SoHo, Manhattan, New York

Great view of SoHo at street level with Manhattan in the background

Located in Lower Manhattan, covers 0.3 miles of Manhattan and has a population of over 18,000 (as of 2019). SoHo has been at the forefront of national and international chain stores, trendy boutiques and is the location for many different lofts belonging to artist and their art galleries’. SoHo also has a massive historical significance and is an example of Inner-city regeneration. The area of SoHo was actually named that because the area is located “South of Houston Street” and was conceived in 1962 by Chester Rapkin. The boundaries covering the neighborhood are actually quite interesting, it is agreed that the Northern boundary is Houston Street and the Southern boundary is Canal Street. However where things get complicated is when deciding the Eastern and Western boarders.

During the colonial era the area of SoHo was used as part of a grant, this grant had farmland given to freed slaves. This established the first ever black settlement on Manhattan Island, marking a historic moment for New York City. During the American revolutionary war SoHo became an area with numerous fortifications. After which the area of Soho mainly lie dormant, no development and a lot of the area had to be mortgage because of the war. During the mid 19-century the section began to remodel itself and changed its entire aesthetic. tearing down the Federal and Greek revival homes and made way to a new style of building, this includes solid structures of masonry and cast iron. The area slowly began to reinvent itself, new grand hotels began to go up in the city, new commercial establishments where opened. The streets themselves became lively and the addition of new theaters and food destinations helped its growing popularity. The area itself began to change and it caused the middle-class to be driven out of the area and made way for the small manufacturers. This includes locksmiths, book publishers, makers of fine china, cabinet-makers, makers of glassware, and many more.

Street view of the SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City
Street View of SoHo Manhattan, New York City.

This shift led to many more middle-class residents moving out of the neighborhood, this led to a 25% drop in population between 1860 to 1865. Then came the Civil war and the Panic of 1873 which led to large textile firms and other merchandise companies to move into the neighborhood. The area began to develop very quickly after this and soon that section of the city became the wholesale dry-goods and mercantile trade center of Manhattan. However, as the center of the city began to move uptown the quality of the area in SoHo declined rapidly. Soon the area began to become vacant and housed a lot of empty buildings. This was the direct effect of World War II, after its end the textile companies that previously resided within SoHo moved down south. This left many buildings empty and where either repurposed or torn down to make way for parking lots, garages, repair shops and gas stations. In the 1950’s the area became known as Hell’s Hundred Acres, this was due to the area essentially becoming an industrial wasteland. SoHo at the time was filled with nothing but sweatshops and small factories, however because they only ran during the day time at night the area would be empty and lifeless. In the 1960’s a resurgence in interest occurred in the area, and suddenly artist began to move back in leading to a change in the SoHo area.

With the new influx of artists and residents looking to expand their creative minds the area itself needed to become much more “livable”. This brought upon the birth of the Cast-Iron Architecture throughout New York City, Cast-iron was quick and cheap to make and was perfect for a resurgence in a previous hellish area. Currently there are 250 Cast-Iron buildings in New York City and most of these are in the SoHo neighborhood. The cast-iron design is actually a fa├žade and was actually a ploy to make the warehouse structure more visually pleasing, in reality, cast-iron was very brittle. The architectural style of cast-iron buildings was inspired by Classical French and Italian architecture. While these architectural designs would usually use stone, cast-iron was favored due to its “easy to mold” nature, that when combined with neutral colored paint, such as beige, it can become something with a visual similarity. The iron itself made the material very pliable and could be molded very easily despite this it is still a very strong metal. This meant that the window frames within the buildings could be made with significant height, this allowed for more sunlight to fill the rooms that were rented out to artists and the such. At one point, cast-iron was seen as more viable then steel, it was also believed that it was fire proof, all of this was not correct. The truth is that cast-iron has a set of big problems, one of these being that when exposed to heat the material would buckle. in addition the cast-iron material would also crack under the cold, this meant that in the event of a fire, the sudden change in temperature when trying to put out the fire can cause buildings to collapse. at one point in the 1960’s the SoHo area became threatened by a project that would have built a highway directly through the neighborhood, destroying most of its historical significance. This caused major uproar among the community and led to multiple architects and historical preservation movement fighting against the highways construction.

The Interior of SoHo apartments feature an Industrial design and a lot of open air.

Finally after the proposal to essentially destroy SoHo simply to build a road was put away, artist began to come in. Many artist favored the industrial style buildings because it helped motivate and inspire their work because of how open the space always was. However this cause problems among the city and specifically with its zoning laws and the fear that the building may be needed again for manufacturing. This led to the city creating the Artist Tenant Association and then the SoHo Artist Association. Instead of keeping the area strictly industrial the city opted to allowing artist to live within their work quarters under certain permits. The SoHo area had then finally received landmark designation as the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District in 1973.

SoHo Began to change in the 2000’s and in 2005 became a victim to gentrification and the entire area began to change. Former artists that lived in SoHo began to move to Chelsea during the 1990’s, as of 2013 only a few art galleries remain in SoHo, this includes, William Bennett Gallery, Martin Lawrence Galleries, Terrain Gallery, Pop International Gallery, and a few more. SoHo became very pleasing to be people due to its location, living spaces, Architecture, and its known reputation of being favored by most artist led to more people coming in. The combination of struggling artists, repurposed industrial buildings, unique architecture, and exquisite fashion made SoHo a popular destination for both tourists and buyers. SoHo has many different shopping chains around the neighborhood however most of these shops are in the Northern Area. Those who Manhattan visit frequently know that despite the area, SoHo is always scattered with street vendors trying to vend you anything from purses to jewelry and even off brand clothing.

