St. Mark’s street punks, then and now

This week, New York magazine has an article about the latest generation of kids who have recycled the punk aesthetic, hanging out on St. Mark’s and bemoaning the fact that the East Village 1980s punk scene is long over. “St. Marks used to be, like, a punk block,” one kid says. “Now it’s like fucking BBQ chicken and fucking Chipotle, whatever that store is.”

But was the East Village of the 1980s really so punk? In a piece from the August 1984 East Village Eye, punks hanging out on the same stretch of St. Marks complain about the same things as their 2008 counterparts, namely gentrification and “middle class assholes,” as one kid put it. 

East Village Eye photo

From the 1984 article: “Though Sid, 14, lives with his parents in Brooklyn, he feels right at home at the corner of Ave. A because ‘there are normal people here.’ If he had his way, in the year 2000 there’d be a hardcore monument commemorating that very intersection ‘to the people that rebel.’ What the rebellion stood for, he was hard-pressed to explain.”

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