Tuesday, January 29, 2019

St. Mark's Comics


It's yet another nail in the coffin for the very dead St. Mark's Place. After 36 years, St. Mark's Comics will be closing at the end of February.

They announced the news today on Twitter and explained why on their Facebook page:

"There are lots of obstacles to running a retail storefront in NYC; too many of them at once to fight, and after 36 pretty intense years, not enough left to fight them."

What remains?

The Grassroots Tavern, shuttered last year after 42 years, sits empty. Trash & Vaudeville was kicked off the street. So was St. Mark's Bookshop--and then again. Kim's Video got the boot. A lot of record shops were lost. Dojo's is long gone.

The comic book shop was one of the last of its kind, a dusty, idiosyncratic leftover from the old street, when it was still part and production of the counterculture. But there is little counterculture left in the broken East Village. A century of rebelliousness down the drain.


JQ LLC said...

I passed by that street a few times last week, it really looks like a ghost town. The two bros pizza was the only place that had any activity.

It reminds me of last scenes in "The Last Picture Show


Scout said...

I lived in the East Village/Alphabet City from 1980 to 1992; I have friends who grew up there in the 50s and 60s who report that they saw it shift from a lower-middle class Polish/Ukrainian enclave to a bohemian center of NYC, then to a suburban/upper-class faux-bohemian neighborhood. Even when I moved in, the true bohemian era was drawing to a close, with rich NYU kids, models, and wanna-be's taking over; by 1990, there was no real counter-culture there anymore, only imitations. The true Bohemia of the East Village was a short-lived thing, lasting maybe 25 years at the most, in a volatile, ever-changing 184 year history.

Ruki444 said...

Thankfully the other boroughs have avoided the faster-growing cancer, so far.

Jean-Louis Derenne / รด jazz ! said...

From the january issue of The New York City Jazz Record :

Highline Ballroom has announced its closure after 12 years, yet
another victim of New York City’s unregulated and ruthless real
estate market. Steven Bensusan, President of Blue Note
Entertainment Group, the umbrella organization of which Highline
Ballroom was a part, announced future plans to reopen in the
Meatpacking District.


Andrew Porter said...

They had a branch on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, which closed several years ago.

Geed said...

St. Marks was always a 'have to stop at' place. Best comic shop? Not by a long shot but a piece of history that this Long Island boy grew up going to during many NYC visits. I always remember watching my step on one spot the wooden floor where it was a bit...bouncy.

DRoss171 said...

I came of age as adolescent skateboarding up and down this street endlessly. I grew up on the LES, my mom took me to East Village Books, Dojo and The St Marks theatre as a kid. I spent countless hours in St Marks Comics. God I miss the old St Marks from Free Being records to Andy's Cheapies to T n V. No wonder I moved to LA.