My family moved into SoHo in 1987 and the neighborhood was quiet, filled with artists and writers, there were a few restaurants - Fanelli's, Food, Spring Street Natural, Raoul's - those are all that I can remember. Dean and Deluca was a small gourmet shop on Prince Street, next door to a really cramped health food store - "Whole Foods" was the name as I recall - long before the giant chain existed. When Zoe was born, we walked up to the water park on Mercer Street past the garage and said hello to all the guys who worked there. There were no fancy boutiques or upscale hotels.
It's a bit sad to see what's happened to SoHo now and on the other hand, it still feels like home to me. It's the neighborhood I've lived in longer than any other neighborhood. I run into so many people I know daily and this is the winter, when you hardly see anyone.
This afternoon, I was reading and I suddenly remembered a store that sold really great ravioli. I thought it was worth a walk to see if it was still there. I knew that the chances were slim that it would be - after eight or so years - but it was a mission and I was curious. It was also located next to Sullivan Street Bakery and I was craving some good bread, since I've stopped eating sugar for the past few days.
I went over to Sullivan Street and sure enough not only was the ravioli store gone - so was Sullivan Street Bakery. Actually, a different bakery called Granddaisy Bakery was in its place, with all the same breads. I got a baguette (the only thing that cost under six dollars) and headed over to see if Lupe's, an old favorite Mexican restaurant, was still there. And you guessed it, I'm sure - gone. Mexican Radio, another favorite restaurant, now sells my favorite burrito, a Cajun burrito with shrimp and chorizo for nineteen dollars. This is crazy - a nineteen dollar burrito?
But Ben's pizza is still there. And this afternoon I went to Ippudo (just north of SoHo) for some delicious ramen. So I guess I'm not ready to give up on SoHo or Manhattan yet. It's still home and I'm still so grateful to live here.
Oh - and The Ravioli Store is now located in Long Island City and they sell their ravioli at Fairway and the Food Emporium. And I'm not sure where Sullivan Street Bakery is, but I know they still sell their breads around town.