Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Yaffa Cafe

It saddens me greatly that Yaffa Cafe is gone, but I still must pay tribute to the overly ornamental kitsch that defined my late teen years coming to New York. Some may thing that leopard, zebra, Elvis, crystals and flower paintings are gaudy, but I think together they are a little slice of heaven. Add in about twenty or so sculptures and miscellaneous thrift store paintings, and you’ve got the spirit of the East Village- Yaffa Cafe.

When the cafe first opened in 1983, St. Marks was a total shit hole, with abandoned store fronts and homeless people living in the yards on the street. The opening of Yaffa was the catalyst that changed the street, attracting an arty crowd and spurring other cafes to open on the block.

It was one of the only places left that has the old punk/bohemian East village vibe until it closed just 2 short years ago in 2014. When I walk by I still imagine wild nights, club kids, and hot trannies talking into the wee hours after a night at Danceteria.

What: Yaffa Cafe

Where: 97 St Marks Pl New York, NY 10009

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2 Responses to “Yaffa Cafe”
  1. We miss Dojo, but the kitsch-filled Yaffa Cafe makes us feel like its the 90s all over again too. http://t.co/1ryY2uJV @ArtNerdNewYork

  2. Yaffa Cafe: Some may thing that leopard, zebra, Elvis, crystals and flower paintings are gaudy, but I think toge… http://t.co/iJyKVAMF

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