Showing posts with label East Side Ink. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East Side Ink. Show all posts

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A visit to the new East Side Ink on the Lower East Side

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

We last checked in with East Side Ink’s attitude-free tattoo, laser and microblading shop on Avenue B between Sixth Street and Seventh Street during the pandemic’s third-stage PAUSE order from then-Gov. Cuomo. 

The shop recently moved to a spacious yet cozy second-floor loft at 88 Rivington St. between Orchard and Ludlow. 
I dropped by to talk with owners Jen Terban-Hertell and Josh Lord (the third partner, “shop mom” Yadira Mendez-Firvida, was off at the time of my visit) about the move, their new location and the shop’s history in the neighborhood. Josh was busy inking, so Jen answered my questions.
Why did you leave Avenue B for Rivington Street?

Everybody knows the pandemic year was a struggle for most businesses. We were sad to see so many closed.

However, because of our amazing artists and clients, we survived. We learned a lot about what our clients and artists want for the future of tattooing. So, we created a space that was private and warm yet open and inviting. We were all separated for so long that we just wanted to be together again. Safely. We wanted a studio that worked better for the artists and their needs. A studio that supports the artistic growth and privacy of our clients. We wanted a studio that was for us, our little artist family.

You mentioned this is your fifth location (since inception) in the neighborhood. Why is the East Village/Lower East Side area vital to you?

Well, besides being respectful of our original name…the East Village/Lower East Side has nurtured art, diversity and culture. Growing up in NYC, I remember being genuinely inspired by the scene in the East Village and Lower East Side. The art, music and fashion you could find on most blocks in the East Village were like nowhere else in the world. East Side Ink has been a part of that culture since the 1990s. 

Even if the rents get high and the landlords don’t respect the neighborhood’s culture, it will always be our home, and we will prevail.

Were all your artists able to make the move with you to the Rivington Street shop?

Yes! And both the artists and clients have expressed how happy they are in the new studio, and they even say they like it better. It was difficult to physically and mentally move, so we couldn’t be happier with everyone’s reaction and support. It was important that the artists feel at home at the shop. We considered every detail to make a space our artists would be inspired to create in. We want to support them as best we can to give each client and tattoo the attention it deserves.

How is the new space different from previous ones, and has the clientele changed?

Our clientele has always been diverse, from Oscar-winning celebrities to locals on the block. Unlike our previous locations, our new studio provides a sense of inclusion and warmth. A professional coziness. I could describe the artwork and the wood floors and the lighting, but really, it’s a vibe. 

What can we expect from East Side Ink going forward?

You can expect us to grow old! We are not going anywhere. We have always been ahead of our time in the tattoo industry, leading the way with how a shop looks and feels. We are a close-knit little artist family. We’ve been through 9/11, hurricanes, flooding, blackouts and pandemic. We prevailed! 

Over the last few years, we’ve grown, we’ve gotten married, we had babies, we’ve broken up, moved on, and moved up! You can expect to see us for a long time. Come visit: bring your dogs and your kids. We have made it this far because we have always had the support of our artists, clients and neighbors.  
You can keep tabs on the shop on Instagram here.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

A visit to East Side Ink

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

To learn more about businesses in the personal-services category that reopened under Phase 3 of Gov. Cuomo’s PAUSE order last month, I decided to visit East Side Ink, the tattoo, laser and microblading shop at 95 Avenue B between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.

Jen Terban-Hertell, one of the three co-owners (joined by Yadira Mendez-Firvida, the manager and “Shop Mom” and tattoo artist Josh Lord, well-known for celebrity inking) welcomes me to the low-key, no-attitude body art location.

[Jen Terban-Hertell]

She shows me around the open-concept salon, with two floors of space, a good mix of light and dark material, and a plethora of cleaning and sanitizing supplies.

[Ground floor]

[Lower level]

[Yadira Mendez-Firvida and Gianna, East Side manager]

The longtime shop (in existence since 1992, before tattooing became legal in NYC in 1997) is operating as per mandate at 50-percent capacity, and has plenty of space between clients as well a strict(er) regimen for visitors, which Jen explains in our interview below.

Jen’s specialty is microblading. During our conversation, we discuss tattooing during the COVID-19 crisis, what it’s been like since the shop reopened, and about how people use ink to pamper themselves and as a reflection of current events.

