St. Mark’s Place is the main cultural street of the East Village. It developed its identity in the 70’s and became the mecca for artists, musicians, poets, writers and students. A bohemian neighborhood emerged with iconic buildings filled with graffiti art, vintage shops, cozy bars, tattoo, piercing and hair parlors, creative art schools and restaurants. In just a three block strip, you can savor foods from Asia, Italy, Morocco, India, Ukraine, Venezuela and get the “best” sliders, falafels or ramen as described in the “Village Voice”.
St. Mark’s has some of the most renowned vintage shops in the city (maybe even the world) where you can find retro, timeless, edgy punk, rock and goth style inspired fashion like those of Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen. I have to tell you about the shop that made a lasting impression. It’s one of the original, avant-garde shops called Trash and Vaudeville. Founded in 1975, and famously associated with The Ramones, Blondie and Iggy Pop. When you enter the store, you immediately feel like you are walking back in time. The walls are plastered with posters from the past along with jewelry, clothes, heels and shoes I thought were all extinct, including spaceship platform boots! The workers were dressed in punk clothing, dyed hair of flaming red, blue or orange or half-shaved with various body piercing and tattoos. They were really friendly with a positive vibe in their rebel-like personalities. The super friendly store manager, Jimmy Webb, spoke to me in his raspy, craggy voice. About in his mid-50’s, he wore mascara and eye shadow, black nail polish complete with punk clothes, Dr. Marten boots and bracelets that jingled like sleigh bells. What was most unforgettable were all his tattoos! And yes, I walked out with bags filled with cool stuff.
So…to all of you who want to add that edge, swank or funky vibe to your life, Trash and Vaudeville is the place that will twist your wicked style. (Using my rock-hand gesture!). Check out the website http://www.trashandvaudeville.com. That’s the Urban Edge!