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One of St. Mark's Place's last remaining vestiges of the punk rock scene is leaving: Trash and Vaudeville, the choice clothing store for the Ramones, street artist Basquiat (he once tagged the exterior), and oddly enough, Tommy Hilfiger during the 70's and 80's, is selling its spot between Second and Third Avenues.
Why? It's a little more complicated than the familiar story of the indie boutique driven out by an evil landlord: While rising rents were partially to blame, owner Ray Goodman tells the blog that it's mainly because there's just too many bongs:
"I love St. Mark's Place. There's no doubt it. There's something magical about it. This just isn't any block. The decision wasn't something that I took lightly. From a business perspective, we saw a shift in the clientele. The block is not as conducive for fashion shopping as it once was. Now it seems as if it's all food—fast food—and bongs. Even stores that aren't bong stores sell bongs."
It's not all bad news, however: By this fall, the store's likely moving to a smaller space at 96 East 7th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue, an address formerly occupied by Salon V and Angelo Lambrou's bridal boutique. "Maybe it's time to do a little facelift," Goodman adds.
For reference, here's what the storefront looked like in the 80's (see if you can spot the Basquiat tag):
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