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A Night Out with Rose Street Collective

Snapping their fingers under lights of purple, blue, and yellow hues, Julia Spelman, Lilly Dukich and Erika Polner spend the majority of a Friday night set perfecting harmonies as a powerful vocal trio, while reserving a few songs for solo performances highlighting individual strengths.

 Rose Street Collective, a new band consisting of five UVM students, surrounds the three singers while playing songs the group has meticulously mastered.

Filling two venues in one weekend, the Skinny Pancake and Radio Bean, the Collective shares their own perspective on jazz by playing both original and familiar tunes.

MAX MCCURDY. B-Side. From left: Lilly Dukich, Julia Spelman and Erika Polner performing at the Skinny Pancake on February 3rd.

Since November, the band has played about 10 shows and is quickly becoming a  staple of the Burlington music scene.

The magic of Rose Street Collective lies in their ability to pay tribute to the history of jazz by taking the audience through a dynamic tour of the genre, from Wes Montgomery’s “West Coast Blues” to a nostalgic yet energetic rendition of Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things” and, finally,  covers of today’s hit indie songs.

The band consists of Adam Sullivan on keys, Ian Mack on guitar, Kevin Nikolaides on bass, Ethan Shafron on drums, and Rayne Bick playing the alto sax.

Members share a respect for jazz’s rich history, a reverence that resurged years after taking lessons as kids.

“It has always been a part of our lives, even when we didn’t realize it,” Spelman said.

Most of the members met through the UVM jazz ensemble, while Mack and Bick connected with the group later on through mutual friends.

The ensemble helped them further develop their skills and the group quickly became eager to branch out from campus once they recognized their common love of many different genres of music, from soul to funk to rock.

The group’s ultimate goal was to mimic their favorite musicians, incorporating classical jazz standards into the modern music they listen to.

MAX MCCURDY. B-Side. Rose Street Collective at the Skinny Pancake on February 3rd.

Their interpretation of funk group Vulfpeck’s hit song “Back Pocket” illustrates this perfectly as they replace keys with an alto sax and turn the volume up, taking the song to a new level.  

While it may seem that there is a meticulous strategy to their setlist, it mostly just pays tribute to the songs they all love, which they compile into a Spotify collaborative playlist or suggest via Facebook messenger, Shafron said.

Nikolaides uses Google Sheets faithfully in order to avoid chaos, keeping ideas and song choices organized. 

At the show, the band members seemed completely in their element on stage, exchanging glances and smiles in the midst of their solos.

They’re quickly making their way from one Burlington venue to the next each weekend, which helps to immerse them into the “hopping” music community, Spelman said.

To keep up with their movements, the band suggests liking them on Facebook and possibly following their Instagram in the near future, Shafron said. They have a show this coming Thursday, February 16th at Radio Bean, 11:00 pm.

Down in the Heartland with Twin Peaks

Jack Dolan and his bandmates have been around the block.

Touring together since high school, Dolan’s band Twin Peaks released their third studio album in May. After hitting the West Coast and Europe on tour, they are making their first appearance in Burlington on Dec. 5.

The band’s roots are in Chicago, where they grew up attending and playing DIY shows in basements all around town. “We grew up going to shows hearing music that became a big part of our music,” said Dolan.

“There’s really no one true sound here,” he said, “all your peers grow up and have different styles but still stay true to Chicago.” 

DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.
DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.

During their time on the road, the band seems to have found their place in the bigger picture of contemporary music. “You get midwest cities like Madison and Milwaukee doing hardcore punk, New York with their hip underground scene,” he said.

“In Europe you get a lot more disco stuff but then places like Madrid that are really into rock,” said Dolan, “Madrid’s the shit.”

Though they’ve traveled from Paris to the Pacific Northwest, the band keeps the midwest in mind. “We just went to see Hoops from Bloomington, they’re awesome,” said Dolan. “Broncho, too–the last record they put out was super underrated,” he said of the Norman, Oklahoma natives.

Dolan and his bandmate Cadien Lake James attended high school with fellow Chicagoan Chancellor Johnathan Bennett, known as Chance the Rapper, as well. “We’ve always stayed in touch with him and took note of all the good things he does for the city,” he said.

The band recently played a voting rally downtown with Bennett, marching to the polls with thousands of locals on Election Day. “Tensions were interesting out in the city, it was a little intimidating,” said Dolan.

