Ukrainians have lived in the robust and ever-changing area known as "Little Ukraine" since the 1870's. Nearly 1/3 of New York City's 80,000 Ukrainians reside in the area bound by Houston and 14th Streets, and Third Avenue and Avenue A. Ukrainians have helped build up this section of Manhattan into a vibrant area. Its institutions have served community needs for several decades.
During the 60's and 70's when the East Village was undergoing radical changes compelling local residents to relocate to other areas, many Ukrainians remained. In fact, many young professionals are now returning so they again may participate in this community's life. Consequently, one strolls through this locale and experiences the Ukrainian spirit. Walking to work in the morning, neighbors who have known each other for years, greet each other with "Slava Isusu Krystu!" (Praised be Jesus Christ!), stop by at a local coffee shop, pick up a copy of the Ukrainian daily, and continue on to work. During lunchtime, one can run over to the gift shop and buy a beautiful embroidered blouse, or admire the ornate Ukrainian Easter egg (pysanka). Coming home from work, one can grab a bowl of borsch (Ukrainian beet soup) and a plate of holubtsi (stuffed cabbage) at one of the eateries, or stop by the local butcher shop for some appetizing kobasa (Ukrainian sausage). If it's Friday evening, making a trip to the parish streecha (meeting hall) to feast on pyrohy(potato dumplings) is certainly worth the effort.
Amid all this hustle and bustle there is time for educational and cultural activities. The St. George parish runs an elementary and high school offering Ukrainian language as part of the curriculum. The week ends at St. George Church, the institution that has played the largest role in keeping the people together. Since the 90's of the 19th century, St. George Church has been a hub of of community life in this Ukrainian neighborhood.