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U.S.A.: Saint Marks Place

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Saint Marks Place | U.S.A. | Americas

[Visited: Apri 2014]

The walk from the subway station is pleasant: the rays of the spring sun feel warm and are arriving constantly, since the sky is cloudless; trees around me are blossoming, and there is not much traffic in the streets or people on the sidewalks. I have arrived in East Village, and I soon reach my destination: Saint Marks Place, one of the shortest streets of Manhattan. It actually is 8th St, but for the three blocks between Third Avenue and Avenue A, changes name and borrows one of the nearby St Marks church. I walk to Tompkins Park, turn around, and start exploring the street. Even if only three blocks, it would keep me busy for an hour.

Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Sculpted head above a window on the building featured on the Physical Graffiti album of Led Zeppelin

Apart from the fine architectural style of the buildings, the main attraction of Saint Marks Place lies in the history behind those facades, the famous musicians, painters, and writers that have lived here, worked here, and/or used the street for recording their music clips or embellish their album covers. There are artsy stores, cafes and restaurants, and many buildings have housed a variety of stores or, for instance, baths in the history of St. Marks Place. Leon Trotsky lived here, it was featured in an episode of Sex and the City, and it has provided inspiration for authors and script writers.

Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Declared a landmark, this building houses the German-American shooting society, formerly cinema and bookshop

The first notable buildings I come across, were two similar buildings on numbers 96-98: pictures of these were used for the cover of the Physical Graffiti album, by Led Zeppelin. Upon closer inspection, I see many sculpted faces on its exterior, I find iron fences, and fine decorations. It was also used by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for a video clip for the Rolling Stones song Waiting for a Friend. As I walk down the street, towards the west, I pass countless other buildings with stories: former home of a filmmaker, a poet, a building that once housed a theatre, home of a former punk group, former home of a Russian-language communist newspaper that was discontinued after the Russian Revolution of 1917, a jazz club... If those walls could talk!

Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Looking west on St Marks Place with trees in blossom
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Slogan under a sculpted head with paint on the wall of the building that is featured on the cover of Physical Graffiti
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Sculpted head on the frontside of the Physical Graffiti building on St Marks Place
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Close-up of the stairs of the building that featured on an album of Led Zeppelin and a music clip with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Close-up of the upper part of a building at St Marks Place with decorated windows
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Building on St Marks Place
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Artsy sign for a restaurant on the pavement of St Marks Place
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Colourful and artsy sign for a tea shop at Physical Graffiti on St Marks Place
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): The upper part of St. Nicholas building at the beginning of St. Marks Place
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): St Marks Place 4: Hamilton-Holly House, built in 1831, a designated New York landmark
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Sin-é café was once located at 122 St Marks Place
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Tbe cover of the album Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin featured this building
Picture of Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.): Sculpted entrance of one of the buildings on St Marks Place

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Saint Marks Place (U.S.A.). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Saint Marks Place.
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