It's the evening before Easter and church bells are ringing all over the East Village...at least those churches that have not yet been converted into apartments.
If you stand in the courtyard of my building facing north, you see the back of a Russian Orthodox church. Half of the wall is made up of ornate stained glass panels with a bell tower on top. During evening mass (which is rare), you can stand in my courtyard and look up at the brilliant stained glass brought to life by warm lights behind it.
Those bells are ringing right now.
Down the street, at Most Holy Redeemer Church I can hear their bells ringing. My parents were married there 55 years ago. Both churches keep their doors locked unless mass is being celebrated.
My son was baptised by my uncle, a Salesian priest, at Mary Help the Christians Church on 12th Street - just a few blocks away. The inside of that church is beautiful. Figures of saints are encased high above your head in a semi circle around the church that ends on either side of the alter. I've heard that church will be closing soon.
These celebrations are coming to an end in this neighborhood.