There are people who like public transportation, and then there are people who want to rub public transportation all over their body parts — or at least get it permanently inked on them. Here are some of our favorite transit-map tattoos from the internet.
Here’s a nice-looking Chicago El map, done large enough that you can probably use this dude as a reference in a pinch. “Let’s see … so I can get the red line here, and take it all the way to Hilfiger?”
This Seoul subway map, on what looks like a leg, might be my favorite I’ve found. Nice tattoo, nice subway system.
Chicago inspires a lot of loyalty, because loyalty is what keeps you in a city where the weather is actively trying to kill you nine months out of the year. This is a good example of the transit-tattoo genre: simplified enough to look like just a beautiful design, but iconic enough to be instantly recognizable to those in the know.
This one, from all over the internet, is clearly fake, but it was the only one I could find of my own city’s relatively dumb and inconvenient (but clean!) subway system. Also, this placement would be hilarious if you got pregnant, like “oh god, Metro Center, it’s coming right at me!” A real D.C. map (or better Photoshop) would of course include color, so you know immediately whether your freckles are among safe white people or scary blacks.
I couldn’t find anyone who’s had the sack to get the entire NYC subway map. It’s extensive! You might have to make it a full-body project, like with the Bronx on your upper back and Brooklyn on your butt cheek, and Queens wrapping around to the front. Here’s a photorealistic Metrocard — but weirdly, or maybe not that weirdly, the most popular NYC transit tattoo seems to be the obsolete subway token. Tokens haven’t bought you a ride in New York since 2003, and the most popular design for tattoos is actually a token from the 1970s. But they’re awesome-looking, and simultaneously retro and cosmopolitan.
If you get that full-body NYC subway ink, please let us know. We will definitely do a Grist List post about it before selling you to the circus.
Update: Reader Greg Callus found this great one of the London Underground! Just Zone 1, though, dude is not crazy.