This weekend, with my boyfriend, we wanted to discover more Lower Manhattan and especially SoHo. We took the subway to the “Broadway – Lafayette Street” station and started walking in the streets, trying to see as much different things as possible. When we came out of the subway station, we were stroked by one thing: buildings are really smaller than in Chelsea (where we live), it was like we were in another city!
SoHo is the abbreviation of South of Houston Street. At the beginning, artists used to live in Greenwich Village, but the rents became too expensive so they decided to move in this neighborhood. At that time, it was made by warehouses and emigrants transformed them into loft or workshops.
Nowadays, when we walk in the streets, we can see beautiful buildings, implying that it might be a very expensive area. Architecturally, many roofs are made by cast iron. After talking with an old man in the streets, I learned that it’s actually called “cast iron buildings”! It’s a characteristic of the borough.
As we go along, we realize that there are also many trees in almost all the streets and it is another part that makes the area really enjoyable. Some streets have kept the authenticity of the old days: there are still cobblestones, which adds a charming aspect to the place.
We understand why artists moved there! That’s why there are many art galleries. We visited one, advised by the same old man who told us the cast iron buildings. It was actually very interesting! As we didn’t have time to visit others, we just looked at them from the outside. We saw many different installations. SoHo was a hotspot of New York contemporary art in the 70s and 80s.
Another important part of this neighborhood is the variety of different stores. As a trendy place, there are of course many fashion shops. For example, our roommates, two sisters who come from Salvador opened a shop of luxury bags at the heart of the borough. We came to visit her to their shop, they’re selling such beautiful things. But as almost all the stores there, it is quite expensive, and dedicated to a certain kind of population who can afford it.
There are many trendy restaurants, overcrowded by a very chic clientele. We wanted to eat in a very nice but also typical place, and we found out that we actually need to book before because there are many reservation requests. Finally, we walked around to find somewhere else and we heard about a hidden bar, just under a “taqueria” where you can find really good tacos. To access to this bar, we had a lot of chance because, as usual, you need to book before, but we don’t know why, this time we could enter without any trouble. We crossed the kitchens of the restaurant to go to the cellar, and we discovered a place, which looks like a nightclub! It’s not so easy to talk to people you came with, because there is a lot of noise, but it’s really a place to see. Moreover, the food is good, especially the desserts, which are very very good!
Beside us, there was a couple of New Yorkers, very kind, who told us an anecdote about SoHo: this area is very popular for shooting, whether it be photographs or movies. So we mustn’t be surprised if one or several streets are closed, that’s because something happens in there, such as a film crew working.
So this neighborhood is not only very charming, it has everything to make people falling in love with it! You can find restaurants to eat very good food, but also to eat on the run, there are several shops, it’s like a fashion industry at the heart of the capital of fashion. Then, landscapes are beautiful, buildings are such typical, people are always trying to help you, giving advices, and also you can go out at every time during the day or the night without worrying about your safety!
And you, what is your favorite place ?