SoHo has long been viewed as the quirkier, artsier younger sister of more staid shopping areas such as Fifth Avenue. Although you can now find conventional stalwarts like J. Crew and REI within SoHo’s shopping borders, this downtown neighborhood still has plenty of quirky and fun places to shop. Here are five of them.
1. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Sure, you can find some Barnes & Noble stores in midtown if you’re looking for books, but indie shops have much more literary appeal — especially one where the profits go toward charity. The Housing Works advocacy group works tirelessly to fight for the homeless as well as HIV testing, treatment and prevention. It operates more than a dozen thrift stores throughout the city, but the Bookstore Cafe at 126 Crosby Street is its only bookstore. Browse the wide selection of books, LPs, CDs and DVDs, or pen some poetry while relaxing in the cafe.
•120 Thompson St
2. Blue in Green SoHo
The Blue in Green store doesn’t only carry denim, but denim is what you go for. Everything here is made in Japan, so you’ll feel like you’ve come full circle when you shop from styles and items influenced by America, interpreted by Japanese artists, and then sold in New York City. Enjoy the music while you browse — its provided by The MixTape Shop in Brooklyn, which puts together unique digital mixes exclusively for Blue in Green.
• 8 Greene St
3. Purl SoHo
Purl SoHo is a mecca for knitters and crocheters looking for a wide selection of gorgeous yarns in oh-so-many colors and textures. Sure, there are other craft shops in the ‘burbs, but this is SoHo — if you’re a yarn-iac, you’re going to salivate over this store. You want quirky? Check out Purl’s class schedule to learn how to weave tapestries.
• 459 Broome St
4. Stadium Goods
Sneakers are not just sneakers for some of us. If Air Jordans and old Chuck Taylors are your fetish, you’ll want to stop in Stadium Goods for a selection of new and retro sneaks. Stadium Goods offers a consignment service to those looking to part ways with some tried-and-true shoes and a 10-point authenticity service so you know you’re buying the real thing.
• 47 Howard St
5. The Hat Shop
At one time, hats were de rigueur, but these days there’s almost no quirkier fashion accessory than a hat. Visit The Hat Shop at 120 Thompson Street to find a hat that fits your style, whether you’re off to the races, off on a cruise, or just looking for something to wear on your day off.
• 120 Thompson St