One of the cooler locations in NYC, it's just south of Houston (pronounced "how-ston") St., which explains the name. It features many theaters and cool shops and restaurants, and is located right next to the village.

1) Acronym meaning: Small Office House Office.

2) A place in central London (between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus) which was originally known for its sex shops. In recent years it has acquired cult following for great places to eat and drink, plus lots of trendy deli style shops, tattoo parlours and boutiques. Huge pink economy takeover in the late 1990s.

Take a London Tube map, and fold it in half. Turn it around. Fold it in half again. Open it up and look at the point where the creases intersect. That's where I live. Soho: my home for three and a half years. I still get blank looks of surprise when I tell people that I live here. "Soho? Wow, I didn't realise that people lived in Soho..."

Two blocks up, there's the heaving mass of Oxford Street, packed end to end with frantic shoppers weaving in and out of the gaudy shops, loading themselves up with consumer goods, and emptying their wallets in search of the elusive brands that will make them acceptable.

Closer by is the place the people ebb and flow through the hours: in the almost square grid of Soho itself, from Oxford Street down to Shaftesbury Avenue, from Regent Street across to Charing Cross Road.

Soho is for everything but domesticity. I am surrounded by cafes and restaurants, and the most painfully fashionable bars of the moment. There are strip joints and sex shops, and endless handscrawled signs saying 'friendly, blonde model' pinned into walkup stairways. There are film companies, ad agencies, and the post-production houses creating all the special effects that will make you gasp and coo six months from now.

There are patisseries, and delis, and street markets overflowing with the most perfect food you can imagine. There are record shops filled with the concentration of want-to-be DJs watching the real thing choosing their newest selections of vinyl. There are publishers and art galleries, and photographic labs, drug dealers, junkies and policemen. There are bike messengers sprawling in the park, being admired by grandmothers herding their duckling charges along the path to the French Church. There are dozens of bright rainbow flags fluttering over bars and shops.

There are people, everywhere, drinking coffee, beer, the latest smart drinks, lounging around and watching the rest of the world stroll past. There are strutting models, and avant-garde designers. There are tramps and winos, hovering around the pavement tables outside late-night cafes, wrapping themselves in blue sleeping bags and hoping for a little money to get them out of the cold night air. There are drunken hordes, teetering on this season's essential kitten-heels, and giggling with the gaggles of mini-cab drivers who tout their business on the most profitable corners.

But this is Soho, and this is where I live. Every now and then, I get the urge to pick up and move, move on, move out, get more space, move away. We flick through the listings of flat after flat, and do the round of estate agents and viewings, but, I never can quite make the break away from this part. I've never lived anywhere so long in my life. It's expensive, and cold and small. The bathroom leaks like a fountain. The view is across a low roof and straight into the bathroom windows of the restaurant next door. I'm often woken by the doorbuzzer, with frantic calls for working girls who have never worked here. People piss on the doorstep, or litter it with discarded beer cans.

But, I love it here. I'm a local. This is my part of town. I've never had that sense before.

I'm a local, a regular, a creature of habit haunting the same few places. I look forward to the reassuringly ordinary chats with the booksellers who know what I like to read, the coffee merchant who knows that I always buy beans and not ground and have a weakness for the 99 per cent cocoa chocolate, the vegetable man who gives me extra tomatoes and teases me for being a "little 'un", the spice lady who tells me about her holidays, the pub landlady who swaps notes on unnatural hairdyes, the old guy in the deli who tells me off for buying canned beans and not dried.

This is a small corner of the city, one of the old villages that sprawled together into the mass of London. It's a real place that no-one in their right mind would have planned. It's an old place that's struggling to keep up.

Some days I hate London. It's falling apart. It's filthy--the streets are pockmarked with discarded gum and fluttering paper from fast food packages. It's noisy. The public transport system is creaking to a halt from years of underfunding and lack of care. You descend into the Underground (walking down unsteady spiral staircases because so many of the escalators have ground to a halt) and wriggle into the non-gaps on the packed platforms, squeezing yourself between sweating suits and the splutter-coughing masses into the next train, because you can't stand back in the flood-flow of ever-forward movement. But the roads are jammed with too many cars, gridlocked and spewing filth into the air. Walking, you can spot the real Londoners--they weave seamlessly in the crowds, rarely breaking step except to hiss or curse at the daytrippers who stop dead without warning.

Some days I long for the wide open spaces that don't exist in this country. Those places where you can walk all day and never see another person. The places that are drowned by the size of the sky.

You can't see the stars in the orange-purple haze of never-darkness. But the other night, walking back from Marble Arch, a perfect full moon hovered huge and bright, closer than Centrepoint, and I fell in love with Soho all over again.

An area in the Central district of Hong Kong, near the Mid-Levels. The name comes from "South of Hollywood Road". Very popular with expatriates due to its variety of restaurants, and a short distance from the Lan Kwai Fong bar area.

The Webster 1913 entry alludes to the origin of the name "Soho". "So ho" was, like "Tally Ho", an English hunting call, used when hunting rabbit.

This particular area of West London became known as "Soho" in the 17th Century because it was well known for its rabbit and hare hunting. Nowadays, of course, an altogether different form of wildlife occupies the area.

SOHO (Solar & Heliospheric Observatory) is a satellite that was launched as a cooperative effort between the European Space Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SOHO was launched on December 2, 1995 into the Earth Sun Lagrange Point: L1. From this position about 92 million miles (150 million kilometers) the pull from the earth and the sun is equal and gives the satellite an un-obstructed, constant view of the sun.

Actually, it isn't right at the L1 point, but rather in a halo orbit about the L1 point. This orbit gives it a bit more stability (the L1 point is not 'stable' and moves around as the moon and other planets tug at it slightly). Furthermore, it allows the satellite to get out of the way of the sun and able to send a clear signal back to Earth (the sun is very noisy at radio wavelengths and would overpower the satellite's transmitter).

SOHO is primarily designed to study the internal structure of the sun and the outer atmosphere of the sun (see The Anatomy of the Sun). By being outside of the the Earth's magnetic field it is capable of studying the solar wind and warn scientists of potentially damaging coronal mass ejections (solar flares) that can disrupt satellites, and electrical and communication systems on Earth. SOHO has also been used to measure the solar constant for correlation between the amount of energy the sun puts out to weather on Earth.

The photographs from SOHO are publicly available to all and have allowed many armchair astronomers (both professional and amateur) to discover comets. The vast majority of these comets that are discovered are considered "sungrazers", nearing the sun so close that they either evaporate or break up. The latest images from SOHO are available at People intrested in this should look at for information on how to submit a comet find. About 80 comets were found in 2001 by individuals looking at SOHO data and over 360 comets have been found total.

So*ho" (?), interj.

Ho; -- a word used in calling from a distant place; a sportsman's halloo.



© Webster 1913.

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