Day 265/366 – Day 4 in NYC. Sidney + Dezi meet Fil [shop manager of Tuff City] with Nike Lebron 9’s on his feet.

Today wraps up Sidney & Dezi’s adventure in NYC…they will be live from DC tomorrow!

[From Sidney]

So Dezi and I were walking in the LES and came across this tattoo shop that specialized in graffiti. It’s a very cool spot that looks like a NYC subway train. We made our way to the backyard and watched some people put up some real nice pieces. We were definitely in awe with how dope the shop is.

It’s called Tuff City. Fil is the shop manager. 

He’s wearing Nike “Cool Grey” LeBron 9’s that he bought at a small sneaker shop by the Williamsburg Bridge. He showed us around the shop, and he’s a really cool guy. Fil says there isn’t any particular reason why he chose these shoes, mainly to match the silver in his outfit but he does like the comfort. He says there’s no real logic of what sneakers he chooses every day and that it’s mainly grab and go for him. The tattoo shop gives him the opportunity to not stick with the just a shirt and tie. Fil has a lot to choose from with about a hundred pairs of sneakers. But, he says he’s still a “junior in the game” with other workers with crazy Nike collections. Fil’s favorite sneakers are the Nike Air Force 1s, specifically the classic white on whites. “They just go with everything,” he said. A true statement!

Fil is born and raised in the Bronx. He says EVERYONE there wears Nikes, and there’s some real crazy collectors out there. He remembers as a kid not sleeping for sneakers and begging his mom for that one pair. A similar story we all know!


Tuff City in the Lower East Side is a newer shop that opened a year and a half ago. The original shop is in the Bronx and was opened in 2007, but they’ve been tattooing since 1993. Fil is the manager of both locations. The original shop in the Bronx is a huge location that used to be a car dealership. People can get a tattoo inside a real subway train! Fil is very proud of Tuff City. “We are the only tattoo shop in New York City tattooing preserving the graffiti culture,” he said. I find this an amazing thing with how important New York City graffiti is and how rich the culture is. This is a really special place with great artists! Come through and say watsup to Fil!


Word up. So RAD Sidney + Dez! Safe and happy travels. 🙂


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