Posted by Jackie Judge on 1/20/10
New York City has always been a happening place, with each borough offering their own downtown vibes and cultural flairs. I was born in Brooklyn, the land of the Brownstones, somewhere at the juncture of 7th street and 7th avenue – the heart of the borough you could say – and while definitely a bit dangerous and shady in the 1980s, known for its muggings and crime rates, Brooklyn in recent years has become a burgeoning hotspot in its own right. A newfound, retro foodie-ism is quickly erecting in Brooklyn, with places like Meat Hook, bringing back the craft of old world butchery; restaurants like Marlow & Sons with their glorification of classic American cuisine; and, of course, the established and magnificent Brooklyn Brewery. In a similar transformation, the Meatpacking District of Manhattan was for many decades known for its vast numbers of slaughterhouses, and then later, in the 1980s, for its rampant prostitution, drug dealing, and BDSM subculture. However, with the economic boom starting in the late 80s and going into the 90s, this neighborhood gradually changed into one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in New York City – maybe even topping that most sought-after fashionable center of New York: SoHo.
SoHo is gentrification central. Once known for its avant-garde art scene, that gave way to high-end shopping, with Greenwich and now the East Village taking the reigns as the nouveau art scenes in New York. The neighborhood is most closely bordered by the neighborhood of Nolita, and is bounded roughly by Houston Street to the north, Lafayette Street on the east, Canal Street on the south, and Sixth Avenue on the west. For anyone not native to New York, it’s overwhelming seeing all the shops and restaurants, and figuring out the streets and borders, so one developer, AppFury, offers an easy navigation solution with their recent app, SOHOinmypocket – a condensed guide to the SoHo neighborhood.
Like a play on the once popular Polly in my Pocket, the girl pictured on the app’s opening page – which is riddled with animal markings – has the same teenage girlishness reminiscent of cartoons or toys. The app, however, is anything but childlike in its presentation. The app opens to the Directory page, featuring categories like Accessories & Handbags, Bar, Bank, Books & Paper, Cafes, Event Venues, Food-Casual and many more, listing 900 places total. 900. That’ll keep you preoccupied for a long time. I thought the categories were neatly thought-out, with food having the additional separations of Food-Casual, Grocers, Cafes, and Restaurants. The casual food mostly consists of streetcars, or sidewalk venues, where you can grab a quick, tasty gryo, or one of those ever convenient and classic hot dog stands in New York, always with a heaping pile of salted nuts. One of my favorite places to eat in the past was Spring Street Natural, located on the main strip of SoHo, and featuring some of the most delicious, healthful food I’ve ever eaten. I can either browse or search through the directory to find it, or I can simply navigate the map and tap on the restaurant’s icon. On the information screen, the name is given, along with the address, the establishment’s phone number, it website (if available), and the category in which it’s included. From the Directory screen I may tap the “View in Map” button to visualize its location.
A nice bonus that SOHOinmypocket offers is a section on deals, which seem to change on a weekly basis – well, that and there are 900 listings that may potentially offer savings and deals, leaving your options wide open. In a manner like UrbanSpoon, a slot machine device is pictured onscreen, for you to either tap or shake to randomize a result. It’s too bad you can’t sort through all the deals manually – though I suppose that’d be exhaustive, and overall fruitless – but the spinning device saves any deal it discovers for you, so you may keep a logged account of your activity. On my second shake, I discovered Agent Provocateur is having a sale of 75% off selected items until January 31 of this year – that is very good to know, not only because Agent Provocateur is outrageously expensive (try $140 for a bra), but because it’s an international brand and this deal applies online; otherwise, if it were a SoHo-specific boutique (T.S.E., Intrigue, etc), I’d have to physically be in New York. And, the best part? These deals aren’t limited to clothing lines – the deals cover hotel discounts, restaurant savings and more.
The app is very easy to use after the initial, slow loading time, and for such a breezy app, it’s too bad that whenever the screen darkens, SOHOinmypocket must take it upon itself to query, again and again, if you want to use your current location. I was also surprised at the remarkably drab interface – a bit tacky almost in its color choices, and with its decision to use a transparent overlay of the girl in bug-eyed glasses and cheetah-motif, so you may see her on nearly every page. Her little black dress and white, retro 60s glasses with retro bob hail of a timeless, classical look, but I would expect this cartoonish design more from a local designer in San Francisco, with its cute quirkiness, rather than a sophisticated, at-the-edge-fashion boutique in SoHo. But, this small detail doesn’t hamper the app’s abilities in the slightest, and SOHOinmypocket performs admirably.
*AppFury has been generous in providing Appstruck with a few promo codes, so act quickly and claim one now!
*When using the promotion code to download for free, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. Out of courtesy for your fellow Appstruck readers, please leave a comment below mentioning you’ve used the promotion code.
Categorized as: $0.99,Apps for Moms,Apps for Teenagers,Entertainment,Lifestyle,Navigation,Paid Apps,Productivity,Reference,Special Categories
Tagged as: AppFury LLC, apps for women, clothing apps, events finder app, fashion apps, location-based service, paid iphone apps, SOHOinmypocket