Bert Krak

by Sean Satha on April 14, 2016

In rushing to get to JFK airport to catch our flight back to Sydney from New York, we (my brother to be more precise) thought we would add getting a tattoo at Smith Street Tattoo Parlour in the mix. We were very fortunate that our friend DMOTE was able to score us an appointment with his mate, renowned tattoo artist Bert Krak!

Bert Krak and fellow artist Steve Boltz opened Smith Street Tattoo Parlour back in 2008 with Mr. Santoro and Eli Quinters completing the team. To quote the NY Times, "The four men, who all are impressively inked themselves, work with a brotherly camaraderie. They chat above the constant hum of the tattoo guns they operate, which drone on like summer locusts.”

Bert Krak originally from Hollywood, Florida, started his apprenticeship with Danny Knight at Rockabilly Tattoo back in 1998. Dave Poole bought the shop from Danny in 1999 and also had a hand in teaching Bert Krak how to tattoo, both these guys have been a major influence for him.

In 2005 he moved to Queens and started Top Shelf Tattooing, then in 2008 Smith Street Tattoo Parlour was born.

Fast Forward to 2015, and people are flying in from all over the world to get inked at the now renowned Smith Street shop. It seems the amazing work of Mr Krak and Co hasn't gone unnoticed and you'll need to book well in advance if you want something done.

Tattooing aside, Bert Krak is a highly regarded artist, painting predominantly in watercolours and liquid acrylics, his work can be seen in shows and exhibits all around the world. If that wasn't enough, Bert is a member of the RVCA artist family and contributes his own signature range to the RVCA collection!

Mr Krak is a true artist and real gentleman. Below is an inside scoop on the best spots to hit up in Brooklyn: 

Food wise Bert has some cracker places just a hop, skip and jump away from his tattoo shop, which he highly recommends you check out.

Starting with Frankies Sputino (spoon'tîno, noun: An informal meal or a snack; also, a casual Italian eatery.) Opened by friends Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli back in 2003. The Franks offer deceptively simple fare—dishes prepared with the freshest possible ingredients.

The same Franks using their philosophy of local and fresh ingredients also opened Prime Meats, a farm to table restaurant neighbouring Frankies Sputino. Prime Meats is influenced by Germanic alpine cuisine, prepared simply and honestly.

If you’re looking for some pit smoked meats prepared with the classic Southern technique of smoking, you need to head to Hometown Barb-B-Que in Red Hook. First come first served until they sell out of the day's specially cooked offerings.

If you want to go watch a basketball game, head to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, nothing better than watching the Brooklyn Nets courtside!

Finally, the perfect place to rummage for rare records and antiques is Black Gold. They blend their own coffee too, ideal for a casual Sunday.