What’s the Hidden History of St. Mark’s Place?

Which elephant deserves to be poached? Not this one.

St.Mark'sPlace

Courtesy of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation — four summer events:

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Beyond the Beatniks: The Hidden History of St. Mark’s Place
A Walking Tour with Eric Ferrara
Sunday, July 12
1:00 – 2:30 P.M.
Meeting place given upon reservation.
Free; reservations required.
RSVP to [email protected] or (212) 475-9585 ext. 35

St. Mark’s Place staked its claim as an epicenter of pioneering radical arts, activism, and counterculture in America over half a century ago — but there is much more than meets the eye. Before the beatniks, hippies, and punks (and way before the t-shirt and yogurt shops), St. Mark’s Place served as an important social and political hub for the ever changing immigrant groups populating the neighborhood over the last 150 years.

On this tour, we will peel back the layers of myths, legends, and misconceptions of St. Mark’s Place to reveal little-known history about this fascinating street and time capsule of East Village/Lower East Side/New York City history.

Eric Ferrara is a fourth generation/native Lower East Sider, published author, licensed guide, and executive director of the East Village History Project and East Village Visitors Center. Ferrara offers years of unprecedented research along with personal anecdotes and oral history which make for a truly unique experience.

This event is co-sponsored by the East Village History Project/East Village Visitors Center.

An Evening at the Jefferson Market Garden
Featuring the cast of the Greenwich Village Follies
Tuesday, July 28
[Rain date: July 30]
6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Jefferson Market Garden
Enter on Greenwich Avenue at Sixth Avenue and West 10th Street
Free; reservations required.
RSVP to [email protected] or (212) 475-9585 ext. 35

Be treated to a summer evening in the beautiful Jefferson Market Garden and an exclusive concert featuring the cast of The Greenwich Village Follies. (GVSHP Members get a discount on admission to the play itself by typing in discount code “GVSHP” at check-out!)

The Follies is a high-spirited and deliciously raunchy new musical, offering an overview of the Village’s history in the form of an old-school musical revue. From Peter Stuyvesant to the Stonewall Girls, this new musical revue brings Greenwich Village’s storied 400-year history to life. This is history as you’ve never seen it portrayed.

Enjoy the beauty of the renowned Jefferson Market Garden, occupying 1/3 of an acre next to the Jefferson Market Library and tended by local Villagers, at this private evening for GVSHP friends. Refreshments will be provided.

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The Village on Film Presents: Wait Until Dark
A GVSHP Film Series
Thursday, August 6
6:30 – 9:00 P.M.
Neighborhood Preservation Center
232 East 11th Street
Free; reservations required.
RSVP to [email protected] or (212) 475-9585 ext. 35

Following our May screening of Next Stop, Greenwich Village, GVSHP presents Part Two of our Village on Film Series.

Come see Audrey Hepburn’s Oscar-nominated performance in Terence Young’s Wait Until Dark. Hepburn plays a recently-blinded woman who lives on St. Luke’s Place. After her husband agrees to carry a doll over the border for a stranger, Hepburn’s Susy Hendrix is then terrorized by three criminals (led by Alan Arkin as Roat) who believe that their large stash of stolen heroin is inside the doll. The search begins benignly but turns violent as Susy catches on to the thieves’ plot and forms a plan of her own to level the playing field.

This film screening will be held in GVSHP’s living room with popcorn and goodies provided! Space is limited.

The Villagers of Ellis Island
A Walking Tour of Ellis Island with Tom Bernardin
Sunday, August 16
Meet at 11:45 A.M.
Meeting place given upon reservation
$12/person for ferry fees.
RSVP to [email protected] or (212) 475-9585 ext. 35

Greenwich Village has often been celebrated for its rich immigrant past, including the South Village’s Italian community, the groups of French immigrants living on Bleecker Street in the nineteenth-century, and the Ukrainian heritage of the East Village. But how did these future Villagers enter our country? In many cases, they came through Ellis Island, the long-acknowledged immigration hub of the United States.

Join Tom Bernardin, former National Park Service Ellis Island ranger at pre-restoration Ellis Island and author/publisher of The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook as we explore Ellis Island and its connection to Greenwich Village immigrant groups. This program will provide an entire day’s jaunt out to Ellis Island, including a tour of the island exclusively for GVSHP followed by individual opportunities to explore the Island.

All events are free, but space is limited in some cases. Register today by e-mail or by calling 212-475-9585 ext. 35 to reserve your place.

CATEGORIES: Ideas, Politics

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  • jen

    So cool. I was chatting with a customer a few days ago who was telling me about a bar that used to be in a St. Marks basement called Circus Maximus…said it was arguably both the seediest and the coolest place in the universe…ah the late 60’s !

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