They have been vocal about recent political developments, but Dolan insists on staying diplomatic. “It’s easy to get hung up and shit on a bunch of conservative states,” he said.

DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.
DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.

“We play in front of great people who come out in small towns, it feels good to play rock and roll in a place where they need it.”

After their short stint touring the heartland, the band is heading east to tour with their latest album. “Down in Heaven” is a swirling trip of classic rock riffs, hazy harmonies, and subtle nods to classic motown with brass on several tracks. Slow-burners are balanced by their playful lyrics and signature slacker indie.

“A lot of the new songs are more low-key,” Dolan said, “but we’re challenging ourselves, we’re trying to refine a bit by doing a lot more harmonies.”

The album has a distinctly slower pace and ripe soul to it, a slight departure from the hectically emotive “Wild Onion” days, and even further from the melancholy, quasi-grunge character of “Sunken.”

“I don’t know about the other guys but I’ve been listening to a lot of D’Angelo lately,” Dolan joked.

Whether they’re playing mellow, folksy slow jams or fired-up rock songs, listening to Twin Peaks is a blast. Catch them playing Signal Kitchen with Golden Daze and together PANGEA on Monday at 8:00 pm.

The Anti-Sport

     Skateboarding is set to be in the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo. I’m confused. The Olympics are for usually for sports, and skateboarding can’t be a sport. Seeing skateboarding in the olympics is akin to McDonald’s offering dry cleaning. Skateboarding can’t be a sport, sports have clear objectives and points. In a basketball game, everyone knows what they should be doing: trying their darndest to get the ball in the net. When they do, they don’t wonder what happens next, they know they will get points for it.

   Skateboarding is nothing like that. Skateboards don’t come with instructions. Some people choose to use a skateboard purely as transportation. Some people decide to ride huge boards exclusively down steep hills. Some people aim only to flip their board in complex ways. Some people strive to hop down huge sets of stairs. The only wrong way to approach skateboarding is to not approach it.

    There are no points in skateboarding. When I landed my first ollie, there wasn’t a scoreboard flashing numbers at me. There’s no way to score skateboarding. Some people can naturally do things without trying, while it might take someone else years to learn. That one guy at the skatepark that’s struggling to kickflip may turn around and do something twice as hard.

   Sports encourage competition. Competition encourages animosity and hostility amongst competitors. Every time a team celebrates scoring a goal, there’s another team that hates them for doing it. Skateboarding is the opposite: it encourages camaraderie and friendship. When I see someone do some trick I’ve always wanted to do, I can’t be mad at them, I can only be excited for them.

   Calling skateboarding a sport is like calling a grilled cheese a burger. Or calling high heels tennis shoes. Or calling 9 hours of sleep a nap. While they may share some minor similarities,the connection is not quite there. I propose a new word, something to signify an activity that requires physical exertion and developed skills, but does not contain an inherent goal or point system. How about ‘hobby’? Skateboarding is a hobby. I’m all for making an Olympics of hobbies, but I’d like to keep skateboarding out of the current hyper-jockish, athlete-childhood-extinguishing Olympic culture.

An Education: Lessons Learned from Converse Hall

Incoming college students can arm themselves with myriad study guides, syllabi, and workshops that promise to deliver academic success. What they don’t prepare you for is the various oddities of day-to-day dorm life.

My education has been delivered to me courtesy of UVM’s oldest (and spookiest) dorm: Converse Hall.

My first rude awakening was that locking your door here is a necessity. Coming from the Living/Learning Center, where we left our doors open 24 hours a day and were unfazed to come home to people in our rooms who didn’t live there, this was a weird adjustment.

Attic, Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.
Attic, Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

I came home not long ago to the smell that was part opium den, part Easter vigil, and part Seattle basement. The smell was expected. The bedraggled middle-aged man wandering my hallway and knocking on doors was not.

 After kindly telling me many stories of his time at UVM in the ‘70s, he went on to explain an elaborate conspiracy involving banks and invite me to an “all ages, BYOB barn dance.” I still can’t decide what my favorite part of that concept is.

I turned him down. Don’t get me wrong, he was a nice dude. But even I knew that sounded like a bad idea. Apparently there was a naked man running through the building the other day, too, which should have been surprising news when I heard it, but wasn’t.

Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.
Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

Anyway: I lock my door now. I feel pretty good about that decision.

