Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Book Fund

NYC Neighborhoods

Where Is St. Marks? Investigating Place Names in the East Village

Share

It is 8th Street, but from Third Avenue to Avenue A it is called St. Marks Place and is named for St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, which is not even on 8th Street, or St. Marks Place, but at the intersection of 10th Street, Second Avenue, and Stuyvesant Street. The land there has been a site of Christian worship since 1660. The history of St. Marks Place doesn’t go back that far, but a surprising amount of history has happened on these four blocks.

2 St. Marks Place was the location of the legendary jazz venue the Five Spot Café.
 
4 St. Marks Place was a home to James Fenimore Cooper in the 1830s.
 
8 St. Marks Place was the location of the first cooking school in the country, the New York Cooking School, founded in 1876 by Juliet Corson.
 
13 St. Marks Place was a home to Lenny Bruce.
 
23 St. Marks Place was where Andy Warhol started The Exploding Plastic Inevitable with The Velvet Underground in 1966.
 
30 St. Marks Place was home to Abbie Hoffman in 1967, when he cofounded the Yippie Movement and planned for the 1968 Democratic Convention.
 
33 St. Marks Place was the home of poet Anne Waldman from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s and in 1977 Manic Panic, the first U.S. boutique to sell punk rock attire, opened here.
 
51 St. Marks Place was the location of the gallery 51X which brought graffiti into the mainstream with artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
 
60 St. Marks Place was where Joan Mitchell had a studio from 1951 to 1957.
 
77 St. Marks Place was where Leon Trotsky worked on the dissident newspaper Novy Mir (The New World) in 1917.
 
80 St. Marks Place was the location of Theater 80 which saw the premiere of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown on March 12, 1967. 
 
85 St. Marks Place was the birthplace of Lyonel Feininger, the painter and caricaturist, on July 17, 1871.
 
 
That’s just some of the history of this East Village street. 
 
Incidentally, St. Mark is the patron saint of notaries and the protector of Egypt, interpreters, secretaries, tanners, shoemakers, painters, pharmacists, glaziers, opticians, basket weavers, and Spanish cattle breeders, making him about as varied and interesting as St. Marks Place is today!

Comments

Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

St. Mark's as first home

St. Mark's Place is where I had my first apartment in NYC more than twenty years ago!

FlowerPower

In the late sixties, St. Mark's between 2nd and 3rd Ave was the Manhattan Mecca for hippies, flower children and hoards of tourists and the rest of us hip ones who just lived in the neighborhood. The Electric Circus had the best bands. It's where I first saw Tina Turner among others. It had a boutique with the latest fashions. I got in free as I was always delivering wild jewelry from a designer I worked for. On the street the coolest clothes could be found cheap. DoJo's was an ice cream store that sold treats with drug names like Panama Red or Acapulco Gold ice cream. Kids showed up with dreams in their eyes and safely slept on the sidewalk lined up like sardines. Christina Gorby had a basement store that ground out the latest clothes copied from the more expensive uptown stores. They were poorly made in the back but still one could be really groovy for really cheap. Then one day in 1970 it was just over. Some stores struggled on but the one that remained for the next three decades was DoJo's which expanded and turned into a cheap place to have delicious, Asian/American fast food along with breakfast anytime. The area took a downturn as many neighborhood stores were driven out by the sudden influx of new businesses that suddenly had no customers. Many storefronts were boarded up. Metal gates were not the norm then. It was still a poor neighborhood. Until the Punk Wave hit in the late seventies it was dismal indeed. With the coming of punks the dismal got much more colourful. Manic Panic got a store at 33 St. Marks in 1977 for cheap and made history. Hey, they brought second hand chic and blue-green-electric pink-neon yellow-purple hair to America. And you know what happened next!

christina Gorby

Does anyone know to get in contact with Christina Gorby?

Christina Gorby

I don't know how to get in touch with Christina Gorby, but I used to work for Christina Gorby. I was 17 at the time trying to make ends meet. I would sell her clothing in a Brooklyn Store and would sometimes have to go to the Garment District to pick up the clothes and take back to Brooklyn. On one occasion, Janis Joplin was in the elevator with me (at Chistina's garment district place) to get a clothes fitting. JJ was half plastered but spoke to me in a motherly way and said I was adorable. I'll never forget that encounter. Chistina was always very nice to me. I babysat for her children a few time. Her husband was Gregory. He was an artist and very laid back.

she divorced greg and married

she divorced greg and married jules olitiski another famous modern artist..they lived in new hampshire and in the florida keys...i loved Kristina..she was truly a fabulous lady.

Kristina's whereabouts

Hi, My mom is alive and well-she asked that I post her email. jolitski@gmail.com

KRISTINA GORBY

Hi , I worked for Kristina and also babysat for her. This was in the 1960s and 70s.I was on ST Marks PL. and then moved to 712 bway. See if we know each other or we can connect. tks Nan-say

Auden

No mention of Auden?

Regarding Kristina Gorby's Whereabouts

Kristina is alive and well. You can email her at jolitski@gmail.com

Hi Kristina,

Hi Kristina, I'm happy to hear that you're alive and well.Take a look at Limbo St. Marks Pl.on Facebook, and Limbo Boutique St Marks Pl. on Wikipedia. We should have a 60's St. Marks Place reunion with Kadeejia, Charlie from Grizzly, Paul McGregor, Iggy and Joe from the Five Spot, and all the others that are still on the planet. All the best, Marty Freedman

Post new comment