Everyone who has stepped foot in Trash & Vaudeville on iconic St Marks Place is sad. The supreme one-stop clothing shop for punk rockers is now gone. The store was opened in 1975, and had been frequented by rockers and rebels ever since. Many Native New Yorkers, or New Yorkers who have been living here for a few years, feel a very personal connection to Trash.
To us, it was not just a store. I'll never forget the first time I walked into the shop when I was 17. I stared wide-eyed at the cool sales associates, leather jackets, and plaid pants. There were flyers for shows and events, and photos of celebrities who had stopped by the shop on the wall. Punk rock icons from Blondie to the Ramones had shopped there.
Don't even get me started on the lower level of the shop, which primarily consisted of a huge shoe area. There was everything from 8-inch high stripper heels to classic Dr Marten combat boots. I was probably drooling, for real. The store inspired me, and my style was extremely influenced from that day on. I had discovered the way I wanted to present myself to the world - as badass as Trash & Vaudeville was.
The manager, Jimmy Webb, is just as memorable as the store. Tall, blonde, and always dressed to kill, Jimmy was friendly and always striking up conversation with store goers. As much of New York City has changed, the East Village is significatly changing too. Many other important rock 'n' roll landmarks have been converted into something newer and more commercial. Though Trash & Vaudeville just closed its Saint Marks doors the other day, they will be opening a new location on 7th street. It's hard to say if it will be anywhere as great as the original, but one thing I know for sure is that Saint Marks won't be the same.