SoHo is insanely popular all over the world because of its artsy style, unique architecture, lively streets, and the endless stores to shop in. This means that there is a strong desire to travel to the neighborhood in New York and this creates demand for transportation. New York City is no stranger to transportation and has no shortage of it either, however with so many different car companies it can become difficult to know which is the best transportation company for you. If you are simply trying to get from one point to another then any black car service can help transport you to your destination. However when in SoHo, most tourist and visitors prefer going around the neighborhood for multiple hours. Luckily there are certain limo companies in New York City will let you rent out a car with a driver for multiple hours at a time for a certain price. These New York City black car services have different vehicles available to you, from Cadillac Escalades, to Tesla’s, to even Sprinter Vans. If you are coming in out of the borough then no problem! every single car service in NYC goes throughout all 5 boroughs and some even into New Jersey. However, if you are coming in from out of state then you have nothing to worry about either, certain limo services will go out of state for clients wiling to pay. These transportation companies can go out as far as New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, and even Washington D.C..

LaGuardia Airport

Ariel view of LaGuardia International airport

Located in East Elmhurst, Queens New York City, and covering over 600 acres of land LaGuardia Airport is the third busiest airport in New York City and the 20th busiest in the world. The airport is actually named after the 1953 New York City mayor, Fiorello La Guardia and is mainly used for American Airlines and Delta Airlines. LaGuardia Airport is the least upkept airport of the main 3 in NYC, outdated facilities, lack of cleanliness, a cramped design for the building, poor customer service and is among the worst airports in the United States. This has actually caused the state to begin a reconstruction project for LaGuardia Airport that began in 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in 2022. LaGuardia Airport currently has four different terminals and 86 gates in total, the terminals themselves are all connected via different buses and walkways.

Terminal A is known as the Marine Air Terminal, this is because terminal A used to originally be the terminal for overseas flights. However, now terminal A, like the other terminals, seems to almost exclusively Delta Airlines and American Airlines. Inside of terminal A is also a 12 foot high mural and was made as a part of the Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration. Interestingly enough Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had actually painted over the mural in the 1950’s. Port Authority also has a tendency of stopping drivers coming in to pick up fliers, this combined with the renovations being made to LaGuardia can make getting in and out of LaGuardia Airport a challenging task. However, good car services to LGA can make this trek without an issue, even nearby black car services to LGA can make it to the airport extremely quickly. Some limo services to LGA even offer services from further out then just NYC some even offer limo services from Pennsylvania to LGA and even limo services from Connecticut to LGA. Though most of the time fliers simply need a nearby NYC car service to LGA and the city has many services to offer.

Terminal B is known as the Central terminal Buildings and serves LaGuardia’s airlines the most. While American Airlines is the dominant operator for this terminal it still gives access to different types of operators. Such operators that work within terminal b are American Airlines, Air Canada, Southwest, and United. Terminal B was made in 1964 and was made to accommodate over 7 million passengers every year. Terminal B has actually been rebuilt a few times and in June 2020 a new headhouse was added. Like Terminal A, terminal b has been going through remodeling and with it operating more than just United Airlines and American Airlines it can become slightly overcrowded and traffic bound. However, just like terminal a, multiple NYC limo services to LGA are all around the city. Foreign fliers can also rest easy knowing there are also car service with meet and greet available to them if they can’t use there cellphones in a different country. Overall transportation in and out of Terminal B should be no issue at all for anyone, especially with some of the best car services from NYC being available to everyone.

Terminal C was designed by William Nicholas Bodouva and associated architects and planners. The terminal was opened on September 12, 1992, had a cost of $250 million and is 300,000 square feet. Terminal C acts as Delta Airlines main hub, however Terminal C was actually originally made for Eastern Air Lines. Terminal C has had certain gates demolished in order to be restructured and the construction of the new gates are currently underway. Terminal C, like any other airport terminal, can be rather difficult to navigate for first comers and even regular fliers. This is why it is always good to find good nearby car services in NYC, even limo services further out are available to fliers who live outside of the NYC area. sometimes even car services in Pennsylvania or car services in Connecticut are able to drive out to LGA.

Terminal D was opened in June 19th, 1983 and cost about $90 million to complete, it was also designed by William Nicholas Bodouva and his associates. Terminal D also runs directly with Delta Airlines and like Terminal C is currently going through a demolishing and reconstruction in order to make navigating the terminal’s easier for fliers. Ironically enough this construction has made coming in and out of Terminal D an absolute nightmare to navigate. The construction has forced Terminal D to be directly connected to Terminal C making it so that people who arrive or depart from Terminal D have to take a nearly 8 minute walk to Terminal C just to exit the airport.

LaGuardia Airport is used by many states around New York, the airport is also used by many different airlines. This means that most of the time even if you are going to a state that is not New York, you’re still likely to land in LaGuardia. This means that most of the time you will have to find a car service to take you outside of the state from New York City. This includes going from LaGuardia to New Jersey, a state that is normally associated with New York. LaGuardia to Pennsylvania, this includes more than just Philadelphia but the entirety of the state. This also includes LaGuardia to Connecticut, where despite its length some New York car services will go out to places even like New London. The furthest some New York limo companies will go is places like Massachusetts and Washington D.C.. However there are black car services in New York city that can provide services as far out as Massachusetts, West Virginia and for those willing to pay even as far out as Tennessee or Ohio. If you happen to need this kind of a service and don’t know where to start a good company to use is My Destiny Limo. Otherwise there are quite a few companies in New York City that can provide a good quality service for your pleasure.

In terms of transportation to or from LaGuardia airport you’re met with the standard, multiple bus routes that a visitor can take and various car/limo services. While people that travel a lot will know exactly what bus routes to take, most people opt to take a limo service to NYC. a great car service would be your best choice when navigating LGA and especially when booking a ride home.