Soho, short for South of Houston, is the epitome of downtown’s evolution. Many of its buildings were abandoned until the 1960’s, when artists (illegally) moved in to live and work. Today, Soho is known for its fine art galleries, high-end boutiques, world-class dining, cobblestoned streets, and airy lofts.
Soho lies between Houston Street to the north; Canal Street to the south; Sixth Avenue to the west; and Centre/Lafayette Street to the east. The name was coined in 1962 by Chester Rapkin as a nod to the Soho area in London’s West End. New York’s version of Soho is home to the largest collection of cast-iron architecture in the world.
Shopping can be found all throughout the neighborhood, with chain stores on Broadway and boutiques on side streets like Crosby. World-class restaurants, art galleries, and nightlife are scattered throughout. Its many entertainment options make Soho the perfect neighborhood for those who want to live where they play.
In addition to its massive lofts, Soho has options for affordable starter apartments along Thompson and Sullivan Streets. This area was once part of Greenwich Village and is sometimes still known as the South Village.
West of Sixth Avenue – still south of Houston and north of Canal – is a mini-neighborhood called Hudson Square. Here you will find warehouses and lofts alongside modern, full-service apartment buildings. While shopping, entertainment and dining options are notably scarce, the quiet streets and lack of tourists make Hudson Square an appealing alternative to Soho proper. Look here for new construction and privacy.