After a recession slow down, the outdoor mall that is SoHo is back, baby. The Times today looks in on the area below Houston and finds the area bursting with shops and shoppers—the last few months have seen more than twenty stores, both regular and of the pop-up variety, open in the area with many more coming. And it isn't just that the stores are opening, clever marketing has meant almost everyother day there seems to a block-long line for this or that hot new thing.
And about those pop-ups? The reason there have been so many over the past few years is that when the recesssion hit and rents dropped "smart landlords resisted signing long-term leases, and instead invited in temporary tenants." Which makes sense.
Of course, not everyone is happy about the resurgence though. Specifically the people who, y'know, live in SoHo and enjoyed the additional walking room the recession afforded them. As Sean Sweeney, the director of the SoHo Alliance, put it: “Who wants to live in a shopping mall? Who wants to burst through a phalanx of tourists who walk three or four abreast, as slowly as possible?”
All of which reminds us of the time in the late-80s when we were growing up in the East Village. "What do you want to do today?" our mother asked her children one spring Saturday. "Let's walk over to Broadway and watch the tourists!" replied our sister in all seriousness. Because back then tourists and shoppers below Houston were still a novelty. That was then.