What COVID-19 safety precautions do you have in place?

We have numerous safety precautions in place. We’ve been tattooing for more than 20 years so taking safety precautions is not new to us. However, we now require all of our clients to wait outside until their appointment, come to their appointment alone, wear a face mask at all times, have their temperature taken when they come in, fill out our COVID-19 waiver, sterilize their phone, and sanitize their hands.

Also, we no longer allow eating and drinking in the shop. All of our artists are also following the same protocols. They have face masks on at all times and have longer breaks in between appointments to sterilize their stations. And, of course everyone is washing their hands constantly. We’re all a bit OCD when it comes to cleanliness and not cross-contaminating, so this is easy for us!

Were there any ownership or staff worries about being able to reopen?

We are all excited to get back to work and have the opportunity to rebuild. We have been on the block for more than 13 years and just want to get back to normal. Unfortunately, not all of our staff returned, and some relocated during the shutdown. They are missed. Everyone else is happy to be back!


[Charles Arizmendy]

[Caesar Bacchvs]

[Jonathan Ellis]

[Cheo Park]

What has the reaction been from regulars — and potential new clients — about the reopening?

Our clients, artists, and neighbors are all excited to see us back and reopened! Even the local dogs are thrilled! (We give out treats.) Everyone who has come back, or made an appointment is eager and excited to be coming in and doing something nice for themselves. It feels good to pamper yourself.

Were there any long-term business effects from the PAUSE order?

It’s too soon to tell what the long-term effects will be from the financial impact. However, in short term we are just trying to rebuild. As a small business we did not qualify for any loans and are still responsible for a huge overhead. It will be nice to just survive all this as a business and move on. Only time will tell and we are still in the process of figuring it all out.

Have current events influenced anyone’s choice for a tattoo? For example, have you had any COVID-19-related tattoo requests? Or any from the BLM movement after George Floyd’s death?

Yes. We have always done tattoos as a reflection of the times. We did a lot of tattoos during 9/11 as well. People use tattoos as a way of healing and claiming and taking control of their bodies. It’s very rewarding for us to provide that.

How have things been since you reopened the shop? And what are your plans moving forward?

Things have been good but different. A large percentage of our clients were people from out of town — tourists and walk-ins. We no longer have them. We are just focusing on our locals and regulars and continuing the work we started before the shutdown. We are hopeful for the future.

We’ve been in the neighborhood through 9/11, Sandy, the blackout and now COVID-19 lockdown, and the protests/riots. Our plans moving forward are to keep working, doing our best and providing joy to people when times get tough. We’re not going anywhere so come in and get tattooed, microbladed, or laser off something you never liked! You can’t tell but we’re smiling under our masks.

You can keep up with East Side Ink on Instagram.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The former Manitoba's space receives the plywood treatment on Avenue B

Workers yesterday put up a plywood front outside the former Manitoba's bar at 99 Avenue B ... something they did the previous day at the currently vacant space next door (East Side Ink moved from here to the adjacent storefront in early 2017) ...

One of the workers told EVG correspondent Steven, who took these photos, that they are renovating the exterior of the two empty storefronts. He didn't know about any possible new tenants.

A mystery applicant was on the CB3-SLA docket last October for the Manitoba's space, but they withdrew before the meeting.

Manitoba's closed here between Sixth Street and Seventh Street last June after 20 years in service.


To recap, East Side Ink is open at 95 Avenue B, next door to their former home.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Manitoba's has closed

Friday, January 6, 2017

East Side Ink moves a storefront away on Avenue B

Just noting that East Side Ink moved one storefront to the south at the end of December here on Avenue B between Seventh Street and Sixth Street... the shop has been around in one form or another since 1992.

The space was previously home to Tu Casa Recording Studio and most recently some pop-up art shows.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This is the tattoo that Vanessa Hudgens got at East Side Ink on Wednesday


The former Disney star was reportedly at East Side Ink on Avenue B next to Manitoba's where she was continuing to distance herself from "High School Musical" and its sequels. You can read more about it at E! Online if you'd like.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Heard that some paparazzi and various stalkers were hanging out on Avenue B near Manitoba's last night...Why? Who knew! According to Celebrity Gossip, a Web site about, um, celebrity gossip, Rihanna was at East Side Ink "taking a lesson in tattooing and having a marvelous time."