Lofts, lofts, and more lofts are the attraction of Soho, and include the majority of the properties available here. Converted from industrial textile shops into art studios by painters in the 1970s and 1980s, the cavernous cast-iron buildings of the neighborhood have since been converted into ultra-premium residences offering space, light, and luxury. Naturally, all those features come at a price, but — excepting Tribeca to the immediate south — you won’t find much like a SoHo loft anywhere else in New York. If lofts really aren’t your style, there are also a few historic townhouses in SoHo, many quite large, as well as a handful of co-op apartment buildings.
Centrally located in Lower Manhattan, Soho is served by many different subway lines. The 1 train stops at Houston and Canal streets, and A, C, and E trains stop at Spring and Canal streets. On the eastern edge of the neighborhood, several stations provide access to the J, N, Q, R, W, Z, and 6 trains along Broadway and Lafayette Streets. Taxis and Ubers also cruise the streets of this popular shopping neighborhood, ensuring that getting anywhere from Soho is never difficult.
As a fairly small, historically industrial neighborhood, Soho has relatively few schools, but its many transit access points mean that getting to campuses elsewhere is easy. The nearby neighborhoods of Tribeca, Greenwich Village, and the West Village all offer excellent public and private options for students in grades K through 12, and Soho does offer an excellent Montessori school.
Soho’s age and history as a former industrial neighborhood, coupled with its placement in Lower Manhattan, mean that it lacks the large parks found in other nearby neighborhoods like the Villages. But there are still respites from tall buildings everywhere. Vesuvio Playground, at Thompson and Spring streets, coaxes neighborhood dwellers with a wading pool and basketball courts. Albert Capsuoto Park, on the southwestern corner of the neighborhood, offers lawns, benches, and dramatic new water fountain.
Restaurants and bars
Soho is home a bevy of high-end eating and drinking establishments. Arguably the most famous among them, these days, is Dominque Ansel Bakery, home of the world-famous (and still very much in-demand) cronut — along with plenty of other delicious, carb-forward concoctions. Second-most famous in the ‘hood might be Balthazar, the popular temple of French cuisine known for its brunches, its breads, and its reputation with food critics. Sleek wine and cocktail bars pervade these historic streets, but not everything is so fancy. Nestled right in among the boutiques and lofts is Toad Hall, a comfortable and laid-back neighborhood pub.
Soho is rivaled perhaps only by Midtown as Manhattan’s foremost shopping district. Like Midtown, Soho’s Broadway corridor features outposts of almost every major national and international chain (H&M, Banana Republic, Aldo, MUJI, etc.). Unlike Midtown, however, Soho is also home to an array of smaller and more unique boutiques — one-off shops that draw New Yorkers from all over, like Cos, the aforementioned Vera Wang, Jacques Torres Chocolate, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, Birchbox, and Madewell. And like most everything else in Soho, grocery shopping leans toward the high-end, with locations of Gourmet Garage and Dean and Deluca.
Landmarks and Culture
Still a hub of New York’s gallery scene, Soho offers its discerning denizens no lack of cultural activities. Numerous museums and art spaces testify to the creative past and present of the neighborhood, including the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Artists Space, and commercial galleries like AFA and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. Other attractions and landmarks include the Aire Ancient Baths, St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, the Flea Theatre, and the Museum of Chinese in America.