The “bad old days” of Times Square may be more infamous, but let’s not forget St. Marks Place, the endearingly scuzzy three-block stretch of East Eighth Street that’s been home to sexual exploration, druggie debauchery and epic human perversity for centuries.
I grew up there but didn’t know about some of the more notorious episodes I discovered researching “St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street” (W. W. Norton & Company), out this week. Some notable lowlights:
1. Cannibal stew. Pothead Daniel Rakowitz, who went everywhere with a live chicken, met a Swedish dancer in Tompkins Square Park, at the eastern end of St. Marks Place, and they moved in together. In 1989, he killed her and made her into a stew, then fed her to the homeless in the park.
Read the whole thing here.