Before the corpse could get cold this week, movers have already started emptying out the recently shuttered Trash & Vaudeville.
The legendary punk shop closed this past Sunday. It is moving to a smaller space on 7th Street.
According to the Times, owner Ray Goodman "decided to relocate because of the rent, which had risen to $45,000, and because the street, once synonymous with punk culture, 'became a food court,' he said."
If The Gap and 7-Eleven and the 9 million Japanese restaurants and fro-yo joints didn't kill the iconoclastic soul of St. Mark's, well, the loss of Trash & Vaudeville has got to be the final nail in the coffin. (What's left to lose? St. Mark's Comics, Grassroots...)
The Trash & Vaudeville movers moved quickly.
Out went alien heads, framed Ramones posters, and Doc Martens boot stands. Boxes, crates, and lots of hot-pink bags.
A crowd of mannequins, still dressed in their Blondie t-shirts and chaos pants, lay stacked together in the moving truck, awaiting their new home. They looked like the former denizens of St. Mark's Place, their style no longer fitting for the street's new clientele. They should be wearing NYU sweatshirts and UGGs.
The upstairs of the shop is now empty, a hollow shell of white walls in need of a thorough spackling.
And that shadowy downstairs window, once a beacon to punks both young and past their prime, has lost its lightning-boltish TRASH neon sign, its spiked bracelets, and creeper shoes. I must have walked past it a hundred thousand times, looking to it for solace in the twenty-first century night.
The vitrine now holds nothing but a layer of pink netting and faux fur. Trash & Vaudeville has left the building.
And the building has been sold for $11.9 million. What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
My guess: A high-end, shopping mall clothing chain--the shape of St. Mark's to come. Or else another karaoke bar.