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Manhattan/SoHo

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Manhattan : SoHo
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Manhattan/SoHo

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For other places with the same name, see Soho (disambiguation).
Houston Street, SoHo

SoHo is a diverse neighborhood in Manhattan in New York bounded roughly by Houston Street to the north, Lafayette St. to the east, Canal Street to the south, and the Hudson River to the west. The name for the area derives from its supposed similarities to the London Soho and the fact that it is "South of Houston". SoHo used to be a bohemian quarter of artists subsisting in lofts which weren't at first recognized as legal housing, and teeming art galleries. By now, the neighborhood has become so expensive that the art galleries have been generally priced out and have moved to the far west of Chelsea, while the struggling artists have had to move further and further into the "Outer Boroughs" to find affordable places to rent. Now, this is a neighborhood of expensive boutiques, but its narrow cobblestoned side streets retain their charm, and even if the crowding on Broadway between Houston and Spring Sts. can be draining, this is still a good neighborhood to walk through.

Get in

There are numerous subway lines serving the neighborhood, and which one you use depends on which part of the neighborhood you wish to access. The 1 line runs under Varick Street, stopping at Houston and Canal Streets. The A, C, and E run under 6th Avenue and stop at Canal Street, with the C and E also stopping at Spring Street. The N, Q, and R run under Broadway; the N and R stop at Prince and Canal Streets, while the Q express train skips Prince and stops at Canal. The B, D, F, and M serve the Broadway-Lafayette station at Houston Street, with a transfer available to and from the downtown 6 train stop at Bleecker St. The 6 runs under Lafayette Street, stopping at Spring and Canal Streets, and the J (and during rush hours, the Z) stop at Canal Street under Lafayette.

There are also several city bus lines which serve the neighborhood. Take the M1, M6, or M20 bus for uptown/downtown (north/south) service. The M21 runs crosstown but traffic on Houston St. often makes for slow service.

If you are coming from a nearby neighborhood, walking is the best way to get into SoHo.

See

It's best just to walk around, look at the pretty old buildings on Broadway and the cobblestoned side streets, and if you like, shop at clothing stores and such on Broadway. West Broadway is another interesting and very upscale shopping avenue in the neighborhood.

  • Children's Museum of the Arts, 182 Lafayette St (between Broome and Grand), +1 212 274-0986, [1]. W,F-Su noon-5PM, Th noon-6PM. Art and interactive exhibits geared towards children. $10 (pay what you wish Th 4PM-6PM).
  • New York City Fire Museum, 278 Spring St (between Varick and Hudson Sts), +1 212 691-1303 (), [2]. Housed in a restored 1904 firehouse, the NYC Fire Museum covers the history of fire-fighting in the United States from the 18th Century to the present. Displays include antique aparatus, uniforms and equipment, as well as an apartment fire simulator. Suggested admission $7 adults, $5 seniors/students/children.

Do

  • Film Forum, 209 W Houston St (between 6th and 7th Aves), +1 212 727-8110, [3]. Nonprofit cinema showcasing independent and art film.
  • Here Arts Center, 145 6th Ave (at Dominick), +1 212 647-0202, [4]. Performing arts venue.
  • The Performing Garage, 33 Wooster St (between Broome and Grand), +1 212 966-9796, [5]. Off-Broadway theater that is the permanent home of experiemntal theater company the Wooster Group.

Buy

SoHo is a prime shopping destination, especially on the weekends, when the sidewalks of West Broadway, Prince Street, and Broadway become almost impassible. Be warned though that the boutique stores have mostly been replaced by high-end chain stores.

