While tattoos dedicated to fleeting human loves are often ill-advised, paying homage to a city is a far less risky proposition. That's not to say a person can't fall out of love with a city, but their new object of geographical affection isn't likely to be jealous of the former lover. That's why we sought out the best Bend-inspired tattoo. Oregon tats are common, so we hunted down something specific-Central Oregon references and symbolism. We found that work of permanent art on the arm of Joey Hayes, a 24-year-old manager and bartender at Sky High Brewing in Corvallis. That's right, Hayes, whose entire right arm is an in-progress love letter to the city of Bend, doesn't even live here. Though Hayes only lived in Bend for four years before moving to Corvallis, the city made a strong impression.
"There is no better place in the world. When I moved there in January 2010, I instantly fell in love. The people are so nice and welcoming," Hayes says. "I can go on and on."
But he needed a new perspective on life. So he packed up for Corvallis in 2013, making a point to bring a piece of Bend with him. The sleeve, by Ryan Osborne at Monolith Tattoo, features landmarks: the Sisters Mountains, Deschutes River and the Old Mill District, as well as flora and fauna, a cougar, an owl, and pinecones. He hopes to add a sunset over Sisters, and may include references to Bend's beer culture before all is said and done. In the end, he hopes to come full circle.
"I will open up a pub and it will be in Bend," says Hayes, who worked for 10 Barrel before moving to Corvallis. "It's just a matter of when." (ER)