The West End Resident
Kirk Truman

The Spirit of the Soho neighbourhood

Uncertainty and fright. Soho, and the beauty of it all. I guess you could say that the heritage of London is embodied in the spirit of the Soho neighbourhood, its people and its legacy. The streets of Soho have and always will be for everybody and anybody. Its rich wash of colour meets style, race, sexuality and community. It’s a story that has ran its roots deep in the shadow of Centre Point.

So, the story goes that there was a roar shouted when heading north to hunt into what we today know as Fitzrovia and Regent’s Park. That roar still roars today; Soho. The name Soho first appeared during the 17th century. In New York City, SoHo is the name given to the area south of Houston Street – hence SoHo (South of Houston Street). A name synonymous with the epicentre of a metropolis, Soho has found itself attached to areas of cities across the globe.

Soho is a place which remains in our memories. Everybody recalls their uncertainty, perhaps a little fright when first visiting Soho. The presence of the sex shops, the life of Berwick Street Market, the characters that wander in and out of the narrows in amongst the grime. It isn’t long until you see the beauty of it all. The fashion, film and media industries today live in harmony with all of this in characterising this rarity of our city. The sex shops, the gay scene, the music and the art scene; the character and life represented in Soho makes for a place like no other in London.

The streets of Soho bursting with energy and creativity. In Central London, this is the only neighbourhood which successfully embodies an eclectic mix of dining, nightlife and shopping options in its streets. Dean, Frith, Beak and Old Compton streets are the epicentre of activity day and night. If you find yourself on either of these at 3pm or 3am, they are just as likely to be bursting with life. At its centre, Liberty of London I like to think of as being Soho’s leading shopping destination. Visit to clear your head, or to indulge. Whatever the case, Liberty is sure to captivate you just as much as the Soho neighbourhood itself. Based in Great Marlborough Street, its wooden corridors are decorated with the best luxury goods available in London, with a focus on craft and design.

A Londoner does not have to live in the centre of the city to be part of Soho, or any person in the United Kingdom and beyond to belong to this place. Soho is not English, it is not gay or straight, black or white, or even European. Soho is international, perhaps the greatest most diverse neighbourhood of our isles entire. The knowing that Soho will accept you, not deny you, know you, understand you and astound you; the very reason we come here. We are all Sohoite’s.

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