February 29, 2016


“The hippies didn’t much like the Beatniks and they really hated the punks. The punks didn’t much like the hippies and they really hated the hardcore kids. So it’s been this cycle of bohemians hating each other,” says Ada Calhoun, author of the acclaimed book St. Marks is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street.

A native of the four-block-stretch in Manhattan’s East Village which has served as the nation’s capital of the counterculture for more than a hundred years, Calhoun spoke with Reason TV about her book which lovingly details the endless creative destruction that has kept St. Mark’s Place a vibrant home for everyone from early 20th century anarchists to Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground, to the punk rockers of the CBGBs era, to the hardcore kids and skaters of the 80s, to the lamented NYU students of today.

You may recognize the building on the cover of Calhoun’s book from the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti double album. Exit quote: “I think the line between poseurs and authentic bohemians is pretty thin.”

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