SoHo (or Soho), stands for south of Houston and is a world famous shopping paradise and artist district in Lower Manhattan, NYC. Bordered by Houston Street, Lafayette Street and the western part of Broadway you’ll find a lovely, bright part of the city that has become world renowned, in part due to the fact that it has been backdrop for so many films and commercials.
Soho’s cobbled streets and famous cast iron buildings make the district unlike any other area in Manhattan. The uniqueness boils down to the simple such as the streets in Soho having names rather than numbers. Spring Street, Prince Street and Broadway are all well know streets that have established themselves as unique patches of individuality within NYC. Soho is also famous for its old buildings, some of which are oldest ones in the city. The signature architecture of the previous centuries gives Soho its charming unforgettable touch. To find out more and check out what we think you need to visit in this part of town, keep reading.
During the industrial revolution cast iron architecture was very popular as everyone was convinced that iron is much more substantial and fireproofed than steel. Cast iron fronts were built during this time more often than normal wooden houses. Many factories were also constructed in the same style, however it soon became clear that under the effect of heat, iron caves in like steel and starts breaking when it comes in contact with extinguishing water. In 1899 the government made new rules for house construction, which required a boost behind the cast iron building made by masonry. Most of the cast iron buildings were built like this. These typical cast iron buildings are the reason why so many producers decided to shoot their films or commercials on the streets of Soho. The fire escape staircases belong to these buildings and their cast iron style, with these beautiful buildings belonging to Soho and to New York City like bagels and yellow cabs.
Because of the high number of designers in SoHo, this district quickly became one of the most famous places to live and the number one shopping destination in the city. If you’re looking for creative and stylish fashion SoHo is the perfect place for you. On Broadway and many of its side streets you’ll find everything your heart could wish for. Starting with the classic stores of NYC such as: Victoria Secret (593 Broadway), Zara (580 Broadway), Mango (561 Broadway), H&M (558 Broadway), Hollister (600 Broadway) or the famous Top Shop (478 Broadway) up to high fashion from the luxury labels like Louis Vuitton (116 Greene Street), Prada (100 Prince Street), Montcler (Prince Street) or the “Allround Store” All Saints (512 Broadway). I highly recommend the Converse Speciality Store, because beside their good deals for our favorite casual converse shoes they also got a “design your own Converse” corner, where you can be creative and are able to decide, how your shoes should look like. New at SoHo is the Woolrich Store (125 Wooster Street), a famous brand from Europe. You can buy your warmest winter jacket here for 20% discount compared to Europe. A little further on Spring Street, Mercer Street and Prince Street, where you should stop at the Apple Store (103 Prince Street) and the Michael Kors Store (101 Prince Street), you’ll find more awesome stores to satisfy your shopping heart.
The uncountable stores are heaven on earth for all shopping lovers. SoHo invites you to a perfect walk around so many little, creative shops, run by young New Yorkers, who sell their handcrafted products. So there’s a lot more than just the big names of the fashion magazines. Narrow alleys, side streets and sales carts on the sidewalks have a variety of special gifts and memories you can purchase for a good deal. SoHo convinces with shopping, that’s for sure. My personal tip is: MoMa Design Store on Spring Street. New York City has a lot of the MoMa stores, but the one in SoHo is the best one. Shopping at SoHo is fun, because the prices are very kind and its not so packed with tourists during weekdays, like on 5th Avenue. So, if you want to enjoy SoHo, visit during the week, on weekend it’s as busy as everywhere else in Manhattan.
There are a lot of amazing restaurant in SoHo. You have the choice, but here is my top 5:
1. Chobani Joghurt Bar
(Address: 150 Prince Street | http://www.chobani.com/culture/chobani-soho)
Great greek joghurt, soups and bagels for a kind price.
2. The Dutch Restaurant
(Address: 131 Sullivan St | http://www.thedutchnyc.com)
The breakfast is as good as the dinner. Everything is enjoyable.
3. Katz Delicatessen
(Address: 205 E Houston St | http://katzsdelicatessen.com)
Follow the marks of Harry & Sally. This is where the famous orgasm was shot.
4. Georgetown Cupcakes
(Address: 111 Mercer St | https://www.georgetowncupcake.com)
D.C. in SoHo. These delicious Cupcakes are originally from Washington!
5. Restaurant Balthazar
(Address: 80 Spring St | http://www.balthazarny.com)
This is the number 1 spot for celebrities in SoHo und and always makes a good choice.
For a very long time SoHo was the key element of the New York art scene. Because of the extremely high rent in the area, most of the galleries have now moved to areas like Chelsea. However, SoHo still offers some great art galleries which you need to visit if you’re interested in art. One of the best galleries is the Drawing Center on Wooster Street. They recently extended the space by another 50% making it even more worth visiting. Some other interesting galleries are: 287 Spring (287 Spring St), SoHo Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan St) or Team Gallery (47 Wooster St). During your walk around SoHo, you’ll will see many other galleries that could tickle your fancy.
The former firehouse or fire department, was reconstructed as a museum to show visitors three floors of history of the New York City Fire Department. Built in 1904 on 278 Spring. the museum cares for over 10,000 objects as well as an archive of records, ephemera and photographs which celebrating the history of the fire service and the New York City Fire Department. Examples of modern day firefighting equipment are also on permanent display in the museum. You will also find a permanent memorial to the 343 members of the FDNY-EMS who were lost in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. This museum is great for kids as younger friends of the FDNY are invited to try on original firemen clothes and can learn all about how firemen extinguish a fire. Daily opeing times: 10am – 5pm, entrance $8.
Will Smith in his film “Hitch- the Date Doctor”, Cameron Diaz in “the other women”, or celebrities of the show business like Rihanna and Justin Timberlake own luxury lofts in Soho. If you’re looking for Hollywood in New York City, SoHo is the right place. Many celebrities will spend their time here – keep your eyes peeled. :You will also recognize many places you have seen before in films and commercials as you walk around. SoHo wasn’t always this popular and fancy – luxury is something new to the beautiful area. In the past SoHo was the right place for a lot of fashion companies that were producing on a large scale here. It was an area where people were not well off and worked hard for their money. The conditions of work and salaries were generally very bad. In 1960’s the government was able to stop these things from happening due to new regulations, resulting in a transformation of Soho. After these changes SoHo became an empty place with a lot of vacant factories. Time after time these empty building were bought or rented by artists, who created their studios inside the cast iron buildings. SoHo became a flourishing district and one of the most trendy areas in New York City. Today rent is extremely high and only the top designers and well know musicians can afford to live there. For the creative people SoHo is the mecca and the place of birth of their daily work.