9. Arka Store
Opened in 1951, Arka Store is one of the last remaining Ukrainian places in Manhattan that sells Eastern European books, jewelry, antiques, woodwork, and traditional clothing. Among the store’s collection is an early 20th-century pair of costumes from the Hutzul region of the Carpathians and traditional clothing from regions like Borschiv and Bukovina, The store also features religious icons, pottery, glassware and dining sets, and Ukrainian cloth.
The store’s first owners were Roman Porytko and Jaroslav Pastushenko, two Ukrainian immigrants who settled in the East Village. The store also served as a cultural center for the community, a meeting place of sorts where shoppers could talk about the news or current affairs. The store has survived many waves of gentrification, and though business has been dwindling for years, owner Mykola Drobenko has been fighting to keep the store and Ukrainian heritage alive.