St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street

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 O’Hara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the street’s apex. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street-from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant’s pear orchard to today’s hipster playground-organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared “St. Marks is dead.”

Blurbers included Tim Gunn, Ad-Rock, Kathleen Hanna, Karen Abbott, Jami Attenberg, Lili Taylor, and Colin Quinn, who said, “I love this funny, sad, amazing book. … St. Marks Place is the most interesting street in the world, because it doesn’t try to be. It’s abnormal and impossible and ugly and sexy and annoying and inspiring. And the story was written by a St. Marks child, which is probably the only way it could’ve been told.”


There are 70 images in the book, most never before published. Here are a few of them:

St Marks Map