Soho

You’re in SOHO or SoHo, land of one-of-a-kind cast-iron architecture, stores of every description, artisans selling their crafts on the street, and all-the-rage boutiques.  Once home to the textile industry, small factories and struggling artists and scorned as hell’s hundred acres (nitpick: there are only seventy-three), its buildings and lofts transformed into the studios of such artists as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg and more recently to house major store outlets including Tiffany, Burberry and J. Crew.  Underfoot are cobblestones, some having been restored to Belgian block, the elegant rectangular granite setts of the 19th century.  Originals of same-keep your eyes peeled-are occasionally visible where asphalt surfacing has eroded.  Horses, by the way, preferred such stones beneath their tender hooves but we suggest you leave yours at home.  You’ll wonder why there are terracotta-colored rather than blue street signs throughout this historic space.  Well-FYI-It’s unique to landmarked districts and was chosen to blend with the brownstone and limestone buildings of the time.  But don’t get the wrong idea-Soho is not a nose-in-the-air neighborhood–it’s easy going: The well-off and not so stroll together where shops pricey and bargain, rub shoulders.

Soho Boutiques