NYC EXILE – DAY 2: Of Octopus and Opera

Day two allowed me to lunch outside.  Winter has lingered a bit back at The Cupboard Under The Stairs (where there is no electricity at the moment… I remotely shut down the network of the Mother Ship in the morning).

A couple friends joined me for lunch and great conversation.

Just a few sights of the city.

Some might not quite get the connection between “Astoria” and a relief of a beaver in the subway stop.

Ummm… I doubt it.

Some propaganda on the side of a Village Voice paper dispenser.

Who remembers what famous event took place in the Cooper Union building?

Here’s a great establishment.


In the not to distant past I have seen this place depicted in paintings by George Bellows, one in Detroit and one at the Huntington in Pasadena.

Across the street, however, is a fine church, St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church.  It was locked, but we went to the rectory and asked if we could see it.

As it turned out, they are Basilians.  I lived with them on the Aventine Hill in Rome for a couple summers and a deacon at the parish, too, had stayed there for his studies.

Our calendars are off for about as long as they can be this year because of the vagaries of your planet’s Moon.   They are getting ready for Palm Sunday.   They use pussy willows rather than palms.


In the evening, off to the Metropolitan Opera with a bunch of seminarians.   Something had to be eaten, of course.

Which drink is mine?

A day without octopus is a day without octopus.

The great James Levine conducted!   It was Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seminary”.

Today I ran into Fr. Paul Check, head of the great organization Courage.   Also, I am heading to Newark.  At the Cathedral (one of the great churches in these USA) there will be the first Solemn Mass in decades, as I understand it.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The great James Levine conducted! It was Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seminary”.”

    Hmm…we never studied that one in graduate school :)

    The Chicken

    p. s. Mozart was a Catholic and a Freemason. Although Freemasonry was condemned by the a Church in 1738 (Mozart was born in 1756), the Papal Bull was not promulgated in Austria until after his death. The original a Bull had a limited geographical release. Thus, Mozart was not excommunicated.

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    “Abduction from the Seminary” – is auto-correct becoming not only self-aware but capable of mordant commentary?

  3. sahn105 says:

    Fr. Z, do you have more information on the solemn mass at Newark cathedral?

  4. Andrew D says:

    Fr. Z, if your travels ever take you to Philadelphia, you should make a point to visit the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral here which is stunningly beautiful despite the fact that it was build in the 60s. Philadelphia has many beautiful churches, some of which worth noting are: Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Peter the Apostle (Shrine of St. John Neumann), St. Rita of Cascia, St. Francis Xavier, St. Adalbert and the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal just to name a few. The Traditional Latin Mass in the city is held at Our Lady of Lourdes in the Overbrook neighborhood at 9:30 on Sunday and at St. Edmond’s in South Philly at noon on Sunday. God Bless.

  5. ChadS says:

    Cooper Union — Didn’t Lincoln accept the nomination for the Republican Party there, or at least made a speech there that made him the favored candidate?

  6. bookworm says:

    Lincoln made a speech there in 1860 that made him the “front runner” for the Republican nomination. His acceptance of the nomination came several months later at the party convention in Chicago. He didn’t actually attend the convention because at the time it was considered unseemly for presidential candidates to campaign for their own election!

  7. Phil_NL says:

    OK, this is too hard to resist:

    “Abduction from the Seminary” – does that say anything about the institution, or those who guard entrance to it?

  8. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    bookworm: >>He didn’t actually attend the convention because at the time it was considered unseemly for presidential candidates to campaign for their own election!<<

    How right they were!

  9. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Fr. Z, I am thoroughly enjoying the great variety of header images you are providing, especially the cardinals and bishops evidently celebrating Easter joy. Can you tell us the name of the artist of that collection?

  10. VexillaRegis says:

    The first American Astor traded with fur from the castor (beaver).

  11. Matt R says:

    The church is beautiful! Their use of the Julian date and calculation of Easter based on the Byzantine way is interesting. The Ruthenian church in the USA, which is the only Eastern church based in the New World, follows the Gregorian calendar. Not only does it bring unity among Catholics and harmony with the civic calendar, it’s more accurate…

  12. mysticalrose says:

    Ahhhh McSorley’s! That brings back memories from my grad school days. Light, dark and plenty of sawdust!

  13. New Amsterdam says:

    Fr. Z, did you get the light or the dark? I prefer the light – along with the Truth and the Way.

  14. Nan says:

    That’s interesting. The local Ukrainian Catholic Church doesn’t have much on its webpage but because it split from the Ruthenian a few years after the Byzantine rite was allowed, and because they pray the rosary, I assume they’re on the Gregorian calendar for Easter.

    Only rocor and the Serbs follow the Julian calendar locally, every other Orthodox Church has Gregorian Christmas and Julian Easter.

  15. Peter Stuart says:

    Thank God for Fr. Check and Courage, which got me in off the ledge when I was wondering whether I should take up permanent residence out there. Maybe one day my bishop, who just preached loudly against political correctness, will let Courage in to my diocese even if the current pope didn’t think they were worth having at the Synods.

  16. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    ‘It was Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seminary”.’

    Not what Gilbert was thinking about, in the Mikado (or do you simply know more about Japanese Imperial Court culture in the Nineteenth century than some of us?).

    The peschiera del pesce da semina, by way of analogy?

    Or is Wikipedia not telling us enough about the range of meaning of ‘serraculum’?

  17. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Please tell us more about the Veselka lovelies!

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The Masked Chicken notes, “Although Freemasonry was condemned by the a Church in 1738 (Mozart was born in 1756), the Papal Bull was not promulgated in Austria until after his death. The original a Bull had a limited geographical release.”

    Hermann Gruber in the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Masonry (Freemasonry)”, observes, “Curiously enough, the first sovereign to join and protect Freemasonry was the Catholic German Emperor Francis I, the founder of the actually reigning line of Austria”. He also says, “Freemasonry during the eighteenth century was a powerful ally of […] Josephinism”. Did all of this contribute to preventing the extension of the Bull until some three years into the reign of Francis II?

  19. Thomas Sweeney says:

    Father, I also attended the Solemn Mass this morning at the Cathedral. It was beautiful, and I entered through the Door of Mercy. If I knew you were there I would have tried to say hello, without being a pain.
    Although a life long resident of New Jersey it was my first visit to the Cathedral in Newark. You have to give our immigrant relatives credit, they sure have built some beautiful churches. And I have never seen such elaborate Stations of the Cross, all in all it was a great experience.

  20. Auggie says:

    Both drinks were yours.

    [Not quite.]

  21. It’s a Castor Astoriae?

  22. seattle_cdn says:

    Are the Ukranian Basilians something totally different from the CSBs? (Father Rosica’s Order)

  23. Gaetano says:

    If you were at the Newark cathedral, a visit to St. Lucy’s at the bottom of the hill is necessary. It’s where all the Italian stonemasons and sculptors worshiped while working on the Cathedral. It’s is gorgeous, and a piece of Old World Sicily in Newark.

    As a life-long New Yorker, I would argue the best hot dogs in the City are at Grey’s Papaya or Papaya King.

  24. The Cobbler says:

    Huh. Octopus and opera… I didn’t know you played that one, Father.

  25. Tom in NY says:

    Temporibus antiquis, annis mcmlxx I lived just the other side of Broadway from McSorleys, and took sometimes a pair, crackers and cheese, or a sandwich. Is the original dust still on the gas (likely once kerosene lamp) fixtures? Be careful of the coal stove.
    It’s good you were able to help the faithful see Sacred Heart — a beautiful monument and lively parish.
    Salutationes omnibus

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