Tuesday, 18 September 2012

This Little Piggie ... Runs Up Peter's Arm

Earlier this month, I headed to the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn on a mission - Melanie had sent me to Shelsky's Smoked Fish on Smith Street to fetch her some, well, smoked fish. Shelsky's has amazing lox, herring, and other tasty treats that cater to that refined palate. They also make some amazing sandwiches, flavored cream cheeses, and salads. I enjoyed their horseradish cream cheese and their citrus-roasted beet salad. Melanie's still kvelling about the thinly-sliced pastrami lox and house mustard herring. But, I digress.

Peter Shelsky, the owner, was gathering my order and I couldn't help but admire the pig tattoo on his arm:


He even rolled up his sleeve to show me that the tattoo had two parts:


Since the shop was busy when I was snapping the photos, I later asked Peter to tell a little more about the piece:

"My tattoo is an old-fashioned butcher's diagram of a pig.  He is running into my Nenox chef knife which is above the elbow.
I got them done in 2009 after eating pork every day through 2008.  I decided on New Year's eve 2008 that I wanted to make a resolution that I knew I would gladly commit to.  Eating pork every day of 2008 was that resolution, and I did it.  Pork is my #1 favorite meat.  The pig is a miracle animal. You can use every single part of the pig.  So, naturally, the tattoo just made sense to me.  The juxtaposition of me owning a Jewish appetizing shop, and working behind the counter with a pig tattoo on my arm is great.  It's a conversation starter, and I really like that.  I'm sure some folks are offended by it, but that's life."
Peter's tattoos were inked by Robert Bonhomme at Brooklyn Tattoo. I reached out to Adam Suerte at the shop, since Peter told me that Robert had moved on. Adam informed me that Robert is now working out of Hand of Glory in Park Slope.

Today is the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and it seemed appropriate, or inappropriate, depending on your perspective, to share this during the holidays. After all, as Peter reminded me, Shelsky's has "tons of smoked fish, salads, and platters to offer for Break Fast on
Yom Kippur!" Check their full menu out at www.Shelskys.com!

Thanks to Peter Shelsky for sharing his porcine tattoo with us here on Tattoosday! And Happy New Year to  all!

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