And for the second installment of Amazing Skateboarders You May Not Know, I present to you, Robbie Gangemi.
I first came across Robbie at Maximus, arguably one of the best east coast skateparks of all time.
Located next to the Cambridge projects and 10 minutes outside of Boston proper, Maximus was an indoor park that started its life as ZT Maximus until local tattoo artist/schralper Ram and vert killer Doug took it over in the 90's. It was a street park with a curved bowl opposite a vert wall, quarter parks, manny pad, and vert ramp. Whatever you needed. We would kick out the roller bladers, break out the Sam Adams, turn up The Spacemen 3, and kill it all night till we were sore, then soaked in sweat, brave the snow outside. Other guys I've seen lay it down at Maximus: Matt Pailes, unknown epic-local Mike Brown, Vanik, Kevin Day, and Vinnie Ponte (chest-high ollies out of the bowl).
I could write pages about the impact that place had on Boston and east coast skating as a whole, but I will keep it brief and say that with the exception of Upland Pipeline when I was a child, some of the most fun and epic sessions of my life went down at that place.
But I digress.
The first person I met, the first time I walked into those hallowed halls was to become one of my favorite skateboarders of all time, Mr. Gangemi.
This was about 94 or 95, and before he came to fame with Zoo York Mixtape or Eastern Exposure 3 in the shared part with Jahmal (featuring Panama Dan, I might add).
I didn't actually see him skate that that much on that given evening, as he mostly just cruised around the park. But when my mom moved to Boston and I found myself spending weeks there at a time, I really came to know the skating of this kid.
Style doesn't even begin to describe his whole shit, from his board control, all the way to the tips of his fingers, everything was styled out. Plus he's goofy foot, which is nice.
I've seen him throw down tech lines on the street course at Maximus, then walk over to the vert ramp and not only skate it hard, but drop tech shit on that as well. Inspiring.
Besides the park, I was lucky enough to skate around the streets of Boston with him, and even better; kick it at our boy Steve's house listening to the Wu.
If you know skating, you know that there are some guys who you just have to see in person to fully appreciate, and if you know Robbie, you know he's one of those dudes.
Boston skating is ill as fuck, as you will see when I feature more of them in "ASYMNK", but for now, marinate on this dude for a minute.
It's all in that left hand.
Saw these on some random blog a while back, if you come across a pair in size 12, challah.
1975. My first setup. I wish I still had mine, or a pic of it for that matter. But alas, the interweb provides as the dude abides.
Logan Earth Ski, Bennett trucks, and Kryptonics wheels (1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue).
They are all over Egay, but it's really not the same. (And the last time I tried to recapture my skouth on that fuckin' site I bought a too-small 60-dollar pair of musty mildew Rector gloves that are sitting in my backyard like a dead bird).
My friend and favorite tour bus driver, Skot Jonz turned me onto this.
As featured in The New York Times, I give you, DEATH.
1970's Detroit proto-punk made by 3 Brothers. (Both literally, and as in black as fuck).
Post Stooges and MC5, pre-EVERYTHING ELSE.
I would jack dude in center's style, except I've been rocking that look forevz.
Okay. You probably don't like Diablo Cody.
You are probably a hater.
I was for a minute, then I pulled my head out of my asshole and realized how dope it was that a young woman like her was getting props and winning awards for writing something relevant and not some Merchant/Ivory bullshit.
Good for her. She's opening doors while you're peeking through them judging everyone on the other side.
She was doing this on dial-up when you were still listening to Britney (not ironically as you do now).
She's doing it while you're talking about it...and doing it with personal style and flair.
You're thinking, "she wears animal print, creates her own language, and is like a Suicide Girl, only eight years too late", and you know what, you're right.
But who cares?!
And she's real.
And that's a lot fucking cooler than being some hipster bummer chick who wears what she's supposed to, reads what she's told to, lives by the code of Brooklyn Vegan, drinks PBR, and clams notes on her bass while playing in the back room of The Cool Dive Bar, in the newly gentrified Cool Neighborhood, with her all-star indie-cred band that sounds like old Royal Trux, and is named after a mumblecore movie, while her 10 Coolest friends watch with folded arms, secretly wishing they could be at home listening to Fergie and watching Idol.
I say, right on Diablo, and long live the Fempire!
Besides, have you ever woken up to this kind of hangover?