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All of New York City is a shopper’s paradise, but no district manages to mix luxury and bargains, hip and classic, vintage and modern quite as well as SoHo does. Many large chains, small boutiques and countless designer shops are housed in industrial warehouses with typical New York fire escapes on the outer walls.
SoHo stands for South of Houston. The district is bordered by Canal Street to the south, Lafayette Street to the east, 6th Avenue to the west and Houston Street to the north. SoHo was once the beating heart of New York’s art scene but with almost all the galleries having since moved to Chelsea, most people now visit SoHo to shop and appreciate the amazing architecture.
“SoHo is one of New York City’s most characteristic neighbourhoods”
Walking around SoHo is certainly no chore. Thanks to its architecture, the district once formed a part of the historic Cast Iron District in which cast iron plays a prominent role. The longest row of cast iron buildings is situated on Greene Street, in the block between Canal Street and Grand Street. Even the streetlights here date back to the beginning of the 19th century. Most of SoHo’s buildings have always had a commercial function, mainly in the textile industry which was spread throughout the district. Much of it remains the same to this day.
One of the district’s best loved shops is What Goes Around Comes Around. Stylists and celebrities flock to this vintage store on West Broadway, looking for a particular Chanel necklace from the 1980s or that 1998 Chloé handbag. The shop also has its own collection, based on its vintage finds.
Another vintage pearl is Legacy on Thompson Street. This boutique was established in 1978 and stocks all the high-end brands, from Hermès to Prada. The Hat Shop is situated on the same street, from which owner Linda Pagan sells her own designs as well as hats from many well-known labels and as yet undiscovered talents. Prince Street is a short walk away, where the bright pink building of Café Borgia immediately catches the eye. This is a good place to stop for lunch or a rejuvenating cup of coffee. In fine weather, it’s nice to sit under the canopy on the pavement terrace.
Even though most artists have left the district, SoHo’s artistic character can still be seen in its many designer shops. Anyone who enjoys adorning their home with unusual and interesting accessories will be in their element here. Kiosk on Spring Street stocks items from all over the world, ranging from German bottle openers to Japanese lamps. The shop has a bit of a street market feel to it and invites you to buy: you might not need anything but you’ll want it all!