For sure! Congress Street is one of my 2 go to shops when I'm at home. I've been tattooed by pretty much everyone that works there.
As for stories, I'd say that I first started to get really into tattooing and knowing what I like about a year ago, after I got married. My wife and I decided that for our honeymoon, we would go to 4 different cities and get tattooed in 4 different shops. We chose the beautiful Pacific Northwest as our destination and flew out to Seattle with no appointments booked and all of our friends' money from the wedding gift basket.
In Seattle we got a hotel and went right out the first day to find a shop. Luckily, we stumbled on Under the Needle on 2nd Avenue where we met the wonderful Matt Lentz. Matt put a solid, beautiful panther head on my arm and it was a great start to the trip. I've been back since and gotten a bigger piece from Matt, and I've got to say I've never seen anyone so meticulous with a machine. Love it.
From Seattle we headed up to Vancouver, where we tried to get in at Gastown, but to no avail. That happens when you depend on walk ins. We ended up over at Adrenaline with Justin Cox, getting a couple traditional feathers to commemorate the loss of a pet duck. We had an absolute blast with Justin, Bailey and all the other fine folks over at Adrenaline and I certainly hope to head back over there someday.
After Vancouver was Portland, where I realized after not much Googling that we had a lot of choices. After scouring portfolios for a while, I landed on Sean Lanusse at Infinity, who capped off my left shoulder with a big, beautiful gas lantern. This was my first experience being tattooed in a shop that had closed for the day, and we spent our time wisely, picking Sean's brain about art and tattoos and life and everything in between. Sean is a really funny, intelligent guy and my conversation with him was pretty much the turning point where I knew what I wanted to do with my body in terms of tattoos. He gave me his philosophies on traditional tattooing (bold lines and bright colors, "tattoos that look like tattoos," etc.). From that day on, I decided I wanted to be tattooed by as many different people in as many different places as possible. Thanks Sean! Our next stop was San Francisco, and Sean told us we had to hit up Black Heart.
When we arrived at Black Heart, we had no idea what in institution of tattooing it was. We got right in with Katie Sellergren, and my wife got a huge jellyfish on her thigh and I got a big ole great white shark on my forearm. Needless to say, it was an awesome experience, and Katie was an absolute treat. What an unbelievably talented, awesome human being she is.
From that trip on I've been on a quest to seek out the best traditional artists in the states, and I've been tattooed everywhere from Anchorage to Baltimore. When I'm home I like to hang out at Bona Fide Tattoo in Concord, New Hampshire with my good friend James Faggiano. There are plenty of folks I'd love to get tattooed by, and I can't wait to get out there and start checking more names off my list.