SoHo, Beyond The Shopping

When we think of spending the day in SoHo, the first (and perhaps only) activity that pops into our heads is SHOPPING!  And while, yes, it’s totally the truth that SoHo is filled to the brim with any and every store you could possibly imagine–all the way from the tippy top designers to tiny boutiques with budding no-names–there’s more to SoHo than clothes.

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Today, we’ve partnered with our friends at TripGo to take you around to all our favorite non-fashion forward stops in SoHo.  TripGo is a handy dandy app that connects your calendar with real-time transport suggestions, providing all your door-to-door options for easy breezy comparison.  Basically, a New Yorkers best friend.  Before heading out for the day, I plugged in my locations (below), plus my travel preferences (subway + walking), and was provided an optimized schedule for my day in SoHo.  First stop…breakfast!

1. Chobani

While a yogurt bar may sound about as exciting as a bag of rocks, let me promise you, this place is deliciously worthy of a visit every single time I’m in the neighborhood.  They have Sweet (toasted coconut + pineapple), Savory (cucumber + olive oil), and Seasonal creations that are hands-down out of this world!  Since it’s the start of fall, I opted for the seasonal special of the day, pumpkin + cranberry.

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2. The Earth Room

What would you do if given a 3,600 square foot loft space in the prime real estate area of SoHo?  I bet 9.5 out of 10 of you sure wouldn’t say “fill it with dirt”…which is exactly what you’ll find at 141 Wooster Street.  This free exhibit has been open to the public since 1980…although there are no huge signs or fanfare letting you know the gallery exists.  A bit of a hidden gem (or if not gem, at least hidden!;-)  You go to the address, press 2B, and wait to be buzzed in.  Upon entering the building you’ll smell the room right away (I mean…280,000 pounds of dirt!)  Unfortunately, no photos are permitted, so you’ll just have to go and experience this one for yourself!

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3. Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

A quick walk down the street will land you at another under-the-radar museum, featuring LGBTQ art and the artists who create it.  Also a free museum, you can walk right in and enjoy the art, or check out their calendar for a host of events…film screenings, opening receptions, talk back with artists…lots of greatness going on here.

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4. The Mondrian SoHo

When you’ve reached a point in your day when you’re ready to kick those feet up, there’s no better place to go than the Mondrain Hotel in SoHo.  From its entrance, you’ll get a glimpse of just how cool this place is.  You can sit anywhere on the first floor, grabbing a cup of joe or glass of bubbly if you’re feeling festive.  My favorite place to go is on the second floor.  Across from the reception desk is a darling outdoor terrace with comfy lounge seating.  Perfect place to catch up on emails or call your mom;-)

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5. Housing Works Bookstore

It’s no secret I love bookstores (especially this one, which is where we had our wedding reception!)  Housing Works sells used books, and the proceeds then go to help the local homeless with HIV/AIDS.  Besides being an awesome charity, the two-level store has a vintage feel, tons of seating, and a cafe in the back.  Oh, and TONS of special events here, guys!  We’re talking author readings, story time and sing-a-longs for kids, free films…you name it!

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6. Pearl River Mart

Besides being a place to get inexpensive, adorable gifts, let me tell you the real reason to visit Pearl River Mart.  Okay, you know that store Anthropologie (please tell me I’m not the only one obsessed with everything there?!  Well, everything BUT their price tags…crazy town!)  So here’s the insider’s scoop: a lot of the very same home goods that Anthro sells can be purchased right at Pearl River Mart for a FRACTION of the cost.  Seriously, this chihuahua nut bowl was $10 at Anthro, and $5.95 at PRM.

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7. The Angelika Film Center

No secret to movie buffs, as this fabulous theater is where to go to see the artsier, more independent films that aren’t at your local AMC.

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8. La Esquina

When asked about the best Mexican food in NYC, this place is always first out of my mouth.  While the fancy rezzie-only restaurant is downstairs (call ahead, wayyyy ahead, people!), you can grab some of the basic goods at the faster-food joint upstairs.  Like these avocado veggie tacos.  Oh.Emm.GEE!!!

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9. Street Art

And of course, I would be amiss if I didn’t draw your attention to the huge amounts of random street art you’ll be encountering along your SoHo adventure.  Here’s a few snaps of some that caught my eye.

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So glad I got to share my favorite non-clothing store SoHo shops with you guys!  And make sure to check out the TripGo app that made this adventure super easy, from point A to Z and everywhere in-between!

I’d love to know…what are your favorite places in SoHo?  Share below!

 

By: Jessica Tiare Bowen

 

This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox.

18 Comments

  • What a great day! I love the choices you mentioned at the yogurt bar. The earth art…is, well, definitely different! I could get lost in that bookstore for more than a few hours :)

  • Pearl River is a fun place to shop for kids birthday presents- tiny Japanese erasers, brightly colored training chopsticks, silk slippers, silly wind-up toys and more. And i’ve killed many an hour at the Housing Works shop. I like to pick up a book there and then wander acres the street to Puck Fair to read and have a pint.

    • Used York City says:

      Puck Fair is a great spot too, Eileen! (also the spot we had our wedding “after hours party” at!;-)

      Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a chilly fall afternoon!

  • TripGo sounds like something that will come in handy during our visit to NYC. I seriously didn’t know that Chobani had a store. I’ve only seen their stuff on grocery store shelves. I NEED to go to Pearl River Mart. Anthropologie stuff at half price would be awesome.

    • Used York City says:

      TripGo is seriously a lifesaver in getting around, especially in terms of taking into account train schedules and delays, which makes it easy to map out the quickest route! And Pearl River Mart is the BEST, so much random, fun stuff in there!

  • Jackie Smith says:

    What a great tour of such an interesting and diverse area. And the idea of having a wedding reception in that bookstore is absolutely perfect!

  • Dick Jordan says:

    Perfect! I may be headed to NYC next year so I’ll keep these tips in mind.

  • jan says:

    We are having a lovely Spring Day at home in Townsville Australia and as we visited NYC in it’s Spring I can really picture myself back there now. I could and am inserting myself into all of your photos. Now all I need is a magic fairy. :)

    • Used York City says:

      Oh a spring day in Australia sounds rather blissful, too, Jan! Let’s trade for a few days, shall we?;-)

  • Tara says:

    I like the tip on the hotel terrace, thank you! It’s nice to know a place to go where you don’t have to splurge on a $6 latte to sit.

  • TripGo says:

    Brilliant round up Jessica! Chobani sounds amazing + I love the whole concept of Housing Works. Adding all of these to my ‘places to visit’ list!

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks so much! We especially appreciate your help in navigating the streets of NYC…once you go off the number grid, it gets pretty tricky!

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