St. Marks is dead : the many lives of America's hippest street

by Ada Calhoun

Hardcover, 2015





New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2015.

User reviews

LibraryThing member froxgirl
A light history about a short street with a big life. The author covers the Stuyvestants to the chain stores, and the comings and goings of various ethnic groups and retail stores. Music coverage is particularly vivid, with lots of valuable nuggets on the punk and No Wave eras. Entertaining photos abound.

"During lulls, she read books about the black experience, like Malcolm X's autobiography, as if studying for a test that the whole neighborhood was about to take."… (more)
LibraryThing member lisapeet
I enjoyed this a lot. The NYC history went beyond the usual, and I enjoyed the way she framed it through the street's cyclical cycle of hipsterdom (and the inevitable disappointment when its nature shifts). Full disclosure: I was a St. Marks hanger-outer in the first half of the '80s, one of those annoying little punks with a homemade haircut sitting on stoops drinking quarts of Ballantine's Ale out of paper bags with my friends... we were the reason all the stoops have gates now. (Sorry!) But it was a fun and exciting time in my life, and I have a certain amount of distanced nostalgia for it now that I'm an old fart. So aside from the general biography of a place, it was neat to hear reports from people I haven't seen in years, acquaintances and store owners and local legends. The place is damn near unrecognizable to me now, but I like Calhoun's concept of it as an identity-shifting locale.

Definitely a good read for NY history buffs and ex–East Villagers (of which I'm both).
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