English author Samuel Johnson once claimed that when a man tires of London, he is tired of life. The same could be said of SoHo. Nestled alongside Greenwich Village, Little Italy and Tribeca, SoHo has long held a reputation as New York’s artist enclave. Today, while still home to a sizeable population of working artists and countless galleries, SoHo has expanded to welcome professionals, families and a bustling commercial and retail district, housing everything from J.Crew to a new luxury hotel, dubbed one of the "world’s hippest hotels" by
What goes around comes around, as the pundits say. That seems to be the case for SoHo (which stands for "south of Houston" Street). Two hundred years ago, the area was home to New York’s upper class. Middle class families followed and the streets soon bustled with exclusive shops, elegant hotels and theaters, lively casinos and some of New York’s finest brothels. The area was so highly regarded for its houses of ill-repute that it was soon earning "five-star ratings" in guidebooks of the time.
Following the Civil War, as the industrial age took a firm hold, textile manufacturers began setting up shop in the area and continued to operate there well into the 20th Century. But as industry and commerce grew, residents began a mass exodus, moving uptown and leaving SoHo almost entirely in the hands of manufacturers.