One of the most magical things about New York is that every street tells a story, from the action unfurling before your eyes to the dense history hidden behind colorful facades. St Marks Place is one of the best strips of pavement in the city for story telling, as almost every building on these hallowed blocks is rife with tales from a time when the East Village embodied a far more lawless spirit.
Technically St Marks Place is 8th St between Third Ave and Ave A; it earned its saintly moniker from the like-named church nearby on 10th St. Easily one of NYC’s most famous streets, St Marks Place is also one of the city’s smallest, occupying only three blocks between Astor Pl and Tompkins Square Park. The road, however, is jam-packed with historical tidbits that would delight any trivia buff. Some of the most important addresses include number 2, 4, 96 and 98, and 122 St Marks Place
Number 2 St Marks Place is known as the St Mark’s Ale House, but for a time it was the famous Five-Spot, where jazz fiend Thelonious Monk got his start in the 1950s. A cast of colorful characters have left their mark at 4 St Marks Place: Alexander Hamilton’s son built the structure, James Fenimore Cooper lived here in the 1830s and Yoko Ono’s Fluxus artists descended upon the building in the 1960s. The buildings at 96 and 98 St Marks Place are immortalized on the cover of Led Zepellin’s Physical Graffiti album. Though it closed in the 1990s, number 122 St Marks Place was the location of a popular cafe called Sin-é, where Jeff Buckley and David Gray often performed.