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An Overhaul At An Iconic Address

DSC_0266Carl Guadalupe Physical Graffiti, a vintage clothing store located in a building that was featured on a Led Zeppelin album cover (below) and in a Rolling Stones music video, will soon close and re-open next month as a tea shop.
Physical Graffiti

A lonely pink high heel lay atop a basket of embroidered scarves, its beautiful gold toe pointing away from a box marked “Moving and Storage.”

Outside, on St. Marks Place, it was raining; inside Physical Graffiti, a vintage clothing store, which occupies a landmark site on the block between First Avenue and Avenue A, workers were packing up the contents of the shop.

The clothing store is closing its doors after 16 years because of the bad economy, but will re-open in March as a loose leaf tea shop under a slightly different name – Physical Graffi-tea – and the same management.

“It’s so sad but there is just no market for the clothes,” said Ilana Malka, 45, the store’s owner.

“Teas are affordable,” she said. “People eat and drink anyway even when the economy is bad and there are a lot of people out there who are looking for good fresh loose tea.”

On Wednesday Ms. Malka was busy packing boxes along with Holden Bucy, 24, a seamstress who had worked at the store for the past year. Ms. Malka picked up some of her favorite pieces that were still on display— a yellow taffeta dress and a 1950’s Persian fur coat, as Ms. Bucy filled bags with men’s collared shirts.

“Everyone was concerned that we were closing,” said Ms. Malka, reminiscing as she made her way past boxes holding in her hand the floor plan for the new shop. “But a lot of people are also excited about the teas.”
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The Day | A Scare At An Iconic Address

Autumn in Tompkins Square Park.eastvillagedenizen

Good morning, East Village.

We begin today by letting out a sigh of relief about a local musical landmark. There was a fire Saturday night at 98 St. Marks Place, known to music lovers as one of the buildings featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 album “Physical Graffiti.” While the blaze looked scary – EV Grieve has some vivid photos of the fire – no serious injuries were reported and the damage appears to have been contained mostly to a second-floor apartment. When Grieve visited Sunday there was virtually no visible damage to the exterior.

In other neighborhood news, New York magazine offers its take on NYU’s expansion plan. Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York examines the disappearance of the mural featuring President Obama at Sixth Street and Avenue C and traces the lineage of recent street art at the site. (NYU Journalism’s Claire Glass captured an image of the mural being removed last Wednesday.)

And while we’re on the subject of street art, Neighborhoodr has a photo of Jim Joe’s latest piece.

On the Stoop of Rock ‘n’ Roll History

DSC_0243Carl Guadalupe The front steps of 98 St. Marks Place today (above) and as it appeared on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 album “Physical Graffiti.”
Physical Graffiti

The buildings’ stony expressions look out over this last leg of St. Marks Place going east, between First Avenue and Avenue A. At first glance these two buildings look like standard East Village stock, but, eyes wide-open, the facades of 96 and 98 St. Marks Place have witnessed musical history taking place on their very stoops.

They are the iconic buildings featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 album Physical Graffiti, and also in the 1981 Rolling Stones music video, “Waiting on a Friend.”

Bobby Pinn, the creator and host of Rock Junket walking tours, “In the 70’s, Led Zeppelin were big fans of New York City. They partied here a lot and they played the Garden quite a bit, so they really had a close tie to New York. The cover was designed by Peter Corriston, a graphic design artist from New York. Peter said that he was looking for a building with a lot of character, which this building has with all the kings’ faces and it has that tenement-style feel with the fire escapes. He wanted a building that had symmetry and a lot of windows.”
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