Ukrainians walking down the street in Manhattan

Good morning. Today we will be looking at how Ukrainians in New York responded to the Russian invasion. And on Staten Island, the St Patrick’s Day parade will once again exclude LGBT groups.

With a mixture of anger and sadness, hundreds of Ukrainians in New York responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by gathering in Midtown Manhattan to denounce the attack and condemn Russian President Putin.

“Stop Putin now” and “Get out of Ukraine,” chanted a group of spirited protesters as they gathered at noon in Times Square.

New York City is home to more than 150,000 Ukrainians, the largest community in the country, with pockets in the East Village in Manhattan and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. There are scattered populations throughout the five counties, as well as in the suburbs.

Hundreds of people showed up on Thursday and marched along the weekday traffic-congested streets, encouraged by taxi drivers, hot dog sellers and other laborers.

“Even though I’m not from Ukraine, I support them,” said Gerald McWilliams, 55, a messenger from the Bronx who applauded the protesters as they marched up Seventh Avenue.

“Just because the Russians have a larger army doesn’t mean they can go in and take over another country,” he told me.

The leaders of the protest held up a giant banner in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag as they approached the Russian mission to the United Nations in the Upper East.

There, they joined another spiritual group and sang the Ukrainian national anthem together, while some protesters cried and hugged. Others covered themselves in Ukrainian flags and chanted in English and Ukrainian.

Some, like 21-year-old Christina Bundziak, said they feared for the safety of friends and family still living in Ukraine.

Ms. Bundziak, a student at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, took the day off school to join the protest. She holds a handmade cardboard sign with Putin’s name by a pioneer.

“I had to do something to show any support I could,” she said.

Some protesters, like Michael Boyko, 30, from Hoboken, N.J., said they had feared an invasion for months while watching news reports about Russian troops massing around the Ukraine border. . But they were still shocked by the speed and intensity of the attack.

Mr Boyko, whose grandparents immigrated from Ukraine, said: “It was hard to believe how quickly they hit the western cities and indeed the entire country. “Putin has never believed in Ukraine’s own sovereignty, and what he is doing now is just proof of that.”

The staff at Veselka, the Ukrainian eatery in the East Village, read a prayer before the restaurant opened, My colleague Alyson Krueger reported.

“My grandfather always believed in a free Ukraine,” says the owner, Jason Birchard, who opened the place in 1954 after fleeing the Soviet Union. Mr Birchard said Veselka had “received an overwhelming amount of love” in recent days.

Tania Didyk, a waitress, said, “I feel so bad that I’m here, and my family is still there.”

“It was hard working today,” she said. “My tears welled up.”

My colleague John Leland talked to New Yorkers in Ukraine before the invasion. Some said they were willing to return to Ukraine to help with resistance efforts.

John checked in on Thursday with Dora Chomiak, an activist in the Ukrainian community.

At the protests, “everyone is worried, angry and hopeful at the same time,” she said. “A lot of people shed tears.”


Prepare for cold showers, hail and gusty winds early in the day, with temperatures peaking around 40. At night it will be cloudy in places with temperatures dropping to as low as 20 seconds.

Parking next door

Paused on Friday because of cold weather.

As the city begins to return to some of its pre-pandemic glory, the timing of March means the return of St. Patrick’s Day parades large and small.

And the organizers of the Staten Island march once again refused to allow gay, lesbian and transgender groups to participate, my colleague Liam Stack reported.

The New York City Parade, held every March 17 on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, is the world’s oldest and largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade. After decades of controversy, it ended a ban on gay groups marching under their own banners in 2014.

Smaller-scale marches throughout the New York area have largely followed in allowing LGBT groups to march. But the Staten Island Parade, to be held on March 6, has complied with its ban.

“Our parade is about Irish heritage and culture,” Larry Cummings, chairman of the parade committee, told The Irish Voice in 2018. “This is not a gender identity parade or politics.”

The Staten Island Parade draws thousands of spectators and is an important event for local families and businesses. But in recent years, elected officials have largely boycotted it because of its treatment of gay marchers.

Mayor Eric Adams will not attend. In recent days, Mr. Adams himself has come under criticism for appointing three men who spoke out against same-sex marriage to roles in his administration.

Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said, “We remain hopeful that the organizers of the St Patrick’s Day Parade on Staten Island will see the need to include celebrations of our cultural heritage. us and allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to participate. ”

Although they were unavailable for comment, the organizers of the Staten Island parade made their position clear in this year’s application, which read in capital letters: “THIS SECTION MUST NOT WILL BE WILLED USES AND WILL NOT ALLOW CLASSES OF POLITICAL OR SEXUAL DEFINITION TO BE PROMOTED.”

The form also says the marching committee will only allow a group to march if the group “does not stand in any way in opposition to or in conflict with the Catechisms and Tenet of the Catholic Church.”

Carol Bullock, executive director of the Staten Island Pride Center, was unable to include the center in the parade.

Its applications have been denied for years because parade organizers assert that it promotes a “gay lifestyle” that violates the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and contradicts religious religiosity. honoring Irish identity, Ms. Bullock said.

Also rejected, she told Liam, was the Fire Flag, which represents LGBT employees of the New York Fire Department, and the Gay Officers Action League, or GOAL, which represents law enforcement officers. .

“You have FDNYs and NYPDs defending our community, but they can’t march in a parade,” Ms. Bullock said.


Dear Diary:

When I moved to New York, I searched for traces of my house. I carry my binoculars and the East North American Bird Guide almost everywhere.

When I spot a bird I don’t know, I look at its genus and think of birds at home that have the same classification. Birds in America fascinated me: parrots hunt earthworms by listening to their tunneling; The black warbler and its mammoth migration.

On weekends, I wander around the Ramble in Central Park. I have observed a young red-tailed hawksbill prey near bird feeders. Not far from Park Avenue, I spotted a striped owl sleeping in a tree.

Now I’m settled, and I leave the binoculars at home. I listen to the chirping of the blue jays and the cardinals of the North and just think about them. I was shocked to forget the names of my native birds, as if I had somehow betrayed them.

But my reverence for birds remains unchanged. I still can’t help but be surprised every time I see a small deity in the middle of Manhattan.

– Benn Jeffries

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and Read more Metropolitan Diary here.

So glad we can get together here. See you on Monday. – CK

PS This is for today Small crosswords and Spell Bee. You can find all our quizzes here.

Melissa Guerrero, Olivia Parker and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can contact the team at

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Fry Electronics Team

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