragon, while the Liberty Bell and the top of City Hall are up higher. He said the work was done by Matt Brownlee at Baker Street Tattoo in Media.

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Photos from: Mike Gratz on Instagram, left, and Jonathan Finnegan, right. Gratz wrote on Instagram his full Rocky sleeve was finished about two months ago.

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Photos from: Ozzie Perez, left, and Wylie Belasik, right. Perez works at Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo and did two King of Jeans logos within the last several years. The iconic South Philly King of Jeans sign was taken down last year after hanging in East Passyunk since 1994. Belasik said the meaning of his tattoo is that “you can’t fix things on your own.”

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Photos from: Submitted to Billy Penn’s Snapchat.

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Photos from: Mark Scott, left, and Ozzie Perez, right. Scott’s tattoo depicts his children running down the 1700 block of Christian Street with the skyline in the background and Death Star overhead because, “why not?” He said it’s based on a water color his kids painted and the original photo was taken from the second floor window of the Christian Street YMCA yoga studio. Perez is a tattoo artist at Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo.

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Photo from: S. Joseph Weaver, who submitted these tattoos on his calves.

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Photos from: Shawna McMenamin, who wrote that her brother is on the left. After he died, she got a tattoo of the Liberty Bell that matched his in his memory.

LOVE

There is one landmark that out-tats them all, and that is the LOVE statue. Of the tattoos we received, it was one of the most common themes — folks had some depiction of the LOVE statue either on its own or incorporated into something larger.

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Photo from: Submitted to Billy Penn’s Snapchat.

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Photo from: Cathy Peace. She noted the tattoo was done by artist Sean Roche.

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Photos from: Ben Fileccia, left, and Noah Webster, right. Fileccia wrote this tattoo is on Mike Franklin, who works in restaurants for Philadelphia chef Kevin Sbraga. The LOVE statue tattoo on the right is part of a collection of Philly-themed tattoos done by Webster, a tattoo artist at Moo Tattoo on South Street.

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Photo from: Jess Kalup.

food

You know, considering how obsessed our weird and wonderful city is with food, we were surprised we didn’t have more people submit tats of their favorite Philly cuisine. But we got a few, including and tattoo of Arctic Splash, the ubiquitous iced tea in the Riverwards, and pretzels. Duh.

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Photos from: Jess Kalup.

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Photos from: Becky G. Tattoos on Instagram, left, and Jess Kalup, right. Becky wrote she tattooed the pretzel graphic on Zach about a year ago.

sports

We figured that when we asked Philadelphia to send in photos of their Philly tattoos, the Eagles would be among the most common. We’re passionate about the Birds. What we were surprised about was how many die-hard hockey fans have Flyers tattoos and the number of people who had the cojones to tattoo the Phanatic on their bodies. Truly impressive.

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Photos from: Stephanie Ricci on Twitter, left, and Jonathan Finnegan, right. Ricci, who’s @BrdSweetBullies on Twitter, is a photographer and Flyers enthusiast who got the Liberty Bell and hockey sticks inked on her body.

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Photos from: Nikki Phillippi, left, and Ozzie Perez, right. Phillippi said people “always” ask what her tattoo says — it’s “relentless,” if you couldn’t tell. The tattoo on the right done by Perez is part of a collection of Philadelphia-themed tattoos he’s completed as an artist at Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo.

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Photo from: Joseph Midili, left, and Noah Webster from Moo Tattoo, right. Midili said in 2008, he wasn’t allowed to leave work to attend the parade celebrating the Phillies’ World Series win. So as soon as he was let out, he went directly to a tattoo shop. The artist was finishing up his Phanatic ink as former Phillie Chase Utley was delivering his infamous “world fucking champions” speech. Webster’s an artist at Moo Tattoo, a spot on South Street and did this Phanatic tattoo himself.

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Photos from: Adam Fisher on Twitter, left, and Anthony Arot, right.

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Photos from: Chris Picardi on Instagram, left, and Ozzie Perez, right. Picardi works at Backstage Tattoo, a shop located in Atco, N.J. The tattoo on the right done by Perez is part of a collection of Philadelphia-themed tattoos he’s completed as an artist at Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo.

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Photo from: Tattoo Abel, on Instagram, who did this tattoo a few months back. This was surprisingly the only Eagles tattoo we received. (So time for someone to go out there and get Doug Pederson tatted on their chest?)

jawn

Yes, there were enough tattoos of the word “jawn” to make it its own category. I don’t think we need to explain this one much more. Never change, Philly.

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Photos from: Pat Whelan, left, and Sarabeth Plotkin, right. Plotkin said she calls her tattoo “my Jawn of Happiness.”

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Photos from: Tiffany Green.

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We also received dozens of tattoo submissions that didn’t fit into any categories because they were just too damn unique. So we’re calling this section “Totally Philly,” as it represents some of the best tattoos in the city that are so Philly it hurts — but that don’t fit into any assigned category.

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Photos from: Lauren Vidas, whose artwork consists of a SEPTA token, City Hall, the Ben Franklin Bridge, the LOVE statue and more.

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Photos from: Joseph Lemons Jr., left, and @kmart93 on Twitter, right. Lemons, a native of South Philly, said his right leg sleeve is everything Philly and though it’s unfinished, he says it represents the 26 years he’s spent in the neighborhood.

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Photos from: Mindy Isser, left, and Christopher Freitag, right. Isser’s depicts the Philadelphia area code, while Freitag says his is a Philly tribute from 2008 when he was a bike messenger and the Phillies won the World Series, hence the pennant, and the ’08 carved into the bat.

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Photos from: Chris Wyatt, right, and Emily Volk, left. Wyatt wrote his ink is a tribute to the old Philly punk band, Ink & Dagger; “are you down with the sounds of this devil town?”

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Photos from: John Buck, left, and Marla Sacchetta, right. Buck’s tattoo depicts the “Philly P” with the Art Museum, One Liberty Place and City Hall. His ink was done by Steve Bishov from Philadelphia Tattoo Collective. Sacchetta’s is of Benjamin Franklin.

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Photos from: The photo on the left was sent anonymously via email and Kari Rosenfeld submitted the one on the right. Don’t recognize her tat? It’s the SEPTA map, and she got it this year for her 28th birthday. She said she doesn’t do color, so the lines are different shades of gray.

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Photo from: John McGee, whose City of Brotherly Love tattoo reads the same when upside down.

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Photos from: Orrin Hogan, left, and the tattoo on the right was submitted to Billy Penn‘s Snapchat.

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Photos from: All four of these tattoo were done by Perez, the tattoo artist at Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo. Recognize the dudes on the bottom? It’s Rocky and Paulie.

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