I’ve also stopped expecting anything to really be where it’s supposed to be. Couches routinely turn up part way down stairwells. There’s a graveyard of unwanted bed frames in the attic and someone has managed to tear a sizeable hole in the ceiling. Like, big enough to hide treasure or a dismembered body in.

Some mornings, I’ve walked down to the basement to find all the pool cues stuck in the ceiling and the floor strewn with underwear and empty bottles. A miniature garden of potted plants and trays of germinating seeds clutters one of the the fourth floor window sills.

Somehow, the plants have made it this long, so I assume someone is taking care of them. Or at least taking as good care of them as college students take of themselves.

IMG_9822
Attic, Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

There aren’t any secrets in Converse. Other than the ghost, that is. We don’t have your typical idiot-proof cinderblock dorm walls. I hear everything. I see everything. If you ever wondered what it would be like to be omniscient, just live in a centuries old dorm building. You will know everything you possibly could want to know.

I knew when the person living above me had the flu for a week. I know the fourth floor plays an impressive amount of Kendrick Lamar. Weirdly, I know a lot about the recent shares purchased on the stock market by the guys who smoke outside my window every night. Apparently Chipotle’s stock isn’t doing so hot. 

One of the more obvious, although most enduring lessons I’ve learned is that buildings built in 1895 behave exactly like you think they would. The pipes make this incredible banshee like shrieking noise whenever you turn the heat on and rattle against the wall. The tile on bathroom wall is falling off, leaving gaping holes. Ice freezes over the inside of the windowsills.

Attic, Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON.
Attic, Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON.

This fall, the fire alarms started going off everyday for absolutely no reason. We would all stumble outside in our barefeet and bathrobes and sulk until the fire department came. It was kind of bonding experience, I guess.

My favorite, though, is the attic. It’s like a room where Victorian gentlemen locked up their insane wives was redecorated by a carpet salesman from the ‘70s. You can’t really go for a cooler vibe than that.

Stairwell, Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.
Stairwell, Converse Hall. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

People complain a lot about Converse. And to be honest, I get it. The decrepit haunted mansion crossed with a frat party life isn’t for everyone. 1 AM fire alarms aren’t anyone’s favorite and thin walls (despite my newfound knowledge of the stock market) have their drawbacks.

So I don’t blame you if the Converse life isn’t for you, but if you need me, I will be hanging out in my creaky, weird, possibly haunted dorm room. Knock first— the door will be locked.

Meandering Stowe’s Main Street & Beyond

        Sometimes, you just need to take the day and get out of town. After a long week of running from Colchester to College Street, walking down a different Vermont Main comes as a much-needed change of pace. On a relatively balmy, brilliantly beautiful January afternoon my friend Eva and I headed southeast on I-89 into the mountains to Stowe.

        For skiers and riders, Stowe has an obvious appeal; the resort has 460 acres holding 98 trails and 11 lifts. But for those who prefer to admire the trails snaking down Mount Mansfield from afar, Stowe’s Main Street establishments offer a cozy change of pace from hanging out at Bailey/Howe.

IMG_9544
Main Street, Stowe, Vermont. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

        The road to Stowe is predictably gorgeous, from the first 180-degree vista of the Green Mountain peaks near Williston to the cruise up Route 100 snugly situated besides Mount Hunger.

     On either side of the road nestled in pine forests sit local, artisan cheese and wine shops, craft breweries, and outdoor gear outfitters in typical Vermont fashion.   

        As the road snakes into town, it passes snow-coated golf courses etched with Nordic tracks, fly-fishing creeks, and charming saltbox chalets. Downtown Stowe greets visitors with historic inns, white-steeple churches, and general stores stocked with everything from canned tuna to children’s books.  

        Approaching Stowe, you’ll first come up on the Vermont Ski and Snowboard museum housed in a classic white clapboard town hall.  Here, you can learn all about everything from snow bunny fashion to slope maintenance through the years of Vermont ski history.

Make a left turn and you’ll swing up to the sprawling Stowe Resort by way of mountain road as it meanders over covered bridges and past small shops and markets.

Black Cap Coffee, Stowe, Vermont. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.
Black Cap Coffee, Stowe, Vermont. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

        Just down the street, Black Cap Coffee sits warm and welcoming on the corner of Main & School streets. The painted red brick café is homey and bright, filled with paintings and pottery by local artists. Black Cap roasts excellent coffee in-house, and its baristas can whip up a killer maple latte.