  • Kee's Chocolates, 80 Thompson St (Between Spring and Broome Sts), +1 212 334-3284, [6]. M-F 9AM-7PM, Sa-Su 11AM-7PM. Kee is widely considered by chocolate-lovers to be one of the best artisanal chocolatiers in New York. Anyone who likes chocolate will find some of her creations interesting and enjoyable. Among her truffles are Balsamic, Fennel, Smoked Salt, and Thai Chili, as well as less unusual flavors like Almond and Hazelnut Praline. Chocolates are $2.45 each. Macaroons are $2.55 each.
  • McNally Jackson Booksellers, 52 Prince St (between Mulberry and Lafayette Sts), +1 212 274-1160, [7]. M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-9PM. Formerly McNally Robinson Booksellers, this independent bookstore features an extensive collection of magazines, fiction, and nonfiction. The store also features a cafe, as well as a number of ongoing events, signings, book clubs and discussion groups.
  • Pearl Paint, 308 Canal St (across from Mercer and between Broadway and Church), +1 212 431-7932, [8]. M-F 9AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Considered by many artists to be the best and least expensive art supply store in New York.
  • Pearl River Mart, 477 Broadway (between Grand and Broome), +1 212 431-4770, [9]. 10AM-7PM daily. Vast store of Chinese and other Asian goods: kitchenware, traditional clothing, home furnishing, tea.
  • Uniqlo, 546 Broadway (at Spring St), +1 917 237-8811, [10]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-8PM. A Japanese clothing store for men and women. This location is the retail chain's only North American store.
  • LF Stores, 149 Spring Street New York, NY 10012, 212.966.5889, [11]. LF Stores is a store found on Spring Street in Soho. They are not a very big store, nor are they very well known, but they carry some very unique items. Items unique enough that celebrities have indeed shopped there. Their price is a little bit on the high range, where a shirt varies from about $50-$200. Depending on the item, of course. The service there is wonderful, they have people who are very helpful and know what they are talking about. Aside from clothing, they also carry accessories such as, jewelry, scarfs, hats, shoes, etc. The outside of their building is tan, and it is a skinny and narrow building. There is a doorman at the door. If you are looking for a real New York experience, love fashion, and can afford to splurge a little, then LF is a great store for you to go to.
  • Topshop, 478 Broadway 10013 New York, Tel: 2129669555, [12]. Monday: 10am-9pm Tuesday: 10am-9pm Wednesday: 10am-9pm Thursday: 10am-9pm Friday: 10am-9pm Saturday: 10am- 9pm Sunday: 11am- 8pm. Topshop is a women's clothing store that carries all different types of clothing. They carry petite sizes, maternity clothing, designers, boutiques, and all sizes. They have something for everyone. Their clothing is really fashion forward and they have accessories also. They main warehouse is in England. You can buy online or you can go to the store. The store is two floors with an escalator. The prices vary, but tend to run a little bit more on the high side. Items mostly vary from around $50-$90.


Eat

  • Balthazar, 80 Spring St (between Broadway and Crosby), +1 212 965-1414, [13]. M-Th 7:30AM-5PM and 5:45PM-midnight, F 7:30AM-5PM and 5:45PM-1AM, Sa 8AM-4PM and 5:45PM-1AM, Su 8AM-4PM and 5:30PM-midnight. Balthazar has the feel and quality of a good Parisian brasserie. Though informal and relaxed in feel, it is not cheap; however, many New Yorkers and visitors, alike, find it a worthwhile experience. Brunch is especially popular there. So unless you plan to show up for an early breakfast, make sure you get reservations in advance. You don't want to be one of the people waiting on line for an hour or more, just to get in.
  • Famous Ben's Pizza, 177 Spring St, New York 10012 ((At Thompson St)), (212) 966-4494, [14]. Mon-Thu:11am-11:30pm Fri-Sat:11am-12:30am Sun:12pm-10:30pm. Famous Ben's Pizza is one of the oldest and best pizza places in Soho. Some people get taken on a pizza tour here. It is a small place with few tables, but the environment fits New York perfectly. You can watch as they make the pizza, and lines are usually out the door. Their pizza doesn't cost a lot. If you are just looking for a quick and simple meal while you are out shopping, Famous Ben's is a great place to consider. They deliver, too.

Drink

  • Don Hill's, 511 Greenwich St (at Spring), +1 212 219-2850, [15]. DJs and occasional live bands.
  • The Ear Inn, 326 Spring St (between Greenwich and Washington), +1 212 431-9750, [16]. Noon-4AM daily. Located on the ground floor of the James Brown House, the Ear Inn is one of the oldest bars in New York.

Sleep

  • 60 Thompson, 60 Thompson St, +1 212 431-0200, [17]. A 100 room luxury-driven lifestyle hotel by famed designer, Thomas O'Brien. The rooftop "members" lounge, and Kittichai, an upscale Thai restaurant, complement the modern and chic sensibility of the hotel. $450-$550.

Contact

  • Mulberry Street Library, 10 Jersey St (between Lafayette and Mulberry), +1 212 966-3424, [18]. M,W noon-7PM, Tu,Th 10AM-6PM, F-Sa 10AM-5PM.


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!