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A vibrant narrative history of three hallowed Manhattan blocks?the epicenter of American cool.
St. Marks Place in New York City has spawned countless artistic and political movements. Here Frank OHara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the streets apex. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street?from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesants pear orchard to todays hipster playground?organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared St. Marks is dead.
In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun profiles iconic characters from W. H. Auden to Abbie Hoffman, from Keith Haring to the Beastie Boys, among many others. She argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants haven, a mafia warzone, a hippie paradise, and a backdrop to the film Kids?but it has always been a place that outsiders call home.70 illustrations
An Amazon Best Book of November 2015: In this - sometimes history book, sometimes tour guide - Ada Calhoun crafts an account of New York's St. Marks Place in the most wonderful way- through the stories of the people who lived there. Journalist and local native, Calhoun knits together stories, essays, photos, and personal accounts to document a 400 year history of what is considered one of the most culturally significant streets in the United States. Whether you are a native of New York or a dreamer, this book will have you yearning for the streets of the city and the unique spirit of St. Marks. Penny Mann
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