One of my favourite parts of Manhattan is Soho and the East Village – perhaps because the architecture and the relaxed atmosphere remind me a bit of England, but mainly because I love the hip, artistic feel the area has to it. I could spend a whole day browsing through racks of beautiful vintage clothes on Spring & Prince St., stuffing my face with chocolate goodies and delicious Japanease food at St. Marks Place, and visiting art galleries.
Spring St. and Prince St. are definitely my favourite hang-out spots in Soho (I also like the quiet Elizabeth St. for its art galleries and unique vintage shops). They are full of lovely, privately owned stores with a very European feel; there are cute, tiny cafes on almost every corner and street stands with the most amazing jewellery, paintings and other random and wonderful things such as these camomile and lavender-filled, hand-embroided pillows (I saw these on Prince St., somewhere between Broadway and West Broadway):
Most jewellery stands are scattered around Prince St. (especially the area between Broadway and Sullivan St.) and Spring Street (Sullivan – Broadway and the Elizabeth St. area) but you can get slightly cheaper deals at the corner of Spring St. and Broadway and along Broadway:
As you walk up Elizabeth St. towards the East Village, there’s an antique stand at the corner of Houston and Elizabeth St. (they usually open around 1-2PM). The jewellery isn’t as pretty as what you can find on Price and Spring St. but they sell one-off, mainly vintage pieces so if you’re lucky ou can find something truely unique 🙂
Soho is also famous for its vintage stores – you can find literally everything from aligator-skin purses and couture cocktail dresses to flaunts and cowboy boots! It’s a bit like walking around a gallery, except you get to try on the artwork!
Another thing I love about this area, perhaps even more than the vintage stores and the jewellery, are bakeries and chocolate ateliers (I LOVE food, especially if it’s chocolate-covered ;). This is one of my favourite shops – the owner had a genius idea of combining a jewellery store with chocolate atelier – what more can a girl want?
Another place where I regularly grab my dose of chocolate is this small, hole-in-the-wall bakery on the corner of Spring St. and Broadway, called Baked By Melissa. They sell delicious minature stuffed cupcakes – they look really cute:
There’s also a place called Bond St Chocolate on 63 E 4th St. in the East Village, where you can buy novelty chocolates, such as these chocolate Buddahs and the Virgin Mary ($10 each):