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NoHo offers old New York charm with street art and mom-and-pop shops

Strolling down the cobblestone streets of NoHo and staring up at the loft-style apartment buildings, New Yorkers can almost imagine a grittier time in the city.

That feel of old New York, experts and residents said, is what gives the small enclave its charm: It’s just cool enough to hearken back to the days when the city was just a bit dirtier, just a bit cooler.

The area, a large swath of which is landmarked, is a mix of new construction and old buildings from the 1800s, said Rob Morea, a sales associate with Great Jones Realty who has worked in the neighborhood for 28 years.

“It’s basically new among the old,” said Morea. “It’s kind of this high-end story of New York.”

Morea said the new construction, which has been booming for the last 10 years or so, has led to an increase in neighborhood prices. But lately, he said, even that has started to slow down.

In 2015, the median recorded sales price for the area was $3.875 million, according to listings site StreetEasy. The median recorded sales price for Manhattan in 2015 much lower, at $985,000.

As of October 2016, the median recorded sales price for NoHo fell to $3.2 million, according to StreetEasy.

“We’ve seen a softening of the high-end developments,” Morea said. “You’re getting people who might be thinking about starting a family but aren’t quite there yet.”

Ricardo Riethmuller, 33, has been living in NoHo for about 10 years, and attended NYU nearby before that. Riethmuller loved the area so much that when moved apartments earlier this month, he decided to stay within the boundaries of NoHo.

“It’s really at the crossroads of all the communities,” said Riethmuller, who works as theater and film director and producer. “It’s very much at the center of the city. It’s very eclectic.”

Sandwiched between Cooper Square and the commercial strip of Broadway, residents have their pick of mom-and-pop shops or big chains, including Urban Outfitters, and a Wendy’s complete with a fireplace and big screen TV’s on Broadway.

Side streets are dotted with inventive stores and restaurants, like Mexican eatery Hecho en Dumbo or The Great Jones Cafe, which has been around since 1983.

Terri Cude, the chair of Community Board 2, said the neighborhood tends to be very eclectic and focused on its arts past.

NoHo has a punk rock and artist-driven history, once home to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, and music icon CBGB & OMFUG, according to NYC & Company, the city’s official guide.

Street art is still visible, including the beautiful, swirled chiseled sidewalks on Bond Street by sculptor Ken Hiratsuka. And a large area of the neighborhood has been landmarked through the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, including from Mercer Street to Bowery and the iconic blocks of Great Jones and Bond streets

“It’s a robust neighborhood,” said Cude, who has lived in NoHo for 12 years. “There’s the old meets new, but much of the new gently nods to the old.”

Paul Olliver, 43, has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years and said its location is one of the best draws.

“Everything is here: restaurants, bars, my office,” said Olliver, who walks to his online advertising job in SoHo.

But it’s hard to ignore the influx of new apartments, he said.

“The amount of building that’s going on in the last few years has taken away some of the grit,” Olliver said. “It’s New York, it’s always been changing.”

Find it

NoHo is bordered to the north by East
Photo Credit: Google Maps

NoHo is bordered to the north by East Eighth Street, the south by East Houston Street, the east by the Bowery and Cooper Square and the west by Broadway, according to StreetEasy.

Things to do in NoHo

The Public Theater425 Lafayette StreetGrab a show at
Photo Credit: Great Jones Spa

The Public Theater

425 Lafayette Street

Grab a show at this famed theater where the musical Hamilton got its start and where the popular, free Shakespeare in the Park is produced.

Great Jones Spa (pictured)

29 Great Jones Street

Relax at this neighborhood spa, which offers everything from facials and massages to a thermal hot tub. Grab a juice at their cafe next door after.

Cooper Square

Hang out in this bustling square where people watching and cool architecture is all around you.

Swift Hibernian Lounge (pictured)34 E. 4 St.This Irish
Photo Credit: Alison Fox

Swift Hibernian Lounge (pictured)

34 E. 4 St.

This Irish bar has been around since 1995. Sit among the reclaimed church pews and sip a Guinness along with several other neighborhood locals.

Bleecker Street Bar

56 Bleecker St.

Grab a beer and play some darts or watch a game at this sports bar in a landmarked building, serving the neighborhood since 1990.

The Wren

344 Bowery

Sip a spiked hot apple cider or Great Jones cocktail (scotch, walnut liqueur, maple syrup, black walnut bitters, neat) at this neighborhood gastropub.

NoHo restaurants

Misirizzi (pictured)36 E 4th StSnack on antipasti and
Photo Credit: Misirizzi

Misirizzi (pictured)

36 E 4th St

Snack on antipasti and sample mint pappardelle at this Italian restaurant that opened a few months ago.

The Bowery Market

348 Bowery

Grab a sandwich at the outpost of Italian shop Alidoro or some fresh fish from outdoor sushi bar Sushi on Jones at the open-air food market that used to be an auto mechanic shop.

BBar and Grill

40 East 4th St.

Sit down by the roaring fire at this American restaurant, which was opened in a converted Gulf gas station.

Where to shop

Astor Wines & Spirits (pictured)399 Lafayette St.This West
Photo Credit: Astor Wines & Spirits

Astor Wines & Spirits (pictured)

399 Lafayette St.

This West Village staple moved to NoHo in 2006 and took up space in the De Vinne Press Building, built in the 1880s. The shop even offers free tastings several times each week.

Adore Floral Inc.

357 Lafayette St.

Beautiful and opulent displays line the windows of this NoHo flower shop. Order for Valentine's Day or take a class to learn how to arrange your own bouquets (they offer classes from "mommy and me" to flower crown making).

Rooq Fine Art and Custom Framing

13 E. 4 St.

Pick up a print or custom frame at this neighborhood business.

Q&A with Christophe Jadot, Honeybrains co-owner

Christophe Jadot opened Honeybrains with his partners in
Photo Credit: Christophe Jadot

Christophe Jadot opened Honeybrains with his partners in December. Now, just a few months into their health-focused venture, Jadot said the response has been great. The focus is on how different food groups, along with spices, fermented food and natural sweeteners like raw honey, help to feed not only your body, but your brain (one of the brains behind the venture is a full-time neurologist).

Why did you choose NoHo?

We like the demographic of NoHo in general. We have residential, we have people working there, we have the students. It's just a great neighborhood in general. For our first location we were looking for a place that we had good exposure. At least we create a name and have as much exposure and brand awareness.

How has the feedback been so far?

It's been crazy. The people are responding well. We're just trying to be a peoples place.

What is the importance of natural sweeteners?

We don't use any processed sugar in our food or our drinks, stevia is there too.

We have five different food groups that we use mainly. [Note: those are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats] It's different, people like it.


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