Soho Noho and Nolita

I started a walk inteded to take me through some of Manhattans trendiest suburbs (Soho, Noho, Nolita) at Washington Square Park, a landmark of Greenwich Village. I thought about the area i was in as i sat and listened to a talented jazz troup

A Brief intro on Soho’s History

Prior to the mid-20th century, the area was known as Hell’s Hundred Acres, and was described as an “industrial wasteland”, busy with sweatshops and small factories in the daytime, but empty at night. Artists began to move in to have large spaces in which they could both live and work, in what were called loft spaces. In 1968 artists and activists were forming an organization to legalize their living in a manufacturing zone. Seeking to identify their group geographically, they consulted a city Planning Commission map that described the area as “South of Houston”, “Houston” being Houston Street. This was shortened to “SoHo”, the group voted to call itself the SoHo Artists Association and the name for the neighborhood stuck. The neighborhood’s association with the arts has expanded over time, and the area has become a famous destination for shopping. It is an archetypal example of inner-city regeneration and gentrification, encompassing socio-economic, cultural, political and architectural developments. It has become so gentrified and commercialised that enclaves that surround it like NoHo (NOrth of HOuston) and Nolita (NOrthen Little ITAly)

Back in Washington square, i passed the many people sunbaking

and spent a little while at the fountain

taking in the scene of ponderers and splashing kids

I then walked through much of the NYU (New York University) campus which seems to have buildings ALL over the place

and came to Bleecker St,

where i soflty hummed Simon & Garfunkels “Bleeker St” song
Fog’s rollin’ in off the East River bank/ Like a shroud it covers Bleeker Street / Fills the alleys where men sleep /Lies the shepherd from the sheep// Voices leaking from a sad cafe/ Smiling faces try to understand/ I saw a shadow touch a shadow’s hand On Bleeker Street// A poet reads his crooked rhyme Holy/ holy is his sacrament /Thirty dollars pays your rent /On Bleeker Street //I head a church bell softly chime/ In a melody sustainin’ / It’s a long road to Cainan. On Bleeker Street. Bleeker Street

I continued on past more NYU buildings and many funky little cafes and trendy boutiques

occasionally coming to a main road

to take in the view

before hurrying back to the comfort of the tree lined lanes

I stopped for a bite to eat (just as it started raining outside) at a fantastic bookshop/cafe – the perfect combination if you ask me – called McNally Jackson Books. I had a delicious salad

and a great read of the New York Times and flicked through some other bits as pieces, i was so content that i probably ended up staying there for at least 2 hours

I then continued my disparate wonderings

Until it was finally time for me to return home! I fantastic area which i hope to further explore another day



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4 responses to “Soho Noho and Nolita

  1. margaretbiggs

    I love S&G Bleeker St.What a fascinating day you had. Love Margoo xx

  2. bagnidilucca

    Did you go to the Tennement Museum? Or have breakfast at Balthazar? I love this area. On my blog I have a list of things to do in NY.

  3. sally

    Your day around Soho looks the perfect Hollie day. Cruising with a camera, no time limits, just soaking it in. Keep enjoying lots of love Mum

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