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Tattoo Stories: Forever Bexley Hall at MIT

In this week’s installment of Tattoo Stories, we speak to BKB Brooklyn member & software engineer Nicole Power, who recently got a tattoo commemorating the recently demolished Bexley Hall at MIT. Get to know your BKB community a little more than skin deep.

bexley hall mit tattoo

Meet Nicole Power, Florida native who is now a software engineer at Google. She shares her tattoo (recently done in Brooklyn by Lalo Tattoos) story with us, that commemorates the recently demolished Bexley dorm building at MIT:

“At the very end of college, there was a senior class event where we went to MetroRock – and there I discovered that I could actually exercise and have fun. When I got here, I researched the best place to climb and up came Brooklyn Boulders. I’ve been climbing for a year on and off; my roommate won’t get belay certified so I mostly boulder.

nicole tattoo climbing

This is my first tattoo – I guess I always thought of tattoos as a means of using your body is a canvas; it just always seemed like a cool thing to have. I would waiver because my mom doesn’t like tattoos and she always told me that it was a thing you’d regret – so there was that mentality. Later, I read a book called Pen & Ink, a book of people’s tattoos and the stories behind them. I also really related to Lena Dunham said that she didn’t like her body but she liked her tattoos.

bexley hall mit

This tattoo is based on a mural inside Bexley Hall, where I lived in Boston. All of my friends lived there, you could paint on the walls, you could do whatever you wanted. Two years ago, the building was deemed structurally unsound. This tattoo is based on a mural in a dorm located in Bexley; the original mural was by George Plotkin, made in the 70s. I think he’s a doctor now. The dorm still had that vibe, it was also the largest producer of LSD on the east coast back in the day, and was even raided by the FBI.

bexley.half.true
The original Bexley Hall mural.

Once college was over I finally had the chance to exercise and to get healthier. Climbing seemed scary at first, I thought I was so out of shape but it was so easy to get into. I was super scared of heights, but the other day I did my first V2 with ease!”

Say hi to Nicole next time you see her climbing at BKB, and check out our entire Tattoo Stories series. 


Tattoos are intimately personal, and stereotypical of Brooklynites. Walking through Brooklyn Boulders, it’s more often than not you’ll see some adorned bodies climbing our walls. Each inked piece tells a story, whether it’s silly, inspirational, nostalgic, funny or just a fond memory.

BKB Tattoo Stories showcase various tattoos around our space, and the stories behind them. Get to know your community of climbers a little more than skin-deep.

If you have a particular story you’d like to share – get in touch with us: stories@brooklynboulders.com