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Opening Hours
Today: 4pm–2am
232 East 9th Street
Solas 1 Bars Cocktail Bars Dance Dancing East Village

Wednesday evenings are Salsa Night at this multi-level bar, and the dance floor is full. I cannot say we participated, but we did enjoy watching some superb dancers alongside obvious beginners. Stop by here any day of the week to dance the night away; the music is always playing and the crowd is moving to the beat.

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Solas 1 Bars Cocktail Bars Dance Dancing East Village

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Lost Gem
Veselka 1 Breakfast Ukrainian Diners Brunch undefined


The warmly painted walls inside Veselka envelop the room in folky florals and traditional Ukrainian symbols. Hanging from the ceiling are glowing milk glass globes that seem to replace the sun or moon depending on the time of day — and it could be any time at all, as Veselka is open for twenty-four hours, seven days a week, serving a smorgasbord of pierogis, bowls of borscht, and other expertly prepared comfort foods — Ukrainian and otherwise. Wlodymyr Darmochwal planted roots for Veselka when, as one of the founders of the neighborhood Plast organization (akin to the Ukrainian boy scouts, teaching survival skills and Ukrainian language), he was asked to create a weekend study program for the boys. In response, he opened a five-and-dime style counter at the corner of East 9th Street and Second Avenue where the boys could buy paper clips, cigarettes, lighters, and, notably, bowls of borscht and other basic Ukrainian foods. The business expanded into another storefront on East 9th Street a decade later. After Wlodymyr’s passing in 1972, it was taken over by his stepson, Tom Birchard, who was later joined by his son, Jason. Today, having worked at the restaurant since he was a teenager, Jason has “done every single job possible here except cook the borscht. ”When Jason joined the team, one of his first projects was to find out, “How late can we stay open? ” It turns out the answer was “all night. ” As Tom and Jason once again prepare to expand the restaurant into an adjoining storefront on 9th Street, they are eager to continue serving the next generation the kind of traditional Ukrainian food that Wlodymyr would have had at his counter more than sixty years ago.

Lost Gem
Duo 1 Women's Clothing Vintage undefined


The essence of Duo is in its name; it is two things at once. It is dulled colors and clean lines, minimalist in feel but simultaneously filled with warmth and softness. Both young and old, vibrant and calm, it is modern and fresh but brings to mind memories of simpler times: of handwritten letters, cozy Sunday afternoons and soft breezes over the wide open fields of northern Minnesota, the owners’ home state. Conflicting and complementing all at once, Duo is the product of two minds at work. Sisters Wendy and LaRae Kangas have created a perfect little fashion oasis that fits right in with the small town vibes of Manhattan’s East Village. Growing up, Wendy and LaRae pestered each other and fought over clothes, as siblings will do, but in 2008 they decided to open up a shop together. Today, they work with dealers and emerging independent designers throughout the country and pick all their clothing, accessories and home goods by hand, combining masculine and feminine styles with modern silhouettes and vintage traces to curate a timeless collection of quality, classic pieces. “It’s a very personal process, ” they told me, “and we put a lot of love into our shop and our collections. ” Nothing at Duo is mass-produced, and most of their merchandise is recycled. The sisters pour their hearts into the shop and work hard to stay true to themselves while keeping an eye toward the future, expanding their business into the world of e-commerce and social media. “It’s important to stay current and give the customers what they want, ” they said. They love what they do, and working with family makes it even more fun, according to the sisters. “It makes work smooth when you don’t have to verbalize what you’re thinking, ” they told me, “We just know what each other is thinking and it makes choosing products and daily operations much easier. ”Duo is a celebration of creative spirit. It is clear that the sisters revel in the one-of-a-kind individuality of each and every one of their customers who come to them looking for pieces that will express their own unique style. When explaining what they love about their work, they said, “It’s great to make a customer feel better when they walk out the door. ”

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Peridance Capezio Center 1 Coffee Shops Event Spaces Dance Theaters Dance Studios undefined

Peridance Capezio Center

Peridance Capezio Center is a mecca for dance in NYC, fostering the arts in the local and international dance communities, for over 30 years. Peridance offers multiple platforms for dancers and non-dancers alike, including more than 250 weekly open classes, a Professional Training Programs, an F-1 Visa Program for International Students, and The School at Peridance - a comprehensive children and teen program. Their adult open classes are offered in all styles and levels, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced. Peridance Capezio Center is also home to the professional dance company, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and its affiliated Peridance Youth Ensemble. In conjunction with their renowned faculty and partners (Capezio, Djoniba Dance Centre, Limón Dance Company, Baila Society, and Dance Informa), Peridance has gained an international reputation for the programs it offers. The Center is housed in a beautiful landmark building featuring six spacious studios, The Salvatore Capezio Theater, the Peridance Coffee Shop, and the Capezio dance-wear Boutique. One afternoon, I had the privilege of stopping by the Peridance Capezio Center to observe their students training. I witnessed the explosive athleticism and technical discipline at play in Shannon Gillen’s Advanced Contemporary class, as students tested the strength of their bodies in an array of conditioning and floor exercises. Later, in the large upstairs Studio 1, bathed in the sun’s rays from the skylights above, I watched as dancers chasséd and pirouetted across the room in Breton Tyner-Bryan’s Advanced-Intermediate Ballet class. I would not be surprised to find any one of these talented performers on stage someday.

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Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Co. 1 Dance Studios Dance undefined

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Co.

Dance at Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company is a community as well as an art, according to Donna and Enrique who opened the studio on the same street where it was first founded forty-five years ago. They were displaced for a short time, explained Enrique, but now, they have found themselves “back on the block. "Nowadays, they teach the young and old in classes from Argentine Tango to Salsa and Yoga as well as organizing community and school performances. “It is for us to pass along as it was passed along to us, ” Donna said, thoughtfully. Donna and Enrique believe that Alpha Omega - despite being a smaller organization than some of their competitors - has been around for so long because of their strong commitment to growing organically, allowing their voices to be heard through their art. “It doesn’t matter if you have the best technique in the world if you can’t say anything, ” Enrique stated. Though they organize many performances in the community, their main objective is to teach. They do this through classes as well as the Choreographer Showcase Series, which aims to teach young choreographers how to add marketing skills to their creativity. I was most impressed to learn that there is a group of about twenty-five senior citizens that performs at quite a few events. The class began with the aim to get them moving, but it soon became clear that it was a mental workout as well. “It was as if they returned to what they were like when they were young, ” Enrique shared, and then continued while laughing, “They’re dirtier than the young people. They talk like they’re in a bar. ”At Alpha Omega, the couple has a unique commitment to not following trends. The way they see it, doing "older work" does not mean that you are dated. Rather, it is an admission that truth can also be found in the past. Even if it does not follow the path that everyone else is taking, according to Enrique, “you have to be true to who you are. " This kind of outlook allows them the ability to ‘“rock the boat, ” the space to grow organically, and the freedom to make their voices heard. “We are an ongoing book that is still being written, ” added Donna.