Photo of the day: TRASH AND VAUDEVILLE STILL HAVEN’T GONE OUT OF STYLE ! – I have been going to Greenwich Village since the early 1960’s. I remember the evolution from beatniks, to modsters, to hippies, to gay culture invasion, to 70’s disco babes, to the Rocky Horror scene, to punk rockers – pins and needles everywhere and then….it all died off with the gentrification of the area after the AIDS crisis. The east and west village have become, for the most part soul-less. The funky shops, store fronts, building, and people are mostly gone. The west village centered around Christopher Street has lost it’s soul long ago, it’s just a tourist curiosity abounding with Polo, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and damned GAP stores every few blocks. The east village was home to the thriving punk rock scene has become a sterile college campus for the universities. CBGB’s punk rock club’s closing in 2005 was one of the major nails in the coffin. Since Mayor Bloomberg’s greedy empire has taken over with the zealous assistance of council’woman’ Christine Quinn, there is not much left. One of the remaining treasures is a little stretch of East 8th Street between Third and Second Avenues where some of the old time stores are still hanging on. The whole street, for the most part, still has that funky, grungy feel with wonderful stores like the comic book store and of course TRASH AND VAUDEVILLE. They have been there since 1975 and is still going strong!
Long time employee Jimmy (left) with fellow employee
The photo avbove of Ray Goodman shows the old ‘St. Marks Hotel’ mural behind him, that used to be the notorious gay baths (originally Turkish steam baths) ‘The St.Marks Baths’ which was closed down by the city in December of 1985. T+V was making ‘kinky boots’ long before the film or Broadway musical even existed. Here is their history from their own web site: “Born out of the 1970’s rock and punk scene on St. Marks Place in New York City, Trash and Vaudeville has always provided a wide variety of alternative fashion for Rockers, Mods, Punks, Goths, Rockabillies, and everyday working class heroes who just wanted to walk and dress on the wild side.
Trash and Vaudeville was founded by Ray Goodman in June of 1975. Ray discovered St. Marks Place at the age of 13, and never left. He was immediately attracted to the incredible energy that surged throughout the block. Whatever the scene was – Beatniks – Hippies – Glam – Punk – it was all going down on St. Marks Place.
Ray spent most of his free time on St. Marks Place. There was the Electric Circus, the Fillmore East, and CBGBs, all within a few blocks of the area. Some of the greatest Rock n’ Roll Meccas all right there. Ray’s love for Rock music inspired him to open a clothing store that would be entirely influenced by Rock n’ Roll.
Right away Trash and Vaudeville attracted musicians and bands looking to dress in a style that embraced their individuality and creativity. St. Marks Place has always been a gathering place for the ‘cool’, with an energy that still flows today.
The store has been in its original location since opening. The list of artists, musicians, actors, street dwellers, teenage rebels, and people from all over who have shopped at the store goes on and on.”
Photo of the day: MODERN DAY MARILYN – The Marilyn-esque look will last forever. I was strolling through the east village and came across MM staring down at me through the window of the wonderful 125 Second Avenue vintage shop “ENZ’S”. This mannequin has so many MM references: the cherries from her ‘The Misfits’ dress, the halter top from the famous subway skirt blowing scene in ‘The 7 Year Itch’, the pouting lips, the droopy eyes and lashes, the famous flip hairdo with an updated color – it’s Marilyn!
The east village is one of the last vestiges of what the entire “village” used to be like. Odd, unusual shops filled with quirky items, retro and hand made looks and even quirkier shop owners. Sadly in the Bloomberg/Quinn era the flavor of our ‘originality’ is quickly disappearing in favor of high rent chain stores and the ever cancerous growth of the New York University (NYU) campus. I truly hope in 2025 I will still be able too wander along some of our streets and find a Marilyn pouting at me through the window of a funky shop.
Address: 125 2nd Ave New York, NY 10003 Neighborhood: East Village (212) 228-1943
Nearest Transit: Astor Place (6) 8th St-Broadway (R, W) 3rd Ave-14th St (L)
Hours: Mon-Sat 12 pm – 8 pm
Sun 1 pm – 7pm