What’s So Great About Soho?

James Garside

Soho, ManhattanWikimedia Commons

Discover the cultural and culinary heart of Manhattan's Lower East Side in Soho.

Soho, short for “South of Houston”, is a Manhattan neighborhood — you guessed it — south of Houston.

Located between Houston Street and Canal Street, Soho is an area known for its diverse restaurants, theaters, and shops.

The district is bordered by Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Tribeca, and Chinatown.

Visitors to this neighborhood can often enjoy views of local artists working at various boutique showrooms and studios.

Soho is a place where you browse, shop, and experience culture with a local flavor. It has much more to offer than upscale shopping.

It is the most dynamic neighborhood in Manhattan. There is no place like Soho. It offers a fantastic array of rich urban experiences that many visitors will want to investigate on foot.

Soho remains a notable cultural destination in New York today for its many art galleries, shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

Fashionable businesses moved uptown in the early 1900s, and sweatshops and factories dotted the area.

In the 1960s artists moved to Soho, in search of large studio space at low rents, and were soon followed by galleries, boutiques, and tourists.

Soho’s Cast Iron District was designated a historic landmark in 1973. It was considered a great victory for landmark preservation.

The area is also historically significant, as the site of the first public school in New York City and the oldest existing cast-iron architecture in Manhattan.

As real estate prices climbed in the 1980s, many of the artists who reclaimed Soho no longer had the means to live there.

Soho comprises the land between Broadway in the east, the Bowery and Crosby Street to the west, Centre Street and Lafayette Street to the north, and Canal Street on its south.

It lies between Houston Street, Canal Street, and Lafayette Street on the east, and the Hudson River on the west.

Originally a Dutch settlement, it became one of New York's most fashionable shopping districts in the late 1940s due to its many art galleries.

Today, you can still experience both with a short stroll along Broadway from Houston to Canal Street.

Tourists, street artists, and vendors crowd the streets on weekends.

Today Soho houses dozens of art galleries, stylish shops, bohemian restaurants, designer boutiques from Prada to Burberry to Louis Vuitton to Hermes.

Many of the art galleries are open to the public and free to visit.

Soho, like many neighborhoods in New York City, has experienced a lot of change.

By the end of the 18th century, Soho was a fashionable residential neighborhood with upscale stores and businesses.

Soho was originally a gritty industrial neighborhood, but in the 1970s it became ground-zero for artists seeking lower rents and raw studio space.

Soho is known for its trendsetting art, high-end shopping, and world-famous cast-iron architecture.

Soho has become one of New York's most exciting neighborhoods.

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NCTJ-qualified British independent journalist, author, and travel writer.


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