7 Blocks: Hudson Square

August 19, 2011 1:09:40 PM PDT
The Houston Street Station on the No. 1 line is where 7th Avenue turns into Varick Street, just about 15 hundred feet from the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

A lot of people confuse the Hudson Square neighborhood around the stop with SoHo or TriBeCa, but it used to be known as the Printing District. However, today, it has got a lot more to offer.

"It's a place that has echoes of the city's industrial past, while screaming about its creative future," said Ellen Baer of the Hudson Square Business Improvement District.

Nothing honors the past better than The New York City Fire Museum, which is located 4 blocks south of the stop on Spring St. It houses one of the country's most prominent collections of fire department artifacts, which date from the colonial days of New Amsterdam to the present. The museum is also where you will find a memorial to the 343 members of the Fire Department who were lost on September 11th - complete with pictures and recovered items from the Ground Zero site.

"People are often just overwhelmed by it," said Damon Campagna of the Fire Museum, "It's a lot for people to take in all at once sometimes, but it's touching."

The stop is a magnet for creative professionals, many of whom are in advertising, media, or work in design firms. Two blocks south of the stop is the Jerome L. Greene building is home of New York Public Radio, as well as a number of other radio stations and a performance space.

Halfway down the block from the stop is the Film Forum, New York's leading movie house for independent premieres and repertory productions since 1970.

But while you feed the soul with art, you can also fill the stomach from a host of popular restaurants. The City Winery is 2 blocks south on Varick. Here, you can catch live music, enjoy a meal, and taste from the restaurants own winery. Some offer right out of tap.

But if you have a sweet tooth to satisfy, Jacques Torres chocolate will do the trick. Located a block away from the stop on Hudson St, this chocolate factory and store would make even Willy Wonka jealous.

If this has you wanting to make a last minute trip to Paris, you can pick up your passport at the main passport office, which is located just a block west of the station on Hudson as well.

Food, music, creative people and Fire Dept history can all be found with 7 blocks of the 1 line's Houston Street stop.