SoHo remains on the cutting edge in many ways. It is, for example, the home of the Cronut — an ingenious hybrid of croissant and donut. You won’t be disappointed
SoHo is an trendy neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan, full of beautiful people and upmarket outlets. Its name refers to the area being “South of Houston Street”, and also acknowledges Soho in London’s West End. This naming convention really caught on: see TriBeCa, DUMBO and NoHo, among others.
SoHo is perhaps New York’s foremost example of inner city regeneration and gentrification, a process now known as the “SoHo effect”. After World War II, the textile industry that had occupied the area largely moved to the South. This triggered the area’s decay, until the point in the 50s when it became known as “Hell’s Hundred Acres” — an industrial wasteland.
However in the 60s artists began to be drawn to the empty manufacturing lofts and the distinctive cast iron architecture. Iron is pliable and easily moulded, allowing for sumptuously curved window frames of considerable height, reaching from floor to ceiling of the tall rooms designed to hold sizeable manufacturing equipment. Even if the artists have mainly moved on today, the industrial facades, luminous lofts and cast-iron lampposts, balconies and fire escapes that drew them there remain.
New York, New York
SoHo’s Film Forum is the only not-for-profit movie house in the City. The passion and curatorial mastery are evident in the programmes, with endless series of classics, and retrospectives of seminal directors. The retrospectives often also feature a Q&A by a star, academic or someone involved in production, so a visit is a must for any cinephile.
Although the art scene is not as edgy here as it once was, it is still going strong. Pay a visit to Team Gallery, The Drawing Centre and the Artists Space for a variety of digital and avant-garde art from a range of artists, including some of the country’s young talent.
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