During my walking tour around SoHo (South of Houston St.), I was not that startled by the number of high-end fashion stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Louis Vuitton, and Tommy Hilfiger. I had heard the name SoHo attributed with this type of atmosphere, so it was not out of the ordinary to find them located on affluent streets with the expensive-looking clientele to match. Researching the area, I learned about SoHo’s original inception as a dual working and living space for “starving artists.”
Much to my surprise, my favorite part of the walking tour combined the historical side of SoHo with a hip, new interpretive form of expression. Underneath these beautiful loft-style apartments on Mercer Street (the SoHo side of it, obviously), I explored and found a Marc Jacobs franchise store on the lower half of this residential building. [163 Mercer St.] I had heard of the designer before, but I had never ventured inside one of his stores. As I strutted in there like I owned the place, I walked up to a sweater and saw the outrageous price of $595.00!!! The employees were well-dressed, but I could not believe people bought items such as these on a regular basis. I happily nodded at an employee as I left and realized this was not the purchasing place for me. I walked back out and look at the amazing architecture that sat directly above the store and could not realize such an expensive store now existed under it. My only thought at this moment was: did the commissioners of this area envision such an atmosphere when it was constructed?
I walked out of the Marc Jacobs door and turned left, which is when I noticed a car repair/parking garage adjacent to the store. I laughed to myself, because I learned the same way you cannot judge a book by its cover, it is almost impossible to define (or pigeonhole) an area in NYC just by viewing it. Although there was a Kenneth Cole, American Eagle Outfitters, and Jamba Juice nearby the Marc Jacobs store, I realized that some things are just for a select group of people, and most of us can only sit back and enjoy the view. 🙂 -Elliot Johnson