I work in SoHo, which is an acronym for “South of Houston Street,” in New York City and I am grateful for that everyday. With the neighborhood’s mix of people, galleries, shopping, and food, I always find something that inspires me. Many of my friends, those who have a 9 to 5 job like myself, find themselves in Midtown (the area around 45 – 56th st. and 5th avenue) which is chock full of chain stores and mean men in suits. I love the suits, I don’t like the attitudes! The history of Soho is interesting and a story that I find runs common with most hip and artistic neighborhoods in this city. It used to be an industrial wasteland, full of sweatshops and small factories. Until around the late 1960’s, when artists found out they could live and work in the now abandoned factory lofts for cheap. This echos familiar with the Brooklyn area I live in now, Williamsburg.
Now of course, with Chanel on the corner of Spring St. and Wooster and a Bloomingdales on Broadway, those artists would never be able to afford their original rent. The buildings are still reminiscent of this area’s factory days, all have sturdy brick fronts and crumbling fire escapes, with grecian columns running in front of the steel doors. Yes, the shopping is amazing, (I can run to British export TopShop during lunch!) and the people are beautiful (there are about 4 – 5 top modeling agencies on my block, that I know of!) but the biggest perk that comes with working in such an independent fun area is the restaurants!
Chains are hard to come by in Soho but happily, sandwiches are not. One of my favorite places to grab a sandwich that will last me over two lunches is Alidoro. It is a small, two table place on Sullivan St. run by a husband and wife, both strictly Italian and no-fuss about their fresh ingredients and their ordering style. I don’t know about you, but I kind of love it when I walk into a small deli and see a bunch of signs listing things that they “don’t have, so don’t ask.” They DO have around 40 sandwiches, and while it seems like a daunting list, all of them are wonderful so you should consider it more of a challenge that a task. My favorite, and coincidentally number 7 on New York Magazines’ “2010 Best Sandwiches in New York City” list, is the Romeo. I get it on fluffy, fresh, and slightly salted focaccia (which will run you an extra totally worth it dollar) and the sandwich has smoked chicken breast (sliced deli style), peppery arugula, spicy chopped hot peppers, and a creamy cool m. bel paese cheese. All of this comes to $12.55. A little steep but I spread this over two lunches, so really it only comes to $6.27 a day. A little mom and pop store with such wonderful Italian ingredients in one of the many reasons I am so happy to work in the Soho neighborhood, and just a little peek into the hundreds of tucked away gems I am looking forward to showing you!
105 Sullivan St.
New York, NY 10012