Crusties are crashing on St. Mark’s Place again

Young crusty travelers out cold on St. Mark’s Place on a Sunday morning last month. Photo by Roberta Bayley
Young crusty travelers out cold on St. Mark’s Place on a Sunday morning last month. Photo by Roberta Bayley

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | They just couldn’t stay away.

The crusty travelers are back on St. Mark’s Place. This photo, taken a month ago, shows a group of the young punks laid out on the sidewalk between Second and Third Aves. around 7 a.m. on Sun., July 24.

Surrounded by paper pizza plates, beer bottles and cans, backpacks and a banjo, they are lying near their favorite affordable food source, 2 Bros. Pizza, which slings $1 slices.

From the looks of it, this crew wasn’t doing too well.

“Yes, they could have been dead!” said famed punk-rock photographer Roberta Bayley, who took the shot. “There’s at least a couple every morning, usually sprawled out like that. They seem much less unified. Much more f—ed up.

“I saw one right outside my building with a massive unneutered male pit. We kept our distance.”

Last summer, a huge pit bull named Jax, belonging to a particularly troubled crusty named Natas (“Satan” spelled backwards), attacked Bayley’s pug, Sidney, right after she and the pooch stepped out of their building on their way out for a walk. Natas was lying in a stupor on a discarded couch outside the 2 Bros. Pizza and Jax, who was not on a tight leash, went right for Sidney’s throat. The pug later died of his injuries at the vet.

William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district — whose service area includes that block — said it’s hard to predict when the migrating young hobos will decide to camp out on St. Mark’s, or anywhere else, for that matter.

“I think it just goes in waves,” he said.

Last Saturday night, a couple of crusties were silently slumped against a storefront a bit west of the pizzeria. Meanwhile, there was a commotion nearby, as a group of “normal” young bargoers were trying to help their friend, who was bent over and looking like she was about to throw up. One of them was loudly shouting at a man who had insultingly joked about the intoxicated woman.