SoHo - The SoHo New York City Photo Tour
Our SoHo photos are a great way to catch a sneak peak of this growing community before your visit. Once a thriving artistic community, SoHo New York is now a trendy, fully gentrified neighborhood bounded by Houston Street, Lafayette Street/Centre Street, Canal Street, and West Broadway. Many of the best restaurants and boutique shops in NYC can be found in SoHo, along with cheap Soho New York hotels such as the Hampton Inn Manhattan SoHo and The GEM Hotel SoHo. SoHo is also home to the New York City Fire Museum, where one of the nation's finest collections of fire-related art and artifacts is displayed.
Like many other neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan, SoHo NYC does not follow the traditional street-naming conventions of the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 (in fact, Manhattan's numerically named streets begin on the north side of Houston Street). Because the area's streets don't follow any predictable pattern, getting around SoHo can be confusing, even for New York natives. We recommend studying our Map of SoHo before exploring the area.
If you happen to work up an appetite while shopping in Soho, you might try visiting of the Soho restaurants NYC. Casa Bella, Da Nico NYC, and Caffe Napoli e Trattoria da Luigi are just a few of the wonderful restaurants that can be found in this charming NYC neighborhood.
Planning a Trip to SoHo - Where to Begin
If you're planning a trip to SoHo, you've come to the right place! Here at NYCTourist, you'll find all you need to know about SoHo NY and the surrounding metropolitan area. Here's our advice on getting around this trendy Manhattan neighborhood:
Armani Exchange now occupies one of SoHo's beautiful old buildings.
We recommend beginning your trip on Broadway, where many of the large SoHo stores may be found. Be aware that most stores in SoHo don't open until 11am; that means the best time to visit SoHo is in the afternoon. SoHo stores are usually busiest on the weekends. Shops in SoHo include Prada, G-Star Raw, Bloomingdale's, H&M, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Victoria's Secret, Dolce & Gabbana, Urban Outfitters, Apple Store, J. Crew, and Calvin Klein.
If you have a weekend morning free, stop by Broadway and Grand Street for the SoHo Antiques Fair. Held each Saturday and Sunday between 9am and 5pm, this flea market in SoHo attracts over 100 antiques dealers. Once you've had your fill of antique shopping in SoHo, make a right turn on any of the side streets from Prince to Grand and you'll find yourself in the heart of this charming NYC neighborhood. There's something for everyone here - from art and architecture to shopping and dining!
How SoHo Got Its Name
Formerly known as Hell's Hundred Acres on account of its many sweatshops, SoHo received its present name in 1968 when a group of artists and activists formed an organization to legalize their living in a manufacturing zone. In an effort to identify their group geographically, the group decided to name their organization the SoHo Artists Association, as the area in question was South of Houston Street (Houston Street, incidentally, is pronounced "how-stun"). SoHo was the first of many neighborhoods in New York City to receive an acronymic name; NoHo ("North of Houston Street"), Tribeca ("Triangle Beneath Canal Street"), Nolita ("North of Little Italy"), and DUMBO ("District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") soon followed the trend.
Learn more about the neighborhoods in Manhattan on our Manhattan Map page.
SoHo NYC: A Thriving Artistic Community
After its decline at the start of the 20th century, SoHo saw a new surge in popularity in the late '60s and early '70s, when artists flocked to the area to take advantage of spacious, inexpensive lofts where they could both live and work. These lofts gained popularity despite the fact that few were properly zoned or equipped for residential use.
Like Greenwich Village to the north, which was itself a thriving artistic community in the late '50s and early '60s, SoHo is now completely gentrified. Lofts that were once desirable because of low rent now sell for millions of dollars. Not surprisingly, many celebrities now reside in this trendy NYC neighborhood, including John Mayer, Julia Stiles, and Thierry Henry.
Cast-Iron Architecture in SoHo
No neighborhood in the world boasts as many cast-iron buildings as SoHo in NYC. Between 1840 and 1880, cast-iron was used to decorate older buildings and make them more appealing to new commercial buyers. As a building material, cast-iron offered many advantages: for one thing, it was cheaper to use than stone or brick, and prefabricated molds of ornamentation made it easy to recast broken pieces. Cast-iron remained popular until the advent of steel at the end of the 19th century.