A Day in Noho

The first thing you will need to know about NoHo is how to decipher its nickname. NoHo stands for North of Houston Street, the acronym denoting easily one for the most historic areas in New York City. Even the subway stations in Noho are landmarked. You take in the quick facts as a brief outline to exploring your new home. You simply walk around and soak in the history of this trendy urban environment.

Gasoline Alley Coffee

The only way to get your day going in NoHo is with some caffeine coursing through your body. You quickly discover that baristas at the Gasoline Alley Coffee do it the right way. If you’re looking for frills, look elsewhere, this place’s focus is simple, they are into producing strong flavors. Unlike many of the coffee shops in the area, they even roast their coffee beans in house. The décor is as direct as their coffee. The place is small and the walls are pretty much bare. Take your coffee Zen style?


The Wren

Your food experiences today begin at The Wren. The trendy, rustic gastropub has quickly become a popular lunch and late night hangout. The food is prepared simply, but in its simplicity, it is incredibly tasty. If you are looking for something light, try the Grain Salad (farro, sugar snap peas, radish, pecorino and almonds with a choice of bacon lardons and poached eggs as an add-on). You could also opt for the maple sausage sandwich (scrambled eggs, homemade sausage, cheddar, pickled jalapeño with maple sriracha on brioche).

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The Bowery Hotel

The Bowery Hotel is next on your sightseeing list of the day. Sitting on the East Village border, the hotel keeps its elegant, from the tassels to the tapestries to the wood ceilings. A celebrity magnet, The Bowery Hotel has become a pop culture hangout. If you’re lucky, you may walk into Jonah Hill or Blake Lively (both regular attendants at the hotel). The hotel hosted numerous high-end events like Paul McCartney’s wedding reception with Nancy Shevell in 2011. Take your time to look around and inspect the intricacies that line the hotel’s walls.


Subway stations at Astor Place and Bleecker Street

Besides the booming dining and cultural scene, NoHo also has a rich history. The list of landmark locations worth a visit is lengthy, and includes the two city subway stations at Astor Place and Bleecker Street. The Village Voice houses its newsroom in NoHo, just across the street from Cooper Union Foundation Building, currently an art school that was built in 1859 and was a site for many famous pre-presidential orations. Before entering the White House, Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln all spoke at Cooper Union’s Great Hall’s podium. So did President Barack Obama. Among many famed buildings in NoHo are the Bouwerie Lane Theater, the Bayard-Condict Building and the De Vinne Press Building. The most famed buildings are the Colonnade Row (also known as LaGrange Terrace), a Greek revival row of nine townhouses from the 1830’s formerly owned by John Jacob Astor.

A Night in Noho


The Public Theater

The one place you MUST find yourself in on your first night in NoHo is the beloved Public Theater, which opened in 1967, a cultural stronghold in the neighborhood. The Public Theater, located across the Colonnade Row, is home to the Shakespeare Workshop and ran one of the most popular shows – The Merchant of Venice – that featured Al Pacino. The original showing of endlessly popular Hamilton was also staged in this building. Other notable productions in recent years have included Eclipsed by Danai Gurira (of The Walking Dead) and Lupita Nyong’o (of Star Wars: The Force Awakens).


Wise Men

Time for a cocktail? Check out Wise Men. The history of this bar goes back into the 1970s when the original Wise Men opened in Chinatown as way to connect Hong Kong immigrants with their homeland. The newest version, which opened doors to the receptive public in 2011, is an ode to the owner’s family and that former legendary Asian eatery. Family photos adorn the restaurant’s walls, a tribute to its former digs. The new restaurant, however, puts a distinct focus on the cocktails. The list is short and sweet, but they truly are the place’s biggest attraction. Concoctions like “Last Word” (gin, lime, maraschino, chartreuse) and the “Xmas in St. Barth’s” (rum, coco, maple syrup, angostura bitters and cinnamon) have the most admirers.

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The dinner scene in NoHo has grown exponentially in the last decade and it continues flourish today. If you’re in the mood for Nordic cuisine, head on over to the art-driven Acme. The Italian foodie will feel right at home at Gemma within The Bowery Hotel, which has the best burrata cheese ever. There’s also Il Buco, and British steakhouse Saxon + Parole that will blow your taste buds out of the water. Tonight, you seem to have set your sights on Indochine. The Vietnamese-French fusion eatery, which opened more than 25 years ago, remains one of the most consistent and beautiful restaurants in the city. The décor, with its tropical vibe, takes the cake here. Great food pairs well with Japanese box lights scattered throughout the room and palm trees painted on the walls.


Bowery Electric

The musical scene in NoHo has long history. First off, the CBGB rock club, considered by many the mecca of punk rock, once called the neighborhood home. Today, the rock scene remains prevalent with Bowery Electric thriving in the area. You will need to experience the rock bar first-hand. Bowery Electric hosts numerous live acts from indie rock, to new wave, and folk artists. The tiny back room also features soul and blues performers on a regular basis.

Words by Arte Vincent

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