Living in SoHo
Mention SoHo, and many will dream of living in one of the fabled artists' lofts there. These hard to come by rentals, the galleries, and the stylish shopping all give SoHo a siren's call. As the name abbreviates, SoHo lies south of Houston Street. Its other borders are Canal Street to the south, Lafayette Street to the east, and either West Broadway or Sixth Avenue to the West. The SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District contains blocks of buildings with gorgeous cast iron architectural elements. Some side streets in this area are also paved with setts-regularly shaped cobblestones.
SoHo was many things before it became the sophisticates' center it is today. In the mid-19th century, it was the entertainment mecca of the city. As unsavory elements took root, the neighborhood shifted to support trade. By the 1950's, SoHo was full of sweatshops. Years later, artists saw the potential that empty manufacturing lofts held and quietly moved in. In 1971, zoning laws caught up to reality. Many art galleries opened in SoHo, then moved to Chelsea in the 90s. Despite gentrification, many artists still call SoHo home.
SoHo Lifestyle and Entertainment
The streets of SoHo are crowded with shops, restaurants, and bars. They're also just crowded, particularly on the weekends. Many people come here to soak up the sartorial sensibilities. They shop in stores selling Prada purses, G-Star Raw gear, and Apple computers. More unique offerings include reGeneration, a modern furniture store and exhibition space, and Kiosk, which imports kooky clutter from other countries. The wildlife of SoHo is all on the street. It's great people watching here, but there are no parks.
When you get hungry, check the side streets for upscale restaurants or grab something from a vendor on Broadway. Food highlights include Kittichai for modern Thai and Fanellli's Café-a slice of old New York that snuck through Prohibition with its own distillery. In SoHo, be smart and make a reservation if you don't want to wait. For a drink, try the Broome Street Bar to start. It has a community vibe that's good for artists on a sub-SoHo budget. To get your dance on, head to Don Hill's featuring rock genre DJs.
SoHo Info and the Rental Market
The quintessential SoHo loft is hard to find and harder to afford. If you do score one, expect 15-foot ceilings, cast-iron columns, and full-wall windows. You can more reasonably expect to end up in a one-bedroom in a non-doorman building, which will set you back an average of $3,842.
Now that the artist boom is over, most people who move into SoHo are wealthy young professionals and, actually, models. The area is popular with modeling agencies! Public transportation is very good from the neighborhood and you'll be close to a number of subway lines.
SoHo may be excellent for shopping, but it's low on services. There's a New York Public Library just on the other side of Lafayette, on Mulberry Street. You'll have to leave the confines of the neighborhood to find a post office, too. There's a MySportsClubs gym on Broadway and Spring. Manhattan's Community Board No. 2 covers the SoHo area.
SoHo Zip Codes
Zip codes serving SoHo are 10012 and 10013.