SoHo & TriBeCa

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The blocks South of Houston (pronounced HOW-ston) and north of Canal streets are home to the city's largest concentration of cast-iron-fronted buildings. Initially built as warehouses and manufacturing spaces, many have now been converted to lofts, and are favored by the artists and sculptors who appreciate the larger spaces. These huge, 19th-century architectural gems (Victorian Gothic, Italianate and neo-Grecian among them) are prized by preservationists and the well-heeled bohemians of SoHo who call the neighborhood home.

The New York Fire Museum on Spring Street evokes nostalgia with its collection of hand-pulled and horse-drawn apparatus, engines and other equipment from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art promotes an appreciation and understanding of the world's most popular art form through exhibits, lectures and special events that showcase cartoonists’ and animators’ work, while documenting their artistic, historical and cultural impact.

Canal Jean Company sells authentic Levi's, cutting-edge shoes and sportswear at discount prices; The Scholastic Store sells Scholastic brands including Clifford the Big Red Dog and Harry Potter in an interactive, multimedia environment; and the Franklin 54 Gallery is a contemporary fine art gallery exhibiting established and emerging artists.

If you work up an appetite after all the shopping, head to the Cub Room or Zoë for dinner, and afterward to S.O.B.'s (Sounds of Brazil) for a little samba.

When SoHo became too upscale for starving artists, many moved further downtown to another, then-half-abandoned industrial district, TriBeCa (the Triangle Below Canal). TriBeCa also became a hot destination, most notably for dining. Area restaurants include Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Corton, Capsouto Freres Restaurant, City Hall Restaurant, F.illi Ponte, and Dylan Prime. A favorite night spot is the hip Bubble Lounge.

For More Information:
The Alliance for Downtown New York, 800-377-1083; tours: 212-606-4064.
LowerManhattan.info
SoHoNYC.com
Tribeca Organization

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