East Village in Manhattan

1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
lobby of The Ukrainian Museum ~ 1.28.12 ~ New York, New York

Saturday we took a day trip to New York to visit Larisa & Dima, to see their new digs in Manhattan, an apartment on the top floor of a six-story walk-up. We huffed and we puffed and we made it all the way to the top with just a few pauses to catch our breath! After some refreshments and a tour of their sunlight-filled rooms – a marked advantage to being so far up – we went back down the stairs and then it was a hop, skip and a jump to the subway station, where we purchased our passes and spent the rest of the day zipping around the city.

1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
art by Borys Kosarev ~ 1.28.12 ~ New York, New York

Our night-owl daughter Larisa has wanted to live in ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ for as long as any of us can remember. As we followed her and Dima here, there, and everywhere, we got the wonderful feeling that she was born to live in New York and is thrilled to be living her dream at last. She certainly worked hard to get there and is making a difference in the lives of others as a social worker.

1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
Larisa taking in a collection of dolls in traditional Ukrainian costumes. Larisa is a common Ukrainian name – Auntie used to make dolls like these. The top shelf is a Nativity scene. ~ 1.28.12 ~ New York, New York

We spent a good chunk of time in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Since my ancestry is half Ukrainian we visited The Ukrainian Museum. We saw the current exhibition, Borys Kosarev: Modernist Kharkiv, 1915-1931. Kosarev (1897-1994) was a Modernist artist who managed somehow to survive Stalin’s intellectual purges in the 1930s in Ukraine. Outside we found a street named after Taras Shevchenko, a famous Ukrainian poet, artist, illustrator and humanist. I posted one of his poems on my blog several months ago: “My Friendly Epistle

1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York

In the neighborhood we also found the sublime St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church…

1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York

The church is across the street from McSorley’s Old Ale House, New York City’s oldest continuously operated saloon, where the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Woody Guthrie and John Lennon have found refreshment and inspiration. The floor is covered with sawdust and the beer was good, Tim reports. (Being gluten-free I could not partake…) Established in 1854, women were not allowed to enter McSorley’s until 1970!

1.28.12 ~ New York, New York
1.28.12 ~ New York, New York

On a side note, several months ago I updated my iPod and suddenly was no longer able to shuffle individual songs on my playlists. Even Tim couldn’t figure out how to do it, and so he suggested that perhaps one of the younger folks could solve the mystery. I handed the iPod to Dima and in a few seconds he handed it back with the problem resolved! Thanks, Dima!! Our trip home was very merry as we sang along with a more varied selection of tunes. It was a great way to end a great day!

photos by Timothy Rodgers

26 thoughts on “East Village in Manhattan”

  1. The pictures are awesome. They really made the story of your visit to New York come alive. As the mother of several young adults, I can relate to your comment that you daughter felt like she was born to live in a certain city.

    1. Thank you, Sheryl! I’m still coming down from all the excitement. 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful to be a parent and see your children leading happy and productive lives?

  2. Hi,
    Great photos. I love the art work on the wall with the ribbons so very different than what I have seen before, although I would hate to be the one to have to wash them and get it all looking so beautiful again. 🙂

    I love the photo of the Old Ale House, how great is it that this place is still there after all this time, a place of history in a modern city.

    1. Thanks Mags. The art on the wall in the lobby is an interpretation of the traditional Ukrainian flower headdress with attached long multicolored ribbons, worn by girls on special occaisions until they are married. I imagine it would be difficult to keep them clean, especially after wearing one to a village dance!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful NY visit! It’s been years since I’ve been there, but, gosh, I love it.

    By the way, Just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and subscribing last week, after my guest post for the “other Kathy” at Lake Superior Spirit. Hope to see you again soon.


    1. We really did have the time of our lives, Kathy! If you love New York you would get along famously with my daughter. 🙂

      I’m planning to stop by your blog soon – I’m still catching up after our adventure. The day after our whirlwind visit we crashed all day and have been slowly recuperating ever since…

  4. Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story with us. How marvelous to be close enough to NYC and your daughter to hop on a train for a day trip. (My children are a day’s plane ride away).

    I haven’t been to NYC for some years but I find the energy of the place is so exciting I just love walking those streets…

    1. You’re welcome, Rosie! We were planning to take the train into the city, but it turned out to be less expensive and more convenient to rent a car. And Larisa found us a space on the street to park for free. We got to try out a Versa – our youngest car is 12 years old and we’re starting to think about a newer one.

