ROC City Tattoo Expo: On the Road in Rochester, NY

By John 
ROC City (now in its third year) had some pretty stiff convention competiton last weekend… ROC City was one of three major US shows that weekend, including the biennial Green Bay show and Hell City PHX. However, despite these shows, a hurricane, an earthquake and whatever other acts of God were thrown in the mix, ROC City definetely put the R-O-C back in rock

It’s always a wonderful treat to arrive at a show and your hotel room is ready and your booth space wasn’t given to some piercing/jewelry company from France… (Yes, this has happened to TAM before.)

So I’m riding pretty high when I stroll into the Hyatt and see Jet, (Joseph DiProjetto) the shows creator and owner of Love Hate Tattoo in Rochester, NY. We chat for a minute as the pre-show chaos swirls around us. I get checked in find my boxes and everything appears to be in order…

Dum-Dum-Dum… And I have no banners! Thank you UPS for making sure our banners arrived on Monday (after the convention) instead of Friday.

Thanks to Scott Weatherwax from Mindazi, who loaned me a blank banner so I could test out my creative skills (of which I have none) in making my own banner.

Not sure if Josh Mason was trying to steal my thunder, but we unknowingly went head-to-head in the unofficial “Best Homemade Banner” contest for the weekend…

On with the show… The line-up for ROC City is a true testament Jet’s organizational skills and abilities. With all the other shows that weekend he still pooled together some of the community’s brightest and best, including Richard Stell, Doc Cooper, Brad Fink, Krooked Ken, Danny Reed, Aaron Hodges, Mike Rennie, Dawn Cooke, Chad Soner, Jeff Zuck, Adam Shrewsbury, Justin Shaw, Mike Bennett, Henry Rodriguez, Josh Mason, Mario Desa, Chad Ramsay, Chris Goff (Turbo), Johannes from Black Stallion… The list goes on and on and on…

It’s safe to say that you could walk into the ROC City show, close your eyes and touch any booth in the room and walk out with an amazing tattoo.

In fact you could probably walk into a random hotel room at 4 a.m. on Saturday night and get a pretty sweet hand-poked tattoo, as well…

Well, that’s not entirely true… It wasn’t random. Chad, Turbo and I decided to sneak into the show and grab some ink and needles from their booth. Luckily, someone was still tattooing in the convention room and let us in. We tried to rally some more troops for our hotel room shenanigans, and we were able to round up Zane Leibowitz to join us.

Sunday was a day I wish I had an endless coconut water and morphine i.v. drip. As accomadting as Jet was, sadly he could not provide this for me…

However, I did eat an awesome Chinese/Vietmese/Japanese/Thai/Korean meal with some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, as well as meeting (or re-meeting) a few new people. Also, I saw a real life pimp… but Justin Shaw has the picture to prove it.

Massive thank-yous go to Jet all the Love Hate Tattoo crew, and his son Zane for running to Kinko’s five different times and making me “banners.”

The attention to detail and the family vibe at ROC City are the driving force that really makes this show special. You can not fake or duplicate the level of respect and care that goes into this show… More conventions should be like this one, but then again I don’t think that is even possible…

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4 thoughts on “ROC City Tattoo Expo: On the Road in Rochester, NY

  1. Good times were had for sure. Nice to break bread with you at the dim sum restaurant that Sunday. I’ll vouch for the pimp as well, being that Shaw’s photo was so blurry. Can’t wait until next year.

  2. Couldn’t have said it better. I had a great time!! This is what all conventions should be like indeed. The white pinstriped suit strutting down the sidewalk was defiantly an added bonus. Good to meet you both as well. till next time

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