SoHo in New York: it’s one of the coolest-sounding neighborhoods, but did you know that it’s actually just an abbreviation for South of Houston … Houston is a street that runs from East to West, just below where the streets get numbers. And SoHo is, indeed, south of that big street.
At the end of the nineteenth century a huge textile industry developed in SoHo. The characteristic tough, industrial buildings also date from that period. SoHo has not always been well known, but since the 1960s it has gradually developed into what it is today: an artistic, creative, beautiful neighborhood full of beautiful shops, galleries and restaurants. A neighborhood where many fashion brands are located, just like things full of expensive designer furniture. And a neighborhood that is popular as a film location: chances are that you will not be allowed into the street because of film recordings. It is one of the safer neighborhoods of New York. You can easily walk around if you are traveling alone.
Shopping in SoHo
Because of all the hip types that stroll through SoHo, you will spontaneously feel like expanding your wardrobe yourself. And let SoHo be the area for that. Fashion hearts beat faster in the cobblestone streets in particular. To unwind, head to the nicest bookstore in town, where you’ll order the tastiest cappuccino with scone you’ll taste in New York: McNally Jackson. You will find this store on Prince Street, where you can continue shopping when you are charged again.
A walking tour through SoHo
If you would like to get to know SoHo better, a walking tour is a good way. You will also visit the neighboring neighborhoods of Little Italy and Chinatown. The tour with a local guide will take you past the shops and restaurants and teach you more about the rich history of the area.
Restaurants and cafes
Are you a hamburger fan? Then there is one very good reason to travel to SoHo: one of the best burgers I have eaten in New York is that of hotel The Mercer. They also have good cocktails here. I like Cafe Select on Lafayette; a very relaxed café with Swiss roots, where you can eat a sandwich and an evening meal (take the hanger steak and mail me that it was good). Ben’s Pizza is one of New York’s best pizzerias, and The Gray Dog is one of the best coffee and bagel bars.
Drinks with a view
If you also want to stay in SoHo in the evening, there is plenty to do. It is not a Meatpacking District, with many large clubs, but has all kinds of fancy bars to entertain you for a night. Just don’t expect a street where you can hop from bar to bar. You will have to walk around a bit, but then you will automatically come across nice places. For example, start with cocktails at the SoHo Grand to watch beautiful people. Then walk to Grand Street and turn left: choose one of the bars here to have a beer, they are all good actually. Then, in good weather, head to The James New York – they have a fantastic garden on the second floor. Order a bottle of white wine here and enjoy the view of the Masera cigar across the street. By the way, don’t be put off by the fact that there is a bouncer everywhere at the door, but just to be sure, put on your just-worn outfit; it is appreciated if work has been done. Moreover, it is an unwritten rule for women that they wear heels – (actually everywhere in New York, except in East Village) – wear heels
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