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Soho and the Cast-Iron Historical District
Favorite thing: Soho is possibly my favourite neighborhood in New York. There are several reasons for this. These include the superb shopping here, the excellent restaurants, the lively bars and the amazing art galleries. However what I find most remarkable about Soho is the magnificent architecture and many cast-iron buildings.
Soho derives its name for being So(uth) of Ho(uston) and makes up the area bordered by Broadway to the east, Houston to the north, 6th Avenue to the west and Canal Street to the South. The neighborhood's is long and colourful. It began its life 350 years ago when the first freed slaves lived here. The area was eventually turned into farm land In the mid 19th century, Soho became a neighborhood for the wealthy with many fine homes being built here. It was after the Civil War that the most important architectural development took place in Soho as the neighborhood became a more commercial district. The homes and townhouses where torn down and replaced by the imposing cast-iron facade warehouses and factories. Most of these buildings have been restored and are occupied by masses of shops and restaurants.
Fondest memory: The cast-iron facades are visually stunning. My first memory of Soho is constantly arching my neck looking up at them as they are eye catching to the extreme.
The facades were built out of molded iron because during the last half of the 19th century it was actually cheaper to build them in this manner than out of brick or stone. There was also the fact that cast-iron beams and columns could easily support the heavy floors of the warehouses. The columns were often designed to take the shape that resembled those used in the Baroque and Renaissance period. The facades where then painted in bright colours that increase the glamour. The fad fell into disfavour at the end of the 19th century when steel was found to be a more cost efficient and solid method of building.
Today about 150 of the buildings still stand. The actual declared Cast-Iron Historical District is bounded by Houston to Spring streets and from West Broadway to Crosby Street. Most seem to have been restored and together they make for one of the most amazing shopping districts in New York.
Favorite thing: Canal Street is something of focal point in New York. It is probably because it stands as the dividing line between some of New York's famous neighborhoods. Canal Street which straddles east-west across the width of Manhattan, is the boundary between Soho and Tribeca. It is used to divide Chinatown and Little Italy but these days Little Italy has been engulfed by Chinatown. Canal Street is more that main thruway for Chinatown. The street itself is rather ugly. It is here that you can buy cheap jewelry, discount and knock off designer clothing and electronic equipment. Somehow I seem to always spend a fair amount of time on Canal Street when I am in New York just for the fact that it is so close to all the other attractions and eateries that I am taking in while I am in the city.
Favorite thing: Greene Street is the heart of SoHo's Cast-Iron District. There are 50 cast-iron buildings built between 1869 - 1895. It is definitely something I associate with various movies filmed in the city of New York...
- Hiking and Walking
Favorite thing: This district SOuth of HOuston Street (hence the name: SOHO) is a former sweatshop area that was nearly abandoned when industries moved away from New York city (taxes and labor laws!) between the 60s and 70s. Groups of artists started to move in and create their own lofts and workspaces. By the end of the 1980s, Soho had become the artistic capital of New York city.
Some of the greatest shopping in New York can be done here, especially since many big name boutiques have joined the authentic indigenous stores.
West Broadway is more or less Soho's main street: it is absolutely charming, especially on weekends.
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
SOuth of HOuston
Favorite thing: Soho is a small neighborhood south of Houston. I read that it's famous for its cast-iron buildings so I went to take a look. I picked the building with the most photogenic cast-iron and took the photo.
Favorite thing: Soho is still one of my favourite places in New York..
I made my way to Soho again on a grey,chilly New York sunday..
I woke up late because of saturday night fever ,and I was late for a nice brunch..
But believe me,Soho is ideal place for sundays,brunchs and surprising discoveries..
Fondest memory: I spotted a nice shop called -Evolution- on spiring street in Soho..
I am very into old things,fossils,ancient rocks and this shop offers plenty of choices..
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- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: SoHo (for SOuth of HOuston Street) also called New York City Artistic Haven.
In SoHo you’ll find everything from souvenir store to art gallery, from street artists to best wine experts. SoHo was made for window-shopping but it wouldn't hurt to go inside once in a while. My friend Patrick says that he likes going to the SoHo just for watching beautiful people ;-)
Favorite thing: This is the contemporary artistic area of New York.
When the large department stores moved uptown, the warehouses were left standing with their large lofts. Many artists moved into these lofts to work. There was plenty of room and very high ceilings.
Fondest memory: Nowadays SoHo is a very trendy place to live, shop, eat, and stroll.
From Broadway turn into any of the side streets from Prince to Grand and there you are in the heart of SoHo where you will find antiques, boutiques and dining/
Several building faces in SoHo have had murals painted on them
- Arts and Culture
Soho (SOuth of HOuston)
Favorite thing: The blocks South of Houston and north of Canal Street are the city´s largest concentracion of cast –iron fronted buildings, built as warehouses and manufacturing spaces, but converted to living spaces, called “lofts” for artist and sculptures. This area is full of galleries, restaurants and fashionable shops.
- Hiking and Walking
Wander aimlessly around Soho...
Favorite thing: Wander aimlessly around Soho and the Village
Fondest memory: I visit NYC quite often, but the last time I went was with my husband soon after we were married. We got a really nice room at The W Hotel and had a fantastic time doing really horrible touristy things!
coeur.chaud's General Tip
Fondest memory: When trekking through SOHO in a snowstorm one day I came upon this small bar/cafe/restaurant called Cafe Noir (Grand St). I spent the afternoon listening to the live music, eating, drinking and sketching this quaint, intimate, and laid-back cafe.
becstar7's General Tip
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of this trip would be when my sister and I went to the Scholastic store in SoHo. At first sight this place may appear as a teacher store (which was probably why my sister was so attracted to it) but once you get in there there is so much to explore. Don't let the little children atmosphere ruin your spirit because many of us are still children at heart. I had a blast going around and playing with all there was to do inside.
How to multiplicate the benefit by 4
Favorite thing: The inventor of this system was certainly an adicted of the Rubik Cube.
I am no patient enough to wait and to see how they put down the car at the fourth floor.
go to SOHO (south of Houston...
Favorite thing: go to SOHO (south of Houston St.)
Fabulous neighborhood filled with small galleries, local life & culture.
Ward-Nasse Gallery: 178 Prince St. - www.wardnasse.org
Off to Soho we go! Happiest of...
Favorite thing: Off to Soho we go! Happiest of NYC districts with colorful buildings, wonderful shopping and art galleries. I fell in love with some outrageous black shoes, but no luck, my size was sold out!
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