        If you’re hungry for some savories, head to Jamie’s on Main. The staff is lovely and so is the food—you can stay and hang out or grab a to-go snack for the mountains.

IMG_9542
Main Street, Stowe, Vermont. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

After we’d had our fill of good coffee and Stowe sightseeing, Eva and I headed a few miles up the road to Putnam State forest. The quiet woods, hidden amongst gorgeous mountain estates and small family farms, are filled with waterfalls, young pine forests, mountain streams and stunning views.

        We got out of the car and tramped along the lowland marsh trail up Moss Glen Falls: snowed-over and frozen, but with clear blue water still rushing underneath. In the summer months, the falls get plenty of visitors but in the middle of winter you’re likely to be alone in the woods.

        Grabbing hold of protruding roots and scooting slowly past ice patches, we reached the top of the waterfall and looked out west. The evergreens frame flawlessly a delicious view of Mansfield’s western slopes and the valley in its shadow.

Putnam State Forest. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.
Putnam State Forest. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

        From the falls, you can wander deep into the forest on a well-kept trail covered in pine needles in the summer, and packed snow in the winter. Or, you can head back down the hill, get in the car and explore the country roads, harmlessly trespassing through some beautiful backyards.

Putnam State Forest. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.
Putnam State Forest. MAGGIE RICHARDSON. B-Side.

        Whether you’re skiing or not, spending a day in Stowe is a treat. It’s just far enough away from the campus routine to feel like an adventure, and there’s plenty to do whether you’re pining for a quiet woodland hike, locally roasted coffee, or a snapshot of smaller-town Vermont life.

           

DIY Humanitarianism Hits UVM

No matter what day of the week, walk through the Davis Center atrium or past the library steps and you’re likely to be asked for a moment of your time by a group of activists. In an atmosphere where everybody cares, it’s tricky finding the right fit for your world saving ambitions.

One UVMer, though, is building her own framework to solve the world’s problems. Selena Garcia-Torres, sophomore, is spearheading her own non-profit project from her dorm room.

The Long Island native was inspired by a Montauk superfood store’s fundraising project for surfer-founded non profit, Waves for Water.

PHOTO BY OLIVER POMAZI
PHOTO BY OLIVER POMAZI

“There was an amazing sense of community about it,” she said, “I thought, ‘This is what I want to do’.”

Waves for Water runs a program called Clean Water Courier, described on their website as “based on a Do-It-Yourself Humanitarian model.”

“Clean Water Couriers are everyday people, travellers like you distributing filters to those in need around the globe,” says the foundation’s website.

Simultaneously balancing classes and navigating the complexities of college life, Garcia-Torres is working to bring the Courier program to UVM.

“The objective is to apply everything I’ve learned in class to a real life scenario,” she said, “So often you learn things, and nothing is done about it.”

Garcia-Torres is a Global Studies and Community Development and Applied Economics double major, working also on a Spanish minor.

“You shouldn’t look at a major or a class as just that, but as connected to everything else,” she said.

Classes she’s taken in high school and here at UVM have impacted her greatly, as well as her travels.

“Last year and this year learning about how there are companies trying to privatize water,” she said. “That’s so messed up.”

“I’ve gone to so many countries, and you’re seeing giant corporations robbing these countries of their natural resources,” Garcia-Torres said.

Garcia-Torres couldn’t imagine life without clean water.

“You can go fill up your water bottle in the sink, but you don’t think that people don’t even have a well in their town, or that it’s totally filled with storm water,” she said.

“I say I prefer Smart Water over Fiji water while other people only have one clean water source which is being polluted by our actions,” she said, “It’s crappy water!”

In terms of organization, the filter project is in its early stages. Garcia Torres, along with her roommate, sophomore Brittney Manning, has been brainstorming for months how to pull the project together.

“We’ve thought of different ways to raise the money–maybe a 5k run down by the lake,” she said.

“Social media’s going to play a huge role,” she said, “If we can make really good content for people, that’s a big part.”

Along with self-promotion, Garcia-Torres stressed the value of professors and their opinions in the project-building process.

“It’d be interesting to hear what my professors have to say about which countries need [the filters] the most, where we could make the biggest impact,” she said.

“This is the best time to do a project like this because you have all these resources in front of you,” she said.

