Sullivan Street just South of Houston is a treasure trove of history starting with St. Anthony of Padua right on the corner. As their small Italian community grew in the late 1800s, the church sought to acquire the land adjacent to them. The property was set to go up for bid and on that particular day, there was a major snowstorm and only one person showed up for the bidding. It was the Pastor of St. Anthony’s. The year was 1882 and he bought the property for $53,000. The building of the new church was completed in 1888.
In the short distance between West Houston and Broom, you’ll appreciate how the shopkeepers have maintained the integrity of the old wood storefronts, each one with its own personality. My favorite streetscape on that block is 137 to 135 Sullivan. Looking like the small Village of old, this streetscape is home to Jean Claude’s French bistro, The Palmer Trading Company, and the oh so lovely Once Upon a Tart.
Inviting benches and chairs are strategically placed near the open doors of storefronts, and locals and tourists alike can be found chatting over cups of coffee and pastries. With its tiny shops and eclectic cafes dotting Sullivan Street for the 3 blocks leading to Broom Street, it’s hard to believe that the busy and bustling Avenue of the Americas runs right along side, to the West. When I conjure up a picture of SoHo, I think of Sullivan Street.