© The New Yorker collection 2007 Mick Stevens

Century Marks

Change of heart: When Beth Slevcove moved into the center of a large city, she embraced everything about urban life—except for the guys who ran the tattoo parlor across the street and who got into fights, harassed women and intimidated men. One day Beth decided to get a tattoo herself. She walked over to the tattoo parlor and told them she wanted “Love thy neighbor” inscribed on her wrist, explaining that she was having trouble loving her neighbors because of their fighting. One of the tattoo artists said to the proprietor, “Manuel, dude, we’re scaring our neighbors. We got to stop fighting.” After that, the fighting ceased and the sidewalk seemed safe. Several months after she got the tattoo, Beth ran into Manuel. He gave her a big hug and said to a friend, “Here, this is my neighbor, the one I was telling you about” (Sun, August).


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