The Village has its own character, but 50 years of Bohemian chic has left it gentrified and expensive.
But there's no doubt about the politics. We wandered around, absorbing the sense of the place, then found the Washington Square-NYU station and headed for the financial district.
The choir's hotel was located less than two blocks from Ground Zero, just down the block from the devastated DeutscheBank building, which is now being carefully taken down. On the sidewalk beneath the protective shield that keeps stuff from falling on pedestrians, we ran into Katherine and some other choir members.
They had a rehearsal coming up.
The National Youth Choir's director, Eph Ehly, is exuberant, outgoing, over-the-top, but he is "one of the most sought-after choral conductors/clinicians," according to the American Choral Directors Journal. He taught at the University of New Mexico, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Oklahoma, and more than 90 students have earned their doctorates under his supervision.
Katherine says he reminds of her Robin Williams.
The 2009 National Youth Choir comprises seven of the best prep choirs in the country, from California, Michigan, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida. Michigan boasts two of these choirs: the Fraser Singers from Fraser High School in Shelby Township, and the Mt. Pleasant High School Concert Choir.
In rehearsal, they sounded awesome:
The choir's job after rehearsal: Relax until the show. Our job: The adventure continues.