St. Marks Is Dead Is Alive & Well In Austin, Texas
Ada Calhoun brings the NYC history and the hipness back to Bevo-town.
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
10:30AM, Tue. Nov. 3, 2015
You get a lot of people talking about what Austin's become or what it's currently becoming – as if, up to this point, it had been reassuringly static, was formerly some pluperfect and unchanging city-in-amber – you get people talking about the ATX, eventually somebody throws in the word "hipster."
It's like Godwin's Law, you know? Except in this case the mustaches are much more ornate and the uniforms are diversely uniform and what's being systematically eradicated is only lack of mannered style.
But Austin, even today, doesn't know fuck-all about being hip. At least, not when compared with the original epicenter of hipness: Greenwich Village, that area of Manhattan that looks, certain parts of it, like something Wes Anderson dreamed up for a Warby Parker ad campaign.
And the happeningest part of that hippest urban hub of all? St. Marks Place: The Hippest Street in America.
But now, oh merciful heavens, St. Marks is dead.
Or, rather, St. Marks Is Dead. That's the title of a new book by former Austinite (and native New Yorker) Ada Calhoun – who's explored the 400-year history of St. Marks Place and brought it to print (via W. W. Norton) with tales of the Beats and the punk scene and the street artists and all, with a personally incisive look at how the place is now, with pages and pages of compelling interviews and rare photos, and – yeah, this is definitely the go-to source for true knowledge of that entire storied 'hood up there in the Big Apple.
And now here's Calhoun, back in Austin for a week, presenting St. Marks Is Dead at a few literary-flavored media events around town.
For instance: One Page Salon, which is Owen Egerton's monthly soirée with good writers and sharp readers, at the North Door on Tue., Nov. 3, 7pm.
For instance: The Dionysium, which is L.B. Deyo & Buzz Moran's quarterly celebration of all things intellectual and provocative, at the Alamo Drafhouse: Village on Wed., Nov. 4, 7pm.
And, finally, at a special music-enhanced event at the Carousel Lounge – where Calhoun and others will read some of the, ah, racier passages from the book, and there will be live sets from Ethan Azarian and Adam Sultan and The Late Joys – on Wed., Nov. 4, starting at 9pm.
We'll see you there, citizen.