Tag Archive | St. Mark’s Place

Gem Spa Bodega Transforms Into a schitibank

Gem Spa Schitibank
All Photos By Gail

If you’ve passed by Gem Spa, the legendary East Village bodega that is home to the city’s Best Egg Cream (#BestEggCream) at any point since September 11th of this year, you may have done a double, or even a triple take. We know that St. Mark’s Place has become increasingly gentrified, but is Gem Spa now a bank, or wait, what is going on here, exactly?

Gem Spa Schitibank

While it has been rumored that a citibank is slated to take over the corner lot which has been home to  Gem Spa since 1957, fear not: this an art installation meant to draw attention to, but also satirize, the phenomenon known as “Disappearing New York.” It isn’t very pretty.

Disclaimer text running across the bottom of the sign above reads:

schitibank has kept the historical appeal to this building to absorb their customer base. This schiti location is not affiliated with any other schiti locations. We don’t mean to gentrify, as schitibank is co-opting this space with Gem Spa to bring you an authentic banking, egg cream and vaping experience. Every customer is on surveillance cameras. Smile, you’re on camera.

Schitibank Storefront

The Gem Spa Schitibank installation is the work of Tommy Noonan and Doug Cameron of boutique marketing firm DCX Growth Accelerator, who are known for their ‘Artisanal’ publicity stunts (Google them and be very impressed).

Gem Spa Schitibank
Click Image to Enlarge So You Can Read the Fine Print!

God is definitely in the details here. Promotional posters for the ‘bank’s’ various perks and services include artwork by Robert Mapplethorpe as well as the likenesses of The New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

Gem Spa Schitibank
Click Image to Enlarge for Detail

Gem Spa Schitibank

Schiti Identity Theft Madonna

More posters and props can be found inside the bodega!

Schitibank ATM
Schiti ATM!

Gem Spa Schitibank Exterior

We clearly do not need another bank in the village (or anywhere in NYC, for that matter) but we do need a cool bodega that’s been around forever, and we need our delicious egg creams! Gem Spa is located at the southwest corner of 2nd Avenue and St. Mark’s Place. Drop in and drop some cash next time you’re in the hood. Better yet, make a special trip to visit, so you can see the schitibank installation before they take it down!

Gem Spa Schitibank

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Don’t Call Me “Sir”

Sir Sign
Photo By Gail

Photographed outside the Holiday Cocktail Lounge located at 75 St. Mark’s Place in NYC.

Spiderman Tile Mosaic By Invader on 2nd Avenue

Spiderman Tile Mosaic Detail
All Photos By Gail

Pop Culture-themed Tile Mosaics by the French Street Artist known as Invader can be found all over the city, if you know to look up, and aren’t always staring at your fucking phone.

Spiderman Tile Mosaic

This one of a diminutive Spiderman, captured in the process of scaling the side of a building, adorns the front façade of what used to be a bank, located on the southwest corner of 2nd Avenue and St. Marks Place in NYCs east village. I believe it has been there since late 2015.

Spiderman Tile Mosaic Uptown Street View

There’s cheap but reliable BBQ restaurant just across the street. And just around the corner to the right, you’ll see these familiar buildings.

Spiderman Tile Mosaic Uptown Street View

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Glitter Skeleton With Feather Boa

Pink Skeleton
Photo By Gail

I found this guy hanging from the ceiling in the back room of Trash & Vaudeville Clothing Boutique on St. Mark’s Place in NYC.

Led Zeppelin Gets Physical

Physical Graffiti Tenements

On This Date, March 22nd in 1975: Led Zeppelin’s double album Physical Graffiti reached the top of the Billboard 200 album chart for the first of six weeks, giving the group its fourth number one album. The album was released one month earlier,on February 24th. The apartment building photographed for the albums’ iconic cover still stands at 96-98 St. Marks Place (East 8th Street) in NYC’s East Village.

Physical Graffiti Tenements

Houses of the Holy: 96-98 St. Marks Place (Photographed By Me on July 30th, 2017)

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Skull Wallet!


Gee, Your Cash Looks Terrific!

Oh wow, how fashionable will all your hot cash look folded into this rad pink wallet with skulls all over it? Answer: VERY fashionable. Not that money ever goes out of vogue. Sadly, I have no idea where you can get this thing, but Hot Topic or any skeevy accessory joint on St Mark’s Place are probably a couple of good places to start looking! Pink Wallet!