Yes it’s true that in the three years since Hurricane Katrina devastated and wiped out the Big Easy, plenty of restoration and restructuring has taken place so that you would almost never guess the devastation and destruction that occurred three years ago. However, ask anyone in New Orleans what life is like today, and they will be very quick to tell you that New Orleans hasn’t, nor ever will be, the same again. When it comes to tattoo parlours however, their business has not suffered. In fact, Katrina has spurred new business for many N’Orleans tattoo parlor owners.

One parlor, located on St. Claude Avenue is still in reconstruction, and has a reopening estimate of 2010. Maybe. This is a gutted business that promises to kick Katrina’s A** and come back stronger than ever. The parlor is owned by Aart Accent, and he owns several across the city, and says that this particular shop is only one that isn’t quite ready. He also says that oddly enough, while the city has lost a significant portion of its population base with Orleans residents relocating after Katrina, this has not affected his bottom line at ALL.

Aarts other location located at the edge of the French Quarter, where much of the destruction took place, IS in business and he does fairly well. In fact, more residents of New Orleans that have stuck around are using tattoos as a means of representing their survival, of remembering something in a personal way, a day that nobody that still lives in New Orleans will ever forget.
The tattoo of choice that seems to be favoured is the Louisiana state emblem, the Fleur de Lis as seen above. ‘English’ Jones of the Freaky Tiki Tattoos in Kenner, Louisiana agrees with Aart, saying

“Death and destruction has always been good for our business, darling,”

New Orleans is a city that typically offers more in the way of tattoo parlors by numbers than most other cities of comparable size. This is due to the fact that N’Orleans is a known party town with tattoos almost being a requisite for living. With Katrina sweeping the city, tattoos are even more a stamp for the population to prove that not even Katrina will bring residents down.

As for business? Katrina actually did parlor owners a favour it seems. The Fleur de Lis madness in New Orleans is amping business from 1 to 2 Fleur de Lis per month pre-Katrina, to dozens every week. Mardi Gras is a time of year when the Fleur de Lis business booms in terms of ink stamping. It seems these days, everyone has to have one.