simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Physical Graffiti
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Thursday, 14 June 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 ....


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