Beautiful Places to Visit In Soho

SoHo and its surrounds; a hip, bustling enclave in Lower Manhattan known for its historic architecture, art galleries and designer boutiques. Read below to discover top spots and favorite haunts.

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Exploring BDDW
BDDW is a must for any interior design lover. As soon as you step into the labyrinth-like showroom, you can totally see why the company has a cult following. The solid wood furniture, all made by hand, is at once minimalist and rustic – the kind of pieces you will own forever – and accompanied by exquisite objets d’art, from handmade ceramics to vintage fashion to one-of-a-kind paintings. This is an interiors store like no other – just take a deep breath and enjoy!

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Perusing Roman and Williams Guild
Roman and Williams Guild takes retail to a whole new level with a two-story space that houses The Founding Collection design showroom, French all-day eatery La Mercerie and a florist. At the café, everything from the tableware to the tables is for sale. Diners not only receive a menu but also a dim sum-style card with illustrations of plates, napkins and candlesticks that can be purchased and delivered the same day. How’s that for service?

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Popping in to The Primary Essentials
Next destination is one of Armadillo & Co’s local NYC stockists. Founder Lauren Snyder is a former fashion stylist and her discerning eye is reflected in a curation of artisanal goods that feels hand-worked without being crafty. Lauren is an advocate for independent design and an expert in advising customers on how to organize, spruce up or completely overhaul their homes. This space, like its Brooklyn counterpart, boasts a considered array of tabletop, ceramics, textiles and stationery.

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Lighting jungle at Ochre
A few blocks over is the forever stunning store Ochre, a British brand renowned for its custom light installations crafted from unusual materials like blown glass, chain mail, saddle leather and horsehair. The Broome Street store oozes sophistication, with glamorous chandeliers adorning the ceilings and beautifully refined furnishings lining both walls.

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At home with The Apartment by The Line
The entry to The Apartment is not obvious to the general passer-by, as you have to head up a very small elevator to reach it. Once the doors open, you’re greeted by a high-end atelier laid out like a real home (albeit one belonging to someone with enviable taste in fashion and décor). Intimate, storied objects are dotted throughout the space, which unfolds from a monochromatic bedroom complete with freestanding bathtub, to an elegant dining room that doubles as a home office, and finally, a walk-in wardrobe brimming with luxe basics.

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Lunch dining at Sant Ambroeus
Lunch is at old favorite Sant Ambroeus, a modern Milanese restaurant on Lafayette. With its classic New York style interiors, the atmosphere is lively and chic. The menu puts a contemporary spin on northern Italian cuisine, with signature dishes like vitello tonnato and cotoletta alla milanese.pic 8.pngScents at Le Labo
Fragrance label Le Labo’s SoHo outlet is soulful and irreverent, with raw materials strewn about in sensory vignettes. Their approach is incredibly personalized, with each bottle freshly blended and hand-labelled in front of the customer – but it is their values that I admire most. The brand is 100% vegan, opting for synthetic fragrances that have been lab-tested on humans instead of animal products.

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Pretty in pink at Pietro Nolita
A mid-afternoon slump calls for a visit to the Pinterest-worthy Pietro Nolita, a tiny and very pink Italian restaurant whose candy-colored stone entryway leads into a blush-tinged boudoir. Inside, everything looks like it is being viewed through rose-colored glasses, from the walls to the ceiling, tableware, chairs and bank seating. The bathroom received the pink treatment too!

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Interior indulgence at Ulla Johnson
Venturing off-track, divert north to the beautiful Ulla Johnson boutique on tree-lined Bleecker Street. Like the designer’s soft apparel, the interior feels like a tactile celebration of femininity and optimism. I love this store as much for its interiors as for its fashion, with finishing touches provided by artisans near and far, including a bronze door handle by Rogan Gregory, pendant light from Lindsay Adelman, macramé wall hanging by Taynya Aguiñiga and rotating floral arrangements from Saipua.

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Blooms at Adore Floral Inc.
Neighborhood floral studio Adore brings a touch of color and romance to SoHo’s concrete jungle with an organic flower market feel and a gorgeous selection of rare blossoms, fresh cut greenery and leafy house plants.

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Drawing inspiration from Olsen Gruin Gallery 
The Olsen Gruin Gallery, slightly off-track in Chinatown. The contemporary art gallery was founded by a trio of fellow Aussies – art dealer Tim Olsen (son of artist John Olsen and brother to Dinosaur Designs owner Louise Olsen) and gallerists Emerald and Adrian Gruin. Despite its pristine presentation, it has a familiar and friendly Australian vibe.

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Drinks and dinner at 11 Howard
The day comes to an end with drinks and dinner at Le Coucou. The Parisian restaurant is located within 11 Howard, a boutique hotel known for its “conscious hospitality” – the hotel works with the Global Poverty Project, so every direct booking goes towards fighting inequality around the world. The Scandinavian-inspired bar is perfect for lounging – enjoy the sleek interiors and fabulous cocktails before you head into the restaurant.

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Originally published Armadillo & Co.

Beautiful Brownstone Interior Renovation

ST. JOHN’S PLACE TOWNHOUSE RENOVATION

I am drooling over this newly renovated Brooklyn townhouse. I can’t get over the beautiful millwork – The details are stunning!

