If you love shopping and are tired of Department store sameness, SoHo is the place to go. Both famous designers and up-and-coming designers offer their art and work in SoHo.
SoHo is bounded in the north by Houston Street, Lafayette Street on the east, Canal Street on the south, and Varick Street on the west.
While many people believe it derives its name from the Soho district in London, they are totally unrelated.
The name is actually an acronym for “South of Houston Street,” which roughly describes the location of SoHo.
Soho has its history written on the walls and facades of its neighborhood. Many of the buildings located here were used as commercial warehouses and barns in the past. In the 70s, these buildings, especially the upper stories which came to be used as lofts, attracted artists who valued the spaces for their large areas, large windows admitting natural light and cheap rents.
This led to its I interesting and unusual architecture undergoing a dramatic change as commercial use fell by the wayside and many of the buildings were converted to apartments and lofts in the early 1980’s.
Many of the apartments still serve as art studios and Lofts, with detailed, breathtaking architectural designs and innovations.
Because of SoHo's location, the appeal of its lofts as living spaces, its architecture and, its reputation as a "hip" neighborhood, it remains a popular residential area. SoHo is now a popular tourist destination for people looking for fashionable clothing and exquisite architecture.
In the mid-20th century, musicians and artists began to advance in to own large spaces whereby they could equally live and work, in what had been termed loft spaces. In 1968 artists plus activists were forming an organization to legalize their residing in a development area. Planning to recognize their group geographically, they consulted a city Planning Commission guide which explained SoHo as "South of Houston", "Houston" remaining Houston Street. This was reduced to "SoHo", the party voted to call themselves the SoHo Artists Association and the term for SoHo caught. The name "SoHo" could be the model for various other new neighborhood acronyms within New York City, just like NoHo, for "NOrth of HOuston Street", TriBeCa ("TRIangle BEneath CAnal Street"), Nolita ("NOrth of Little ITAly"), NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square Park") and DUMBO ("District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass").