About usPartner with usSign up to our Newsletter

Acqua Santa Tattoo

235 West 18th Street
Acqua Santa Tattoo 1 Tattoos Chelsea

One never knows what is hiding down a few steps, way in the back, behind a curtain, but here was where I found the nicest guys. One was lying on his back, stripped down, in the process of getting a tattoo, and the others were totally chilling while keeping their buddy company. On another occasion, when we went back to take some photos, our photographer Esteban and I met an equally great group of men, hanging out with the owner, João Paulo Rodrigues. Although deliberately hidden from those walking on 18th Street, we were pleased with ourselves to have discovered Acqua Santa and to have spent the time that we did chatting about the area, the people, and, of course, each of the men’s tattoos.

“I don’t love tattoos; I love people,”João clarified. João grew up in Brazil surrounded by people with tattoos, including his father, but chose to move to Brooklyn as an adult to further his tattooing experience. This art form basically fell into his lap, but that does not mean that he or any of the other tattoo artists at Acqua Santa take their jobs lightly. In their mission statement they describe themselves as a “team of good people who only breathe and survive [through] art and tattooing…”

Sign up to Sidestreet Updates
Acqua Santa Tattoo 1 Tattoos Chelsea
Acqua Santa Tattoo 2 Tattoos Chelsea
Acqua Santa Tattoo 3 Tattoos Chelsea
Acqua Santa Tattoo 4 Tattoos Chelsea
Acqua Santa Tattoo 5 Tattoos Chelsea
Acqua Santa Tattoo 6 Tattoos Chelsea

More places on 18th Street

Lost Gem
Rothman's 1 Videos Mens Clothing Founded Before 1930 undefined


Ken Giddon likes to say that he went “from riches to rags” by leaving a career as a bond trader to reopen his grandfather’s men’s clothing store. Harry Rothman used to peddle his wares from a pushcart on Delancey Street in the 1920s before moving into a retail space. “He kind of created the concept of a discount clothing store, ” Ken remarked. Rothman's closed for a time after Harry’s death in 1985, but Ken revived the business a year later in a stunning, 11, 000-square-foot storefront on the corner of 18th Street in Union Square. “I love being on a side street. It gives us the ability to afford a bigger space while watching the movable feast that is New York walk by every day. ” Five years after the shop’s reopening, Ken invited his brother, Jim, to join him. “This is one of the true family businesses in Manhattan. ” The store, which carries both casual and formal attire from top designers, aims to make the shopping experience for men “as efficient and rewarding as possible. ” To this end, Ken and Jim scour the market, travel abroad, and attend numerous trade shows to find the best brands. “We try to provide our customers with that personal, small-town feel in the middle of the city, ” Jim said. Despite Rothman's more modern look and merchandise, the brothers strive to keep some core elements of their grandfather’s business alive, particularly by preserving his humble approach to owning a men’s retail store. As Harry used to say, “It’s not so serious what we do. We just sell pants for a living. ”