Soho Highlights | TopView Sightseeing

Soho

Location: According to Wikipedia, all sources appear to agree that the northern boundary is Houston Street, and the southern boundary is Canal Street, but the location of the eastern and western boundaries is disputed.

SoHo (an acronym for South of Houston Street) is the famously artsy neighborhood of the ’70s and ’80s that has evolved into one of New York City’s prime shopping districts. While the neighborhood is still filled with art galleries, the collections within them today tends to be more high-end commercial work, mirroring the independent-designer outposts and luxury boutiques that characterize the area. SoHo New York is also home to some of the best restaurants and boutique hotel bars in the city, giving you the opportunity to shop, sip, dine, and mingle all in one area.

History of SoHo New York

From the 1960’s through the 1990’s, SoHo NYC was the live/work/play destination for many NYC's most famous artists. They transformed large loft spaces into studios throughout the area, and set about painting, choreographing, sculpting, and filming some of the era’s best-known artworks. This concentration of cool eventually brought big retailers into the area, transforming it from a somewhat low-key art haven into the shopping hub that it is today.

 SoHo NYC has often been the epicenter for New York City trends, eliciting no small amount of both praise and criticism from locals. It was originally a former manufacturing district located south of Houston Street (and bounded on the east by Lafayette Street, on the west by the Hudson River and to the south by Canal Street) and is characterized by cast iron–facade buildings with enormously high ceilings—made to accommodate manufacturing equipment—and gargantuan windows, designed to flood the floors with sunlight in the otherwise dimly lit gas-lamp days.

Today those glorious 19th-century buildings, built to accommodate the commercialization of the neighborhood during its growth as a shopping destination are once again the domains of some of the grandest retail spaces in the world. One of the City's most eclectic shopping enclaves, holding everything from designer boutiques and one-of-a-kind shops to bargain emporiums and kids stores, Soho New York tempts shoppers at every corner. Big names like Chanel share streets with small stores, and it's no surprise that many brands have chosen SoHo NYC as their launchpad—Apple and Uniqlo among them.

SoHo New York's architecture adds to the shopping experience with cast-iron-fronted buildings dating back to the late 19th century, perching alongside cobblestone streets that are as ornate as they are historic. SoHo NYC, renowned as a mecca for creative types around the world, still features many of the galleries, arts organizations, and cultural activities that made it famous. Visit during the weekends to find vendors selling everything from jewelry and paintings to art books and more, all along Prince Street and West Broadway. One of the best draws of SoHo New York is the people-watching, which has provided inspiration to thousands of style blogs and editorial looks documenting the street style of New Yorkers. Come looking magazine-ready and you just might end up on a blog!

SoHo House New York

The members-only New York Soho House isn’t in Soho but rather in the Meatpacking District! Want to join? In the U.S., annual memberships cost $2,100 to join a single club and $3,200 to have access to all the Soho Houses. Those who live in select Soho House-approved cities without an actual Soho House, like Aspen, Milan, and Tel Aviv, can purchase an every-club membership for $2,500.  

Visit SoHo New York

The easiest way to visit Soho is on our Downtown route. Just hop off at stop #9 and you’re there!

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This page was edited by Steven Thomas