SoHo refers to the historic neighborhood located 'South of Houston Street' in lower Manhattan (for you newbies, it's pronounced "How-ston", not "Hew-ston"). Along its cobblestone streets, the cast-iron buildings with large windows once provided space to garment manufacturers, then became cheap artists' lofts, and their latest iteration is as expensive homes and high-end retail. In fact, SoHo has become a shopping mecca: you'll find unique boutiques and chain stores (more of the latter these days), art galleries, home décor stores, salons, and spas. Thanks to the shops and SoHo's cool factor, tourists flock here during the day. It is somewhat quieter during the night, however.
It's also got a vibrant dining and bar scene – you'll find Italian, Mexican, Russian, Seafood, Vietnamese, American, Mediterranean, French, Thai, and Japanese restaurants, burger joints, and a dozen cafes. At night there are plenty of bars and lounges to choose from to suit your speed.
Like its hip sister neighborhoods Tribeca and West Village, it costs to be cool. SoHo has consistently been one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York for years.
Wall Street: 1.5 miles / 20 minutes by car / 15-20 minutes by transit
Rockefeller Center: 3 miles / 25-30 minutes by car / 20-25 minutes by transit
Jersey City: 6.5 miles / 30-35 minutes by car / 25-35 minutes by transit