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SoHo

South of Houston Street is a historic district famed for its artistic atmosphere and cast-iron façades.

TravelCurious Tip

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.


Young Guns

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.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in New York
Greenwich Village
The bohemian capital of the world - and these days one of America's priciest neighbourhoods.
Washington Square Park
Dominated by a triumphal arch, this beautiful park has a tradition of celebrating nonconformity.
E. V. Haughwout Building
Created in 1856, this cast-iron landmark is home to the first passenger elevator.
Old Police Headquarters
Today a group of luxury apartments, the NYPD's former headquarters is one of the finest Beaux-Arts buildings in all New York.
Little Italy
A nostalgic area full of the legacies of Italian immigrant culture at the turn of the 20th century.
Rockefeller Center Observation Deck
This high vantage point gives an incredible vista of the Big Apple.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Little Italy, Soho and Chinatown
The different neighbourhoods of New York each have something to give the curious traveller. Go with your personal guide to see four of its most vibrant districts to see many of New York’s off the beaten path sights.
      
  • Enjoy avant-garde  Greenwich Village
  • Experience the artistic soul of Soho
  • See the impact of immigrants in Little Italy and Chinatown 
The Village
 

 Simply known as “The Village” and much loved by native New Yorkers, Greenwich has been, and still is home to America’s bohemian scene. You will start at Washington Square Park, a buzzing city hangout, where you will discover cobblestoned mews and 19th century brownstone carriage houses. You will glimpse some of New York’s rarest sights, for example, the home where John Wilkes Booth spoke openly of his plan to murder President Abraham Lincoln. Pass by such landmarks as the Jefferson Market Library and Bleecker Street, as well as where Hemingway, Edgar Poe, Jackson Pollack lived and worked. 

 Soho, Little Italy and Chinatown

You will proceed to explore New York City’s vibrant neighbourhoods of Soho, Little Italy and Chinatown. You will venture through Soho where you will learn about its transformation from its' humble beginnings as a centre for the rag trade industry, eventually becoming an extravagant artist community. You will see Soho's unique collection of cast iron buildings such as the Haughwout Building, home to the first safety elevator, and the Old Police Headquarters— the 1909 Beaux-Arts building.
 
While walking the narrow cobblestone streets in the heart of Little Italy, you will learn about Mafia hangouts, the most famous of which is Ravenite Club. You will pop into the oldest cheese shop in NYC and the first NYC pizzeria, as well as exploring Old Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Journey through NYC’s Chinatown, walk along Canal and Motts Streets, the former Five Points District, and the Old Opium Den, where you will hear stories of Chinese immigrants who came to Manhattan to build a future of their own. Your expert local guide will also tell you all about the violent gangs that sprang up around them, fighting for dominance. 
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