SoHo is a neighborhood in Manhattan that is bounded by Houston Street to the North, Lafayette Street to the east, Canal Street to the south, and Varick Street to the west. The name comes from the famous London, England shopping district with the same name. The name is justified by the name South of Houston Street. Today the area is trendy, but it was once known as the Cast Iron District.
SoHo was supposed to have two elevated highways for the two lower branches of the Lower Manhattan Expressway. The highway was built to take traffic through Manhattan to the Williamsburg Bridge and the Holland Tunnel. However, there was a preservation movement that started with the destruction of Pennsylvania Station that sought to preserve the historic structures. The 19th century cast-iron structures would be threatened by the highway. The project was successful, and when you drive through the area with your New York car rental, you will not see these structures.
The result of the preservation of the old buildings was a number a buildings that were not very good for commerce or manufacturing. Instead, many of the upper floors in these building became lofts, attracting artists who liked the natural light and the cheap rent. Originally these buildings were not built for people to live in, and in fact they were doing so illegally. This was ignored for a while, until the artist population grew and something needed to be done about the problem. The area was not suitable for manufacturing, and it then became residential space. AS factories left and people moved in, there was a lot of space available for cheap rent. Until the 1980s, living here was still somewhat illegal. The area was not zoned for living still, and often people had to convert the space into livable areas with their own money. However, after the 1980s there was a rapid rise in the image of the neighborhood, and the artists began to move out and galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and young professionals moved in. Today, as you drive though with your New York car rental you may also notice this trend.
Visiting SoHo with your New York Car Rental
Many people come to SoHo with their New York car rentals to shop in the fashionable boutiques and see quaint galleries. Most of the stores are clustered in he north area of the neighborhood along Broadway, Prince, and Spring Street. Sidewalks can be crowded with people selling goods and walking through the area. The southern part of the neighborhood by Canal Street and Grand Street still have some of the old SoHo feel and is much less crowded than the touristy north.
SoHo is an interesting place to visit with your New York car rental. It is a brilliant mix of old and new: the old factories that have been rejuvenated with new life. It is well-known in popular culture and is interesting to experience. Every visit to New York should include a visit here with your car rental!