Finally, Garcia-Torres is determined to foster a deeper connection with those she will bring water to than merely a client-customer relationship.

“You don’t want to go in there thinking you can just save the day,” she said, “Why not make connections with these people and find out what else you can do for the community.”

In these early stages of the activist’s project, Garcia Torres wants to bring as many mind to the table as she can.

From sponsors, to professors, to fellow students, Garcia-Torres is gathering support from all over campus. Forming an official SGA club is the next step for the project.

“It’ll be interesting to meet more people who have this idea, who share this thought process,” she said, “I want to make a system out of it.”

Garcia-Torres is turning her education into real-world action and is inspiring those around her to do the same. Her brand of activism is immediate but cohesive, and will surely flourish on campus, if not around the globe.

Burlington’s Haunted History

Halloween season is in full swing and it’s not unusual to see ghosts prowling the streets, usually sporting bedsheets and various party paraphernalia. However, collegiate mischief is not the only spooky thing afoot in Burlington.

PHOTO BY EVA BARTELS
PHOTO BY EVA BARTELS

“Surprisingly, Burlington has more haunted restaurants in one place than many other cities I’ve visited,” said Thea Lewis, an expert on all things spooky in Burlington.

Lewis, an author and historian, runs Burlington’s Queen City Ghostwalks. One of the most haunted places in town is American Flatbread, she said.

“There was a time, when a previous restaurant was in that location, when female servers were not allowed to go into the basement alone due to the paranormal activity,” Lewis said. “Lights going off. Objects moving. Even ghosts getting physical with those who ventured down alone.”

Paranormal activity has also been reported closer to campus. Converse Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, is known for being haunted.

Traditionally, the story goes that an unhappy student named Henry, terrified of failing his exams, hanged himself in the Converse attic.

“He’s been accused of spooking students by moving objects in their rooms and startling them when they are doing things they shouldn’t,” Lewis said.

Henry must have a busy schedule.

Most residents in Converse take a lighthearted view of their neighborhood ghost–residents joke that the recent spate of fire drills or the malfunctioning lights are the result of Henry’s antics. However, his story continues to be passed down through generations of students.

“There’s a lot of the universe we can’t begin to understand,” Lewis said. “We only use a fraction of what our brains are capable of. Whether you’re dealing with spirits or other phenomena, it pays to be open minded.”

Her advice, regardless of your view of the paranormal, seems sound. Whether dealing with paranormal activity or just the abnormal activity of those around us, keeping an open mind can work wonders.

Witches Get Snitches

Where can you play the most lighthearted, full-contact sport on campus? Only through club quidditch, the most unique sports craze to sweep college campuses in the last decade.

Quidditch, originally a fictional sport from the “Harry Potter” series — played with flying broomsticks — was adapted for “muggles” in the early 2000s and is now played by over 200 teams nationwide.

“The most enjoyable thing was how much it caught me off guard,” said junior and club president Connor Umsted. “I met all of my close friends through quidditch, it’s legitimately a great club.”

At seven years old, the UVM quidditch team is one of the oldest in the country, and frequently travels throughout the Northeast to compete against other collegiate teams. The team practices and competes year-round, moving indoors to astro-turf fields from mid-October to the end of the academic year.

“We love playing in the snow, and deep snow is the best,” senior Jenna Hurley said. “Everyone slides around and it’s a great time.”

Quidditch is played with 15 players on the field at a time: seven individuals from each team along with one neutral player, also known as the snitch. Teams consist of three chasers, who attempt to score by putting volleyballs (also known as quaffles) through three different hoops, all guarded by a keeper. Additionally, there are two beaters, who use dodgeballs to tag other players out. If a player is hit by a dodgeball, they must run back to their own goal before they are considered in play again.

“It’s a full contact sport, it gets pretty rough,” Umsted said. “There are a lot of injuries, a lot of broken brooms.”

There is also one seeker per team, whose goal is to catch the snitch runner — a neutral player wearing a gold uniform whose capture ends the game.

“The snitch is usually a cross country runner,” Hurley said. “It’s one of the most athletic positions.”

The snitch — which Umsted described “hilarious” — is one of the most lighthearted parts of the game. Seekers attempt to grab a ball in a sock that has been tucked into the snitch runner’s waistband, all while keeping their own brooms between their legs.

