New York N. Y: The Small Internet Tour of SoHo

Soho

This is the week that I would be in New York City and probably blogging from there. Unfortunately, it’s not happening this year. Instead of whimpering in my free trade coffee, I’m going to take you on a small tour of Soho.

Did you know that SoHo stands
for “South of Houston”?
That’s because SoHo is the area
South of Houston street.

Coat

I always wear my favorite men’s vintage N.Y. coat, inspired by the movie Annie Hall( one of my favorite NY movies.) I bought it and the fedora on Broadway, near Canal Street. The coat is wide enough to wear a bulky sweater, with a down vest underneath because NY can have some brutal winters. If you are a walker like me, keeping warm is a must.The small store no longer exists. In fact the neighborhood had been gentrified into gourmet eateries and high end fashion boutiques.

The History

The land that would become present day SoHo (from Canal Street north to Houston Street; from West Broadway to Crosby Street) was marsh and forest land until the Dutch began establishing farms in the area in the 1640s. The first farms were owned by freed slaves.

The English had taken over New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664 and renamed it New York.(1)

 

Through the years with the continued growth of New York the population pushed north and  the area became mainly residential then turned commercial with grand hotels, boutiques and even brothels. Today Soho is full of small contemporary art galleries. Some owners and collectors will let you in without an appointment and include a personal tour of their space. (Just look like your ready to buy something, ask questions, and you may even get a free glass of wine.) Art galleries are great places to get inspired. From the paintings, sculptures, instillations, I’ve always found a story there. Yet, the history of this area is enough to inspire.

For some current Soho showings see here:

http://sohonyc.com/art-galleries.html

This neighborhood, of stone and brick faced buildings, had affordable apartments, subdivided from turn of the nineteenth century factories, warehouses and other large scale businesses. Many artists had their working studios there. The high ceilings , large windows, and the proximity to the the major art schools, like Cooper Union and the main NYC campus, made this a popular and cheap place to live before the nineteen eighties, especially if you subleased it with four other budding artists.

Those spacious lofts are now the in place to live at unbelievable prices. Celebrities and hip dot- com’s have taken over. Within its narrow streets, you can still find charm , an old bar to settle in and catch your breath, like The Ear Inn, on Spring Street which opened in 1830. It’s a woodsy place, full of characters encapsulated by history seeped  walls.

For the facts about the Inn:
http://www.timeout.com/newyork/bars/the-ear-inn

There’s so much to see and do in this area.  You can shop from the best stores, stay at a boutique hotel or have a modest meal at a cafe.  For further information about its famous writers, poets, and authors, I’ve found this site. They Lived Here at the link is below.

http://rightherenyc.com/THEYLIVEDHERE_writers.html

And for a more complete history walk of SoHo visit the WordPress site:
Historical Walks of SoHo here:
https://nyhistorywalks.wordpress.com/category/manhattan/soho/

 

What’s your favorite SoHo spot?

 

Thanks for visiting.
Next– the Museums.

See you soon.
DI

P.S.

There’s a short story about a New York traveler titled Idioms. Have a read here:
http://wp.me/p2iYta-4e

References:

Coat photo from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/103723597639649778/
(1) http://www.newyorkartworld.com/commentary/FanelliCafe-History-1640.html

 

 

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