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This Spring Hatchet Design Build completed an intricate your-long renovation of a stunning townhouse Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood.  Seeking to capture the classic-meets-modern essence of the home, they teamed up with Coil + Drift to style the space.

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Working along side Brooklyn studio Cold Picnic, Sorensen-Jolink styled the bright home using furniture and lighting from Coil + Drift’s latest collection as well as vintage pieces from Williamsurg’s Home Union and rugs by Cold Picnic.  The result is an elegantly-edited space that feels inviting and fresh while showcasing the homes restored beauty.

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All photography by Nicholas Calcott.

Beautiful Lithography Stones

n 2011, while the REI store in the Puck Building in Manhattan’s SoHo district was undergoing renovation, workers made an unexpected discovery. Hidden behind one of the walls of the cellar were more than 100 lithography stones from the building’s days as a printer. They are now on display on the store’s lower floor.

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The historic building got its name from the magazine Puck, the first wide-reaching humor publication in the United States, which was
founded in 1871 and moved to lower Manhattan in 1887. It shared the space, in a mutually beneficial relationship, with its printer, J. Ottman Lithographic Company. Their shared headquarters was the largest building in the printing district at the time.

J. Ottman Lithographic Company printed many things beyond the Puck magazines, including theatrical posters and board games. Among the works now hanging on the REI wall are a high school diploma, a certificate of election, and a mortgage bond. Some of the litho stones are in rougher shape than others.

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Most of the writing and images on the stones is “backwards,” standard practice so that the final print is the reverse of what is seen on the plate or stone. Some, though, were prepared for offset printing, which involves an additional
step between the plate and the final product. The inked image, prepared “forwards,” or as it would be seen in the final product, is first transferred to a rubber blanket, reversing
the image once, and then to the final surface, setting it right.

Puck continued to operate out of the Puck Building until 1918, when it ceased publication. It was known for beautiful, full-color lithographs and sharp political satire. Statues of the magazine’s mascot, Puck, decorate the outside of the building. J. Ottman Lithographic Company shuttered around the same time.
Other printing companies, and even another satirical magazine, have called the building home since the original tenants left.

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During REI’s renovation, a deliberate effort was made to repurpose materials from the original building. Fixtures from the steam engine that powered the presses are on permanent display, including two flywheels and the governor. Nineteenth century I. P. Frink chandeliers, newly fitted with LED lights, help light the main floor.

 Source: Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Old World Movie House

The Wonder Theatres were five giant, lavish movie palaces that opened around
New York City in 1929 and 1930. While cinemas were plentiful at the time, the Wonder Theatres were a cut above the rest. Built as Loew’s flagship theatres, the opulent venues were designed with all the fabulousness of the Jazz Age, and went on to provide an escape into the fantasy of Hollywood and luxury throughout the Great Depression and Second World War.

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The last of the Wonder Theatres to open was the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre, today known as the United Palace Theater. It debuted on February 22, 1930, with showings of the films Their Own Desire and Pearls and vaudeville performances
starring Al Shaw and Sam Lee. The theater is a sight to behold. The lavish interior, much of which is filigreed, features authentic Louis XV and XVI furnishings and ornate chandeliers, while the blocky exterior is reminiscent of Mayan architecture. Its eclectic architectural style, designed by Thomas W. Lamb, was described by The New York Times as “Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco” and a “kitchen sink masterpiece.” With more than
3,000 seats, it is still the fourth largest venue of its kind in Manhattan.

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Movie palaces eventually fell out of vogue, however, and the grand Wonder Theatres fell into decline and abandon in the late 60s and
through the 70s. Today, two of the theaters (the Jersey Theatre in Jersey City and Kings Theatre in Brooklyn) still serve as cinemas and performance venues. Another two (the Paradise Theatre in the Bronx and Valencia Theatre in Queens) became churches.
The United Palace Theater, located in upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights, found a second life as a unique mix of both.

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The former Wonder Theatre still functions as a church, as well as a movie house with a 50-foot screen, and a performance venue that has brought in acts as diverse as Adele, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and the Berlin Philharmonic. It also serves as a cultural and community arts center, opened by Reverend Ike’s son Xavier Eikerenkoetter, who now oversees operations of the historic venue.

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Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Photography Exhibit in NYC

Charting the course of photography over the past 150 years is just one of the joys of MoMA’s new exhibition.
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See works from photography’s 19th-century origins right up to more recent masterworks, by artists from Brassaï to Carrie Mae Weems. Learn more

Beautiful New York City Circa 1980s

Steven Siegel has been photographing the streets and subways
of New York City for 30 years, and his Flickr album is a time
capsule of a grittier, feral city — before Times Square was
scrubbed clean and 9/11 changed the metropolis forever.
His photos are remarkable. Siegel and friends created several
dreamlike scenarios (in a pre-Photoshop era) with clever
angles, poses, and accidental exposures. Take a closer look
and visit Siegel’s Flickr page for a trip back in time to New York
in the 1980s.

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All photos by Steven Siegel

Beautiful Designer

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statement

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RIP Massimo Vignelli