Our third day in the "concrete jungle" began with free time in the morning to explore Central Park, or do some last minute shopping! Once Viter assembled in the hotel lobby, we were off to the East Village to see what the Ukrainian community in NYC is like. After grabbing a quick drink and singing "Гарний козак" for the locals at McSorley's Old Ale House (the oldest bar in NYC - established in 1854) just off of Taras Shevchenko Place street, we continued touring around vibrant Ukrainian community. A few Viter members that are members of Plast had an opportunity to take a photo with the New York Plast dymivka.
We then had lunch at the famous Veselka restaurant, where we enjoyed borshch, varenyky, kovbasa, giant holubtsi that took up a quarter of the plate, and authentic Lvivske beer (pyvo). And what would a Viter outing be without music? We ended our meal with some beautiful songs and accordion accompaniment for the staff and locals, who were extremely appreciative. The kitchen staff even stopped working to come experience the sounds of Viter! A huge дякую to our New York friend, Andriy, for treating the ensemble to gelato!
After a hearty meal, we were ready for the Broadway workshop at Pearl Studios NYC. Here we took a trip to Paris! The company learned a number from the musical "Anastasia." Not only did the dancers learn to sing while dancing, but the choir learned to dance while singing! After running the number multiple times with enthusiasm and laughs, we treated our instructors to a performance with Hopak, some songs, as well as a special Mnohaya Lita as a thank you.
A free evening included a ferry ride to Staten Island, a trip to "Junior's" for some New York cheesecake, and dinner at local restaurants. Viter choir member, Mitchell Palahniuk, had the opportunity to wow the audience with his saxophone skills at "Smalls Jazz Club." Way to go Mitchell!
Our time in New York has been more than memorable! We cannot wait to share our love of Ukrainian culture in Philadelphia over the next few days!