      The energy there was exciting and it felt good getting so much walking in, but I honestly could never see myself living there!

  5. Barbara,

    What a wondrous journey. Thank you for sharing your time in the east village and your adventures in the museum, who knew there as a Ukrainian section. I love the shot of the old pub, even through I don’t drink it maybe worth a journey to photograph it…

    1. I didn’t know there was a Ukrainian section of the city, either. I found the Ukrainian museum on line, and Larisa used some sort of app on her phone to lead us there, and the rest of the buildings were a pleasant surprise when we got there!

      I bet the photographs you would get of the saloon would be great, Jeff! And the church across the street – I’d love to see what kind of shots you would get of that! 🙂

    1. I like to picture all my female Ukrainian ancestors wearing the flower headdress with long flowing ribbons to village dances and festivals!

  6. Beautifully vibrant Barbara! This inspires me to want to visit NYC again soon. I love the culture, and the overall vibe of the city. I must say that your daughter has great taste!

    1. And there are quite a few vegan restaurants in New York City, too! I hope we can try one on our next visit.

      How long ago was your last visit to NYC, Donna?

      When I was growing up I had three aunts living in the city and Tim’s dad grew up there. A few days ago our daughter went to see the building where Tim’s dad lived as an adult in Greenwich Village. He died shortly after we were married and before Larisa was born, so she was curious to see where the grandfather she never knew had lived.

      1. Thanks for sharing that Barbara. I’m sure Larisa is a wonderful tour guide for you and Tim! And NYC is a great place for vegan fare! Unfortunately, I haven’t been to the city for about seven years. Way too long I must say. The last time I was there, I had the best time of my life! I went on a business trip. However, I did manage to get in some leisure time as well. NYC is a great place to visit. I’m putting it on my priority list for places to visit soon. 🙂

        1. Sounds like you had a great time there, Donna! 😉 Maybe we’ll cross paths in the big city some day. 🙂

  7. I love the photos! And I love New York! I went to McSorley’s a few times during my college years (I went to Marymount College in Tarrytown). I worked with a young Ukranian-born American at my last job. When I left, she gave me a beautifully crafted Ukranian terracotta pot.

    I have been horrible at keeping up with blogging, but am trying to get back in the groove. One of my first tasks was to respond to a Versatile Blogger Award received in December. I’ve included you among the bloggers being forwarded the award by me. You don’t have to “play along” – I think of these awards as a fun way to pause and recognize blogs that I enjoy, like yours! Here’s the link to the post/award: http://bighappynothing.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/how-versatile/



    1. Thanks for stopping by, AA! It seems you and I have tread over many of the same patches of earth but at different times in our lives. I’d love to find someone who speaks Ukrainian to translate my grandfather’s journal someday. It seems Ukrainian immigration continues down to the present. All my aunts were crafty, too. It’s wonderful your coworker gave you such a lovely gift to remember her by.

      Thank you very much for the award. 🙂 It’s true that I don’t “play along,” but I will come check out your link. 🙂

      Hope you’re settling into your new digs and enjoying your new locale!

      1. My CT co-worker may have family members who can help you with the translation, or point you in the direction of someone who can. Drop me a line at ratherbeblogging@aol.com if you’d like me to look into it.

        Coincidentally, I also met someone in DC who spent time working and living in the Ukraine – so, long distance, but perhaps another resource.

        I understand about not “playing along” with the award, and I completely understand. Personally, they generally cause me a lot of Anxiety Anxiety!

        We’re getting settled in, but I do miss Connecticut!

        1. Thanks, AA. Now if only I can remember which box I put the journal in! If I do locate it I will get in touch with you. 🙂

  8. Barbara, I’m glad to have found my way back to this post. Growing up, we were surrounded by friends and neighbors of Ukrainian descent so the food, culture and traditions were very much a part of our life too. It sounds like a wonderful day! I’ve so enjoyed the photos and your descriptions of the day.

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed this post, Colleen. When I was growing up I thought my father’s parents and their relatives were the only Ukrainian immigrants living in North America, as they were the only ones I ever met and nobody in my school was Ukrainian. I do miss my aunts’ cooking… vareniki… holubtsi…

    1. Wow, thanks, Jeff! Look at the flag with 48 stars! And there are no trees. This was 70 years ago, before women were allowed inside and before Alaska and Hawaii became states!

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