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St. Marks Place
In just three blocks that stretch from Third Avenue to Tompkins Square Park, St. Marks Place—the extension of 8th Street named for historic, progressive St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery two blocks north—morphs from a touristy destination toward its western terminus to a living reminder of the East Village's punk-rock past. Significant moments in counterculture history happened all along the street: Abbie Hoffman invented the Yippies at No. 30 in 1967; Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and Jimi Hendrix performed at now-gone experimental nightclub Electric Circus, before it closed in 1971; and gallery 51X backed eighties-era graffiti artists like Keith Haring and Basquiat. Today, the street's grasp on culture lies mostly within its diverse restaurants (frankfurters at Crif Dogs, Israeli cuisine at Hummus Place) and storefronts. And though these aren’t quite as anti-establishment as they once were—there’s nothing too rebellious about sidewalk vendors hawking plastic sunglasses—some glam stalwarts still remain, like Trash & Vaudeville and Andy's Chee-Pees, where you can still sift through used polyester dresses at marked-up prices.
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