St. Marks Is Dead Book Party at Cooper Union Recap

Holy shit, everyone. That was the best night of my life save getting married and having a child. What I loved most was seeing 700 people from different eras of the street’s history, from teenagers to people in their eighties, all talking and drinking and laughing together in the place where Lincoln gave his “Right Makes Might” speech.

One photo contributor to the book wore an outfit she’d bought on the street in the 1960s and ran into the woman quoted in the book who had made it. Someone else told me, “I was hoping this guy I haven’t seen for 30 years would show up tonight, and he did. We’re having dinner tomorrow night."

Here are a few of the articles I saw about the party: Bedford+Bowery, Untapped Cities, Brooklyn Vegan, The Guardian, SavetheVillage. I especially love this line from The Observer: “The neighborhood may not be what it used to be, but, at least for the night, a lot of people were happy to gather and remember the way it once was, and imagine what it might become.”

THANK YOU to the best husband and friends anyone could ever have who put together the most killer band ever, the St. Marks Zeros: Adam Horovitz, Neal Medlyn, Kathleen Hanna, Bridget Everett, Erin Markey, Julian Maile, Carmine Covelli, Jim Andralis, and Larry Krone. Thanks to Mr. Murray Hill for being the best possible emcee. Thanks to Brooklyn Brewery for donating 15 cases of beer, which vanished in about two seconds, to my mom for getting the wine and seltzer and decorating, to Cooper Union (especially Kimberly Bowers and Kim Newman) for providing the perfect space, to W.W. Norton for chipping in on the AV and insurance costs, to Jimmy Webb for bringing me flowers, to McNally Jackson for selling 150 books, to Yuko, who sold every last T-shirt, to ace helpers Dorian, Ula, and Madeline, to my dad (who went with a hand truck to Walgreens on a last-minute ice run), to Erica for keeping tabs on the kid, to Alice for bringing the posters, to Tara and David for getting food, to Pete at Barcade, who hosted a great after-party with the best tater tots ever, and to my son, Oliver, for playing a mean cowbell on “We Are From the Lower East Side,” to everyone for coming.

Someone posted a video of the whole speech and performance. Below is a gallery of photos I’ve come across online. Meanwhile, enjoy this video of the Zeroes covering The Dictators’ “Avenue A,” or Kathleen Hanna singing John Waite’s “Downtown.”

There will be lots more book events this month and next, but that one set the bar pretty high. Long live St. Marks Place!

P.S. For posterity, here is the band’s lineup and setlist:

The St. Marks Zeros:
Neal Medlyn aka Champagne Jerry (bass, vocals on Detachable Penis & Avenue A)
Oliver Medlin (cowbell We Are from the Lower East Side)
Adam Horovitz (guitar, vocals on Judy is a Punk &. Welfare City)
Carmine Covelli (drums, vocals on We Are From the Lower East Side)
Julian Maile (guitar, background vocals)
Kathleen Hanna (sang Downtown by John Waite)
Bridget Everett (sang Personality Crisis by NY Dolls)
Erin Markey (sang St Marks Place by Lydia Lunch, with story by Adam Horovitz about how the Butthole Surfers saved his life on St. Marks Place)
And at end Jim Andralis and Larry Krone singalong Welfare City

And here’s a half-hour-long video the great Jose Tapia put on YouTube of all the songs.