New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Physical Graffiti

Physical Graffiti is both the name of a small vintage clothing boutique at 96 St. Mark's Place shown in the photo and a Led Zeppelin album which used the very same building and the adjoining building at 98 St. Mark's Place for the album's cover (click here for photo). The building was also used as backdrop for a Rolling Stones music video - Waiting on a Friend (this can be found on YouTube). This shop abuts the subject of a previous post, Cappuccino and Tattoo, part of which can be seen on the right. Is this an obsession with St. Mark's Place on my part? Not really. New Yorkers know that St. Mark's Place has been NYC's (and one of the country's) epicenter of a number of counter cultural movements. Dominated by retail, the concentration of shops on St. Marks Place reflects the current flavor. The street has been home to hippies, yippies, punks, political activists and protest marches, renowned bookstores, music stores and clubs (e.g. Electric Circus), graffiti artists, cafes, clothing shops, restaurants, bars, theaters, gangsters, and St. Mark's Church - physical graffiti well describes the street itself.
Footnote: Let the (Internet) reader beware. Misinformation has always been a problem, but the ease of copying text using the Internet has caused viral proliferation. In researching this post, I found numerous references (including Wikipedia) that the Anarchist Switchboard was previously located at 96 St. Mark's Place - an interesting tidbit for this posting, except that it appears to be incorrect. The New York Times misreported this on Feb. 18, 2007 and printed a correction on March 21. I also found a number of references to the building's address for the album cover as 97 St. Mark's Place instead of 96 & 98 (97 is on the opposite side of the street - on east-west streets in Manhattan, even numbers are on the south side, odd numbers are on the north). Rolling Stone has the addresses as 94 & 96. You will probably find these erroneous pieces of info everywhere in perpetuity now, when doing online searches ....

14 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

If I owned the building I would be sick.

Abraham Lincoln
If you have not seen a big ant then it might be worth seeing my post this morning.
Brookville Daily Photo

Brian said...

abraham -
Not for long - you'd sell them fast for at least $20-30 million and feel much better:)
Brian

aigaio said...

hey brian how does one contact you for permission to publish one of your photos? (in a small, educational, art journal? ) thanks!

Susan said...

Ha! I have that album. Never knew it was a real building!

Brian said...

aigaio-
I changed my profile to include my email address: brian@newyorkdailyphoto.com

poody said...

It is the same building as the album cover. I love stuff like this! I have never been to New York but would love to go! It seems like such a great place to be!

Gintingl said...

I like Led Zepplin - Physical Graffiti, but not sure about graffiti as color for store front. It does look like crack's house in some tough neighboor uphere. And your picture is excellent.

Steve Buser said...

Thanks for a interesting trip through nostalgia.

lv2scpbk said...

All I can say is it's very colorful. I never would have imagined you'd get that price for it though.

Brian said...

The price I threw out (just a guess) is for the two buildings shown on the album cover. These are 5-story buildings. The photo just shows the retail shop in the basement of one and a very small portion of #96.
Brian

Carro said...

Never been to NYC but I have always wanted to go. You got some great pics.

Peace

Calgre said...

Great post Brian.

As with your post on Mosaic Man a few days ago, your photos and narrative really do make you feel like you're actually there.

I look at your blog every day. I find it informative, visual, and, having had the good fortune to be in New York before, a thousand times more authentic than any NYC tourism site.

Thanks for doing this!

Mary C. said...

The anarchist bookstore at 96 St. Marks Place was called Sabotage Books. It was opened by some of us from the Anarchist Switchboard after that space closed in 1989. The Switchboard was on East 9th Street.

Anonymous said...

There's a tv show that did a segment on the building. Check out the YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1yIpMw83hc