Although quidditch is described as being co-ed, U.S. Quidditch (the governing body of competitive quidditch) implemented a policy called “Title 9 ¾,” referencing Title IX and the famous 9 ¾ train platform seen in the “Harry Potter” books. Instead of dividing men and women into different teams, USQ policy states that each team is allowed no more than four players that identify as the same gender on the pitch at any given time.

The policy seeks to be more inclusive of transgender players and hopes to inspire similar gender policies in other sports.

The UVM quidditch team was a member of USQ, which hosts sanctioned events and even a national tournament, during the 2014-2015 season but recently left the league due to increasing rule changes. They now play other colleges without concern for rankings.

Quidditch takes players year-round with no tryouts necessary; matches are BYOB (bring your own broom). Contact president Connor Umsted ([email protected]) or check out them out on Facebook for information on joining.

“Bald Bill” Henshaw: Inside the Mind of a Body Artist

My parents started placing bets on what my first tattoo would be after I left for college. I’m still leaving them hanging. Bill Henshaw, affectionately known as “Bald Bill” by his friends and coworkers, guesses he’s a little bit ahead of me. He’s been tattooed by over 100 tattoo artists and estimates he’s 80 percent tattoo.

Henshaw opened Yankee Tattoo in 1996 on the same day that tattooing was legalized in Vermont. Although he’s an icon in the Burlington body art scene today, winning local and national awards, his road here has been anything but straightforward.

“I did a lot of hand poking as a kid. Then I went into the navy, drew a lot of tattoos for friends,” Henshaw said. Not only was this where he first discovered his love for tattooing, but it’s also where he was inspired to name his shop Yankee Tattoo.

Born and raised in Boston, Bald Bill is a self-identified Yankee. “When I was in the Navy, every time I opened my mouth I had to fight the Civil War,” he said. Although it’s faded since he’s moved to Vermont, you can still hear a hint of a Boston accent in Henshaw’s voice.

After leaving the Navy, Henshaw worked for a telephone company, eventually transferring to the art department. Designing art for the Yellow Pages by day and tattooing by night, he quit his day job in 1986 and decided to go into tattooing full time.

“Everyone thought I was crazy,” Henshaw said. When I asked him if this bothered him, he just laughed.

Tattooing is serious business for Henshaw. He and his staff go through extensive training and he attends professional industry events around the country with world-renowned tattoo artists.

“I’ve met and rubbed shoulders and partied with them,” Henshaw said. “I know many, many famous tattoo artists and they know me.”

The most difficult part of his job, though? The customers.

“Fucking soul-suckers. Customers always think they’re right,” Henshaw said, shaking his head. “But for all those difficult clients, there are so many more that are great.”

Although tattooing has gained popularity in recent years, there’s still a niche counter-culture community formed around body art. “People at the top of the food chain put their noses up and look down on us,” Henshaw said. He and his friends, he explained, have even been pulled aside for security checks at airports because of their tattoos.

Despite the stubborn customers, judgmental outsiders and changing times, there’s nothing else “Bald Bill” Henshaw would rather be doing.

“The best part of my job is I make people happy,” he told me. “Everyday, with my art, I make people happy. That’s why I want to work until I fucking die.”

The unique appeal of tattooing has caused many people, like Henshaw, to fall in love with the art form. A 2012 Harris poll found that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have tattoos.

“The whole country, the whole world, is going tattoo,” Henshaw said.

Walking around downtown Burlington, or UVM’s campus, his words seem to ring true. For our generation, tattooing has increasingly become incorporated into youth culture.

I asked Bill if he had any advice for those considering getting inked for the first time.

“Research what you want. There’s nothing worse than getting tattooed by an asshole,” Henshaw said.

Yankee Tattoo doesn’t bombard their followers on social media and their shop is tucked away on Pearl Street, making it less central than some of their competitors’ shops.

They’ve also won the 7 Daysies award for 13 years in a row and Bill won both the people’s choice and judges award for best sleeve at the National Tattoo Association Convention this past year.

Yankee seems to prove the old adage, “a picture (or a tattoo) is worth a thousand words.” Their art and their expertise speak for themselves.

As I packed up my bag to leave Yankee Tattoo and make my way back to campus for class, Henshaw started to speak again. “We try to do our best. Everybody always asks us: what’s the best work you’ve ever done? And I always say my next one,” Henshaw said.