Former artists' haven is now a busy shopping district
Once known as the "Cast Iron District" because it boasts the most cast iron architectural features of any city in the world, SoHo - South of Houston - became famous in the 60's and 70's as artists began moving into its abandoned factories and warehouses. This is where the yuppie demand for loft spaces began, and the ensuing "SoHo Effect" has been used to describe the gentrification plaguing neighborhoods worldwide. The artists eventually moved out, and art galleries have slowly given way to the largest shopping district in the city. Though you can find retailers like H&M and Banana Republic on Broadway, the side streets are home to some of the most exclusive boutiques in NYC. Though incredibly crowded on weekends, weekdays tend to be a bit quieter. Check out the jaw-dropping Prada store, a Rem Koolhaas-designed marvel in the former Guggenheim Soho space.