There’s a stretch of 8th Street on the East Side of Manhattan that extends from Astor Place to Tompkins Square Park called St. Marks Place. Mostly known for smoke shops, tatoo parlors, unique stores like St. Marks Comics, and endless ramen noodle bars, many make the mistake of thinking the appeal of St Marks place ends at 2nd avenue. I beg to differ.
Just one block east of the varied displays of counterculture, between 1st and 2nd avenue, lies a mostly residential block with beautiful brownstones and townhouses. My personal favorite is a town home completely covered in ivy about half way down the block.
Continue east on St. Marks Place, between 1st and Avenue A, and you’ll find some of the best happy hour and brunch deals in all of New York. With well over ten bars and restaurants competing for business in this one block stretch, the deals, coupled with the atmosphere can’t be beat.
Here are some of my favorites!
The Mosaic Trail
Lastly, St. Marks Place, from start to finish, is the home of the “Mosaic Trail”- a collection of streetlamps covered in mosaic street art, reflecting the spirit of the area and the city as a whole. Keep your eyes peeled, especially on the base of each lampost, for the beautifully hand crafted pieces. If you’re lucky, you may catch the “Mosaic Man” himself maintaining or adding to his work.
So the next time you find yourself on St. Marks Place, I urge you to look beyond the bongs, and find your way onto this exciting neighborhood street with endless offerings.