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St. Mark's Losing its Religion via Bad Grammar

The Villager's Bonnie Rosenstock gets to the bottom of one of the most pressing matters in the history of New York City: is it the period-apostrophe St. Mark's or the period-no-possessive St. Marks? The New York Times chooses to ignore the apostrophe, the Curbed style book calls for it, and various businesses that currently sit on that stretch of 8th St. seem to be following their own muse: the St. Marks Hotel and St. Marks Ale House at the corner Third Ave., the St. Mark's Bookshop that isn't even on St. Mark's anymore and the Pearl Theater Company that claims both 80 St. Marks and 80 St. Mark's as addresses. No wonder its been a magnet for wayward youth for decades: the entire street is going through one big identity crisis!

Here's the quick answer, according to the paper: It was named for St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, but in a confused effort to make all street signs easily understandable (they assumed people wouldn't understand the weird dot and small line?), the punctuation got left off. Businesses then took their cue from the St Marks Pl sign, figuring if somebody would have it right, it's probably the city. C'mon now, people: Have you learned nothing? [photo credit: Bonnie Rosenstock]
· The great St. Marks/Mark?s punctuation debate solved [Villager]
· New York Songlines: 8th Street [all-punctuation-shunning]